[From Atholl Papers - AP 40B-21]
We receiv'd your Honours Order of the 17 ult acquainting us that your honours have under consideration the state of the smugling trade carried on between the Isle of Man and Great Britain and directed us to make a strict enquiry into that trade, and to endeavour to procure as exact accts as possible of the several kinds of goods imported into the said Island, and of the duties payable to the proprietor for the same.
We humbly inform your honours that as we live so remote from the coast and have no immediate intercourse with the Isle of Man we cannot give your Honours any other information than what we apprehend has already been given your Honours by Mr Lutwidge Surveyor General, the Collector & Comptr of Whitehaven & Liverpool as to the duties paid to the proprietor for the several kinds of goods imported into the said Island.
But with all due submission we beg leave to inform your Honours, that the smugling trade in the Borders of Scotland is still carried on by boat from the Isle of Man, to a very notorious degree, a great part of which goods are run into England, over the fords at low water, and escorted by large gangs of armed smuglers, which the officers of this port frequently meet with, but cannot make a seizure without more force than themselves.
We further beg leave to inform your Honours, that in the month of June last Mr Addison the surveyor, together with the officers of this port met met with near Hayton Castle in this county, a very considerable gang of smugglers armed with guns and pistols escorting about forty horse load of brandy, and tea, which the officers attacked, but being over powered with so much superiour force were obliged to retreat, frequent instances of this nature happen, therefore humbly inform your Honours we are of opinion the only effectual means of supressing a practise so detrimental to his Majesty, and the fair trader, would be, that, of a party of light troops (as the very name of a military force intimidates the smuglers) as set forth in our letters to your Honours of the 28 Feby last, as also the report by Messrs Eddowes & Halcomb, which we humbly refer your Honours to. We are
most obedient & humble servts
Custom ho Carlise
8 Decr 1764