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Smugglers showed remarkable creativity and inventiveness in transporting their cargoes inland from the coast. Women were particularly good because they had two advantages over their male counterparts:

First, the ‘fullness’ of fashion and secondly, behaviour towards their sex if challenged by customs officials and magistrates (even when the verdict was going to be ‘incredibly guilty’).

In Part 1 of Smuggling Guidelines for Ladies we learn how to set boundaries and limits. Particularly when employing petticoats and crinoline.

Although this incident took place a few years after the heyday of the Seasalter Company, Dr Isaac Rutton and Mr William Baldock architects of the Seasalter Company, would have appreciated the audacity of Elizabeth Barbara Lorinz, female smuggler.

Do not try this at home:

“THE USE OF CRINOLINE. At the Thames Police-court, on Thursday, a well-dressed woman, named Elizabeth Barbara Lorinz, aged 36, a native of Holland, was brought on remand, charged with smuggling.

“On Wednesday afternoon Inspector Major, of the Thames Police, and Dyer, constable of the same divison, were on duty at the Dublin-wharf, Lower Smithfield, and saw the prisoner disembark from the Batavier, a Rotterdam steamer. There was something very peculiar in her gait, which induced the officers to watch her.

crinoline-smuggling“Dyer put himself in her way. Something hard struck against his right knee as she passed him. The inspector and constable followed the prisoner as far as Burr-street, the back of the St. Katharine’s Dock, where the inspector spoke to her and intimated that she had goods about her liable to duty. She indignantly denied the assertion.

“She was then taken into custody. On the way to the Thames Police-station at Wapping, she offered Inspector Major a present to let her go, which he refused.

“On her arrival at the station she delivered to the officers a few sticks of Cavendish tobacco, and said she had no more. She was delivered into the care of Mrs. Charlotte Nixon, a female searcher, to whom she declared that she was in the family way, and had no smuggled goods about her.

“Mrs. Nixon, however, insisted on examining her dress, and discovered 5 lbs of cigars, 9 lbs. of Cavendish tobacco, some tea, and a bottle of Hollands gin, concealed beneath her clothes and about capacious crinoline. The evidence having been interpreted to the prisoner, she pleaded ” Guilty.” 

(Aldershot Military Gazette. Sat 23 Nov 1861)

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