Glossary of smuggling terms

Blockade The blockade consisted mainly of Irish landsmen and blue-jackets who had been compulsorily detailed for the service. The blockade men took over the coast when smuggling was at its most lawless between 1816 and 1831. This was a highly effective force to be reckoned with, partly because the service men had little affinity with the area in which they were working, and unsympathetic to the locals.
Clasp Knife A large pocketknife, the blade of which folds or shuts into the handle.
Cutter A small vessel resembling a sloop, with one mast and a straight running (not fixed) bowsprit, the sails being usually a fore-and-aft mainsail, gaff topsail, stay foresail and jib.
Free Trader A smuggler.
Gobblers Customs men.
Lugger A vessel having either two or three masts, two or three jibs and a running bowsprit, the masts carrying each one or two lug-sails.
Owler A smuggler, particularly of sheep or wool.
Preventive Men The personnel of the Preventive Water-Guard, a voluntary service formed of men from the Revenue cutters and men-of-war after the disollution of the Blockade.
Riding Officers A freelance mounted policeman, and member of a corps. Riding Officers worked in conjunction with the officers of the Customs and Excise on shore. Riding Officers could often be "bought off" by smugglers, and were treated with disdain by their colleagues in the Customs and Excise. The salaries were low, but significant rewards were payable on seizures of goods.
Smugsmith A smuggler.
Stinkibus Spirits that had been left hidden under the sea for too long (a procedure known as "sewing the crop") and gone foul.
Tide Waiter A Customs man who waited on the tide to collect duty on any imported goods from arriving vessels.
Venturer A seemingly respectable businessman who invested in smuggling. Perhaps a businessman from the Cities, or a country landowner. These were the financial backers for smuggling expeditions.