The greatest period of smuggling coincided with wars from 1689 to 1815. Starting as a response to a salt tax in the 1680s, by the 1690s many other imports were heavily taxed to fund war. In 1695 the first smuggling case was reported in the port of Penzance when six gallons of brandy were found in a small fishing boat. By the early 18th century the ‘free trade’ was a major by-employment in Mount’s Bay. Roscoff in Brittany and Guernsey in the Channel Islands were the main suppliers of smuggled goods. In addition to brandy, gin and rum, tea, sugar, vinegar and velvets were also smuggled. The velvets were found on the Hampden, a Falmouth packet - a fast vessel that carried letters and bullion to the Mediterranean and Americas - in 1780. Smuggling cases involving Mousehole or Newlyn people occur in most of the surviving customs books for the port of Penzance in the period 1738-1800. Two-thirds of the 70 named smugglers came from Mousehole and the rest from Newlyn. About a third were fishermen, eight (including one fisherman) were boat owners, and a further eight, boat’s crew. Nine of the 12 key fishing families are represented. Smuggling was probably a side-line to fishing in most cases. For example, eight young fishermen of Mousehole were arrested in 1749, and in the next year three Newlyn fishermen were charged with rum-running on the Polly. A typical smuggling voyage began on New Year’s day 1773 at Newlyn pier. With a cargo of potatoes, a sloop belonging to John Leah of Paul and captained by his son John sailed for Brittany. At Roscoff (Roscrou) they loaded tea and 12 ankers or casks of brandy. They then sailed to Morlaix and returned to Mousehole on Saturday 30 January, by which time the crew had consumed two casks of cargo.