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Napoleon and the 'City of Smugglers', 1810-1814


Daly, G, Napoleon and the 'City of Smugglers', 1810-1814, Historical Journal, 50, (2) pp. 333-352. ISSN 0018-246X (2007) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2007 Cambridge University Press

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DOI: doi:10.1017/S0018246X07006097


In the final years of the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon allowed English smugglers entry into the French ports of Dunkirk and Gravelines, encouraging them to run contraband back and forth across the Channel. Gravelines catered for up to 300 English smugglers, housed in a specially constructed compound known as the ‘city of smugglers’. Napoleon used the smugglers in the war against Britain. The smugglers arrived on the French coast with escaped French prisoners of war, gold guineas, and English newspapers; and returned to England laden with French textiles, brandy, and gin. Smuggling remains a neglected historical subject, and this episode in particular – the relationship between English smugglers and the Napoleonic state between 1810 and 1814 – has attracted little scholarly interest. Yet it provides a rich historical source, illuminating not only the history of Anglo-French Channel smuggling during the early nineteenth century, but offering insights into the economic, social, and maritime history of the Napoleonic Wars.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:European history (excl. British, classical Greek and Roman)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding past societies not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Daly, G (Dr Gavin Daly)
ID Code:49669
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2009-06-23
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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