Carter, Henry ('Harry')

Methodist smuggler, born at Pengersick, near Breage, Cornwall. His older brother John, known from childhood as 'the King of Prussia', had involved other members of the family in a smuggling venture, bringing merchandise from Guernsey and elsewhere and based in 'Prussia Cove' near Penzance. During the American Revolution, Harry found himself imprisoned for two years at St.Malo. In 1788, after an exchange with a Royal Navy vessel off the coast near Plymouth, he was forced into hiding and then fled to New York. Following his return he was again imprisoned in France in 1793 at the height of the Terror. He eventually settled at Rinsey, near Breage, serving as a local preacher, though the family smuggling activity continued. His autobiography, written in 1809 as an act of confession, recounts both sides of his chequered career. He died at Breage on 19 April 1829.

  • WM Magazine, 1831 pp.657-66
  • Harry Carter, The Autobiography of a Cornish Smuggler (1894; reprinted 1900, 1971)
  • Oxford DNB

Category: Person
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