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The history of smuggling along the coast of East Sussex is filled with colourful characters and daring exploits, but perhaps none are as legendary as the notorious smuggler John “Smoker” Mills.

Born in 1730 in the Sussex village of Rottingdean, Mills was a notorious figure along the coast during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He was known for his cunning, his bravery, and his unwavering commitment to the smuggling trade.

Mills was not only a smuggler, but also a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He owned several ships and employed a large network of smugglers and accomplices to help him move contraband goods along the coast and inland.

As the veil of secrecy continues to shroud the fate of the notorious smuggler, John “Smoker” Mills, speculation and intrigue persist. Did he meet a grisly demise, his fate forever intertwined with the murky depths of the sea? Or did he miraculously escape capture, leaving behind a legacy of mystery and daring escapades? Find out more on our Seven Sisters Boat trip!

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