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


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Daly, G 2007 , 'Napoleon and the 'City of Smugglers', 1810-1814' , Historical Journal, vol. 50, no. 2 , pp. 333-352 , doi: 10.1017/S0018246X07006097.

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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

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Daly, G
Journal or Publication Title: Historical Journal
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0018-246X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1017/S0018246X07006097
Additional Information:

© 2007 Cambridge University Press

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