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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1846, Sunday, August 21, 1831

Extensive Seizure of Silks.

In consequence of information which Mr. Downe, an officer of the customs, received, that a quantity of smuggled foods had been lodged at the houses of some of the first silk merchants in the city of London, he despatched three officers of the excise to three houses, one of which is in Newgate street, another in a lane near Cheapside, and the third in a court in Fleet street. At three o'clock each of these officers contrived to lay his hands upon silks of a very valuable description, upon which the duty had never been paid. The value of the seizure is estimated at not less than 10,000l. Two kegs of very fine Cognac, which had not paid duty, were found on the premises, and carried off by the officers, along with the more valuable goods. The silks were, it has been ascertained, smuggled from France; but no clue has, as yet, been found to the manner in which they had been landed. They were packed up with great care in 24 large cases, which were evidently made in this country, and are such as Manchester goods are usually packed in. Upon being taken to the King's warehouses they were unpacked and examined. The gauzes are of the most beautiful kind. The officers will have the whole of the profits arising from this enormous seizure, the King having, some time ago, as appears from the orders of the Lords of the Treasury, issued at the commencement of his reign, given up all claim to any advantages arising from seizures of this description. The Thames has been very closely watched, as it is said several smuggling transactions have taken place, and it is expected that more extensive seizures will be made.