For historians, as for revenue officers, the bold English smuggler of the eighteenth century has been an elusive figure. His motives, the structure of his business, and his relationship to broader social and economic trends, remain far from clear. This is partly because the sources for histories of smuggling are fragmentary and obscure, but it also reflects the inadequacies of proposed interpretations. The early chroniclers of the smuggling trade represented it as an assertion of popular rights, bravely, if at times violently, defended against the agents of an intrusive government. This somewhat romantic view has recently been reformulated by Cal Winslow, who has depicted southcoast tea smuggling in the 1740s as a “social crime,” sanctioned by the laboring classes but condemned by those in authority. Conversely, economic historians have written of smuggling as a “big business” that accounted for one-third of English trade with France and Holland and had an effect both on the level of prices and the distribution of goods. The tea smuggler, as Hoh-cheung Mui and Lorna Mui have noted, “was indeed an important complement to his legal counterpart and as such contributed to the commercial expansion of the kingdom.” He “became a virtual pioneer in developing trade facilities,” especially in remote areas, and helped to expand the market for luxury commodities like brandy and tea by undercutting the prices of the great merchants and established companies.