The Thames has been a source of intrigue and danger throughout history. From the time that it was first settled, pirates and smugglers have used the river to hide their stolen goods, slaves, and other illegal items. In this guide, we will explore some of the most notorious pirates and smugglers who hid on London’s most famous river.
The Thames was the perfect place to hide and run a smuggling operation
The Thames was the perfect place to hide and run a smuggling operation. The narrow river made it easy for pirates to spot approaching ships. It also provided protection from the elements, allowing them to remain hidden when it rained or snowed outside.
The Thames had many small coves where boats could be moored without being seen by passing ships. These coves were located throughout London and its surrounding areas, including Gravesend (now part of Kent), Greenwich (in southeast London), Tilbury Fort near Essex County Park on Canvey Island in Essex County Park on Canvey Islandand Purfleet
Cannon Street Railway Bridge
The Cannon Street Railway Bridge is one of the most infamous bridges in London. It was built in 1866 and is still in use today, though it no longer carries trains. It’s a Grade II listed structure that was designed by Sir John Hawkshaw, an engineer who also worked on Tower Bridge and other notable landmarks around England.
It was built for the London and Blackwall Railway (LBR), which opened that same year between Fenchurch Street Station (then named Shadwell) on the north bank of The Thames River and Poplar Dock on its south bank.
The ‘Thames Watermen’ was the original river pirates of London
Back in the days when London was a thriving port, and its docks were full of ships from all over the world, it was the watermen who brought goods into London. You could say that it was a London transport hub. They were also the first pirates to make a living from piracy and smuggling.
In those days, most people wouldn’t have been able to afford to buy things like tea or coffee – so they couldn’t drink them! But these drinks were very popular among rich people who could afford them, so if you wanted some expensive tea or coffee, then you had two options:
- You could travel all around Europe looking for someone willing to sell you some.
- You could pay someone with an old boat (and no license) who would take some money from you so that they could go out into international waters where there were no laws against selling illegal goods.
The ‘Thames Docks’ took up most of Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe was one of the most notorious areas of the Thames. It was home to some of the most notorious pirates and smugglers in history, including Henry Avery, who became known as “the King of Pirates” after stealing a fortune from an Indian ship in 1712.
The docks were also home to some of the most notorious pirates and smugglers in history: In 1696, William Kidd sailed into London with his ship full of gold after being hired by British authorities (who didn’t know what they were doing). He was sentenced to death by hanging for piracy but escaped prison before his execution date arrived.
The Thames was home to some of history’s most notorious pirates and smugglers
The Thames was a natural place to hide and run a smuggling operation. The river was full of hidden coves, which made it easy for pirates and smugglers to hide their ships. In addition, the London Bridge lifted up every night so that ships could pass through at low tide. This allowed criminals to slip into the city undetected by authorities easily.
The Thames was also home to some of the most notorious pirates and smugglers in history: Henry Every (also known as John Avery or Long Ben), Thomas Pound(e), William Kidd, and Robert Culliford were all born near or around London’s docks. John Ireland even lived there before he became famous for being executed at Execution Dock on November 23rd, 1696, after being convicted of piracy!
The Thames was the perfect place to hide and run a smuggling operation. It was also home to some of the most notorious pirates and smugglers in history. Cannon Street Railway Bridge was one of their favorite spots for launching their boats and being close enough for them to reach other ports upriver. The Thames Watermen were another group who made use of this waterway. Still, unlike their more criminal counterparts, they earned their living through legal means such as carrying goods or passengers around town by boat rather than stealing them!
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