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This tale of smuggling is told through extracts from the letter-books of Zephaniah Job, the schoolteacher who became known as "Smugglers' Banker" for his role in the highly-organized contraband trade carried on in this Cornish village at the end of the 18th century. Featuring the exploits of the Quiller, Rowett and other Polperro families involved, it traces the voyages of the the "Swallow", the smuggling vessel whose capture of a valuable French prize laid the foundation to Job's fortune, and the raids on Polperro led by Captain Gabriel Bray in search of hidden contraband. Johns also tells the true story of the "Lottery": how the murder of a customs officer, the hunt for the men responsible and the subseqent trial and execution of Tom Potter led to the first Preventive boat being stationed at Polperro.
Writer and broadcaster Jeremy Rowett Johns has written extensively on the history of Polperro including 'The Smugglers' Banker' published by the Polperro heritage Press in 1997 which he now runs.