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John Carter

Born 1770 at Breage near Helston, matured to become one of the biggest rogues on the coast, the self styled King of Prussia. Carter was a mixture of hard working fisherman, honest merchant and out and out rogue. He operated out of Bessies Cove, a rocky inlet near Perranuthnoe in Mount's Bay/ It was an area notorious for lawless gangs of wreckers and smugglers. But it was a time when few local people thought smuggling to be a crime. John and his brother Henry were well known along the French coast, but during the French Wars they were arrested and imprisoned in St Malo for a year on one occasion. He mounted guns on the cliffs guarding the approach to Bessies Cove and fired on revenue boats that came too close. On another occasion he raided Penzance Customs House and removed some barrels of wine that they had seized from his boat.

In 1807 he disappeared from the area and was never heard of again! He left a journal relating his life and times. The nickname King of Prussia came from his fascination with Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia. Bessie's Cove is now called Prussia Cove.





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