The Groombridge Gang of smugglers appeared to have been formed in
1733 and was led by Robert Moreton and John Bowra. Much of their
goods were landed at Lydd , Fairlight Bulverhythe and Pevensey and
secreted in the Ashdown Forest to avoid discovery before being
transported to London .
They were quite dominant in the area, and worked with the Hawkhurst Gang
and the Hooe Company .
One of their leaders John Bowra was arrested for smuggling tea in 1737,
then disappeared. Robert Moreton continued to lead the gang until 1749
when an informer Jerome Knapp shopped the gang to the authorities and
they were held at Rochester until their trial.
8 members of the gang came from Groombridge , with others from
Rotherfield Hartfield Penshurst and Westerham .
Other members of the gang were Moreton's servant Cat, Thomas Gurr
(Stick in the mud) , Collison , Pizon , Isaac Pope (Towser) , John Kitchen
(Flushing Jack) , Thomas Ward (Bulverhythe Tom) and William Weston .