Barrow-in-Furness  Civic and Local History Society
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Evidence of smuggling is well documented. In 1347 the merchants of Calais complained to Edward 11 about wool being smuggled from Piel Island into Zealand (Holland), where there was a central depot, a great Cistercian wool house. The abbot’s ship, the “Marie Cogge”, made regular journeys to Zealand. In 1423 Abbot John Bolton was accused of using the castle for smuggling wool out of the country, and importing wine without paying taxes. In the reign of Henry V1 Flemish merchants used Piel in order to avoid paying the tax on wool.