In the 1820s, rumours about a phantom funeral procession were rife at Caernarfon, a ghostly figure and his horse and cart, complete with coffin, was said to wander the streets at the dead of night, and anyone who saw it, would be cursed, and sorrow would fall upon their families. The fear was so great that people would not go out late at night, as this ghostly apparition was said to occur in the small hours. Boaz Prichard a local grocer was just as scared as his customers, and would gossip with them about the strange happening on their streets, warning people that they would be cursed if they ever set eyes on the phantom hearse, and even giving examples of what had happened to various people, and families, that had been cursed after a sighting. And so a self-imposed curfew fell on the town.
As well as his
shop, Boaz Pritchard owned a small sloop the “Lively” and he would sail as
far south as the Channel Islands in search of produce for his warehouse, he
would often return home with apples and other
goods, which were very popular
with his customers. Boaz was without doubt a very shrewd and clever
but he also had a darker side, he was one of the most successful brandy
smugglers of his day. And had spent many years supplying the Llyn with his grog,
but hardly anyone at Caernarfon knew of this. But on Llyn things were quite
different “Boaz Brandy” was a household name, and many a spectacular
hangover could be attributed to this great man. To say that he was a hero would
be an understatement bordering on blasphemy. He was first caught at
Porthdinllaen in 1828, and again in 1834, but he managed to wangle his way out
of it on both occasions. And in 1835 he even smuggled over six hundred barrels
of the stuff to Bardsey Island. But his adventures came to an end in 1838, when
he was caught for the last time at Porthdinllaen, and his little sloop was
impounded for good. And for his trouble Boaz spent a lengthy time behind bars.
99 barrels of brandy were also found at his Caernarfon warehouse, along with a
hearse and an empty coffin!!!
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