178), they were for a time very troublesome, as wreckers and pirates, to the reopened commerce between Egypt and the East, till they were chastised by the Greek sovereigns of Alexandria.
Hawker described the bulk of his parishioners as a "mixed multitude of smugglers, wreckers and dissenters of various hues."
The coastmen were expert smugglers and wreckers, the agriculturists were ignorant and drunken, the parish clergy were slothful, in many cases intemperate, and largely given to fox-hunting.
On his return journey he narrowly escaped the pagan wreckers of Sussex, and only reached his own country to find Ceadda (St Chad) installed in his see.
Though for a long time they were callous wreckers and pirates, and cruel, and though they show great want of feeling in the "devil murders" - ceremonial murders of one of themselves for grave offences against the community, which are now being gradually put down - still on the whole the Nicobarese are a quiet, inoffensive people, friendly to each other, and not quarrelsome, and by inclination friendly and not dangerous to foreigners.
For the most part this is founded on Dutch models, and testifies in a high degree to the king's progressive aims. Provision was made for the better education of the lower, and the restriction of the political influence of the higher clergy; there were stern prohibitions against wreckers and "the evil and unchristian practice of selling peasants as if they were brute beasts"; the old trade gilds were retained, but the rules of admittance thereto made easier, and trade combinations of the richer burghers, to the detriment of the smaller tradesmen, were sternly forbidden.