Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 10:41 PM
Short Summary: The story of the Moonrakers is famous amongst inhabitants of Wiltshire. It's an eccentric tale about smugglers and what they could get away with.
When it comes to lovable criminals like Robin Hood, you won't go far before you hear about the moonrakers of Wiltshire. Wiltshire is a town that has a long and colourful history, and you will not need to go far before you find a shop, a street or hill that has some piece of local colour attached to it. One of the favourite stories of the town of Wiltshire involves a group of men who came to be known moonrakers and the way that they got their unique name.
The story of the moonrakers was first published in 1787, but the real tale goes back much further than that. By that time, the story was already a matter of local legend, and though there were many places in the country that claim the tale, Wiltshire has as a good a claim as any.
At the time, smuggling was part of the way of life in the more remote parts of England. With taxes on luxury goods being as high as they were, poor men could make a great deal of cash simply by walking some goods through territory that they knew like the back of their hands. Of course, the penalty for getting caught by the dreaded excise men, the customs officials of the day, was very severe, so it makes sense that everyone was quite careful.
A group of Wiltshire smugglers had a few barrels of French brandy that they needed to move, but during the course of the adventure, the barrels had come to be hidden in the pool. That night, while the smugglers tried to pull the barrel up, they were confronted by the excise men, who demanded to know what they were doing in the water so late at night.
It could have gone very badly for them indeed, but one man spoke up and pointed at the reflection of the moon in the water. One can only imagine how grave his face was when he said that he and his friends were trying to rake in the very bright and full moon, as it was a beautiful round cheese that had fallen into the water.
The excise men thought it was a great joke on the local idiots, and rode on their way, leaving behind the sly moonrakers to pull up their barrels of French brandy in peace. The excise men rode on their way, having a private laugh at the expense of the farmers, and the smugglers, for their part, got to have a much louder, much longer laugh at the pompous excise men who thought so poorly of their country wit.
When it comes down to favourite stories, this one will always come up. Wiltshire is a county that has always prided itself on its cleverness and its good common sense, both of which you can see here in this story. The county of Wiltshire lays gleeful claim to the men who tried to grab the reflection of the moon in the lake and instead came up with barrels of expensive French Brandy to take to London.
When you are looking for the perfect place to hold your wedding, make sure that you consider Wiltshire. Head to the official tourist board to learn more about where this gorgeous town can take you.