This is the text of a public talk given at Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, Leeds on 1 March 2015 to complement their Crime and Punishment Exhibition.
Dick Turpin (1705-1739) is perhaps the most famous highwayman in English history after Robin Hood. He is remembered today as a heavily romanticised noble, gallant figure, having allegedly rode his horse from London to York in one day upon his trusty horse, Black Bess, the real Dick Turpin, as you would expect, was a wholly different man. This post gives a brief overview of his life and the legend which grew around him.
During the 18th century crime was the talk of the town in England. In 1751, the crime rate had reached such hellish proportions that the Magistrate of Westminster, Henry Fielding (the author […]