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Dick Turpin
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    (circa 1705-April 7, 1739)
    Born in Hempstead, England, United Kingdom
    Legendary English highwayman
    Started out as a butcher
    Soon turned to cattle rustling, poaching and smuggling
    Joined the Essex gang of house breakers, notorious for targeting isolated farms
    Turned highwayman when the gang broke up
    Captured, arrested and executed in York
    His best known exploit, riding from London to York in under a day, never happened.
    Also contrary to popular legend, he never had a beloved horse called Black Bess.
    He was apprenticed to a butcher who found him ‘loose and disorderly.’
    When part of the Essex gang, he terrorized female or elderly homeowners into handing over their valuables.
    Although famed as a lone highwayman, he usually worked with a partner.
    He was a coldblooded thug romanticized by the public.
    The press had a field day covering his crimes.
    He could survive in the forest and countryside for months when evading the law.
    He wrote a letter to his brother-in-law who refused to pay the postage due. When the letter was returned to the post office, his handwriting was recognized.
    Although a murderer, he was sentenced to death for stealing two horses.
    His notoriety attracted many visitors to his cell.
    He hired five mourners while waiting to be executed.
    He faced death with courage and made small talk with the hangman.
    He became the subject of many ballads, stories, novels, comic books, TV shows and movies (including ‘Carry on Dick’ starring Sid James).

Credit: Georgina

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