Saturday, 19 October 2013

Richard Turpin

Richard 'Dick' Turpin, who terrorised the travellers of Essex and Yorkshire from 1735 to 1739, was the most famous highwayman that has ever lived. His cry "Stand and deliver!" struck fear into travellers who knew they would have to give up their riches or be killed.
Turpin first worked as a butcher, but he was caught stealing cattle which he was then planning to sell in his shop. Later on he joined a gang of smugglers and deer poachers in Essex. Named the Gregory Gang because three of the members came from the Gregory family, they were disbanded by the authorities and Dick needed to find some other way of making a living.
By going into partnership with a famous highwayman named Tom King,  Turpin became accustomed to the job of a highwayman. He accidentally shot (and killed) his partner whilst attempting to shoot a policeman. From then on Turpin worked alone. By the time he was 30, there was a reward of £200 on his head. After learning this, Turpin fled to Holland to escape the police.

When Turpin returned to England wearing a false name, he was arrested in the town of Brough after being accused of killing a Cockerel. Fortunately for him, nobody recognised him, and he was sent to jail. Because he could not afford the release fee to get himself out, he wrote a letter to his brother-in-law to ask if he could help with the payments.
Turpin's old school teacher recognised the handwriting and travelled to York, where Dick was kept in prison. He identified him as Richard 'Dick' Turpin the Highwayman, and was rewarded with the £200 and a dead student- Turpin was hanged in the gallows soon after for his crimes.


  1. I love that you are still blogging here. Would you like to come and talk to my classes about blogging?