|Died||19 May 1737 (aged 24–25)|
New Prison, Clerkenwell, Middlesex
Tom King (c. 1712 – 19 May 1737) was an English highwayman who operated in the Essex and London areas. His real name is thought to have been Matthew King; whether "Tom" was a nickname or an error in reporting his crimes is uncertain, but it is the name by which he has become popularly known. Some sources claim that he was nicknamed "The Gentleman Highwayman" and he was also known as “Captain Tom King”. A contemporary account of his last robbery also mentions a brother, either John or Robert King, who was captured by the authorities on that occasion. Other reports also mention an “Elizabeth King”, possibly his wife who is mentioned in King's will.
King's fame rests mainly on his associationwith highwayman Dick Turpin. According to The Newgate Calendar (published nearly forty years after the deaths of Turpin and King), their first encounter occurred when "Turpin, seeing him well mounted and appearing like a gentleman, thought that was the time to recruit his pockets", and tried to rob him.
The Newgate Calendar goes on to say that King was "very well known about the country". According to legend, the two joined forces and hid out in a cave in Epping Forest and pursued a successful partnership.Their first crime together was to steal a race horse called White Stockings or Whitestocking, but it was under King's influence that Turpin turned from his life of petty crime to a career as a highwayman. On 2 May 1737, during a robbery that went wrong, King was shot, possibly by Turpin himself. The Stamford Mercury reported on 12 May 1737 that King had been 'shot through the shoulder' and, on the same day, the Derby Mercury reported that King was 'attended by two surgeons' at New Prison in Clerkenwell. King later died of his wounds on 19 May 1737, aged about 25. He was buried at St James’ churchyard in Clerkenwell on 21 May 1737. In his will, King bequeathed the entirety of his effects to his “loving wife Elizabeth King.”
Richard Turpin was an English highwayman whose exploits were romanticised following his execution in York for horse theft. Turpin may have followed his father's trade as a butcher early in his life but, by the early 1730s, he had joined a gang of deer thieves and, later, became a poacher, burglar, horse thief and killer. He is also known for a fictional 200-mile (320 km) overnight ride from London to York on his horse Black Bess, a story that was made famous by the Victorian novelist William Harrison Ainsworth almost 100 years after Turpin's death.
The Newgate Calendar, subtitled The Malefactors' Bloody Register, was a popular work of improving literature in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Claude Du Vall was a French highwayman in Restoration England. He came from a family of decayed nobility, and worked in the service of exiled royalists who returned to England under King Charles II. Little else is known of his history. According to popular legend, he abhorred violence, showing courtesy to his victims and chivalry to their womenfolk, thus spawning the myth of the romantic highwayman, as taken up by many novelists and playwrights.
A highwayman was a robber who stole from travellers. This type of thief usually travelled and robbed by horse as compared to a footpad who travelled and robbed on foot; mounted highwaymen were widely considered to be socially superior to footpads. Such criminals operated until the mid or late 19th century. Highwaywomen, such as Katherine Ferrers, were said to also exist, often dressing as men, especially in fiction.
Louis Jeremiah Abershawe, better known as Jerry Abershawe, or Abershaw, was a notorious English highwayman who terrorised travellers, mostly along the road between Kingston upon Thames and London, in the late eighteenth century.
John Nevison, also known as William Nevison or Nevinson, was one of Britain's most notorious highwaymen, a gentleman rogue supposedly nicknamed Swift Nick by King Charles II after a renowned 200-mile (320 km) dash from Kent to York to establish an alibi for a robbery he had committed earlier that day. The story inspired William Harrison Ainsworth to include a modified version in his novel Rookwood, in which he attributed the feat to Dick Turpin. There are suggestions that the feat was actually undertaken by Samuel Nicks. The tv series Dick Turpin had an accomplice of the highwayman, Nick, who earned the nickname Swiftnick.
Gentleman Ghost is a supervillain appearing in books published by DC Comics publications. Created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Joe Kubert, the character first appeared in Flash Comics #88.
Katherine Ferrers was an English gentlewoman and heiress. According to popular legend, she was also the "Wicked Lady", a highwaywoman who terrorised the English county of Hertfordshire before dying from gunshot wounds sustained during a robbery.
Joseph "Blueskin" Blake was an 18th-century English highwayman and prison escapee.
Carry On Dick is a 1974 British comedy film, the 26th release in the series of 31 Carry On films (1958–1992). The story is based on the Dick Turpin legend and features Turpin (James) as an antihero, attempting to evade capture by the authorities.
Richard "Galloping Dick" Ferguson was an English highwayman who, with partner Jerry Abershawe, raided the area around London during the late 18th century.
"Captain" James Maclaine was an Irish man of a respectable presbyterian family who had a brief but notorious career as a mounted highwayman in London with his accomplice William Plunkett. He was known as "The Gentleman Highwayman" as a result of his courteous behaviour during his robberies, and obtained a certain kind of celebrity. Notoriously, he held up and robbed Horace Walpole at gunpoint: eventually he was hanged at Tyburn.
James Hind was a 17th-century highwayman and Royalist rabble rouser during the English Civil War. He came from the town of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He fought in the English Civil War for the Royalist cause. Some reports tell of him assisting the escape of King Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester. After the war, he took up highway robbery against the Commonwealth forces with his exploits both real and embellished printed in numerous pamphlets that made him into a Royalist folk hero of the Robin Hood mould. His partner Thomas Allen was captured when they attempted but failed to rob Oliver Cromwell. Hind also robbed John Bradshaw, President of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I. He refused to rob cavaliers and even gave money to poor royalists.
Dick Turpin is a 1933 British historical drama film directed by Victor Hanbury and John Stafford it starred Victor McLaglen, Jane Carr, Frank Vosper, James Finlayson and Cecil Humphreys. The film depicts the adventures of the eighteenth century highwayman Dick Turpin and his legendary ride to York. It is based on a historical novel by Harrison Ainsworth.
Rookwood is a novel by William Harrison Ainsworth published in 1834. It is a historical and gothic romance that describes a dispute over the legitimate claim for the inheritance of Rookwood Place and the Rookwood family name.
Turpin's Cave is an area of Epping Forest in Essex which has been attributed as a hiding place of the highwayman Dick Turpin.
Dick Turpin's Ride is a 1951 American adventure film directed by Ralph Murphy and starring Louis Hayward. It follows the career of the eighteenth century highwaymen Dick Turpin. It is based on the poem Dick Turpin's Ride by Alfred Noyes.
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Thomas Cox, known as "The Handsome Highwayman", was an English highwayman, sentenced to death and hanged at Tyburn. He had a reputation for a spirited nature and it is reported that when asked if he wished to say a prayer before being hanged, he kicked the ordinary and the hangman out of the cart taking him there.
Deborah Churchill (1677–1708) was a British pickpocket and prostitute executed for being an accomplice to murder in 1708.