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died of his hurt, though not before he had given some indication of Turpin's haunts near Epping, and in Hackney Marsh, whither huntsmen proceeded with bloodhounds. But Turpin developed

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those arboreal habits, which so many "Turpin oaks" in the landscape of England attest. He evaded the sleuth-hounds, and eventually made his way across the Wash to Long Sutton in Lincolnshire.

After unintentionally shooting Tom King (the better man of the two), Turpin seems to have lived by sheep and horse stealing and by occasional raids into Yorkshire, hiding at Machet Cave, North Cave and Welton, and often riding back to Long Sutton, with a string of stolen horses, which he sold without at first exciting too much suspicion. But he soon got into difficulties with his neighbours, and settled at Welton, near Beverley, as Mr. Palmer, a gentleman horsedealer. At first, again, he acted his part well, gaining favour with all who wanted to buy a good horse at a decent price. These he could sell cheap because he "borrowed" from Lincolnshire. By this traffic he became recognized in the hunting field and often went shooting with people of good position. But bad blood will out. Returning from such a party one evening, after a poor day's sport, he wantonly shot a cock belonging to his landlord. One Mr. Hall told him "it was a shame”; Palmer retorted that he would "shoot Hall himself, if he did not . . .; let him wait till he loaded his gun !" This line of procedure led to a summons at Beverley Petty Sessions, and an order that "Mr. Palmer" should find bail and sureties, whereupon it appeared that he "had no friends." He was forthwith committed to Beverley Bridewell. On re-examination, he admitted having lived at Long Sutton and when enquiries were made, people were found in considerable numbers who wanted Mr. Palmer. The farmers crowded to Beverley to identify their despoiler. On 16 October 1738, the magistrates of Beverley thought it prudent to send the soi-disant horsedealer under a guard to York Castle. *

The prison at York is graphically described in James Raine's book on the Depositions from York Castle. Peter prison and the condemned hold in the Cuse Bridge were a disgrace to the civilization of the eighteenth century. The cells in the Ouse hold would almost have rivalled the notorious Black Hole. Air, light and ventilation were absent, and the waters of the river rushed in when they were above the normal level.t This

*Turpin may have been an occasional visitor to York before his last and most dramatic appearance in that ancient city. It will readily be believed that tradition has assigned to him both a regular dwelling and a favourite haunt among the taverns of the Castle gate end: notably the Blue Boar, an ancient hostelry, which had been fitted up with boxes of wood for carousing parties as far back as 1640. For Turpin Ballads see Ingledew's Ballads and Songs of Yorkshire and Logan's Pedlar's Pack, Edinburgh, 1869.

† Turpin's was the water ordeal. Still more terrible was that by fire. In November, 1737, nine prisoners in York Castle 'Strong Room' filed off their irons, and at night set fire to their straw in order to burn down the door, but the smoke, for want of a vent, suffocated them, and they were all found dead in the morning.

description agrees fairly well with the picture of Turpin's prison in Twyford's Records of York Castle. The prison shown there is dark, cavernous and cellular, but is at the same time fairly large, allowing plenty of room for the mixed company which Richard's celebrity seems to have attracted. The gracefulness of the robber's movements must, however, have been considerably hampered by the fetters weighing 28 lbs., which are still exhibited as Dick Turpin's in York Museum and rival in attractiveness those of Jack Sheppard, at Newgate. While he languished in this damp stronghold during the winter of 1738.9, a number of uncouth ballads upon his untimely fate were hawked about the country.

"For shooting of a dunghill cock

Poor Turpin he at last was took;
And carried straight into a jail,

Where his misfortune he does bewail

O rare Turpin hero,
O rare Turpin O!

Now some do say that he will hang,—
Turpin the last of all the gang;

I wish this cock had ne'er been hatched,

For like a fish in the net he's catched,
O poor Turpin, hero!"

From prison Turpin wrote to his brother at Thaxted to "cook him a good character"; but unfortunately for him the handwriting was not recognised, and his brother, honest fellow, was adamant on the subject of unpaid postage. The letter was returned unopened to the Post Office at Thaxted. There Richard's ancient teacher, James Smith, happened to see it, recognised Master Turpin's superscription, and with commendable zeal for the confusion of a discreditable pupil and a consummate rogue, followed up the clue. He took the letter to a magistrate, who broke it open and discovered that it was ostensibly sent from John Palmer in York Prison. James Smith, on the strength of his conviction, went to York and at once identified Palmer as Turpin from among all the prisoners in York Castle. This evidence was confirmed by a Mr. Saward, of Hempstead, who not only recognised but was recognised by Turpin. "He confessed he knew me and said to me two or three times Let us bung our eyes in drink,' and I drank with him." Turpin was seen later by another who pretended to know him well; but this man said that he was not Turpin, and he would

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bet half-a-guinea on it. "Lay him," whispered Turpin to one of his guardians, "I'll go you halves."

In connection with Turpin's plea at his trial that he was not the Richard Turpin of Essex notoriety, but another Dick Turpin of the same name, the following circumstance appears rather remarkable. In 1740 John Newbery, the well-known bookseller, set out from Reading on a tour round England, and at Leicester he set down in his journal this singular statement :

"At the gaol we saw one John Clark, who lay condemned for robbery on the highway. He told us that the person hanged at York was not Turpin, for that he had robbed with him (Turpin) between Maidenhead and Colnbrook, and other places in the last hard weather; that the person then hanged was an accomplish of his and Turpin's, and that they engaged that whichever was catch'd should take on him the name of Turpin; and that Turpin and he supported that man (named Palmer) in York Castle and was present at his execution; and that Turpin and he waited eight weeks to shoot a man in Epping Forest; but that Turpin was now living, and had taken on him the name of Smith, and he kept an alehouse in the North of England."

At the same

The story is not altogether an impossible one. time it must be remembered that jail-birds are proverbial marvelmongers of the most mendacious order; while, having regard to the evidence of James Smith and his fellow-witness from Essex, there can be little real doubt that one and the same predatory impulse animated the Turpin of Epping and the Palmer of Beverley. The identity of the robber caused very little trouble to the Jury when Turpin was tried at York Assizes on 22 March, 1738-9, though the only indictment that was pressed home was that of stealing a black mare and foal at Welton. Turpin was found guilty of horse stealing, and Sir William Chapple sentenced him to death. The story that he was hung for stealing a bridle or shooting a game cock is just one of those baseless fables for which the name of Turpin has proved such an extraordinary magnet, though serious diatribes against the iniquity of English law have been based upon this flimsy foundation.

Since the days of the Oldroyds, Robert and Richard, "two pretty men," the latter known as "the devil of Dewsbury," no such hanging and quartering had been heard of in the north. The metrical statement that:


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"One hundred pounds when he did die,
He left Jack Ketch for a legacie."

is a perfectly legitimate exercise of poetical licence, taken in

connection with the fact that Jack Ketch died just thirty years before Turpin was born. It is true, however, that on the morning before his execution Turpin gave three pounds ten shillings amongst five men who were to follow the cart as mourners, with hat bands and gloves to several persons more. He also left a gold ring and two pairs of shoes and clogs to a married woman at Brough that he was acquainted with; though he at the same time acknowledged that he had a wife and child of his own in existence. He appeared on the day, Saturday, 7 April 1739, in a brand new fustian frock and new pumps, and was carried in a cart to the place of execution (Knavesmire, the York Tyburn, just without the city wall), together with one John Stead, condemned also for horse stealing. He behaved with amazing assurance and bowed repeatedly to the attendance. The spectators are said to have been much affected by his fate, owing to the comeliness of his appearance, though this is somewhat difficult to reconcile with the description of him in the proclamation. "High, broad cheek bones, a short visage, narrowing down at the chin, and a face heavily pitted with small-pox." It was remarked that as he mounted the ladder his right leg trembled, but he stamped it down" with an air." After speaking near half-an-hour to the topsman he threw himself off the ladder and expired directly.

His corpse was brought back from the gallows about three. in the afternoon, and lodged at the Blue Boar, at Castle Gate, till ten the next morning, when it was buried in a neat coffin in St. George's Churchyard, within Fishergate Postern, with this inscription: I. R. 1739, R. T. aged 28." He confessed to the hangman that he was 33 years of age. The grave was dug very deep, and the persons whom he appointed his mourners took all possible care to secure the corpse; notwithstanding which, on Tuesday morning, about three o'clock, some persons were discovered to be moving off the body, which they had taken up. The mob, however, suspecting this manœuvre of the anatomists, recovered the body out of their hands, and bore it back in triumph to the original grave, which they took the precaution of filling up with lime.

So much for the "Butcher-Highwayman" of Fact. Boot and Saddle in the sequel for the gallant outlaw of Fiction!

Part Two, De Pseudo Turpino, will appear in our April issue.

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