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reigning toast of the day. The lady expostulated; w Turpin exclaimed nonchalantly, "Be not alarmed, Mada can now boast that you have been kissed by Dick Turpin morning!"

The authority for the second anecdote is ev unimpeachable, though its claim to perpetuation on the intrinsic merit is scarcely greater. In 1796, Charl patrick Sharpe was introduced to a lady, named Pier was said to be the favourite niece of Richard Turpin. gold watch with seals, which she somewhat conspicuou played, was understood to have been bequeathed to he marauder himself. It seems to have been expected of the 1 was a pattern of piety, that she should make "restitut the tainted possession to her spiritual adviser. But thought otherwise, and retained the bauble unblushing such time as it was transmitted, like any common or ev piece of jewelry, to her legal heirs and assigns.

I had intended in this place to have given the rea benefit of my researches and collections for an Iconographia Turpiniana, but the restrictions of time an forbid us imperatively to do more than merely state t engraving of the bandit in his cave, which accompan former article, has been selected with the utmost care a the least unauthentic among all the counterfeit presentm our hero. It is reproduced from the large plate in the volume of Caulfield's Portraits of Remarkable Persons, 1819. same time, for the reader's better entertainment, we ma him to the plate depicting Turpin's assassination of Morri third volume of the Tyburn Chronicle; or Villainy Displayed

A few fragments of historic fact may survive here an amongst the debris of Turpinian ballad literature which ha down to us. Here is a ballad, for instance, called The I Death of Dick Turpin, as sung by Mr. Albert Du Voy, a Temple of Harmony, which confirms what we already know highwayman's original trade and favourite lair in Whitec In London a long time ago,

Dick Turpin he lived, you must know;

He was a non-sucher, and lived as a butcher,
In that famous place Whitechapel Row.

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must not tarry, for this is a tale, not of the by-way, but of the highway.

Having disposed of the carcase of the historical Richard Turpin, we now approach what is in reality the most vital part of the whole subject—the evergreen legend which has become associated for all time with his name. The Pseudo-Turpin, not of Gaston Paris, but of Harrison Ainsworth. That a certain notoriety clung to the name of Turpin for the space of the hundred years that followed his execution is not by any means rashly to be denied. Richard's escape when the rest of his gang were entrapped, his period of residence in an Epping cave, his shooting of Tom King, his migration to the North, and the circumstances of his conviction-all these things contributed to the formation of a Turpin legend, not very remarkable in itself, but sufficient for the conservation of his name among a public which regarded every highwayman as half a hero; above all, rich in ballad material. Every pedlar had a Turpin ballad in his wallet, and the woodcut of the hero, bestriding a black horse and jumping a spiked gate with a pistol in either hand, proved decidedly alluring to ballad buyers.* Some of these ditties survived the insect's span of a farthing leaflet, and were promoted to an after life in shilling song-books. Thus in A Collection of Diverting Songs (1817), to the burden of “When a robbing he doth go, doth go," we find a true ballad with the following

commencement :

Of all the famous robbers,

That doth in England dwell;
The noted Richard Turpin,
Doth all the rest excel.

He is a butcher of his trade,

And lived in Stanford town;

And did eight men near Leicester rob,

As it is full well known.

That Richard had attained to a certain bubble reputation from the ballad's mouth is perhaps true, but this claim to a preeminence among robbers cannot in any way be substantiated. His fame was in fact restricted to the crime-loving classes, nor could it

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* The demand for Hanging Verses and pieces of "the rope was most brisk, as might be expected, among the crowd which assembled at the York Tyburn. The Flying Stationers" were always ready upon such occasions to circulate Last Dying Speeches and Confessions, and the doleful ditties were usually sung before the fatal ladder or cart was removed, and the culprit swung free. See Ebsworth's Bagford Ballads, 1876. i. 232.

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well have been otherwise, for apart from the ride-to-York episode (which was not as yet connected with his name) there was nothing to give distinction to his story or differentiate it from that of the ruck of highwaymen. A small piece of negative evidence to this effect may be discovered in the fact that in Anecdotes, Bon Mots, Traits, Stratagems and Biographical Sketches of the Most Remarkable Highwaymen (1797), Turpin's name is not so much as even mentioned. It is a fact that his intrinsic merits as a highwayman are far inferior to those of Claude Duval, the Golden Farmer, or Jerry Abershaw, yet his fame now far outshines that of any of these. Why is this? It is simply because what Johnson did for Savage, and Goldsmith for Nash, and Raspe for Munchausen, and Lytton for Aram, and Defoe for Selkirk - that Harrison Ainsworth has done for Turpin. Study the contemporary Trial of the notorious Highwayman, Richard Turpin, at York Assizes Taken down in court by Mr. Thomas Kyll,* Professor of Short hand (York, 1739), and the last confessions appended thereto, and you will not find a word about Black Bess or a famous ride, or indeed any kind of heroic action. No, the elixir of life was breathed into the story by that best of all alchemists, a Victorian novelist. Ainsworth was not in the highest rank of the illuminati, but his spells were sufficiently potent to animate a fable, the beanstalk growth of which may fairly be said to rival that of one of the legends of the Dead Sea.

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Ainsworth's Rookwood: A Romance, in three volumes, was published by Bentley in 1834. The title page bore no author's name. But the work was acknowledged by Ainsworth in a second edition, and its great success was enhanced by some racy illustrations by Cruikshank. These did not supplant the letterpress, as was almost the case in Jack Sheppard, but they greatly stimulated the public interest in the Turpinian episode. Stories of Turpin's exploits, which he had heard as a boy in Cheshire, and a vague knowledge of the circumstances of Turpin's migration to the North after the incident of King's arrest and death, may probably have suggested to Ainsworth the interpolation of "The Ride to York" into his romance.

The fine chapters containing the stirring history of the ride

* Both Thomas Gent in his Life (1832) p. 185. and Robert Davies in his York Press (1868) P. 244, speak poorly of Kyll, so we are not to rely upon his report as absolutely trustworthy.

were dashed off, it is said, in a single night, and they fully justify the idea that they were composed in a white heat of imaginative fervour. A study of his authorities would have convinced the author that Turpin was a cold-blooded murderer without a spark of chivalry in his composition; but the effect of the novel was to create a new national hero who was destined to supplant St. George and the seven champions of Christendom in the favour of unborn generations of London apprentices.

In connection with this remarkable literary incarnation, two facts well deserve to be borne in mind: first, the story of the ride to York had been in existence fully a hundred and fifty years. before Ainsworth's day; secondly, it had not been definitely associated hitherto with the somewhat commonplace criminal renown of Richard Turpin. The story was formerly associated with a highwayman known under the sobriquet of Nicks, who, in 1676, haunted the Chatham road for the purpose of robbing sailors of their pay. Having robbed a traveller at Gadshill one morning, says the story, under conditions not quite satisfactory to himself, Nicks, who happened to be mounted upon a splendid bay mare, determined to prove an alibi in case of ill consequences. He rode off at 4 a.m. to Gravesend and while detained for an hour or so awaiting the arrival of a boat to ferry him and his steed across the river, prudently baited his horse. Having crossed the water to Tilbury he rode through idyllic Mucking and beetle-browed Billericay to Chelmsford, where he rested and gave his horse some "balls." So by way of Dunmow, Thaxted, and Saffron Walden, through Cambridge to Huntingdon, and then after some brief rests to York, where he put in an appearance on the bowling green at a quarter before eight in the evening.

It is satisfactory to learn that when Mr. Nicks dismounted at the bowling green, the Lord Mayor of York, like Sir Francis Drake upon another momentous occasion in the history of our

*The illustrious author has told us how he felt when he wrote the death of Black Bess. The feelings of Gibbon at Lausanne, of Thackeray when he put his last touch to Steyne, were tame compared with those of Ainsworth. It was at the Elms at Kilburn. "Well do I remember the fever into which I was thrown during the time of composition. My pen literally scoured over the pages. So thoroughly did I identify myself with the flying highwayman that once started, I found it impossible to halt. Animated by kindred enthusiasm I cleared every object in my path with as much facility as Turpin disposed of the impediments that beset his flight. In his company I mounted the hillside, dashed through the bustling village, swept over the desolate heath, threaded the silent street, plunged into the eddying stream; and kept an onward course-without pause, without hindrance, without fatigue. With him I shouted, sang, laughed, exulted, wept. Nor did I retire to rest till in imagination I heard the bell of York Minster toll forth the knell of poor Black Bess."

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