The legend of Dick Turpin

If you were going to be stopped on the Highway and robbed your Highwayman of choice in the seventeen hundreds was one Dick Turpin. Turpin was the handsome Robin Hood type that would relieve you of your pocket watch, money pouch and jewelry but he did it with such a devilish smile and sparkling wit that you couldn’t help but overlook the inconvenience. Most people’s sympathies were with him anyway because if you were rich enough to go riding around in a stagecoach and have such things as a pocket watch, money pouch and jewelry you were generally minted and asking for it. There was no evidence that Dick Turpin ever gave to the poor unless pub Landlords and pretty barmaids suddenly fall in that category.

One thing that you won’t find is any highwayman like Dick Turpin giving the driver any trouble as the practice of highway robbery by men on horseback has now died out for the most part because our vans are quicker. A Same day Courier Service like the one at won’t be having any of that trouble even though Dick Turpin and his horse Black Bess were incredibly quick.  The story goes that Dick Turpin committed a highway robbery outside London and decides that the best way to get out of it was to have an alibi. His solution was to ride as fast as he could up the Great North road to York and swear blind that he’d been there all the time.  There are several issues with this legend primarily that York is roughly 200 hundred miles to London and in modern times it takes about four and a half hours using a motorway. The Great North Road is a bit of a misnomer being labeled as such mainly because it was more of a rutted dirt track. A horse at full gallop hits about 26 miles per so no horse in the world, not even a Highwayman’s ride, could maintain that speed for the 8 hours it would have taken to get there. Turpin’s backside would have had to have been made of Iron as well to put up with that level of punishment.

Turpin was captured and hanged after a rather a long career that took him from London to York committing highway crimes. It was the Murder of a Thomas Morris that convinced the authorities to do something and they found him living under the alias of John Palmer where he had spent his time stealing horses. Turpin wrote a letter as Palmer and someone spotted and recognized the handwriting and he was exposed.  He was hung as was the way but went gracefully and even managed to buy himself a new outfit for it. He was thought of at the time as a minor crime but his character was turned into a Robin Hood type and his fame was ensured when Madame Tussauds featured a waxwork of him in 1846.

Published by Sunil Pandey