Highwaymen , somehow , sometimes , become heroes of a sort in popular myth .
Robinhood ? What about Robinhood ? Was Robinhood a highwayman ? He’s got an airport in England named after him . Robbed from the rich ………………….I wrote some time ago about the California highwayman known as Black Bart . They say Black Bart never loaded the weapon he used to rob people .
Heaven forbid you should leave dog poop on the grounds of the burial ground ! I’ll go out on a limb here and say that no popular myth heroism will go to dog poop leavers . Some things go way beyond tolerance . People get worked up these days about those who leave dog poop around town . Let’s discuss that subject another time .
From what I’ve read , Dick Turpin was a petty thief from an early age . He was involved with a gang of robbers and deer poachers . He was not above a little torture such as putting people on hot coals in order to get them to tell where their money was hidden so that he could steal it . He evidently killed a man named Morris , at one point , and later he got into horse stealing . Horse stealing was a capital offense in England ( maybe I should say “offence” ) and Dick Turpin found this out the hard way . What do they say in old westerns ? ……they had a necktie party .
He had been living in Yorkshire , having relocated from the London area , and was living under an alias , John Palmer . Despite the fake name , Dick Turpin seemed to have been unable to mask his suspiciously disreputable character . Neighbors mentioned him to the authorities , who were curious as to his source of income . He was found with horses that had been stolen from other people .
Dick Turpin was hanged in 1739 . Crime does not pay . Crime does not pay ? Well , that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms best left for another time , too .
Ada and I flew from Poznan, Poland , to Robin Hood Airport in Dorcaster /Sheffield . We took a train north and one day visited York . Someone walking on the street asked us directions , where was the school ? , as if we knew . ” There’s the churchyard , ” he said , ” but where’s the school ? Well , it’s been fifty years since I’ve been here . ” He had been, he informed us , a student there . The school had probably been gone for decades I think , replaced by blocks of flats .
He , the old schoolboy , mentioned Dick Turpin’s grave to us . The stone marker was one of his childhood memories . Dick Turpin . Dick Turpin the highwayman . The school was gone but Dick Turpin was still there .