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About document 35

Correspondence concerning Dick Turpin, dated 23 February 1738/9.

(Catalogue reference: SP 36/47 folio 88)

James Smith of Hempstead in Essex reveals the true identity of John Palmer, to be Richard (Dick) Turpin - the infamous highwayman. John Palmer, was committed to York Castle on suspicion of stealing sheep and horses.

Turpin was born at Hempstead in Essex. Having made a career of stealing livestock and robbing farmhouses he left Essex in 1737 to avoid arrest and settled in Yorkshire under the name John Palmer, a horse dealer. Turpin was actually stealing the horses on frequent excursions into Lincolnshire, and supplementing his income by highway robbery.

Please note:

  • The document is written in a cursive mixed hand.
  • Remember to transcribe ye as 'the' and yt as 'th[a]t'.



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