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History Of The Highwaymen

In the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries Highway robbery was a common crime. Many people were in danger of being robbed if they travelled. There was a problem with highwaymen robbery, often the roads were in a quiet, lonely countryside and there was plenty of places to hide along the roads.
The population of Britain was much smaller and there was less towns and built up areas, so it was easy to commit highway robbery and not be seen or heard.
Many People carried their money and wealthy belongings around with themselves as there was less banks and no credit cards, cheques etc.
Highwaymen got away with robbing traveler because there was no police to chase and capture them.

There are a lot of myths about Highwaymen

First of all highwaymen road horses and to ride a horse put you above low violent criminals like footpads, Highwaymen were suppose to behave better,

1) They were supposed to rob the Rich to help the poor.
2) They were supposed to be well mannered and refuse to rob women.
3) They were supposed to dress well in the style of the wealthy people they were robbing.

The Most Famous Highwayman was Dick Turpin, he was made famous by a popular poem in 1825. Click on the link to find out more about Dick Turpin.


Footpads were the same as highwaymen but instead of being on a horse, footpads were on foot. The disadvantage of being on foot was that it was hard to keep up with a moving carriage if they try to escape. This is why highwaymen were more successful because they were on horseback and could keep up with a moving carriage.


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Revised: September 03, 2007


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