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Turpin and the Lawyer

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Alternative title: Turpin Hero

Performer: Gascoigne, H.
Place Collected: Kemble
Date collected: Between 1913 and 1916
Collector: Williams, Alfred
Roud Number: 621

Dick Turpin was the typical anti-hero.  He was Richard “Dick” Turpin, born in Essex in 1705 and hanged for his crimes in York in 1739.  In his time he was a highwayman, a poacher, a burglar and a murderer, and yet in the imagination of the people he was a hero.  His story, including that of a probably fictional ride from London to York on his horse Black Bess, was romanticed and became the fuel for ballads and novels.

As a song, it was published on broadsides (see and was widely collected in England and elsewhere.  This is the only Gloucestershire version.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 12 April 2016