By 1737 Dick Turpin was England’s ‘Public Enemy Number One’ with a string of house-breaking offences, highway robberies and a cold-blooded murder to his name. The law seemed completely ineffectual in bringing him to justice, and it was only due to a lucky coincidence that he was eventually tried and hanged – for stealing horses, rather than for highway robbery. We will look at the careers of a number of notorious highwaymen and reveal the games they played with the authorities struggling to apprehend them.

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