A Gallant Footpad

This is another gem from ‘News from the English Countryside, from 1811:

“A footpad stopped the carriage of Mr Morris, surgeon, on Hounslow Heath, on Thursday se’nnight and robed Mr Morris of 2 £5 notes. Two ladies in the carriage tremulously held forth their money, begging him to take it, but he gallantly refused, saying he would have a kiss-a-piece from them instead. It was, he said, the fist and should be the last, robbery he ever committed. He was a stout, well-looking man and he had the accent of an Irishman.”

A footpad was a thief without a horse. Hounslow Heath was at the western edge of London, so notorious for highway robberies of various types, as wealthy had to pass there to get to the West Country, so Bristol, Bath Spa, Plymouth and a lot of country houses, so fine pickings.

2 thoughts on “A Gallant Footpad

  1. Read a wonderful description of an Elizabethan highwayman in “Time Traveller’s guide to Elizabethan England”. He used to hang out round Newmarket Heath, stop students en route from Cambridge, and ask them to give him a lecture on a subject of their choice to check out their credentials. Must have been one of the most educated highwaymen in the UK!

    Liked by 1 person

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