Con Men and Cutpurses: Scenes from the Hogarthian Underworld (Penguin Classics)
An enthralling anthology of 18th-century writings that gives a fascinating insight into the dreadful misdeeds of - and the horrible punishments meeted out to - an array of rogues and criminals, from murderers and swindlers to prostitutes and pirates. Captured in memoirs, letters, ballads and court transcripts are some of the most colourful villains ever to take their last gasp at the hangman's noose, including daring thief Jack Sheppherd, highwayman Dick Turpin and ingenious pickpocket Jenny Diver. Taking us from the backstreets and brothels to Newgate prison and the gallows at Tyburn, this anthology reveals London's murky underworld in all its squalor and exuberance.
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becomes as useful to trade, as trade had been before to the support of luxury. To prevent this consequence therefore of a flourishing commerce is totally to change the nature of things, and to separate the effect from the cause. A matter as impossible in the political body as in the natural. Vices and diseases, with like physical necessity, arise from certain habits in both; and to restrain and palliate the evil consequences, is all that lies within the reach of art. How far it is the business
boyish appearance; and on a variety of occasions that circumstance greatly assisted him in pursuit of his felonious designs. So childish, in fact, was his appearance (for he was very short and slender for his years), that sometimes he provided himself with marbles, and, dressing himself like young master, he would ask to play with gentlemen’s children, whom he might observe, in the environs of London, amusing themselves in their father’s court-yard. Thus he would insidiously get every
description of the law; and Claxton was admitted as evidence against Cox, who was committed for trial at the ensuing sessions at the Old Bailey. The evidence against Cox was chiefly circumstantial; but it was of such a nature as to be almost as strong as positive proof, and on that evidence he was capitally convicted. Finding the end of his career fast approaching, Cox began to prepare himself for eternity. He was executed, as we have already stated, at Tyburn, October the 27th, 1773, along
blew out the candle, and crossing his hands, discharged them at his company; Hands, the master, was shot thro’ the knee, and lam’d for life; the other pistol did no execution. – Being asked the meaning of this, he only answered, by damming them, that if he did not now and then kill one of them, they would forget who he was. Hands being taken, was try’d and condemned, but just as he was about to be executed, a ship arrives at Virginia with a proclamation for prolonging the time of His Majesty’s
no, thus much is certain, that she did not want bravery; nor indeed, was she less remarkable for her modesty, according to her notions of virtue: her sex was not so much as suspected by any person on board, till Anne Bonny took her for a handsome young fellow, and, for some reasons best known to herself, first discovered her sex to Mary Read: Mary Read knowing what she would be at, and being very sensible of her own incapacity that way, was forced to come to a right understanding with her, and