Tom King (highwayman)

Tom King (d. circa 1737) was an English highwayman who operated in the Essex and London areas.

King was a close associate of fellow highwayman Dick Turpin; however unlike Turpin, who is often seen by historians a mere rogue, King was the kind of swashbuckling, charming, devil-may-care character into which legend would later transform Turpin. Because of his manners when robbing his victims, King became known as "the gentleman highwayman", and "Captain King".

Turpin and King met on the road one night when the former attempted to rob the latter. King responded with the words: "What, dog eat dog?"

The two joined forces and hid out in a cave in Epping Forest and pursued a successful partnership. One day, however, while visiting a pub, they were recognised and in the chaos that followed Turpin accidentally shot King with his pistol.

King was arrested and later died of his wounds. Before he did, he gave the locations of his hideouts to the constables, perhaps so that Turpin would get caught. However Turpin got away and fled to York where he was later arrested for sheep stealing.

A play titled Dick Turpin & Tom King was written by Victorian playwright W.E. Suter in 1861.

Further reading

  • Blakeborough, Richard. The Hand of Glory and Further Grandfather's Tales and Legends of Highwaymen and Others Collected by the late R. Blakeborough. London: Grant Richards Ltd., 1924.
  • Thomas, Paul. Outlaws. Hong Kong: Thameside Press, 2002. ISBN 1-931983-39-9

External links

Search another word or see highwaymanon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature