Turpin, Dick, 1706-39, English robber. After a short and brutal career of horse stealing and general crime he was hanged at York. The fame—or notoriety—that he later achieved derives mainly from W. H. Ainsworth's romance, Rookwood (1834), which is based upon his life. Turpin's famous ride from London to York on his mare, Black Bess, is fiction, and his actual exploits were not of a romantic character.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia Copyright © 2004.
Licensed from Columbia University Press