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Allan [Allen], James [Jimmy] (1734–1810), Northumbrian piper and rogue, was born at Hepple, Northumberland, probably in March 1734, and baptized at Rothbury, Northumberland, on 21 April 1734, the son of William Allan or Allen, also known as Wull Faa, a noted vermin hunter and performer on the Northumbrian small pipes. ...

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Blake, Joseph [nicknamed Blueskin] (bap. 1700, d. 1724), burglar, was baptized on 31 October 1700 at All Hallows the Great, London, the son of Nathaniel and Jane Blake, who were later described as having been 'in tolerable Circumstances' (Most Remarkable Criminals...

Article

Robert C. Ritchie

Bonnet, Stede (d. 1718), pirate, may have been a soldier as he was given the title of major during his trial, where he was also treated as an educated gentleman by the officers of the court. The most that can at present be said about his family is that he is probably the ...

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Clark, Margaret [Margret] (d. 1680), arsonist, was born in Croydon, Surrey, the daughter of 'honest but mean parentage' (Warning for Servants, 1). She became a servant and was employed by several masters. By the end of January 1680 she had been with ...

Article

Clavell, John (1601–1643), highwayman and writer, was born on 11 May 1601 and baptized in the parish church of Wootton Glanville, Dorset, ten days later. He was the youngest of the six children, and the only surviving son, of John Clavell (d...

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William Dampier (1651–1715) by Thomas Murray, c. 1697–8 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dampier, William (1651–1715), buccaneer and explorer, was born in August and baptized on 5 September 1651 at East Coker, Somerset, the second of six children of tenant farmers George Dampier (1618?–1658) and his wife, Anne (d. 1665).

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Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596) by Jodocus Hondius? © Copyright The British Museum

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Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596), pirate, sea captain, and explorer, was born about February or March 1540 in Crowndale, near Tavistock, Devon, the eldest of five known children of Edmund Drake (d. 1566) of Tavistock. Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named ...

Article

Fitch, William Stevenson (1792–1859), antiquary and thief, was born at Ipswich on 17 November 1792, the eldest of the five children of Samuel Fitch, druggist, and his wife, Elizabeth Stevenson. After five years at Ipswich grammar school (1802–7) he joined the family business and later took over the shop on his father's death in 1815. An early and consuming fascination with old documents, autographs, prints, and coins, particularly those relating to ...

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Griffith, Piers (1568–1628), pirate, was probably born at Penrhyn in Caernarvonshire, the eldest son of Sir Rhys Griffith (d. 1580), MP and high sheriff of Caernarvonshire, and his third wife, Katherine, daughter of Peter Mostyn of Talacre. His father was a prominent figure in ...

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Hall, John [Jack] (1674x7–1707), thief, was born in Bishop's Head Court, off Gray's Inn Lane in the parish of St Andrew's, Holborn, Middlesex, the son of Anthony Hall, cobbler, and his wife, Rebecca. Just before his execution in December 1707 Hall gave his age as thirty-two, suggesting that he was born in 1674 or 1675. However, the parish register of ...

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Hawker [alias Collis], James (1836–1921), poacher and autobiographer, was born in Daventry, Northamptonshire, and baptized there in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on 29 August 1836. He was the first of the eight children of Charles Hawker and his wife, Charlotte Parbery (...

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James Hind (bap. 1616, d. 1652) by unknown engraver, pubd 1651 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hind, James (bap. 1616, d. 1652), highwayman and royalist soldier, was baptized at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, on 15 July 1616, the tenth of thirteen children of Edward Hind (d. 1656), a saddler, and his wife, Anne Smythe. His father was evidently a man of some position in the parish, three times serving as churchwarden. On 24 February 1638 ...

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Hutton, Luke (d. 1598), highwayman and writer, is of uncertain origins. Sir John Harington states that he was the younger son of Matthew Hutton (1529?–1606), archbishop of York, an opinion also adopted by Cooper. However, according to Thomas Fuller, whose account is accepted by ...

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Kidd, William (c. 1645–1701), pirate and privateer, was a Scot, by tradition born in Greenock, Renfrewshire, into the family of a Church of Scotland minister; however, the names of his parents are not known and his date of birth is derived from his age, about fifty-six, when he died. He does not appear in the historical record until 1689 when he was a member of a pirate crew brought into service by ...

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Lewis, Paul (1739x41–1763), highwayman, was born either in Ireland or at Herstmonceux, Sussex. He was one of ten children of an Anglican clergyman and appears to have come from a respectable family: Lewis himself drew attention to the good character of his ancestry in a plea against his death sentence, identifying a family line related to ...

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Mainwaring, Sir Henry (1586/7–1653), pirate and naval officer, was the second son of Sir George Mainwaring (d. 1628) MP, of Ightfield, Shropshire, and Anne (d. 1624), daughter of Sir William More MP, and his second wife, Margaret. The Mainwarings were well established in ...

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Martin, Jonathan (1782–1838), arsonist, was born at Highside House, near Hexham, the son of (William) Fenwick Martin, who held several occupations including publican, coach builder, fencing master, and tanner, and his wife, Isabella, née Thompson. John Martin, the artist, and William Martin were among his twelve siblings. ...