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Armstrong, John [Johnnie], of Gilnockie (d. 1530), gang leader, is recorded as brother to Thomas Armstrong, laird of Mangerton, and so was presumably a younger son of this branch of the Armstrongs. He lived in Canonbie parish, which was then within the notorious ‘debatable land’ of the western Anglo-Scottish frontier and is now in ...

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Armstrong, William, of Kinmont (fl. 1569–1603), border reiver, was made famous by the poem 'Kinmont Willie', which recounts his dramatic rescue from Carlisle Castle in 1596, as found in Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. In 1593 Sir Thomas Musgrave of ...

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Armstrong, William [called Christie's Will] (fl. 1636), border reiver, was the son of Christopher Armstrong of Gilnockie, Dumfriesshire, and the lineal descendant of Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie, subject of the eponymous ballad. The tower of Gilnockie stood in the parish of Canonbie...

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Carrick, James [alias Valentine Carrick] (c. 1695–1722), highwayman, was born in Dublin, the third son of a jeweller (d. c.1714) who had 'left off Trade and liv'd upon his Estate' after 'having acquired a considerable Fortune' (...

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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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Costello, Dudley [Dualtache] (d. 1667), soldier and outlaw, was of unknown parentage and background, the surname being very common in east Mayo, where the Costellos, reputedly Gaelicized descendants of early English settlers, had given their name to a barony. Nothing is known of his early life but a deposition taken in 1652 names ...

Article

Coterel, James (fl. 1328–1351), gang leader, is assumed to have been a younger son of Ralph Coterel, a landowner in Cromford, Matlock, Tadington, and three other places in Derbyshire, who was dead by 1315. In his youth James was the leader of a gang that included his brothers ...

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Simon Fraser, eleventh Lord Lovat (1667/88–1747) by William Hogarth, pubd 1746 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fraser, Simon, eleventh Lord Lovat (1667/8–1747), Jacobite conspirator, army officer, and outlaw, was the second but first surviving son of Thomas Fraser (1631–1699), sometimes styled 'of Beaufort' (the third son of Hugh Fraser, seventh Lord Lovat), and Sybilla Macleod (...

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

Article

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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Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.), legendary outlaw hero, is wellnigh impossible to identify, first because of the sparsity and peculiar nature of the evidence, and second because Robin quickly became a composite figure of an archetypal criminal, and then an outlaw hero....

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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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Edward Kelly (c. 1854–1880) by unknown photographer, c. 1874 Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

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Kelly, Edward [Ned] (c. 1854–1880), bushranger, was born at Beveridge, Victoria, Australia, about 1854. One of eight children, he was the eldest son of John (Red) Kelly, an ex-convict transported from Ireland to Van Diemen's Land in 1842 for stealing two pigs. Red Kelly...

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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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MacGregor [later Campbell], Robert [known as Rob Roy] (bap. 1671, d. 1734), outlaw and folk hero, was the third son of Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Glas MacGregor (d. 1702) and his wife, Margaret (d. 1691), daughter of Archibald Campbell of Gleneaves...

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James Maclaine (1724–1750) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Maclaine [Maclean], James (1724–1750), highwayman, was born in Monaghan, Ireland, youngest son of the Revd Thomas Maclaine (d. 1740), a Presbyterian minister of 'very honourable' highland Scottish descent, and Elizabeth, née Milling (d. c.1735), daughter of a reputable local family (...

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Nevison [Nevinson], John [William] (d. 1684), highwayman, was born at Wortley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Details of his birth are uncertain. There is absolutely no reason to believe that he was born in 1639, the date that became enshrined in pamphlet accounts of his life. It is possible that he is the ...