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Ramensky, Johnny (1905–1972), safe-breaker and gaolbreaker, was born in Glenboig, Lanarkshire, on the outskirts of Glasgow, the only son in the family of three children of Lithuanian immigrants. His father, a Lanarkshire coalminer, died while Ramensky was still a child, and he was brought up in poverty by his mother, who had lost an arm in an accident. He left school at fourteen, and worked in the mines for a brief period before the family moved to ...

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John Sheppard (1702–1724) attrib. Sir James Thornhill, 1724 Collection Museum of London; © reserved in the photograph

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Sheppard, John [Jack] (1702–1724), thief and prison-breaker, was born on 4 March 1702 in White Row, Spitalfields, London, the son of Thomas Sheppard (1672–c.1706), carpenter, and his wife, Mary. His father, reputedly an honest, industrious artisan, died young, leaving three children. ...