Footpads and other Crimes in Hertfordshire

From the Oxford Journal

 2nd March 1754

This issue of the paper included the following three accounts of crime in Hertfordshire. The first describes the fatal shooting of a footpad near Baldock. The second relates to robbery and murder at Rickmansworth. The third concerned fraudulent appeals for charitable donations from people in Tring and places in Buckinghamshire. Unfortunately the names of the people involved is not given.


Last Friday a Footpad attempting to rob a Post-Chaise between Baldock and Bugden (Burge End, Pirton, near Hitchin), in which were an Attorney and his Clerk, the Attorney fired a Blunderbus at him, and he has since been found dead in the Wood. This is supposed to be the Fellow that has robbed in the same Lane these four Years past.


On Wednesday Evening last a Scotsman who went about the Country, was murdered by two fellows near Rickmansworth. He had called at an Alehouse near that Place, where the two Fellows were sitting; and one of them doing him some little Office of Kindness, he treated them both with some Beer, and went away. The ungrateful Villains went after him, and at a convenient Place knocked him down, and bruised him in such a manner, that they imagined he was dead; then robbed him and went off. ... ...  The poor Fellow died on Friday. The Villains are in Hertford Goal.



On Friday last was apprehended and brought before the Bailiff of Buckingham, who committed them to the Goal there, a Man and Woman, who had gone about the Country with False and Counterfeit Papers, and Letters of Request, to extort Money from the Publick under Pretence of being Sufferers by Fire and Water; the Man pretended to have lost 600 by a fire at Thorpe near St. Alban's in Hertfordshire, and furnish'd himself with the Hands of some Justices of the Peace of the Country and Buckinghamshire, and had collected in several Towns with great Success, (as appears by his Papers) particularly Tring, Wendover, WInslow, and Buckingham.

The Woman pretended to have lost 800 by an Inundation in Lincolnshire, and Northamptonshire, and had also collected Money in several Places about the Country. They have both publickly, before the Bailiff, own'd the whole to be a downright Cheat and Imposition. ... ... The Man is of a middle Age and Size, a little pitted with the Small Pox; has on a dark-coulour'd close-body'd Great Coat with a large Cape, and a small Velvet Collar, and looks like a Farmer. The Woman is disfigur'd in the Face, having a large black Patch over her Nose a bad Utterance, and gives Suck to a Child.

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