23 February

Dick Turpin was unmasked on this day


So we are drinking a...


Dick Turpin, like Ned Kelly or Bonnie & Clyde, is one of those folk heroes whose bio doesn't quite live up to his rep. He's famous as a lone highwayman, holding up coaches with the heroic message "Stand and deliver!", and for an epic ride across England.

In fact, he started his career as a cattle rustler, then a smuggler, and it was someone else who achieved that epic ride. Failing at these endeavours, Turpin joined a gang that robbed country houses, often torturing and sometimes raping their victims. After that was broken up, he assisted a highwayman - only to shoot his mentor while attempting to break him out of police custody.

Turpin was finally captured when, living under the name John Palmer, he threatened to kill his landlord in a dispute over a rooster. 175 years ago today, his old schoolteacher unmasked him as Dick Turpin - not long after, a potboiling biography created the gallant myth. We're marking today with a drink created by a different Dick, Dick Bradsell, the ever-drinkable Bramble. Enjoy!

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