Living Picture of London, for 1828 and Stranger's Guide Through the Streets of the Metropolis

Bee, Jon




That, upon very rare occasions, start up in the neighbourhood of this metropolis. Indeed, so seldom are they now heard of, compared to what they were formerly, that the mention of this offence will appear mere bagatelle to most of our readers after all the apologies we can offer. It was a mistaken notion of Mr. Barrington that they receive intelligence from the ostlers and other attendants at inns, or introduced themselves into the company of travellers, of whom they wormed out the secret of their property, its amount, and the hour they meant



to take the road, &c. Whatever might have once been the case, I will venture to say no such thing has happened within forty years last past.

No, no; they chance it, when they do go out. Else, how came Joe Haines to attack the Bow-street officers, in the Green-lanes, at Hounslow ? If he had intelligence at all of three traps being in the post-chaise, he made precious bad use of it. He was shot in the thigh, and afterward taken, and hanged in chains. That event took place in ; and, since that time, we have heard of about four highwaymen only; the most prominent of which was the robbery of the Leeds mail, by Huffey White, near Kettering; and another, nearer home, of a young city traveller, who, having lost his employer's money at Doncaster-races, stopped some people on Finchley-common, to make up his deficiencies, and was pursued by the horse patrol (Highgate to Barnet) as far as Kentishtown, where he was taken.

Persons who travel with a good deal of property, if they mean to preserve it, should provide fire-arms, at all events, taking care that they are in primest order for firing; for, it will be easy to foresee, that a flash in the pan would bring certain death. No time remains for new priming when a desperate fellow holds a pistol at your head. You should also make up your mind to do execution, if put to the test: dalliance with edge tools, in such cases,



would be fatal. To this mistaken notion, Mr. Fryer sacrificed his life in White Conduit-fields (): having thrown out his tuck, and failing to use it, the footpad shot him dead! This is a practical lesson for you, even though I did not know beforehand what was likely to take place, in almost every possible extremity. Two men were hung for this crime, innocently, at , by having set up an alibi they could not prove, though true. They had been admitted to bail, on acount of the uncertainty of Miss Fryer, the principal witness, as to their identity; but, upon the trial, she had been better devised, and repeatedly asseverated she was now positive. After he is well-versed in those preliminary steps, to the enjoyment of town-life, and can find his way about tolerably, still keeping his skin whole, and his property safe from street-pilferers, our stranger, who would render his sojourn more permanent, next looks about for domestic comforts, in