Black beard

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Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, is killed off North Carolina’s Outer Banks during a bloody battle with a British navy force sent from Virginia.

Believed to be a native of England, Edward Teach likely began his pirating career in 1713, when he became a crewman aboard a Caribbean sloop commanded by pirate Benjamin Hornigold. In 1717, after Hornigold accepted an offer of general amnesty by the British crown and retired as a pirate, Teach took over a captured 26-gun French merchantman, increased its armament to 40 guns, and renamed it the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

During the next six months, the Queen Anne’s Revenge served as the flagship of a pirate fleet featuring up to four vessels and more than 200 men. Teach became the most infamous pirate of his day, winning the popular name of Blackbeard for his long, dark beard, which he was said to light on fire during battles to intimidate his enemies. Blackbeard’s pirate forces terrorized the Caribbean and the southern coast of North America and were notorious for their cruelty.

In May 1718, the Queen Anne’s Revenge and another vessel were shipwrecked, forcing Blackbeard to desert a third ship and most of his men because of a lack of supplies. With the single remaining ship, Blackbeard sailed to Bath in North Carolina and met with Governor Charles Eden. Eden agreed to pardon Blackbeard in exchange for a share of his sizable booty.

At the request of North Carolina planters, Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia dispatched a British naval force under Lieutenant Robert Maynard to North Carolina to deal with Blackbeard. On November 22, Blackbeard’s forces were defeated and he was killed in a bloody battle of Ocracoke Island. Legend has it that Blackbeard, who captured more than 30 ships in his brief pirating career, received five musket-ball wounds and 20 sword lacerations before dying.




Frank Leslie

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A western gunfighter, Indian Scout and prospector, Leslie was best known for having killed Billy Claibourne, one of the infamous Clanton Gang, who feuded with the Earps in Tombstone, Arizona.

Allegedly born in Nashville, Tennessee, though at various points in his life he listed other places, Leslie migrated west somewhere along the line and was working as a scout for the U.S. Army in Texas, Oklahoma and the Dakotas during the 1870’s. By the time he arrived in Tombstone in 1880, the town was teeming with outlaws and other shiftless characters as the Earps were attempting to tame the lawless settlement.

Leslie, though standing just 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 135 pounds, had already earned a reputation as a gunfighter. He earned the moniker of “Buckskin Frank” because of the buckskin fringed jacket that he wore all of the time.

With a matched pair of six-shooters on his hips, and shooting skills that Wyatt Earp would later describe as being comparable to Doc Holliday’s, Leslie fit right in with the rest of Tombstone’s rowdy crowd. Quick to show off his skills, Leslie was known to frequently demonstrate his shooting abilities, often on the ceilings of the many Allen Street saloons.

Leslie was also an ill-tempered and violent man, especially when he drank. Even among the notorious rabble in Tombstone at the time of Leslie’s arrival, he stood out for his quick temper and swiftness with his gun.

Upon his arrival, he worked some at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on Allen Street and later filed a number of mining claims in the area. However, history tells us that he spent more time in the gambling halls than he ever spent working. Almost immediately began to have an affair with a married woman by the name of Mae Killeen. Though the dark-haired beauty was separated from her husband Mike, that didn’t stop the estranged husband’s jealousy, as he told everyone that he would shoot any man that he caught her with. Not long after, that’s exactly what happened when he found Buckskin Frank with “his” Mae on the porch of the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Mike made the mistake of confronting Leslie and wound up dead on June 22, 1880. The killing was officially ruled to have been self-defense. Just one week later, Leslie and the “aggrieved” widow Killeen were married.

After the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, the Earps, who were allegedly friends with Leslie, moved into the Cosmopolitan Hotel feeling they were safer there than in their homes.

Some time later, Leslie badly pistol-whipped a man outside the Oriental Saloon, at which time the Tombstone residents really began to think that Buckskin Frank was a dangerous man, even in the midst of the rest of the notorious rabble of Tombstone.

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When the famous Tombstone gunslinger John Ringo was found murdered, suspicions focused on Leslie, even though law officers were unable to prove his guilt.

After the Earps had left Tombstone, Leslie became involved in an argument with  a survivor of the O.K. Corral gunfight. who demanded to be called “Billy the Kid” after the death of William Bonney,and had been claiming that he had killed three men who had ridiculed him. In actuality, records indicate that he had only killed one man prior to his confrontation with Leslie. Ridicule had evidently become a part of Billy’s life as his reputation suffered when the details of his fleeing the scene of the O.K. Corral gunfight made their rounds.

On November 14, 1882, Claibourne argued with Leslie, when the gunfighter refused to refer to him as “Billy the Kid.” Later that night, Buckskin Frank was in the Oriental Saloon when a drunken Billy  staggered in and continued his argument with the gunfighter.

Fed up, Leslie escorted him to the door and threw him out of the saloon. However Claiborne was determined and soon returned with a Winchester. Outside the saloon, he began to brag to anyone who would listen that he would kill Leslie on sight. When word of this reached Frank, he took up the challenge, exited the saloon and the inevitable gun battle began.

In the melee, Claiborne’s shots missed, but Leslie hit Billy several times. While Claiborne lay in the dusty street, Leslie walked up to him and the wounded man said, “Don’t shoot me anymore I’m killed.”  His friends took him to the doctor where he died six hours later. Allegedly, his last words were: “Frank Leslie killed John Ringo. I saw him do it.”


When the Apache uprisings began in the mid-1880’s Leslie again worked for the U.S. Army as an Indian scout on at least two separate occasions.

Returning to Tombstone, things were not looking well on the home front, as, after seven years of marriage, he and Mae divorced in 1887. Mae claimed that one of the reasons for the divorce was Leslie’s habit of wanting to shoot her silhouette in the wall as she stood there, proving yet again, his excellent shooting skills.

By this time, Leslie was working as a bartender in the Oriental Saloon, but preferred to spend much of his free time at the Bird Cage theatre  There, he met a young singer and prostitute by the name of Mollie Williams and before long, the two were living together. The “lady” also went by the names of Blonde Mollie and Mollie Bradshaw. Her promoter’s name was Bradshaw, though he was not her husband. However, sometime later he turned up dead and Leslie was automatically suspected. Though he never admitted to killing the man, he never denied it, either.

From the beginning Frank and Mollie’s relationship was based on their mutual love of whiskey which led to frequent and violent quarrels. On July 10, 1889, the violence escalated and Leslie shot Mollie in the head. The murder was witnessed by another man named James Neil, who had the nickname of “Six-Shooter Jim”. Leslie then turned on him and shot him as well. Though Mollie died, Jim survived and would later testify against Leslie.

Buckskin Frank was sentenced to 25 years in the Yuma prison.  The town of Tombstone was glad to be rid of the gunfighter who had confessed to having killed 14 people.

However, after serving just seven years, Leslie won parole with the help of a young divorcee named Belle Stowell. Once he was released, the two traveled toCalifornia, where they were married in Stockton on December 1, 1896. The pair then went on a lavish honeymoon to China before returning to the United States and settling down to a more peaceful life.

Reportedly, Leslie traveled to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush before moving on to San Francisco, California in 1904. In 1913, he was running a pool hall in Oakland, California. The 1920 census has him living in a lodging house in Sausalito, California. He is listed as 77 years old, unemployed, and single.

By 1922, he had disappeared from public records. Though the manner of his death remains unconfirmed, some believe that he may have been a broke and homeless man by the same name who died in San Francisco in 1930.

On this day : The 14th of November 1882

Franklin Leslie kills Billy “The Kid” Claiborne


On this day, the gunslinger Franklin “Buckskin” Leslie shoots the Billy “The Kid” Claiborne dead in the streets of Tombstone, Arizona.

The town of Tombstone is best known today as the site of the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral. In the 1880s, however, Tombstone was home to many gunmen who never achieved the enduring fame of Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday. Franklin “Buckskin” Leslie was one of the most notorious of these largely forgotten outlaws.

There are few surviving details about Leslie’s early life. At different times, he claimed to have been born in both Texas and Kentucky, to have studied medicine in Europe, and to have been an army scout in the war against the Apache Indians. No evidence has ever emerged to support or conclusively deny these claims. The first historical evidence of Leslie’s life emerges in 1877, when he became a scout in Arizona. A few years later, Leslie was attracted to the moneymaking opportunities of the booming mining town of Tombstone, where he opened the Cosmopolitan Hotel in 1880. That same year he killed a man named Mike Killeen during a quarrel over Killeen’s wife, and he married the woman shortly thereafter.

Leslie’s reputation as a cold-blooded killer brought him trouble after his drinking companion and fellow gunman John Ringo was found dead in July 1882. Some Tombstone citizens, including a young friend of Ringo’s named Billy “The Kid” Claiborne, were convinced that Leslie had murdered Ringo, though they could not prove it. Probably seeking vengeance and the notoriety that would come from shooting a famous gunslinger, Claiborne unwisely decided to publicly challenge Leslie, who shot him dead.

The remainder of Leslie’s life was equally violent and senseless. After divorcing Killeen in 1887, he took up with a Tombstone prostitute, whom he murdered several years later during a drunken rage. Even by the loose standards of frontier law in Tombstone, the murder of an unarmed woman was unacceptable, and Leslie served nearly 10 years in prison before he was paroled in 1896. After his release, he married again and worked a variety of odd jobs around the West. He reportedly made a small fortune in the gold fields of the Klondike region before he disappeared forever from the historical record.


Black Bart

The legend begins on a mountain pass called Funk Hill in Calaveras County, four miles outside of Copperopolis, California, on July 26, 1875. A man appeared before Wells Fargo stage driver John Shine (later a U.S. marshal and a California state senator). The man wore a long, soiled duster over his clothes, and covering his head was a flour sack with holes that had been cut for eyes. The man carried a double-barrel 12 gauge shotgun.

A deep voice commanded: “Please throw down the box!” Bart then said, “If he dares shoot give him a solid volley, boys.” Shine looked around and protruding from the boulders were what appeared to be six rifles. Shine quickly reached beneath his seat and withdrew the Wells Fargo strongbox (a wooden box reinforced with iron bands and padlocked) containing $348, according to Wells Fargo, and tossed it and the mail sacks to the ground. Shine warned his passengers, eight women and children and two men, to refrain from doing anything stupid. One of the women travellers threw out her purse in panic. Black Bart reportedly picked it up, bowed to the lady, and handed it back to her. “Madam, I do not wish your money,” he said. “In that respect I honor only the good office of Wells Fargo.”

With a sweep of his hand Bart motioned Shine on his way. As Shine drove away the driver took a quick glance back and saw the man attack the strong box with a hatchet. Shine drove off some distance and then stopped the stage, Walking back down the road, he saw a half dozen guns leveled at him from outlaws positioned behind boulders. He stood still and then realized the outlaws were not moving. Shine then discovered it was sticks pointed at him from the boulders.

The legend was born Black Bart had committed his first robbery.

Charles E. Boles (aka Black Bart, aka Charles E. Bolton) lived in San Francisco. He was a man well into his 50’s, about five-foot eight inches tall, ramrod straight, with gray hair and a moustache. A natty dresser, he favored diamonds and carried a short cane. People seeing him walk down the street in 1870’s San Francisco would have thought him nothing more than a kindly, prosperous, old grandpa out for a leisurely stroll. But, he was more than that, much, much more. No one could have imagined that this man was really the famous, or infamous, Black Bart the stage robber-poet of Northern California, or P o 8, as he preferred to refer to himself. He was a man who liked to live well and intended to do just that. He stayed in fine hotels, ate in the best restaurants and wore the finest clothes. Now all he had to do was find a way to earn a living to support his preferred lifestyle, and Charles E. Boles found a dandy.

Bart was not a rampant pillager of Wells Fargo. He only robbed stages periodically, sometimes with as much as nine months time between robberies. He later stated that he “took only what was needed when it was needed.” Most stagecoach drivers were submissive to Bart, seldom defying him with a cross word and obediently tossing down the strongbox when ordered to do so. This was not so with hard case George W. Hackett who, on July 13, 1882, was driving a Wells Fargo stage some nine miles outside of Strawberry, California. Bart suddenly darted from a boulder and stood in front of the stage, stopping it and leveling a shotgun at Hackett. He politely said: “Please throw down your strongbox.” Hackett was not pleased to do so; he reached for a rifle and fired a shot at the bandit. Bart dashed into the woods and vanished, but he received a scalp wound that would leave a permanent scar on the top right side of his forehead.

The lone bandit continued to stop Wells Fargo stages with regularity, always along mountain roads where the driver was compelled to slow down at dangerous curves. It was later estimated that Bart robbed as much as $18,000 from Wells Fargo stages over the course of his career, striking twenty-eight times. He left no clues whatsoever, although he did leave a spare gun after one robbery. He was always extremely courteous to passengers, especially women travelers, refusing to take their jewelry and cash. He made a favorable impression on drivers and passengers alike as a courteous, gentlemanly robber who apparently wanted to avoid a gunfight at all costs.

On July 30, 1878 while robbing the stage from La Porte to Oroville, Black Bart added to his legend. Again a woman traveler attempted to get out of the stage and give up her valuables to Bart. Black Bart stopped her and said: “No lady, don’t get out. I never bother the passengers. Keep calm. I’ll be through here in a minute and on my way.” With that he took the express box containing $50 in gold and a silver watch, the mail sacks and was on his way.

With his loot, Bart had invested in several small businesses which brought him a modest income, but he could not resist the urge to go back to robbing stages when money became short. After so many successful robberies, the P o 8 thought his luck would continue forever, but it was not to be. On November 3,1883, his luck ran out.

Why did Charles Boles decide to call himself Black Bart? Bart himself told Harry Morse and Captain Stone why when they were going out to pick up the gold alamagam from his last robbery. He said that he had read the story “The Case of Summerfield” several years earlier. When he was searching for a name, that one just popped into his mind. He chuckled at the stir his verse had created when signed by the name Black Bart.

On June 30, 1864, supposed Confederate troops held up the Placerville stage, and Captain Henry M. Ingraham, C.S.A. receipted to Wells Fargo for the treasure. Then in 1871, a San Francisco lawyer, William H. Rhodes, under the pen name “Caxton” resurrected the captain as Bartholomew Graham in a dime novel story called “The Case of Summerfield,” which appeared also in the Sacramento Union. Graham, known as “Black Bart” according to Rhodes, had been “engaged in the late robbery of Wells Fargo’s express at Grizly Bend!” He was an “unruly and wild villain” who wore all black, had a full black beard and a mess of wild curly black hair. It should be noted that Charles Boles never wore black nor did he have a beard nor was his hair black. Of more importance was the rest of his description: “He is 5 foot 10.5 inches in height, clear blue eyes and served in the civil war.” Stage drivers never forgot those “clear blue eyes.” By using the name Black Bart, Boles took advantage of an established dime novel bad guy. So the robber Black Bart was already known as someone to be feared. If you were robbed by Black Bart, you didn’t argue, you just gave up the loot.

Black Bart the P o 8

At the fourth and fifth robbery Bart left a note. He signed the note with a name that would go down in western history: “Black Bart, P o 8.” The letters and number mystified lawmen as much as the name Black Bart. Any tracking posse found no trace of the elusive bandit, and superstition had it that the stage indeed had been robbed by a ghost. There were only two poems but it is one of the most recognizable parts of the legend.

At the fourth robbery:

“I’ve labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches
But on my corns too long you’ve tread,
You fine-haired sons-of-bitches.
Black Bart, the P o 8”

At the fifth robbery:

“Here I lay me down to sleep
To wait the coming morrow,
Perhaps success, perhaps defeat
And everlasting sorrow.
Yet come what will, I’ll try it once,
My conditions can’t be worse,
And if there’s money in that box,
‘Tis money in my purse.
Black Bart, the P o 8”

Note: A little know fact is that on the first poem there was also a note scribbled under the verse. The poem and the note had each line written in a different hand. It is thought that Bart did this to disguise his handwriting.

The note reads:
Driver, give my respects to our old friend, the other driver.
I really had a notion to hang my old disguise hat on his weather eye.

After Bart’s release from prison there was another robbery where a poem was left in the same fashion that Bart always left his poems. Detective Hume examined the note and compared it with the genuine Black Bart bits of poetry of the past. He declared the new verse a hoax and the work of another man, declaring that he was certain Black Bart had permanently retired. This gave rise to the later notion that Wells Fargo had actually pensioned off the robber on his promise that he would stop no more of its stages, paying him a handsome annuity until his death.

This is the third poem that was NOT written by the P o 8

So here I’ve stood while wind and rain
Have set the trees a’sobbin’
And risked my life for that damned stage
That wasn’t worth the robbin’.

Sixteen String Jack

The Eccentric Sixteen String Jack


John Rann, otherwise known as “Sixteen String Jack”, was a notorious highwayman in the mid 18th century. On September 26, 1774, John stole from his last victim, and was found guilty and sentenced to death for his crime. Known as an eccentric character who was often dressed fashionably and who openly boasted about his crimes, John wasn’t your usual thief. Rann’s trial related to many aspects of the 18th century such as status, law and gender. People today are still openly robbed on streets and sidewalks, and while they may not be known as highwaymen today, these criminals are essentially the same.

The man in question who was robbed was Dr. William Bell. During the evening of September 26th, 1774, Bell claims that two men on horses caught up to him on the street and demanded all his money. One of the men threatened to shoot Bell if he didn’t comply by saying, “he immediately said your money; I said, my money? he immediately answered yes, or I will blow your brain out” so he handed over what money he had and his watch as well. Bell was later called down to Bow Street (where a group called the Bow Street Runners ran their operations; essentially an early form of a police force) to identify some prisoners. It proved difficult however, because Rann was known for his eccentric clothing and the robber Bell had met was dressed very dirty and grimy, very unlike Rann. Bell found Rann and Collier looked familiar and accused them of the crime. As he said in court, ‘I did in the progress of my survey see such looks and marks that I do declare that I firmly believe that John Rann is the identical man that robbed me.’”

The second part of this story is that of Eleanor Roache (who was an accomplice and mistress to Rann) and her servant Christian Stewart. Rann left the watch in Roache’s care to pawn off for money. The pawnbroker John Cordy did not believe the ladies story as he described, “the man must come or I cannot lend you money upon it” when they tried pawning the watch and he later took some men to apprehend the women at their house. They found at the house a pair of wet and dirty boots recently used and had a local watchmaker identify the watch as belonging to Mr. Bell. The town constable waited at the house until Rann and Collier came back, and they were apprehended as well.

Further evidence was identified when a man by the name of William Hill (who was a postilion for Princess Amelia) spotted Rann just before the robbery took place. He was able to identify Rann and an accomplice by their facial features and dirty and wet clothing they were wearing, as he testified, “I know Rann by sight very well”. Lastly, a neighbour who lived close to Roache’s house noted that she saw both Rann and Collier selling their horses after the robbery.

Rann defended that he had never seen Mr. Bell before, as he stated in his defence, “I knows no more of it than a child does unborn, nor I never seed Mr. Bell before he came to Sir John’s” and had committed no crime “They have said false things to you; I know no more of it if I was to suffer death to-morrow”. He also claimed he did not have any relationship with Eleanor Roache and accused his neighbor of lying, “This woman wants to swear my life away for an affair I know nothing of”. In Roache’s defense she claimed not to know the men either, or that the watch left to her was stolen by saying, “These are not the two men that gave me the watch”, “if I had known the watch was stolen I should not have offered it to a pawnbroker I had dealt with a great while”. Miss Stewart claimed she was Roache’s servant and was unaware of any wrongdoing of who Rann and Collier were. In the end Rann and Collier were sentenced to death (Collier was later pardoned however), Roache to fourteen years (transported to another colony in America) and Stewart was acquitted of any crime.

Rann was a notorious figure because of his personality and clothing. His nickname of Sixteen String Jack came from the fact that he wore, “breeches with eight silk strings or tassels attached to each knee. The strings were threaded into the eyelet holes, where the breeches were gathered at the knee.” Rann was also known for getting out of trouble with the law, having six previous cases dismissed. This is because Rann was difficult for witnesses to identify. Rann often wore dirty and grimy clothes when he committed crimes, but colorful and extravagant clothing in public. This confused people because he appeared completely different when committing crimes. Rann often boasted about his life of crime to others and was very easy to recognize in the public because of his appearance.

Even though Rann was sentenced to death, he found time to host a party for him and his seven female guests in his cell before his hanging. He also wore his best clothes on the day of his execution, and performed a jig right before his hanging at Tyburn (sound familiar?). A very eccentric figure for sure, Rann was not your usual type of criminal.

This trial paints an interesting picture of the 18th century. Clothing was very unique, elegant, luxurious and intricate during this time. Many people of status swore by the outfits they wore as a sign of status. Rann exploited this sensationalism of clothing as a means of treachery. In the public eye, John Rann was a prominent figure because of his eccentric clothing and unique look. It is because of this persona that he got out of so many crimes due to looking completely different to those he stole from.

As I mentioned earlier, there was a group of lawmen forming during this time known as the Bow Street Runners. This group essentially were the 18th century version of a police force. The Runners were the ones who caught Rann and his mistress, and brought them to justice. The Bow Street Runners revealed to me that a system of catching and apprehending criminals for the government was starting. It seemed to me an early beginning on how to police a city and control the crime rate effectively.

Another factor is the role of 18th century gender and crime involved in the case. Even though Rann was the main and most prominent figure in the trial, he did have accomplices. One such accomplice being Eleanor Roache. Roache was not only Rann’s mistress, but also sold his stolen goods to unaware buyers. The two worked as a team during his crime spree, and both fell into 18th century gender roles. While men were more likely to fall in the pattern of the more physical and threatening aspects of a crime, the women were more likely to commit theft or, in this case, the selling of stolen goods. This system worked well because Roache was essentially the middleman for Rann’s crimes and both profited from their treachery.

The case also shares many similarities to our modern age as well. John Rann was an eccentric person, who openly announced his crimes to others, and escaped the law numerous times. In today’s world, we know of many famous or notorious people who have broken the law, but have never been committed for their crimes. This could be because their fame protects them, or they have friends in high places. In criminal circles today there is still the camaraderie of bragging about committed offenses. In these circles accomplices and friends will often refuse to rat out their friends.

Rann was known as a highwayman. Highwaymen were men who stole from those traveling along the roads either by horse or foot. These men were notorious thieves in the 18th century who preyed on the weak and vulnerable. This still happens today all over the world. Daily, numerous people are robbed on the streets or in alleyways, again usually on those traveling from place to place. A couple of modern example of this would be pickpockets on a busy tourist street or muggers in dark alleyways. Like Highwayman, these criminals prey on those traveling and use fear as a means for theft (maybe without the charisma or bravado though). This behavior of taking advantage of others with threats and fear has continued throughout the ages.

Another way in which this crime relates to modern times is the use of a pawnshop as a means to sell stolen goods. Roache was known as a fence (buys stolen goods knowingly and later resells them, acting as a middleman). There are many instances today of petty thieves breaking into cars or stealing misplaced backpacks and scalping off the goods to local pawnshops. Even using a middleman to hide your tracks from a crime as a means to make dirty money is a common practice for criminals, both present and past.

Sixteen String Jack bit off more than he could chew with his last robbery. Due to eyewitnesses, evidence and the Bow Street Runners, Rann met his final match. Rann’s eccentric clothing and suave personality were both for crime and social status. His trial showcased many aspects of 18th century issues such as law and gender. Modern world issues, such as muggings and protective status, are still as prevalent today, as they were in the past. Rann may have performed his last jig before his death, but his story still lives on today.

On this day : The 3rd of November 1783

Last Tyburn Hangins

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On November 3 1783 a rather inglorious tradition ended when John Austin, a highwayman, was executed at Tyburn, the last of more than 1200 to meet their end there since the first recorded Tyburn hanging in 1196. At times large numbers of prisoners were executed en masse, for example in June 1649 24 died together, the volume accommodated by the famous Tyburn Tree, a construction like a giant three-legged stool without a seat.
Executions at Tyburn had been big business for what was for centuries a village, though by the time Austin was killed it had been swallowed up in the urban sprawl of the 18th century. Apprentices were given holidays to witness the criminals die; stands would be erected for ‘popular’ executions; crowds of several thousand regularly gathered in a festival mood to see the spectacle, with food-sellers and in later years leaflet-printers doing well from them.
The Tyburn Tree had, however, already gone long before Austin’s day, as the good people moving into the area objected to the grisly device – doubtless it was hitting their property values. Austin had murdered a poor man named John Spicer somewhere on the road in Bethnal Green , and like so many others before him was taken slowly to the crossroads site of the gallows – in his case a portable device. The last words with which he is credited seem to fit ill in the mouth of a lowly criminal, asking for salvation and begging for the prayers of those present. It took him 10 minutes to die, strangled slowly by the rope.
For the curious, and those wanting to test the atmosphere, the crossroads execution site is commemorated at the junction of Bayswater Road and Edgware Road, three small brass triangles set in the paving of a traffic island there.

Check out this little link for more on The History of Tyburn

And This…/on-this-day-the-3rd-of-novemb…/

On the day : The 1st of November 1924

Legendary western lawman is murdered


On this day, William Tilghman is murdered by a corrupt prohibition agent who resented Tilghman’s refusal to ignore local bootlegging operations. Tilghman, one of the famous marshals who brought law and order to the Wild West, was 71 years old.

Known to both friends and enemies as “Uncle Billy,” Tilghman was one of the most honest and effective lawmen of his day. Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1854, Tilghman moved west when he was only 16 years old. Once there, he flirted with a life of crime after falling in with a crowd of disreputable young men who stole horses from Indians. After several narrow escapes with angry Indians, Tilghman decided that rustling was too dangerous and settled in Dodge City, Kansas, where he briefly served as a deputy marshal before opening a saloon. He was arrested twice for alleged train robbery and rustling, but the charges did not stick.

Despite this shaky start, Tilghman gradually built a reputation as an honest and respectable young man in Dodge City. He became the deputy sheriff of Ford County, Kansas, and later, the marshal of Dodge City. Tilghman was one of the first men into the territory when Oklahoma opened to settlement in 1889, and he became a deputy U.S. marshal for the region in 1891. In the late 19th century, lawlessness still plagued Oklahoma, and Tilghman helped restore order by capturing some of the most notorious bandits of the day.

Over the years, Tilghman earned a well-deserved reputation for treating even the worst criminals fairly and protecting the rights of the unjustly accused. Any man in Tilghman’s custody knew he was safe from angry vigilante mobs, because Tilghman had little tolerance for those who took the law into their own hands. In 1898, a wild mob lynched two young Indians who were falsely accused of raping and murdering a white woman. Tilghman arrested and secured prison terms for eight of the mob leaders and captured the real rapist-murderer.

In 1924, after serving a term as an Oklahoma state legislator, making a movie about his frontier days, and serving as the police chief of Oklahoma City, Tilghman might well have been expected to quietly retire. However, the old lawman was unable to hang up his gun, and he accepted a job as city marshal in Cromwell, Oklahoma. Tilghman was shot and killed while trying to arrest a drunken Prohibition agent.