Auction Date: 2/09/2014 at 01pm
The glamorous ‘Gentleman Highwayman’ James Hind ‘17th c Robin Hood’ – English Civil War – Pamphlet The Declaration of Captain James Hind (close Prisoner in Newgate), 6pp small 4to plus title page with an engraved vignette portrait of Hind to front cover, slight dusting and very slight foxing. Hind, a Royalist, grew up as a butcher’s assistant in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, but ran away to London where he teamed up with Thomas Allen a prominent Highwayman of the time. Together they actually attempted to rob Oliver Cromwell himself in company with his bodyguards, but they were overpowered. Allen was taken and executed but Hind managed to escape, and continued a legendary career. Among his many other glamorous exploits, he famously robbed Hugh Peters, one of the ‘Regicides’ who had signed the death warrant of Charles I, stealing 30 large pieces of gold and symbolically taking his cloak as a mark of humiliation. Many folk stories grew up about Hind and particularly his alleged kindness to the poor, so that he became to the people of the mid-17th c a ‘Robin Hood’ figure. He was eventually captured in December 1651 and executed the following year, his head and his four quarters being displayed on gibbets on the town gates at Reading.