Reported On This Day in 1739 (May 5 1739): Dick Turpin behaved with boldness to the last

The Belfast News Letter of April 24 1739 (May 5 in the modern calendar)
The Belfast News Letter of April 24 1739 (May 5 in the modern calendar)
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From the April 24 1739 News Letter (May 5 in modern date):

Extract of a Letter from York, dated April 10.

LAST Saturday Richard Turpin and John Stead were executed at Tyburn for Horsestealing.

Stead behaved very penitent; but Turpin behaved with the greatest Assurance and Boldness to the very last.

It was very remarkable, that as he mounted the Ladder his right Legg trembled, on which he stampt it down with an Air of Boldness, and with undaunted Courage look’d round about him, then after speaking a few Words to the Topsman, he threw himself off the Ladder, and expired in about five Minutes.

Before his Death he declared himself to be the notorious Highwayman Turpin, and confessed a great number of Robberies which he had committed. [The men were hanged at Knavesmire, York’s equivalent of Tyburn in London. Turpin’s death had been reported briefly in the previous News Letter, but as more information arrived by letter, more details were published]

Epigram on TURPIN, by a Gentleman of York.

Full oft the South has sneer’d our Northern Clime,

And Horse-stealing been call’d a County Crime;

But now no longer we will bear such Jokes.

This Rogue is theirs, and we the honest Folks.

Of Knaves and Fools, we don’t say we have neither,

But Knave and Fool are seldom found together.

Our purer Northern Air’s too sharp by half,


This dull-bred Rogue has found it to his Cost. A fish out of its Element is lost.

[It is unclear who wrote this]

THE good Ship WILLIAM and JAMES, burthren two hundred Tuns, James Agnew Owner, commanded by John Adams; well fitted, and of excellent Accommodations; being a Ship built for the Trade, and very Commodious for carrying PASSENGERS; Will be clear to sail from the Lough of Belfast, where she now lies, for New-Castle or Philadelphia, in America, gainst the first Day of June next. Any Persons, who incline to go as Passengers, Apprentices, or Redemptioners, may apply to said James AGNEW, HENRY Mc.LACHLEN, or JOHN BOYD in Belfast, who will agree with the easiest Terms, and they may depend on the best of Usage. [This is the second surviving News Letter ad for a boat to America]