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William Hawke

Hawke was the second man to be called the Flying Highwayman, a nickname earned by fast riding and daring leaps over turnpike gates.

William Hawke

Born in Uxbridge in 1750, Hawke lived there for part of his criminal career and often said he would never rob an Uxbridge man.

Tales were told about his gentlemanly behaviour and Robin Hood-like generosity to the needy.

His crimes were punished by transportation to America, where he was sold as a slave. He escaped and made his way back to England, where he resumed his robberies across a wide area of London.

Captured a second time, he bribed the gaoler to let him go. More robberies followed. Eventually he was arrested by the Bow Street Runner, Nicholas Bond. This time there was no escape. He went to the gallows in 1774 with a flower in his lapel. A large crowd, including the public hangman, attended his funeral at Uxbridge.


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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 06 Nov 2017 at 11:10