• Highwaymen, Hangings and Heroes


In August 1787, 5000 people congregated on the Racecourse in Northampton to watch the hanging of three members of the Culworth Gang. They were renowned highwaymen that roamed the roads of Northamptonshire robbing, pillaging and being generally nasty. One of those gang members to ‘swing’ that day was William Bowers, a distant relative of the author of this book. Two things should surprise you about this. The first is that 5000 people was almost 80% of the town population in 1787. The second is the shock it must be, when tracing your family back, to discover that you don’t descend kings and queens, but rather the footpads of the 18th Century.

It wasn’t all bad news for the Blacklee family (extended or otherwise) though as there were three Military Cross winners, meetings with Louis Bleriot (the first man to fly the English Channel) and Adolf Hitler (no explanation necessary) and sporting heroes as well.

It is a fascinating insight into how a family develops and grows along with the technology of the time and the social history it accompanies as well. 

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Highwaymen, Hangings and Heroes

  • Product Code: 978-1-911559-81-8
  • Availability: In Stock
  • £8.99