Outlaws and Bandits
People who live outside the law are called outlaws or bandits. They do not just break one or two laws; their whole life is illegal. Some outlaws and bandits were criminals, who hoped to get rich by stealing. Other outlaws were called “social bandits”. They are outlaws because they try to change and improve society. Many countries had laws that benefit the rich and powerful people and punished the poor and weak. These are the laws that social bandits break. Social bandits often escape the law for many years because ordinary people support them. Some social bandits have become legendary figures, and people still tell stories of their daring deeds.
Highwaymen were robbers, usually mounted, whose practice was to stop and rob coach travelers on British highways. Highwaymen first became a serious nuisance at the conclusion of the English Civil War (1649)—many of them were disbanded soldiers. Some highwaymen would make a point of behaving with gentlemanly politeness to their victims. Claude Duval is said to have enjoyed a dance on the nearby heath with a lady he was about to rob. Most famous was Dick Turpin, though many of his supposed exploits were legendary. Beginning as an unmounted highwayman, or footpad, in Essex, the 18th-century criminal Dick Turpin turned first to smuggling, then to burgling. He graduated to the life of a highwayman, robbing coaches and travelers on lonely stretches of road south of London. Turpin’s deeds were notorious, especially his ride from London to York, which is thought to be a combination of the exploits of Turpin and an earlier highwayman “Swift John” Nevison. Highwaymen operated throughout the period of coach travel in the 18th and early 19th centuries when they were a danger to carriers as well as coach passengers, sometimes extracting protection money. Their activities came naturally to an end with the end of coaching and the rapid spread of railways to all parts of the country from the mid-1830s onwards.
Bushrangers were Australian highwaymen or robbers who, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, terrorized settlers in the New South Wales and Victoria regions. By 1815 their depredations had become so serious that martial law was proclaimed. Despite this, and the enactment in 1830 in New South Wales of the Bush ranging Act, which provided severe penalties for their crimes, the bushrangers continued their depredations for nearly a century. After the discovery of gold in Australia in 1851, they preyed upon gold shipments and robbed banks. The last of the notorious chieftains, Ned Kelly, was hanged at Melbourne in 1880. The most famous of all Australian bushrangers was Ned Kelly .In 1878 Kelly and his gang began a two-year cat-and-mouse game with the Victoria police force while raiding banks and towns. The Sydney Morning Herald Reports on the Execution of Ned Kelly:”Ned Kelly was an Australian outlaw who was executed for the shooting of three policemen. However, he evoked massive popular support, and was regarded as standing up for the poor and oppressed as he and his gang of “bushrangers” taunted and evaded the inept, and often corrupt, police force all over northern Victoria.” This is the report of his execution from the Sydney Morning Herald of November 12, 1880.
Billy the Kid:
Billy the Kid (1859-1881), outlaw of the American Southwest, born in New York. Billy the Kid used many names throughout his life, including William H. Bonney, Henry McCarty, and Kid Antrim. In 1873, after his father's death, his mother remarried and the family moved to Silver City, New Mexico. Billy the Kid spent much of his youth in the rough saloons of the frontier. At the age of 12 he reportedly committed his first murder; he claimed to have shot and killed 21 men in his lifetime. He became notorious for crimes of robbery, murder, and cattle stealing. In 1880, Sheriff Pat Garrett of Lincoln County, where Billy the Kid had become involved in the cattle wars, captured him. Sentenced to hang, he killed two deputies and escaped from jail on April 28, 1881. Shortly after his escape, he was trapped and fatally shot by Sheriff Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Many legends and tales have developed around Billy the Kid's life on the American frontier.
English ballads tell the story of the outlaw Robin Hood, who lived in Nottingham shire’s Sherwood Forest. With the assistance of his band of comrades he terrorized the powerful government and Church and aided the poor and oppressed. No one knows for sure if Robin Hood existed. Robin Hood is portrayed as an outlaw who lived and poached in the royal forests of Sherwood, in Nottingham shire and Barnsdale, in Yorkshire. He robbed and killed those who represented the power of the government and the Church, and championed the cause of the needy and oppressed. His band of comrades included Little John, Will Scarlet, and Friar Tuck. Although scholars disagree as to whether Robin Hood is a historical figure, the original ballads contain valuable information on political ideas and social conditions in medieval England. Robin Hood frequently reappears in the works of later writers, and in the 20th century he has been used as a topic for numerous children's books, operettas, dramas, films, and television programes.
James, Jesse Woodson (1847-1882), American outlaw, whose exploits, both real and legendary, in bank and train robberies won him worldwide notoriety. James was born in Clay County, Missouri. At the age of 15, during the American Civil War, James joined a band of pro-Confederate raiders led by the rebel William Clarke Quantrill. During this time, James earned a reputation for reckless daring. After the war, he organized his own gang of robbers, which included his older brother Frank. One of their most famous bank robbery attempts occurred in 1876 at the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. When the bank clerk refused to open the safe, the gang brutally murdered him and then tried to escape. In the shoot-out that followed, all the gang members except Jesse and Frank were killed or captured.
In 1882, while living at home with his family in St Joseph, Missouri, under the name of Thomas Howard, James was shot from behind by Robert Ford, a member of his own gang. Ford had been seeking the $10,000 reward offered by Governor Thomas Theodore Crittenden of Missouri for the capture of the James brothers, dead or alive. Soon after his brother's death, Frank James surrendered. The American public treated him as a hero, he died in 1915 at his Missouri farm
The Times Report on the Death of Jesse James:
AN AMERICAN GANG OF ROBBERS
PHILADELPHIA, APRIL 6.
The shooting of Jesse James, the outlaw and train robber, at St. Joseph, Missouri, April 3, has caused a great sensation throughout the western country. James had for a long time had large rewards set upon his head, but had paid little attention to this, and had lived in hiding at St. Joseph since November last. Instead of going to Texas, as was his custom when hunted down heretofore, he had for a good while remained in Missouri, but kept generally out of sight, and was well armed to guard against surprise. He was, it is said, planning a new robbery, with the aid of two men, Robert and Charles Ford. They, it appears, had been engaged in robberies with him before, but having made an arrangement with the Governor of Missouri to get part of the rewards offered for James’s capture or death, they were engaged at this time, according to their claim, only in a bit of detective work. The Express and railway companies and State and local Governments had offered rewards aggregating a large sum, so that the inducement for their action was strong. They had lived in the same house with James for some time, and at 9 o’clock in the morning on April 13 the three were together in a front room. Unconscious of danger, James, who had just got out of bed, unbuckled his belt, which contained his pistols, and threw it on the bed preparatory to washing himself. He was then unarmed, when Robert Ford suddenly pulled out a revolver and shot him quickly in the back of the head. He died almost instantly.
Source: The Times [http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde, real names Bonnie Parker (1910-1934) and Clyde Barrow (1909-1934), American criminals during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Both were born in Texas. Clyde began committing petty thefts in Houston at the age of 15. Bonnie worked as a waitress; she also was an amateur poet who became known for her fondness of cigars. Bonnie and Clyde met in January 1930 and were first linked in crime in a car theft in December 1932. For two years they worked their way across the southwestern United States, holding up petrol stations, restaurants and banks. They killed 12 people, mostly law enforcement officials. Because of his ruthlessness, Clyde earned the title “public enemy number one of the South-west”. Frank Hamer, a former Texas Ranger, trailed Bonnie and Clyde across nine states before he was able to stage an ambush outside Arcadia, Louisiana, in May 1934. Hamer and five other lawmen shot and killed Bonnie and Clyde as they drove through the ambush. They were buried in separate cemeteries in Dallas, Texas.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow:
”Some day they'll go down together” marker at the ambush site.
The legend of ms. Belle starr:
Born in 1848 in the town of Carthage, Missouri, Myra Belle Shirley (later to become the notorious Belle Starr) was one of three children. After her older brother was killed, the family moved to Scyene, Texas, just outside of Dallas. In the 1860s, Belle became involved with bank robber Cole Younger. Cole had been hiding out from the law after robbing several banks. At the time, Belle was seventeen and Cole spent the next few months with her (until the coast was clear). Then Myra met a bank and train robber named Jim Reed. He joined an outlaw gang and invited Myra Belle into it. Her father tried to stop her, but she ran away with the gang. One of the gang members performed a marriage ceremony for her and Jim Reed. Reed and Belle bought a small farm in Missouri and set up housekeeping for a while, but the law was after Reed. He hastily moved Myra Belle to California, where they found old friends, Frank and Jesse James and the Youngers. During the two years that the Reeds lived there, Belle had a baby, Edward Reed. Along with Reed and two other criminals in 1869, Starr robbed a California prospector. The prospector had hidden about $30,000 of gold nearby and the gang knew it. They tortured the prospector for hours until he told them where his gold was hidden, and they got away with all of it. In August of 1874, Deputy Sheriff John T. Morris of Collin County, Texas, shot and killed Reed. The next day someone found Belle's saddle horse in the yard without Belle. A little later a neighbor found Belle lying face down on the muddy road, dead. She had been shot in the back with a shotgun. A gunman apparently lying in wait shot her off her horse. This is all a legend:
Although she was a companion to known thieves and felons and stole a horse or two, Maybelle Shirley was neither a belle nor the star of any outlaw band, yet she remains a legendary wild woman of the Old West.
Belle's tombstone was engraved with the following inscription:
"Shed not for her the bitter tear,
Nor give the heart to vain regret,
'Tis but the casket that lies here,
The gem that fills it sparkles yet."
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