Captain James Hind c. 1616-1652
James Hind was born and raised in Chipping Norton, and up to his late teens showed no signs of any wayward career, having initially been apprenticed to a butcher. However, moving to London after fleeing his master, he soon discovered the pleasures of the city.
It was while in the company with one ‘woman of the town’ that his new life began. Having pick-pocketed a gentleman of five guineas, the woman was taken to the Poultry Compter, and Hind was taken along as her assumed accomplice despite his innocence.
Nonetheless, it was this event that led him to meet and befriend the noted highwayman Thomas Allen, and they soon went out together to Shooter’s Hill. It being Hind’s first night, Allen allowed him to rob the first gentleman alone, in order to prove his bravery.
Stopping the man and his servant, Hind took from them a total of fifteen pounds…before returning to them 20 shillings to cover the costs of their travel. The gentleman was so taken aback with his conduct, pleasantry and generosity that he declared he would never ‘hurt a hair of his head if ever it should be in his power.’
Allen, watching, was too so impressed that he proposed an allegiance, and the two highwaymen swore to ‘stand by one another to the utmost of their power.’
However, there was a Civil War on, and so, unfortunately, this didn’t last long…