A Committee-man having occasion to travel from Warwick towards London, for to buy many Commodities;1 hearing that there was robbing in that Road; fitted himself with an old Gray Coat, out at the Elbowes, and an old Mare; and boots instead of Stirups, hanged at a Saddle that was not worth three pence, and a Bridle of the same price: Now rides he merrily, thinking no Highway-man would set on him: but Money ill got, will be ill spent:2 For he chanced to meet with Hind; who asked what he was; he replied, that he was an old man going to get relief among his friends; so Hind gave him a Piece in gold, and bid him drink his health, and be merry at his Inn: the old Miser thinking to please Hind, Coined two or three great oaths presently, and said, He would be drunk with drinking his health that night: So Hind, parted from him, and the old man went to his inn, and set up his Mare; then he called for half a pint of Sack; and after the first glass was down, he began to say that he escaped the greatest danger that ever he was in; for, I met with Hind, said he; and instead of robbing of me, he gave me a Piece in gold, and bid me drink his health; but I will see him hanged before I will spend a penny for his sake: Hang him Rogue, he robs all honest men, onely Cavaliers, he lets them go: Ile put his gold amongst my own: I would have given ten pound to have bin rid of him, when first I met him; so after a short supper, he went to bed. Hind came to the Inn; and using to lie there; they told him what the Committee-man had said of him. Hind let the old man travel first in the morning: and about an hour after, Hind rides after him; and when he had overtaken him; he asked the old man if he drunk his health: I Sir, said he, I was never so drunk in my life as I was last night; for I drunk the Kings health, the Queens, the Princes, and your health ten times over: Hind said unto him, friend, I have found you in many lies: and now I will make you call me Rogue for somthing: So Hind made him untie his greasy snapsack, where he found 50 l. in gold, and his own piece besides. So the Committe-man to cheer up himself, resolved to borrow of the State so much money, before he went another Journey.
All that can be said of him [Hind] that was good, is, That he was charitable to the poor; and was a man that never murdered any on the Road; and always gave men a jest for their money; Therefore of the Knaves, the honestest of the Pack.
Hind was a man but of mean stature; his Carriage before people was civil; his Countenance smiling, good Language; civilly Cloathed; no great Spender or Ranter in Taverns. But these were onely Cloaks to deceive honest men of their money.
Many of his actions savoured of Gallantry; Most of Wit; but least of Honesty.
Hind’s Ramble was the first of a whole series of purported biographies of James Hind, the royalist highwayman. It appeared in print while he was on the run, after the battle of Worcester. When he was asked about it, after his arrest, Hind called it a fiction. However, in his Declaration, he claimed that his conduct as a robber had been very like that of the Hind of this story, in that he had never robbed the poor, and had given lavish tips to poor travellers who said that they supported the King.