Outlaws and Highwaymen

Report in The London Evening Post
Supplement to the Letters of Horace Walpole, ed. Paget Toynbee, 3 vols, (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1918-1925), III, p. 132, n. 3

November 1749

On Wednesday night last, as the Hon. Mr. Horace Walpole, Brother to the Right Hon. the Earl of Orford, was returning from Holland-House, between Nine and Ten, he was stopt in Hyde-Park by Two Men on Horseback, mask’d, one of which held a Blunderbuss to the Coachman, while the other came up to the Chariot, and, thrusting a Pistol into it, demanded Mr. Walpole’s Money and Watch; he gave the Fellow his Purse, and as he was giving him the Watch, the Pistol, which was held close to his Cheek, went off; but, tho’ it was so near that the Force struck Mr. Walpole backwards, the ball luckily miss’d him, and went thro’ the Corner of the Chariot just above his Head, only scorching his Face, and leaving several marks of Powder.1 The Coachman started, and said, What is that? The Man with the Blunderbuss swore he would shoot him, if he spoke, bid him give him his Watch, and then riding up to the Chariot, they took Mr. Walpole’s Sword, and some Silver from the Footman, and rode off to Kensington Gate. Besides the two Highwaymen who attacked the Chariot of Horace Walpole, Esq: there were three more at a Distance, who waited the Event, very strongly arm’d.

The London Evening Post, 9–11 November, 1749


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