Outlaws and Highwaymen

Passages from The Relation of the taking of Captain James Hind
The true and perfect Relation of the taking of Captain James Hind, (London, 1651), pp. 3–6

Between 12 and 14 November 1651

[James Hind was committed to Newgate on 11 November, with the order that no one should have contact with him. However, these instructions were not followed to the letter, and immediately after his arrival in the jail, the Newgate keepers allowed a few visitors to speak with him. Evidently one of them was a journalist, who afterwards wrote this report.]

... during the time that the Hole was preparing for him ... divers persons frequented the place to see him, asking him severall questions: To whom he returned very civill and mild answers: And amongst the rest, a Gentleman came to him, born in the same Town that he was, viz. Chipping-Norton; who took acquaintance of him, and saluting him, said; Truly Countrey-man I am sorry to see you in this place. He answered, That imprisonment was a comfort to him, in suffering for so good and just a Cause, as adhering to the KING. His Countrey-man reply’d, That to morrow (being Wednesday) he was to return home, and that if he had any thing to recommend to his wife, or friends, he would communicate it: I thank you Sir (said Hind) Pray remember my love to them all, and certifie them, that although I shall never see them more in this world; yet in the world to come, I hope we shall meet in glory. Then the Gentleman took a Glass of Beer, and drank to him; which he pledged about half; And filling up his Glass said; Come, (taking the Gentleman by the hand) here is a good health to my Master the King; and God bless and preserve his Majesty: But the Gentleman refusing to drink the same upon such an account, moved Hind to passion, who said; The Devill take all Traytors: Had I a thousand lives, and at liberty, I would adventure them all for King Charles; and pox take all Turn-coats. Forbear Sir, replyed one of the Keepers, and be not in passion.

Not in the least, I am free from it; but I could wish more love and loyalty amongst you all: As for my own part, should I live a hundred years, I would not flinch from my principles; and then immediatly (his time being short) he again spake as followeth:

Well, Gentlemen,

This is all that I have to say to you before I go into the Dungeon, for so may I term the place where I am going to; I would have all men to be true to their trust, to stand firm and unmoveable to their principles; and those that laid a foundation for their KING, let them endeavour to raise it; and those that are on the contrary party, let them endeavour to demolish it; As for my part, I had not been here now, if there had not been a Judas abroad; for indeed I was betrayed by one, who formerly served the KING; but now he is for you; (which when he uttered, he pointed to a Captain which was present) but God forgive him.

Then one of the Keepers called him from the fire-side to the Window, and looked about the Iron shackles that were upon his Legs, to see whether they were in order: Well! said captain Hind, all this I value no more then a three pence: I owe a debt to God, and a debt I must pay; blessed by his name that he hath kept me from shedding of bloud unjustly, which is now a comfort to me: Neither did I ever wrong any poor man of the worth of a penny: but I must confess, I have (when I have been necessitated thereto) made bold with a rich Bompkin, or a lying Lawyer, whose full-fed fees from the rich Farmer, doth too too much impoverish the poor cottage-keeper:1 And truly I could wish, that thing were as little used in England amongst Lawyers, as the eating of Swines-flesh was amongst the Jews. This expression caused much laughter, and many such witty Gingles would he often put forth. Another Gentleman standing by, said, I Captain, but you are not brought hither for robbing, but for Treason, Treason, replyed Hind, I am not guilty of in the least; yes Sir, but you are, for complying with Charles Stuart, and engaging against the Common-wealth of England. Alas Sir, it seems that it is enough then to hang me; I am afraid you will find it so, replyed the Gentleman. Well, Gods will be done (said Hind) I value it not a three pence to lose my life in so good a cause; and if it was to do again, I should do the like; I, I protest would I, laying his hand upon his breast. Come (said the Keeper) no more of this discourse, clear the Room; but a Gentleman or two, desired so much favour of him, as to aske Mr. Hind a civil question: which was granted. So pulling two Books out of his pocket; the one entituled, Hinds Ramble. The other, Hinds Exploits; asked him whether he had ever seen them or not: He answered, yes: And said upon the word of a Christian, they were fictions: But some merry Pranks and Revels I have plaid, that I deny not.2 Thus (Courteous Reader) have I given you the true particulars concerning Captain Hind.


Hind, a former highwayman turned royalist trooper, fought for King Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651. After the King’s defeat, Hind went to ground in London, only to be arrested there a few weeks later. As this news pamphlet shows, there were already apocryphal tales in print concerning his adventures. Over the next few months, there were a number of further publications about him. Some, like this one, were news pamphlets; others were more or less fictional ‘biographies’.

Textual Note

The following typographical errors have been corrected: ‘anp those that laid a foundation for their KING’ to ‘and’, etc; ‘valne no more then a three pence’ to ‘value’, etc; ‘full fed-fees’ to ‘full-fed fees’.


Notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 31 October 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007

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