Outlaws and Highwaymen

A chapter from The English Gusman, by George Fidge
G[eorge] F[idge], The English Gusman, (London, 1652), pp. [16]–17


How Hind was Inchanted by a cunning woman, who after some discourse switched him with a Charmed Rod, not to be taken or harmed during the time this Charm should last; which was for Three years.

After Hind had robbed the High-way-men of their money; It was his chance to ride to Hatfield, lying at the George-Inn, being then the Posthouse;1 where he very merrily spent the evening with some Gentlemen that were there: In the morning very early Hind cals for his horse, to be gon; being now mounted he takes leave of all those Gentlemen that were stirring; as he rod along Hatfield, at the Towns end, an old Ill-favoured woman asked an Almes of him: his horse presently staid, and would go no further; Sir, said the old woman, I have something to say to you, and then you shal be gon; Hind not likeing her Countenance, puld out five shillings and gave her, thinking she would but like a Gipsee, tell his fortune: Said, good woman I am in hast: Sir, said she, I have staid all this morning to speak to you; and would you have me lose my labour: speak your mind, said Hind.

The old woman began thus:

Captain Hind, You ride and go in many dangers; wherefore by my poor Skill, I have thought on a way to preserve you, for the space of Three Years: but that time being past, you are no more then an ordinary man, and a mischance may fall on you as well as another: but if you be in England, come to me, and I will renew the Vertue of this Charm again: in saying these words, she puld out of her bosom, a little box, almost like a *Sun Dyal and gave it Captain Hind, and said to him, When you are in any distress, open this, and which way you see the Star turn, ride or go that way, and you shall escape all dangers: so she switched him with a white Rod that was in her hand, and strook the horse on the buttocks, and bid him farwell: the horse presently leaped forward with such courage, that Hind could not turn him to give her thanks; but guessing it was her will it should be so, rod on his way. The time of this Charm was expired in Ireland about some two months before Youghall was surprised by the Inhabitants for the Commonwealth of England, where Hind was wounded: as hereafter you shall hear in his Voyage to Ireland.2

*This Star was at the end of a needle, like a dyal.3 [marginal note]

George Fidge


The English Gusman purports to be a biography of a famous highwayman, James Hind, who was still alive (though in jail) at the time it was written. In fact, the book is mostly fiction.


Notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 30 December 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007

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