Jonathan Wild is hanged at Tyburn

(684 words)

Historical Context Essay

Jonathan Wild was the most prominent of the notorious criminals who figured as popular heroes and material for ballads and news-papers in early eighteenth-century London. Wild was a criminal with considerable managerial flair; he ran a network of thieves but himself posed in civil society as an agent who could obtain the return of stolen goods, for an appropriate fee. He made use of the growing medium of news-papers, encouraging those who had lost goods to advertise a request that they be returned by the criminal to Mr Wild who would pay them a reward. For example:

Lost, the 1st October, a black shagreen pocket-book edged with silver, with some notes of hand. The said book was lost in the Strand near the Fountain …

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Citation:
Clark, Robert. "Jonathan Wild is hanged at Tyburn". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 February 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1705, accessed 21 October 2014.]