From Mr. David Belton, blacksmith, at Ulceby, July, 1906. Dick Turpin was perhaps the most famous of England's highwaymen, thanks in good part to a 19th Century novel, Rookwood, which recounts the famous ride to York on his horse Black Bess. This reputedly provided him with an alibi good enough to satisfy a jury. There is a lesser-known but more accurate song which relates this same tale with its proper hero, Nevison, who was hanged in York in 1685, twenty years before Turpin was born: Grainger also phonographed a set of Bold Nevison from Joseph Taylor. Jack Ketch, mentioned in the last verse of the song, was public executioner during the reign of Charles II. He gained notoriety for his clumsy dispatching of Lord Russell in 1683 and of the Duke of Monmouth two years later, for whom Ketch needed five strokes with the axe and even then had to finish the beheading with a knife. His name became associated with executioners, including hangmen, for over two hundred years, and at times the condemned man would indeed pay the hangman, in hopes of a tidy job.
As Dickie rode out all across yon moor, he spied a lawyer riding out before
© Golden Hind Music