Dick Turpin is supposed to have been buried in St George's churchyard, at York.
At The Green Dragon Inn at Welton near Hull in East Yorkshire, now a quiet country pub, stories of the legendary Dick Turpin abound, for this was the scene of his arrest in 1739. Turpin was nothing like the romantic character portrayed by Harrison Ainsworth in his novel Rookwood. He was actually born at The Rose and Crown (formerly the Bell Inn) at Hempstead in Essex and ended his days on the gibbet at York Knavesmire on April 17th 1739. Turpin was a cattle and horse thief turned highwayman and was actually detained at The Green Dragon on a charge of poaching. He gave the name John Palmer to avoid recognition but made the mistake of writing to his brother whilst in custody and a former schoolmaster recognized his writing. It seems strange that Turpin could read and write, but apparently it proved to be his undoing because he was duly identified, tried and hanged at York Knavesmire. He was just 34 years of age. It is said that Turpin engaged five indigent men to follow his cart to the gallows and these ‘mourners’ were each paid the sum of 10/-.
Dick Turpin was reputedly buried in the graveyard of St. Georges Church in George Street, York, where a renovated gravestone reads :
‘ John Palmer, otherwise Richard Turpin.
The notorious highwayman and horse stealer,
Executed at Tyburn, April 17th, 1739
and buried in St. Georges churchyard. ‘
Although Tyburn was in fact the London gallows it was also a generic term for any gallows.
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Photo taken in York, UK
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