In the 17th century, as the smoke cleared from the battlefields of war, the first celebrity criminals emerged. Mounted soldiers from the losing royalist armies turned to a life of crime on the roads, becoming the horseback robbers known as highwaymen. They brought with them their weaponry, their horseback skills - and their politics. Host Dr. Sam Willis discovers how technology enabled the phenomenon of the highwayman to flourish, as flintlock pistols made their strategy effective and a boom in printing made them famous. In an era where there was no police force and the state exercised little control over the population, Britain was an ideal place to operate.
Episode #101 / Length: 59 minutes