English folksong is rich in resourceful women and the young girl in our song comes off better than most. The Highwayman Outwitted tune came from the ostler at the Ring o’ Bells, Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset, May 1905. It was collected by George Hammond. The text was from Daniel Newman, Axford, Hampshire, September 1907, and others.
I have so far been unable to trace the artist of the first excellent picture. The highwayman has the appearance of someone who might well bungle a robbery, as did the subject of our song. The second illustration is of Kathleen Ferrers, the ‘Wicked Lady’, who led a famous double life which has nothing directly to do with the song, but is a good read: John Barber, Author tells her story.