The Robber

Cecil Sharp collected this version of a familiar tale, popular with 19th century broadside printers. The 1762 subject of the painting by Nathaniel Hone is not a robber but Sir John Fielding, magistrate and social reformer, who with his half-brother, Sir Henry Fielding, founded the Bow Street Runners, the first police force, which the robber in our song called ‘Fielding’s Gang’. The black band was worn to show that he was blind (from an accident in the Navy).

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