Dick Turpin was a notorious highwayman who lived and worked in England in the 18th century. He is alleged to have committed highway robberies targeting tourists, including one in Edgware.
Although there are lots of stories and rumours about Dick Turpin’s stay in Edgware, there is some historical proof that he actually lived there. One of the most well-known tales is that he stayed at the White Lion Inn, an old-fashioned coaching inn in Edgware.
Dick Turpin allegedly used the inn as a base for his criminal activities and would stow away horses and stolen property in the neighbouring woods. There are rumours that he had a hiding place where he could elude the law at Bentley Priory, a neighbouring forest.
Unfortunately, it is near impossible to confirm whether these tales are true. Dick Turpin was a nefarious character, and many stories about his escapades were probably made up or exaggerated. Nevertheless, the White Lion Inn continues to be a well-liked destination for tourists and history buffs, and his name has come to be associated with Edgware’s past.
Visitors to Edgware today can go to the White Lion Inn and see the alleged room where Dick Turpin stayed. The inn has been renovated to resemble what it did in the 18th century, and it displays on local history and its connections to the infamous highwayman.
In addition to the White Lion Inn, tourists can explore Edgware’s surrounding neighbourhood and learn about its extensive history. St Margaret’s Church, a 14th-century structure, and the Grade II-listed RAF Museum, which houses a collection of aircraft and displays on the history of aviation, are only two of the town’s historic structures and landmarks.
While the full scope of Dick Turpin’s operations in Edgware may never be understood, his reputation endures in the history and culture of the community. A trip to Edgware and the White Lion Inn is essential for anybody interested in the development of crime and punishment in English history.