James Freney

(1718—1788) highwayman and burglar

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(d. 1788), highwayman. The son of a servant in Co. Kilkenny, he turned to robbery about 1744, after failing to establish himself as a publican. He was arrested in 1749 but pardoned on giving evidence against various confederates. His Life and Adventures, a hugely successful autobiography published in 1754, established him as a figure in popular mythology. From 1776 he was employed as a customs official at New Ross.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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