Jonathan Wild

(c. 1682—1725) thief-taker

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(c. 1682–1725).

Thief‐taker and anti‐hero. Trained as a buckle‐maker, imprisonment for debt brought Wild into contact with the underworld, then into handling stolen property. His activities prompted a statute whereby receiving a reward for returning deliberately stolen goods was an offence comparable to the felony (1718), but his delusion that his public services outweighed his crimes eventually ended at Tyburn.

Subjects: British History — Literature.

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