05 July 2010

How to impress the ladies

'At ten o'clock this morning a robbery was committed on the [Wimbledon] Common by a single highwayman on a coach and four. It seems the robber ordered the coachman to stop and then immediately drove the muzzle of his pistol through the coach window to the edification of four squabbling females and one miserable male. However, the gentleman would not give up his money and attempted to seize the highwayman through the window - by which daring feat he cut his wrist most dreadfully and was nearly brought out of it [the coach] entirely by the robber who in turn seized him. If the ladies had not held their valorous knight by the coat with all their strength, he would have been ignominiously dragged through the window.

I shall certainly order my servants to carry loaded pistols with them when I go my pleasant airings now for the future'

- Countess Spencer writing to her husband, October 1784, quoted in Richard Milward, Wimbledon Two Hundred Years Ago, 1996.

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