Stand and Deliver, Your Money or Your Life: Female Highwaymen of the Seventeenth Century

Just History Posts

As yesterday was International Women’s Day, I couldn’t resist writing a female-related post, and for this one I drew inspiration from a local legend in my area of the ‘Wicked Lady’. If you happen to pass through Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, you will probably notice a pub with the same name, and may hear the legend of the female highwayman who terrorised the area 400 years ago.

471aee2d-a88e-4263-8f60-701f693e587fIt couldn’t be a post on highwaymen without an appearance from Adam Ant…

According to legend, the Wicked Lady was a local noblewoman named Katherine Ferrers who, under the cover of night, dressed as a man and robbed and terrorised locals. Katherine was born in 1634 to a family of fervent Protestants who had profited from the favour of Henry VIII and Edward VI. The family was granted extensive properties in Hertfordshire, including several manor houses. However, Katherine’s father, Knighton Ferrers, died in 1640, shortly…

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