Rookwood is the story that made Dick Turpin's ride to York a legend... and legend it was. It was based on the exploits of another highwayman, Swift Nick—real name John Nevison—who made such a trip in 1676. After robbing a traveller in Kent in the early morning, Nevison headed north, reaching York at sunset and, after changing his clothes, strolled off to a bowling green where the Lord Mayor of York was playing bowls.
When he was arrested and accused of the robbery, Nevison was able to produce to Lord Mayor as a witness. Nobody could believe that a man could reach York in a day and he was found not guilty.
But author William Harrison Ainsworth credited Dick Turpin and his famous horse Black Bess with this feat in his novel Rookwood and, to this day, the ride to York is still remembered as one of Turpin's daring deeds. It just goes to show how popular Rookwood was in its day. For more on Ainsworth, see here.
The artwork for this adaptation is by Tony Weare. I hope you enjoy this peek at his genius.