Dick Turpin’s Grave York England

Dick Turpin’s Grave Audio Guide

Dick Turpin’s Grave Quick Facts

  • Dick Turpin’s real name was John Palmer and he lived in the 18th century.
  • Dick Turpin was originally from Essex but was laying low in York to avoid capture.
  • Dick Turpin never had a horse called Black Bess, this was a fictitious horse from a novel called Rook Wood.
  • Dick Turpin was hanged on the Knavesmire close to York Racecourse in 1739 and buried in St George’s Church yard.

Where to Find Dick Turpin

Dick Turpin’s Grave in More Detail

Dick Turpin grave (or his assumed name of John Palmer) resides in the church yard of St George’s Church on George Street in York. In fact, it is the only headstone in the church yard.  Dick Turpin was a well known Georgian highway man who held up stagecoaches during the 18th century.

Dick Turpin's real name was John Palmer and was originally from Essex.
Dick Turpin’s real name was John Palmer and was originally from Essex.

Misconceptions

Dick Turpin was buried in the original church back in 1739 and since this point in history, he has become somewhat of a romantic figure. However, this is far from the real Dick Turpin. In fact, he never even owned a horse called Black Bess, as this was introduced through a novel called Rook Wood a hundred years post death. Rather than a romantic figure, he was a burglar, a poacher, a thief and a murderer.

Dick Turpin’s Death

Dick Turpin under the alias of John Palmer was originally from Essex but was laying low in York to avoid capture. He was residing just east of the city until he shot the landlord’s cockerel that was keeping him awake. In turn, this act got him arrested and was then tried for being a horse thief. He was then hanged in 1739 on the Knavesmire close to the home of York Races.