Mezzotint, platemark 250 x 175mm (9¾ x 7"). Very scarce.
Joseph Beeton (d.1783), highwayman. He was tried, imprisoned and executed in King's Lynn in 1783 for robbing the north mail coach. Afer the robbery, a lucrative award was offered and Beeton was given up. Like an earlier celebrity criminal, Jack Sheppard, Beeton escaped from prison, but the landlord at the inn he fled to informed the authorities and Beeton was recaptured. Beeton's youth, good looks (hence the dandyish pose he maintains even in irons here) and supposed benevolent reasons for committing the crime aroused the sympathy of many locals, who donated money to employ counsel to plea for him. Even so, he was found guilty and executed at the gallows near Southgates. This portrait, published locally a week before Beeton's execution, demonstrates the market for images of the local celebrity.
Ex Collection of the Late Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd; see Neil Storey, 'Norfolk villains'
[Ref: 36514] £350.00