Described as a 'real-life' Professor Moriarty and Napoleon of Crime, James Townsend Saward, a respectable barrister of the Inner Temple, was unmasked in 1857 as the criminal mastermind known in the underworld of Victorian London as Jim the Penman. For thirty years Saward led a double life as the head of a cheque forgery ring, a fence of stolen goods and as a planner of robberies.
'James Townsend Saward, Criminal Barrister: The True Story of Jim the Penman' relates his life of crime as a notorious cheque forger and his involvement in other crimes, including one of the largest bank robberies of the 1840s and the first great train robbery of 1855.
Saward's working relationship with Edward Agar the train robber is explored, and for the first time it is revealed what Saward did with the gold from the 1855 great train robbery after it was given to him by Agar. Saward's true fate after he was sentenced to transportation to Australia is also revealed for the first time.
The book also examines Saward's influence on Victorian and later literature, and Saward's family and his connections to Victorian and Edwardian theatre are also discussed.
The author, Jennifer Carnell, is a great-great-great-great granddaughter of James Townsend Saward. Each copy is signed and numbered by the author.
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'A well-written, illustrated, and researched biography of a Victorian lawyer and con-man.' The Year's Work in English Studies, Oxford University Press, 2013, Professor William Baker.
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