Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 323

Jack Sheppard

 

Hello Everyone

 

 

l think it quite possible that you have never heard of the man in the title of this week’s blog post.

 

But in his day, he was as famous a vagabond as Dick Turpin was.

 

He was celebrated as a wizard escape artist who could cleverly foil his imprisoners again and again.  His spectacular exploits secured him a place of fame in history.

 

l thought you would like to hear his story…

 

Jack Sheppard was known by the name of Jack but was actually named John when he was born in March of 1702 in a poor area of London known as Stepney.

 

Because his father died when he was young, Jack was brought up in a place called a workhouse.  These were large houses that housed very poor people who had nowhere else to go.  They were not very nice places to be and when poor people became homeless, they very often dreaded the workhouse more than death!

 

Families were separated in these places.  The women, the men and the children were all housed in different parts of the building and put to work to earn their keep.

 

Sadly, his mother put him there when he was just six years old because she could no longer afford to look after him.

 

After working for two cane-makers, at 10 years old, he became a shop boy to William Kneebone, a wool draper in the Strand who taught him to read and write. 

 

Then when he was older he became an apprentice to a carpenter and became very accomplished at the trade.

 

But as he grew up he left the apprenticeship before it was completed and fell in with bad company.  From then, he started a life of petty crime, stealing wherever he found an opportunity, sometimes working with the members of a gang lead by one Jonathan Wild. 

 

His first reported crime was that of shoplifting in 1723. 

 

But it was throughout 1724 that his fame really spread.

 

On 24th April, 1724 he was apprehended and put in gaol on a charge of stealing. 

 

He was put in St Giles Roundhouse to be questioned, but broke out through the roof within three hours and lowered himself to the ground on a rope made from bedclothes.  A crowd had gathered below to see what the all noise was and he cleverly got amongst them and crept away.

 

On 19th May, he was arrested for pick-pocketing and detained in St Ann’s Roundhouse overnight.  The next day his girlfriend, Bess Lyon, came to visit him. 

 

She was recognised and put in the cell with him.  They were both taken to New Bridewell Prison in Clerkenwell from which the pair escaped within a few days. 

 

On 24th May, Sheppard filed off the chains that bound him, made a hole in the wall and removed bars from the window.  He tied sheets and blankets together to make a rope.  The pair lowered themselves down twenty-five feet to the ground and climbed over a high wall to freedom.

 

Burgularies, thefts and highway robberies followed, but he was betrayed to the authorities by an informer.  lt was Jonathan Wild, a fellow criminal who plied Bess with alcohol in a bar to find Sheppard’s whereabouts. 

 

Sheppard was recaptured on 23rd July. 

 

Wild had been impressed by Sheppard’s prowess as a burglar and wanted to take the things he stole to sell on, but Sheppard refused to share his ill-gotten-gains with Wild.  lnstead Sheppard teamed up with another criminal Joseph Blake and they plotted to steal from Sheppard’s former employer, William Kneebone.

 

This time when he was found guilty of burglary, Sheppard was condemned to death. 

 

He was put in the gaols at the Old Bailey and then sent to Newgate Prison.

 

On 31st August, his friends Bess Lyon and Poll Maggot managed to smuggle a file into the building and pass it to Jack.  He soon set to work to file away at one of the bars on the door to the condemned cell.  As he broke the spike off, he made a hole in the door.  And while the women distracted the guards, because he was such a small man, Jack was able to squeeze through the hole he had made and was on the run again wearing one of Elizabeth’s dresses as a disguise.

 

Then on 10th September, he was recaptured and put in solitary confinement in the most fortified part of Newgate Prison.  He was clapped in leg irons, handcuffed and chained to two metal staples in the floor.

 

On 15th October, during the cover of darkness he carried out his most famous escape.

 

The guards had manacled him to the floor but he managed to break free from his manacles with the help a crooked nail.  He picked the lock that secured his chain to the floor. 

 

He climbed up inside a chimney.  Across his escape route was an iron bar set into the brickwork.  Sheppard released the bar and used it to break through the ceiling then forced his way through several bolted doors.  He managed to get onto the prison roof which was 60 feet above the ground.  He then returned to his cell to retrieve a blanket that he planned to use as a rope.  He got back onto the roof and then onto the roof of a neighbouring house by using the rope.

 

He climbed down into the house.

 

The people inside didn’t even hear him pass through, and he just walked out of the front door to freedom. 

 

Some way from the house he found a cowshed to pass the rest of the night.

 

He was still wearing his leg irons. 

 

Several days later he persuaded a passing shoemaker to get some blacksmith’s tools and remove the leg irons for him after paying him a large sum of money to do so.

 

But his freedom lasted only two weeks. 

 

He disguised himself as a beggar and returned to London.

 

ln the days that followed, Jack carried on burgling.  He broke into a shop and used the proceeds of his theft for a night on the town.

 

But incapacitated (stupefied) by alcohol after a drinking binge, he was captured on 1st November once more and returned to prison.

 

This time, Sheppard was loaded down with iron weights and kept under constant surveillance.

 

The guards charged four shillings to people who wanted to come and see the famous prisoner and the King’s painter even painted Sheppard’s portrait.

 

News of all his daring exploits was widely reported and he was becoming more of a celebrity with each escape.  People began to think that he had almost supernatural powers but of course the truth was he used the skills he had learnt as a carpenter to make his famous escapes.

 

You can’t help thinking that with his talents; nowadays, he would have his own television show.

 

Anyway, back to my story. 

 

Several important people asked that Sheppard should be given a sentence of transportation rather than death.  He was offered to have his sentence reduced if he informed on his associates but he refused.

 

Joseph Blake was hanged the next day.

 

The authorities did not wait too long before taking Sheppard to Tyburn, in London to hang him on 16th November.  This is the place where Marble Arch now stands, (near Oxford Street).

 

lt is reported that the crowd was 200,000 strong; a third of the population of London at the time.  They had come to see the demise of someone that had, over the last few months, become a bit of a folk hero.  Women lined the route along Holborn and Oxford Street and threw flowers as he passed.

 

But Sheppard had planned one last great escape – from the gallows.

 

His plan did not work.  The penknife that Sheppard secreted on himself to cut the ropes that bound him was found by a guard just before they left the prison.

 

Another plan was set by two admirers.

 

The plan was that two men, the famous writer Daniel Defoe and his publisher Appleby would retrieve the body after the required 15 minutes to be left hanging on the gallows, and try to revive him.  lt was possible on rare occasions for this to be done.

 

But the plan went wrong. 

 

The crowd surged forward before they had a chance to carry out their plan and got in the way.

 

That night Sheppard was buried in the graveyard of St Martin-in-the-fields which is the church by Trafalgar Square.  He was only 22 years old.

 

So celebrated had Sheppard become, that the author Daniel Defoe (who wrote Robinson Crusoe) wrote a book of his life.

 

The character of Macheath in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728) was based on him.  Songs were also written.  Souvenirs were sold.

 

He became a bit of a working-class hero; a real Jack the Lad.

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

 

Salty Sam

heart

www.christina-sinclair.com

 

 

 

Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bill:  What did the armed policeman say to the snowman when he saw him peering into somebody’s back windows?

 

Bob:  l don’t know. What did the armed policeman say to the snowman when he saw him peering into somebody’s back windows?

 

Bill:  Freeze!

 

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

Jack Sheppard

 

Escape

 

In prison

 

Jack Sheppard’s fame grew enormous in just one year

 

Jack Sheppard remembered through the mists of time

 in Charing Cross Road

 

 

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  desk   THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

 coffee

 

This week, Miss Pringle was telling her class about borrowed words.

This means that sometimes we use words that originally came from other languages.

Sometimes we have an equivalent like betrothed for fiancé.

Sometimes we don’t, like the word paparazzi, which means photographers and journalists who follow famous people around constantly to see what they are doing.

One person is called a paparazzo.

This word is Italian.

A Kamikaze pilot was on a mission where he planned to destroy a target and himself too.

This word is Japanese.

Do you know what these words and phrases mean?

 

  1. alfresco
  2. incognito
  3. macho
  4. siesta
  5. wanderlust

 

 

 

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PLEASE CONTACT:

christina.sinclair.ads@aol.co.uk

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Hobby Time

 

Here is a little coin holder key ring to knit.

 

 

You will have to concentrate on the pattern but the finished article is very small and won’t take long to make.

lt is just the right size to slip a pound coin into.

 

TROLLEY COlN HOLDER KEY RlNG (KNlT ONE)

 

Using 4mm knitting needles and red dk yarn cast on 7 stitches

 

Sl1 (k1,p1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Sl1 (p1,k1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Sl1 (p1,k1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Sl1 (k1,p1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

 

Repeat the last 4 rows 4 times (20 rows)

 

Cast off

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Pull apart a snap fastener and sew each half to each end of the piece of knitting (each half will be on different sides so check that they will match up when you fold your piece of knitting over)
  2. Sew a button onto the top of the envelope flap to cover the back of your sewing
  3. Fold the ends of the knitting to the centre and overlap them
  4. Sew up the sides using over-sew stitching so that you make a little envelope with the button on the centre of the top flap

 

 

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A KNlTTED MONKEY

This monkey certainly looks like he is good at climbing too.

He is very easy for a knitting newbie to make.

 

MONKEY FRONT (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and dark brown dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 14 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to light brown yarn and knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to dark brown yarn and knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 20cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

MONKEY BACK (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and dark brown dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 24 rows of stocking stitch

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 20cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

MONKEY LEGS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and dark brown dk yarn cast on 10 stitches

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to light brown yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 15cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

MONKEY ARMS (KNIT TWO)

Using 4mm knitting needles and dark brown dk yarn cast on 3 stitches

Knit 1 row

 

Continue knitting in stocking stitch starting with a purl row and increase 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 5 rows (8sts)

 

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

 

Change to light brown yarn

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 15cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

MONKEY EARS (KNIT TWO)

Knit in garter stitch

 

Using 4mm knitting needles and light brown dk yarn cast on 4 stitches

Knit 2 rows

 

Don’t cast off

Cut off the yarn leaving a length of about 10cm and thread this through the stitches on your needle and pull the knitting needle away

 

MONKEY TAIL

Crochet 20 chains into a length of dark brown yarn

 

TO MAKE UP

  1. Sew up the side seams of the body right sides together using over-sew stitching
  2. Turn the body the right way out
  3. Sew up the inner seams of the legs right sides together using over-sew stitching
  4. Turn the legs the right way out
  5. Bind some light brown yarn twice around the ankles and secure the yarn
  6. Lightly stuff the legs
  7. Sew along the tops of the legs and the bottom of the body at the same time to sew the legs into place (with the legs resting on the stomach)
  8. Stuff the body and head
  9. Pull the top of the head in
  10. Sew some dark brown yarn into the back of the neck and bind twice around the neck and secure the yarn
  11. Sew up the straight inner seams of the arms right sides together using over-sew stitching
  12. Turn the arms the right way out
  13. Bind some light brown yarn twice around the wrists and secure the yarn
  14. Lightly stuff the arms
  15. Sew the tops of the arms to the shoulders of the body
  16. Using Swiss darning sew a dark brown stitch into the top of the light brown face to make more of a monkey-shaped face
  17. Sew the ears to the side of the face
  18. Sew a face onto the monkey
  19. Sew the tail in place at the base of the spine

 

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

Answers to the News Desk Quiz

 

  1. alfresco – outside – maybe in the garden
  2. incognito – in disguise or not as yourself
  3. macho – masculine and manly
  4. siesta – an after-lunch nap
  5. wanderlust – a love of travelling

 

 

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