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Essex has certainly had its fair share of bad guys during its history. From highwaymen to smugglers, thieves to murderers, it can boast some of the country’s most notorious figures. The legendary Dick Turpin was Essex born and bred, wreaking havoc in Epping Forest. At the other end of the county, in Manningtree, the ruthless Matthew Hopkins scoured the area in search of ‘witches’ — putting to death anyone who had as much as a wart on the end of their nose. Visitors to the region have also left their mark through their acts of villainy. Even royalty — including Richard II and Henry VIII — have carried out dastardly deeds within the county’s borders, from murder to adultery. Drawing on a wide variety of historical sources, Essex Villains is a veritable who's who of the county's most notorious villains.

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