Charles Whibley (1859-1930) was an English journalist, author and editor of many books. In 1897 he left his usual bailiwick and published a collection of sketches of highwaymen, pickpockets and other "scoundrels." They are entertaining, as the following anecdote about Moll Cutpurse, accused of stealing a watch demonstrates:
"Committed for trial, she demanded that the watch should be left in the constable's keeping, and, pleading not guilty when the sessions came round, insisted that her watch and the farmer's were not the same. The farmer, anxious to acknowledge his property, demanded the constable to deliver the watch, that it might be sworn to in open court; and when the constable put his hand to his pocket the only piece of damning evidence had vanished, stolen by the nimble fingers of one of Moll's officers. Thus with admirable trickery and a perfect sense of dramatic effect she contrived her escape, and never again ran the risk of a sudden discovery."