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These stories are lifted word-for-word from The Newgate Calendar. What is The Newgate Calendar? According to Wiki: "Newgate Calendar was one of those books, along with a Bible, Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Pilgrim's Progress, most likely to be found in any English home between 1750 and 1850. Children were encouraged to read it because it was believed to inculcate principles of right living -- by fear of punishment if not by the dull and earnest morals appended to the stories of highwaymen and other felons." The key word in the description is "DULL". If you believe nothing else about this book, believe "DULL". What does DULL mean? It means mind-numbingly boring. It was written by someone associated with Newgate Prison - warden? Gaoler? Hangman? I don't remember and don't care enough to look it up.