Signed by the "Thief-Taker General" [Manuscript]. [Great Britain]. Wild, Jonathan [c.1682-1725]. [Reward for Apprehending Thieves with Autograph Signature of Jonathan Wild, London, March 7, 1718]. Single 7" x 8-1/2" vellum sheet, text to both sides. Moderate soiling, horizontal and vertical fold lines, faint dampstaining to top edge, left and right fore-edges and corners lacking with loss to text but no loss to signatures of Wild or other reward recipients. $850. * This document details a reward to be given to five men, Wild among them, for "apprehending and taking the said Thomas Draper and Samuel Davis...who...feloniously and Burglariously did break and enter" and steal some thirteen pounds worth of fabric. Wild, no stranger to theft himself, was notorious for apprehending thieves and subsequently pocketing the rewards to fund his extensive criminal empire. Popularly known as the "thief-taker general," he became a stock figure in literature and political satire after his execution in 1725, appearing in the works of Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry Fielding, among others. Reward certificates paid to Wild by the treasury are rare.
Book number 72805