To this period belong his stories of famous criminals, of Jack Sheppard (1724), of Jonathan Wild (1725), of the Highland Rogue i.e.
The pamphlet on the first of these Defoe maintained to be a transcript of a paper which he persuaded Sheppard to give to a friend at his execution.
Sheppard College (1840) is an affiliated foundation for unmarried daughters of these widows.
The notorious Jack Sheppard, wearied of Wild's exactions, at last refused to deal with him, whereupon Wild secured his arrest, and himself arrested Sheppard's confederate, "Blueskin."
Finchley Common was formerly one of the most notorious resorts of highwaymen near London; the Great North Road crossed it, and it was a haunt of Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard, and was still dangerous to cross at night at the close of the 18th century.
Sheppard was captured in this neighbourhood in 1724.