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.
It is thus possible that the warlike legends which have gathered around the name of Turpin are due to some confusion of his identity with that of his martial predecessor.
He is at once the gigantic eater of Turpin, the huge warrior eight feet high, who could lift the armed knight standing on his open hand to a level with his head, the crusading conqueror of Jerusalem in days before the crusades, and yet with all this the temperate drinker and admirer of St Augustine, as his character had filtered down through various channels from the historical pages of Einhard.
The Latin chronicle, wrongly ascribed to Turpin (Tilpinus), bishop of Reims from 753 to Boo, was in reality later than the earlier poems of the French cycle, and the first properly authenticated mention of it is in 1165.
For the chronicle of the Pseudo-Turpin, see an edition by Castets (Paris, 1881) for the " Societe des langues romanes, and the dissertation by G.
Turpin, Thomas Lindet (Bernay, 1886); A.
Thompson, Lotus Land (London, 1906); Turpin, Histoire de Siam (Paris, 1719); F.
Rodd and is in the History of Charles the Great and Orlando, ascribed to Turpin (London, 1812).