I finished this chapter in the Folio Society’s set of notable historical trials. Jonathan Wild was a man who ‘organized’ crime in London for a time. He posed as a man who would use ‘contacts’ to retrieve stolen property from thieves, but in reality he had sent the thieves to the house in the first place. The criminals liked it because they took less risk ‘returning’ the goods than finding a fence.
One interesting fallout from his conviction is that most Londoners missed the service, since the thriving went on once he was gone. He even became something of a cult hero, with plays and stories being written about him. The disgruntlement with the new situation ironically led to the start of official police organizations in the city.