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Arthur Smith has "last supper" in Turpin's cell
WHEN justice finally caught up with highwayman Dick Turpin and the hangman's noose was waiting, he still managed to eat one final decent meal before being executed on York's Knavesmire.
"He probably ate beef stew and vegetables of the season," said comedian Arthur Smith, speaking at the Castle Museum today as the BBC's One Show came to the city.
"Some of the other prisoners were on bread and water but he had a few quid put by.
"They might have also had rats - fried rat, roast rat, even ratatouille - but his meal was rather grand - he would have had the best beef of the day."
Arthur was filming at Turpin's cell in the museum, where history's most infamous highwayman spent his final hours in what was then York Castle. He said the cell beat the bedrooms at certain budget chain hotels.
He was creating a five-minute film which will form part of a series of 'history dinners,' probably set to be broadcast on the popular BBC 1 show in September.
The films will feature the meals that various famous people would have eaten in their time, including Captain Scott before he set sail on his doomed trip to the Pole, and Jane Austen.
He said the series followed one entitled Sleeping With, in which he had slept in the homes of various characters including Florence Nightingale, the Brontes and George Bernard Shaw.
He also travelled by horse and carriage up to the Tyburn on Knavesmire, where the notorious robber met his grisly end on 7 April 1739 after being found guilty at York Assizes of two charges of horse theft and sentenced to death.