Monday, 25 July 2011

The Ghostly Highwayman of Mereworth, Kent

Friday the 13th is generally reckoned to be an unlucky day. It was certainly very unlucky for one Jack Diamond, a highwayman who made using the roads of northern Kent rather dangerous in the late 18th century.

Diamond was not this criminal’s real name, that has long been forgotten by both history and legend. Young Jack gained his name by wearing a large and showy diamond ring on his right hand. It was one of the first things that he stole on the open road and he kept it as a sort of talisman. It did him no good at all one Friday 13th when he was at home in his cottage just south of Mereworth, near to West Peckham. Early that morning, about dawn, a sudden and ferocious fire bust out in the cottage. What started the fire is unknown, but it was the end of Jack Diamond and his career on the road.

Dressed in tricorn hat and a long cloak, Jack Diamond returns to the site of his misfortune on most Friday the 13ths, usually early in the morning.


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