Henry Fielding (April 22, 1707 – October 8, 1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones.
Aside from his literary achievements, he has a significant place in the history of law-enforcement, having founded what some have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners.
Born into an aristocratic family at Sharpham near Glastonbury in Somerset in 1707, Fielding was educated at Eton College, where he established a lifelong friendship with Pitt the Elder. His younger sister, Sarah, was also destined to be a successful writer.
After a romantic episode with a young woman that ended in his getting into trouble with the law, he went to London where his literary career began.
In 1728, he travelled to Leiden to study classics and law at the University. However, due to lack of money he was obliged to return to London and he began writing for the theatre, some of his work being...
The Life and Death of Jonathan Wild, the Great is a 1743 novel. It is a mock-heroic satire by the writer Henry Fielding, of political opportunism and ruthless morality. It dealt with the life of the infamous highwayman Jonathan Wild, who was hanged in 1725.
Jonathan Wild was born in 1682 and was the master criminal of early eighteenth century London. Leader of thieves and highwaymen, and fence for stolen goods, Wild learned his trade while being held in a debtor's prison and quickly established a more curious reputation as 'Thief Taker General of Great Britain and Ireland'. Indeed, Wild directed a large band of thieves and felons dealing in stolen goods: the criminals who then refused to comply with his organisation were betrayed by Wild to the police (and received forty pounds from the government into the bargain).
It is estimated that Wild informed on some 120 men during his time, all of whom went to the gallows. After fifteen years of criminal activity, Wild himself was arrested...