The Legend of Davis and Bennet, Highwayman | The Golden Farmer

The Legend of Davis and Bennet, Highwayman | The Golden Farmer

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The Legend of Davis and Bennet, Highwayman | The Golden Farmer

The 3rd August 2020 – 3rd August 2021 was Stephen and Yhana‘s first year on YouTube – To celebrate they are sharing one video a day across all of their favourite social media platforms – Facebook Page, Twitter and Website, as well as a daily shout out on their youtube community page. – So please check often incase you missed any of their videos during that first year.

They have also published their very first youtube almanac – Which was released 3rd august 2021.

The book will be available to buy via Amazon shortly – Although you can get a free signed copy by signing up and supporting their journey on Patreon

All Patreon‘s will get a regular mention on YouTube and on their channel publications – As your support is very much appreciated and will help to purchase filming equipment and trips to historical sites, so they can keep their films coming.

Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

The Legend of Davis and Bennet, Highwayman | The Golden Farmer

13 Terrifying True Stories For Halloween | Story Five | The Legend of Davis and Bennet, Highwayman of Bagshot | The Golden Farmer

John Bennett and William Davis, Highwayman and Golden Farmer of Bagshot

By Stephen Robert Kuta

The Legend of William Davis ‘The Golden Farmer’ and John Bennett, Highwayman of Bagshot

Saturday the 20th of December, 1690

William Davis, was put into a Cart, and conveyed to Salisbury-court end in Fleetstreet, near the Place where he committed the Murder, for which he received Sentence, and there having made a short Prayer, he gave the Executioner the Word or Sign to do his Office, and was accordingly executed, without making any Speech or Exhortation.

He was hung by the neck until dead.

A Gibbet was erected following his Execution, and his body was taken to bagshot heath, Surrey where he was hung from the gibbet opposite his house.

John Bennet alias Freeman a tall, black man, well set, with black hair was tried for robbery and executed at Tyburn on Monday the 22nd December 1690.

He too was hung until dead, but the fate of his dead body was less severe. He was buried, the golden farmer however hung from those chains for more than 100 years.

Welcome to the 5th of our 13 terrifying stories for Halloween, today we are going to take a deep dive into the life and eventual capture of John Bennett, Highwayman of Bagshot. This is a true story, and makes up just one of the dark and twisted tales that exist in my family history.

The history of The Golden Farmer, Highwayman of Bagshot, Surrey and the southern counties of England is a long and interesting one. Although the facts about his life are very much a tangle, both John Bennett and William Davis are often regarded as one.

But Why?

In 1714, 24 years after the golden farmer was executed’ the History of the Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen’. Was First published, the book was a huge success and has been reprinted many times since, this book became the main source of reference into the life of the Golden Farmer.

The book attributes the golden farmer to a man called William Davis believed to have been executed on the 20 December 1690, at Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, London and his body hung in chains at Bagshot Heath. William Davis was married to an innkeeper’s daughter, Cecily Card of Romsey daughter of William Card, it was here in this Inn that he met many famous characters from his highwayman days. He resided in many places including Romsey, Hampshire and Bagshot, Surrey to name a few.

William Davis was father-in-law to John Bennet. They both hung two days apart and they both had links to Bagshot heath.

Romsey, Hampshire is an important location in the life story of the golden farmer, for it was here that he met an inn keepers daughter and married many of his children were born there, his companion was also a Romsey resident – known as Old Mobb, a Cross Dressing Highwayman, who was very much a gentleman.

There are many Characters in the life of this highwayman, and here are just a few John Bennet

Claude Du Vall (French Highwayman)

Thomas Sympson (Old Mobb)

Alice Davis (alias; Mitchell / daughter of the Golden Farmer)

William Stafford / John Stafford and John Evans (robbed at the command of Mitchell / wife of the Golden Farmer.

Charles Taylor (butcher of St Bride’s) murdered by the golden farmer.

Daniel Solomon of Fleet Street (grandson of John Bennet, he murdered his wife (manslaughter) on the 1st April 1754 possibly in a drunken rage on the same day a friend and highwayman was executed.)

Elizabeth Bone (wife of Daniel Solomon) murdered by her husband on the 1st April 1754

Samuel Dean (Highwayman) – executed on the 1st April 1754

Many locations across England are connected to the life of the Golden Farmer,

Wrexham, Denbighshire, Wales (birth place of the golden farmer)

Sudbury, Gloucestershire (believed to have been an early area of residence of the golden farmer

Bagshot, Surrey (residence)

Romsey, Hampshire (residence of many highwayman and birth place of his daughter, this is also a gateway to the south of England where the Golden Farmer worked and terrorised for many years)

Salisbury, Wiltshire (believed to be associated)

Cornwall (the furthest county the golden farmer worked)

St Bride’s Fleet Street, London (later residence of his descendants, and the location of his fable execution, the place he murdered and one of the darker locations where he possibly planned his robberies and drank, whored and met with fellow highwayman).

William Davis, THE GOLDEN FARMER terrorised the southern counties of England, and was executed 15 years before Richard Turpin (Dick Turpin) was born, the golden farmer is one of Englands most notorious Highwayman, he may have paid his debts in Gold, but in the end he paid for them with his life.

It is said that William Davis was executed in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, London on the 20 December 1690 and his body hung in chains for all too see in Bagshot Heath, Surrey.

There is another story, Another fable, and in a way, I much prefer this more romanticised end to William Davis, This tale has passed through the corridors of time by means of spoken tongue and legend.

20th December 1690, William Davis the notorious highwayman ‘The Golden Farmer’, was pursued by cavalry after Robbing a carriage on the King’s Highway, across Salisbury Heath he fled, into the early hours of night, it is said, that he was shot from his horse by those in pursuit, and died where he fell. His dead corpse then taken to his home at Bagshot Heath and his body hung in chains, his body hung until the flesh fell from his bones, and the ravens had long plucked away his eyes. 100 years his skeleton was left as punishment for his crimes. He lies buried where his bones fell, scattered to the earth for eternity.

This story inspired Alfred Noyes to write his most famous poem ‘the Highwayman’.

  • Published: 23 October 2020
  • Location: Bagshot, Surrey
  • Duration: 17:47
  • Photography – Stephen Robert Kuta / Yhana Kuta
  • Written by – Stephen Robert Kuta

Music –

  • Sonata No. 14 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight’: I. Adagio Sostenuto

Music Licensed by Epidemic Sound

The Legend of Davis and Bennet, Highwayman | The Golden Farmer

​Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac

Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

Support us on Patreon / Stephen and Yhana YouTube Channel

Become a Patron!

On the 30th of January, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). In the following weeks, the virus quickly spread worldwide, forcing the governments of affected countries to implement lockdown measures to decrease transmission rates and prevent the overload of hospital emergency rooms.

The United Kingdom implemented lockdown on the 16th of March, 2020 and from this date and up until the 3rd August, 2021 the UK had suffered three national lockdowns which all included Restrictive measures on border controls, closing of schools, markets, restaurants, nonessential shops, bars, entertainment and leisure facilities, as well as a ban on all public and private events and gatherings. In between these lockdowns we saw tier systems and heavy restrictions on how we all lived our lives.

We all decided on different approaches on how we spent that free time as many people were on Furlough as their businesses were shut, only key-workers carried out their working duties. Although I continued working as a key-worker, I still had a lot more free time as Yhana was not at school.

Both Yhana and I spent those first few months experimenting with tiktok and photography, we explored our home village of Great Leighs and took some incredible photographs as spring and eventually summer took hold.

Tiktok was a short-lived adventure for us, although we enjoyed it all the same — tiktok like so many Social Media platforms had exploded during the pandemic but none more so then YouTube.

In 2020 alone YouTube had more than 9 billion views globally

66% of people used YouTube to develop a new hobby in 2020, and a whopping 94% of people in India used YouTube to learn to do things themselves, Whilst Globally, 82% used YouTube to the same. What were they learning to do, exactly?

• Views of beauty tutorials increased nearly 50% in 2020.

• There was a 90% increase in bike maintenance and repair videos.

• Daily views of videos with “raising chickens” in the title increased 160%.

• Videos related to learning guitar saw 160 million views from mid-March to mid-April.

• Videos about container gardening saw 6 million views in the same period.

• There was a 215% increase in daily uploads of videos related to self-care.

• There was a 458% increase in daily views of videos about making sourdough bread and a 200% increase in daily views of recipe videos for bubble tea.

• Videos of how-to videos for home haircuts also spiked in April.

Even though these giant increases in YouTube views began as early as March 2020, it took Yhana and I up until August of that year to begin our own channel, and Yhana’s encouragement certainly helped on that matter.

So it began, 3 August 2020 – We went out and filmed our very first video. To be honest I wasn’t sure what our plan would be for our channel, I had a rough idea of what kind of content I would like Yhana and I to make and as a historian I looked at the channel as a way to record at least one year of our life, not just any year either, but our life during the Covid-19 Pandemic. So for me, it was a great way to record a piece of social history.

This book in front of you developed from that period of our lives also, and is a showcase / diary / almanac of all the videos we created, many of the photographs we took, the treasure hunts we went on and some of the incredible finds we discovered just a short walk from where we lived. In truth, those finds would never have been discovered if it wasn’t for lockdown.

So for prosperity, social history, a window into our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic and a transparent visual look at what its like to create a YouTube channel in that first year including channelytics, descriptions of videos, thumbnail artwork, viewer comments and more.

We have written this full guide, our first joint book –

Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac.

Stephen and Yhana - History and Adventure Hunters Almanac - OUT NOW
Stephen and Yhana – History and Adventure Hunters Almanac – OUT NOW

The book is available to buy through Amazon and via all good bookshops.



Support us on Patreon / Stephen and Yhana YouTube Channel

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