London market dating from 1682

The advent of daily newspapers had led to a rising interest in crime and criminals.

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Wild began, slowly at first, to dispose of stolen goods and to pay bribes to get thieves out of prison.

He later parted with Milliner, cutting off her ear to mark her as a prostitute.

Soon Wild was thoroughly acquainted with the underworld, with both its methods and its inhabitants.

At some point during this period, Milliner had begun to act as something of a madam to other prostitutes, and Wild as a fence, or receiver of stolen goods.

In around 1713, Wild was approached by Hitchen to become one of his assistants in thief-taking, a profitable activity on account of the £40 reward paid by the government for catching a felon.

Wild may have become known to Hitchen's associates, known as his "Mathematicians", during his lengthy stay in Wood Street Compter; certainly one, William Field, later worked for Wild.

Hitchen would accept bribes to let thieves out of jail, selectively arrest criminals, and coerce sexual services from molly houses.

His testimony about the rise of crime was given during an investigation of these activities by the London Board of Aldermen, who suspended him from the Under Marshal position in 1713.

Jonathan Wild (1682 or 1683 – ) was a London underworld figure notable for operating on both sides of the law, posing as a public-spirited crimefighter entitled the 'Thief-Taker General'.

Wild was exploiting a strong public demand for action during a major London crime wave in the absence of any effective police force.

He was featured in novels, poems, and plays, some of them noting parallels between Wild and the contemporaneous Prime Minister Walpole, known as The Great Corrupter. At that time, Wolverhampton was the second-largest town in Staffordshire, with a population of around 6,000, many involved in iron-working and related trades.

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