The life and death of Spence Broughton, executed in 1792 for his part in robbing the Sheffield and Rotherham mail, is the subject of Rob Hindle‘s dramatic poem-sequence The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman (first published by Longbarrow Press in 2009, and reissued in a revised and expanded second edition in 2015). Broughton’s body was gibbeted at the scene of the crime on Attercliffe Common (between Sheffield and Rotherham), where it hung for 36 years (read Hindle’s further reflections on Broughton in ‘Haunts‘).
The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman is now available as a hand-stamped, limited edition A5 landscape pamphlet from Longbarrow Press, comprising the text of the original 2009 publication and several ‘Illustrations’, one of which (‘Pitchcapping’) is new and exclusive to this edition. You can order it via the secure PayPal links below (the pamphlet is also available as part of Longbarrow Press’s new range of special offers; click here for further details.)
The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman
Manufacture of the Gibbet Iron
They have been up all night,
bending the rolled iron,
hammering the rivets in.
Now it hangs on its hook
turning idly in the first light:
against the black bricks,
the forged outline of a man.
Listen to Rob Hindle and Ray Hearne perform this poem (with introduction) at the launch of The Purging of Spence Broughton at Hill Top Chapel, Attercliffe, Sheffield, in June 2009: