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John Gilpin: Wikis


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The statue of Gilpin's Bell at Fore Street in Edmonton, London

John Gilpin (eighteenth century) was a real-life character whose exploits became legendary and featured in a well-known comic ballad of 1782 by William Cowper entitled The Diverting History of John Gilpin. Cowper had heard the story from a friend.

John Gilpin was said to be a wealthy draper from Cheapside in London, who owned land at Olney in Buckinghamshire, near where Cowper lived. It is likely that he was actually a Mr Beyer, a linen draper of the Cheapside corner of Paternoster Row.[1] The poem tells how Gilpin and his wife and children became separated during a journey to the Bell Inn, Edmonton, after Gilpin loses control of his horse, and is carried ten miles further to the town of Ware.

There are a number of sites commemorating the exploits of John Gilpin, most notably Gilpin's Gallop, a street in the village of Great Amwell said to be on the original route taken by the horse's unfortunate pilot.

External links


  1. ^ The poetical works of William Cowper, P 212,London: Frederick Warne and Co, 1892


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