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Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore was published in 1869. It was an historical novel, based on actual events and characters in Devon in the seventeenth century, particularly ones occurring in the region of Exmoor, as well as including purely fictional elements.
Tom Faggus, John Ridd's cousin in the novel, is based on a famous highwayman. In the book, he is pardoned by King James II and marries Annie, John Ridd's sister. It is due to Annie's love for Tom that John helps obtain the pardon.
It is difficult to separate fact from folklore in the tales of Tom Faggus, as he became a folk hero similar to Robin Hood and many legends grew up around him and Winnie, his strawberry roan mare. Historically, Tom was originally a skilled blacksmith who may have been swindled in a property deal and mistreated by a wealthy local family, the Bampflydes.
In his career as a highwayman, he was notable for being polite and courteous to his victims, and stealing only from the rich and being generous to the poor. In actuality, Tom was not pardoned by the king and may have been captured by a constable and hung, but there is no actual record of his fate.
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