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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Wild, Jonathan

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WILD, Jonathan, English thief and informer: b. Wolverhampton, England, about 1682; d. London, 24 May 1725. He was a Birmingham buckle-maker who in 1706 went to London intending to engage in his trade, but becoming involved in debt was imprisoned for four years, after which he became a receiver of stolen goods and an informer against such criminals as were not in his employ. He was hanged at Tyburn. He was the subject of Fielding's satire, ‘History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great’ (1743), and also appears in Ainsworth's novel, ‘Jack Shepherd,’ as well as in various other tales and pretended biographies.