One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A highwayman operating on foot rather than riding a horse.
- ‘Lt-Col Lean said a patrol from the Fiji Company's Reconnaissance Platoon identified a small footpad leading from a road about 2km from the area of the corn theft on the afternoon of February 27.’
- ‘It was unknown for footpads to be encountered on the lonely path, as no one would be likely to pass this way carrying anything of value to a thief.’
- ‘High tobymen, or horsed robbers, had yielded the field to low tobymen, or footpads, and roadside thieving had lost its traditional panache.’
- ‘Discharged soldiers often took to brigandage: in 1718 one formed a company of footpads which raided the roads between Paris and Caen.’
- ‘I was suddenly transported back to a Dickensian world of Fagin and footpads.’
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