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Duval, Claude

DUVAL, CLAUDE (1643-1670), a famous highwayman, was born at Domfront, Normandy, in 1643. Having entered domestic service in Paris, he came to England at the time of the Restoration in attendance on the duke of Richmond, and soon became a highwayman notorious for the daring of his robberies no less than for his gallantry to ladies. Large rewards were offered for his capture, and he was at one time compelled to seek refuge in France. In the end he was captured in London, and hanged at Tyburn on the 21st of January 1670. His body was buried in the centre aisle of Covent Garden church, under a stone with the following epitaph: -

"Here lies Du Vall: Reader if male thou art,

Look to thy purse: if female to thy heart."

A full account of his adventures, ascribed to William Pope, was reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany, and Samuel Butler published a satirical ode To the Happy Memory of the Most Renowned Du Val.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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