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Sir Adam de Gurdon, Highwayman

During the reign of Henry III (1216-1272), the main Stand and deliver!road from Winchester and Southampton to London passed close to Basingstoke. This part of the road was so dangerous it was known as the "Pass of Alton".

Most notorious of the outlaws at the time was Sir Adam de Gurdon, a man of noble birth. Like Robin Hood, he fought the law for political reasons, his being that he was a member of the obscured De Montfort faction. Gurdon created such notoriety as a Highwayman The Banditthat he eventually came to the attention of Prince Edward, who finally cornered him. The legend was told that the Prince challenged Gurdon to single combat. Gurdon gave such a good fight that the prince offered him his life if he would swear never to return to his outlaw trade.

   Gurdon accepted the offer and that night he dined with Prince Edward at Farnham Castle. he became a faithful servant of the Crown and died well into old age, a rich and honoured man.