Padmore

Born and raised on the streets of Nottingham, Padmore was taught to read and write at an early age by his uncle, a local preacher. Securing, through his uncles influence, an apprenticeship at a printers in the Hounds Gate area of the city, things weren't looking too bad for the boy. Fate however interfered and young Padmore embarked on a dangerous and secret relationship with his employers daughter. Named as the father of an unwanted pregnancy he was beaten severely and sacked. The girl was spirited away to relatives in the south, where he was never to see or hear from her again.

 

Shortly after this the company was burgled, tools and presses broken and the weeks wages taken. Implicated, Padmore was found drunk in the Loggerheads public house on Red Lion street, Nottingham and taken, protesting his innocence, the short distance to the county gaol. Insisting his employer was trying to frame him, but fearing the worst, he managed to bribe a gaoler and escaped over the wall and across the rooftops of Narrowmarsh breaking his ankle in the process.

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Knowing he was no longer safe in Nottingham he fled south, hoping to find his love, his fortune or both. Moving between low lodging houses and the casual wards of the workhouses; wandering as a vagrant through the country for several years, he soon learnt how to survive on his wits, picking up many bad habits and even worse friends along the way. Drinking heavily to deaden the pain from his ankle which never fully healed he is prone to violent outbursts which have cost him more than a few nights in the cells. Arrested with a large bag of coins, he claimed to be saving to emigrate to America, found with stolen goods he insisted he bought them fair and square from a fine gentleman he'd never met before. Accused of being a kidsman (running a gang of juvenile thieves), he blamed their parents for abandoning them stating that he was merely trying to prevent their starvation in the streets.

 

So you will now most likely find Padmore selling books or stationery in the streets, passing himself off as a good man fallen on hard times. But don't be fooled by the honest street trader he portrays. Books are often stolen, half quires of writing paper short of the correct number of sheets and round rulers often blood stained from a previous nights mugging. Fencing stolen goods, forgery, gambling, bribery and blackmail have all been levelled at him. Padmore of course, as ever, protests his innocence to all who will listen.

 

Whether he was guilty or not of that first robbery may never be known, but he has certainly put  those literacy skills, taught to him by a man of God, to every ungodly pastime ever since.