in Kent, near Rochester. Famous for the attack of Sir John
Falstaff and three of his knavish companions on a party of four
travellers, whom they robbed of their purses. While the robbers were
dividing the spoil, Poins and the Prince of Wales set upon them, and
“outfaced them from their prize;” and as for the “Hercules of flesh,”
he ran and “roared for mercy, and still ran and roared,” says the
prince, “as ever I heard a
bull-calf.” Gadshill is also the name of one of the thievish
companions of Sir John. (Shakespeare: 1 Henry
IV., ii. 4.)
Charles Dickens lived at Gadshill.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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