Cock Road was, in the 18th Century, a tiny hamlet on the outskirts of Bristol, within the lawless Kingswood Forest.  Though a small area, the exploits of the inhabitants brought it to the attention of the authorities of Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset.  It was claimed that a criminal gang, unmatched in notoriety, came from Cock Road.  In reality, anyone committing a criminal act who lived in the forest was tarnished as a member of the gang.  They were engaged in horse stealing, burglary, highway robbery and, possibly, the first ram raid.  They even had a structured protection racket, where farmers paid according to the size of their estate.  They had links in the area, as well as up and down the country.  Generations of the same families were hung, transported and imprisoned.  It took the full force of the authorities and the undermining of their way of life to stop the gang.

The Cock Road Gang Front CoverThe Cock Road Gang Back Cover

6 Comments

  1. My grandfather hails from Bristol and I believe he may be related to the Cock Road Gang. Any information you might provide would be so helpful. Thanks
    Bob

  2. my name is bryan isaacs I live in Australia but was born in England came to austraia 1952 born 7/11/1943 lived in shortwood my daughter holly clark is married and is doing the family treeshe gave me a book to read that is called the cock road gang samual isaacs1742 married mary webbmy father was albert isaacs grandfather luther isaacs his father wasjohn isaacs but thy are related back to the cock road gang the auther was ian someone if you forward a postal address I can send a copy of the family tree so far

  3. I have also have the ancestry bug, having lived in Hanham and kingswood in the 50’s & 60’s. I believe a number of my past relatives have been interwoven in the cock hill road gang and events. Also possibly with one of the authors Brian Iles, of one of these books on this webpage and I would like to hear from him to confirm this. My great grandfather Ernest Iles, was a police constable in kingswood in the 1890’s living in st. George. Further back in 18 & 19 centuries living in Hanham road and cock road including Brittens and Frys. I would like to piece together some gaps and hopefully can do the same for others. Also grandmother Olive Iles and husband Harry ran a pub the forge and hammer on LAwrence Hill in the 1950’s &60’s until it was pulled down in 1965.

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