Jonathan Wild (1683-1725) was a celebrated London thief-taker, but his fame turned to notoriety when it transpired that he was actually using his position to run criminal gangs himself. He was arrested, tried, and executed. Wild inspired much contemporary sensational and satirical literature, notably a novel by Henry Fielding.

In The Valley of Fear, Sherlock Holmes compares Professor Moriarty to Wild. According to Philip José Farmer in Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, the Professor's mother Morcar Moriarty was actually a descendent of Wild. Eminent Wold Newton scholar Dennis Power (apparently working from the literary, rather than historical, evidence) has traced the familial relationship as part of his research in to the Star Inn Family.

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