Some say Isaac Solomon was the inspiration for Fagin, the master pickpocket in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Solomon started his career by opening a "jeweler's" he used the store to become a receiver of stolen goods. He was frequently charged with either theft or receiving stolen goods, and gained notoriety when he pulled off an impressive haul of six watches, 3.1 meters (3.5 yards) of woolen cloth, 17 shawls, 12 pieces of Valentia cloth, lace, bobbinet and caps. Legend has it his friends helped him escape as he was being taken to prison in a coach. (The driver? Only his father-in-law.)
Solomon fled the country, winding his way through Denmark and the U.S. before eventually ending up with his wife in Australia (she had been sentenced to penal transportation to Tasmania). He was eventually arrested once again, and his 1830 trial at London's Old Bailey in which he was found guilty on two counts of receiving stolen goods and sentenced to be sent back to Australia for 14 years is thought to have provided the basis for Fagin's trial in Oliver Twist.
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