Travelling the roads of England in the 17th and 18th century was a dangerous business as crime was rife. The growth of trade generated wealth and a travelling community.
These traders and travellers represented rich pickings for the highwayman and footpad. There was no organised force to deter and detect crime. The country was served by local constables and watch patrols who were often inefficient.
In defence of their trade and profits, travellers armed themselves and their transport more heavily than before.