James Freney was a notorious Irish highwayman of the 18th Century. Known as "Captain" Freney because he was the leader of a gang, who terrorised the roads and robbed the houses of the well-to-do in County Kilkenny and Waterford for five years in the 1740's. His exploits and daring escapes from the lawmen made him a folk hero, but the net was closing in on him in 1749. So he made a deal with the authorities where he would betray all his associates in return for clemency and a subsidy to emigrate. The gang were all hanged, and the clemency was forthcoming, but the subsidy was not. In order to make alittle money, he published his memoirs which were extremely popular in Ireland for many years.