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For other uses, see dance pad.
"Mugger" redirects here. For the Indian crocodile, see Mugger crocodile.

A footpad is an archaic term for a robber or thief specialising in pedestrian victims. The term was used widely from the 16th century until the 19th century,[1] but gradually fell out of common use. A footpad was considered a low criminal, as opposed to the mounted highwayman who in certain cases might gain fame as well as notoriety.[2][3]


According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the origin of the term is not entirely clear, but it may be a concatenation of foot and the word pad, related to path.[4] This would indicate a robber who is on foot, as opposed to his equestrian counterpart.


  1. ^ The Argus, Melbourne, Australia; BRUTAL ASSAULT, 09 Jun 1904 |
  2. ^ Close (2002-05-03). "Stand and deliver: The history of the highwayman". London: Retrieved 2010-01-03. 
  3. ^ Rid, Samuel. "Martin Markall, Beadle of Bridewell," in The Elizabethan Underworld, A. V. Judges, ed. pp. 415–416. George Routledge, 1930.Online quotation. See also Spraggs, Gillian:Outlaws and Highwaymen: the Cult of the Robber in England from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century, pp. 107, 169, 190–191. Pimlico, 2001.
  4. ^ "footpad – definition of footpad". Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2010-01-03.