Old Mother Red cap was born Jinney Bingham the daughter of a local bricklayer from Kentish Town and by the time she was 16 she had a child by a man who was well known to the magistrates of here abouts. After he was caught stealing sheep from land near Holloway, he was sent to Newgate Prison, tried at the Old Bailey and hung at Tyburn. Jinney then took up with a man named Darby who disappeared under ‘mysterious circumstances’.
About the same time her parents were brought to trial, accused of practising Black Magic and causing the death of a young maiden for which they were both hung. Jinney next met a man called Pitcher and his body was found tucked up in the oven burnt to a cinder. She was sent to trial for his murder but was acquitted when a witness proved that Pitcher often hid in the oven to escape Jinney’s nagging tongue!
Man number four in her life was to make her financially secure for the rest of her days but when he died there were rumours and once more the witchcraft stories began to circulate. An inquest was held on the body but once again Jinney was named as blameless.
Her foul tongue and temper were well known throughout the district and she would often sit outside here wearing her old red cap on her head, and her shawl (with black markings that resembled bats) around her shoulders. Crowds would gather to hurl abuse at her but with her cat by her side they would soon retreat from “The Evil Duo”.
They were both to die together on the same day with poison being suspected. Whether self-inflicted or administered by someone else will never be known. Thus died Mother Red Cap and it is on the site of her cottage that this pub is built.