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Hughes grew up in poverty, but always felt as if he deserved a life of riches and luxury. In his attempts to gain such a life, he neglected hard work, and found that money amassed more easily by stealing it from others. By 1868, Hughes was a rich man, and he made sure to share this wealth with others through loans, only to demand huge interest afterwards.
These actions put him on the radar of the Metropolitan Police Service, and Sergeant Frederick Abberline requested his Assassin allies, Jacob and Evie Frye, to capture Hughes and bring him in alive. The Assassins promptly did so, leading to Hughes' imprisonment.