E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
in Kent, near Rochester. Famous for the attack of Sir John Falstaff and three of his knavish companions on a party of four travellers, whom they robbed of their purses. While the robbers were dividing the spoil, Poins and the Prince of Wales set upon them, and outfaced them from their prize; and as for the Hercules of flesh, he ran and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, says the prince, as ever I heard a bull-calf. Gadshill is also the name of one of the thievish companions of Sir John. (Shakespeare: 1 Henry IV., ii. 4.)