Posts filed under 'Women'

1706: Mary Channing, at the Maumbury Rings

Add comment March 21st, 2017 Thomas Hardy

(Thanks to novelist and archaeology enthusiast Thomas Hardy for the guest post, which originally appeared in the October 9, 1908 issue of the London Times. The Tess of the d’Urbervilles author, a man we have met quite often in our pages, was a Dorset native who nursed a lifelong fascination with the noose, particularly when it was affixed to women. Mary Channing’s fate in particular haunted Hardy, and resurfaced a number of times in his work; his 1925 poem “The Mock Wife” is also based on Channing’s tragedy. -ed.)

MAUMBURY RING

By Thomas Hardy.

The present month sees the last shovelful filled in, the last sod replaced, of the excavations in the well-known amphitheatre at Dorchester, which have been undertaken at the instance of the Dorset Field and Antiquarian Club* and others, for the purpose of ascertaining the history and date of the ruins. The experts have scraped their spades and gone home to meditate on the results of their exploration, pending the resumption of the work next spring. Mr. St. George Gray, of Taunton, has superintended the labour, assisted by Mr. Charles Prideaux, an enthusiastic antiquary of the town, who, with disinterested devotion to discovery, has preferred to spend his annual holiday from his professional duties at the bottom of chalk trenches groping for fibulae or arrow-heads in a drizzling rain, to idling it away on any other spot in Europe.


The amphitheater today. (cc) image by Carron Brown.

As usual, revelations have been made of an unexpected kind. There was a moment when the blood of us onlookers ran cold, and we shivered a shiver that was not occasioned by our wet feet and dripping clothes. For centuries the town, the county, and England generally, novelists, poets, historians, guidebook writers, and what not, had been freely indulging their imaginations in picturing scenes that, they assumed, must have been enacted within those oval slopes; the feats, the contests, animal exhibitions, even gladiatorial combats, before throngs of people

Who loved the games men played with death,
Where death must win

— briefly, the Colosseum programme on a smaller scale. But up were thrown from one corner prehistoric implements, chipped flints, horns, and other remains, and a voice announced that the earthworks were of the paleolithic or neolithic age, and not Roman at all!

This, however, was but a temporary and, it is believed, unnecessary alarm. At other points in the structure, as has been already stated in The Times, the level floor of an arena, trodden smooth, and coated with traces of gravel, was discovered with Roman relics and coins on its surface: and at the entrance and in front of the podium, a row of post-holes, apparently for barriers, as square as when they were dug, together with other significant marks, which made it fairly probable that, whatever the place had been before Julius Caesar’s landing, it had been used as an amphitheatre at some time during the Roman occupation. The obvious explanation, to those who are not specialists, seems to be that here, as elsewhere, the colonists, to save labour, shaped and adapted to their own use some earthworks already on the spot. This was antecedently likely from the fact that the amphitheatre stands on an elevated site — or, in the enigmatic words of Hutchins, is “artfully set on the top of a plain,” — and that every similar spot in the neighbourhood has a tumulus or tumuli upon it; or had till some were carted away within living memory.

But this is a matter on which the professional investigators will have their conclusive say when funds are forthcoming to enable them to dig further. For some reason they have hitherto left undisturbed the ground about the southern end of the arena, underneath which the cavea or vault for animals is traditionally said to be situated, although it is doubtful if any such vault, supposing it ever to have existed, would have been suffered to remain there, stones being valuable in a chalk district. And if it had been built of chalk blocks the frost and rains of centuries would have pulvrized them by this time.

While the antiquaries are musing on the puzzling problems that arise from the confusion of dates in the remains, the mere observer who possesses a smattering of local history and remembers local traditions that have been recounted by people now dead and gone, must walk round the familiar arena, and consider. And he is not, like the archaists, compelled to restrict his thoughts to the early centuries of our era. The sun has gone down behind the avenue on the Roman Via and modern road that adjoins, and the October moon is rising on the south-east behind the parapet, the two terminations of which by the north entrance jut against the sky like knuckles. The place is now in its normal state of repose and silence, save for the occasional bray of a motorist passing along outside in sublime ignorance of amphitheatrical lore, or the clang of shunting at the nearest railroad station. The breeze is not strong enough to stir even the grass-bents with which the slopes are covered, and over which the loiterer’s footsteps are quite noiseless.

Like all such taciturn presences, Maumbury is less taciturn by night than by day, which simply means that the episodes and incidents associated therewith come back more readily in the mind in nocturnal hours. First, it recalls to us that, if probably Roman, it is a good deal more. Its history under the rule of the Romans would not extend to a longer period than 200 or 300 years, while it has had a history of 1,600 years since they abandoned this island, through which ages it may have been regarded as a handy place for early English council-gatherings, may have been the scene of many an exciting episode in the life of the Western kingdom. But for century after century it keeps itself closely curtained, except at some moments to be mentioned.

The civil wars of Charles I unscreen it a little, and we vaguely learn that it was used by the artillery when the struggle was in this district, and that certain irregularities in its summit were caused then. The next incident that flashes a light over its contours is Sir Christopher Wren‘s visit a quarter of a century later. Nobody knows what the inhabitants thought to be the origin of its elliptic banks — differing from others in the vicinity by having no trench around them — until the day came when, according to legend, Wren passed up the adjoining highway on his journey to Portland to select stone for St. Paul’s Cathedral, and was struck with the sight of the mounts. Possibly he asked some rustic at plough there for information. That all tradition of their use as an amphitheatre had been lost is to be inferred from the popular name, and one can quite undrstand how readily, as he entered and stood on the summit, a man whose studies had lain so largely in the direction of Roman architecture should have ascribed a Roman origin to the erection. That the offhand guess of a passing architect should have turned out to be true — and it does not at present seem possible to prove the whole construction to be prehistoric — is a remarkable tribute to his insight.

The Amphitheatre was a huge circular enclosure, with a notch at opposite extremities of its diameter north and south. From its sloping internal form it might have been called the spittoon of Jötuns … Melancholy, impressive, lonely, yet accessible from every part of the town, the historic circle was the frequent spot for appointments of a furtive kind. Intrigues were arranged there; tentative meetings were there experimented after divisions and feuds … its associations had about them something sinister … apart from the sanguinary nature of the games originally played therein, such incidents attached to its past as these: that for scores of years the town-gallows had stood at one corner; that in 1705 a woman who had murdered her husband was half-strangled and then burnt there in the presence of ten thousand spectators. Tradition reports that at a certain stage of the burning her heart burst and leapt ouf of her body, to the terror of them all, and that not one of those ten thousand people ever cared particularly for hot roast after that.

-Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge

The curtain drops for another 40 years, and then Maumbury was the scene of as sinister an event as any associated with it, because it was a definite event. It is one which darkens its concave to this day. This was the death suffered there on March 21, 1705-6,** of a girl who had not yet reached her nineteenth year. Here, at any rate, we touch real flesh and blood, and no longer uncertain visions of possible Romans at their games or barbarians at their sacrifices. The story is a ghastly one, but nevertheless very distinctly a chapter of Maumbury’s experiences. This girl was the wife of a grocer in the town, a handsome young woman “of good natural parts,” and educated “to a proficiency suitable enough to one of her sex, to which likewise was added dancing.” She was tried and condemned for poisoning her husband, a Mr. Thomas Channing, to whom she had been married against her wish by the compulsion of her parents. The present writer has examined more than once a report of her trial, and can find no distinct evidence that the thoughtless, pleasure-loving creature committed the crime, while it contains much to suggest that she did not. Nor is any motive discoverable for such an act. She was allowed to have her former lover or lovers about her by her indulgent and weak-minded husband, who permitted her to go her own ways, give parties, and supplied her with plenty of money. However, at the assizes at the end of July, she was found guilty, after a trial in which the testimony chiefly went to show her careless character before and after marriage. During the three sultry days of its continuance, she, who was soon to become a mother, stood at the bar — then, as may be known, an actual bar of iron — “by reason of which (runs the account) and her much talking, being quite spent, she moved the Court for the liberty of a glass of water.” She conducted her own defence with the greatest ability, and was complimented thereupon by Judge Price, who tried her, but did not extend his compliment to a merciful summing-up. Maybe that he, like Pontius Pilate, was influenced by the desire of the townsfolk to wreak vengeance on somebody, right or wrong. When sentence was about to be passed, she pleaded her condition; and execution was postponed. Whilst awaiting the birth of her child in the old damp gaol by the river at the bottom of the town, near the White Hart inn, which stands there still, she was placed in the common room for women prisoners and no bed provided for her, no special payment and no bed provided for her, no special payment having been made to her goaler, Mr. Knapton, for a separate cell. Someone obtained for her the old tilt of a wagon to screen her from surrounding eyes, and under this she was delivered of a son, in December. After her lying-in she was attacked with an intermittent fever of a violent and lasting kind, which preyed upon her until she was nearly wasted away. In this state, at the next assizes, on the 8th of March following, the unhappy woman, who now said that she longed for death, but still persisted in her innocence, was again brought to the bar, and her execution fixed for the 21st.

On that day two men were hanged before her turn came, and then, “the under-sheriff having taken some refreshment,” he proceeded to his biggest and last job with this girl not yet 19, now reduced to a skeleton by the long fever, and already more dead than alive. She was conveyed from the gaol in a cart “by her father’s and husband’s houses,” so that the course of the procession must have been up the High-East-street as far as the Bow, thence down South-street and up the straight old Roman road to the Ring beside it. “When fixed to the stake she justified her innocence to the very last, and left the world with a courage seldom found in her sex. She being first strangled, the fire was kindled about five in the afternoon, and in the sight of many thousands she was consumed to ashes.” There is nothing to show that she was dead before the burning began, and from the use of the word “strangled” and not “hanged,” it would seem that she was merely rendered insensible before the fire was lit. An ancestor of the present writer, who witnessed the scene, has handed down the information that “her heart leapt out” during the burning, and other curious details that cannot be printed here. Was man ever “slaughtered by his fellow man” during the Roman or barbarian use of this place of games or of sacrifice in circumstances of greater atrocity?

A melodramatic, though less gruesome, exhibition within the arena was that which occurred at the time of the “No Popery” riots, and was witnessed by this writer when a small child. Highly realistic effigies of the Pope and Cardinal Wiseman were borne in procession from Fordington Hill round the town, followed by a long train of mock priests, monks, and nuns, and preceded by a young man discharging Roman candles, till the same wicked old place was reached, in the centre of which there stood a huge rick of furze, with a gallows above. The figures were slung up, and the fire blazed till they were blown to pieces by fireworks contained within them.

Like its more famous prototype, the Colosseum, this spot of sombre records has also been the scene of Christian worship, but only on one occasion, so far as the writer of these columns is aware, that being the Thanksgiving service for Peace a few years ago. The surplices of the clergy and choristers, as seen against the green grass, the shining brass musical instruments, the enormous chorus of singing voices, formed not the least impressive of the congregated masses that Maumbury Ring has drawn into its midst during its existence of a probable eighteen hundred years in its present shape, and of some possible thousands of years in an earlier form.


So large was the quantity of material thrown up in the course of the excavations at Maumbury Ring, Dorchester, especially from the prehistoric pit which was unexpectedly struck, that the work of filling in, which has been in progress eight days, is likely to last nearly a week longer. The pit, situated at the base of the bank on the north-west side, between the bank and the arena, was found at the conclusion of the excavations to be 30ft. deep, and Mr. St. George Gray thinks it is the deepest archaeological excavation on record in Britain. Of irregular shape, and apparently excavated in the solid chalk subsoil, it diminished in size from a diameter of about 6ft. at the mouth to about 18in. by 15in. at the bottom. One of the three red-deer antler picks recovered from the deposit in the pit was found resting on the solid chalk floor of the bottom, and worked flint was found within a few feet of the bottom. The picks exactly resemble those which Mr. St. George Gray found in the great fosse at Avebury last May. Roman deposits and specimens were found in the upper part of the pit down to the level of the chalk floor of the arena, but not below it.

* Hardy was himself a member of this club for amateur enthusiasts. In his novelist’s guise, Hardy glossed this very real group as the fictional Wessex Field and Antiquarian Clubs, whose meeting scaffolds the collection of short stories in his A Group of Noble Dames.

** England was keeping its official start to the new year on “Lady Day” in late March, so the year of this execution would be 1706 as we reckon it retrospectively (using January 1 as New Year’s), but 1705 to the hangman. See the footnote in this post for more (and more Hardy commentary) on the date.

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Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Burned,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,History,Murder,Women

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1784: Anne Castledine, infanticide

Add comment March 17th, 2017 Meaghan

(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.)

On this day in 1784, 28-year-old Anne Castledine was executed at Retford, Nottinghamshire for the murder of her newborn baby.

The unmarried Castledine had been obviously pregnant, “being much alter’d in the size and shape of her belly”, then suddenly she was not pregnant but there was no baby to show for it. Suspicious neighbors alerted the authorities.

Although she maintained her innocence, the circumstances were very much against her. Just two years previously, Castledine had been charged with murdering another newborn under identical circumstances. No medical evidence was offered at the trial and she was acquitted in spite of her confession — perhaps indicative of the discomfort European courts had about delivering infanticides to the executioner. But this second time, the judge ordered Castledine to a midwife’s examination.

Castledine then admitted to having strangled her baby after birth. She had sewed its body into her mattress and slept on it for several days before her arrest.

Castledine was hanged alongside Robert Rushton, who had murdered his daughter. As was the case with most murderers executed in England during this period, Anne Castledine’s corpse was dissected after her hanging. Elizabeth T. Hutton noted in her book, Dissecting the Criminal Corpse: Staging Post-Execution Punishment in Early Modern England:

Yet it was Anne’s body that aroused intense medico-legal interest in the Midlands. The General Evening Post recorded that both bodies were ‘taken to county hall in order to be publicly exposed and dissected’. Further source material uncovers however how gender dictated the precise medico-legal steps. Robert’s body was muscular and therefore valuable. He was opened up to be anatomically checked and later dissected in Nottingham town. Anne’s corpse was initially opened up with a ‘crucial incision’, the cross-like cut on her torso, to establish her medical death. Then it was ‘exposed on boards and tressels [sic] in front of County Hall for two days’ so that ordinary people could walk around it and see that a child killer was ‘truly dead’ … [T]he table was mobile, it could be levered up and down to take in and out of County Hall each night, and had to be erected twice on two separate days to satisfy the large crowds filing past over a forty-eight hour period. Meantime there was considerable local discussion about where to dissect such a ‘good body’. She was a fertile young woman and corpses like it attracted a lot of medical competition. In the end a decision was taken by a judge in consultation with the local medical fraternity to send her body to ‘a surgeon in Derby’.

That Derby surgeon, according to lore from the The Date-Book of Remarkable & Memorable Events Connected with Nottingham and Its Neighbourhood, 1750-1879, from Authentic Records, had a novelistic last encounter in the course of his autopsy.

The remains of the young woman were given to Mr. Fox, a surgeon, of Derby. While they lay in a barn near his residence, a strange gentleman came on horseback to view them. He took up the heart, kissed it, squeezed a drop of blood from it upon his handkerchief, and rode away. This gentleman was doubtless the seducer, who had come many miles to take a last look at the once beautiful object of his cruelty and lust.

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Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Abortion and Infanticide,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Guest Writers,Hanged,Murder,Other Voices,Public Executions,Women

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1705: William Pulman, Edward Fuller, and Elizabeth Herman

Add comment March 9th, 2017 Headsman

The Ordinary of Newgate his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Friday the 9th of March, 1704/1705.

At the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 28th of February last, and on Thursday and Friday the 1st and 2d Instant, 8 Persons, i. e. seven Men and one Woman, having been Try’d, and found Guilty of Death, received their Sentence accordingly. Of these 8 Persons, 5 being by her Majesty’s gracious Reprieve, respited from Execution, they who are now ordered for it, are only these 3, viz. William Pulman, Edward Fuller, and Elizabeth Herman.

On the Lord’s Day, the 4th Instant, I preach’d to them, both in the Forenoon and Afternorn, upon part of the second Lesson, appointed for that Morning-Service, viz. Luke Ch. 15. v. 18 & 19. I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinn’d against Heaven and before Thee; And am no more worthy to be call’d thy Son; Make me as One of thy hired Servants.

Having explain’d the Parable of the Prodigal Son, of which the Text is a part, I shew’d from thence how a Sinner must gradually proceed in his Repentance.

  1. He must take a firm Resolution to return to a better Life.
  2. He must confess his Guilt, not only to God, but where the Offence has given any publick Scandal, he must confess it to Man also.
  3. He must rather aggravate than palliate his Crime.
  4. He must be severe towards himself, if he will have God to be merciful to him.
  5. He must humble himself to the lowest degree, and look upon himself as unworthy of the least Favour, but worthy of the greatest Punishment, and incapable of returning to God without his Converting Grace, which he ought earnestly to implore.
  6. And Lastly, I shew’d how acceptable such a Repentance (attended with all these) was to God, and how beneficial therefore it would prove to them that should exert themselves therein.

These were the Principal Heads on which I then discours’d to my Auditory, both in the Morning and Afternoon; concluding with a twofold Exhortation; First, To the Strangers that were come to see the Condemned Persons, that they would put up hearty Prayers for them, and be thankful to God, who by his restraining Grace, had kept them from falling into their Sins, and under their Condemnation. And Secondly, To the Prisoners, and particularly those Condemned to die; That they would desire the Prayers of all good People, which they stood in so great need of; and stir up themselves to Prayer, and implore the Spirit of God to their assistance therein; That they would examine themselves, and take an exact Survey of all their past Sins, so far as they could remember, and seriously consider how they had lived before, and how they were now fit to die, and what would become of them after Death.

Yesterday being the Anniversary Day of the QUEEN‘s Accession to the Throne, I preach’d again both in the Morning and Afternoon, to the Prisoners in Newgate, and other Persons there present; and my Text was, Ps. 40. [1]3. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: Make haste, O Lord, to help me.

After I had open’d the Text, and by the by spoken something concerning the Solemnity of the Day; shewing how Men are in a double manner Guilty, who living in a Country where the Gospel shines in its full Brightness and Purity, and under a Government so just, so equal, and so easy as this is, are (nevertheless) wilfully ignorant of Christian Duties, and disobebient to God and their Superiours, and unjust, mischievous and oppressive to their Neighbours.

Then I proceeded to discourse on that Subject which I thought then most proper for my Auditory, which was to shew from the Text, How it concerns all Men (especially great Offenders) to be earnest in their Application to God for Deliverance, both From their Sins; And, From the Punishment due to them.

And in order thereto, consider,

  1. How they came to be prompted to, and by degrees hardened in Sin.
  2. How they might recover themselves by that sincere Repentance which is of absolute Necessity to their Pardon and Salvation; and which is the Work of God’s Spirit, for which they should pray with fervent Zeal and Perseverance.

In the Close of those my Discourses, I made particular Application to the Condemned Prisoners; who from the time of their receiving their Sentence, to that of their Execution, were brought up twice every Day, to the Chappel in Newgate; where I pray’d with them, and instructed them in the Word of God, and in the way to Salvation. And upon my discoursing them in private, and pressing them to make a free and open Confession of their Offences, and the Injuries they had done to the World, and to make what Reparation and Amends they could: They discover’d to me their former Lives and Conversations, and their present Disposition, as follows:

I. William Pulman, alias Norwich Will, Condemned for Robbing Mr. Joseph Edwards on the High-way, upon the 30th of December last, and taking from him a pair of Leather-Bags, a Shirt, 2 Neck-Cloths, 2 Pocket-Books, 25 Guineas, a half Guinea, a half broad Piece, and 4 l. in Silver. When I put him upon his Confession, both of this and other Facts he might be guilty of, he at first pretended (as he did at his Tryal) that he knew nothing of that Robbery committed upon Mr. Edwards. But when I shew’d him, not only how little available, but how mischievous such a Denial was to him, in case he was really Guilty of the Fact; he at last confess’d it, owning that he had 5 Guineas and 40 Shillings in Silver for his Share in that Robbery. He confess’d also, That he (with some others he named) had several times, for these 4 Years past, taken Bags, Trunks, Boxes, and such like Things, from behind Horses, Coaches, and Waggons; but he protested to me, that he never broke any House, nor stole any Goods out of Shops. He further said, That he did not know any of the Proprietors or Owners of the stol’n Goods in which he was concerned, save Mr. Edwards; and though he should know them, or could send to them, yet he could make them no Satisfaction; all being spent, and he left poor. So true it is, That Goods unlawfully gotten do not profit. He therefore pray’d God, and those he had wrong’d, to forgive him. Being ask’d, When and Where he was born, and how he had spent his Life, he gave me this further Account of himself, That he was about 26 Years of Age, born in the City of Norwich, of honest Parents, who brought him up well, and put him to a good Trade, viz. That of Barber and Perriwig-maker; to which he serv’d the full time of his Apprenticeship, and then set up for himself in that City. But getting into ill Company, he was presently debauch’d, and became a very lewd Person, breaking the Sabbath-day, and abandoning himself to Swearing, Drinking, Whoring, and all manner of Wickedness; saying, That he was guilty of all Sin but Murther. In this wicked Disposition, he came up to London about five years ago, where he had not been long but he was prest to Sea; and having served not above two Months on Board the Jersey, a Third Rate, commanded by Captain Stapleton, he was discharged. And being so, he went to work at his Trade for a few Months with one Mr. Wright a Perriwig-maker in Old-Bedlam. But keeping Company with ill People, by their Example and Perswasion (and particularly by the Sollicitation of a certain wicked Woman) became a Robber. He told me, That he had served 16 Months on Board the Triumph, a Second Rate Ship, Captain Greydon Commander, and that he was in that Ship in the late Expedition to Vigo. But he sorrowfully acknowledged he had been so stupid, as all the while to take no manner of notice of the great Dangers he was in, and from which the Providence of God had preserved him. When he was returned into England and discharged, then he went sauntering about to see what he could get; and finding himself in danger of being prest again, he enter’d himself into the Land-Service , viz. in the Second Regiment of Foot-Guards, in the Company of Captain Swan, under the Command of Colonel Marsham; in which Service he was, when in December last he was Try’d, Convicted, and Burnt in the Cheek for a Felony by him committed a little before that time; which Punishment he had received long before, viz. above three years ago, for a Felony he then was justly found guilty of. He mightily lamented his sinful Life past, and begg’d Pardon both of God and Man.

II. Edward Fuller, Condemned for Robbing Mrs. Eliz. Woodward of 5 s. and Mr. John Wright of a Silver Watch on the 3d of February last: Both which Facts he deny’d. But confess’d, that he had been an Ill-liver, and for these 3 or 4 Years last past concerned as a Partner with Pick-pockets. He said he never got much by that, nor could now make restitution to the Parties wrong’d, should he know them. He being asked whether he ever broke any House, or stole things out of any Shops, or Robbed on the High-way Abroad, on Horseback, or otherwise, he answer’d, no; saying, that he had never meddled with any Robberies, or Robbers of that kind. As for his Manners, he confess’d himself to have been a very Idle and Loose Person; neglecting the Business of his Calling, which was a Coach and Harnessmaker, to which he had served his Prenticeship in the Borough of Southwark, where he set up and work’d for himself a while after his time was out. He said he was about 30 Years old: An Age when he might have done most Good, but did most Evil; being perfectly sunk into Debauchery, and all manner of Uncleanness, and having abandon’d the Service of God, in which he was carefully brought up, and embraced the Sinful Lusts and Pleasures of the World. He much complain’d of the hardness of his Heart, and desired me to pray for him. He confess’d he had been in Newgate before now; but he was always either discharged, no body appearing; or acquitted, nothing being proved against him; tho’ not always Innocent of the Facts for which he was committed; But was so; when about 3 or 4 Months ago, being in the QUEENs Service under the Command of Captain Columbine in Brigadier Farindon’s Regiment, he was suspected to have deserted his Colours; but it appeared otherwise, and that his supposed Desertion was occasion’d by his being taken a Prisoner by the French, and by them carry’d into some Parts of the Spanish Netherlands; from whence making his Escape, and returning into England, he gave such satisfaction of this to his Officers, that they did not look upon him as a Deserter, but entertained him as before, in HER MAJESTIE’s Service; out of which he was afterwards discharged, upon his having broken one of his Arms by accident.

III. Elizabeth Harman, alias Bess Toogood; Condemned for Picking the Pocket of Mr. John Tredwell on the 30th of January last. She would fain have deny’d the Fact; but being press’d upon the matter, she confessed her self to have been concern’d in it, and to have had 5 s. of the Money which was then taken from Mr. Tredwell, not by her self, but by another Woman that was with her, as she said; but afterward confess’d she had done the Fact. She said, that (to her great Shame and Sorrow) she had lived to the Years of above 30 (which was now her Age) without having done any good; but on the contrary, much harm to the World, and to her own Soul: This particular account she gave me of her self, That she was born at Great Marlow in Buckinghamshire; and that about 14 Years ago she came up to London, and served at first at a Silk Dyers in Thames-street, and in several other Worthy Families in this City and in Westminster; but afterwards falling into ill Company, she soon became as Lewd and Debauch’d as any of them. She, upon my asking, declar’d, that she never drew any young Woman or other into her wicked Ways; and that those she was acquainted with, were ripe in Wickedness and Lewdness before she ever knew them. But she acknowledg’d, that she had been her self very wicked indeed; a great Swearer, Sabbath-breaker, and most filthy and impudent in her Conversation and Actions; and that for these several Years past, she had made it her constant Practice to pick up Men in the Streets, and while they were committing Lewdness with her, she pick’d their Pockets. She bitterly cry’d and lamented, that she had been such an Illliver, and thought her Sins to be so great and so many, that God would never forgive her; adding, that tho’ in her Retirement she read in the Bible and pray’d, yet she found no manner of comfort, nor could understand any thing of what she read; so dull and stupified, and sunk in Sin and Darkness, and so unaccustom’d to any thing of Religion and Piety she was, that those Spiritual Means, could hardly work any good upon her. In this desperate and despairing condition she was in, I gave her such Advice and Directions as were proper for her; and from the many tears she shed, and other the Tokens of Sorrow she express’d, I hope she was at last most sensible of the Folly and Mischievous Effects of a Sinful Life. She desired me and all good People to pray for her Soul, and all wicked Persons, (especially those of her Acquaintance) to take warning by her, and to reform and amend their Lives betimes; that they might prevent both their Temporal and Eternal Destruction. And she desired all young Women above all to take care of being deluded: For there are many young Creatures that come up to London with an honest intent, who are easily Debauched and Corrupted by wicked People that get acquainted with them. Therefore her Advice to them is, that they should avoid all ill Company; which if she had done she might have lived happy.

This Day of their Execution being come, they were all of them carry’d to Tyburn; where I met them: And after some Exhortation to them in general, That they would consider well, that now they were come to the very brink of Eternity, and therefore ought to clear their Consciences, &c. I then apply’d my self to each of them in particular; asking them, whether they had any thing to add to, or alter in the Confessions they had made to me: Upon which they answer’d they had not. Only Edward Fuller said, That it was not true what he had told me before, viz. That he was taken by the French; for now he owned he had really deserted his Colours, but he got himself discharged afterwards. He added, he was sorry he told me an untruth, for which (said he) I beg Pardon of God and you. But as to the 2 Facts for which he was Condemned to this shameful Death, he still persisted in the denial of them; saying, that he knew nothing of the 5 s. taken from Mrs. Woodward; and that for the Watch owned by Mr. Wright, he bought it of one Thompson, and pay’d him 3 l. 15 s. in Money for it, besides a Quart of Wine that cost him 20 pence. This was his last Declaration to me at the Tree; where I most strenuously press’d him before God upon the hope of Eternal Life, to speak the truth. He declared that he had no Animosity or Hatred against any one in the whole World, Man, Woman, or Child, and that he dy’d in Charity with all Mankind. And so did the other two. When this was over, I proceeded to exhort them to stir up their Hearts to God, to cry for his Mercy, and to beg the Assistance of his Holy Spirit in this time of need. Then I pray’d and Sung some Penitential Psalms with them; and made them rehearse the Apostle’s Creed, and repeat some Ejaculatory Expressions after me. I admonished them to warn both Young and Old against Sin; which they did; praying all Standers by and others to avoid all manner of Vice and Vicious Company, and never neglect the Service of God, as they had done to their Shame and Sorrow. Which they having said, I recommended them to God and the Direction of his Grace: And so left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allowed them. Then the Cart drew away, and they were turn’d off; Calling upon God to have Mercy upon them, in these and the like Ejaculations, utter’d and often repeated by each of them. Lord have Mercy on me, a miserable Sinner! My Sins are innumerable, and my Soul is in anguish, Lord comfort me, and heal me! Lord into thy Hands I recommend my Spirit! Sweet Jesus, take me to thy self: Take me to thy Mercy! Open me thy Gates! Lord, I come, I come!

This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons by PAUL LORRAIN, Ordinary of Newgate. Friday March 9. 1705.

Advertisements.

THE Exemplary Life and Character of James Bonnell, Esq.; late Accomptant General of Ireland. To which is added the Sermon preach’d at his Funeral by Edward Lord Bishop of Killmore and Ardagh The Life by William Hamilton, A. M. Archdeacon of Armagh. Attested by Six of the most eminent Bishops in the Kingdom of Ireland.

THE Necessary Duty of Family-Prayer, and the deplorable Condition of Prayerless Families consider’d. In a Letter from a Minister to his Parishioners. With Prayers for their Use.

A Discourse concerning Sins of Infirmity and wilful Sins, with another of Restitution. By the Right Reverend Richard, late Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. Price 3 d.

Ordinary of Newgate Paul Lorrain published this professional guide on ministry to the dying.

BOOKS set forth by Paul Lorrain. Ordinary of Newgate, viz.

THE last Words of the Lady Margaret De la Musse: And The Dying-Man’s Assistant, both printed for J. Lawrence at the Angel in the Poultry. And A Guide to Salvation, Sold at the Star in St. Paul’s Church-Yard.

Sold by Joseph Downing in Bartholomew-Close.

THE Christian Education of Children. In a Letter to a Friend. In which are contain’d the Fundamental Truths of Religion, and the Duties of a Christian Life. Profitable for all sorts of Persons; but especially recommended to Schools of Charity. Printed for R. Sympson at the Harp in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1704.

Rpbert Whitledge, Bookbinder, now living at the Bible in Creed-Lane, within Ludgate, where all Booksellers, and others, may be furnshied with the WELSH Bible, WELSH Common Prayer and WELSH Almanack, and with all sorts of other Bibles and Common-Prayers, large and small, with Cuts or without, Rul’d or Unrul’d, Bound in Turkey Leather, extraordnary or plain, or unbound. Also the Statutes at large, and Articles and Canons of the Church of England; Tate and Brady’s new Version of the Singing Psalms, the Common-Prayer in French, the new Book of Rates compleat; and also all Books neatly Bound.

London, Printed by J. Downing in Bartholomew-Close near West-Smithfield. 1705.

Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.

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1733: Sarah Malcolm, murderer, and seven men

Add comment March 5th, 2017 Headsman

The Ordinary of Newgate, His Account of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, of the Malefactors, Who were Executed at Tyburn, On Monday the 5th of this Instant MARCH, 1733.

Being the Second Execution in the Mayoralty of the Rt. Hon. John Barber, Esq.;
Number II. For the said Year.

LONDON:
Printed and Sold by John Applebee, in Bolt-Court, near the Leg-Tavern, Fleet-street. M.DCC.XXXIII.
[Price Six-Pence.]

Books just printed for T. Worrall, at Judge Coke’s Head over against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleetstreet.

  1. The HOUSEKEEPER’S Pocket Book, and Compleat Family Cook, containing above 300 curious and uncommon Receipts in Cookery, Pastry, Preserving, Pickling, Candying, Collaring, &c. by Mrs. Sarah Hamson of Devonshire; price 2 s. 6 d.
  2. Friendship in Death in Twenty LETTERS from the Dead to the Living: To which are added LETTERS Moral and Entertaining, in Prose and Verse, in three Parts, by the same Author; price 7 s. 6 d. bound all together.
  3. Twelve SERMONS on several Occasions, by the late Reverend and Learned WILLIAM LUPTON, D. D. Preacher to the Hon. Society of Lincoln’s-Inn , and Prebendary of Durham ; to which is prefix’d the Author’s Effigies; price 5 s.
  4. Advice from a Mother to her SON and DAUGHTER; done from the French of the celebrated Marchioness de Lambert, by a Gentleman; price 1 s. 6 d. sheep, 2 s. calf.
  5. Dr. YOUNG’S true Estimate of Human Life; in which the Passions are consider’d in a New Light. Dedicated to the QUEEN, the 3d Edit. price 1 s.
  6. DALKEITH, a POEM, Occasioned by a View of that delightful Palace and Park, the Seat of his Grace the Duke of Buccleugh; price 4 d.
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The Ordinary of Newgate, His Account of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.

At the King’s Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal Delivery of Newgate, held (before the Right Honourable John Barber, Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Honourable Mr. Baron Thomson; the Honourable Mr. Justice Lee; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty’s Justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the City of London; and Justices of the Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex) at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, being the 21st, 22d, 23d and 24th, of February, 1732, in the Sixth year of his Majesty’s Reign.

Nine Men, viz. Rowland Turner, Edward Delay, George Dawson, William West, Jonathan Curd, Joseph Fretwell, William Atterbury, Richard Norman and William Chamberlain, alias Cockey Chambers; and one Woman, viz. Sarah Malcolm, were convicted of capital Crimes, and received Sentence of Death.

While under Sentence, they were instructed in the essential Articles of our most holy Christian Faith. I show’d them, that God made Man upright, but that he had found out many inventions: For our first Parents having received a positive Law from God, not to eat of the forbidden Fruit, and transgressing that Precept, by that disobedience, they render’d not only themselves obnoxious to the divine Wrath and Vengeance both in this Life and that which is to come. The Condition of the first Covenant, that of Works being thus broken, by our first Father Adam; then it was, that God pitied Man in this deplorable State, and graciously granted him the Promise of a Messiah, i.e. our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the Seed of the Woman, who should bruise the Serpent’s Head, i.e. who was to overturn the Kingdom of Satan, and by offering himself, a perfect Sacrifice of Attonement to the Justice of God, was to bring all his elect Children into Glory. I show’d them, how they were early Dedicated to God in Baptism, having been Baptiz’d in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and then having renounced the World, the Flesh and the Devil, they solemnly promis’d to obey the Precepts of Almighty God, and the Laws of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in every thing. From this I took occasion to show them, how far they had come short in performing those solemn Engagements, and that instead of serving their Maker, they had given themselves up to work all manner of uncleanness with greediness. Yet then, notwithstanding all the Inconveniencies, Miseries and Calamities they were invol’d in, I exposed to them the Freedom of God’s Grace, and exhorted them not to despair of God’s Mercy, which is his darling attribute, he having proclaimed himself, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping Mercy for thousands, for giving Iniquity, and Transgression, and Sin, and that will by no means clear the Guilty, Ex xxxiv. 6, 7. And therefore I told them to cast their Burthen upon the Lord, and he would sustain them: i. e. to rely upon the Mercy of God in Christ, who is a Saviour, able and willing to save unto the uttermost, all who come unto God through him. Then I earnestly advis’d them to believe in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and the only Saviour of Sinners, with that Faith which worketh by love, bringing forth many fold Fruits into new Obedience, Holiness and Vertue; and this as I told them, includeth a sincere Repentance for all their Sins, Oiginal and Actual, of Omission and Commission. And because they could not prove their Repentance, by a subsequent Holy Life, I desir’d them to be careful of their Sincerity, since it was not Man but God they had to deal with, therefore I exhorted them, seriously to apply themselves by fervent Prayer to Almighty God, that he who made them might have Mercy upon them, not upon their own Account, but only for the sake of Jesus Christ, who came to take away the Sins of the World; and that he who is the searcher of the Hearts and trier of the Reins of the Sons and Children of Man, who searcheth Jerusalem as with Candles, would be pleased to search and try them, till he found no Iniquity in them. Then I show’d them how necessary it was, to contemn this World and all the Vanities and Pleasures thereof, and to center their Affections and desires wholly upon God, that whereas they had been in love with the Vanities of a present Life, they might love God with their whole Strength, Heart, Soul and Mind; and by this Means attaining some Habit of Holiness and Vertue, they might approve themselves, upon a sincere Repentance, with Consciences void of Offence towards God and towards Men; since without Holiness no Man can see the Lord.

I expos’d to them the greatness and notoriousness of those Sins and Crimes, of which they were convicted and for which they have died; particularly, the Sin of Theft and Robbery, which hath always a train of other base Vices attending it, viz. lying, whoring, drinking, idleing away their time, neglecting the publick and private Worship of God, &c. all of which must of necessity be attended with a bad Conscience, which keeps a Man in perpetual dread and terror, making his Life a Burthen, and Death more eligible than Life.

I instructed them in the Nature of the Christian Sacraments, and that they having broken their baptismal Vows in such a signal Manner, it was their Duty to renew themselves by Repentance, and in Evidence thereof, to partake in the blessed Sacrament of our Lord’s last Supper, where in a visible manner, Christ and all the Benefits of the new Covenant are represented, sealed and apply’d to all true believers.

They all attended in Chapel, and those who could Read made regular Responses, and all of them were very quiet, apparently serious and attentive at Prayers, Exhortations and Singing of Psalms; but they had not those outward Sings of Contrition which are necessary. William Harrison was Sick and confin’d to his Cell for some time, but behav’d himself decently, upon all occasions both publick and private.

Upon Saturday, the 24th of February, Report was made to his Majesty in Councel, of these ten Malefactors, under Sentence of Death, in the Cells of Newgate; when George Dawson, for privately stealing sixty Yards of Printed Lawn, value 4 l. 6 s. the Goods of Thomas Hodges, and Jane Turner, in their Shop, December 29th, received his Majesty’s most Gracious Reprieve. The remaining eight Men, viz. Rowland Turner, David Delly William West, Edward Curd, Joseph Fretwell, Leonard Budley alias Butler, William Harrison, and William Chamblelain, alias Cockey Chambers, were order’d for Execution.

N.B. Sarah Malcolm, convicted of Murther, Burglary and Robbery in the Temple, by a special Order, was appointed to be executed in Fleeet-street, near the Temple Gate, upon Wednesday the 7th, of this Instant March.

Rowland Turner, was Indicted, together with David Delly, for assaulting Francis Turner, in a Field or Place not far from the King’s Highway, putting him in fear and danger of his Life, and taking from him a Bundle, wherein was a quantity of Rice, Indigo and several other Goods, and Nineteen-pence Half-penny, the Goods and Money of the said Francis Turner, on June the 15th.

1. Rowland Turner, about Twentyone Years of Age, of honest Parents in the Parish of St. Anne’s Westminster, who gave him good Education at School in Reading, Writing, &c. which he no ways improv’d, but idled away his Time in playing in the Streets for Money, and thus deluded his Parents, who being in a mean way of Life, could not have a strict Eye over him, but believ’d that he went to School, when he employ’d his time in the worst of Black-guard Company, about the Streets: This was the Origine of all his Misfortunes, for having contracted a Habit of Idleness, and an Intimacy with the most abandon’d Wretches, he never cared for applying himself to any settled Business, but his Father being a Coachman, sometimes in the Service of Noblemen, or Gentlemen, and at other times driving Hackney Coaches, and by such means picking up an indifferent living, for his Wife and Children, and Rowland loving an easy Life, seldom did any thing to gain a Penny for his own Subsistence, trusting all to his poor Parents who could not do much. He never was put to any Trade, but at last wearied with staying at home, and asham’d of an idle Life any longer, went to Sea , on Board one of his Majesty’s Ships, bound for the Mediterranean. If he had been good for any thing, he own’d that in the Man of War, he might have done very well, having had the Favour of his Captain, and the other Officers, who were kind to him, and would have encourag’d him in going to School, to learn Navigation and other things, proper for Seafaring Men to know; but this excellent opportunity he neglected, and chose for his Companions the meanest and vilest Fellows in the Ship, idling away his Time by Sea as he did on Shore, in a silly and insignificant Way. He was present at the Seige of Gibraltar, and was often in the Town, when the Spaniards were shooting most furiously upon it, but all dangers of that kind he escap’d, and was reserv’d to undergo a deserv’d Punishment of an ignominious Death, for his base Crimes, and the villainous Wickedness of his Life. He serv’d also in the Fleet which of late lay at Spithead, and being discharg’d, he served for some time in a Captain’s House; when he was put from that Service, he spent his time as formerly about the Streets, till some time ago hearing that his old Captain was in Commission, he writ him a Letter desiring to be lifted as one of his Men, he sent him down to the Ship to the Muster, but there he was rejected by the proper Officer, and since that time he was in no Business, excepting that sometimes, he wrought with Brickmakers. He said that about this time he fell in with bad Company, particularly of Symonds the Evidence, who (as he alledg’d) was an old Practitioner in raising Contributions on the Highway, and who never left him, till he got him persuaded to go to the Fields, in the Month of June last, and to attack the first Person they met with, who happened to be a poor Man going in the Country, with a small Bundle of Rice, Indigo, and other little Things, which they took from him, after Symonds had first knock’d him down, and wounded him desperately in two or three Places of the Head, and they got only 19 d. Halfpenny in Money, as was sworn against him.

This, as he said, was the only Robbery, or Theft he ever committed in his Life; but his utter Ruin was engaging in the Company of bad Women, who injured him, and disabled him for any Business He intended to have gone with the first Fleet going to the Mediterranean, but being oblig’d to get himself cur’d, he thought upon entering into the Lock, and when he was of this Resolution, Symonds, by Advice of one of the Thiefcatchers, went to a Justice, and gave himself up as a voluntary Evidence, and the very Day before he was appointed to go into the Lock, he was taken up upon Symonds’s Information, and kept in Goal, till he was brought to condign Punishment for his audacious Crime. He us’d to go to Church till of late, when he wholly addicted himself to the vilest of Company, and practised nothing but Cursing, drinking especially Drams in Shops, Whoring, &c. He said he never thiev’d, or stole by Sea or Land, excepting this single Instance of robbing the poor Man in Marybonfields, nigh Paddington. He was very penitent, and wept bitterly, when I examin’d him, and made strong Resolutions of Amendment of Life, declaring withal, that he sincerely repented of that Fact, and intended never to do the like again. He said, he was often sollicited to go upon the Highway, he always refus’d, and resolv’d, as soon as he was recover’d of his Health, to have gone in a Man of War, for a two or three Years Voyage. He declared his Faith in Christ, that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, particularly the scandalous Guilt for which he died; and that he was in perfect Peace with all the World.

2. David Delly, about 22 Years of Age, of honest but mean Parents, his Father having been a Journeyman Shoemaker in the Parish of St. Ann’s Westminster, educated him at School, but he was so careless, that he had forgot all. When young, he stay’d with an Uncle, but applying to no Business, he was careless of every thing Turner and he being born in the same Neighbourhood, were acquainted from their Infancy, and continued inseparable Companions to the last. He was never put to any Trade, but serv’d in Alehouses, and about Taverns, and at other Times went of Errands ; and as he affirm’d, he was always honest, and never blam’d for any criminal Action. By Means of Turner, he got Acquaintance with Symonds, who enticed them both, after they had frequently convers’d and drunk too liberally of Geneva, to take themselves to the Highway, and for that single Robbery in Marybonefields, both he and Turner, upon the Information and Evidence of Symonds, were try’d, convicted and executed; and as both of them solemnly averr’d, they were never guilty of robbing, or thieving at any other Time.

When I spoke to him, he wept bitterly, and show’d a deal of Contrition, and, as in Charity may be judg’d, of a sincere Repentance, and made strong Resolutions of Amendment, if he had been spar’d. He confess’d, that he was a great Sinner in Drinking, Swearing, Whoring, Idleness, Sabbath-breaking, &c. He behav’d under his Misfortunes christianly and decently, at all Times own’d the Justice of his Sentence, according to Law; declar’d his Faith in Christ, as the Son of God, and only Saviour of Sinners; that he was a true Penitent for the many and scandalous Offences of his Life; and that he died in Peace with all Mankind.

Leonard Budley, alias Butler, and William Harrison, of St. Giles’s in the Fields, were indicted for assaulting John Hand, upon the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a silver Watch, val. 40 s. and 4 Shillings and 2 Sixpences in Money, the Property of John Hand, January the First.

3. Leonard Budley, 22 Years of Age, of honest Parents in Stepney Parish, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading, Writing and Arithmetick, to fit him for Business; and had him instructed in Christian Principles. When of Age, he was put Apprentice to a Master Currier , whom he serv’d honestly for the Space of four Years; but not agreeing well with his Mistress, he left him about that Time, and then he serv’d an Uncle of his own for some Time, who giving up Business, he went to a Master in Fetterlane, where being in Company with his Father of the same Business, he had very good Encouragement for a young Man of his Standing: Yet not satisfy’d with his Lot, and desirous of a licencious Freedom, he left his Master, and the good Company of his Father, who always readily gave him the best of Advice, counselling him to live as becomes a Christian. And at Christmas last, having contracted Familiarity with some who belong’d to the vilest Gang of Thieves, he went to live by himself upon picking of Pockets, Stealing, Robbing, House-breaking, &c. He own’d his keeping too much Company with lewd Women, which prov’d a very great Snare to him; but he did not blame them, as having any concern in his Stealing or Robbing. He said it was his Loss, that his Master was too indulgent to him, and him he commended for a very good Man. His first Fault was, when he got any Money, to stay whole Nights with idle Company, Drinking and Debauching: His Master observing him irreclaimable in this obstinate and wicked Way, was content to let him go about his Business. He kept the Church till of late, when he renounc’d all that was Good.

Three or four Weeks ago, after he had commenc’d Street-Robber, he married a Wife; he had been very negligent of his Book, and knew but little of religious Principles, but was very desirous of instruction, which I imparted to him in the most familiar Way. He was very humble and penitent, under a deep Sight and Sense of his Sins. He own’d the Justice of his Sentence according to Law, and that they robb’d the Gentleman in Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields, as was sworn against him; and said that he was never guilty of another Highway Robbery, only that the Night following they attach’d another young Gentleman in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, who told them he had no Money, and as they were stripping him of his Cloaths, and what things he had about him, Company coming up, they were oblig’d to fly for their own Safety. He own’d also that he was guilty of a great Number of Petty Thefts in Picking of Pockets, and stealing small things out of Shops, but that he never committed any notorious Facts, but these which we have mention’d. On Tuesday Evening, the 27th of February, when I was visiting his Partner Harrisson, who was lying Sick in the Cell, Budley came up crying most bitterly and loudly; afterwards he told me the Reason was, that he had parted with his Mother and a vertuous young Woman, with whom he was in Terms of Marriage, and who told him, if he had perform’d his promises to her, that might have prevented his miserable Fate. He always behav’d decently and well, seem’d to be a young Fellow capable of Business, but who was at once ruin’d by bad Company. He declar’d his Faith in Christ; that he repented of all his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.

4. William Harrison, Twenty-two Years of Age, of honest Parents in the Parish of St. Andrew’s Holbourn, who took care of his Education at School, to prepare him for Business, and instructed him in the Principles of our Holy Religion. When of Age he went Apprentice to a Founder , but did not serve out his time, being the most disobedient, cross and obstinate Boy to his Parents and Master in the World; who gave him a good Example, and were willing and desirous of affording him the best of instructions. Being wearied of confinement in an honest Way, at last Bartholomew-tide, he renounced all Business, took his last fair well of his Parents, Master and all that was good and vertuous and took on the Profession of a notorious Thief, Robber and Pick-Pocket, joyning himself to the most villanous Gangs about the Town, and shunning the sight of all honest People who knew any Thing of him. About this Time he married a Wife, who was his private Companion. He confessed the above nam’d Robbery with Budley, and no more of that kind; both of them blam’d Essex the Evidence, as their Promptor and Adviser to undertake such a wicked Course of Life. He own’d innumerable Thefts in Shop lifting, and every little Thing he could lay his Hands upon; as also that he was a great Drinker, Gamester, and very much giving to Women. He was very Sick and Penitent, in Evidence of which he shed Tears plentifully. He had more Knowledge of Religion than any of his Companions. He died in the Faith of Christ; Penitent, and in Peace with all Men.

William Chamberlain, alias Cockey Chambers, was indicted for assaulting (with Joseph Lambert, not taken) Richard Hull on the Highway, and taking from him a Silver hilted Sword, value 30 s. and 12 s. in Money, Feb. 2 d.

[5.] William Chamberlain, alias Cockey Chambers, of honest Parents in the Parish of St. Mary Overs in Southwark, who gave him good Education at School in Reading, Writing and Arithmetick for Business; and had him instructed in Christian Principles. When of Age, he did not go out Apprentice, but living with a Plaisterer, of him he learn’d the Business, and serv’d honestly ’till wearied of close Confinement to Business, he Ship’d himself on board a Man of War, and went to Lisbon, Gibraltar, and some Places in the Mediterranean: When he return’d, and had spent his Money, he was willing to do nothing, but took himself to the most abandon’d Life imaginable, and chose for his Companions the wickedest Thieves, Robbers and Whores. He own’d that he was guilty of innumerable Robberies and Thefts, and one of the most abandon’d Wretches in the World. He married a Wife also, tho’ he had no other way of Subsisting but by Theft and Robbery. He was inclin’d to all kind of Vices. He confess’d the Robbery in St. Paul’s-Church-Yard, of which he was convicted. He had been wholly given to up to a reprobate Sense, yet he appear’d very Penitent and humble for his heinous Sins and Crimes, and talk’d with a deal of assurance in the mercy of God through Christ. He declar’d his Faith in Christ; and sincere Repentance for his many Offences and villainous deeds; and that he freely forgave all the World.

Edward Curd, and William West, of St. Martin’s in the Fields, were indicted for breaking and entring the House of Richard Greener, and stealing 2 Gowns, val. 20 s. 2 Petticoats, val. 2 s. 6 d. 2 pair of Sheets, val 15 s. 2 Pieces of Silk, val. 10 s. a gold Ring, a Trunk, 3 Shirts, 2 Shifts, 2 Girdles, 3 Caps, a silk Mantle, 24 Clouts, 2 Aprons, a Coat, and a Pair of leather Breeches, the Goods of William Walker, December the 24th, about 12 at Night.

[6.] Edward Curd, 18 Years of Age, born of honest creditable Parents, in Newport market, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading, Writing, Cyphering, and such Things as were needful to accomplish him for Business; and instructed him in our Holy Religion. When of Age, he was bound Apprentice to a Goldsmith, who was a good Master, and he no less an insufficient Servant; for soon wearying of Confinement to close Business, he left his Master, after two Years, and went to Sea in a Merchantman , which went to Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barbadoes, and some other Places. He thus employ’d his Time at Sea, in this, and another Voyage, about 2 Years; and coming home with the same wicked Dispositions which he carried out with him, he took to no Business, but turn’d a profess’d Thief, left his Parents, Relations and Friends, and joyn’d to a Set of the most notorious Thieves and Robbers in or about the Town. About 4 Months ago, a little after he came home, following the Advice of such worthy Counsellors, he commenc’d this Manner of Life, and had no other Way of subsisting himself, but by Thieving and Robbing, till such Time as he was taken up, for the Burglary of which he was convicted. He went to Church till of late, when he abandon’d all the Paths of Vertue. Amidst his other Vices, he kept Company with ill Women. He imputed his Misfortunes to the wicked Conversation and Advice of 3 or 4 young Men, which utterly ruin’d him. He did not pick Pockets, but liv’d by Shoplifting for 3 or 4 Months past. He never committed any Street-Robberies, nor Burglaries, excepting that one for which he died. He said the Evidence against him went into the House, and handed out to him a great Bundle of Linnens, Gowns and other Things, and these they sold off. He complain’d upon his Partner, who made himself a voluntary Evidence, without (as he nam’d it) any Necessity; but him and all others he freely forgave. I represented to him the Atrociousness of his Crimes, as having no Pretence of Excuse, because he had good Friends to provide him every Thing. This he acknowledg’d, with Plenty of Tears in his Eyes, and trickling down his Cheeks, and declar’d himself most Penitent, owning the great Kindness of his Friends, his own excessive Wickedness, and very deserv’d Sufferings. He died in the Faith of Jesus; a Penitent for his many Sins, as having been a most obstinate and incorrigible Boy; and in Peace with all Men.

Joseph Fretwell, was indicted for assaulting Henry Madding, on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him 3 d. Half-penny.

He was a second Time indicted, for assaulting Mary Child, on the Highway, putting her in fear, and taking from her 6 d. Jan. 31.

7. Joseph Fretwell, 21 years of Age, of honest Parents in Westminster, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading, Writing and Arithmetick, to accomplish him for Business; and caus’d him to be instructed in the Christian Faith: But this he made no right Improvement of, being from his Childhood a most disobedient, untractable, foolish and unadviseable Boy; so that he had almost forgot all he learn’d in his younger Years, and knew little of Religion, having reduc’d himself in some manner, into a State of insensible Stupidity; as to every thing that’s virtuous or praiseworthy. When of Age, his Father being a Pipe maker, he wrought with him for some Years, but lov’d the Streets and black-guarding ways so well, that he could never keep himself to close Work, and in disobedience to the express commands of his Parents. He often run out and stay’d away whole Nights, in the mean while associating himself with the vilest and basest Companions, that could possibly be found in the whole Town. Three or four Years ago he turn’d so perverse, having so often and so grievously provok’d his Father, who, he said, inclin’d rather to indulgence, than severity; that he was forc’d to withdraw his Bowels of compassion towards him, and let him go where he had a mind to, since by no means he would be govern’d or directed by him; for a long time he had play’d the black-guard about the Street; he went on Board a Man of War, and was in Sir Charles Wager’s Fleet, appointed to carry Don Carlos to Leghorn.

When he came home and had spent his Money in an idle, foolish Manner, without going near his Father or Mother, he went another Voyage in a Merchants Ship, and return’d again in two Months time, and after that living in his former wicked Way, and delighting in the Company of none but the meanest Black-guards and Kennel rakers, he fell into extream Misery. Upon the intercession of some Friends his Father met, but would neither speak to nor drink with him, only gave him an old Coat, a Sixpence, and some inconsiderable Triffles, and since that time he never saw or spoke with any more.

He own’d he had been a most vile young Fellow in drinking, especially of Drams, Gaming, Picking of Pockets, Whoring, Thieving and Stealing, but for the most Part they were small things, to the value of Six-pence or little more, for the supply of present Necessity. He own’d the Street Robbery for which he died, and said he got no more Booty, but to the value of a Six-pence, that he never attempted any such an audacious Fact at another time. He commended his Father, and Mother in Law as good, kind Parents, and imputed the whole of his Misfortunes to his own uuaccountably wicked Dispositions, and took Shame and Confusion of Face to himself, for his abominable Crimes and Villanies. He was Sick and much disperited, yet always came to Chapel, and behav’d himself very decently and christianity: He shed abundance of Tears and wept when I spoke to him, declar’d himself most Penitent for the most grievous Sins and Crimes of his Life, and that he firmly resolv’d to serve God for the Future, and he said, if it had not been for the Strangers coming to Chapel, who gave him Pennies in Charity, or else he had certainly perish’d of Famine. He died in the Faith, hoping to be sav’d by the Mercy of God in Christ, and in perfect Peace with all the World.

William West, of St. Martins’s in the Fields, was indicted for the same Burglary with Edward Curd, December the 12th, about 12 at Night, and found Guilty of the same.

8. William West, 16 Years and 6 Months old, of mean Parents in St. Giles’s Parish, his Father drove a Cart, and his Mother went a Scouring, put him to School a little, when he was very young; but he was naturally of such a wicked Disposition, that he was not willing to keep the School, or to be learn’d any Thing that’s Good; so that from his Infancy he became a meer Blackguard. Booth, and some others of his Companions, taught him to pick Pockets and steal, as soon as he was able to go about or do any Thing, when he was but 10 or 11 Years old; nay, he scarce remember’d at what Age he commenc’d Thief. He was bound to a Fisherman , and stay’d with him a Year or two, but he prov’d so barbarous (as he said) and cruel, that he left him, and his Master never sought after him again, being perhaps glad to get rid of him, for he own’d himself of such a covetous Temper, that every Thing he saw or touch’d naturally stuck to his Fingers. Then he join’d himself to a Company of the most mischievous Thieves and Miscreants about the Town, and the House they haunted was nigh St. Giles’s in the Fields, where there were commonly 20 or 30, and sometimes more, of the most notorious Pick-pockets, Street-robbers, House breakers, Shoplifters and common Strumpets, that could be found in or about London; and there they spent their Time in Gaming at Skittles, Shuffleboard, Cards, Dice, &c. in drinking hot Pots, and other strong Liquors, such as Drams, to an extraordinary Pitch. Bad Women (as he said) often entic’d him, but he kept free of them, only he sometimes treated them. The Landlord of that House lock’d them all up, in their Rooms, and at such a Time, he let them out again, as so many unchain’d Dogs, or Fiends going about, like the Devil, and seeking whom they may devour. His great Companions were Booth, Mead, Patrick, and some other young Fellows, who often advis’d him to go out upon the Streets and Highways, but thinking himself too young, he always rejected these Proposals; although, if he had not been cut off in the Bud, he own’d, that he would have been drawn in to go along with the rest. He gam’d and drunk at a prodigious Rate, for one of his Size; for though he frequently, in his Way of Business, purchas’d to the Value of 20 s. in a Day; yet by the next Night, when he was to go out again, it was all spent and lavish’d away, in an extravagant Manner, upon Drinking and Gaming. He was often drag’d by the Mob in Horse Ponds and at Pumps. when taken in picking Gentlemen’s Pockets; for his daily Business was to steal Handkerchiefs, Snuff-Boxes and other small Things, in which way he succeeded pretty well, till the Halter put an end to it. He told of two young Women, whom he call’d Sisters, one of them married some time ago, who live by bnying up all the Handkerchiefs they bring to them, and exposing them to publick Sale in the other end of Town. He was once Prisoner in Newgate, once in the Compter, and frequently committed to the Discipline of the Bridgwells, both in Clerkenwell and Turtel-Fields, Westminster; and in other Prisons. He went to all the Fairs near the Town, and there made Purchase of what he could steal, or pick out of Men or Women’s Pockets in the Crowd. Of all the Boys I have seen, he gave the strangest Account of himself, and his wicked Adventures.

He was a most unlucky Wretch, having been depriv’d of his Parents, who were but very poor, and could do little for him in his Childhood; and being wonderfully wicked in Disposition, he then associated himself with those abominable young Creatures, whose Company was his only Pleasure, and whom he never left, till Life left him. As is said, he only pick’d Pockets, or carried away small Things, but denied, that he ever was concern’d in Street or Highway Robberies or Shop-lifting, unless in very small Things, which sometimes might stick to his Fingers. He complain’d upon the Evidence, who (as he said) swore falsely against him; he having had no concern in the Burglary, but who, in all other Respects, was a most vicious Criminal; and Edward Curd, who was convicted with him, and suffer’d for the same Fact, told me, that William West was not with him that Night, and knew nothing of the Matter; and took the whole Blame upon himself and Smithson the Evidence. West was grosly ignorant of God and Religion, having been a poor young Creature void of all vertuous Principles: I endeavour’d what I could, and as the shortness of the Time would allow to instruct him; but he was dull of hearing, and slow of Understanding. He declar’d, that he hop’d for Salvation through the Mercy of God in Christ; that he repented of all his Sins, and was in Peace with all the World.

At the Place of EXECUTION.

THEY all appear’d with great Devotion and Seriousness, both at Prayers and singing of Psalms, and adher’d to their former Confessions. William Chamberlain, desir’d me to take notice, that there are three Men in Newgate, one of them is nam’d Kemp, and two others; against whom (as he was certainly inform’d, as he said) Powers, who was Evidence against him, design’d to Swear next Sessions, with respect to the Robbery he was convicted of, which he confessed, and for which he died; but that the said Kemp and the other two Men, are innocent of that Fact. This also, he declar’d openly to the People, after I left him. William West, with Tears trickling down his Cheeks, declar’d that he was not concern’d in the Burglary, for which he died, as Smithson swore against him, neither did he know any thing of it; and this Andrew Curd, who died for the same Fact, declar’d also, as he did oftener than once to me before, upon the Words of a dying Man and a Christian. Afterwards West and he declar’d also, this to the People, that he was not in Company when the Robbery was Committed. They all kiss’d each other, and went of the Stage in charity with all Men, and Praying fervently to Almighty God to Pardon their Sins, and to receive their Souls, and saying Lord Jesus receive my Spirit.

N.B. The eight Men before Mention’d, were Executed at Tyburn, on Monday the 5th of this Instant March, George Dawson, for stealing some fine Linnen out of a Shop, having been graciously Reprieved for Transportation; and Sarah Malcolm, because of the atrociousness of her Crimes, by a special Order, and for Terror to other wickedly disposed People, was appointed to be Executed in Fleet-street, at a Place nigh where her henious Crimes were committed.

While under Sentence, she enjoy’d the Benefit of the same Instructions, with the rest of her Fellow Sufferers, and she having been of the Romish Communion, tho’ her Profession, considering the vast depravity of her Disposition, is to be made little account of; yet I advis’d her seriously, to rely only upon the Merits of Christ’s Sufferings and Death, for Life and Salvation, seeing there is no other Name given under Heaven among Men, whereby we must be saved, but the Name of Jesus, and him crucified, as we have it Acts, iv. 12. Informing her withal, that neither her own good Works, which she could not have the least Pretence to, nor Works of Supererogation, nor any thing else which she could possibly do, could be of the least avail to justify her before God, who only can Pardon Sin which is chiefly committed against himself, and therefore I exhorted her, assiduously to employ her time at the Throne of Grace, that God who made her might have Mercy upon her, for the Sake of Jesus Christ who came to take away the Sins of the World. I instructed her also in the nature of a saving Faith in Christ, that it was not merely believing, that Christ is the Son of God and that he died for Sinners, for the Devils also believe and tremble, as saith St. James, but a believing that Christ died for me, and in applying the Merits of Christ’s Death and Sufferings to my Soul, for Justification and Salvation; which Faith must be operative and productive of good Works, for Faith without Works is dead being alone, as saith the same St. James: And this Faith being the cardinal Christian Grace and Vertue, upon which all others depend, I show’d her also that it was her Duty to believe in Christ as the only Mediator between God and Man, For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 1 Tim. 2, 5, 6. Wherefore I desir’d her to be careful of praying fervently to Jesus Christ, who is our only Mediator, to mediate with God the Father for the pardon of her Sins, and that of his infinite goodness and Mercy he would give her the Gift of his holy Spirit, to lead her in the Paths of goodness, and to inspire her with a true Faith, which is the Gift of God; For by Grace are ye saved, through Faith, and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God, not of Works, least any man should boast. Eph. ii. 8, 9. Next I exhorted her to a sincere Repentance, which never fails to be a necessary concomitant of saving faith, and consisteth in a forsaking of all our Sins, and turning unto God with our whole Hearts. We ought to forsake our Sins, so as to loath, detest and abhor our selves in Dust and Ashes because of them; and to resolve, by the Grace of God, that if we have done iniquity and Sin, we shall do so no more; and in this we ought to pray unto God, that he would effectually draw us unto himself. I took occasion to exhort her to an ingenious Confession of her Sins, according to the advice of the wise Man. He that covereth his Sins, shall not prosper: But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have Mercy, Prov. 28. 13. I show’d her the necessity of confessing her Sins, especially in case of heinous offences committed, from Scripture example in the case of Achan, the trouble of Israel, since thereby we glorify God, and take shame and confusion of Face unto our selves, for having offended so good and gracious a God, so merciful and indulgent a Father: And from Scripture precept, for our blessed Saviour commandeth us to confess our Sins to the Church, St. Mat. 18. and St. James saith, Confess your Faults one to another. And this, upon the highest Reasons, hath been esteem’d and practised as necessary, in all ages of the Church; more especially, that we may die in the Peace, and obtain the regular Absolution of the Church, which is a special Means of obtaining our absolution from, and the Favour of Almighty God.

While these, and many such like Exhortations were advanc’d, she always behav’d decently, and made regular Responses, tho’ she was of a different Communion, excepting once, she sate sullen all the Time, and look’d upon a little Book of her own. Sometimes she wept bitterly, and was in violent Commotions; which made the Generality of them who saw her, think, that there were some inward Thoughts in her Breast, at which she was frequently perplex’d: But this she would by no Means be perswaded to communicate to others.

Sarah Malcolm, alias Mallcombe, was indicted for the Murther of Ann Price, Spinster, by wilfully, and maliciously giving her with a Knife, one mortal Wound on the Throat, on the 4th of February last, of which Wound the said Ann Price instantly died.

She was a second Time indicted, for the Murther of Elizabeth Harrison, Spinster, by strangling and choaking her with a Cord, on the said 4th of February; by Reason of which strangling and choaking the said Elizabeth Harrison, she instantly died.

She was a third Time indicted, for the Murther of Lydia Duncomb, Widow, by strangling and choaking her with a Cord, on the said 4th of February, by which strangling and choaking the said Lydia Duncomb instantly died.

She was likewise indicted on the Coroner’s Inquisition for the said Murthers.

She was again indicted for breaking and entring the dwelling House of Lydia Duncomb, and stealing 20 Moidores, 18 Guineas, 1 Broad-piece, val. 25 s. 4 Broad-pieces, val. 23 s. each, 1 half Broad-piece, val. 11 s. 6 d. 25 s. in Silver, a silver Tankard, val. 40 s. a canvas Bag, val. 1 d. and 2 Smocks, val. 12 s. on the 4th Day of February last, about the Hour of 2 in the Night of the same Day.

She pleaded not Guilty to all these Indictments; but upon her Trial, she own’d herself Guilty of the Felony and Burglary, and denied all the Murthers.

She was first indicted for the Murther of Ann Price, the young Servant Maid, and upon evident circumstantial Proof, found Guilty of the Indictment. Death.

Sarah Malcolm, 22 Years of Age, in the End of May last, descended of honest, creditable Parents in the County of Durham. Her Father (as she said) had a pretty Estate, about 100 l. a Year, which he soon ran out, and then with the Reversions of it, his Wife, her Mother, being an Irishwoman, went to Dublin, and there purchas’d a publick Place of the City, liv’d in good Credit, and gave her very good Education at School, in Reading, Writing, and such other Things, as are proper for a Girl, above the meanest Rank of People. She liv’d with her Father and Mother, who made much of her, because of her sprightly Temper, a considerable Time; till some Years ago, her Parents coming to London about certain Affairs, she came with them; and some Time after that, approaching nigh to Woman’s Estate, she went to Service, and was, as I had Information, in several good Families, where she did her Business to the Satisfaction of her Mistresses, and was never blam’d for Dishonesty. Her Father returning to Dublin, where his settled Business was, a little after that her Mother died, and then unluckily for Sarah was left to her own Shifts; about which Time, by Acquaintance, she got herself made one of the Laundress es, or Chairwoman of the Temple , where she serv’d some Gentlemen for a considerable Time. Before this, she was in a Place call’d the Blackhorse Alehouse, where she cultivated her former Acquaintance with Mrs. Tracey, and where she contracted Aquaintance with the two Brothers, Thomas and James Alexander.

And she said, that Tracey and these young Men often advis’d her to rob her Master, and this she always refus’d to do. The younger of the Brothers propos’d, to go to her Mistress, and say, that Sarah having been familiar with her Master, had provided Poyson to dispatch her Mistress, thinking if such a Thing were done, the Master would marry her: But all this was only with such an Amusement, to impose upon and extort Money from the Mistress, who was too wise to be bit with such Pretences; and seeing they could get nothing, they left her, and return’d to Sarah, calling the Mistress an old cunning Woman, Cursing her, and giving her ill Names. This gave Occasion of the Story passing through the Town, that she intended to poyson her Mistress, which Thought never enter’d into her Mind, she having been against their going to her on that Account; but her allowing them to go on such a villainous Errand, certainly show’d the great Wickedness of her devilish Disposition. They alledg’d also, that she was the Person who murther’d an old Man of the other End of the Town, for which, 2 or 3 Years ago, a Barber was convicted, and who went to Death denying the Fact. She said, that there was not the least Ground of entertaining any such Suspicion upon her, but that she must be content to bear with such Censures and Reproaches, although it was hard upon her, as that the World should make her much more wicked than she really was.

As to the Murthers, Burglary and Robbery, of which she was indicted and found Guilty, the Account she gave me was to the purpose following. Having been acquainted with Mary Tracey, who had been much Abroad following her Husband in the Army, in diverse Countries, and concern’d in many desperate and wicked Exploits for above five Years past; the said Mary and she contracted a great intimacy, and were often together, and Tracey often importun’d her to rob one or other; and she being in that way of Business already mention’d, in the Temple, and having serv’d the Deceas’d Mrs. Duncomb sometime before Christmass last; Tracey often press’d upon her to rob her old Mistress, who she knew never wanted a considerable Sum of Money, and several valuable Goods in the House. She was not averse to this Proposal, but heisitating upon it, she said, she should be taken and Hang’d for the same, and that it was impossible for her to do it, without the Assistance of some others. Upon this, Tracey nam’d the two Brothers Thomas and James Alexander, with whom she had been acquainted about a Year before; at last Sarah was prevail’d upon to consent, and all the four meeting together, they concerted their wicked Plot, and put it in Execution, as is too well known. On Sunday the 28th of January last, the Sunday before the Murder was committed, she met with Tracey, and treated her with Coffee in her Master’s Chambers, for he was out of Town, and there the whole of their Conversation run upon the robbing Mrs. Duncomb’s Chambers, which they agree to do, either upon that or the following Week; and in the mean time, getting the two Alexanders to engage and concur with them: They put their Design in Execution, upon Saturday Night, or Sunday Morning ensuing, which happen’d to be upon the 4th day of February last; when pretty late at Night they all met according to Appointment; and Sarah got James Alexander, the younger of the two Brothers, convey’d into the Chambers, where he hid himself under a Bed, till Mrs. Duncomb, and her old and young Maid were all compos’d to rest, and then about two in the Morning, Thomas open’d the Door and let in Mrs. Tracey and James Alexander into the Chambers, while Sarah Malcolm herself waited upon the Stairs to take notice, that no body should come to Interrupt them in their villainous Design. She insisted she knew nothing of any design of Murther, and she doubted, if they really had any such Intentions, and that the occasion of it must be accidental; after they found some of them awake, fearing a Discovery, or, if any Noise were made, that they should be apprehended in the Fact; the Devil concurring with their own wicked Minds, employ’d about such monstrous Works of Darkness, they then proceeded, in a Hurry, to the utmost Height of Wickedness, to murther three innocent Persons, the good old Lady Madam Duncomb, and her two Servants, Elizabeth Harrison and the young Maid Ann Price, who was lately come into the Service; and this they did in a very barbarous Manner, by cutting the Throat of the Maid Ann Price, from Ear to Ear, after she had made no small Struggle for her Life; and by strangling the old Gentlewoman and her ancient Maid, who were both sick, and could not make much Opposition, with a small cord; and all the three they left, in this pitiful Condition, lying upon their own Beds, and in different Rooms.

Sarah affirm’d, that she knew nothing of all this, till about two o’Clock that Sunday afternoon, about which Time the Murtherers were first discover’d. Upon which they immediately proceeded to the plundering and rifling the House, out of which (as she said) they took to the Value of 300 l. in Money, besides several other small Things, and then they immediately came out, with the Rewards of Iniquity in their Hands, and divided the Plunder pretty equally among the Four, under a Lamp in a Temple. I objected to her that there was not Time to divide such a Sum of Money equally among four, and that under a Lamp; for they might be discovered: Then she alleg’d, that they had made their Divisions in the Chambers, and came down in Haste, and threw above 50 l. Value and the Tankard in her Lap, and then left her abruptly, without telling her any Thing of the Murther, only that they had gag’d all the Three, as had been formerly agreed upon, before the Execution of their most mischievous and wicked Plot: And this she always held by, though with a small Variation: I told her, that certainly she was guilty of the Indictment, thus far, that she was one of the principal Persons in laying the whole Scheme of robbing the Chambers, that she introduced them to the Chamber, and watched while they went in, with a Design to gagg them, and then that she was a Partaker of the Spoil; which makes her accessary, and consequently a principal Person, both in the Murthers and Robbery: But how to judge upon the other Three unlucky Persons whom she blamed, and who are still detained upon the same Account, we must refer the Determination thereof to Divine Providence, which, in most Cases, brings to Light such hidden Works of Darkness. I endeavour’d, what I could, to bring her to a plain Confession of her Sins, but she always denied that she was concern’d in actually imbruing her Hands in the Blood of these three innocent Persons; alleging still, that she knew nothing of any previous Design, nor any Thing of the Murtherers, till Sunday the 4th of February, about two o’Clock in the Afternoon.

On Sunday the 4th of March Instant, when I preach’d upon the Subject of Murther, in the Forenoon, when I mentioned several Examples of God’s Vengeance upon Murtherers, insisting upon the Case of Cain’s murthering his righteous Brother Abel, she wept and cry’d most bitterly; but whether for Fear of Death, or the Shame she was to be expos’d too, or the Remorse of her Conscience, upon Account of her being really Guilty of Murther, and a due Sense of her Guilt, is what we cannot decide, and leave the same to the heart-searching God, who knows all Things.

She was a most obdur’d, impenitent Sinner, and gave no reasonable Satisfaction, with respect to her own particular Case; and what Communion she was of, having at first declar’d herself of the Romish, we cannot positively say. She was certainly of a most bold, daring, boisterous and wilful Spirit, void of all Vertue and the Grace of God; which Disposition led her from one Sin to another, till at last she was so far deserted of God, by forsaking Him and his Ways, that she fell into those abominable and vile Crimes, for which she deservedly suffer’d.

At the Place of EXECUTION.

SHE appear’d at first pretty serene and calm, reading upon a Book; and as I went to wait upon her in her last Moments, another Gentleman was their also who came, to officiate upon that Occasion, as I also desir’d him very earnestly to do, but this Request he would by no means comply with; and then, as bound in Duty, I pray’d for her, and she in Appearance was very serious in complying with the Devotion, but she could not well Compose herself, and cryed most bitterly, and pour’d out a flood of Tears all the Time: When Prayers were well nigh over, I ask’d, if she would have a Psalm Sung, as they commonly desire, but this she refus’d; and then as I was concluding the Prayers, and recommending her Soul to Almighty God, at the point of Death she fainted away, and was a good while before she recovered. What I here deliver to Mr. Applebee to publish, is the Substance of her own Words and solemn Declarations to me, upon the Sincerity (as she at least pretended) of a dying Woman, and of one who was immediately to appear before, and answer at the Tribunal of the great God: If there be any Thing Contradictory, or what may seem disingenious in this Account, it is owing to the unhappy Temper of this unfortunate Wretch Sarah Malcolm, who often varied in her Declarations concerning this barbarous Murder; but this may be depended upon, that I have here delivered my Sentiments as Comprehensive to the World as the Case of this unfortunate Woman would permit me.

Just before the Cart drew away she look’d towards the Temple, and cryed out Oh! my Master, my Master! I wish I could see him; and then looking up to Heaven often cryed, Lord have Mercy upon me, Christ have Mercy upon me, Lord Receive my Spirit, and then the Cart withdrew.

This is all the Account given by me,

JAMES GUTHERIE.
Ordinary of Newgate.

POSTSCRIPT.

AS soon as she entred Newgate she proved a true Foreseer of her own Fate, by her immediatly crying out, I am a Dead Woman. She way conveyed to the old condemned Hole, as the most proper Place for securing her, and there a Person was appointed to watch her from an Apprehension that she intended to take away her own Life. These Fears were occasion’d from her appearing to be exceedingly ill and out of order, her Sick Fits succeeded by Vomitings of gloted Blood, and her persisting during these extraordinary Ails to take any Thing which might Comfort, or even support Nature; but Mr. Snowd a Surgeon after examining into her Case, declaring his Opinion that her Illness might be occasioned by a Preternatural Hurry of Spirits, and was not Dangerous: However she would sometimes fall into strange Agonies, rouling her Eyes, clinching her Hands, &c. particularly once when a Gentleman who had been her Master came to see her, she fell into an extraordinary Disorder, grasping the Keeper’s Legs, so as scarce to be got from him, when she came to herself all the Reason she assigned was, that she could not endure to see any of her Acquaintance.

When she was informed that Mary Tracy and the two Alexanders were seiz’d, she appear’d pleased, and smiled, saying with seeming Satisfaction, I shall die now with Pleasure, since the Murtherers are taken. When the Boys and the Woman were shewn to her that she might see whither they were the Persons whom she accused, she immediately said, ay, these are the Persons who committed the Murther. And said to Mary Tracy, you know this to be true, which she pronounced with a Boldness which surprized all the Spectators. Then turning to her again, and said So Mary see what you have brought me to, it is thro’ you and the two Alexanders that I am brought to this Shame, and must die for it, you all promised me you would do no Murder, but to my great surprize I found the contrary.

Some Gentlemen who came to see her in the Press-Yard, importuning her to make a frank Discovery of the Murder, she answered with some heat, After I have been some time laid in my Grave, it will be found out. Some People of Fashion asking her, if she was settled in her Mind, and resolved to make no further Confession; she said, That as she was not concerned in the Murder, she hop’d that God would accept her Life as a Satisfaction for her manifold Sins.

On Sunday about Six o’Clock in the Afternoon as some People were with her in her Room, she fell into a grievous Agony, which lasted for sometime, with all imaginable Signs of Terror and Fright; one of the Keepers coming in said, Sarah what’s the Matter? What has happened to put you into this Disorder; she pretended it was occasioned by her being told at Chapel that she was to be hanged in Fleet-street among all her Acquaintance, which she said gave her inexpressible Pain! The Keeper replied, I’m afraid Sarah that is not the Truth, when the Dead Warrant came down I acquainted you that you were to die there, so it is not probable that should surprize you so much now. Take my Advice, make a full Confession, and you’ll find your Mind much easier, to this she said not a Word!

When the Bell-man came into Newgate to give Notice to the Prisoners who were to die on Monday, somebody called to Sarah Malcolm, and bid her Mind what he said, she looking out of her Window, answered that she did, and as soon as he had done, said, d’ye hear Mr. Bellman, call for a Pint of Wine, and I’ll throw you a Shilling to pay for it, which she did accordingly.

Sunday Night about ten o’Clock, she called to Chambers, one of the Prisoners who were to die the next Day, and who was in a Cell over against her Window, she bid him be of good Comfort, and ask’d him if she should pray along with him, he answer’d, do Sarah with all our Hearts, upon which she began to pray very fervently, and continued to do so for the best part of the Night, untill all her Candles was burnt out, then she exhorted them not to go to sleep, but to pray to God to forgive them their past Offences; your Time, added she, is short, as well as mine, and I wish I were to go with you: As to the ignominy of your Fate, let not that Trouble you, none but the Vulgar will reflect either on you or your Relations; good Fathers may have unhappy Children; and pious Children may have had unworthy Parents, neither are answerable for the other, as to the suddeness of our Death, consider we have had Time to prepare for it, whereas many die so suddenly as not to have Time to call for Mercy; having finished her Speech to these her unhappy Companions, she shut her Window, and laid her self down on her Bed.

The following Letter was written by the abovemention’d Sarah Malcom.

SIR,

YOU can’t but know that Sadness is the Rack of an Affliction not to be expressed, a Judgment more prejudical than the wor’st Revenge from an Enemy’s Hand, it is like a venemous Worm, which not only Consumes the Body, but eats into the very Soul: It is a Mouth that feeds on the very Marrow and Vitals, a perpetual Executioner, torturing the Soul, and exhausting her Spirits. So, Sir, if Conscience has touched you in the least; It must certainly leave Sadness on your Spirits; and as it behoves every one at their last Hour to die in Peace with God and the World. I freely forgive you and all the World.
Sarah Malcolm.

Feb. 26th, 1733.

ADVERTISEMENTS.

This Day is Publish’d, Price 3 s. 6 d.

With a Frontispiece of the famous Jack Shepherd‘s Escape out of the Condemn’d Hole of Newgate.

THE LIVES of the most remarkable Criminals, who have been condemn’d and executed, for Murder, Highway, House-breaking, Street Robberies, Coining, or other Offences, from the Year 1720 to the present Time: Containing particularly, the Lives of, Mrs. Griffith for the Murder of her Maid, Kennedy the Pyrate; Molony and Carrick, Highwaymen; Brindsden who murder’d his Wife; Levee, and the rest of his Gang, Street Robbers; Capt. Massy for Pyracy; Roch for Pyracy and Murder, a full Account of the Waltham Blacks, the famous Jack Shephard; his Companion Blueskin; and Towers who was hang’d for setting up the new Mint. Collected from Original Papers and Authentick Memoirs. To which is prex’d, a Preface, containing a general View of the Laws of England, with respect to Capital Offences.

Printed and sold by John Applebee in Bolt Court, Fleet Street; A. Bettesworth, and C. Hitch, at the Red-Lion in Pater Noster Row; John Pemberton, at the Golden Buck against St. Dunstan’s Church, J. Isted, at the Golden Ball near Chancery-lane, in Fleet-street; E. Symon in Cornhill; R. Ware, at the Bible and Sun in Amen-Corner near Pater-Noster Row; W. Mears, at the Lamb the Corner of Bell Savage Inn on Ludgate Hill; and Richard Wellington, at the Dolphin and Crown, without Temple Bar.

The Publick may depend on the Accounts publish’d in this Work, as containing a just and faithful Narration of the Conduct of these unhappy Persons, and a true State of their respective Crimes, without any Additions of feigned and romantick Adventures, calculated meerly to entertain the Curiosity of the Reader.

N.B. Vol. II. is in the Press, and will be Publish’d with all convenient Expedition.
Where may be had of the Printer of this Paper,

The Life and Actions of JOSEPH POWIS, who was Executed on Monday the 16th of October last at Tyburn Written by himself, during his Confinement in the Cells. Price 1 s.

Taken by Execution, and to be SOLD On Saturday the 10th of March

(The very lowest Price being fix’d)


ALL the Houshold Goods, together with all the rich Stock in Trade, of Mr. Thomas Tennant, an eminent wholesale Dealer in all Manner of Houshold Furniture: The Whole consisting of Standing Beds and Bedding, fine large Glass con, Pier Glasses and Chimney Glasses in carv’d and gilt Frames, ditto in plain Walnut tree Frames, and Dressing Glasses of all Sorts; fine Walnut-tree, Mahogany, and other , Book Cases with Glass Doors; several Walnut-tree Chests upon Chests Walnut-tree Writing Desks, Buroe Dressing Tables, Walnut-tree or Mahogany; fine Walnut-tree Tables, and several curious Tables of Divers Sorts not yet expos’d; Mahogany, Dining Tables of all Sizes, Breakfast Tables, Box Tables, Corner Tables and Night Tables, Marble Tables of all Sorts and Du Waters; several fine Mahogany Chests for Cloaths; a large Quantity of fine and course Chairs, Walnut-tree, Mahogany, &c. from one Shilling a Chair to five Pounds, several fine Dressing Chairs, Shaving Chairs, Closestool Chairs, Easy Chairs, Setes and Set: Beds, fine white Callico Quilts and printed Quilts of all Sorts: fine new Whitney Blankets of all Sizes; several very good new Eight Day Clocks, Table Clocks, Stove Grates, Carpets and Pictures: And, for Conveniency of Sale, the Goods are brought from Mr. Tennant’s Warehouses in Long Lane, to Surman’s Great House in Soho Square, St. Anne’s. At the same Place is Sold the very best new white hard Metal Pewter, call’d French, Pewter, or change new for old; and for conveniency of the Buyer the Goods shall be safely deliver’d to any part of the Town on Board any Ship, or to any Inn or Place, according to Directions, within three Miles of the Place of Sale, without any Charge to the Buyer. Likewise at the same Place any Merchant or Dealer may be furnish’d with any Quantity of any of the Goods abovemention’d or truck for Mahogany Carpets or China.

N. B. If any Gentlemen, Ladies, or others, have a House of Goods to dispose of, or any Parcel of Houshold Goods. Plate, Linnen, Pictures or China, by directing to Surman’s as abovementioned, you may have a good Price and ready Money. Likewise he changes new Goods for old.
Note, He sells for ready Money, and the Sale will continue all the Winter Season.


Scorbutick Humours, is recommended, THE Antiscorbutick Purging Ticture of Scurvygrass, to be taken any Time of the Year, but more especially Spring and Fall.

It is an effectual Remedy against the Scurvy, and all scorbutick, salt, brinish, and watery Humours, and is an experienced Remedy for purging the Blood in the Spring, giving it a due Circulatian, and totally consuming any venomous Matter that may lie lurking in the Body or Blood, after the last great Sickness in the Winter, which undoubtedly may bring many intolerable Distempers upon the Body, by putrifying the Blood, and bringing Go agutation of Humours, without such an universal Cathartick and Diuretick as this is.

Its an excellent Purge for Choler, Flegm, Melancholy, windy and watery Humours, drawing them from the Head and Joints: It purges gently, and is safe in all Ages, Sexes, and Constitutions, begets an Appetite, helps Digestion, and stops Fumes from afflicting the Head, chears and comforts the Spirits, and being often used, prevents the Stone, for it alters the Morbid State of the Juices, purifies the Blood, weeten all the Fluids, cleanses them from Impurites, and many more Arthrick and Rhmatick Ailments.

Prepared and sold by the Author, a Chymist, the second House on the Right Hand in Bride-lane, next Fleet street. ‘Tis likewise Sold at Mr. Robotham’s Toyshop, near White-chapple-Bars; at Mr. Neal’s Toyshop, opposite the White-Hart-Inn, in the Borough of South wark, and Mr. Greg’s, Book seller, next Northumberland House, Charing Cross, at One Shilling a Bottle.

Where is also Sold, The Original, Inestimable, Angelical Electuary; universally esteemed for a speedy Cure of Coughs, Colds, Asthma’s, Phthisicks, Wheezings, difficult Breathing, shortness of Breath and Consumtions. One Shilling a Pot, Both Sealed above.


On Saturday next will be publish’d No. LIV. (containing two sheets in Folio) of

THE Works of Flavius Josephus which are Extant, containing.

I. The History of the Antiquites of the Jews in Twenty Books.
II. The Life of the Author, Flavius, Josephus, Writted by Himself.
III. The Wars of the Jews. In Seven Books.
IV. The Defence of the Jewish Antiquities against Apion. Two Books.
V. Of the Maccabees. One Book.

Translated from the Original Greek, according to Dr. Mudson’s Edition.

By JOHN COURT; Gent.

To which are added, a Dissertation on the Writings and Credit of Josephus, and Christopher Noldius’s History of the Life and Actions of Herod the Great, never before rendered into English. With Explanatory Notes, Tables, Maps, and a large and accurate Index.
Proposals in Substance are as follows, viz.

It is proposed whilst the said Work is Printing to deliver two sheets of it every Week, (at the Price of Two-pence) to the Subscribers own Houses.

That the above Work will contain about 200 sheets, Printed on a good Letter, and superfine Genona Paper

Note, Those who don’t care to take the above Numbers all at once, may have them deliver’d as they please, by giving in their Names as underneath.

London Printed and Sold by R. PENNY; in Wine-Office-Court, Fleet-Street; and J. JANEWAY, in White-Friars, Where Subscriptions are taken in.

Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.

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Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,Mass Executions,Murder,Public Executions,Theft,Women

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1708: Thomas Ellis and Mary Goddard

Add comment March 3rd, 2017 Headsman

The Ordinary of Newgate’s Account of the Life, Conversation, Birth and Education, of Thomas Ellis, and Mary Goddard.

Who were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, the Third of March, 1707/1708.
WITH
The most Remarkable Passages of their whole Lives and Wicked Actions, from the time of their Birth, to their untimely Death; as also their Tryal, Examination, Conviction and Condemnation, at the Old-Bayly, their Behaviour in Newgate, their Confession, and True Dying-Speeches, at the Place of Execution.

Licensed according to Order.
LONDON:
Printed by H. Hills, in Black-fryars, near the Waterside. 1708.

The Life and Conversation, Birth and Education of Thomas Ellis, and Mary Goddard, &c.
AT the Sessions of Oyer and Terminer and Goal delivery of Newgate, held for the City of London, and County of Middlesex, at the Old-Bayly, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 26th and 27th of February last, Sentence of Death pass’d upon Thomas Ellis, Ann Simmons, Deborah Churchill, and Mary Goddard.

On the Lord’s Day following I Preach’d to them twice, in order to prepare them for another World, and took the Portion of Scripture for my Text, from the 28th Chapter of Proverbs, and the 13th Verse. He that covereth his Sins shall not Prosper, but whosoever forsaketh them shall have Mercy.

In handling them, I

I. Explain’d the Nature of Sin, and the Guilt Contracted by it.

II. I enter’d into the Consequences that attended it and prov’d from Holy Writ, that the Sinner Ignominious in this Life, and Eternally Miserable without due Repentance in the next; an tho’ he may flourish like a Bay-Tree, in his Temporal Concerns, he is lost to all Eternity in his Spiritual, without petitioning for Mercy, and preparing himself with an Humble and Contrite Heart, for the acceptance of it.

III. Having shewn them what Sin was, and represented it to them in its blackest Colours, I shew’d them what it was to forsake it, what Methods they ought to take for so Holy a Purpose; and what an Abhorrence they should entertain of so Detestable a thing as offending the great Governour of all things; The Creator of Heaven and Earth, by Wicked and Ungodly Practices.

IV, and Lastly, I applied the Consolation and Mercy to them, and dwelt some time upon the Conditions by which they were to expect it, and exhorted them to forsake Sin, by a Repentance not to be Repented of, by an open and hearty Confession of their Manifold Wickednesses, by a Discovery of such as had been Confederates with them, and by Imploring the Pardon of that God whose Mercy is over all his Works, and is sure to such as seek it according to the prescribed Methods in his Holy Word, &c.

On Monday the First of March, which was the Day following the Dead-Warrant came down, which order’d only Thomas Ellis and Mary Goddard for Execution, Deborah Churchill being respited by a Reprieve till she should be deliver’d of a Child, which a Midwife had given her Oath she was quick of, and Anne Simmons, by reason of her great Age, and Her Majesties Compassion: Tho’, for the Benefit of others, I shall proceed to their Behaviour and confession under the Sentence of death with the two others, that are the melancholy Occasion of this Paper.

I. Thomas Ellis, Condemn’d for breaking open the Dwelling-house of Sir Miles Hicks, of St. Peters Pauls Wharf, in the Night-time, and taking from thence two Silver hilted Swords, a Hanger, a Cloth Coat, two Pistols, a Bever Hat, with other things. He told me that he was about 32 Years of Age, that he was born of honest Parents, who put him Apprentice to a Poulterer, in which Occupation he behav’d himself honestly to the good liking of his Master and all that had any Concerns with him, till his Acquaintance with John Hall, and Stephen Bunch, two Criminals lately executed for Felony and Burglary, brought him to commit such Crimes as he stood Convicted for. He confess’d he had been an Old Offender, and had formerly receiv’d Mercy, but not living up to the Conditions of it, he had justly incurr’d the Punishment he was to suffer, by returning with the Dog to his Vomit, and keeping his old Acquaintance Company. He seem’d to be much concern’d for the many Robberies he had been Guilty of; and said, Nothing griev’d him more than that he was incapable of making Restitution: So that I must write him down for a hearty Penitent.

II. Mary Goddard, Convicted and Condemn’d for making an Assault on Jane Gregory, and taking from her Five Shillings in Money, the Money of said Gregory, and one [He]nry Moult, on the 10th of December last, &c. she was about 37 years of Age: That her Father was a Weaver in Chippinnorton, in Oxfordre; and that being desirous of seeing London, left her Friends, and put her self Servant to a rcer in the Strand: That she behav’d her self the good liking of those she serv’d, till getting quainted with the aforesaid Thomas Ellis, for ose Wife she had pass’d for some years, she turned op-lifter; for which Crime she had formerly rev’d Sentence of Death; she continued the same cked Practice, which brought her some time since the Work-House in Bishop’s-gate-street, where committed the Crime for which she was to die

III. Deborah Churchill, Condemn’d for Aiding Richard Hunt, William Lewis, and John Boy, in e Murder of Martin Ware, by giving him several Mortal Wounds with a Rapier, on the 12th of January last, of which he instantly dyed, said, she as in the 26th year of her Age, That her Parents ing when she was young, she was left to the Care an Uncle at Five years Old, who not shewing at Regard to her Education, as he ought to have one, she took her leave of him at Fifteen, after having been enticed by a Neighbour’s Son, that got er with Child, she came up to London, where he got acquainted with a Bawd in great Wild-reet, who made Money of her, for the Service of he Unclean; and that she had continu’d in that Course of Lewdness, till her Commitment to the[se s]eem heartily Penitent, and solv’d for an Amendment, should God spare Life, which I hope he has done, to forward so [re]ligious a Purpose.

IV. Anne Simmons alias Smith, of the Parish Stepney, Condemn’d for privately Stealing from the Person, of Hester Bourn, on the 17th January last; She said that she was 60 Years of and born of very honest Parents, who dying w[hen] she was young, bequeathed her to the Care of Parish, by whom she was put an Apprentice Servant to a Farmer. But that she being prompted the Lust of the Flesh, and having had to do w[ith] several Young Men came to London: Where f[all]ing into evil Company, she got acquainted w[ith] Mary Raby, who was Executed some Years […] sin who initiated her in that wicked Art of Picki[ng] Pockets, which she had continu’d for Thirty Yea She seem’d extreamly desirous to make Reparatio[n] which I hope she has done through, the Mercy her Saviour.

On Wednesday the 3d of March, being appointed for the Execution of Thomas Ellis, and M[a]ry Goddard, I attended them in the Chappel Newgate, where not only these two, but all th[ose who] lay under Condemnation were present. viz. Mr. Gregg, Mr. Maugridge, and the other two Women who are Repriev’d; I there earnestly press’d the to pray heartily that God would soften their harened Hearts, and bring them to a serious and heaty Repentance of all the former Wickednesses the[y] committed, which they did with great Ferven[cy] and Devotion; insomuch that they press’d me to minister the Holy Sacrament; which I perform’d [acco]rdingly; and afterwards expounded to them Holy Scriptures, and again exhorted them to upon their Redeemer for Mercy upon their Souls.

After which they were convey’d by the Sheriffs cers in a Cart to Tyburn, where I attended them he last.

[I l]aid before them the little Time that was be them and the Dark Night of Eternity, eary desiring them to improve every moment to Souls Advantage, and to cry mightily to that who was able to save them at the last Moment true Repentance, through the Merits of a Cru[cified] Saviour. I exhorted them to stir up their [hear]ts to God more and more to clear their Conces, and to discover any thing they knew t be of use to the World. They acknowledged were Guilty of the Facts for which they were to Suffer. They desired all Spectators to take [warn]ing by them, and to pray for them; wishing all that knew them would become wiser and [learn?] by their shameful Death, so as they might ome to the same Condemnation. Ellis said he [had b]een very Wicked, and done much Mischief; he hoped God had forgiven him, and would Mercy upon his Soul. He begged Pardon of hom he had injur’d, and freely forgave those had done him any wrong. Mary Goddard bitterly for the Sins of her Life, acknowledging the Fact for which she was now to suffer; desired the People to pray for her, and let this shameful End be an Example for all such who fl[aunt] the tender Mercies of God, and follow their Vitious Course of Life; for, said she, by keep[ing] Bad Company, and Prophaning the Lord’s [Name] hath been the Cause of my coming to this unti[mely] Death. When I had perform’d the Offices re[qui]site for my Function, and sung a penitential Psa[lm] I wished them a happy Passage out of this Life a better, and recommended their Souls to G[od and His] boundless Mercy in Christ. Then they pray’d some minutes by themselves, and then were tur[ned] off; calling upon God all the while to have M[ercy] upon their Souls, and open the Gate of Heaven them.

This is all the Account I can give here of the Malefactors,

Paul Lorain, Ordinary

Wednesday, March 3.

Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.

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1942: The massacre at the Pit

Add comment March 2nd, 2017 Headsman

On this date in 1942, the start of Purim,* Nazi forces occupying Minsk massacred approximately 5,000 Jews from the Minsk Ghetto at a site known simply as Yama, “the Pit”.

The site, which hosts memorial events every March 2, was marked with a somber obelisk in the immediate postwar years; unusually for a Stalin-era monument, it is overt about the Jewish character of the victims — for Soviet propaganda often obfuscated this with a technically-correct formulation such as “Russian citizens”. In this case, the 1940s memorial obelisk remarkably had a Yiddish inscription to mirror its Russian one. (The sculpture of a column of faceless people tragically descending the slope into the pit was added in the post-Soviet period.)


All images (cc) Dennis Jarvis.

Minsk’s pre-war Jewish population of more than 50,000 was almost entirely annihilated during World War II.

* It was not the only place in the Reich’s occupation to mark Purim with blood.

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Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Arts and Literature,Belarus,Borderline "Executions",Children,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Germany,History,Jews,Known But To God,Mass Executions,No Formal Charge,Occupation and Colonialism,Russia,Shot,Summary Executions,USSR,Wartime Executions,Women

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1807: John Holloway and Owen Haggerty, sworn away

Add comment February 23rd, 2017 Meaghan

On this date in 1807, John Holloway, 39, and Owen Haggerty, 24, were hanged outside Debtors’ Door at Newgate Prison for the murder of John Cole Steele five years earlier. They died alongside murderer Elizabeth Godfrey, who had stabbed a man.

Steele was 35 at the time of death and was noted for his “amiable character.” He had a warehouse in London and a lavender plantation in the country at Feltham, and business was going well.

On Friday, November 5, 1802, he set out from his London townhouse to Feltham. He didn’t say exactly when he was coming home, but it was his wife’s birthday on Sunday and the family assumed he’d be back by then.

He didn’t arrive home by Saturday, and everyone figured he’d stayed overnight at his plantation. But when he missed his wife’s birthday party the next day, they got worried. On Monday they sent a messenger to investigate.

Steele, it turned out, had arrived in Feltham, and by 7:00 Saturday evening he was ready to return to his London house. He wasn’t able to procure a carriage, however, and decided to walk across Hounslow Heath, then a notorious haunt of bandits and highwaymen. It was not the sort of place a man with money — Steele was carrying about 26 shillings on him — should be at night.

He had paid for his want of caution with his life.

Searchers subsequently found Steele’s bloodstained coat on the heath, in a gravel pit ten or fifteen yards off the road. His corpse was under a clump of trees in a ditch 200 yards from the road. It had not been buried, but turf had been laid over it to conceal it. He’d been beaten and strangled to death, and the leather strap used to choke him was still tied tightly around his throat. His boots and hat were missing, his pockets had been cut away from his clothes and all his money was missing.

The coroner’s jury recorded a verdict of willful murder against some person or persons unknown. Forensics in the early 1800s basically didn’t exist, and with no witnesses to the crime, it seemed very unlikely that Steele’s murder would ever be solved. As Linda Stratmann records in Middlesex Murders,

Letters were sent to justices in Rutland and Leicester, urging that the most strenuous efforts should be made to apprehend [suspects], but they were never found. Steele’s family placed an advertisement in the newspaper offering a reward of £50 for information leading to the capture of the murderers. Several known criminals were arrested on suspicion, but after questioning they were released. Four years went by and all hope of finding the guilty persons was gone.

But then…

In 1806, 26-year-old thief Benjamin Hanfield was sentenced to seven years’ transportation. While awaiting transfer to a convict ship to take him to Australia, he mentioned Steele’s murder to some other prisoners and said three men were involved in the slaying.

Word got around to the authorities, and they took him to Portsmouth by coach for questioning. He implicated John Holloway and Owen Haggerty. It had been Holloway’s idea, he said; he’d somehow found out that a gentleman with money would be at Hounslow Heath on Saturday, November 6, and had recruited the other men to help him commit a robbery.

The three of them went to Hounslow Heath that Saturday, as according to plan, and waited for Steele. When Hanfield accosted their mark and demanded money, Steele was cooperative at first, handing over his cash. But when the robbers demanded his pocketbook as well, he claimed he didn’t have it and begged them not to hurt him. Holloway struck him with his stick, and as Steele began to struggle, Holloway said, “I will silence the bugger,” and beat him several times about his head and body.

They left him lying dead on the heath.

Hanfield ran away first, ahead of the others. He waited for nearly an hour at The Bell public house for them to catch up. After his accomplices arrived, they all went to an inn, the Black Horse. It was midnight and inn was closed for business, but its proprietor was still awake and the three men convinced him to serve them. They shared half a pint of gin there before parting ways.

Hanfield’s story had some evidence to support it. While he was being transported to Portsmouth for questioning, the coach passed the place where Steele had been killed and Hanfield pointed it out. After confession, he was taken back the heath and pointed out the clump of trees where Steele’s body had been located. This was enough to get Holloway and Haggerty arrested. Both men, when apprehended, said they were innocent.

By December 8, Haggerty and Holloway were brought together and Hanfield’s statement was read to them. The two men denied knowing each other, denied any knowledge of the murder, and denied having ever been on Hounslow Heath in their lives.

Hanfield’s story had another problem: he said Holloway knew well in advance that Steele would be on the heath that fatal Saturday. But, although Steele visited his Feltham plantation regularly, he didn’t have a fixed day of the week for doing it, and his own family wasn’t sure when he would be returning when he left London on Friday.

But in spite of the discrepancies, the flat denials from the alleged accomplices, and the lack of evidence supporting Hanfield’s statement, the authorities were sure they had the right men — tunnel vision that presents in many wrongful convictions. Hanfield was granted a free pardon for turning King’s Evidence against his co-defendants, and his previous sentence of transportation was commuted. At the trial, he was chief witness for the prosecution.

The defense argued that Hanfield was a liar and a professional criminal who had implicated innocent people for personal gain. But the defendants could not prove where they had been on a random autumn night five years earlier, and both had clearly lied about being strangers to each other.

Multiple witnesses testified that Haggerty and Holloway had known each other for many years. One of those witnesses was Officer Daniel Bishop, who worked at the jail. The two prisoners had been placed in separate cells side by side, and the partition between them was so thin that they could easily converse with each other. This had been a trick, and Bishop had been hiding in a nearby privy, writing down everything they said. From Haggerty and Holloway’s conversation it was obvious the men were good friends.

That much was true. But it was also true that when they thought they were alone together, neither of them implicated themselves in Steele’s slaying, and in fact they said Hanfield was a liar and that he, and not they, should be hanged.

As the Newgate Calendar said, “There was a great body of evidence adduced, none of which tended materially to incriminate the prisoners, except that of Hanfield, the accomplice, who, under the promise of pardon, had turned King’s evidence.”

The verdict, nevertheless, was guilty, after fifteen minutes’ deliberation. The sentence was death.

Holloway and Haggerty went to the scaffold invoking God and insisting they had not been involved in Steele’s murder. The execution was a memorable one; the Reaper got a bountiful harvest that day. Linda Stratmann describes the awful events in detail:

The crowds that assembled were unparalleled and estimated at about 40,000 people. By 8 a.m. there was not an inch of ground around the scaffold unoccupied. Even before the prisoners arrived the crush was so great that people trapped in the crowd were crying out to be allowed to escape …

At the corner of Green Arbour Lane, nearly opposite the Debtors’ Door, two piemen were selling their wares when one man’s basket was knocked over. He was bending down to pick up his wares when surging crowds tripped and fell over him. There was an immediate panic, in which people fought with each other to escape the crush. It was the weakest and the smallest in the crowd who suffered. Seven people died from suffocation alone, and others were trampled upon, their bodies mangled. A broker named John Etherington was there with twelve-year-old son. The boy was killed in the crush, and the man was at first thought to be dead and placed amongst the corpses, but he survived with serious injuries. A woman with an infant at her breast saved her baby by passing it to a man and begging him to save its life. Moments later she was knocked down and killed. The baby was thrown from person to person over the heads of the crowd and was eventually brought to safety …

Gradually the mobs dispersed and the bodies, thirty in all, were taken up in carts, twenty-seven to Bartholomew’s Hospital, two to St. Sepulchre’s Church and one to The Swan public house. Numerous others were injured, including fifteen men and two women who were so badly bruised that they were taken to the hospital, one of whom died the following day.

As it turned out, the landlord of The Bell didn’t remember any strangers coming to the pub on the night of the murder, and the landlord of the Black Horse didn’t remember three men coming at midnight and asking for gin. There were no details of the murder in Hanfield’s confession that he couldn’t have learned from common gossip. Furthermore, he had a history of making false confessions. A lawyer, James Harmer, actually compiled a pamphlet (Google Play | Google Books) of evidence that supported Haggerty and Holloway’s innocence.

But none of this exculpatory evidence surfaced until after the executions.

In yet another twist, in 1820, John Ward, alias Simon Winter, was indicted for John Cole Steele’s murder. Ward had a bad reputation in the area and was suspected of robbery and livestock theft. It was said he participated in the search for Steele, and one witness said he had seemed to be trying to lead the search party in the opposite direction from where the corpse was found.

The paper-thin murder case against Ward was dismissed for lack of evidence, and rightly so. But by indicting him in the first place, the authorities had as much as said Haggerty and Holloway had been wrongfully convicted.

“The fate of Holloway and Haggerty,” Stratmann notes in her book, “was often referred to in subsequent trials as an example of how little weight could be given to accomplices to a crime. The tragedy which had attended their execution also gave rise to considerable anxiety for many years.”

Hanfield disappeared without a trace after the murder trial; it’s unknown whether he continued his criminal ways.

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Entry Filed under: 19th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Guest Writers,Hanged,History,Murder,Other Voices,Pelf,Theft,Women,Wrongful Executions

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1943: Dora Gerson, cabaret singer

1 comment February 14th, 2017 Headsman

Jewish cabaret singer and silent film actress Dora Gerson was gassed with her family at Auschwitz on this date in 1943.

IMDB credits the Berlin entertainer (English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed German) with two silver screen roles,* both in 1920 and both now believed lost.**

Gerson’s cabaret career was the more robust through the roaring twenties but with benefit of retrospection we admit with Liza Minelli that from cradle to tomb, it isn’t that long a stay.

And the ominous next act would not belong to Weimar Jews.

After being elbowed off German stages by Reich race laws, Gerson recorded several songs in German and Yiddish; her “Vorbei” (“Beyond Recall”) hauntingly commemorates the lost world before fascism — “They’re gone beyond recall / A final glance, a last kiss / And then it’s all over.”

Gerson fled Nazi Germany to the Netherlands; once that country fell under its own harrowing wartime occupation, she tried to escape with her family to neutral Switzerland but was seized transiting Vichy France. Gerson, her second husband Max Sluizer, and their two young children Miriam (age 5) and Abel (age 2) were all deported to Auschwitz and gassed on arrival on Valentine’s Day 1943.

* Her first marriage was to film director Veit Harlan, who would later direct the notorious anti-Semitic propaganda film Jud Süß — based on an executed Jewish financier. From the German-occupied Netherlands, Gerson unsuccessfully appealed to this powerful ex for protection.

** Future horror maven Bela Lugosi also appeared in both Gerson films, Caravan of Death and On the Brink of Paradise. Gerson’s German Wikipedia page also identifies her as the voice of the evil queen in the 1938 German-language dub of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Artists,Arts and Literature,Borderline "Executions",Capital Punishment,Children,Concentration Camps,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Gassed,Germany,History,Jews,Mass Executions,Netherlands,No Formal Charge,Poland,Summary Executions,Wartime Executions,Women

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1584: Silly Mary and Country Kate

Add comment February 11th, 2017 Headsman

Executioner Franz Schmidt records in his journal for this date in 1584 the hanging of two women — according to Schmidt, the first women hanged in Nuremberg.

February 11th. Maria Kurschnerin of Nuremberg, alias Silly Mary, who had formerly been whipped out of town with rods, and had her ears cropped; also Katherine Schwertzin of Weher, alias Country Kate, who had also formerly been whipped out of the town; both of them thieves and whores, who with thievish youths and fellows climbed and broke into citizens’ houses and stole a mighty quantity of things; both hanged at Nuremberg. It was an unheard of thing for a woman to be hanged in Nuremberg, and it had never yet happened.

Thought Schmidt doesn’t say it, both of these girls were very young — according to Joel Harrington’s The Faithful Executioner, both would be minors by today’s standards.

This helps account for the huge crowd that turned out to see them executed — many of them no doubt had also been in the huge crowd that had previously seen “Silly Mary” suffer a non-fatal corporal punishment the year before. The executioner Schmidt administered that punishment as well, and likewise noted it in his diary on January 10, 1583.

January 10th. Mary Kurssnerin, a young prostitute, who was a watchman’s [musketeer’s?] daughter, a girl who had thieved considerably and a handsome young creature with whom the young Dietherr had dealings; Elizabeth Gutlerin, a bath attendant; Katherine Aynerin, alias die Gescheydin, a blacksmith’s wife and a handsome creature; all three children of citizens, and prostitutes, were here pilloried and afterwards flogged out of the town. Such a dreadful crowd ran out to see this that several people were crushed to death under the Frauenthor. Subsequently Mary’s ears were cut off, and she was hanged.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 16th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Germany,Hanged,History,Milestones,Public Executions,Theft,Women

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1717: Anna Maria Wagemann, the last witch burned at Fürfeld

Add comment February 5th, 2017 Headsman

Three hundred years ago today, Anna Maria Wagemann suffered the last witch execution at Fürfeld.

Conveniently available information on this case appears to derive mostly from a single German-language local history volume which is rather extensively summarized in her German Wikipedia entry.

Despite the late date — the entire cosmology of witchery was coming apart by the 18th century — she fit the classical demographic profile of a witch hunt victim. Wagemann was an aged — 66 or 67 at the time of her trial, she thought — and penniless woman who knew her way around medicinal herbs and had a pre-existing reputation for witchcraft.

When the burning times were truly aflame, marginal people like this could easily be ignited by the accusations a torturer wrung from the last luckless soul to be named to the Black Sabbath. By 1716, when Wagemann went on trial, the case strangely conjoined an ancient superstition to a ponderous Enlightenment legal process, with an 879-page codex of the interrogations with vague witness accusations endorsed by jurists at the University of Tübingen.*

There weren’t any raging famines or plagues afoot that demanded supernatural attribution. It seems in this case that before the neighbors could accuse her of drying up their cows and such, Anna Maria Wagemann was targeted thanks to the oldest enmity in the book: family politics. A daughter-in-law of our principal was either quite convinced she had married into sorcery or else quite weary of the dynamic at family meals, and it was her denunciations (supported by her 9- and 12-year-old daughters) that brought Wagemann to book. It’s difficult to piece together the chain of causation; this woman, Anna Margarethe Wagemann, was herself suspected of witchcraft and jailed for many weeks,** so her charge too might have been issued under duress. In the end, it was only Anna Maria who was tried, and Anna Margarethe gave evidence against her — although Anna Margarethe was also punished by being made to witness the execution with her young daughters, and then being expelled from Fürfeld.

* We’ve seen this university in our pages before, involved in the case against Johannes Kepler’s mother.

** Years later, she would appeal for compensation for her wrongful imprisonment. (It’s not known whether the appeal succeeded.)

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Burned,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Germany,History,Milestones,Public Executions,Torture,Witchcraft,Women

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