March 23rd, 2017
(Thanks to James Boswell for the guest post. The Dr. Johnson biographer was a ravenous gallows-haunt whom we have encountered repeatedly in these pages; even in his guise as a barrister, Boswell personally lost a client to the hangman. No fool when it came to content repurposing, Boswell in 1768 wrote the Publick Advertiser about the March 23, 1768 double hanging of John Gibson and Benjamin Payne; then, in 1783, he recycled the entirety of this bygone letter to extend his musings on the spectacle of public executions, for the occasion of Tyburn’s abolition. We reprint here the 1783 article, a comment within a comment, within the very comment that is this dreary site. -ed.)
THE question, Whether society has a right to punish individuals, especially to the extent of death, which is well denominated in Latin “ultimum supplicium — the last or utmost punishment,” has been treated with great attention and ingenuity by a number of casuists in law and in morals. And of late it has been discussed with elegant ability by the Marquis di Marco, an Italian nobleman of Mantua, whose performance well becomes that celebrated city, while it shews that in modern times the descendants of those whom we are taught from our early years to admire, are yet worthy of admiration. So that we may quote from Addison‘s beautiful letter from Italy,
And still I seem to tread on classick ground.
It is indeed a question which resolves into the powerful and irresistible plea of necessity; since we are sure society could not exist without such a right. But the exercise of it, no doubt, admits of much modification, in which the wisdom and humanity of legislators has a wide field. Another Italian nobleman has done himself great honour by his admirable work “Delle de litte e delle pene,” which Voltaire has illuminated with some additional rays; and I can with pleasure mention, to the credit of our own nation, Mr. Eden‘s Principles of Penal Law.
These cursory remarks are only meant to serve the purpose of introducing into the collection of my Hypochondriack Essays, another of my former writings, which is, I think, well suited to my present title.
April 25, 1768.
To the Printer of the Publick Advertiser
THAT the people of England possess that quality called good-nature, will not be denied by any man whose mind is not fretted by some real ills, or clouded by some fanciful ones. But it must also be acknowledged that the people of England are, of all nations in the world, the most desirous of feeing spectacles of cruelty. Bull-baiting, cock-fighting, and even throwing at cocks, were for many and many a year the delight of the English; and it is not long since assemblies of good-natured people were deliberately held to see their fellow-creatures beat, bruise, and sometimes actually kill each other.
Though the desire of seeing spectacles of cruelty has peculiarly prevailed in England, it has more or less been the passion of mankind in all ages and countries. Hence the various satires against it by poets; hence the various attempts to account for it by philosophers. Lucretius, who was both a poet and a philosopher, refers it to self-love, as we may see from that celebrated passage,
Suave mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis.
He thinks that men love to behold scenes of distress, that they may hug themselves in security, and relish more their own safety and ease, by comparing themselves with those who are suffering. Though I, as well as every rational and virtuous man, must think that Lucretius is in general a very false and a very hurtful writer; yet I must candidly own that he is often ingenious and just in his observations. In the present case he certainly has a great deal of merit; though I would be for compounding his system with that of the Abbe du Bos, who accounts for our desire of seeing spectacles of cruelty from the universal wish that we all have to be moved; that is, to have our souls agitated; for to be sure there is nothing so irksome to a man of lively sensations, as to have his faculties thrown into a kind of torpor, so that in Shakespeare’s words,
They cream and mantle like a standing pool
This will more fully account for what I am endeavouring to explains and will make human nature appear not so grossly selfish as Lucretius paints it.
Of all publick spectacles, that of a capital execution draws the greatest number of spectators. And I must confess that I myself am never absent from any of them. Nor can I accuse myself of being more hard-hearted than other people. On the contrary, I am persuaded that nobody feels more sincerely for the distresses of his fellow-creatures than I do, yor would do more to relieve them. When I first attended executions, I was shocked to the greatest degree. I was in a manner convulsed with pity and terror, and for several days, but especially nights after, I was in a very dismal situation. Still, however, I persisted in attending them, and by degrees my sensibility abated; so that I can now see one with great composure, and my mind is not afterwards haunted with frightful thoughts: though for a while a certain degree of gloom remains upon it. I can account for this curiosity in a philosophical manner, when I consider that death is the most aweful object before every man, who ever directs his thoughts seriously towards futurity; and that it is very natural that we should be anxious to see people in that situation which affects us so much. It is true indeed that none of us, who go to see an execution have any idea that we are to be executed, and few of us need be under any apprehension whatever of meeting with that fate. But dying publickly at Tyburn, and dying privately in one’s bed, are only different modes of the fame thing. They are both death; they are both that wonderous, that alarming scene of quitting all that we have ever seen, heard, or known, and at once passing into a state of being totally unknown, to us, and in which we cannot tell what may be our situation. Therefore it is that I feel an irresistible impulse to be present at every execution, as I there behold, the various effects of the near approach of death, according to the various tempers of the unhappy sufferers, and by studying them I learn to quiet and fortify my own mind.
I shall never forget the last execution I saw at Tyburn, when Mr. Gibson, the attorney, for forgery, and Benjamin Payne, for an highway robbery, were executed. Poor Payne was a thin young lad of twenty, in a mean dress, and a red night-cap, with nothing to discriminate him from the many miserable beings who are penitent and half dead with fear. But Mr. Gibson was indeed an extraordinary man. He came from Newgate in a coach, with some friends attending him. I met the mournful procession in Oxford-road; and I declare that if I had not been told it, I should not have known which was Mr. Gibson. He was drawn backwards, and looked as calm and easy as ever I saw a man in my life. He was dressed in a full suit of black, wore his own hair round and in a natural curl, and a hat. When he came to the place of execution he was allowed to remain a little in the coach. A signal was then given him that it was time to approach the fatal tree. He took leave of his friends, stepped out of the coach, and walked firmly to the cart. He was helped up upon it, as he was pinioned and had not the free use of his arms. When he was upon the cart, he gave his hat to the executioner, who immediately took off Mr. Gibson’s cravat, unloosed his shirt neck, and fixed the rope. Mr. Gibson never once altered his countenance. He refreshed his mouth by sucking a sweet orange. He shewed no stupid insensibility; nor did he affect to brave it out like those hardened wretches who boast that they die hard. He appeared to all the spectators a man of sense and reflexion, of a mind naturally sedate and placid. He submitted with a manly and decent resolution to what he knew to be the just punishment of the law. Mr. Moore, the Ordinary of Newgate, discharged his duty with much earnestness, and a fervour for which I and all around me esteemed and loved him. Mr. Moore seems worthy of his office, which, when justly considered, is a very important one, if administering divine comfort to multitudes of miserable beings, be important. Poor Payne seemed to rely on that mercy which I trust has not been refused him — Mr. Gibson seemed truely devout; and, in short, from first to last, his behaviour was the most perfect that I ever saw, or indeed could conceive of one in his unhappy circumstances. — I wish, Sir, I may not have detained you too long with a letter on subjects of a serious but I will not fay of a gloomy cast, because from my manner of viewing them I do say that they become matters of curious speculation, and are relieved of their dreary ideas. I am, Sir,
Your constant reader,
After an interval of fifteen years, I have little to add to this occasional essay. But I cannot but mention in justification of myself, from a charge of cruelty in having gone so much formerly to see executions, that the curiosity which impels people to be present at such affecting scenes, is certainly a proof of sensibility not of callousness. For it is observed, that the greatest proportion of the spectators is composed of women; and I do not apprehend that my readers will impute a barbarous severity to the fair sex, though it is common for lovers to represent them as metaphorically cruel. But in the one case they are cruel to others to be kind to themselves, by avoiding what is disagreeable to them. Whereas in the other case the pleasure must be from the sufferings of others independent of any such reference. That there, however, is such a pleasure I am afraid is true; and in support of my opinion, I bring no less authority than Edmund Burke, who maintains it in his Treatise on the Sublime and Beautiful. Yet let it not be supposed that this pleasure arising from agitation, prevents the finest feelings and effects of compassion; I am sure it does not.
As the great Justinian nobly expressed himself, I should wish that as mild punishments as are consistent with terrour were always inflicted. It is indeed astonishing how men have been found willing and able to execute some of the horrible sentences which have been put in execution upon some criminals. One shudders to think of them; and I shall not wound the minds of my readers by reciting particulars. They who wish to be shocked, or to gratify a monstrous curiosity, may read the tortures of Ravaillac or Damiens. A mode of death which strikes terrour into spectators, without excruciating the unfortunate objects of legal vengeance, seems to be the most eligible. I, therefore, think that the faces of those who are hanged should not be covered, as in Britain, but exposed, as is the custom upon the continent, that the distortions may be seen, which covered or uncovered must take place. I also think that the punishment of throwing criminals from the Tarpeian rock in ancient Rome was a very judicious one. But the best I have ever discovered is one practised in Modern Rome, which is called “Macellare –to butcher.” The criminal is placed upon a scaffold, and the executioner knocks him on the head with a great iron hammer, then cuts his throat with a large knife, and lastly, hews him in pieces with an ax; in short, treats him exactly like an ox in the shambles. The spectators are struck with prodigious terrour; yet the poor wretch who is stunned into insensibility by the blow, does not actually suffer much.
But, indeed, death, simple death, when slowly and solemnly inflicted, will be fully sufficient to answer the purposes of publick punishment, as is very well demonstrated by Dr. Mandeville, in An Essay upon the Increase of Robberies, in which he has written with a very different spirit from that which prompted his very shrewd, lively, and entertaining, but dangerous Fable of the Bees.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Guest Writers,Hanged,History,Lawyers,Other Voices,Public Executions,Theft
Tags: 1760s, 1768, benjamin payne, cesare beccaria, criminology, james boswell, james gibson, london, march 23, Tyburn
March 13th, 2017
When Francis Osborne mused “mingle not your interest with a great one’s,” in Advice to a Son, the counsel was suggested by surveying the life of Henry Cuffe, a retainer of the disgraced Earl of Essex who, “tho’ of excellent Parts,” hanged at Tyburn on this date in 1601 on account of his late master’s rebellion. (With him hanged Essex’s stewart, Gilly Merrick.)
A child of the gentry, Cuffe’s academic brilliance landed him a (still-extant) professorship at Oxford. The vain Lord Essex, who prided himself a patron of scholarship, hired him into his retinue in the mid-1590s. Cuffe would prove to be a loyal companion. Too loyal.
He accompanied Essex on the latter’s great foreign adventures, the triumphant raid on Cadiz and the disastrous expedition to Ireland, and was entrusted as the earl’s messenger to Queen Elizabeth when the latter project began to founder. Essex was one of the great men of state and it was through him that Cuffe came in sight of those zeniths of power only dreamt by Oxford dons. But he could only scale them if Essex kept his own footing, too.
Six years or so into their association, Cuffe was all-in on restoring his patron’s favor (and with it, his own) once Essex returned from the Ireland debacle to find himself on the outs. The treason trial against Cuffe would slate him as one of the chief spirits agitating the earl, imprisoned then in Essex House, to break out with his foolhardy rebellion or coup in February 1601.
“Ere long you shall see a change: my lord is like to come in favour again, and be restored to his greatness,” recalled one Essex rebel of Cuffe’s recruitment pitch to him. Once their seizure of power got underway, “We having the face of the state, all will follow and take with us.” It was alleged that Cuffe inveigled Essex against more cautious counselors, arguing that the lord’s charisma was sure to carry the day could he but secure some personal face time with the queen — and that Cuffe stood in line to become the next Speaker of the Parliament, should the wager pay off.
It didn’t. Treason doth never prosper …
Cuffe’s best argument in defense was that he, bookish lad, had never left Essex House at all on the fatal day when other conspirators attempted to march through London, and what treason was that?
“I must confess, as a servant that longed for the honour of his master, I have often wished to see his recalling to the court, and restored to her majesty’s former favour” Cuffe allowed — “but beyond the limits of these desires, my thoughts never carried me, nor aspired to other greatness than to see him again in place of a servant and worthy subject, as before he had been.”
The volume of accusations otherwise from within Essex’s inner circle overwhelmed this defense — most especially so the accusation of the very lord with whom Cuffe had so carelessly mingled his own fortunes. For, four days before Essex lost his own head, that doomed magnate had summoned his prosecutors to the Tower and bid them bring Cuffe to his chamber.
This request being granted him, and Cuffe brought before him, he [Essex] there directly and vehemently charged him; and among other speeches used these words:
Henry Cuffe, call to God for mercy, and to the queen, and deserve it by declaring truth. For I, that must now prepare for another world, have resolved to deal clearly with God and the world: and must needs say this to you; You have been one of the chiefest instigators of me to all these my disloyal courses into which I have fallen.
This is a very fine parting kick in the teeth for a devoted lickspittle. Maybe Osborne’s advice should have been to mingle not your interest with an asshole’s.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 17th Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,History,Intellectuals,Politicians,Power,Public Executions,Treason
Tags: 1600s, 1601, gilly merrick, henry cuffe, london, march 13, robert devereux, Tyburn
March 10th, 2017
The Ordinary of Newgate His Account of The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 10th of March, 1713/1714.
At the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-baily, London, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 24th, 25th 26th, and 27th of February last, Fifteen Persons, viz. Fourteen Men, and One Woman, who were all Try’d for, and brought in Guilty of several Capital Crimes, did receive Sentence of Death accordingly. But the Woman being found pregnant, and Two of the Men having obtain’d the QUEEN’s most gracious Reprieve (which I pray GOD they may have Grace duely to improve) Twelve of them are now order’d for Execution.
While they lay under this Condemnation, I constantly visited them, and had them (twice every day) brought up to the Chapel of Newgate, where I pray’d with them, and read and expounded the Word of God to them; instructing them in the Duties of the Christian Religion, and endeavouring to perswade them to the sincere Practice of them, from the weighty Considerations, first, of God’s severe Judgments to obstinate and harden’d Sinners; and, secondly, of his boundless Mercy to them that truly repent.
On the Lord’s Day, the 28th of February last, I preach’d to them (and others there present, who were many) on Ephes. 5. 1, 2. being part, both of the Epistle appointed for the Day, and of the 2d Lesson for that Evening-Service, and the Words these, Be ye Followers of God, as dear Children; and walk in Love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us, an Offering and a Sacrifice to God, for a sweet-smelling Savour.
These Words I first explain’d in general; shewing that they contain,
- The plain Matter of our Christian Duty. And,
- The true Ground of our Christian Hope.
Which I then made out, by speaking to the several Points following, viz.
1st, Who it is we are to imitate, i. e. GOD; which the Apostle shews in these first Words of the Text, Be ye Followers of God.
2dly, Wherefore we ought to imitate Him; and that is, because we are his Children; yea, his dear Children.
3dly, Wherein we should imitate God, viz. in Love; for, says the Text, Walk in Love. Which includes Kindness in Giving, Mercy in Forgiving, Holiness in our Lives and Conversations, and Sincerity in our Endeavours to discharge all Religious and Christian Duties.
4thly, and lastly, How, and in what manner we are to take Pattern for our Imitation of GOD in Love; and that is, Even as Christ also has loved us. Which is to be understood as to the Nature or Manner, not in the Measure or Extent of that Love; for, in this latter Sence, the Love of Christ is immitable, it passeth all Knowledge and Understanding; and is such indeed as no Tongue, either of Men or Angels, can express: For, saith our Apostle in the Text, CHRIST so loved us, that He gave Himself for us, an Offering and a Sacrifice to God, of a sweet-smelling Savour.
Upon these I enlarg’d, and then apply’d; shewing, How much we are oblig’d constantly to discharge this great Duty of Love towards all Men, the want of which being the Cause of all the Evils and Mischiefs committed in the World, and the Troubles and Miseries consequent thereupon.
On the Lord’s Day the 7th instant, I preach’d again to them, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon Luke 18. 1, being part of the Second Lesson for that Morning-Service, and the Words these: And He spake a Parable unto them, to this end, That Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.
Having in general open’d and illustrated these Words of our Blessed Saviour’s, (both in Text and Context) I then proceeded to discourse in particular on this important Subject of Prayer; shewing,
- The Necessity of Prayer.
- Whom we ought to pray to.
- What we ought to pray for.
- The due Qualifications for Prayer.
- and lastly, The Blessed Fruits and Effects of Prayer, both with respect to our Bodies, and to our Souls.
And on the Day following, being the 8th instant, (the Anniversary of our most Gracious QUEEN‘s happy Accession to the Throne) I did again preach to them, taking my Text out of the Epistle appointed for that solemn Day, viz. 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14. Submit your selves to every Ordinance of Man, for the Lord’s sake; whether it be to the King, as Supreme; or unto Governours, as unto them that are sent by him, for the Punishment of Evil-doers, and for the Praise of them that do well.
This Text I first explain’d in general; and then I consider’d in particular these three Things resulting from it, and the great Import of them.
- The Subjection and Obedience we owe, and are to pay to, our Superiours, viz. to the King, as Supreme; or unto Governours, as unto them that are sent by him; saith the Text.
- The Civil and Religious Obligation incumbent on us thus to submit, and to obey, as being what God himself has appointed, and is imply’d in these Words, For the Lord’s sake; i. e. according to the Lord’s Will.
- and lastly, The Reasonableness and Usefulness of our exact Performance of this Duty, and the excellent Advantages accruing from it, both to the Publick, and to Private Persons; in that a good Government (which cannot well subsist without Mens Obedience to it) is for the suppression of Sin and Vice, and the promotion of Religion and Virtue. And this is evident from the Text, wherein the Apostle declares, That Governours are ordain’d both for the Punishment of Evil-doers, and for the Praise (i. e. the Encouragement and Support) of them that do well.
On these I largely discours’d, and then observ’d how much we (of this Church and Nation) are bound to praise God for his having, as on this Day, bless’d us with so Pious, so Just, and so Excellent a Princess, to reign over us; and (according to our most indispensable Duty) heartily pray for Her MAJESTY’s Long Life, Encrease of Health, and Everlasting Prosperity.
After I had a little more enlarg’d upon this Subject, I apply’d my self with particular Admonitions and Exhortations to the Persons condemn’d; in whom I endeavour’d to raise a due Sense of the great Miseries they had brought on themselves and the much greater they were in danger of falling into hereafter, by their presumptuous Transgressions of he Laws both of GOD and of the Queen.
These Considerations I often press’d upon them, both in my publick Discourses and private Admonitions to them; of whom I am to give the Accounts following.
1. Thomas Grey, convicted of, and condemn’d for committing three Robberies on the QUEEN’s High-way. First, For Assaulting and Robbing Mrs. Baxter as she was coming from Hampsted towards London in a Coach, which he stopt near the Halfway-house, taking 3 s. from her, on the 11th of January last. Secondly, For a like Robbery he committed upon Mrs. Wilson, as she was riding (with other Passengers in a Coach) to Hampsted, taking some Money from them, on the 15th of January last. Thirdly, For such another Robbery by him committed on the same Day, upon the Person of Mr. Samuel Harding, from whom he took 9 s. in Money, about the Halfway-house on the Road to Hampsted. There was also another Robbery, which he was not Try’d for, but had committed in company with Edmund Eames (one of his Fellow sufferers) and one William Biggs, hereafter mention’d, who stopt a Coach coming from Hampsted, and took from the Passengers that were in it about 28 s. on the 2d of January last. At first indeed he was very unwilling to speak out his Guilt in these Matters, and in his faultring way of Speech went about to excuse himself, protesting his Innocency: But I exhorted him, and at last perswaded him to confess; which he did with this seeming Extenuation of these his wicked Facts, That he would never, have committed them, had he not been prompted to (and assisted in) them by William Biggs, a wicked Person, who had formerly receiv’d Sentence of Death twice, viz. once at Maidstone in Kent, and another time in the Old-baily, London. He said, he was above 50 years of age, born in the Parish of St. James Clerkenwell: That he had kept a Publick House in the City of Oxford for several Years, and of late a Salesman’s Shop in Monmouth-street in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields; and, That tho’ in former time (i. e about 20 years ago) he had done ill things, and was then burnt in the Hand for the same, yet he had not committed any Fact worthy of Death till Christmas last, when his Poverty and Incumbrances with Debts (as he pretended) had made him comply with the wicked Insinuations of bad Men, and embrace the unhappy Opportunities of doing those Mischiefs to honest People, which he must now account and suffer for. I found him very stubborn, and very unwilling either to be ask’d, or to resolve any Question: And when I plainly perceiv’d that he prevaricated in many things, and would not shew any Remorse or Sorrow for his having liv’d to these Years, not to the Glory, but (far from it) to the Dishonour of God and Religion, I refus’d to administer the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to him: Upon which he curs’d me to the Pit of Hill, and said, That he would certainly kill me, if ever I durst venture to come to pray with him and the rest in the Cart at Tyburn. In answer to this his Threat, I told him, That I would nevertheless do my Duty to his Soul to the very last; and tho’ he Curs’d, yet I pray’d God to Bless both Him and Me, and lay not this additional Sin to his charge; adding, That I heartily pray’d for his Conversion and Salvation; and, That I much pitied him, but fear’d him not in the least.
2. Edmund Eames alias Edward Aimes, condemn’d for 3 several Robberies by him committed on the Queen’s High-way, viz. 1st, For Assaulting and Robbing Mrs. Rogers, at Pancras-Wash, on the 20th of January last, stopping the Coach wherein she was, and taking Money both from her and other Passengers with her. 2dly, For a like Assault upon Mr. Edward Yarborough, stopping the Wakefield-Coach, in which he was, near the foot of Highgate-hill, and taking 5 s. from him, on the 23d of the same Month. 3dly, For another Fact of the same nature, viz. his Assaulting Mrs. Shutter, as she was in a Coach going down the Hill near Pancras, and robbing her of 3 Gold Rings and some Money, on the 19th of February last. He said, he was this very Day (being the 10th of March) just entring upon the 32d Year of his age; That he was born at Dunstable in Bedfordshire, and there serv’d 8 Years Apprenticeship with a Surgeon; That when he was out of his Time, he came up to London, where he exerted his Art for a little while, and then went to a Gentleman’s Service: That afterwards he listed himself a Souldier , and at last arriv’d to the Post of a Surgeon’s Mate in the 2d Regiment of Guards. He at first said, he did not commit the former, but the two latter Robberies aforemention’d; yet at last he confest all, & likewise 3 or 4 more of the same nature, and about the same time; for he had not been engag’d long in that wicked Course, having enter’d upon it but since Christmas last; and that too not so much by his own Inclination, as by the pernicious Instigation and Perswasion of one William Biggs, an old Offender, (not yet taken) with whom he had robb’d a Coach coming from Hampsted, and taken from 3 or 4 Passengers in it about 28 s. in Money, which was divided among them two and Tho. Grey, before mention’d, who was concern’d with them in that Robbery, on the 2d of January last, being Sunday; and on the Tuesday following he robb’d also some Passengers in a Coach on Newington Road, and took from them 22 s. And on or about the 14th of the said Month, he set upon a Worthy Justice of Peace (an ancient Gentleman) as he was riding on Horseback towards Hampsted, taking from him a Watch and some old Gold; which, with his robbing a young Man of Half-a-Crown on the High-way near Uxbridge, on Thursday the 7th of the said January last, were all the Robberies he could reme he ever committed. And now he said, That he was very sensible that for all his unjust Practices, into which he had so foolishly suffer’d himself to be deluded, and by which (as it often happens) he had got but little (not 6 l. in all, he said) he justly deserv’d the shameful Death he was now condem’d to; and thereupon begg’d Pardon of GOD, and of the Persons he had wrong’d, earnestly imploring the Divine Mercy, thro’ the Merits of JESUS CHRIST. And to this his Confession (which he had before told me was all he had done of this nature) he did (for the clearing of the Truth, and his own Conscience, as he pretended) add this,
That he was the only Person who robb’d Mr. James Boys upon the Queen’s High-way between Pancras and Kentish Town, on the 19th of January last; taking from him an old Watch in a Tortoise-shell Case, and 11 s. in Money: And, That since the time he lay under this Condemnation, he had consider’d how to make what Amends he could for the Injuries done by him, and therefore had sent several times to Mr. Boys, to let him know where he might have his Watch again; which when he took, Mr. Boys (as he said) told him, he was very loth to part with it, tho’ it was an old Thing that would yield but little Money, not 3 l. but he valu’d it much more upon some particular Account.
This specious and artificial Speech and formal Declaration he thought I would take as the pure Effect of an awaken’d Conscience, that was now willing to discharge itself of its Guilt, and do Right to all the World: And indeed I was at first doubtful in the matter; but I at last discover’d that herein he prevaricated; I taxed him with it, and reprov’d him for it, shewing him what a dangerous thing it was for him thus to add Sin to Sin, and how presumptuous he was, to desire (as he did) that I would administer the Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to him, who solemnly attested a Lying Story to be true, at such a time when he was just going to be call’d before the dreadful Tribunal of Christ, there to give an Account (to Him who knows the inmost Thoughts of Men’s Hearts) of all his secret Imaginations, as well as Overt Acts. With that I startled him, but yet could not make him plainly confess, that John Collins (as I knew) had perswaded him to charge himself with this Robbery, by telling him it would now do him no hurt, but himself a great deal of service, in that it might save his Life. This he (the said Edmund Eams) could not absolutely deny: And so I told him, I wondred that Men under such Circumstances as theirs, whose Business it was to prepare for Eternity, would imploy their Thoughts and precious Time in such wicked Machinations, by which, instead of pacifying the Wrath of God, they provoked him more and more to let them perish in their Sins. On this I enlarg’d, but could get no great Satisfaction from him herein; therefore I shall say no more of him here, but proceed to my Account of the other, viz.
3. John Collins alias Collinson, condemn’d for breaking the House of Mr. John Holloway at Chelsea, and stealing thence 2 Exchequer Notes, value 100 l. each, 237 l. 10 s. in Money, and 194 l. in Gold, on the 23d of January last. And he was also at the same time convicted of a Robbery, on the High-way, committed upon the Person of Mr. James Boys, whose Silver-Watch, with 10 or 12 s. were taken from him, between Pancras and Kentish Town, on the 19th of the said Month of January. He said, he was not at all concern’d in this latter Fact, but Eams was the Man had done it, as he told him himself since they were condemn’d. And as to the former, he own’d thus much of it, viz. That he robb’d Mr. Holloway’s House, and took thence 107 l. (or thereabouts) in 100 l. Bag, and another smaller Bag, and no Gold, nor Money-Notes, nor any thing else: Adding, That he had spent some part of that Money before his being apprehended, but most of it, viz. 90 l. and upwards, was then taken from him, which he suppos’d Mr. Holloway has, or will have again; wishing he were able to make up his whole Loss. He said, he was 42 Years of age, born at Faustone near Hull in Northumberland; That he was brought up to no Trade, but had been a Footman to several Gentlemen, both in the Country, and here in London, and was some time a Coachman to one of them: That he had also been a Souldier for 6 Years together, and attain’d at last to the Office of a Sergeant in Colonel Wing’s Regiment; and little thought then, that he could ever have done such a thing, as should bring him to such a shameful End. He said, he heartily repented, and begg’d Pardon of GOD. And this I will say of him, That when he came nearer the Day of his Death, he outwardly behav’d himself somewhat better than I thought at first he would have done. But I discover’d him to be a great Hypocrite; who put Edmund Eams upon charging himself (as I have observ’d before) with the Robbery committed on Mr. Boys, for which the said Collins was condemn’d. I told him that I could not look on him otherwise than as a great Impostor, who endeavour’d (and that too at such a time, and under such Circumstances) to impose upon Justice, and GOD’s Minister, and be so presumptuous also, as to desire to receive the Blessed Sacrament, which upon the same Account was desir’d by, and I refus’d to Eams, and so I did to this Collins; resolving to administer it to neither of them; because I found them most unworthy of it. And this my Dealing with them (which was according to the Practice of the Primitive Church) I wish may be a Warning and Terror to other Sinners, who will not betimes repent as they should do, but erroneously fancy, that if they outwardly partake of that Divine Ordinance, they shall be safe enough, tho’ not altogether so well prepar’d as they might be either for it, or for Death. And on this occasion I must here declare, That when Malefactors (whoever they be) if any shall come under my Cure, and shall not at first open and clear their Consciences, and give me full Satisfaction, that they do truly repent, I shall never admit them to the Holy Sacrament, whatever they may do, or desire when just upon their Departure out of this World. And if they be not satisfy’d with such a Proceeding of mine, let them consult any other Orthodox Divines in the Matter. But as to this Collins, what I shall further say of him here, is that he did Yesterday attempt to poyson himself, for which I reprov’d him; shewing him the Wickedness of such a Fact, or such an Attempt.
4. Charles Weymouth, condemn’d with Christopher Dickson, and John Gibson, for assaulting and robbing Mr. Thomas Blake, Mr. Samuel Slap, and Mr. John Edwards (who was dangerously wounded by Weymouth) taking from them several Goods and Money, upon the Queen’s High-way in Stepney Parish, on the 8th of February last. This Weymouth, who (it seem’d) had endeavour’d to make himself an Evidence against his Accomplices, being disappointed therein, was very uneasy and restless, and shew’d himself all-along of a stubborn and rough Behaviour, giving little sign of Repentance, and making (as it outwardly appear’d both to my self and others) no great Preparation for Death, till he was upon the very brink of it. What Account he gave me of himself, was only this, That he was born at Redriff, and had been brought up to the Sea, and serv’d the Queen on Board some of Her Majesty’s Men of War for several Years off and on; That he was 25 Years of Age, and that he had fallen into wicked Courses only by the Inducement of others, more wicked (as he said) than himself. I told him, he should not answer for their Sins, if he were not the occasion of them; but must expect to be call’d to a very strict and severe Account for what himself had done wickedly, if he did not now undo it (as far as he could) by all possible Reparation, Repentance, and Amendment of Life. Now whether any thing that was then offer’d to him from Reason and Scripture, did work any Reformation upon him, I could not perceive, but pray’d GOD to convert him; and so left him to His Mercy, which he did not seem much to desire; or to his Judgment, which he had greatly deserv’d. This wicked Person also threaten’d to be the Death of me before he dy’d: Upon which I said to him, as I did to Thomas Grey, That I was sorry to see him in such a furious Temper, and heartily pray’d GOD to turn his Heart, for I greatly pity’d him, but fear’d him not.
5. Christopher Dickson, condemn’d for the same Robbery wherein he was concern’d with Charles Weymouth. He confess’d the Fact, and behav’d himself much better than Weymouth; and by what I could perceive, I may say, that what he told me might be true, viz. That he never did commit such Facts before. He said, he was about 22 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Mary Whitechappel: That he had serv’d 5 Years of Apprentiship with a Baker, and then by consent parted with him: That afterwards he was a Journeyman to another Baker, but staid not long there bad; Company (that easily wrought upon his corrupt Nature) drawing him away, and bringing him into a vicious Course; which, he said, he now heartily repented of; and I hope he did, for he seem’d very much affected, and greatly to abhor his past sinful Life, and earnestly to implore God’s Forgiveness and Mercy in Christ.
6. John Gibson, condemn’d for being concern’d also in the Robbery before-mention’d with Charles Weymouth and Christopher Dickson. He said, he was about 20 years of age, born at Newcastle under Line; and he readily own’d his being Guilty of this Fact; but said it was his first; which I could not gainsay. Only I advised him to look back upon, and seriously examine his past Life between God and his own Conscience, and tell me how he found himself, and what he thought of himself. Upon this, he confess’d, That he had been a loose Liver, much addicted to Swearing, excessive Drinking, Lasciviousness, and suchlike Vices, too too common among Men of his Profession, he being a Seafaring Man , that had for these several years past been employ’d both in the Queen’s Royal Navy, and Merchant’s Service at Sea; and, that he had little minded or regarded the wonderful Works of God in the Deep; for which he was now very much grieved, and wish’d he had been wiser and better; praying God to forgive him his Sins, and have Mercy upon his Soul, and (to that end) give him a New Heart.
7. Alexander Petre, condemn’d for privately stealing a great quantity of Copper of the value of 20 l. out of the Warehouse of Mr. Thomas Chambers, on the 26th of January last. He readily confess’d, That he was guilty of this Fact; but told me it was his first, and that one Powell (the Evidence against him) was the Person that induc’d him to the Commission of it. He said, That he was (as it appear’d) but a young Man, about 22 years of age; yet acknowledg’d, that he had Years, Descretion, and Understanding enough to know, That what he did ought not to be done; and therefore asked Pardon of God, and the Persons he had any ways offended; praying for Mercy and Forgiveness. The place of his Birth, he said, was Newcastle upon Tyne, his Calling a Sailor, who had for these 12 years past been employ’d on board several of Her Majesty’s Men of War; and the last of them on board which he served, was the New Advice, a 4th Rate. He was very tractable, and seem’d to be Penitent.
8. Thomas Koome, condemn’d for breaking open the House of Mr. John Garret, and stealing from thence a Riding-Hood, a Suit of Curtains, and other Goods, on the 17th of January last. He said he was 21 years of age, born at Hackney near London, and had served at Sea , sometimes in the Royal Navy, and at other times in Merchant-Men, for the most part of his Life. He confess’d the Fact for which he was condemn’d; but said it was his first. For which saying I reprov’d him, knowing he had lately been whipt for a Felony he was then convicted of; which he was forc’d to acknowledge, saying, that the keeping of bad Company had heretofore been the Occasion of his committing many Sins, and now proved his Ruin. I perceiv’d his Friends had given him good Education, and I hope it was not quite lost upon him; for it dispos’d him so much the better to understand the Things of Religion that were laid before him, and to apply himself to the Practice of them, while under this Condemnation. Yet I cannot say, that he made at first so good use of his time as he might have, and I wish he had done.
9. Samuel Denny, alias Appleby, condemn’d for stealing a Gelding from Mr. John Scagg, and robbing him of 27 s. in Money, on the Queen’s Highway, the 31st of January last. He said, That he was 23 years of age, born at Braintree in Essex, and a Wheelwright by his Trade; but had served four years as a private Sentinel in the Army . He own’d the Fact he was to die for, (which he said was the first he ever committed) and pray’d God to forgive him, both that and all other his Sins, and give him Grace so to repent that he might be saved. By what I could all-along observe in him, or get from him, I found he had not been a greater Offender than now he appear’d a Penitent: And therefore, at his earnest Desire, I administer’d the Holy Sacrament to him yesterday: Which I also did, at the same time, to the Three last mention’d, viz. Christopher Dickson, John Gibson, and Alexander Petre; whose Behaviour, from first to last, was (to the best of my Observation) such as became true Penitents.
10. John Winteringham, condemn’d for stealing a Gold-Watch, a Perruke, some Linnen and Apparel out of his Master (Thomas Wynn Esq.) his Lodgings, and some Plate from Mr. James Montjoy, the Landlord of the House where his said Master lodg’d. He own’d himself Guilty of this Fact; but said he never committed the like before; and that he had been (at times) a Servant to other Gentlemen before he came to live with Mr. Wynn, and never wrong’d them to the value of a Farthing; and that being brought up to no Trade, he had for the most part of his Life been a Domestick-Servant in several worthy Families, both in the Country and in London. He said he was but 25 years of age, born at Pomfret (or rather Pontefract) in Yorkshire, and little thought once he should ever come to end his Life in this shameful manner, which (however) he could not but acknowledge was what he had wilfully brought upon himself, and did highly deserve. It seems he was the first Person condemn’d upon the Act lately made against such wicked Servants as rob their Masters. [A 1713 act that made theft of goods valued at 40s. (£2) a capital crime, even without a break-in -ed.] Which I hope will be an effectual Warning to others, so as to teach them to be wiser and more just.
11. Christopher Moor, condemn’d for Burglary in Breaking open the House of Mr. Thomas Wright, and taking thence a pair of Silver-Branches, 8 Tea-Spoons, 2 Tea-Pots, a Lamp, and a large quantity of other Plate, on the 13th of February last. He said, he was but 20 years of age, born in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields; That for the most part of his Life, he had been a Servant in some Victualling-Houses in and about London, had lived a very loose Life, and done many ill things, besides the Fact he was condemn’d for, which he confess’d; but would give no particular Account of any thing else he had been guilty of, nor discover where the Plate he had stoln might be found, that the right Owner of it might have it again: And when I press’d him to make such Discovery, if he could, he did not so much alledge his Incapacity, as he plainly shew’d his Unwillingness of doing it; saying, that tho’ he could do it, yet he would make no such Discovery, if he were sure he should be damned for it: So desparately wicked he then shew’d himself to be, on whom no Admonitions could at first prevail: But I hope he did at last come to understand better Things. And yet this I must say of him, That his Obstinacy in Iniquity, and Impudent Behaviour towards myself and others, were such, as I never met with the like in any of the Malefactors, whom I have had under my Cure for almost these 14 years I have been in this melancholy and difficult Office. When he saw that he must certainly die, then he remembred what I had told him of another World, and of our necessary Preparation for it. Now he seem’d to be willing to do something to clear his Conscience, and save his Soul; giving attention to my Admonitions, and the Information desir’d of him about the Plate he had stoln. And here (among other things) he told me, That about a Month ago, at Night, he robb’d a House in Grey-Fryars, near Christ-Hospital, by lifting up the Sash-Window, and entring the Parlour, and taking from thence 6 Silver Tea-Spoons and a Strainer, with a Silk-Handkerchief Ell-wide, which he sold for 3 s. tho’ it was worth more: And that as for the Plate, he sold it with a larger Parcel (amounting to 100 ounces) for 4 s. per ounce. And further, he said, that he had wrong’d Mr. Johnson, a Working Silver-Smith, and begg’d his Pardon (before me) for his having (about 18 Months ago) falsly sworn against him, That he the said Mr. Johnson had bought of him and Roderick Awdry, some Plate, which they had stoln out of my Lady Edwin’s House; praying God to forgive him such his Perjury, which I endeavour’d to make him sensible was a most heinous Crime.
12. Daniel Hughes, condemn’d for the Fact last mention’d, in which he was concerned with Christopher Moor, and own’d he was so. He said, he was about 16 years of age, born at Gravesend in Kent, and brought up to the Sea, and that he had been a very loose young Man, addicted to many Vices. He was very stupid, foolish and unconcern’d, and gave no great Signs of his Penitence for his Offences against God and his Neighbour, nor of the Punishment he deserved for them, both in this World, and in the next, till he came within the Borders of Death.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were this Day carry’d from Newgate, in four Carts, I attended them for the last time, and endeavour’d to perswade them (who had lived such vicious Lives) throughly to clear their Consciences, and strive to obtain God’s Grace, to make a good End in this World, that they might be received into that State of Bliss and Glory in the next, which shall have no end. To this purpose I earnestly spoke to them, and pray’d for them. Then I made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, and sung some Penitential Psalms with them; and finally having recommended their Souls to God, I withdrew from them; leaving them to their private Devotions, for which they had some little time allow’d them. And after that, the Cart drawing away, they were turn’d off: all of them bitterly crying unto God to have Mercy upon their departing Souls.
Before they were turn’d off, I thought (as I exhorted them) that some of them should make a further Confession, but they did not: Only those that had been rude to me, and threaten’d my Life, begg’d my Pardon, and thank’d me for the Pains I took for their Souls: And all of them declar’d that they dy’d in Charity with all the World.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Malefactors, by me,
PAUL LORRAIN, Ordinary .
Wednesday, Mar. 10. 1713-14.
London Printed, and are to be Sold by J. Morphew near Stationers-hall.
Just Publish’d, The Third Edition of the 1st and 2d Volumes of the History of Highwaymen, Footpad, &c. And next Week will be publish’d a 3d Volume, continued to this last Sessions. [Here are all three volumes -ed: Volume 1 (part 1) | Volume 1 (part 2) | Volume 2 (part 1) | Volume 2 (part 2) | Volume 3 (part 1) | Volume 3 (part 2)]
Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,History,Mass Executions,Public Executions,Theft
Tags: 1710s, 1714, alexander petre, charles weymouth, christopher dickson, christopher moor, daniel hughes, edmund eames, john collins, john gibson, john winteringham, london, march 10, paul lorrain, samuel denny, thomas grey, thomas koome, Tyburn
March 9th, 2017
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.
- He must take a firm Resolution to return to a better Life.
- 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.
- He must rather aggravate than palliate his Crime.
- He must be severe towards himself, if he will have God to be merciful to him.
- 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.
- 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. 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,
- How they came to be prompted to, and by degrees hardened in Sin.
- 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.
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.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,Public Executions,Theft,Women
Tags: 1700s, 1705, edward fuller, elizabeth herman, london, march 9, ordinary of newgate, paul lorrain, Tyburn, william pulman
March 8th, 2017
A True Account of the Behaviour, Confession, and Last Dying Speeches Of the Criminals that were Executed at Tyburn, On Wednesday the 8th, of March, 1693.
On the Lord’s-Day, in the Forenoon the Ordinary preacht on the 16th. Verse of the 24th. Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, viz. And herein, I exercise my self, to keep always a Conscience void of offence toward God and Men. From which Words, The Doctrinal Observation was, that it is the Duty and Priviledge of every True Christian, to get aud retain the Integrity of Conscience. For the Explicating of this Four General Heads were inquired into, and Stated.
First, What is Conscience? It is a Mans Judgment of his Souls Estate and Actions, as these are subjected to the Judgment of God in his Revealed Will. The Lord hath placed Conscience in all Men to approve of what is Right with Complacency, and to disallow what is Evil with Grief, Shame, and Abhorrence. It is a Spy and Register in the Bosom of Ungodly Men, that they cannot Sin, in quiet. Conscience makes a Judgment and Determination. How we have observed the Rule of God’s Sacred Law, or swered from it, accordingly, it Acquits and Comforts; or, Condems and Terrifies.
Secondly, What is essentially necessary to constitute your Conscience Morally Good and Comfortable. First, It must be cleansed and sanctified by Renewing Grace, that it may be conformable in all Things to the Law of God. Secondly, Because its exactest Obedience is defective, therefore it must be spingled with the Propiatory Merits of Christ’s Bloodshed. Thirdly, From the Virtue of Christ’s death, there must be exprest, the lively Fruits of an Holy Conversation, with a constant Reliance on Christ’s Intercession to preserve the Integrity of Conscience, under the Violence of all Temptation to Sin, and to support its Comfort, under the deepest Tryals of Affliction.
Thirdly, What Influence doth the Practical believe of the Judgment Day.
What doth the Exercise which preserves a Good Conscience include? It signifies, to be train’d up, under the Discipline of Christianity, so as to be confirm’d in an Holy Conversation against all Contempt and Opposition. So dare be openly Good and Strict in the Practice of all Christian Virtues, when the present Age is most degenerate. It is to make True Religiion our Recreation, and to promote its Aymiableness, in the Uniformity of our Obedience. Righteousness toward Men, Severe[d] from Piety toward God, is veiled Ath[e]ism; and Holy Exercises toward Him, with the neglect of Relative Duties toward men is demure and glittering Hypocrisie. Therefore the Charitable Testimony of others, cannot comfort the Conscience, under its presumptive Groundles Hopes, concerning its Renewed State. This is Infallibly known to God, altho’ Conscience may make a false Report, by Self-flattery, and the Sinners deep Security. Therefore, let us Summon our Hearts, to a strict Account, what preparative Dispositions are formed in us, which may present us before Christ’s Tribunal, with Approbation. But such, who carry their unpardoned Guilt and unrenewed Nature, to the Judgment Seat of Christ, shall have Convulsive pangs of desperation in their Conscience, and shall be rejected by Christ, with the Greatest Abhorrency. After several Rules and Directions, how to get and preserve a Good Conscience, The Conclusion was thus directed to the Condemned Criminals. How may St. Paul‘s Example in the Text, reflect a sad Aspect on your Consciences. These you have defiled, by prostituting them to the Infamous Lusts of your Fleshly Minds. Have you not striven to rase out the Dictates and Sentiments of common Equity? when your Convictions have been troublesome, you have flattered Conscience, with Carnal Reasonings. How have you deafed it to Divine Instructions. By Wordly Diversions, and have drowned the Cries thereof in sensual Pleasures, and thereby, brought the sly Artifices of Sining, unto a destructive Maturity. You have sinned in despight of all Admonitions, and the Examples of Publick Justice. Notwithstanding, when your Consciences shall be arm’d with God’s Commission, they will be active to Condemn you, though cast at present, into a Lethargy of Stupidity. You cannot deny, that you have been great Sinners, yet, there is pardoning Mercy to be obained, by that Satisfaction Christ’s death hath made to God’s offended Justice. This applied by Faith unfeigned, purifies the Heart in Obedience to all Divine Commands. This Renewed Frame, by sprinkling the Merits of Christ’s Bloodshed on the Conscience, turns his Tribunal of Strict Justice, into a Throne of Grace and Mercy. So shall we (at last) be presented to God the Father, not only void of Offence, but in a perfect State of Holiness to all Eternity.
I proceed to give an Account of the Behaviour and Confessions of the Condemned Criminals.
I. Mr. Best, Condemned for High-Treason, in Clipping, Filing, and Diminishing the Current Coyn of England. He is Aged 50 Years. Was Educated at School in Hertfordshire. His Father sent him to in Cambridge, where, he continued his Studies, till he took the Degree of Bachelor in Physick. Afterwards, he practised in that Science, and might have lived comfortably upon it. But by Degrees, he neglected to follow his Profession; and was drawn into Bad Company, of which he now Repents. He denied not, that he had been a great Sinner. I enquired into the Particulars of his Evil Conversation, it being a necessary Duty, to unburthen the Conscience of a Load of Sin, by a free discovery, of it, that so, Serenity of Mind, may be obtained. Besides, there is great difference betwixt Person lying on a sick Bed whose Sins are more secreet, and who may recover to a longer Space of Repentance. Such, are not so strictly obliged, to confess their particular Enormities. But for those, who by Notorious Crimes have given Publick Scandal to the Christian Religion, and brought themselves under the Sentence of Death; such ought to make Publick Acknowledgment of their Excesses in Sinning, that their Repentance may be as Exemplary, as their Conversation hath been Vicious upon this, Mr. Best, was better convinced of his Duty. And freely confest, that he had been Guilty of most Sins, Murther only excepted. Saying withal, that he doubted not the Truth of his Repentance, and that God was reconciled to him, in Christ. I replied, that the Heart of Man is very deceitful in Judging its Spiritual State Godward, especially when Persons have contracted a Custom in Sinning, and thereby hardned their Hearts, to persist therein. To this he replied, that Naturally Man’s Heart is inclined to Self-flattery, but he hoped, the Spirit of God had so sanctified this distress, that his Heart was thoroughly broken for and from the Love of all Sin, chiefly, as an offence against God, who might have justly cut him off, by an untimely death, for his younger Excesses in Sinning. But, said he, I would not be Reclamed, by a more gentle Rod; therefore God now compells me, by greater Severity, to turn to him, and Blessed is the Man, whom the Reproachful stroke of Death, makes (tho’ late) a Partaker of God’s Holiness. I replied, that I was glad, he was convinced of his sinful State, and in some Preparation, to apply the Promises of Salvation. But, it is safest, to be poor in Spirit, and thereby, to Magnifie the All-sufficiency of God’s Grace. He replied, that he endeavoured to be Self abas’d in as much, as the Omniscient, Heart-searching God, would not be Mockt, and could not be deceived with semblant Flourishes in Soul-Concernments.
II. James Steward, Condemned for Breaking the House of Elizabeth Thorne. He is Aged 24 Years, or thereabout. His Father placed him forth, to the Employment of a Chyrugeon. He said, that his Father was of the Roman Religion, and bred him up, in it, so that he knew not well how to quit it. I replied, that we are not obliged to live and d[i]e, in the Religion of our Parents, not grounded on the Purity of God’s Word. And endeavoured to convince him of the Hazard and Danger, in Adhearing to False Principles in Religion, in as much, as these have Influence on an Immortal Conversation. He replied, that he had so much Knowledge, as not to believe the gross Errors of the Romish Church. He also said, that be could not have wanted this Severe. Yet, Just Dealing of God with him in as much, that now he is thoroughly awakend from his Security, and Hopes, that God will turn this distress, into a means of his Conversion; and then, he shall not be troubled for his Reproachful Death. I Stated to him, the Nature and Effects of True Saving Faith and Godly Sorrow for Sin: To which he was attentive and seemed to comply with my Advice, that he might be prepared for Death. He said, that if he had followed his Wives Good Counsel to have been content with an Honest Employment, he had not fallen into this Shameful and Untimely End.
III. Elizabeth Wann, Condemned for Robbing Frances Coguer of a Gold-Chain, Value 8 l. being stopt, the Neck-Lace was found in her Mouth. She is Aged 16 Years. Had Good Education, but was Disobedient to her Mother. Whereupon she left her Family, and entered her self a Servant in London with a Mistress, who employ’d her, most what in Needle-work; but she soon left that Service. Then she grew idle and kept bad Company. She confest, that not Poverty, but only her wicked Heart, inclined her to commit the Crime she did not observe the Sabboth days of later time, and when she did pray, (which was seldom) she performed that Holy Part of Worship, very carelesly. She denied not that she had been a Great Sinner, but being Reprieved, as with Child she promised, that she would not absent her self from the Publick Worship of God, but would endeavour, to beg of Him, firrm Resolutions of Amendment.
IV. David Shammel, Condemn’d for Felony. He is Aged 33 Years. He said, that he was bred up, to Husbandry, and continued that Employment for some length of time, but leaving it, and betaking himself to an Idle Life, he became Poor, and so adventur’d to commit this Felony. He was willing to make an Acknowledgment of his Evil Life. and in particular accused himself of Sabboth-breaking, neglecting to pray that God would keep him, from the wicked incliantions of his own Heart, and the Mischiefs of bad Company. He wept, yet complained of the Hardness of his Heart. Saying, he prayed earnestly, that God would make it thoroughly Contrite, that upon the Change of it, and being made Holy, he might be in a fit Frame to die.
V. John Noble, Condemn’d for Felony and Burglary in Breaking the House of William Cook together with others, not yet taken. He is Aged 53 Years. He said, that he had used the Employment of a Seaman for 38 Years. That he had been Master of a Ship, some time since, but of late, he serves King William in the Fleet. That he had escaped many Perils at Sea. That in great Distresses, he made several Vows to God, that is he would preserve him, his Life should be Reformed. But he forgot the sparing Mercies of the Lord, and return to his former Evil Course of Life, which is now, a greater Trouble to his Mind. He said, that God was Righteous in bringing him to Shame and Punishment: But he prays, that this may work upon his Heart, to make him thorouhgly sensible of all his Sins, that the Lord may Pardon them and in Mercy, save his Soul, when he shall undergo the Pains of Death. I hope he was Penitent.
VI. Philip Mackqueere, Condemned for Robbing John Lacey Esq; in the High-way. He is Aged 28 Years. Was born in Ireland of Protestant Parents. They educated him with Religious Instruction, but he now grieves, that it made not that Impression on him, which they expected. For, he was not obedient to them, as he ought. Upon that, he left them to Travel into Spain and Portugal, after that, into the West-Indies when he returned into England.
He entr’d into Sea-service, under King Charles the II. He said, that he was entertain’d in a large Ship of War last Summer, and was Engaged in a Sea-Fight: But he left that Employment, and thereupon, joyning with bad Company, fell into many Excesses in Sinning. He said, it Repents him, that he did not take Warning by former escaping the Sentence of Death. But since his last Confinement, he hath endeavour’d to get his Heart made sensible of all his sins, which now lie as an heavy Burden on him. He was attantive to the Exhortations given him, to prepare for Death. He promised that he would endeavour to the utmost, by God’s Assistance, to improve his Time, for the getting his Heart into a more penitent Frame, that he may make his Peace with God, and be fit for his Appearance at Christ’s Judgment Seat
On Wednesday the 8th. of March these Five Prisoners were convey’d to Tyburn, viz.
Josiah Best (who was drawne in a Sledge) Phillip Mackguire, James Steward, David Shammell, and John Noble. Mr. Best Confest that he had been Educated at the University of Cambridge, and there took the Degree of Batchelour in Physick; though now he had unworthily declined his profession; which was a great trouble to him, he desires the Ordinary to come to him in the Sledge, which he did, where he told him that he had great hopes of Salvation through the Merits of Christ, and that he was very willing to Dye, though he had sometimes some doubts and jealousies upon him as to his Eternal welfare: Yet now he was Composed, and so did continue to the last, in an humble Frame, after a Devot manner; Joyning in Prayer, and Pray’d to Almighty God in a very sensible manner with Contrition; acknowledgeing that God was Jnst and Righteouss.
David Shammell, was very Ignorant as to to the concerns of his Soul, but was willing to hearken to Instructions; desiring all he Spectators to take warning by his untimely end, and particularly to beware of Whoredom, evil Company, and breach of the Sabbath.
James Steward, and Phillip Mackguire, Declared that they Dyed in the Roman Catholick Religion, (tho’) when they were in Newgate, they always came to the Chappel. Steward at last spake to this effect; Gentlemen, I am but a young Man, and by my sins, I have brought my Body to be Exposed before you, but I hope God will have Mercy upon my soul: I desire that all young Persons would take Example by me, that they may not be Disobedient to their Parents; I run from mine, and would not be ruled by them, they Indulged me and gave me Money, which spoiled me, I had good Education, and might have lived honestly, but Pride and Lastness hath brought me to this shameful End, and now God is just; I spake this that all Parents may take heed, and breed their Children well; and in the fear of God, and that all men may be warned by my fatal End.
Mackguire said but little, only desired all Men to take timely Warning by him; acknowledging that God had justly brought him to such severe Punishment.
John Noble, behaved himself a little unseemly, being very unsensible, of his latter End; would not be perswaded to hear good Counsel, he seemed to be disturbed in his Brain.
This is all the Account I can give of this Sessions.
Samuel Smith, Ordinary.
Dated the 8th. March, 1693.
There is lately Published a Book Entituled, Conversation in Heaven: Being Devotions consisting of Meditations and Prayers on several considerable Subjects in Practical Divinity; Written for the raising the Decay’d Spirit of Piety; very proper to be Read in the time of Lent: By Lawrence Smith, LL. D. Fellow of St. John’s College in Oxford. Price Two Shillings.
Printed for Tho. Speed, at the Three Crowns near the Royal Exchange in Cornhill.
Whereas a Picture was lost some time since being the Representation of Flushing, one of the Provinces, or a Town in Holland, with a Sea incompassing it; a Packet-boat under Sail, a large Ship under Sail: and a little above the Ship it was torn about eight Inches, and but corsely swen up. At the Bottom, near the Frame, there is a yellow Streak, whereon was inscribed Ulisingen: It had a gilt Frame, and fit for a large Chimney-Piece Whoever gives Notice of it to Edward Paige, Surgeon, in Goat-Court upon Ludgate-Hill, shall be rewarded, and if bought their Money returned, and gratified for their Trouble.
LONDON, Printed for L. Curtis, at Sir Edmundbury-Godfrey’s-Head, near Fleet-Bridge, 1693.
Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 17th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Counterfeiting,Crime,Death Penalty,Diminished Capacity,Drawn and Quartered,England,Execution,Hanged,History,Mass Executions,Pelf,Public Executions,Theft
Tags: 1690s, 1693, david shammel, elizabeth wann, james steward, john noble, josiah best, london, march 8, ordinary of newgate, philip mackqueere, samuel smith, Tyburn
March 7th, 2017
The Ordinary of Newgate’s Account of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, of Five Malefactors, Viz.
John Prince for Forgery, Who was executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, March 7; Anne Baker for a Street Robbery, Peter Robins for a Burglary, and James Rocket and Timothy Stewart for a Robbery, near the Highway, Who were executed at Tyburn on Wednesday, March 28, 1764.
Being the Fourth and Fifth Executions in the Mayoralty of the Rt. Hon. William Bridgen, Esq.
Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Number III. for the said Year.
LONDON, Printed for J. COOKE, at Shakespear’s Head, in Pater-noster Row, and Sold by all Booksellers and News Carriers. Price 8d.
The Ordinary of Newgate’s Account of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, &c.
The Introduction to the tryal and conviction of John Prince having been published in the foregoing account of six malefactors, Numb. II. need not be recited here.
1. John Prince was indicted, for feloniously forging and counterfeiting a certain bill of exchange, for the payment of 125l. and publishing the same, well knowing it to have been forged, with intent to defraud Robert Mackoun, July 8.
The steps, by which this well-known offender was brought to justice, are remarkable: He was apprehended, about the 12th or 13th of September, on account of a fraud only, at the suit of Mr. Richard Marshe, Hosier, near Temple Bar, for obtaining from him a parcel of silk hose, by false pretences. It was no easy task to lay hold of a man long practised in much greater frauds, and yet evading the hand of justice. Prince (who always flattered himself, and looked on his own actions in the most favourable light,) told me, he had not fair play on that occasion. At least he was inclined to think so, because the consequence of his being taken up for this fraud, brought to light a worse crime, which proved fatal to him. He said Mr. Marshe had taken out warrants against him, and way-laid him in three or four counties, as well as the city of London; that about this time he was seen casually passing through Fleet Street, by Mr. Marshe, who pursued him, with an hue and cry of stop thief, and was taken in a publick house under that character, where he stepped in for shelter; whereas, said Prince, he had no right to consider me as a thief, but only his debtor. However, he was taken before Sir John Fielding, and being examined, was committed to the Gatehouse, Westminster, September the 13th last, for obtaining from Richard Marshe, by false pretences, silk hose to the value of 13l. and upwards. By this time the transaction of the forgery began to be looked after by the injured party, and, like a mine, was ready to be sprung, and involve the miner in its ruin. Prince was now advertised to be re-examined the 15th, at the very time Mr. Mackoun was meditating how to prosecute this forgery; who seeing the advertisement in a news paper, which he took up in a coffee-house, attended at Sir John’s, and produced this bill. Prince being examined on it, said, Bricklen (the supposed drawer of the bill,) was gone into Yorkshire. It now probably appeared before the Magistrate, by the same evidence, afterwards given on tryal, that Prince had told the prosecutor two different stories about the drawer of this bill; the first was, that Bricklen and Co. were great Distillers and Brandy-merchants, living near the watch-house, in Moorfields; that they served Orcherton, the accepter of the bill, who then kept the Rose Tavern, in Cursitor Street, with rum and brandy. This being proved false, on enquiry, no such persons as Bricklen and Co. to be found, and Orcherton gone aside; the second story was, that Bricklen in truth was an outlawed smuggler, but was worth three or four thousand pounds, and the bill would be paid when due, and that he lodged in some lane or alley near Moorfields. This was equally true with the former; and now, being urged by the necessity of the case, to produce this drawer of the bill, he said he lived in the country, and was gone into Yorkshire. The bill was to this purport:
London June 3, 1763.
Three months after date pay to Mr. John Prince, on his order, the sum of one hundred twenty five pounds sterl. and place the same to account of,
Sir, your most humble servant,
G. Bricklen and Co.
To Wm. Orcherton, at the Rose Tavern, Cursitor Street.
Accepted, William Orcherton.
This bill had been passed by the prisoner to the prosecutor, instead of 100l. cash, payable by way of deposit to bind a bargain and sale of an estate, near Long Ford, Middlesex, in the Windsor Road, about 15 miles from London. The terms of this sale had been agreed upon in a memorandum, of which the seller had given the buyer a copy, signed by him. On discovery that the bill was bad, the former would have returned it to the latter, on condition of recovering his memorandum again; but this was wilfully and obstinately refused by Prince, who insisted on his bargain; for that he had friends who would raise him the money when the bill became due. The bill was now due nine days before this examination, as appears by the date in the face of it; and yet neither he nor his friends had paid it, otherwise we should probably have heard nothing of this prosecution. This is here mentioned to demonstrate the audacious temper and effrontery of this prisoner, who persisted, after his conviction, to assert, “that it was no forgery, but a good bill, and would have been paid had it been demanded when due; and that it never was demanded;” which is contrary to the whole tenor of the evidence on trial. But if this assertion had any appearance of truth, it was a mere fallacious evasion; if it was not demanded, it was because none of the parties, by whom it was payable, could be found. On this issue the prisoner himself put the affair at the time of this examination, when he pretended that Bricklen was gone into Yorkshire, and desired five or six days might be allowed him till he should return, or be found. Sir John granted him eight or nine days, and also proposed, if the prisoner would give him an account what part of Yorkshire he was in, he would send an express for him, at his own expence; for, as he told the prisoner, it was a matter that nearly concerned him; this kind offer was not accepted, because it could not be complied with. At this examination Orcherton, the keeper of the Rose Tavern, in Cursitor Street, was produced. Some words dropt from him, which caused him to be secured as an evidence at least, if not an accomplice in the forgery; he set forth, that he had known the prisoner only since May last, that he wrote the body of that bill of exchange, and accepted it with his own name; but G. Bricklen and Co. was not on it at that time, nor did he ever remember to hear of that name, till he saw it on the draught with Mr. Mackoun’s Attorney; consequently, that he had never dealt with Bricklen and Co. for brandy and rum, as the prisoner had pretended. Orcherton also now opened the pretences, by which he was drawn in by Prince and his associates, to write this, and some other bills of the same nature, to the amount of 500l. which was, to raise money for Prince to purchase the house Orcherton then lived in, being advertised for sale, and, when purchased, it was to be mortgaged for money to pay off those bills. This was to be for the use and benefit of Orcherton, to prevent his being turned out of the house. Prince was remanded back to the Gatehouse for further examination; but would not yet be persuaded to think, or seem to believe, that his case was any way dangerous. In conversation between Prince and Orcherton, as they were carried in a coach together, a kind of dispute or quarrel arose; Prince charging Orcherton with giving evidence too severely against him, and the other insisted it was the truth: And charged him with having been the occasion of great losses to him, by which he became a bankrupt; adding, that he “would not think much to be banished, for the satisfaction to see him hanged.” Prince, forward to catch at any thing that might break the force of so pointed an evidence, considered this hasty and vindictive expression, as sufficient to invalidate his testimony; and therefore had subpoena’d witness to prove it on his trial. But Orcherton having, of his own accord, acknowledged it in his cross examination, and accounted for it by a sudden passion he was put in, for being sent to prison on account of these notes, which Prince induced him to write, and also explained himself, that he did not mean to have him hanged unless he deserved it, the objection seemed to lose its weight.
Prince being searched when charged with the forgery, a paper, teeming with secret practices and dark deeds, was found upon him, which, as it tended to confirm Orcherton’s evidence, in relation to the company that used to frequent his house with Prince, and their practices, was also read at the close of his evidence on the trial, to the purport following:
An agreement between Samuel Fisher, Edward Hart, George White, and John Prince, concerning dividing the money that should be raised by a bill, or bills, drawn by the prisoner, and the expences how to be paid.
An occasion will offer itself, in the course of this account, to compare some names in the aforesaid paper with another curious piece dictated by Prince, and by means of which his respite of three weeks was obtained.
On his next examination before the Justice, no Bricklen, no drawer of the bill being found or traced out, and the presumption of a forgery rising proportionably higher, he was committed to Newgate toward the latter end of September; when the gaol being sickly, he caught the distemper, which occasioned his trial to be put off, he being reduced so low in health that it was believed he could not live to be tried. During this interval, there was no opportunity for me to know or converse with him, he being either disabled by sickness, or (like the bulk of the other prisoners) disinclined to think of his duty in the chapel, till after trial and conviction. His trial at length came on in January sessions. Beside what has been said, it was proved, that all possible enquiry was made for Bricklen and Co. but they were not to be found by the prosecutor, or his clerk; and it was proved positively, by an old inhabitant, of twenty years, near the watch-house, Moorfields, that no such person was in that time known to live there. The prisoner only said in his defence, that he lived in an alley beyond the watch-house, and produced two witnesses, to prove they had seen the prisoner in company with a person of that name, above a year since, and that he was a dealer in horses; and one of them believed the signing of the bill to be like his hand. But this did not come up to the point, nor prove such persons as Bricklen and Co. to exist under the description and character given by the prisoner, of the drawers of the bill, and therefore it was determined he had forged the person; and no such person appearing, he was found guilty.
Thus the charge against this prisoner, with its proof and issue, has been briefly collected and laid before the reader. His behaviour after conviction, together with the means used to bring him to a repentance proportioned to his crimes and course of life, have been also in part represented to the publick, with that of his other eight fellow-convicts; two of which, James Anderson and Thomas Thompson, have been executed Feb. 15, and six respited.
So long as there is any hope of the reformation of criminals in the character of penitents, and while there is life there is hope, all possible patience, and forbearance, and tenderness should be exercised towards them: But when their lives are forfeited, and the forfeit paid for the warning of other hardened and presumptuous offenders, and the safeguard and protection of the honest and industrious; the best use should be made of their subtile schemes and evil conduct, to answer those purposes for which criminals are punished.
And first, it is a desperate and most provoking degree of hardness in guilt, for any surviving criminal to encourage himself in his wickedness, and persist in his evil courses, because he sees or hears of a dying criminal making a decent exit at the place of execution. This is a most fallacious sign, on which there is no dependence. We are, indeed, in general obliged to perform the best offices of piety and charity we can, and they are capable of, for the worst of dying sinners and criminals; but the success is wholly unknown and uncertain to us; it is deep involved in futurity, and the divine counsels. There is no judging, by present superficial outward appearances, of their true spiritual state at present, nor of the judgment that will pass upon them for their eternal lot hereafter. ‘Tis impossible for us, for any but the Searcher of Hearts, to know how far these seeming penitents have complied with the terms of salvation. Whether they have outsinned their day of Grace and Salvation, or are still objects of it? Whether they strive earnestly in prayer, that a true repentance, a lively faith, and all the graces requisite for their condition may be granted to them? or whether it is too late to sue for them? For however presumptuous and ignorant men may flatter themselves, and each other, that it is never too late to repent (and tho’ perhaps this may be true of a sincere repentance) yet we are assured, by the highest authority, that the hope of the hypocrite shall perish; that there is a time when these good things are hid from mens eyes, and the door of mercy is shut. And the reasons and causes are assigned, which bring things to this desperate pass. When men hate knowledge and do not chuse the fear of the Lord; when they refuse his calls and disregard the stretching out of his hand; when they set at naught his counsel and will hear none of his reproof; then will he also laugh at their calamity, and mock when their fear cometh; — when their fear cometh as desolation, and their destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon them. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me, saith the supreme Judge. [Proverbs 1:22-28 -ed.] We know, and are witnesses, that these causes and symptoms too generally prevail among obdurate sinners, within and without our prison-doors, whether at large or in chains. How then can they escape the inevitably connected consequences? Have we not invincible arguments, to make us expect and dread them all in the worst sense? It appears to me the best good office which humanity and good-will can do such men, to set these things strongly before their eyes, ere it be yet too late, for ever.
We know, and are witnesses, that in general the apparent repentance of convicts in chains seems to be merely forced upon them by their present fears and miseries; for they too frequently prove this, by putting it off as long as they can, and relapsing as soon as they can, i.e. on the first opportunity.
These reflexions naturally rise from the long course of frauds and misconduct which the convict now in view had run thro’, and the little sense he seemed to feel of his real case and danger. For tho’ he attended the chapel almost daily after conviction, yet he acknowledged he had never been there above three or four times in so many months that he was a prisoner before it: And now that he came, the point he seemed to have most at heart was to deny his guilt, plead innocence, and consult with me how to escape this death? rather than ask and learn how he should obtain eternal life; for this was the convict hinted at in the former Account, (No. II. p. 9.) who desired a private conversation on this subject; but being then respited, was not named. This is the convict, there also unnamed, who mistook the Commination for the Communion Office, after some weeks instruction and preparation. For it appeared from his conversation, from his incapacity to read common English with propriety, or write a plain hand, that he was of a more ignorant and low-bred class than he found it his interest to assume in the several scenes he had gone thro’. From his being known to have been a Draper on Ludgatehill, or a Warehouseman in Bread-street, one would form an idea of a man of suitable birth and education. And this pretence he still endeavoured to support; for being asked one day, whether he had served his time to a Draper? he answered no, he had learned it by being bred up and travelling among the woollen manufacturers; that he was born in Wiltshire, and there educated with his father, came to London at the age of eighteen or twenty years, and having lived sometime among the principal Drapers, to whom he was sometime a rider , he then set up the business on his own account. The truth is, he came to town a raw country young fellow, about twelve years ago, and was first employed in a considerable Print-shop kept by Mr. O–v–n, facing St. Sepulchre’s church, as a menial servant, and acted as footman and porter to carry out parcels, and used to ride journeys with his master, to carry his portmanteau. In this service he was thought to be rather heavy and stupid, than capable of those pranks, which he has since had a part in playing off. When he had lived here about a year, he got another place at a Draper’s and Sale-shop in Houndsditch, and from thence he moved to a like place in Drury-lane, much in the same capacity. In these two latter places he learned so much of the business as to open a shop for himself on Ludgate Hill, which much surprized all who knew him from his beginning; and puzzled them to account, whence the capital should arise to enable him to venture on such a house. But this blaze, having served his turn, was soon extinguished, and the house shut up in darkness. This is said to have been about the year 1760. His next step was to remove to Godalming in Surrey, where, out of the spoils already picked up, he dealt in corn and flour to London, having purchased a mill for that purpose, and was getting money apace; this held on for about eighteen months, and he told me he might have done well here, and continued so, had not some of his former companions, ever restless, and seeking whom they may devour, found him out, and came down to extort a sum of money from him, or threatened to blow him. He not answering their large demands, they exposed him as one who had been a bankrupt and in gaol, &c. He was soon pointed at by his neighbours and others (with whom he had hitherto kept up his credit) as one who had been so and so in London, and was now come down to cheat the country. This obliged him to sell his mill and decamp; and he added, that 90l. of the price was still due to him, which he hoped they would pay his wife. Of her he always spoke with tender concern, and, to aggravate his sorrows, said they had three children; the last of which died of the gaol distemper, caught by being with his mother to visit him in the prison. It is known, and generally believed, that this convict had been too frequently and deeply concerned with several persons (some of them before named in the paper found in his pocket when taken) in sundry frauds and forgeries to procure goods, to get possession of effects and estates on counterfeit securities, and then raise money upon them. One of their most successful methods was to put on the guise of considerable dealers and persons of property, to strike a bargain, pay down some cash in hand, and give bills for the rest, which, on enquiry, proved much like the bill for which he was convicted. This he seemed conscious of, when he endeavoured to account for his conviction on other principles than those of justice and law; for he insisted on being innocent of any forgery in this case; but, said he, I was unfortunately connected with a set of bad people, and had but a light character, and it was determined that some one must die, and I am singled out to fall a sacrifice. By whom and what number of men this was determined, he did not explain; but often hinted, that a person concerned in his prosecution was no better than he should be. Several exploits in their way are reported of this sett of confederates. Prince had agreed with a principal for an Oyster-meter’s place at Billingsgate. He would have paid down 100l. cash, and 400l. more in bills: But this latter part not being approved, broke off the bargain. When he dealt as a Draper, he took a journey into the West Country with his ingenious accomplice F–r, under the stile and title of F-sh-r, Esq; of F-s-r hall in Lancashire, where, by offering a good price, they dealt with a clothier for the value of 1500l. in pieces of cloth, then lying in a great warehouse in London, for which they paid down 600l. in cash, and gave bills on supposed Merchants for 900l. They had the pieces delivered to them by order; but when the bills became due, the persons by whom they were payable were not to be found. The two accomplices were secured, on an affidavit or oath made by the creditor, or prosecutor, and sent to prison; their attorney found, or pretended to find, a flaw in the affidavit, trumped up a prosecution for perjury against him, which, it is said, terrified him so, as to induce him to give the defendants a general release, and 400l. more by way of composition.
It is well known, that Prince and his companion aforesaid were fellow-prisoners in Newgate for a fraud in March 1761, in obtaining several pieces of superfine cloth by false pretences. A little before they were to be tried for this fact, the prosecutor was prevailed on to make a debt of it, by their paying down some little money, and giving him some large promises to pay the rest. They were detained as debtors in Newgate five or six weeks, till F–r first, and Prince in a week after, moved themselves by Habeas Corpus to the King’s Bench prison, from whence, in less than a year, they were both cleared by the compelling clause in the Act of Insolvency. They were well known in each of these prisons on other occasions.
On the day that Prince was convicted, some young gentleman was seen to give him a quarter guinea, for his present relief; and said, at the same time, that his father had lost 1000l. by him. For that and the like purposes, he and his accomplices had taken a house in Bread-street, facing the Three Cups Inn, the better to give a colour to their transactions.
When men have long turned their whole thoughts, and laid out their talents on such deep schemes of fraud and villainy, they may truly be said to have sold themselves to work iniquity; their heart is perverted, and become callous to every good impression, which they have long resisted and stifled. There is a root of bitterness in them, which it were impossible for human strength or means to change or extirpate; and if ever they are changed so as to be saved, it can only be by the mighty power, the extraordinary grace, the exceeding great love and mercy of that God, to whom nothing is impossible. But let sinners take heed how they presume upon these perfections, and dally with divine patience and goodness. It is for this very reason, because there is mercy with him, therefore he is to be feared.
These thoughts are occasioned by a sudden change in this prisoner, which flattered us with hopeful appearances of a good work begun in him, on January 25, the festival of the Conversion of St. Paul, when the Psalms, the proper lessons, and other offices of the day were explained and applied to the prisoners, teaching them that the same heavenly light and grace which had converted Saul from being a persecutor, a blasphemer, and injurious, to be a most zealous Apostle and Preacher of the Gospel, was most surely recorded, and still shone bright in the hearts of all who were open to receive it, and that for this very cause he obtained mercy, to be a pattern to others, who should hereafter be convinced. After service he came, of his own accord, and spoke to this effect; first, that he was sorry for some refractory misbehavour he had been guilty of yesterday in the chapel, and also that he was now glad he did not die of the goal distemper before his trial, (for he said he was, indeed, very wicked when first put in gaol, but hoped he was now spared to repent,) tho’ he should die a shameful death; that he had not an opportunity of attending chapel above two Sundays during his confinement, before trial, having been ill the best part of three months; that he had been drawn in and connected with bad men, but now saw his folly, for they were his ruin; he added, that a friend who supported him, promised to use his endeavours to save his life, but he would make the best use of his time, and not depend on it. He was in the same cell with another convict, who could read well, and had several proper books lent them, which they promised to make good use of.
One of these bad connections is little known or spoken of, viz. that which he had with John Perrott, his neighbour on Ludgate Hill, who was executed at Smithfield, November 11, 1761, for concealing his effects as a bankrupt; not long before which was the failure of Prince, with some similar causes and circumstances. This connection was carried so far, that it is said F–r, at least his associate, if not Prince himself, was concerned in a scheme to rescue Perrott out of gaol a few days before his execution; which was indeed then apprehended, and guarded against. (See page 12, 13, of the Account of John Perrott and Samuel Lee.)
The respite of Prince, the night before his fellow convicts were executed, has been mentioned in the preceding Account; as also that the reasons and means of that respite seemed unknown even to himself; but this was owing to his dissimulation with me, and perhaps shame also to avow the real means and motives by which that respite was obtained. To conceal which, when asked, a few days after, how this respite came about, he amused me with the following blind stories; that he was visited Feb. the 14th, the evening before execution, by a gentleman of fortune from Spitalfields (his name being forgot;) he asked him a few questions, and going away left two shillings for him at the lodge; when he heard this, he revolved in his mind, why should two shillings be left for a man who is to die to-morrow? He conjectured, therefore, this respite was obtained by his means, thro’ the interest of a noble Lord and some gentlemen, for whom he once procured a sum of money, as a broker, on some goods and an estate, for which he gave a bond. And as the estate is now vested in him, it must be forfeited if he dies: To prevent this, he would seem to suppose he was respited. He added, that he had suffered much by law and imprisonment on account of that affair, as the parties believed he had defrauded them of a large sum, but at last cleared himself, and believes they are satisfied of his innocence. The real story he alluded to, is thus reported; that he advised a certain N-b-n, who applied to him in necessity for ready cash, to take up goods from a manufacturer in Spitalfields, to the value of 2000l. which being put into the hands of Prince, when he had raised a proper sum on them, he returned three or four hundred pounds to his employer, and sunk the rest. This was an expedient he was well practised in, the raising of money on goods, however obtained, of which there are numberless instances. This is one of those abuses of trade and credit, which perverts this practice into one of the worst species of robbery; and is common among that obdurate set of enormous criminals, who live luxuriously upon the spoil in our prisons under the name of debtors. For it must be allowed, that in proportion as the right use of fair trade and well-grounded credit is beneficial to society, and is, in fact, the support of millions in these nations and dominions; so the abuse and perversion of either, or both, is detrimental and destructive to numbers.
But so long habituated was this criminal to the use of false pretences, that he could scarce divest himself of them to his dying day. Whatever pretences he had made use of to conceal the real occasion of his respite from me, the true state of it was first hinted by another, and in due time fully cleared up; and it was thus. He sent his wife to a compassionate Gentleman, in the Commission of the Peace for Middlesex, to inform him, that John Prince, her husband, was able to make some material discoveries for the publick utility, she herself making an affidavit to that purpose, and that he was ready to give his information to proper persons. This was on the 14th of February, the day before he was to suffer. Proper application being made above, by the Gentleman aforesaid, in a few hours a respite, for three weeks, was sent down. And the next day, Prince being examined in an apartment of the prison, gave the following Information.
MIDDLESEX. The Examination of John Prince, now under sentence of death in Newgate, taken this 15th day of February, 1764.
THIS Examinant says, that he knows Ed—d H–t, late of the Seven-dials, Cheesemonger; T—s G–ff–h, a Cabinet-maker; J–n W–ms, late a Change-broker, and who now lives near Grosvenor, or Hanover-Square; George White; who lately died in Newgate; Ch–s Wh–e, brother to the said G–e, who is now at large; J–h H–mm–d, and S–l F–r: Says, that about last Spring he frequented H–ll’s, at the Wheatsheaf, in Purpoollane; that he there saw the aforesaid Ch–s and G–e W–te, who told him, that they lived by picking of pockets; that he also then and there saw, in company with the said two Wh–s, two lusty country-looking fellows, who the said Wh–es informed him, lived by robbing on the highway, and by committing other robberies, but does not know the said last mentioned two persons names, but that they use L–l–y’s, in Golden-lane; says that about nine months ago he was sent for to the Royal Oak, as he believes at Mile-end, by G–e Wh–e and Ed–d H–t, who informed him they had a good job for him to do; says they did not then inform him what the job was, but appointed him to meet them at the Angel at Islington, at five o’ clock the same evening; says he met them there accordingly; says he stayed some time there, when and where they told him, that money must be had, and that if he would go along with them, they had a scheme to get it that night; says they set out from Islington, and proceeded together on horseback to the Halfway-house in the bottom of Finchley Common, where they had some brandy; from thence went to Whetstone, and put up their horses at the Green Man there; from thence went to Barnet to the Green Man there, where they drank; from thence went to the White Lion at Kitt’s Inn, put up their horses there, and after staying some time returned towards London, till they got on to Finchley Common: says they then took across the Common towards Southgate, when they told him they had come out on purpose to rob the Mail: says they staid together on horseback till they saw the Mail cart come along from London; when they desired this informant to go and rob it, and at the same time told him, it was a very rich Mail on account of Chester fair: says he refused robbing it, clapt spurs to his horse, and rode away to his lodgings, opposite the Royal Oak at Mile End aforesaid: says that about twelve days afterwards the said W–te and H–t again called upon him at his lodging, and that they drank together at the Royal Oak; that they then took him into the fields, and told him they had robbed the Mail at the time they wanted him to rob it as aforesaid; and that W–te then gave this examinant a black pocket-book, now in the possession of T–s M–r, Esq; in which was sixteen or eighteen Bank notes of different sums, all which, they told him, they had got out of the aforesaid Mail: says they desired this informant to put the notes by, but not to put them off without their knowledge: says he kept them about a month, and returned them to them again at the Royal Oak aforesaid: says that a few days afterwards they gave him a thirty pound bank bill, which he, in his way from Ascot-Heath races, put off to a Butcher in the morning, who lives opposite the White Hart at Slough, who is a lusty man; that H–t and White told him the said note was taken out of the aforesaid Mail: says he afterwards put off a bank bill, at Bury St. Edmund’s, to G–e M–n, an Attorney, of 20l. which he also had from W–te and H–t, and which they told him they got out of the Mail in manner aforesaid: says H–t told him he buried his share of the bank notes and other papers, which were taken out of the said Mail, in his cellar, near Lombard Court, Seven-dials: says the widow of G–e Wh–e now lives at Matthew Fr–h’s, at Coney, and verily believes that she now has concealed, either in a trunk or in two boxes, papers taken out of the aforesaid Mail. Says, that at the time the said Mail was going to be robbed, as aforesaid, he rode a bay mare, fourteen hands high, which he hired in Red Lion yard, Clerkenwell; that G–e Wh–e rode a brown horse of his own, which at that time stood at the first inn on the left hand going down Old-street; that H–t rode a little black horse, which was hired of C–kst–e at Mile-end, where he this examinant then lodged; that Wh–e was dressed in a brown suit of cloaths, all of the same; but at that time had in his saddle-baggs, a dark grey coat, a black shag waistcoat, and leather breeches; that H–t was dressed in a brown coat and waistcoat, and leather breeches; that he had an old brown great coat tied before him, but that Wh – e had no great coat: Says J–ks-n was a sailor, but now dealt in horses; is a short thick man, and used to pick pockets.
It was observed by one well versed in these matters, that after this information was known to be on foot, it was designedly or incautiously kept by the prisoner for twenty-four hours; in which time notice for escape and secreting the effects might be given to the parties, and so the design be defeated. That in consequence of it search warrants were issued, and several parties taken up, but nothing was to be found, or proved.
It was also humanely observed, with due concern, by a Magistrate, that the matter of this examination did not come before the Magistrates in a due and regular channel, by confession made, in a serious hour and frame of preparation, to the proper Minister of the prison, by whom it might have been laid before them, that they might judge whether it deserved the extraordinary favour of a reprieve sine die, and not merely serve the turn of a short, because ill-founded, respite, by which the unhappy convict underwent the dreadful vicissitudes of hopes and fears, and was at length disappointed, to the great disturbance of his mind, and interruption of the regular progress of his preparation. But whom had he to blame for thus undertaking what he could not perform? But there have been like cases of others, who, when sinking, will catch at these twigs.
The matter of this information being referred from authority to three Magistrates, to consider and report whether the case merited a farther respite, it was agreed and concluded to send a written message to Prince, to acquaint him, that his discoveries hitherto were of no service to the publick, and for the most part known before; therefore not to flatter himself with farther favours, unless he could better fulfil his promise; this being signed by the aforesaid three Gentlemen, was sent to him by the hand of his wife, at least nine or ten days before he suffered. Yet he thought proper to keep this whole transaction a secret from me, nor did it come to my knowledge till communicated thro’ an authentic hand after his execution: Insomuch that it now seems unaccountable, how he could amuse himself and me with the appearance of hope, without truth or reason, to the last day; sometimes affecting to expect to know more in a few days; again, insinuating that he was sold by those who better deserved the same fate; then to suspect the intercepting or suppressing some paper of intelligence, which he obscurely hinted at by the application of some bank bills; and dropping other half sentences then unintelligible to me; but which, I now conceive, he must know to be impossible to be true, unless he suspected his wife, or could doubt his own eyes in the answer she brought him. And yet it is well known, she was unwearied and importunate in her applications, and strained some points, at her own peril, to save his life.
As he was frequently warned by me not to build too much on the renewal of this respite, he assured me he would not; for which he gave an instance; that while he was shopman to a draper in Drury-lane, he was picked out as an expeditious rider, to ride post with a respite for a convict in a distant county for six weeks, which was renewed from time to time for six months; and yet at last he suffered.
In the interval of this respite, Prince was far from being composed, but seemed rather fretful and captious. Some ignorant visitor having told him that his life and character was published, much to his disadvantage, being no other, I presume, than the Grub street half-penny speech, he or his friends absurdly took it in their head to suspect, and at last to accuse me, of doing him this ill office. It greatly shocked me, that in the midst of all the best offices I could do him, he should imagine me capable of so much inconsistency. However, considering his ignorance, and the torturing suspence he was in, I patiently gave him all the satisfaction I could, that I never had seen that paper, nor knew what he meant. Still he, in his resentment, seemed unsatisfied, and brought and returned me all the pious and proper tracts I had lent him for his better instruction and preparation. Being calmly asked, how he could do without them? he answered, he had other good books of his own. He still attended the chapel, except an odd day, when in a sullen fit. The last Sunday he had to live, two persons, having desired leave, happened to come with me to go to the chapel; he outrageously attacked one of them, a working Printer, with hand and tongue, seizing him by the collar, was ready to choke him, and using the bitterest imprecations against him, for having published his life; and swore, if he went up to chapel, he would tumble him down stairs. The man assured him (as, I believe, he well could) that he was quite innocent, and an utter stranger to the affair: Prince answered, It was you, or that parson there! Luckily, I had gone first up to chapel, and was not disturbed with this outrageous fray, till after service being ended, and returning to the press-yard, I reproved the man, with some warmth, for neglecting to come up to the service. He then explained the matter, and pleaded his fears of Prince, as a very reasonable excuse. This matter was quickly made known to Mr. A-k-n, who with temper and prudence undertook to set Prince right. By his means he was convinced of his rash judgment and gross misbehaviour, and when visited next day, relented, asked pardon, and expressed sorrow for his fault, of abusing a person who had spoke favourably of him in the account that was then published. And in truth, none of those papers, so offensive to this unhappy man, ever fell under my eye, tho’ enquiry was since made to procure one of them. And considering that those ill-timed and ill-natured invectives, against a man in his critical situation of doubt and fear, might lessen his hope of farther mercy, his resentment, tho’ foolishly misplaced, admits of some sort of excuse. The two last days he employed chiefly in writing notes and sending messages to some officers of the Mint and the Post-office; one from each of which came, and had private conferences with him, by which he seemed to expect a renewal of his respite: But, in fine, he was told, they could do him no service. On these occasions, he only told me in general, that his mind and conscience was not easy, till he had opened what he had to say to those gentlemen before he suffered, which, he told me, was a discovery concerning the robbery of the Chester Mail: But said nothing of his conversation with the Gentleman from the Tower. And as to his discovery concerning that robbery of the Mail, it is strongly surmised, for good reasons, that it was all hearsay evidence, which he had learned in conversation from his fellow-prisoner, G. White aforesaid, who died in Newgate, and is believed to be the person, or one of them, who committed that fact; for neither Prince nor his wife, when closely examined, could ascertain the time when it was committed. He told me it was above a year ago, while his examination makes it only three quarters of a year; and she, from the circumstances of her husband’s returning home in a morning, would have proved it to be in June last: whereas it appears, from the Advertisement, to be on the 7th of September last, between three and four in the morning, by two footpads, the one rather a tall man, pitted with the small-pox; the other rather a short man, in a sailor’s jacket and a check shirt, &c.
He seemed to become very serious and attentive the two last days, in the chapel, when I explained to him, from the chosen Lessons of Isaiah the fifth and St. Luke the sixteenth, and other places, the necessary distinctions between moral good and evil, virtue and vice, obedience and disobedience, and their inevitable consequences; and also the certainty and eternal duration of two opposite states, from the Parable of Dives and Lazarus. When visited the evening before he suffered, several proper and affecting prayers were offered up, in which he humbly and heartily joined. He was very thankful, and expressed his gratitude in the tenderest manner, seizing my hand and kissing it, and shewing great sorrow that he had ever distrusted my care and fidelity, and wished he had placed that confidence in his minister which he put in others.
The Morning of Execution.
Having saluted him with a blessing of Peace, and asked him how are you? he said, As well as can be expected. He had two books in his hand, which I lent him a second time the preceding evening. He was asked, have you made good use of those books? He answered, he had, as long as light was allowed him, which was but an hour after I left him at six. Had you any sleep? Yes, he said, he lost himself for about two hours, and then returned to his thoughts and exercises proper for his approaching change.
At Prayers and the Administration he behaved with humble and attentive devotion, only seemed too little acquainted with his part of the office, unless directed. After which, he was reminded, to keep in his heart this surest and highest pledge of the love of God, and in his passage to meditate on the articles of the Christian Faith, and these two petitions — Thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven: And to comfort himself with the hope that this chastisement is a mark and proof of God’s love to his soul, intended by a right use of it to save him from worse, infinitely worse, hereafter. He seemed very thankful, and promised he would comply with these directions. He went down directly, and passed thro’ the operation of having his irons knocked off, and his hands and arms bound, with great resignation. He said, indeed, one thing which had better been spared, “That he might have saved his own life had he put others in his place; but this he did not chuse to do.” This speech, compared with what has been before related, seems to prove he was not yet purged from the dross of all dissimulation and false pretences. This was his weak side.
When put in the cart, he appeared intent on his book, and regardless of any thing that passed around him. There were few spectators here in comparison, and fewer at the place of execution; this execution being scarce known, or expected by the public.
When brought to the tree, he seemed calm and chearful; and being asked, said he was very easy. Also, Whether he now acknowledged the justice of his sentence? he answered, there was no fraud intended, nor forgery committed; but as his King and country had found him guilty, he submitted. He added, that nothing lay heavy on his conscience, nor had he any concern, but that dear, worthy, good creature he left behind him; to whom, he assured me, he was married, whatever malicious report may say to the contrary. The usual proper devotions being performed, in which he joined and also the surrounding people, he looked round with a calm countenance, but seemed to want words; he then said, “The peace of God be with you all; I wish you more grace than I have had, and not to come to this sad end which I have brought myself to.” Then having received the last benediction, he quietly resigned his life and suffered his sentence.
An Account of the Behaviour of Anne Baker, Peter Robins, James Rocket, and Timothy Stewart.
BY virtue of the King’s commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and gaol-delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex, at Justice-hall in the Old-Bailey, before the Right Honourable William Bridgen, Esq; Lord-Mayor of the city of London ; Sir Henry Gould, Knt. one of the Judges of his Majesty’s Court of Common Pleas ; the Honourable Mr. Baron Perrott; James Eyre, Esq; Recorder , and others of his Majesty’s Justices of oyer and terminer of the city of London, and Justices of gaol-delivery of Newgate, holden for the said city and county of Middlesex, on Wednesday the 22d, Thursday the 23d, Friday the 24th, Saturday the 25th, Monday the 27th, and Tuesday the 28th of February, in the fourth year of his Majesty’s reign, five persons were capitally convicted and received sentence of death, for the several crimes in their indictments set forth, namely, Anne Baker, Peter Robins, James Wharton, James Rocket, and Timothy Steward.
1. And on Friday the 23d of March, the report of the said malefactors was made to his Majesty, by Mr. Recorder, when James Wharton, for the robbery of Anne Curtise of 2s. on the King’s highway, was respited, and the other four abovenamed ordered for execution, on Wednesday March 28th, and were executed accordingly.
2. Anne Baker, spinster, was indicted, for that she, (together with Anne Hill, James Doleman and John Wright, not taken,) in a certain alley, near the King’s highway, on Thomas Porter did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and violently taking from his person one guinea and twelve and six-pence in money, numbered, his property, January the 8th.
The prosecutor, Thomas Porter, a seafaring and lighter-man , who then lodged on Snow-Hill, drinking a pint of beer at the Bell in the Old-Bailey, fell into this ill company, and had a quarrel raised against him, for speaking a word to save the prisoner from the stripes of a rattan; he went out to avoid them; and the two women, mentioned in the indictment, followed him close, under pretence of getting some persons to see him righted. They got the two men abovementioned. They decoyed him from one alehouse to another, between Fleet-Market and the Old-Bailey, from seven till twelve at night, and then the women persuading him to see them home to White-Cross Street, they led him round through Chick-Lane, to Black-Boy Alley, where the prisoner, by a frightful whistle which she blew, had him surrounded by five, in a moment. The four now mentioned, struck and wounded him terribly, saying, they would have his money, life, and clothes; and then dragging him by the legs along the street, they held him down, rifled his pockets, cutting one of them out with a knife; this made him cry out, Murder, help, mercy. The prisoner said, Blast him, murder him, &c. Some door opening at that instant, they fled. He caught Wright and hauled him up Chick-Lane; a watchman said, he dared not to assist the prosecutor, among such a number of thieves as are in that lane, for fear of being murdered; and he was advised to let go the robber, which he did. The prisoner was taken the second night after, by a warrant from Sir John Fielding, and by help of some of his men, at the said Bell ale-house. Having denied the charge as long as she could, with great impudence and imprecations, she at last confessed it, and impeached her accomplices, saying, she and Anne Hill had 6s. each, and the two men 12s. each; that they lay together that night; and she was an unhappy woman. All which is confirmed by several other witnesses.
Being convicted, she, with the other two Protestant convicts, attended the chapel, February the 26th, and before prayers heard an exhortation suited to their sad case, with which they seemed deeply affected. On Tuesday afternoon, the 28th, they received sentence of death. After this they were daily instructed in a manner suited to their gross ignorance, and evil habits, and taught to join in the service, with which they seemed little acquainted. Baker could not read, and required the more labour to be laid out in teaching her. She said she was only nineteen years of age, the daughter of a Printer, of the name of Craddock, born in St. John’s Square, Clerkenwell; the name of Baker being that of her husband, a sailor, now abroad; that while her father lived, she got a little instruction, and could read; but he dying, left her poor mother a widow, with five children, about four or five years ago; in her tenth year she had a fever, which hurt her eyes, so that she was blind nearly for a year, and so lost her reading. When recovered, and at a proper age, she was put out by the parish of St. Bride’s, to a man in Rosemary-Lane, to learn the business of closeing shoes, and dealing in old cloaths ; here, she described her treatment to be so very bad, that she ran away, and made her complaint to the parish officers. They passed her back to Whitechapel parish, in which her master lived, to whom she was compelled to return, and was then treated worse than ever; for she said, he was the first that corrupted her, and used to lock her up, and force her to yield to his wicked purposes. She then fled from him entirely, and went and hired herself at the Blue Ball and Crown in Black-Friars, a publick house, where she lived for two years. But being seduced by some unhappy young girls like herself, she then went to a house of ill-fame near Fleet-ditch, begun to walk the street, and has been in these wretched and detestable courses for some years, so that she now seemed languid, distempered, and decayed, at an age when youth and virtue would have ripened her into blooming health and strength. She was free to confess she had lived in several bad houses, partly as a servant, and partly as a guest. She owned she was in company with the prosecutor, and the other men, who frequent those houses, and go a thieving; but denied the most odious and cruel parts of the charge against her, pretending she knew not the men had robbed and abused the prosecutor, till she heard him cry out murder, and then she ran away. They were duly warned not to dissemble and hide their sins, but to repent of them all without reserve. After the Death warrant she seemed so far convinced of this duty, that she humbly and heartily opened several acts of theft she had been guilty of; such as going off with a guinea now and then, of a guest, which was entrusted with her to change; and once she stole three guineas of a sick man, whom her mother was a nursing. She was also concerned in the robbery of a man at the Turk’s Head Bagnio, in Catharine-street, near the Strand.
While the Death-warrant was delayed, she and her-fellow convicts seemed to forget their condition and to relapse into bad habits and filthy conversation; but when she found she must die, she wept and lamented much; was filled with sorrow and shame for her past sinful life, and became more thoughtful and serious than ever.
By help of the plain instructions which were daily given them, she endeavoured to prepare herself with all the requisites for receiving the holy communion; and after careful examination and repeated instruction, was admitted to it the day before she suffered, not without hope and comfort.
3. Peter Robins, Charles Galliher, and Jane Godfrey, otherwise Simonds, spinster , were indicted, for that they, on the 16th of January, about the hour of one in the night, the dwelling house of Christian Watts did break and enter, and steal one large silver salver value 5 l. one silver apple scoop value 2 s. two silver tea spoons value 2 s. one silver table spoon value 6 s. two silver dessert forks value 3 s. one pair of cotton stockings value 2 s. one pair of worsted stockings value 2 s. one canvas bag value 1 d. and 20 s. in money numbered, the property of the said Christian, in her dwelling house.
This burglary and robbery is the more aggravated, as it was perpetrated against a lonely gentlewoman in years, at Staines, Middlesex, afflicted with deafness, and unguarded by any company in her house, which stands alone in the Hampton Road. In the morning of the 16th or 17th of January, she found the glass of her window had been broke, the sash of the staircase unscrewed, her chamber door broke to pieces, which had been fastened with a lock and bar, her pocket taken from under her head, emptied, and thrown in the passage; five locks broke; the several things mentioned in the indictment missing, besides a feather-bed thrown out of a window into the garden. Three of her neighbours, being called in, were eyewitnesses of the damages, to which they gave testimony. Mr. Bolt, by applying to Sir John Fielding, and advertising the particulars, traced the affair to the prisoner Robins, who was stopt with the salver, on Sunday the 22d of January, by Mr. Hebbleswaite, a Watch-maker, in New-Street, St. Martin’s in the Fields, and given in charge to Mr. Sheffield the Constable. He said first, it was a family piece of plate, that belonged to his mother. Then, before the Magistrate, that it was thrown at him, by a man galloping by his door, with several other improbable falsehoods, till at last the prosecutrix coming to town, and swearing to the property, he declared the truth in all its circumstances, discovered his two accomplices, and that he had sold the rest of the plate at Mr. Master’s, a Silver-smith, in Coventry-Street, where they found it.
Jane Godfrey was taken in the street, and Galliher in his bed at Egham: She swore against a fourth person, who being taken up, and examined, was set at liberty, being thought innocent. She would have turned evidence, but was not judged, by Mr. Bolt, sit to be credited.
The prisoner in his defence denied no part of the evidence given against him, but rather confirmed it, by admitting he first named the person to be robbed, in very abusive and opprobrious terms; which terms expressed more vengeance against the injured prosecutrix, than a sense of his own guilt, or the least remorse for it at this time. Bad symptoms, indeed! which glared so strong against him, that they probably contributed to countervail all the powerful interest since used to save his life.
There being nothing found on the other two accomplices, nor no evidence against them, but that of the prisoner; they are acquitted and let loose. But let them be warned, by his fate, how they intangle themselves again.
For some time after conviction Robins said he could not read, but stood silent in the chapel, and took no proper books to assist him in the cell: For this reason, perhaps, Wharton, his fellow convict, was put in the same cell to read to him, till they disagreed in about a week, and were parted; when it came out that Robins could read a little tolerably, and having books put into his hands, began to apply himself to it, both in chapel and in private. His case and condition having been strongly and frequently represented to him, he seemed really affected; he began to look serious, dejected, and terrified, and to give more earnest heed to instruction. He was naturally of a good spritely countenance, about twenty-four years of age, well-made, of a middle size, seemed strong and active, and capable of doing much good, or evil. It should have been mentioned before, that when first questioned, what he was convicted for? he put on a piteous face, and said it was for robbing a house, but he was never in it, nor near it. This was gross prevarication, after all that he had confessed, and was proved against him. He was reminded, that he was now in a situation, where the hiding of his guilt could be of no service to him, in the presence of him to whom his heart, life, and actions were open and visible; to whom if he denied his guilt, it was not only vain, but must seal his destruction. On this he was silent for the future about his innocence; and only insisted that this was his first fact; and from this he never departed. His meaning in the former assertion he explained to be, that he was not one of those who broke into the house, but only stood at the window and received the goods, and, to his cost, sold them too.
On his insisting that this was his first and only fact, he was told it was otherwise believed and reported by those who knew him at Staines. He seemed surprized, and appealed to his character there; and pleaded the common excuse, that he was in liquor when he did this.
He told me he was born in Northampton, that his father was a plumber and glazier; which business he had not thoroughly learned, but used to work at house-painting at Staines, and sometimes at London; that he used also to break and ride young horses. He did not mention, what I heard from others, that he was some time in the light horse , and of Lord Albemarle’s troop; which being reduced, he was discharged. Also that he could earn 20s. a week as a plumber .
He was married to a young woman of a decent family at Staines, by whom he has left issue. His wife and brother are said to have been very active in applying to get his sentence mitigated, and some great personages spoke for the same favour, but could not prevail.
He, with the other convicts, had relapsed into a scene of very indecent conversation about the 18th of March, while the sword of justice seemed suspended; but being reproved, and the danger of so hardened and desperate a temper set before them, they seemed to relent, and behave better the few remaining days.
After the Death-warrant he was remarkably composed, and said he expected no other, and hoped he was on a good foundation. On expressing his preparation and desire, he was admitted to communicate. Wharton also, who is respited, humbly and devoutly joined with them in this duty, the day before and the morning they suffered.
On the 25th, being the last Sunday they had to live, the nature, end, and institution of the holy communion was summed up to them a-new, before prayers. The prisoners in general were serious and attentive, and the convicts behaved with deep humility and sorrow. Then followed the morning-service. From the first proper lesson, Genesis chap. xxxix. the two very contrary characters of faithful Joseph, and his lewd, perfidious, and vindictive mistress, were contrasted and set in opposite points of view. The blessing and prosperity of Joseph sprung hence, that the Lord was with him, and preserved him in purity of heart and integrity of life; while they who forsake God are left to themselves, to work their own ruin. The epistle for the day, Ephes. ch. v. proved exactly suitable to warn and reprove these backsliding convicts, and other prisoners, for their bad habits and conversation, which was therefore opened and applied to them. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God: The conscience and experience of sinners joining to convince them, that (without repentance) the punishments are and will be inflicted, as sure as denounced. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God on the children of disobedience. In the afternoon they were farther instructed from the ixth chapter of Jeremiah, and the xiith chapter to the Hebrews, and from other proper portions of Scripture on different occasions.
4. James Rocket, otherwise Price, and Timothy Steward, were indicted, for that they (in company with Joseph Redmond, sick in gaol) in a certain footway, near the King’s highway, on John Pennington did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and violently taking from his person a metal watch, value 3l. three metal seals, value 12d. a brass watch-key, value 1d. three guineas and five shillings in money numbered, his property, November 20.
This fact was brought home to the two prisoners, on the evidence of one of their accomplices, Joseph Lowther, (there being five of them concerned) supported by the prosecutor’s swearing to both Rockett and Steward; and also by Henry Jacobs, son of a Jew Silversmith in Wapping, to whom the said two prisoners sold the watch and seals for a guinea, and the property of which was also sworn to by the prosecutor. He was first cruelly knocked down with a poker by one of this inhuman gang, who is now a respite in Newgate. Pennington being somewhat in liquor, and a stranger about those parts of Nightingale-lane and East Smithfield, had enquired his way of them, and was making home through Chelsea to Battersea, where he lives, and is a Slater, Plaisterer, and Painter. These five seafaring men were prowling about, and had formed a scheme to rob a Chandler’s shop of the till, while one of them was buying some bread and cheese: This being prevented by the people being on their guard, they were looking out for some other prey when they met with this unlucky man, whom they marked out, followed, and beset, till they treated him in the manner described. ‘Tis well the knot is broke!
James Rockett told me his true name is Lockart, that his father was a Scotchman and belonged to the army, and his mother an Irish woman; that he was born in the English camp, then in some part of Germany; he pretended he was but sixteen years of age, but it proved afterwards he could not be less than twenty-two or twenty-three years old, for he was said to be an old offender, and companion to Steward, who owned himself to be about that age. They were often invited to attend our service, but refusing to come, they were warned not to trust in any other means of salvation without true repentance, and an entire change of mind and manners. They had enlisted themselves under a different persuasion, and would give little account of their past life. They were both illiterate, and very ignorant.
Timothy Steward was born at Knightsbridge, where his father lived some time, and, as he said, was one of the Gardeners of Kensington gardens, which employment, I was told, he quitted for that of a Coal-heaver in the river, and about Wapping, in which neighbourhood his mother now lives. This lad served his apprenticeship to the sea in a vessel out of Scarborough, in the coal trade , and was afterwards in his Majesty’s service for two years. When asked what religion his parents professed? he answered, he knew not, for they taught him none, nor ever made him go to any place of worship, to which he and his companion were strangers. No wonder, will the serious reader be apt to say, they were brought to this untimely and shameful death! Their religion being to chuse, and they incapable of making any distinction, it was said in the prison they chose the church of Rome, on account of some emoluments allowed them. These two behaved careless and insolent till they found themselves included in the Death-warrant, when they appeared more thoughtful and humble.
On the Morning of Execution.
Ann Baker and Robins, when visited, were found in a composed and hopeful temper, as they were left the day before. Baker said, she had asked pardon of her mother for all her disobedience and rude behaviour to her, and had taken leave of her mother and sister in peace. Robins confessed nothing farther. The usual good offices in the chapel were performed for them, and they seemed well supported and resigned. About nine these two were put in one cart, and Rockett and Steward in a second; one of the latter, viz. Rockett, behaved with levity, dancing in the cart, and calling out to some sailors in the crowd, What ship, brother? He was in a different temper at the place of execution, where he confessed, “he was in the company that committed this robbery; but had deserved this death for other facts more than this; that he would not take warning, though he had been transported from Hicks’s-hall, but returned from the Havanna in a King’s ship, and fell again into bad company at Saltpetre-bank.” Steward denied “he had been long in these courses, but was foolishly drawn into this fact.”
Robins was very easy and calm; both he and Baker behaved with great devotion, and were prayed for by the surrounding multitude, at their own request. They warned others to beware of bad company and bad courses; to which purpose Baker repeated this couplet:
Take heed ill company and vice to shun,
Lest soon like mine your glass may run.
When prayers were ended, and I had parted from them, she fainted, and was only supported by the cord; after which they quickly suffered their dreadful sentence.
This is all the account given by me,
ORDINARY of Newgate.
Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Counterfeiting,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,History,Pelf,Public Executions
Tags: 1760s, 1764, anne baker, james rocket, john prince, london, march 7, ordinary of newgate, peter robins, timothy stewart, Tyburn
March 6th, 2017
The Ordinary of Newgate, His Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Dying Words, of the Malefactors, Who were Executed at Tyburn, On Monday the 6th of this Instant March, 1731.
Being the Third Execution in the Mayoralty of the Rt. Hon. Francis Child, Esq;
Number III. For the said Year.
Printed and Sold by JOHN APPLEBEE, in Bolt-Court, neat the Leg-Tavern, Fleet-street. M.DCC.XXXI.
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 Hon. Francis Child, Esq ; Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Hon. Mr. Baron Thompson, Recorder of the City of London; the Hon. 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 and Friday, being the 23d, 24th and 25th of February, 1731-2, in the Fifth Year of his Majesty’s Reign.
Seven Men, viz. Thomas Smith, Thomas Faxton, Thomas Past, Thomas Edwards, Edward Dale, Thomas Andrews and Samuel Burrard; and one Woman Jane French, were by the Jury capitally Convicted, and receiv’d Sentence of Death.
When under Sentence, they were Instructed in the first Principles of Religion, that the great God of Heaven and Earth created them for excellent Ends and Purposes, to glorify him, and to enjoy him forever: and that the Way to glorify God was, to serve him sincerely and with uprightness of Heart, to dedicate themselves wholly and without reserve, Souls and Bodies unto God, as a living Sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable Service; to order their Lives and Conversations aright in a present, evil World, with consciences void of Offence towards God and towards Man; to abstain from every appearance of Evil, hating even the Garment spotted by the Flesh, as the Apostle expresseth it, i.e. abhoring and forsaking all manner of Sin, consenting to nothing forbidden by the Law of God, but endeavouring to please him in every Thing, to Walk before him as Enoch did, in all our Actions, to behave our selves as in the Presence of God, whose all-seeing Eye is still over us, and however we may conceal our doings from Men, yet they will one Day be expos’d before Angels and Men, by Almighty God who hath appointed one to judge the World in righteousness: And as we ought to abstain from all Evil, so it is our Duty to work righteousness, to perfect holiness in the Fear of God, to advance and make progress in the Ways of the Lord, from Grace to Grace, until in End Grace be consummated in Glory. I told them particularly, that this is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; to know God in his nature, that he is the Sovereign Supream Being, existing independantly in and of himself, who is the same to Day, Yesterday and forever; and in his attributes, that he is infinite in all his perfections of holiness, and therefore where-ever he beholds a pure Creature, endow’d with this excellent divine Quality, he loves the same, as the Resemblance of his own Image of justice, and therefore he takes vengence upon the Transgressors of his Laws, in inflicting deserved Punishments upon them, though Hand join in Hand, The Wicked shall not be unpunished: Prov. xi. 21. of his goodness, in Relieving the Oppressed, Sympathizing with the distressed, and Comforting the Comfortless, so that he hath promised to be a Father to the Fatherless, Husband to the Widow, and to help them who are Oppressed and Distressed, &c. I taught them that it was absolutely necessary to believe in Christ, this is to know hi whom God hath sent, for him hath God the Father sent to reveal and interpret the Mind and Will of God unto the Blind, ignorant World, him hath God exalted at his right Hand, to the highest Dignity in the Heavens, to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give Repentance and Remission of Sins unto his People, this is the only Mediator betwixt God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself Ransome for all, to be testify’d in due Time; as St. Paul saith, He came into the World to save Sinners, of whom I am chief: While he was in the World, he went about doing good, and made it his constant Business and Employment to do Good unto the Bodies of Men, and unto their Souls; for so it is written of, him, He came to seek and to save that which was lost: He healed those who were oppressed with the Power and Possession of the Devil; he took Pity upon all those who were in Distress and Calamity, in curing all of them of their Infirmities and Diseases; and therefore it is said of him, How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with Power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with him. Acts 1. 38. And not only did he thus heal Men of their bodily Diseases, but his great Work was, to rectify their Mistakes in Matters of Religion, and to reclaim them unto the Knowledge of the Truth, from which they were then turned aside, having degenerated into Idolatry, Superstition, and gross Ignorance: This he did, that their Souls in the Great Day of the Lord might be happy; and this was not only his Business, but his Delight: I delight to do thy Will, O my God, Psal. xl. 8. Yea, he took such Pleasure in this blessed Work, that he expresseth himself as afraid that he had not Time for Accomplishment thereof; I must work the Works of him that sent me, while it is Day; the Night cometh when no Man can work, St. John ix. 4.
Having instructed them in those first Principles of all Religion, and particularly of Christianity, to be holy in Heart and Life, as God is holy, and blameless in all manner of Life and Conversation; to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Example of those who through Faith and Patience have inherited the Promises: Then I show’d them, that this manner of Life was the only Way to Happiness; for without Holiness no man can see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14. This is the Way to Eternal Life; to trace the Steps of the Blessed Jesus: Holiness and Virtue, in endeavouring to keep ourselves pure and unspotted from the World, to be beneficial to the Souls and Bodies of Men, is that eternal Life begun here, the Consummation whereof is to be in Heaven hereafter, where all Sorrow and Tears shall be wiped away from our Eyes. This is the secondary, the great, the main End of our Being, to enjoy God for ever; to be eternally happy in Heaven, in the immediate Vision and Fruition of Almighty God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant; in the Company of Blessed Angels and Spirits of just Men made perfect, World without end.
Having thus represented unto them that Life which becomes a reasonable christian Man, I took occasion, in applying this Doctrine, to show them, what an irregular, vicious, abominable and corrupted Life they had led, contrary to the Light and Law of Nature, to all Revelation, and especially to our most holy Christian Faith; and therefore I exhorted them to renew themselves by a sincere Repentance, to turn unto God with their whole Hearts, to put on firm Resolutions of new Obedience, and to employ the few remaining Moments of their time in fearing, praising, and loving God, which Duties they had neglected in the preceding Part of their Lives, and which Negligence, to their Grief, Sorrow and Perplexity, had now expos’d them to all those miserable Misfortunes, Calamities and Inconveniences which they were lying under.
I likewise expos’d to them the Evil of Theft and Robbery, how contrary it was to, and how destructive of all human Society and Conversation; and therefore the Laws of all well-ordered Kingdoms and Commonwealths had found it necessary to enact Penalties against those who commit such Crimes; and how fatal it was in its Consequences, as being commonly attended with Murder, which one of themselves, (viz. Past) had been guilty of in one of his wicked Adventures, as he himself declared.
I endeavour’d also to instil into them some Knowledge of the Christian Sacraments, by showing how proper it was to participate in Christ’s Body and Blood, by receiving the Blessed Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, as a good mean to dispose and prepare them for a better World.
While many such Exhortations were given, all of them behav’d with Decency and Gravity; Past, Andrews, and Brown, al. Burrard, made regular Responses; Edwards and Dale could not read, but were quiet and attentive; Thomas Smith was opprest with Sickness, but otherwise carried himself well; Jane French came to Chappel when she was able, and was apparently serious; Faxton never came to Chappel, not being able to rise from his Bed, by reason of excessive Sickness: When I first visited him, he heard nothing; so after I had prayed for him, I was oblig’d to go away without getting Speech of him; but when he recovered his Senses, he declar’d himself penitent, and was very desirous of Prayers and Admonitions.
These three, who were sick in the Cells, when they were visited, they express’d no small Concern and Penitence; the rest did not seem so affected, as might be thought necessary; only Andrews, in coming to and going from Chappel, and in the Cells, after the Dead Warrant came out, cried and wept very much; but whether out of a sincere Repentance, or Fear of Death, we leave it to the Readers to judge upon.
Upon Friday, the 3d of March, 1731, the Report of the said 8 Malefactors was made to his Majesty in Council; when Edward Dell alias Dale, of the Liberty of the Tower, for breaking and entering the House of John Davis, and taking from thence a silk Hankerchief value 3 s. on the 11th of February about eight at Night; and Jane, alias Catherine French, for stealing 7 Moidores, 3 Broad-pieces, 2 Guineas, 2 Gold Rings, value 20 s 2 Handkerchiefs, value 3 s. and 2 Tin Canisters, value 18 d. the Money and Goods of John Smith, February the 7th, receiv’d his Majesty’s most gracious Reprieve: The other six, viz. Thomas Smith, Thomas Faxton, Thomas Past, Thomas Edwards, Thomas Andrews, and Samuel Burrard were order’d for Execution.
I. George Brown, alias Samuel Burrard, alias Johnson, (whose true Name as he said was Chairman Borrowstown) was indicted, for that he, in the 3d Year of his present Majesty, was ordered for Transportation, and that he did return before the Expiration of seven Years.
George Brown, alias Samuel Burrard, near 22 Years of Age, as he said, of honest respected Parents, born in the City of Bath, though afterwards his Father liv’d in Bristol; had good Education at School in reading English, in Latin, Writing, Arithmetick, Book-keeping, &c. to fit him for Business. When of Age, he was put on Board a Man of War to train him for the Sea, and there he served three Years with Approbation; and afterwards he serv’d in inferiour Stations in other King’s Ships, but had not patience to wait for Preferment: He also went some Voyages in Merchant-men, and at times had been over great Part of America and the West Indies, and at many other Places of the World; but he was naturally of too roving a Disposition, to keep one constant and honest Employment, being the most avow’d Imposter, Cheat, and Lyar that ever was born; so that it is a great Question, if any of the Accounts he gave of himself be true, since he brought himself into such a gross Habit of Lying, that he could scarcely speak a true Word, as he himself did own, and as I found out in some Instances. His Father observing his wicked and vicious Temper, advised him to go in the Dutch East India Service; but he said he lov’d the Air of Old England best, and that he always thought that the properest Place for the Scene of his Rogueries. However, he gave the old Man the Slip, and went a Voyage to Guinea and the West Indies; and when he came home, his next Voyage was to Turky; and, as he said, he had not been in London above two or three Days before he was taken up for returning from Transportation. He said also, he was in a fair Way to get a Ship trading to the Mediterranean or Turky, if he had been at Liberty. He likewise said, that he had served as Master of a Sloop to Boloign in Normandy; and that he was Mate of a Sloop laden with Salt, which went to Cromarty-Firth in the North of Scotland; and that at one time or other he had been over most of South and North Britain, having visited most of the eminent Cities and Towns, as Edinburgh, York, Leith, &c. so that it may be thought he had more Business by Land than by Sea, and that, according to the Accounts he gave of himself, he must have been some Years older than he gave out.
As to the Fact of which he was Convicted, he denied that he took any such Coat as they swore to, and as to the Horse he was taken up for, he said he was Lame and could not carry him out of the Way, and that he only left him with a Black-Smith to be shoed, and that upon calling for him they got him again: Otherwise he own’d that he was transported, but that he made his Escape and never went Abroad. The Cause of his Transportation was, as he said, the Pawning of the Pinnate of a King’s Ship in the River for 2 or 3 Pots of Beer, but he was so noted for lying, that he scarce knew how to speak a true Word: so that if there be any inconsistence in his Accounts, it must be imputed to his Way of Speaking. He sadly lamented his unluckly Fate, alledging that he was of better Parents than ordinary, and saying that he particularly repented of his Disobedience to his Parents, and dispising his Father’s good Advice. He behav’d always very well in Chapel and professed a deep Penitence. He said that he was an unworthy Son of an Hon. Gentleman: I sent to some Persons in Town, who knew that Family, to enquire about the Truth of this; they told me, that they knew of no such Man; upon which I concluded that he had told a Lye: And upon questioning him he own’d the Same. He came once to a Publick House in Town very well dressed asking for Lodgings; the Master of the House straiten’d for Room, recommended him to the Company of another Gentleman: No sooner was the Gentleman Asleep but he stole his Breeches, slipt down Stairs, open’d a Sash Window, gutted the Breeches of a Silver Watch, 2 Guineas and other little Things he thought convenient for him, and then he went off. This Gentleman coming to Newgate-Prison knew him; but he denied all with a Face of impudence, and abus’d the Gentleman with saucy Words; although afterwards he own’d to me that it was all true. Two or three Days before he died, three Gentlemen came from Bromley in Kent, to inquire about a Silver Watch, a Cloak and some other Things; he gave them some Satisfaction, and told them were they might recover some of their Things, one of the Bromley Men said, if he had demanded it, he would have trusted him with 500, and another with 50 or 100l. so well did he Act the Impostor. His Way was to go finely drest, with silver or gold Lace upon his Cloaths, with a fine Sword, Wig, &c. mounted upon a fine Horse, and that only borrow’d to serve his Occasion, and then in strange Towns to insinuate himself into the Company of the Richest Gentlemen or Inhabitants, from whom by cunning and artifice coming to the Knowledge of their Circumstances, he often extorted and cheated them of large Sums of Money. He always pretended that he was of great Parents and had very good Relations, having a Stock of Impudence to personate from the Prince to the Beggar.
He appeared to have been a young Man capable of Business, but own’d that he was sunk in Vice; that he was rotten with the Foul Disease;* that he had been one of the most notorious Livers and Impostors ever was; so that he may be compar’d to one who is still a living Monument of Misery, for the innumerable Villanies and Impostures of his past Life. He said, that he was such a wicked and profligate Youth, that he died justly, and did not desire to live longer. He declar’d his Faith in Christ, that he repented of all his Sins, and died in Charity with all Men.
2. Thomas Edwards and Thomas Past were indicted for assaulting Edward Prior, Clerk, on the Highway, putting him Fear, and taking from him a Hat, value 15 s. a Hatband, value 1 s. 6 d. a silk Scarf, value 6 s. and 4 s. in Money, January 26.
Thomas Past, 23 Years of Age, of honest Parents in Twittenham, had Education at School in reading, writing and Accompts to fit him for Business, and was instructed in religious Principles. When of Age, his Father bred him to his own Business of making of Bricks ; when he was weary of this, he learned to be a Waterman, and he followed either of these Employments when he thought fit, but neither of them to any Purpose. He used to dress himself neat for a Man of his Station, and to go to Houses in the Mint, where he met with Companies of young Women, with whom and others he spent his Time in drinking and dancing. This Practice becoming habitual made him love Idleness, and was the Foundation of his utter Ruin and Destruction; for the Companions he met with in these ill Houses advised him to the Highway, and all Sorts of wicked Courses. For three Years past he was one of the most profligate and abandon’d Wretches in the World, having spent all the Day in drinking, whoring, and gaming, and the Night in going out upon his unlawful Purchases, minding nothing of Religion or any thing that was good. He exclaimed mightily against wicked Women, and blam’d them for his Misfortunes. He married two Wives, one in Twittenham and another in Town, with whom he cohabited of late, but neither of them own’d him under his last Calamity: Besides these, whom he called his Wives, he was familiar with great Numbers of other Women. He was one of the most notorious Street-Robbers, having committed, as he believ’d, above an hundred Street-Robberies. At length he was taken up, and admitted an Evidence against Yates and some others, who were executed last Year; and he was only let out of Prison, nine or ten Weeks ago, upon his Parents and Friends promising to send him forthwith to Sea, they having provided a Captain for that Purpose; but as his Parents and some of his nearest Relations were in a publick House, intending immediately to put him on board, he went to the Door, pretending to make Water, and ran away, and they never saw him again ’till after he was taken up and capitally convicted; when last Week his old Father and Aunt coming to see him, they cried out bitterly in a Flood of Tears, whilst he stood obdurate; and his Mother, as they told me, who made him her Fondling, and indulg’d him above all her other Children, is now turned almost crazy, and cannot come Abroad, being inconsolable with Grief. Being asked by one, how he could appear so hardened when his Father and Aunt were so greatly concern’d for him? he said, he had unspeakable Grief and Vexation upon his Mind, though he could not express it outwardly. He gave an Account of some of his Villanies in writing, the Substance of which is as follows.
His own Account in writing.
Being Apprentice, I went to London to receive my Christmas-Box: At Hammersmith I met with one Mary Monny, and staid with her about a Week. My Money being spent, I went home to my Master, who receiv’d me. A Fortnight after I went to her again, but my Father brought me to my Master, and then I consented to go to Sea, and went on board; but she coming down persuaded me to leave the Ship, which I did, and liv’d with her about half a Year: after this we married, and then I went on board again, and staid till the Ship was paid off. Coming home I ply’d to my Business half a Year, but my Master would employ me no longer. Coming to London, I lodg’d in the Mint, where I broke open a Box, and took away a Wig, but no more, though several other Things were in it; for my Heart failed me: Next I went over to Shoreditch, and got in with M. V. and then I went upon the Highway.
The first Robbery we did was beyond Newington, where we took from a Footman about 12 s. We Robbed also another Man and two Women. We met also with a Man near the same Place, and stopping him he run away; he that was with me said, Shoot him, I Shot at him, and am afraid I kill’d him. A great many Robberies we did that way. Between Islington and London, we Robbed a Brewer of 13 d. 1/2 d. but missed 15 Guineas, which we hear’d he had sow’d up in the Waste-band of his Breeches. On the other side of the Water, we Robbed a Man of 8 s. then I left that Partner, and got acquainted with William Yates and John Armstrong, and went out with them. We Robb’d a Coach beyond St. Giles’s-Pound, of 13 s. and a Gold Watch; and coming into Holbourn, we Rob’d another Coach, and stopped two more Coaches, but the People crying out, we were forced to run away; and then William B. was taken. William Yates and I went to Hockley in the Hole, where we stopp’d a Chariot and Four, and took from the Gentleman 4 s. a silver Watch and a silver hilted Sword; then I was taken up, and admitted Evidence against Yates, &c. when I got out again, I and another stopp’d and rob’d a Coach by Hogsdon. After which I was soon taken up, upon George Mason’s Information. After I got last out, I went with Tom P. and Thomas Edwards and James Triplam, and Rob’d a Squire of his Hat and Wigg, and snatch’d of Hats off of Mens Heads in the Streets, especially in Bishopsgate-street. We rob’d a Parson of 4 s. and his Hat and Scarf, for which I Die.
In Shore Ditch there I did Dwell,
Where many People knows me well;
In Brandy Shops I did use,
And lewd Women I did choose.
A wicked Sinner I have been,
In Whoring and in other things;
Two Wives I have been Married to,
Which now alas! does make me rue.
I freely forgive every Body,
And hope they will forgive me.
The Man whom he says he Shot at Newington, he said, that he heard that he died of his Wound; so that he was guilty of Murther, which troubled his Conscience very much; and he could not Die in Peace till he made Confession thereof; although he at first denied it to me, that he had ever been guilty that way. I exhorted him to Repent of that Sin in particular, and to pray to God, that he might be wash’d in the Blood of Jesus, which speaks better things than that of Abel; that all his Sins, particularly that of spilling innocent Blood might be Pardon’d. He declar’d his Faith in Christ, that he repented of all his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.
3. Thomas Edwards, not full 16 Years of Age, Born in Spittle-Fields, of honest Parents; his Father left him young, and his Mother took care of his Education, but he was of such a perverse disposition, that, although they put him to School, he would learn nothing, and continu’d in great Ignorance of Christian Principles. They put him to a Weaver, which was his Father’s Trade, but not willing to follow that, they put him to another Business, which he likewise quickly left off, and took himself to Black-guarding, Picking, Stealing, Shop-lifting, Drinking, &c. And he also got in with some infamous Women, who were so base as to bear him Company, though he was but a Child, and to advise him to those wicked courses, which speedily brought him to the Halter. He lov’d to visit the Prisoners in Newgate, where he got acquainted with Past; and after he got last out of the Prison, when they met and drank together, Past advised young Edwards to go with them upon Street-Robberies. Edwards, void of all grace and virtue, and formerly accustom’d to nothing but Pilfering, Thieving, Shop-lifting, &c. and being a villain ingrain’d, readily complied with this hellish advice; and Providence favour’d him so far, that he was prevented from doing farther mischief, he being apprehended for the first and last Fact ever he did, which was the Robbing Mr. Prior the Minister; for which both Past and he were deservedly brought to conding Punishment. He was an obstinate, obdur’d Boy, and utterly corrupted in his Morals from the Cradle. Among other things he confessed, that he was a great Drinker of Drams, and that he was often in Company with lewd Women, both before he was taken up, and in the Prison before his Trial; and that he only delighted in the company of Whores, Thieves and Robbers, and shun’d the conversation of all good and virtuous People. He professed Penitence, and sometimes cried a little. He declared that he believ’d in Christ, and died in Peace with all Mankind.
4. Thomas Andrews, of Bishop’s-Gate, was Indicted for breaking and entering the House of John Wragg, and Stealing 8 Plates, value 9 s. 7 Dishes, value 14 s. a Tea-kettle, value 3 s. 3 brass Candlesticks, value 18 d. a Woman’s Cloak, a at, a Cloth-Coat, and other things, the Goods of John Wragg, the 17th of January last, about two in the Morning.
Thomas Andrews, 23 years of Age, of honest Parents in Shadwell-Parish, was educated at School to fit him for Business, and instructed in religious Principles. When of Age, he serv’d his Time honestly to a Glazier; and then kept a little Shop in that Parish, where the Neighbourhood look’d well upon him. Some time ago Drinking with some Soldiers, they persuaded him to take on. After this, he said, he never did more good, but gave up his Shop, and left that part of the Town. Meeting with a Country Girl, he fell in Love with her, and they agreed to Marry, and had a good Dinner provided; but the Morning of the intended Marriage Day, the Brides Mother came to Town and hurried away to New-Market; upon this disappointment, he made merry with his Friends, and Solemniz’d the nuptual Feast; but when he came to reflect on the affront he had met with, he turn’d quite crazy, and could not well apply himself (as he said) either to the Duty of a Soldier, or to his own employment. He once behaved undiscreetly to his Officer, but they looking upon him as little better than Mad, inflicted no punishment, but order’d him home to his Quarters. He said, that he never was a Thief nor Robber, although some of the evidence against him declar’d, that they suspected him Guilty of Pilfering and indirect Practices, before he committed the Burglary for which he died. He own’d the Fact of which he was convicted, as it was Sworn against him, and alledg’d that he had a mind to make away with himself, but rather chose to commit a Robbery or Burglary, which was sure way to get himself rid of the World by the Hands of another.
As to the murthering of his Uncle, he declared he never intended any such Thing; and if he spoke any Word to that Purpose, that he was certainly out of his Senses and knew nothing of it. Notwithstanding his pretended Weariness of Life, yet he often cried and wept like a Child when he saw he must die; and being asked the Reason, he could give no Account thereof, but that it was a terrible Thing to look Death in the Face. He behaved always very well in Chappel, and was apparently devout and serious; he owned that he had been a great Sinner in whoring, drinking, and Company-keeping, though not so desperately wicked, as commonly these abandon’d Wretches are: He declar’d that he believ’d in Jesus Christ his only Saviour; that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, and forgave all Injuries done him, as he expected Forgiveness from God.
5. Thomas Faxton and Thomas Smith of Hackney were indicted for assaulting William Davis on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Hat, value 3 s. and 9 d. half-penny in Money, the 30th of January last.
Thomas Smith, 19 Years of Age, of honest Parents, his Father dying and leaving him young, the Mother Educated him at School, but he being a vicious, sensless and cross Boy, did little or no good that Way, only when he pleased, he sold any small Thing, or went about doing any little Matter for his Mother. When of Age, his Mother put him to a Stocking-Weaver, but he not liking that Trade, soon wearied of it, vex’d and teas’d his poor Mother and left it. Then she bound him to a Fish-monger, with him he stay’d for some Time, and then his Master dying, his Mistress resolv’d to turn him over to another, but he by no Means could be persuaded to engage with a second Master, but went to Sea on Board a Man of War, was in the Fleet at Spithead, and stay’d out about three Years, having serv’d with Approbation, till such Time as the Ship was discharg’d. Then coming home, he went no more Aboad but stay’d with his Mother, and went about the Streets with a Basket, selling Pololian Puddings or Sasuages, which the Mother made for Sale. This Way he got his Bread and might have done very well, till some more settl’d Business had presented, but being of a vicious Disposition, and in his straggling Way, meeting with all sorts of idle, wicked People, he could not be content, but though beholding the miserable Fate of vile Miscreants every Day, yet he resolv’d to forsake all industry and virtue, and to follow thieving, stealing and robbing on the Highway and Streets in the City. In Prosecution of this villainous Purpose, falling into the Company of Thomas Faxton new come from Sea, they contracted an intimacy, and keeping themselves in a Merry Mood, they resolv’d to go a robbing and stopping People upon the Highway: Accordingly being a little elevated with Gin, they went out with a desperate Resolution of attacking the first Person they met with, and in the Hackney Road, they first happen’d to re-encounter with William Davis the Prosecutor, whom Smith commanded Faxton to fall upon with a drawn Knife; Faxtons Courage failing, or his Conscience checking him, upon undertaking such a desperate Attempt, Smith swore furiously at him, D-d him if he did not stop that Man, he would stab him Dead, having a sharp Knife ready drawn in his Hand for that Purpose, with which he threaten’d him; Faxton hovering, and in doubt what to do, yet in accomplishment of their wicked Resolution, and perhaps fearing that Murder might fall out between themselves, he stop’d the Man, and swore he would cut his Throat, or kill him Dead, if he did not immediately deliver, while Smith was standing by ready to receive, or take from him, what Money or Goods Davis had about him. Mr. Davis forc’d to obey, gave Smith a silver Groat, and Five-pence Half-penny, and then he took his Hat and gave him another worth nothing. This happened about Eleven o’Clock, or towards Midnight, yet William Davis meeting with some People on his Way, they pursued and took them immediately. Faxton confess’d before the Justice, hoping to be allow’d as an Evidence against Smith; on which Account, when they were going to Newgate, Smith, said, you whiddling Dog, now you have hang’d yourself and me too, but if I had a Knife, I’d cut your Throat. At an other Time, Smith expressed himself that if he were hang’d, he (meaning Faxton) should be hang’d too. And when Faxton confessed before the Justice Smith clasp’d his Hands together and said, D-m his precious Eyes and Limbs, – that Word has hang’d us both, but I won’t be hang’d alone. If I had a Knife, I would stick you this Minute, and will do it before next Sessions. Smith also said to the Prosecutor, Old Man if you’ll give me a Groat in Half-pence, I’ll tell you where you may find your silver Groat. Mr. Davis gave him what he demanded, and by his Directions he found the silver Groat at a Place in Hackney. This is the first and last Highway Robbery either of them ever committed. Faxton alledg’d that he was perswaded by Smith to go upon the Highway. I ask’d him if it was so? He called him a lying Rogue, and said they were both equally culpable. Both of them took up with Women the Night before this happen’d, and after one Nights enjoyment of their sweet Choice, they were both taken up, and their Mistresses saw them no more. They were provided with no Weapons but Knives, yet if they had liv’d, they were fully resolved to continue in the wicked Courses they had begun. Smith was very ignorant of Religion; I endeavour’d what I could to instruct him, but he was so sick and deaf, that it cannot be suppos’d, he could attain much Knowledge. He behav’d always very well both in Chapel, and when I visited him in the Cells. He had been a disobedient, cross, wicked, vicious and evil-dispos’d Boy. He declar’d that he hop’d for Salvation through the Mercy of God in Christ; that he was heartily sorry for, and sincerely repented of all the Sins of his Life; and that he was in perfect Peace with all Men.
6. Thomas Faxton, about 19 Years of Age, of honest Parents in Town, who gave him very good Education at School, in reading, writing, and Cyphering, to fit him for Business; and got him instructed in Christian Principles. When he was of Age, they bound him to a Sea Captain, whom he serv’d with Approbation for some Years, and then he went some Voyages to Sea, in Ships of War, and Merchant-men to different Places. All this time, as his Father-in-law, and Mother told me, he was still a good Child, and carried himself decently both towards his Parents, Relations and Others. Being lately come from Sea, and having Lodgings in White-Chapel, or Shoreditch Parish, he met with Thomas Smith in Brandy Shops, where they contracted their Acquaintance; and Smith gave those wicked Advices to Faxton, as is above Narrated, which suddenly brought them both to a speedy Destruction. Thomas Faxton was grievously Afflicted with Sickness, both before, and after his Conviction; so that he was never able to come to Chapel, nor to rise off of his Couch, all the short time they were under Sentence, till the Morning they died, when they carried, or help’d him up and down Stairs. As I visited him in the Cell, he could not move, was Senseless and could hear nothing, till within a day or two of his Death, he recovered a little, and seem’d somewhat better; then he could speak but little, and all the Account he gave of himself was, that he had not been so Wicked, as a number of other ill-dispos’d young Men are; and that he had always been Industrious in following his Employment; honest in all his Dealings, and respectful to his Parents; and that he went to Church sometimes, and was desirous to live in the fear of God: And the only thing Ruin’d him was, his meeting with a Company of base Valets in drinking Places, and Thomas Smith advising him to engage in such desperate Courses, as we have formerly given Account. As to the Robbery and Circumstances thereof, and their Amours preceeding the same, as is above mentioned, he could not deny the Truth thereof. He acknowledg’d, that he had been too negligent of God and Religion, and that therefore the Lord had in Justice Afflicted him for his first Crime, which prevented a great many Villainies and abominable Crimes, he probably might have committed. He appear’d to be a young Fellow of some good Dispositions, but was at once Ruin’d by bad Company. He seem’d to be a true Penitent, and declar’d his Faith in God’s Mercy through Christ: That he was heartily grieved for all the Sins of his Life, particularly those heinous Crimes for which he Suffer’d; and that he died in Peace with all the World.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
They all appear’d apparently, in a devout Manner. Thomas Past, upon his entering into the Cart at Newgate, addressed himself to the numerous Spectators in the Street, who were waiting their coming out, and earnestly desir’d all young People to take example from him, who was now to Suffer most justly and deservedly, for the unaccountable naughtiness of his Life; for his notorious disobedience to indulgent Parents, whose favours he had made an occasion of habituating himself to vile Company, which afterwards brought him into the Commission of those Crimes, for which his Days were in the Prime cut short. At the place, he own’d that he had been a most flagitious Sinner, but hop’d he had made his peace with God. When Prayers and all were over, he spoke to the Multitude, to the same purpose as before.
And last of all, he deliver’d a Paper clos’d up to some Person, but it was not to be open’d, till they came to the House where they carried his Body. Thomas Edwards, own’d himself to have been one of the most Villainous, naughty Boys that ever was. He wept and cry’d in great plenty, as he had frequently done before. Mr. Brown, said he had been a most wicked young Man, but that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, and hop’d for mercy from God, through the merits of our blessed Redeemer. Andrews, Smith and Faxton, had no more to add to their former Confessions, only that they sincerely Repented, and were in Peace with all Men. They went off the Stage, crying to God to have mercy upon them; and that the Lord Jesus would be pleas’d to receive their Spirits, Amen.
This is all the Account given by me,
Ordinary of Newgate.
This Day is publish’d,
(By Order of the Lord Mayor)
THE Proceedings at the Sessions of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer for the City of London and County of Middlesex, held at the Old Baily, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the last Week in February: Containing, the Tryal of Mr. Atkinson for the Murder of his Mother, by flinging her down Stairs, (which Tryal lasted four Hours, the Evidences on both Sides being so very long) with the Tryals of the eight Persons that receiv’d Sentence of Death, viz. Thomas Edwards and Thomas Past, for robbing the Rev. Mr. Prior in the Street; Thomas Smith and Thomas Faxton, for robbing Mr. Davis on the Highway; Jane French, for Stealing out of Mr. Smith’s House 14 l. 10 s. in Money, and two Gold Rings; George Brown (with two or three alias’s to his Name) for returning from Transportation; Thomas Andrews and Edward Dale, alias Dell, for Burglary. Also the Tryals of James Tripland, for a Street-Robbery; and John Tapper for the Murder of John Cannon; with the several other Tryals of the Sessions.
Printed for J. Roberts in Warwick-Lane. Price 6 d.
Where may be had,
The former Sessions Papers of this Mayoralty. The First Contains, The Remarkable Tryals of Seven Street-Robbers, all (young Fellows) and Three notorious House-Breakers, (who were all Executed at Tyburn) also the Tryal of Duvries the Jew, for Forging an Acceptance to a Bill of Exchange for 450 l. on Peter Victorin, (for which he was sentenc’d to pay a Fine of 200 l. to stand in the Pillory at the Royal Exchange, to be Imprison’d for a Year, and to give Security for his good Behaviour for two Years more) with the Tryal of Cherry, for the Murder of Peter Longworth, in the Artillery Ground; Of Francis Hitchcock, a Hackney Coachman , for the Murder of Daniel Hickson; Of Ellis, the Turnkey of the Gatehouse, for a Rape; and of Mr. Miller, for having two Wives; wherein is shewn the true State of the Fleet Marriages, and their Clandestine Manner of doing them; with their Method of Granting Certificates, and other Trials.
Also, The Second Sessions Paper, Part I. Containing the Trial of Middleton, for stealing Leaden Coffins, and Brass Handles and Nails from Coffins, in Bow Church Vault, &c. Also the Trial of Robert Hallam, for the barbarous Murder of his own Wife, by flinging her out of the Window, when big with Child, (for which he was Executed.) Of Corbet Vezey, for locking his Wife up in a Garret, upwards of a Twelve Month, whereby she was starved to Death: And the Trial of George Scroggs, who was Executed at Tyburn, for robbing the Rev. Mr. Bellinger on the Highway, at Tottenham, and other Trials. Price 6 d.
Likewise, The Second Part, which contains a remarkable Trial of Conway and Quan, for a Street-Robbery in Fleet-Street; of Elizabeth Caton, for stealing a Gold Watch from Benj. Chaplin, be having pick’d her up. Also, the Trial of Peter Noake, for the Murder of M. Turner, by shooting him into the Head, at the King’s-Arms Tavern in the Strand, with other Trials. Price 6 d.
N.B. These Trials are taken in a fuller and larger Manner than ever any Trials yet were done in the Sessions-Paper; therefore wou’d be of great Use to Lawyers, &c. to collect together, and bind up at the Year’s End.
An ADDRESS to the GENTLEMEN, By Dr. GREGORIUS, (Noted for his Skill in Surgery and Anatomy, as well as Physick and Chymistry.)
Who having observ’d the many specious Advertisements in the News Papers, of one and another Single Medicine, said to cure all Sorts of Gleets, and Seminal Weaknesses, which their Authors confound together, as if there were no Difference between them, has been prevail’d upon, by his Friends, in this Publick Manner, to inform, and undeceive those who have unwarily been brought into either, (or both together, as it sometimes happens, of these perplexing, draining Imbecilities.
That where the Gleeting is only from a Laxity of the Glands in the Urethra, what leaks and drills away ie sensibly from them, through the Urinary Passage, and pots or smears the Linnen, although it may be yellowish yet being without Pain, or any ill-condition’d Disorder, is no more than Mucus, and must be cured one Way.
And where it is a Seminal Weakness, that which slips away involuntarily, though it be thin, watery, and unelaborate, either by itself, in the Day-time, or a Nights too frequently, or profusely in the Sleep, or with the Upine, or upon Stool, whether from an Acrimony, or Derravity of the Juices, or by over straining the Spermatick Vessels, or both, is Seed, and is to be remedied as nother, inasmuch, as that Medicine which will cure the one, will not cure the other, and (vice versa) as every Practitioner that knows the Nature, Make, and different Situation of the Parts ministring to Generation, will allow; and that for want of this due Distinction, and right Application, it is, that so many People are disappointed of Cure; and by Continuance of the Gleetings, are drain’d, as they are, into Impotencies, or Infertilities, which as it hinders their Marying, gives them great Anxiety, and the more, when attended, as in some, with Pain and Weakness in the Back and Reins; or as, in others, with Difficulty, or Dribblings of the Urine in, or after making it, which at Length comes away either foul, sharp, slimy, &c. with oftentimes much worse disorders.
As this is so in Fact, and the Doctor well known to have experienc’d, in numberless Instances, the noble and neverfailing Effects of Two particular Balsamick Electuaries, which he spared no Pains or Expence to find out, the one to restrain the Mucus, and the other, the involuntary shedding of the Seed, by their respectively bracing up the Fibres, and restoring the Tone and Springiness of the relaxed Glands and Seminals, invigorating the Genitals, and fertilizing the Seed, was also perswaded to recommend their Use, that those, who, for a long while together, had tried Others Medicines for the same Weaknesses, and by their not succeeding, concluded themselves incurable, might be convinc’d by their speedy Amendment and Recovery by these, that it was not the Incurability of their Malady, but the wrong Method they had been in for Cure,
But yet, in either of the said Two Weaknesses, or where it happens that they are complicated, and have proceeded, either from Self-Abuses, excessive, or over straining Coitions, or from over Purgations in Venereal Cures, or any other Cause, as a Flux of Humours generally falls down and settles upon all weakened Parts, rendering them still the weaker, and these tender nervous Parts more especially: The first Step to be taken in order to make way for a regular and substantial Cure, (and without which it is not to be accomplished) must, in a pecular Manner, be to correct, and gently divert those Humours; and the only Medicine he could ever rely upon to do this effectually, that is to overcome the Cause, and introduce the Cure of the most difficult of these Weaknesses, (even where the Vessels had been obstructed, Manhood greatly enfeebl’d, and in some, wel igh extinct, or at least not able to touch a Woman, but ad primum labiorum contactum, semen emittunt;) has been his Preparing Pills, of which when the Patient has taken only three Doses, at due Distances he is to be gin (and not before) with one or t’other (or both together, as the Case may chance to be) of the said Two-Electuaries, which how to distinguish in, and how to proceed with, the printed Directions, wrap’d up with the Pills, do so plainly shew, that no Persons, even of the meanest Capacities, can be any Loss to understand them; but will, by their observing the easy Rules therein laid down, have their Blood and whole Body, well cleans’d and purified, the debilated Parts strengthened, and by Degrees, compleatly, and lastingly invigorated and restored, so as to be enabled quickly, and safely to Marry, without the least Need of any further, or other Advice or Medicine.
They are to be had, Price 7 s. 6 d. the Box, sealed up, ready to be deliver’d to any Messenger, upon only asking for, A Box of Pills, at Mr. Payn’s, a Bookseller, at the Crown, near Ivy Lane, in Paternoster Row; and will also; upon being taken as the Directions show, certainly and quickly Cure all fresh Injuries.
Note, The said Two Electuaries, viz, Numb, 1 for Gleets, and Numb. 2 for Seminal and Genital Weaknesses, are to be had there also Price 7 s 6 d each Pot and are likewise sealed up and to be asked for by Electuary Number 1, or Electuary Number 2.
Electuarium Mirable; or the Admirable Electuary, which infallibly cures all Degrees and Symptoms of the Secret Disease, with more Ease, Speed, and Safety, than any Medicine yet published. Any old Running, &c. tho’ of several Years standing, whether occasion’d by an Overstrain, Weakness of the Seminals or the Relicts of a former Infection, is certainly cured in a short Time, without a Minutes Confinement, Suspicion, or the Use of Astringents; being a Medicine so wonderfully pleasant and easie in its Operation, that the nicest Palate, or weakest Constitution may take it with Delight. Two Pots are generally sufficient to compleat Cure in most Cases, To be had (with Directions at large) holy of the Author, Dr. C A M, a graduate Physician, who has published it Thirty Years, and is constantly to be advised with at his House, at the Golden-Ball in Bow-Church-yard, Cheap side, at Half a Guinea the Pot.
N.B. Since nothing is more requisite, in the Cure of any Distemper, than for a Patient to have free access to his Physician; therefore beware of buying Medicines from Toy-shops, Book-sellers-shops, &c. the Authors of which are always conceal’d, and not to be Spoke with, on any Occasion: And tho’ by their specious Pretences) you are promised a cheap Cure, you’ll certainly find it very Dear in the End.
Verbum sat sapienti.
See his Books lately publish’d, viz. His Rational and Useful Account of the Secret Disease. Price 1 s. His Practicae Treatise; or Second Thoughts on the Consequences of the Venereal Disease. In Three Parts. viz. I. On the Simple Gonorrhaea Gleets and other Weaknesses, whether from Venereal Embraces Self-pollution, improperly call’d Onanism, or Natural Imbecility. II. On the Virulent Gonorrhaea, or Clap. III. On the Venereal Lues, or Grand Pox, &c. Price 2 s. His Essay on th Rheumatism and Gout. Price 6 d. His Discourse on Convulsions. Price 6 d. And his Vindication of the Practice of Salivating. Price 1 s. All sold by G. Strathan in Cornhil, E. Midwinter in St. Paul’s Church-yard, and at the Author’s House before-mentioned.
BOOKS Printed and Sold by John Applebee, in Bolt Court, near the Leg Tavern in Fleet-Street.
I. The Life of Catherine Hayes (who was Executed at Tyburn on the 9th of May, 1726, for the barbarous Murder of her Husband) giving a true and perfect Account of her Parentage, Birth, Education, &c. from the Time of her Birth, to the Hour of her Death: Together with every minute Circumstance relating to that horrid Affair. To which is added, the Lives of Thomas Wood and Thomas Billings, the two Persons concern’d with her in committing the said Murder; the Whole taken from the Mouths of the several Criminals themselves, during their Confinement in Newgate. Price Six-pence.
II. An Account of all the Robberies, Escapes, &c. of John Sheppard, giving an exact Description of the manner of his wonderful Escape from the Castle in Newgate, and of the Methods he took afterwards for his Security. Written by himself during his Confinement in the middle Stone-Room, after his being re-taken in Drury-Lane. To which is prefix’d, a true Representation of his Escape from the Condemn’d Hold, curiously engraven on a Copper Plate. Price Six-pence.
III. A true and exact Account of the Lives of Edward Burnworth, alias Frasier, William Blewit, Thomas Berry, and Emanuel Dickenson, who were Executed at Kingston on the 6th of April 1726, for the barbarous Murder of Thomas Ball in St. George’s Fields. Price Six-pence.
IV. A genuine Narative of the memorable Life and Actions of John Dyer, a notorious Highwayman and House breaker, who was Executed at Tyburn on Fryday the 21st of November, 1729, Price Six-pence.
* “The foul disease” is most easily presumed to be syphilis, but Kevin Patrick Siena cautions against glib retroactive application of modern diagnoses. “One single diagnotic term — ‘the venereal disease’ — served to describe a host of conditions that we now separate. There was one recognized venereal disease, the pox, which had a plethora of ‘symptoms,’ which included conditions like gonorrhea. It is impossible to say what individual patients ‘actually’ suffered from … [the term syphilis] was hardly ever used in the period. Far more common were the terms ‘the veneral disease,’ ‘lues venerea,’ ‘the pox,’ ‘the French Disease’ or ‘the foul disease,’ all of which stood for the same single disease-concept.”
Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.
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Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Children,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,History,Mass Executions,Public Executions,Theft
Tags: 1730s, 1731, george brown, london, march 6, ordinary of newgate, samuel burrard, thomas andrews, thomas edwards, thomas faxton, thomas past, thomas smith, Tyburn
March 5th, 2017
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.
Printed and Sold by John Applebee, in Bolt-Court, near the Leg-Tavern, Fleet-street. M.DCC.XXXIII.
Books just printed for T. Worrall, at Judge Coke’s Head over against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleetstreet.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,
Ordinary of Newgate.
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.
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.
Feb. 26th, 1733.
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.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,Mass Executions,Murder,Public Executions,Theft,Women
Tags: 1730s, 1733, edward delly, george dawson, jonathan curd, joseph fretwell, london, march 5, ordinary of newgate, richard norman, rowland turner, sarah malcolm, Tyburn, william atterbury, william chamberlain, william west
March 4th, 2017
The Behaviour of the Condemned Criminals in Newgate
viz. William Rawson, Charles Buckler, Ralph Harrison, and Henry List, As Also The Last Dying Words OF Thomas Fallowfield for Murdering of Mary Smith alias Hunt, who was Executed at LEICESTER-FEILD, Joseph Coates for Felony, Cap. George Baker, George Saunders, and William Mullins, for Robbing on the High-way, was Executed at TYBURN. On Wednesday the 4th. day of March, 1684.
IT is sad to Consider, (that notwithstanding the frequent Examples of publick Justice on Capital Offenders, for the warning of all others, to Avoid the same Crimes, yet) that in the short Intervale of time from the former sessions, there should be such a Confluence of persons now Condemned. It is probable, that they did presumptuously hope for a General pardon at this sessions, tho they did Gracelesly antidate an Act of Royal Grace and Mercy to Incourage themselves in their Impieties.
This may convince obdurate Sinners of that Secret Atheism which Reigns in their Hearts, by Crying up false peace and safety to themselves, whereby they are frequently made Exemplary in a publick and shameful Death. 34. of Job 26. 27. Ver. He strickes them, as wicked men in the open sight of others, because they turned back from him and would not consider any of his ways.
Thus ye Hypocrite in Heart, such who are heartily in their Hypocrites, and thereby Confirm’d in Athism heap up wrath, so that they Dye in youth, and their Life is among the Unclean 36. of Job 13, 14th
After the Sentence of Death past on the aforesaid Criminals on Friday the 27th. Instant February, they were Visited on Saturday, to bring them to a Conviction; of their Sinful and Deplorable Convictions; and in order to their more serious preparation, for those Prayers and Exhortations, which were to Follow on the next Lords Day.
In the Forenoon a Sermon was Preached on the 17. of Genesis, and the first Verse: Walk before me, and be Perfect or Upright.
In the Afternoon of the same Day, a Sermon was Preached on the 11. Chap. of the first Epistle to the Cor. and the 31. Verse: For if we would Judge our Selves, we Should not be Judged of the Lord.
From which Text, the Ordinary offered to their Consideration, that self Judgment and self Condemnation, in the Impartial Acknowledgement of the Equity of the Divine Law-giver in his process of Judgment, tho most Severe, as the Righteous Demerit and result of the least. Sin, is the only ready and sure way to escape that Divine Wrath, which is Impendent over the Heads of Sinners.
In the Progress of that discourse, especially at the practical Improvement of it, to the present Condemned, they seemed to be much awaked from their Security in a Sinful state, to preserve Increase any signs of Contrition, the Ordinary Visited them again on Munday, and after Payer, for them, Exhorted them to search their own Hearts, that they might discover for what special secret Sins, God had been provoked to withdraw his preventing Grace, so as to leave them to commit those Hinous Crimes, in which, they have wilfully insnared themselves.
On Monday and Tuesday, the ordinary after Prayers, Inquired into their former manner and course of Life, and how they now stand affected under the Sentence of Death, and prospect of that Eternity into which they are Launching: whither they Repent of their Sine and the Excesses of their Youth and a Debauched Life, be as bitter and Loathsome as at any time before they were Delightful.
Of which Conferences with them apart, which are most affective of them, the Ordinary now proceeds to give a True and Impartial Account, taken from their own Mouths in Wrighting.
William Rawson, he was Born in Cumberland, is 27 Years of Age; he was Educated at School by his Parents, in order to have been sent to the University, as being of Good Natural Parts, and was hopeful in the Improvement of them: But his Parents not being afterward of Estate Sufficient, to perfect their Intention of forming him for an University, himself also growing Remiss in his Learning, he came to London, where he stayed for some time with a Gentleman of Good Repute: but not answering his Expectation, he went back into his own Country: where continuing for some good space of time; he lived in Idleness; yet presumed at last to Marry, tho he knew not how to provide for the necessary support of that Condition: so becoming very Poor, he faith he sought for Imployment in London; but about a Month past, he was so unhappy as to grow acquainted with Bad Company, who Tempted him to many Miscarriages; particularly to associate himself with them in Robbing on the Highway. He confess’d himself guilty of the Crime he stands Condemned for, yet being g’d to make Acknowledgement how long he had used Highway Robbing, and who Tempted him first into such a Dissolute course of Life, he made no other reply, but that they were fled beyond Reach and would not name any particular Person, tho he ought to have broke the Combination by a Discovery.
He said he had been many ways Sinful, but he hoped by Repentence through christ’s Merits, the Lord would Pardon him, and receive him to his Mercy.
George Saunders, he was Born in Ireland, of Protestant Parents, in Limbrick; by them he was sent to School, to sit him for future Imployment; but there he behaved himself like a very Unlucky Lad; afterward he was put an Apprentice to a Weaver, in whose Service he remained for some time, but leaving it off, he Waited on a Gentleman: whom deserting he eutred himself into the Kings Service, and was a Soldier in Tangier for the Space of four Year: after that, he Lifted himself in the Queens Regiment, but meeting with ill Company, he was enticed out of that Imployment; and said it is not past three weeks or a Month since he left that Service. He Acknowledged that he had been given to Intemporance, and had often taken God’s Name in Vain, yet he Prayed to God sometimes to keep him from Evil Courses. It repented him that he left the former Imployment of a Soldier, saying that was the occasion though Idleness of exposing him to be Tempted to Rob on the Highway. He also particularly confess’d the Crime he stands Condemned for. He much Lamented his illspent Life, and gave the ordinary very Hopeful signs of the Truth of his Contrition, earnestly desiring him to pray for him, and promised to be very Compliant with his Directions, in order to Eternal Life.
William Mullins, was Born in London, of Godly and Religious Parents; he was well instructed and Educated by them and thereupon Acknowledged his Sins to have been the Greater and more Aggravated because be had Sinned against much Light and Knowledge: for he said Where much is Given, there also is much Required. He Confess’d furthermore that he had been a great Neglecter of God’s Worship and Service on the Lord’s Day; a frequenter of and associate of ill Company; and for that he had omitted a due Attendance on those two great means of Grace and Salvation, Prayer and Preaching, he judg’d it was for that God had left him to himself, and suffered him to become Guilty of so great a Sin as that he was Condemned for. And being urg’d to a more Particular Confession of his Crimes, he said they had been so sundry and so many, that he could not enumerate them: but as for the particular sinful Fact for which he was now to Dye, he owned he was guilty of it; yet withal added that ’twas the first Felony he was ever engaged in. He Reproved one of his fellow Condemned Criminals for the lightness of his Spirit, in smiling when press’d to a free Ingenuous confession of his Offences, and said, I am afraid he has little sense of his Sins; ’tis hope of a Reprieve which makes him less Serious, but persons do ill who give him those Hopes, for it may make him backward in the works of his Conversation: and were he fit to Dye, he were the siter to Live, He said he acknowledged the Justice of a Righteous God, in bring in him to this his deserved Capital Punishment, and that he little mattered Temporal Death, so that he had Comfortable Expectations, that would prove, unto him an entrance into Eternal Life: and added moreover that he was now equally desirous of Inward Sanctification and Holiness, as of endless Glory and Happiness.
In short, he shewed great outward signs of a True and Internal change of Heart, and Godly sincere Sorrow for his manifold Transgressions; hoping for the forgivenes and remission of the guilt of is them, in and through the alone Merits and satisfaction of his Crucified Saviour.
Joseph Coates, was Born in York-shire, he is now 31 Years of Age; he was educated at York, and Tadcastle, as himself called it, where he went to School: afterward he lived in the Service of Squire Thyn for the space of six years; after that, he went with the Lord Orory into Ireland, and stayed with him only half a Year: after that he served the late Earl of Essex, as his Footman, in Ireland: afterward he came into England and Served, Col. Fitz Patrick, but left his Imployment Under him. Two Years last past he Was an Horse-Course; after he laid down that way of Livelyhoods he intended to go into Staffordshire for Imployment, but altering his purpose, he fell into bad Company, upon neglecting the Service of God, soon after he grew very Wicked, was given to Excessive Drinking and Swearing; at last he was acquainted with three Men, who Tempted him into the Burglary, for which he stands Condemned, but expressed not their Names to the Ordinary. Being asked what hopes he had of a future Happy State, he replied that he had been a great Sinner, but now his Heart was through God’s Mercy made to Relent, more for his Wicked Practices than for the fear of Death, and he hoped if he might be spared, that he should become a new Man: of which he gave at present very probable Signs.
Ralph Harrison, he was Born in Shoreditch Parish, being now about 20 Years of Age. He was placed an Apprentice to a Broad-Weaver, with whom he tarried two Years, and then Run away from his Master: he said that for two Years past he had been enticed into Bad Company, who brought him into the acquaintance of Lewd Woman, which was the cause of his breaking the Sabbath; and by that means gave himself over to all manner of Exceess; as Drunkenness, Swearing, &c. But if he might escape for this time, he would go to Sea to avoid such evil Courses.
Henry List, was Born in Stepney Parish, being now 19 or 20 Years of Age, he said that he was not educated upto Knowledge, and therefore could not so fully express himself in Religious Matters, he served a Weaver for some time, who gave him the residue of it, in which he was Bound to him: that his own Father being Dead, his Mother and Father in Law, gave him all the good Counsel they could, but he would not be ruled by them; for which, he said, God had justly brought upon him this Punnishment; which if he should Escape, he would amend those Evil course of Life: he farther said that he was not acquainted with Harrison till after the Burglary committed by him.
The next Person whom the Ordinary Visited as well in his Chamber, as exhorted and Prayed with him among the other Criminals, was Cap. George Baker, who did not make so large a Confession as the forementioned Criminals: yet this he acknowledged that he was Born of creditable Parents, who were of a plentiful Estate, and brought him up not to any Employment, only he lived a Life of Ease as a Gentleman, which was his Misery, especially his Parents declining afterward in their Estate: so being reduced to Straits for a Livelyhood he served formerly as a Voluntier beyond Sea, and so signalized his Valour, that meeting with six French, who Confronted him riding toward Nancy, he Killed one of them, and put the rest to Flight. The Ordinary asked him how long he had beset Travelors in England; he did not state the set time, but said, he had used that course of Livelyhood for some time, yet he never Murthered any Person: the Ordinary replied that he was more oblieged to thank God for his preventing him in such an horrid Act, than to impute it to any thing else. There was some Discourse used with him to convince him of the Heinous Crime of Robbery; tho it were occasioned out of Poverty even therein; a Person Assaulting another must first offer Violence to his own Conscience, and the Laws of humane Society: but it is an Aggravation to Rob out of Wantonness of Spirit, to furnish with Materials to indulge themselves in Luxury, and to follow the chase of Robbing as a Trade or accustomary Delight. He said he repented of his evil Life, but he had confess’d his particular Sins to God, and, hoped, had made his Peace with him, through the satisfaction of Chirst’s Death: yet he said that he feared not Death, for he was assured of Eternal Life. The Ordinary replied the Hearts of Men are apt to Deceive themselves, and therefore the surest way would be to mistrust his own Heart in such Assurances, in as much as he could never enough repent him of his Sins.
The next Person that confess’d to the Ordinary, was Tho. Fallowfield, who Murthered a Young Maid: see the ground of his Malice in his Trial. The Ordinary would have taken him apart to have made him sensible, but the Crime is very Soul hardning; and so it proved with him; for he refused to give any account of his former course of Life; and tho Exhorted to Repent, shewed little or no signs thereof; so he must be left to the Tribunal of God, to pass his deteminate Judgment upon him.
About 9 or 10 of the Clock in the Morning Thomas Fallowfeild, was put into the Cart at Newgate, he seemed very Penitent all the way he went to Leicesterfeilds, where the Ordianry [sic] Prayed with him and Sung a Psalm, after which he was Executed, the rest of the Prisoners where put into the Cart about 10 or 11 of the Clock, they all seemed very Penitent all the way they went; when they came to Tyburn Mr. Ordinary Prayed with them and Sung a Psalm, after which, they Exhorted the standers by to take warning by their Dismal Ends of the Effects of Sin; which had brought them to that Place. And they all Prayed earnestly to God that he would forgive them their Sins, and desired the People to Pray for them, after which they were all Executed.
Dated the 4th. day of March, 1685. Samuel Smith, Ordinary.
LONDON, Printed by George Croom, at the Sign of the Blue-Ball in Thames-Street, over against Baynard’s-Castle. 1684.
Part of the Themed Set: The Ordinary of Newgate.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 17th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,History,Mass Executions,Murder,Public Executions,Theft
Tags: 1680s, 1685, george baker, george saunders, henry list, joseph coates, leicester square, london, march 4, ordinary of newgate, ralph harrison, samuel smith, thomas fallowfield, Tyburn, william mullins, william rawson
March 3rd, 2017
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.
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.
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.
On this day..
Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Hanged,Not Executed,Pardons and Clemencies,Public Executions,Theft,Women
Tags: 1700s, 1708, anne simmons, deborah churchill, london, march 3, mary goddard, ordinary of newgate, paul lorrain, thomas ellis, Tyburn