THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Friday the First of February, 1716/1717.
AT the General Quarter-Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Friday the 11th, Saturday the 12th, and Monday the 14th of January 1716/1717, Nineteen Persons, viz. Sixteen Men, and Three Women, that were Try'd for, and Convicted of, diverse Capital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. But One of the Women being found pregnant, and another, with Twelve of the Men, having obtain'd a Gracious Reprieve (which I wish and here advise them to value and improve) Four Men and One Woman only are now order'd for Execution.
On the Lord's Day the 13th of last Month, I preach'd to them and others there present in the Chapel of Newgate, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon Rom. 12. 1. (being part of the Epistle appointed for that Morning-Service, and the Words these: I beseech you, Brethren, by the Mercies of God, that ye present your Bodies a Living Sacrifice, Holy, Acceptable to GOD, which is your Reasonable Service.
Having first explain'd the Words in general, I then spoke in particular to these chief Points observable in them, viz.
I. The Preface, couch'd in these Words that are most Emphatical and most Perswasive, I beseech you, Brethren, by the Mercies of God.
II. The Exhortation, that contains a most important and comfortable Duty, which is this; That ye present your Bodies a Living Sacrifice, Holy, Acceptable to God.
III. ult. The Strong Motive or Argument used by the Apostle herein, viz. the Reasonableness of this Duty; for (saith he in the Text) It is your Reasonable Service.
I enlarg'd upon those Heads, and drew such practical Inferences as naturally result from them; and then concluded with particular Admonitions to the Malefactors, who were to receive their Sentence the next Day.
And on the Lord's Day the 20th of the same Month, I preach'd again to them (both in the Morning and Afternoon) and upon the account of two Gentlemen condemn'd for Murder, I chose to discourse on this Text, Matt. 19. 18, 19. - Jesus said, Thou shalt do no Murder: Thou shalt not commit Adultery: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false Witness: Honour thy Father and thy Mother; and, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self.
Which Words, with their Context, I first explain'd in general, shewing, That a certain Person being come to Christ with this important Question, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have Eternal Life? Christ gave him this Answer, If thou wilt enter into Life, keep the Commandments: Which Commandments he told him in the Text were these; Thou shalt do no Murder, &c. Wherein 'tis observable, that our Blessed Saviour only mentions those Duties contain'd in the Second Table, which Men reciprocally owe, and strictly ought to pay, to each other, viz.
These two I largely treated of in the general Explanation of my Text; and did in particular (and chiefly) speak to the first Clause of it, that concerns Murder, shewing,
1. The heinous Nature of that Crime.
2. The Severe Punishment due to it.
3. The absolute Necessity a Man is under, who knows himself guilty either of this or any other Sins, sincerely to repent.
On the last Lord's Day, the 27th of last Month, I did again publickly preach to them (both in the Forenoon and Afternoon) upon part of the Epistle appointed for that Morning-Service, viz. Rom. 12. 19. Dearly Beloved, avenge not your selves, but rather give place unto Wrath: For it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay it, saith the Lord.
These Words, with their Context, I first explain'd in general, and then I shew'd from them in particular,
I. How far we may, or may not, be angry.
II. Why we should not oppose Anger to Anger, nor avenge our selves when injur'd.
III. ult. What should chiefly induce us (in this Case of Injury done us) to commit our Cause to God, and to those whom He has appointed on Earth to do Justice, and to decree Judgment.
Upon these I enlarg'd, and asserted this great and important Truth, viz. That Vengeance belongs to GOD, and He will repay it; shewing, How God in his Justice punishes wicked Sinners, either, 1st, in this World, or, 2dly, in the World to come; and sometimes in both: And therefore all Men, especially great Offenders, should take care to fly to His Mercy, by their repenting in time, so as to avoid their falling under his Eternal Wrath, and being lost and undone for ever.
Again, on Wednesday last, being the 30th of January, the Fast day appointed for the Murder of K. CHARLES I, I likewise preach'd to them both in the Morning and Afternoon, taking my Text out of the Epistle for that Day, viz. 1 Pet. 2. 13. Submit your selves to every Ordinance of Man for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the King as Supream, or unto Governors, as unto them that are sent by Him, for the Punishment of Evildoers, and for the Praise of them that do well.
From which Words I shew'd,
I. Wherein consists this Submission we ought to pay to our Superiours, viz. To the King (saith the Text) as Supream, and unto Governours, as unto Them that are sent by Him.
II. The indispensable Obligation incumbent on us thus to Submit, in all things that are lawful, according to God's own Appointment; which is meant by this Phrase, For the Lord's sake.
III. ult. The Reasonableness and Usefulness of our ready Obedience and strict Performance of the Duty here injoin'd, and the excellent Advantages accruing from it to Mankind, in that it tends to the Suppression of Vice and promoting of Virtue; because (as the Text plainly demonstrates) Kings and Governours are ordain'd,
1st, For the Punishment of Evil-doers.
2dly, For the Praise of them that do well.
Upon all those Heads and Particulars I largely discours'd, and then made Application suitable to my Auditory in general, and those especially who were under Condemnation, whom I constantly visited, praying with them, and reading and expounding the Word of GOD to them in the Chapel of Newgate, whither they were (for the most part) brought up twice every day, and there (as well as in private) by me earnestly exhorted to consider the present miserable state Sin had brought them into, and what would ensue (yea, what would become of them) hereafter, unless they took effectual timely Care to prevent their final and everlasting Destruction both of Body and Soul in the other World, by endeavouring (while they were still in this) to exert the Acts of Faith and Repentance to the utmost of their Power. This important Duty I continually prest upon them; who, in my Closet-Examinations of them, gave me the respective Accounts of their past Lives, present Dispositions and future Hopes, as follow.
1. Johnson Burdett, condemn'd for the Murder by him committed on the Body of Robert Faulkner Esq ; on the 30th of December last. He said, he was 23 years of age, born at Sandon in Essex, of good and virtuous Parents, who gave him a liberal Education; and designing to bring him up to the Law, did at first put him to an Attorney here in London; but growing loose and unruly, he soon left him, and would not apply himself to any thing that was commendable, but follow'd ill Company, that made him a greater Deboshee than he was before, and with them spent Days (and Nights) without number, in rambling abroad, in Rioting and Drunkenness, in Chambering and Wantonness, utterly forsaking the Good Way of Religion and Virtue he was brought up in, who not only neglected Holy Duties, but abandon'd himself to the commission of the foulest Crimes upon the Lord's Day; and it was on such a Day he committed the execrable Crime for which he is now to die. When in a calm and sedate Mind he came to reflect on these Things, he could not but be sensibly griev'd, and lament his past sinful Life, praying for Grace and Mercy; which I hope he did sincerely from his Heart. And this is the best I can say of him.
2. Thomas Winchurst, condemn'd for being concern'd with the said Mr. Burdett in the Murder of Captain Faulkner. He said, he was 20 Years of age, born in Whitecross-street, in the Parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, London: That he liv'd two Years with an Attorney ; but having no Inclination to the Study of the Law, or any thing relating to that Profession, he left him, and then betook himself to the same loose and vicious Courses as his Companion Mr. Burdett did: That he was now sensible such wicked Actions (together with the total Neglect of GOD's Service) had not only brought him to this sad End here, but greatly put him in danger of Eternal Ruin hereafter: And therefore pray'd to GOD to be merciful to him, to forgive him this enormous Crime, for which he stood condemn'd, and all other the Sins, Irregularities, and Miscarriages of his past Life. Both he and Mr. Burdett told me several times, before and after their Condemnation, That Mr. More (who is suspected to be) was not in the least, concern'd in this Murder: That indeed he had been (the Evening in which they committed it) in their Company, but departed from them about a quarter of an Hour before that melancholy Thing hapned.
3. William Farendine, condemn'd for breaking the House of Mr. Henry Billengey, at the Angel-Inn at Islington. He said, he was 23 years of age, born at Coventry: That, while in the Country, he follow'd the Plough : That about 9 Years ago he came up to London, where he first got into Service at an Alehouse near Holborn-bridge: That some time after he went from that Service to a Tripe-shop in Fee-lane: That, leaving this Occupation, he turn'd a Driver of small Cattle ; and, last of all, ply'd as a Porter on a Wharf near the Custom-house, carrying Goods out of Ships, Lighters, &c. He endeavour'd to extenuate his Crime by saying the Things he took were of small Value; but, I hope, I made him sensible, that if he could have had an Opportunity to steal better Things, he would readily have em
brac'd it then, without any Scruple of Conscience; and therefore must now acknowledge himself (which he did at last) justly condemn'd. He at first deny'd his having been concern'd in any Robbery before; but I convinc'd him of the contrary; and then he confess'd, That he had committed formerly 3 or 4 such Facts, but all of them inconsiderable. He pray'd GOD and the Persons he had injur'd to forgive him; was very ignorant in any thing of Religion, and could not so much as read.
4. Thomas Whitehead, condemn'd for a Burglary by him committed in the House of Mr. Thomas Parsons at Islington, stealing thence 300 yards of Holland, 100 yards of Callicoe, and 100 yards of Lace; amounting, in all, to above the Sum of 62 l. on the 12th of October last. He said, he was 21 years of age, born at St. Margaret's Cleeton in Shropshire: That when about 9 years old, he came up to London with his Father, and liv'd, for the most part, in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields, where he learnt to make Bricks ; that by this Employment (which he constantly follow'd in Summer-time) he got a Livelihood. He deny'd the Fact he stood condemn'd for, and also pretended he never was guilty of any thing of this nature. But when I further press'd him to make a free Confession of his Offences (which no doubt were too many) he acknowledg'd he had sometimes stoln into Houses, and taken thence Money, and what else he could light on, to help him to buy a little Victuals, when he wanted Employment, or could not work in Wintertime. I found him very stubborn and very ignorant.
5. Mary Peirce, alias Cook, (which latter she said was her right Name) condemn'd for stealing Goods ou of Mr. Rider's Shop; and a pair of Shoes out of Mr. James Prior's, on the 31st of December last. She said, she was 40 years of age, born at Preston in Lancashire, and had liv'd several Years in London; first a Servant-Maid in good Families, and then a Wife, having married a Fellow-Servant of hers. She confess'd the two Facts she was found guilty of, and likewise own'd, That once she was whipt for a small Felony, and could not deny (though she wou'd not plainly acknowledge) that she had been a great Offender. I found she could not read, and was very ignorant. She declar'd her self to be of the Romish Religion , but understood nothing of that, nor indeed any other.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were this Day carry'd from Newgate, (viz Mr. Burdett and Mr. Winchurst in Two Mourning Coaches, and the rest in Two Carts) I attended them for the last time. After my Exhortations to them, and Prayers for them, singing of Penitential Psalms with them, and making them rehearse the Apostles Creed; they all desir'd the Spectators to take Warning by them, and pray for their departing Souls. Here Mr Burdett and Mr. Winchurst both declar'd, That Mr. More (mention'd in their Tryal) was not concern'd in the Murder of Captain Faulkner; and, That he had left their Company (in which he was) some Time before they unhappily met the said Captain. After they had said this, and express'd their great Abhorrence of that bloody Fact, and other their heinous Offences, I pray'd again, that GOD would
please to deliver them from Blood-guiltiness, and from all the Sins they had contracted in this wicked World; and That He would vouchsafe to receive both theirs and their Fellow-Sufferers Souls unto himself. Then I withdrew, and left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some further Time allotted them; so the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, all the while calling on GOD in these and the like Ejaculations: Lord, have Mercy upon me! Christ, have Mercy upon me! Lord Jesus, receive my Soul! &c.
I wish this Shameful and Untimely End of Mr. Burdett and Mr. Winchurst may be a Warning to all those Persons (who are too many) that make it their constant Practice to prophane the LORD's Day, and take so great a Latitude in all sorts of Vice and Debauchery, that they are become an Annoyance to Mankind, and a Scandal to Christianity.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons, by me
Friday, Feb. 1. 1716-17.
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