THE ORDINARY OF NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the FIFTEEN MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBERN On Monday the 31st of DECEMBER, 1750.
NUMBER II. for the said YEAR.
Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and C. CORBETT, over-against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street, the only authorised Printers of the Dying Speeches.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
BY Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, OYER and TERMINER, and Goal Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable FRANCIS COCAYNE , Esq ; Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Lord Chief Justice WILLES, Sir THOMAS DENNISON , RICHARD ADAMS , Esq ; Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of OYER and TERMINER of the City of London, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City of London, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday the 5th, Thursday the 6th, Friday the 7th, Saturday the 8th, Monday the 10th, and Tuesday the 11th of December, and in the twenty-fourth Year of his Majesty's Reign, BENJAMIN BECKENFIELD, ANTHONY BYRNE, WILLIAM TIDD, JOHN NEWCOMBE, JOHN ROSS, THOMAS PROCTOR, DERBY LONG, JOHN WATLIN, JOHN CARBOLD, JOHN RICHARDSON, WILLIAM BAKER, JOSHUA WEST, WILLIAM DAWSON, JOHN FOSTER, LITTLE WILL, CHARLES SPECKMAN, and CATHARINE CONNOR, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
The Behaviour of these unhappy People has been really very decent, and their Attendance at divine Service in the Chapel constant, only Ben the Coalheaver, having been very ill ever since Conviction, seldom came out of his Cells, before the Day of Execution, and Connor being of the Romish Perswasion was not permitted to attend, but was visited by a Gentleman who was supposed to be of that Way of thinking.
On Thursday the 20th of December, the Report of seventeen Malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder to his Majesty in Council, when he was pleased to order the sixteen following, viz. Benjamin Beckenfield, Anthony Byrne, William Tidd, John Newcombe, John Ross, Thomas Proctor, Derby Long, John Watlin, John Carbold, John Richardson, William Baker, Joshua West, William Dawson, John Foster, Little Will, and Catharine Connor, for Execution on Monday the 31st of December.
2. Anthony Byrne was indicted, for that he, together with two other Persons, on the 28th of November, about the Hour of two o'Clock in the Morning, the Dwelling-House of Joseph Philpot , did break open, and enter, and steal from thence 50 Hats, Value 12 l. the Goods of the said Joseph .
4, 5. William Tidd , and Anthony Byrne , (a second Time) were indicted, for that they, together with Randolph Branch , Richard Pett , and James Webster , not yet taken, on the 25th of July, about the Hour of 1 in the Morning of the same Day, the Dwelling-House of Mary Ormand , Widow , did break open, and enter, and steal out thence eight Pewter Dishes, Val. 30 s. 13 Pewter Plates, two Pewter Water-Plates, a Pewter Cover, four brass Candlesticks, a Silver Spoon, a Copper Pottage Pot, a Brass Pottage Pot, two Saucepans, a Copper Stewpan, a Box Iron an Iron Heater, a Stand for a Box Iron, two Looking-Glasses, a Pair of Linen Sheets, two Linen Tablecloths, two Diaper Napkins, one Duffil Cloak, a Silk Bonnet, six Linen Towels, three Cotton Aprons, a Pair of Cotton Stockings, and two Pair of Thread Stockings .
5, 6, 7. John Ross , Thomas Proctor , and Derby Long , were indicted for breaking, and entering the Dwelling-House of John Roker , and stealing from thence six Gold Rings, one Gold Locket, one Chrystal Stone Seal set in Gold, one Gold Necklace, eight Gold Beads, five Penny-weight of Gold, four broken Gold Ear Rings, two Pieces of Gold Rings, one Silver Tooth-pick Case, one Wooden Box, three Pair of Scales, thirty-two Ounces of Brass Weights, the Goods of John Roker, Nov. 15 .
8. John Watlin, otherwise John Peters, otherwise Peters Jack , late of Horsey in Norfolk, was indicted for aiding and assisting with divers other Persons, in landing and running Goods, liable to pay Duty, &c. March 11, 1746 .
10. John Richardson was indicted, for that he, on the third of October, about the Hour of two in the Morning, the Dwelling-House of Joshua Woodward , did break, enter, and steal from thence one Copper Tea-kettle, Val. 2 s. 6 d. five printed Pictures in Frames, Val. 2 s. one Needle-work Sampler, with a Frame and Glass, one Velvet Cap, Val. 6 s. the Goods of the said Joseph .
12, 13. Adam, otherwise William Dawson , and John Foster , were indicted for robbing David Humphreys on the King's Highway, of a Silver Watch, Val. 40 s. one Perriwig, Val. 5 s. one Silk and Cotton Handkerchief, four Guineas and a Half in Gold, and 5 d. in Money, numbered, Nov. 12 .
14. William Dawson , a second Time, and Little Will , were indicted, for that they, together on the King's Highway, on James O'Farrel , did make an Assault, putting him in bodily Fear, and Danger of his Life, and
stealing from him one Hat, Val. 3 s. one Handkerchief, Val. 6 d. one Cloath Coat, Val. 7 s. 6 d. one Walking Cane, with a China Head, Val. 5 s. one Snuff Box, and 3 s. and 3 d. in Money, numbered, Nov. 11 .
16. Catharine Connor , was indicted for publishing a false, forged, and counterfeit Will, purporting to be the Will of Michael Canty , Mariner , belonging to His Majesty's Ship the Namure, October 29 .
On Friday the 28th of December, about nine at Night, came a Letter from the Secretary of State, Duke of Newcastle's Office, signifying his Majesty's Pleasure, that Joshua West should be respited for a Month, from the Day that Execution was once ordered to be done upon him .
1. WILLIAM TIDD , was, about this Season of the Year, arrived to the twenty-first Year of his Age, and was born at Deptford. His Parents gave him no Education, and dying when he was but now past Infancy, he never had the Advantage of any good Admonition, and seemed to be quite a Stranger to every Thing that he ought to have been acquainted with. The Seeds of Wickedness grew up in him very early, and he was always looked upon as an unlucky sad Fellow, always given to Profaneness and Debauchery. He was once bound Apprentice to a Barber in the Borough of Southwark, where he lived not long, but he played his thievish Tricks, and because he met with proper Discipline and Correction, his Stomach was too big to put up with it, and he run away. He had not been gone long, but some Friend happened to meet him, and brought him back to his Master, upon Promise of receiving him kindly; so he came again, and for a Week or ten Days behaved pretty well, but could hold out no longer. And now he began to keep Company, being about thirteen or fourteen Years of Age, and would stay out at Nights; and, coming home after the Family were in Bed, he found out Means to get into the House by a new way, which was not for some Time discovered; till at length he practised it so long, that his Master resolved one Night to watch him, and had the good Luck to find this Creep-hole, which was a little Sky-light over a Cistern they had in the back Part of the House; which was secured for the future, and Tidd receiving another pretty severe Correction, run away from his Master a second Time. He rambled up and down the Borough and St. George's Fields for some Time, till almost naked and penny-less; and having no Subsistence, but what begging, or his Wits procured for him, he says, Hunger and Want had persuaded him to return again to his Master, and to resolve to be a good Boy, and mind his Business. He had no where else to go, and Starving seemed to be before his Eyes, and what he dreaded; but to his Misfortune, he found his Master's Business had failed him, and he was gone off the Ground.
It was not long after this, that Tidd, in his Walks, fell into Company of those that taught him how to provide for himself; and though at the Risk of his Life he was prevailed upon to cast in his Lot among them, and to be Partaker of their Crimes. He was guilty, he says, of several little Thieveries six or seven Years ago; but being once in Danger of being taken up for a Robbery committed near the Borough, he was forced to play at Hide-and-seek for some time, till he had the good Luck to get on board a Vessel bound to the Streights and Newfoundland, and there he was out of Harm's Way for about twelve Months. Upon his Return he had got a little Money, which having no particular Friend to go to after being discharged from the Ship, he spent in drinking from one publick House to another, and keeping Company with lewd Women; so that did not last him long, but he was now again as much put to his Shifts as ever he had before been.
I can scarce find a Time in his Life, according to his own Confession now, and when formerly under Sentence of Death, that was not spent in Idleness at least, if not in Debauchery and Lewdness, unless where he gives an Account of being with the Barber, and on Ship-board: There indeed he might be honestly employed, tho' the Wickedness of his Nature would even then at Times shew itself. St. George's Fields, Whitechaple, and such Places, have always been the Resort of him, and his Companions; and as he was always himself upon the Loose, any such like Person, as he could pick up, was a proper Companion for him; and if he was not before had enough, he was sure to be taught to be worse by Tidd, who shewed early Marks of great Proficiency in the Ways of Wickedness.
In December Sessions, 1749, he was indicted for a Burglary, with another not then taken, for breaking open, and entering the Dwelling-House, and stealing sundry Goods, on the 16th of October then last past. But the Evidence not amounting to a Proof, he was by the Jury acquitted; tho' he has since owned being acquainted with, and concern'd in the Fact.
Having escaped this Trial, he was then a second Time indicted for robbing a Man driving of Sheep, near Whitechaple- Mount , in Company with four others, and taking from him 3 s. and 6 d. June 25, 1749; upon which Indictment he was capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death: During which Time it pleased God to afflict him sorely with Sickness, insomuch that he was covered over with the Itch and Vermin, and continued so to be when he was discharged from his Confinement, having received a free Pardon from the Crown.
He was indicted for the above Fact in July Sessions, 1749, with Valentine Goodwin , James Johnson , and Wm. Lacy , who were executed for the same; in the Course of which Trial it appeared by the Evidence and Accomplice, that Tidd was chiefly concern'd in it; for after they had all passed the Man that was robbed by them, Tidd went back again to him, and without more ado, collar'd him, and demanded his Money. The Fact was committed in June, but he had the good Luck to keep out of the Way, and was not brought to Trial till December Sessions. All this was no Warning, nor did in the least affect him; and he was no sooner set at Liberty, but he returned to a lewd Woman, with whom he had before kept Company, and liv'd with her some Time, till he had got rid of his Distemper and Vermin, and then he went to his old Trade: But Danger appearing, he got on Board a Ship employed in the Coast Trade, and was absent from Town till the Scent was pretty well worn out, and he thought he might return with some Safety.
His Life has since been one continued Scene of Robbery and Burglary, and the Fact he suffers for he did not deny, tho' he would particularly own none other, being resolved to die as he had lived, a harden'd, wicked Wretch, whom no Warnings or Admonitions could prevail with.
The Beginning of the Week before Execution, he sent for a Shopkeeper in Newington-Butts, whom he robbed of Goods to a considerable Value but the Night before he was taken up for the Fact he was committed for, under Pretence of letting him know where his Goods were, and how he might recover them; but when the Man came, it appeared to be only a Design to get Money from him, which he asked for before he would speak of the Goods. The Person did not chuse to give him what he asked for, left he might afterwards deceive him; but put it in the Hands of another to give him, in Case he found the Discovery to be true, and he recovered the Goods. Tidd was not satisfied with this, but in a Wrath declared, he never would tell either the Person robb'd, or any Body else, where they were. Such were his wicked Resolutions, altho' he own'd he knew where they were, that they were neither pawn'd nor sold, and that they were in the very Place where he conceal'd them immediately upon stealing them. Thus wickedly obstinate wasthis Wretch to the last, and Proof against all Advice to make what Amends was in his Power, to every one whom he had wronged or injured. No Sense of Mercy formerly received had any Weight with him; his Ignorance and Insensibility seem'd to be invincible, and he continued a most hardened Person, till at the Place of Execution, and then he began to weep, and to shew some Marks of a Sense of his unhappy Condition.
2. ANTHONY BYRNE the unhappy Object of this melancholy Account, was born in the Year 1714, in Whitehorse yard, near Drury-Lane, in the Parish of St. Clements Danes, of very honest and creditable Parents, who acquired a moderate Fortune in the Publican Business. As Anthony was their only Son, the Darling of all their Hopes, they made it their sole Study to bring him up in the Fear of God, and the Exercise of Virtue, which he incontestibly embrac'd in his youthful Days, and during his Father and Mother's Stay in this Life: And as they were sufficiently enabled to defray the Expences of his Education, they adorned his early and growing Genius with every Qualification suitable to promote the Felicity of a Tradesman.
Arriving at a proper Age to undergo Fatigue, and to keep his robust and manly Faculties in Agitation, in order to shield him against the Sallies of Idleness, the Root of all Evil, he was left to his own free Will to make a Choice of whatever Trade he liked best, and was accordingly bound Apprentice to a Sawyer in Vinegar-yard, in the same Neighbourhood, whom he served with great Integrity about three Years, but then beginning to think his Station of Life incongruous with his Interest, he discovered his Uneasiness to his Friends, who were too well satisfyed with his Reasons not to submit to any other Occupation that would be more conducive to his Advantage; therefore, immediately came to a proper Agreement with his Master, and the Indentures were cancelled, and Anthony set at Liberty to determine within himself, what Course of Life next to pursue; when, after a short Deliberation, he determined for the Sea , and therefore made it his Business to apply himself closely to the Study of Navigation, which he soon became a very proper Proficient in, and the first Voyage he made was, he says, in a Merchant Man bound to Maryland, Darby Lux, Commander . When he came into that Country he became so fond of it, as to determine with himself to make it the Place of his Settlement, and accordingly spent several Years in failing in the Employment of the most eminent Merchants of that Country, till the Year 1741, when he came Home in the Speedwell, Captain Gray, Commander, from which Ship he was press'd on Board the Advice Man of War; but falling sick, he was sent ashore, to the Hospital at Portsmouth: After his Recovery he made several Trips to different Places, till he was taken on Board the Frances and Elizabeth, Captain Noah, in which Ship, he says, he made two Voyages to Philadelphia, but at that Time War being declared against France, Captain Noah made a Privateer of her, and named her the Caesar, belonging to Cowes, and made several successful Cruizes, having taken some pretty good Prizes; but in the Bay of Biscay in that same Gale of Wind the Victory Man of War was lost, they received a great deal of Damage, and were obliged to put into Cowes to resist; after which they set out on another Cruize, and unfortunately met with the Grand Turk Privateer in the Channel, belonging to St. Maloes, and engaged her, and fought several Glasses, till many of the Caesar's Men being killed and wounded, and the Captain wounded, they were obliged to strike, and were all carried Prisoners to St. Maloes, where Byrne remained about three Months, and was then brought to England in a Cartel Ship, after which he served on Board several Ships, and by his indefatigable Industry and Zeal, was promoted, and failed to different Parts in the West-Indies, in the Capacity of a Mate , and improved his Fortune greatly, for wherever he went, he had always the good Luck to render himself agreeable to all his Acquaintance, and was looked upon by People of a
superior Rank as a hopeful, prudent young Fellow in difficult Cases; on Board his Judgment was always courted, and his Opinion on Shore was generally held in Esteem.
The last Voyage he made, he says, was in a Ship called The Duke of Cumberland, Capt. Hardgrove Commander. When he went on Board her he was at Philadephia, where the Ship also lay; and so good an Opinion the Captain had of him, that he made him his chief Manager, entrusted him with the hiring all the Men, paying them their Wages, &c. From Philadelphia they sail'd to Jamaica; from Jamaica to Bristol, from Bristol to Cork, and from Cork to Jamaica again; to which last Place Byrne carried a Venture with him on his own Bottom, which turned out to a very great Advantage; and when the Ship came from Jamaica to Bristol again, and his Wages were paid, that, together with the Money he made in Jamaica, amounted to a considerable Sum; with which, he says, he might have lived in Credit in some particular Business, whereby he might have gotten a very good Livelihood; but he came to London, and spent his Money so very fast in bad Company, that his golden Harvest was soon reduced; and having just at that Time the Misfortune to commence Acquaintance with one Anthony Whittle , (who was executed some Time since) he was very easily perswaded to use unlawful Means to gain Money, to support that extravagant wicked Life his Companion led him into; and a great Number of Robberies and Burglaries he has been guilty of for a short Time past, till he was overtaken at last by the just Judgment of God, and deservedly condemn'd, for breaking open the House of Mr. Philpot. He acknowledg'd the Justness of his Sentence, said that it was but for a short Time past that he had commenc'd such a wicked Sinner; hoped that God Almighty would forgive him, whose just Judgments he sincerely acknowledged, and whom he most humbly beseeched for Forgiveness and Mercy, hoping through the Merits of Christ he should be saved.
3. LITTLE WILL, whose real Name is WILLIAM KNIGHT , aged 23, was born at Sandwich in Kent; his Parents being poor, gave him what Education their Circumstances could afford, which was not very extraordinary, and when of fit Age, they bound him Apprentice to the Master of a Vessel trading backwards and forwards from Scarborough, Sunderland, &c. in which Service he behav'd with the utmost Honesty and Integrity, till about six Months ago, happening to come to London, and being taken ill, he was left behind, and was confined to his Room where he lodg'd for a long Time, till he had spent and made away with all he had, for the bare Support and Necessaries of Life. When he became well, all his Money and Moveables gone, quite friendless, and without any Support at all, the Devil, he says, threw him into the Company of People whose Temptations proved stronger than his Virtue, and he was perswaded to go out with them, and join in robbing and plundering honest People of their Substance; which Practice he has followed only about three Months; but in that Time, he says, he has done a great many Robberies, of which he now most sincerely repents, and humbly implores Pardon from his offended Maker, as well as from the injured Persons he has so basely dealt with. In Regard to the Fact for which he suffers, he owns his Guilt, and most heartily wishes it was the only one he had to own. He seem'd to blame the Evidence, as one of his first Seducers; nevertheless he declar'd he forgave him, hopes that he will turn from the Evil of his Way, and repent. He said he was quite resign'd, and died in Peace with all Men, and hoped for Forgiveness through the Merits of our Blessed Saviour.
4. BENJAMIN BECKENFIELD, otherwise Ben the Coal-heaver , was twenty-nine Years of Age, and very capable, had he been willing, of getting an honest Livelihood, by the Way of Business to which his Nickname has Reference. He was born at Darkin in Surry, of Parents that could give him
no Manner of Education, but bred him to Husbandry Labour . After the Death of his Parents, he lived in the Country 5 or 6 Years, following this Employ; and, during the Time of Abode there, which was till he was nineteen Years of Age, he could recollect nothing that was remarkable in his Life, unless that he was much addicted to profane Cursing and Swearing, Drunkenness and Sabbath-breaking. About the Year of the last memorable hard Frost, being tired of the Labour of the Field, he took it into his Head to remove himself, and he came for London, never considering what to do, nor how to live; so that being now entered upon a new Scene of Life, the Difficulty was to find out what to turn his Hand to; but at length, being about the Water-side at Fleet-Ditch and Queenhithe, &c. he got himself employed in the Capacity of a Coal-heaver : And in this Way he has been at Times, under several Masters, employed for seven or eight Years past.
But Work was not his Favourite, Idleness and bad Company rather pleased his Taste, and to one Day's Work that he would engage in, and stand to stiffly, he had a Week or ten Days Play; so that he never gained any Esteem from his Masters, nor yet had his Fellow-Labourer any Regard to him. But, at last, his idle Disposition, and the bad Company he kept, raised so much the Resentment of the honest Labourers in that Business, that they could scarce suffer him to come among them, and when he did, he was sure to hear of his Tricks. This Ben did not much like, and resolved no more to go among them to an honest Employ, but chose rather to confort with Smith and Webb, executed in August last, and others, who were a notorious Set of Street-robbers and Thieves. He was very succesful among them, in not being discovered for a long Time; nor was he publickly known to be one, till he was indicted in July Sessions, together with others, for robbing one Mr. Henry Smith upon the King's Highway, on the 9th of June. Nor was he now taken, but the Evidence swore him to be one concerned in that Robbery, which indeed he has since confessed.
The same Night Ben was concerned in the robbing Mr. Jones under Castle-Yard Gate in Holborn, and took from him his Watch, &c. which they sold to Minous the Jew, in Duke's-Place, and Ben had his Share of the Money it was sold for.
The next Night Ben was one of them that robbed a Gentleman in Chancery-Lane, took from him a large Silver Watch, his Gold laced Hat, and about eight or nine Shillings, and went to their Place of Rendezvous in Chick-Lane, without doing any more Mischief without Doors for that Night.
Divers other Robberies were committed by him, and the large Gang to which he belonged; but none of them came to Light till last September Sessions: At which Time Ben was indicted, with others, by the Name of Benjamin Mason, otherwise Ben the Coal-heaver , for robbing William Harsel of a Gold laced Hat, and Money, upon the first of August then last past. Upon this Indictment they were all acquitted by the Jury, as the Prosecutor could not swear positively to either of them, and nothing brought it home to them but the Evidence of an Accomplice. However, Ben has since owned the Fact, and that he was the Man that held up the Pistol at Mr. Harsel, while another fired at him, but the Pistol missed Fire. Nor was this any Warning, but Ben must return to his old Tricks, which he did in a Day or two after this Escape, and continued to commit Robberies,
but, as it were, in a more private Manner than he had formerly been used to, as his Person began now to be pretty well known, as well as his Character; and at last he was caught in the Noose he had so long escaped, and met with the deserved Reward of his wicked Acts.
The last Robbery is that for which he suffered, being taken immediately after it was done; in which he shewed himself a thorough-paced wicked Man, by Menaces and Threats to murder Mr. Dickenson, if he did not desist from making a Noise: But as he still kept calling the Watch, they all three thought proper to make the best of their Way off, and took his Hat with them. Ben was stopped by the Watch, and committed to Newgate; the other escaped for that Time. When brought to Trial, he did not pretend to say any thing in his Defence, and since owned the Fact, and the Justice of his suffering Death for that and his other wicked Practices, which he acknowledged to have followed for some Years past.
Immediately upon Conviction, Ben's Courage was all lost, he took it to Heart, and fell ill, and so continued for some Days; but recovering himself again a little, he was able to attend the Chapel, and behaved well, and with Decency to the last. And he seemed to die sensibly affected with the Errors of his past Life, and of the Necessity of his Dependence upon the Merits of Christ.
5. JOHN NEWCOME , aged 21, was born in the Parish of St. Clement's Danes, of Parents that could give him no Education, and he was a very harden'd, as well as ignorant Youth: He was bred to no Business; but, upon the Death of his Father, being destitute of any one to help him, about ten Years ago he took to the Sea. He was a very unlucky Youth, and frequently got himself into Scrapes, and sometimes Whippings on Board of Ship. He was several Years, during the late War, in the Service of the Royal Navy , on different Cruises, and at different Parts abroad, but never made any Thing of it, and was fit for nothing, but the greatest Slavery a Ship might afford, which was always his Lot. Since the Peace was made, he has been several Voyages in Merchant Ships , but for some Time past, at the Intervals between one Voyage and another, he was used to associate with Street-Robbers and Thieves, and long e'er now deserved what he was at last forced to submit to. He was concern'd in various Robberies about Holborn and St. Giles's, and had always the good Luck to get off safe without being in Trouble, as he call'd it, till upon Account of the Robbery for which he was convicted. He was a sullen, obstinate Fellow, nor would be persuaded to own that he knew any thing of this Robbery, but insisted upon the Story he form'd in his Defence upon Trial; and moreover told me, when I spoke to him about it, that one of his Fellow Convicts would, one Day before they suffer'd, acknowledge himself to be the Man that committed the Robbery for which he was convicted. This proved only a Pretence, but he made Use of it in a Letter to the Prosecutor, which he sent by his Mother, desiring him to use what Interest he had to save his Life, and urged him to it the more, because, as he pretended, he was not concern'd in the Robbery, and stopping him upon the Highway; but Mr. Clayton was too sensible of their ill Treatment to think of any such Thing; and at last it comes out, that William Tidd was one of the Persons concern'd in this Affair; insomuch, that he was the Person that fired the Pistol at Mr. Clayton's Head, so near, that the Powder is to be seen remaining in the right Side of his Face; two Balls went through his Hat, and one grazed on his Forehead; but Newcome was with him, and accessary to what was done, as they both at last own'd; and when upon Mr. Clayton's Outcry, they thought proper to endeavour to escape; Newcome was pursued by the Watch, and scarce ever out of their Sight till he fell down, turning the Corner of Chancery-Lane in a Hurry, and was taken. He had with him a Pistol and Hanger, for what Purpose, in such a Fellow's Hands, any one
may determine. He was a harden'd, desperate Fellow, and as such deservedly taken from the Earth for an Example and Terror to others.
He shew'd very little Signs of Fear, being remarkably impudent immediately upon Conviction, and ever after, till his last Moments of Life drew near, and then he could not prevent the Appearance of Reluctance or Sorrow, the Tears starting out of his Eyes.
6. JOHN RICHARDSON , aged 25, was born at Brentford, in the County of Middlesex, of honest and industrious Parents, who took Care to give him such Education as their Condition in Life would admit of, and at the Age of 14 bound him Apprentice to a Carpenter . His first Master and he not agreeing together, he left him, and was turn'd over to another in Giltspur-Street, with whom he served the remaining Part of his Time, and then work'd Journey-work at several Places in the City, and elsewhere, till this unhappy Affair was discover'd. He own'd he had been a wicked Man, and being idle, tho' a good Workman, wanting more Money to supply his Occasions than his Labour brought him in, put him upon stealing, which he frequently did, and scarce a Person he work'd for, but miss'd some of his Tools upon his going away. He said himself, he believed he had stolen and sold above an hundred and fifty Saws in his Time, besides diverse other Implements that belong to the Trade. Some Time ago he was about to get into a Carpenter's Yard in Giltspur-Street, and climbing over a Gate, hung himself upon the Iron Spikes on the Top, and with Difficulty got off again before the Watch went the Rounds, so for that Time escaped Discovery, being reserved for a worse Purpose.
The Fact for which he dy'd was done, he says, in Manner following: The Servant of the House where he work'd had not fasten'd the Window Shutter so close as it ought to be, and he happen'd that Night to try it; and finding the Pin fall out upon his turning the Bolt, he took down the Shutter, and went in at the Window, and brought out the Things mentioned in the Indictment. Next Morning he went to work again as usual, and upon hearing of what had been done, appeared very merry, and laughed at the Man and Maid-Servant, saying, they were Fools to suffer their Master's House to be robb'd. He continued working there till the 29th of October, when he was taken up and committed.
On the Morning of his Execution he gave me a Paper, in which was wrote as follows:
I OWN the Fact for which I die, with all its Aggravations; but the Prosecutor did promise me Favour, if I would let him have his Things again; wherefore I confess'd it before him and others, and he had his Things again: But when my Trial came on, he swore hard against me, and denied all that he promised me. I hope God will forgive him and me also, for I heartily and sincerely do forgive him, and die in Peace with all Mankind.
7. JOHN WATLIN, otherwise Jack Peters, otherwise Peters Jack , about 25 Years of Age, was born at Budsdal in Suffolk, of Parents that lived by the Sweat of the Brow, and bred him up to Husbandry , without any Education. He lived with them, and went out to Day Labour in the Neighbourhood, for many Years, and was looked upon as a quiet sober Fellow; but as the Itch of being concerned in the Smuggler's Trade is very catching in that Neighbourhood, he at length became one, and was employed as a Rider, in fetching, and carrying run Goods. He was an active, handy, young Fellow, and so never wanted for Employ; and as it was a Business that brought in greater Gains, and easier than what he was at first bred to, he grew fond of it, and was ready upon all Occasions. The Fact he was committed for was of a very barbarous Nature, if he was concerned in it, as there is scare Room to doubt but he was, the Evidence deposing so positively to him being
one of a Company of Smugglers, who fetched him from a Friend's House in Horsey, where he went to pay a Visit, with intent to use him ill, because he had been once in Employ in the Customs, and therefore they looked upon him as an Enemy. But, as is usual with these Sort of Men, he denied to the uttermost having any Hand in the Days Transaction sworn to, and said, as it was so long ago, he could not recollect whether he was at the Place or no, at the Time the Evidence deposed he was; and moreover, that he was the most active in delivering him up to the Outrages of the Gang. He behaved very quietly while under Sentence of Death, but would by no Means be prevailed on to own the Fact.
8. JOHN CARBOLD, otherwise Cock-eye , aged 35, was born in Suffolk, and bred to Husbandry Business, but being very much among the Smugglers in those Parts, he soon left his labouring Business, and commenced Smuggler, and followed that Practice in Suffolk, where he had lived, till within about seven Years past, when he went to live near Norwich, where he was taken by a Party of Soldiers who were sent for that Purpose, after having a proper Description of his Person given them; nevertheless they did not know him when they saw him looking out of a Window in his own House, but enquired of him which was Carbold's; he suspecting them gave them a wrong Direction, but they were immediately set right by the Neighbours, and came back and searched the House from Top to Bottom, but Carbold was not to be found, so that they gave over the Search, and seem'd to wonder which Way he could get off; when one of them perceived some fresh Soot had fallen down the Chimney, on which he put his Piece up the Chimney, when Carbold called out he would surrender, and accordingly came down, was safely conducted to London, and being proved the same Person, was deservedly condemned.
To attempt to convince these People of the Heineusness of their Crimes is next to an Impossibility, they will hardly hear you with any tolerable Temper; they fancy there is nothing in Smuggling but cheating the King of a small Part of his Revenue; and that there is no Harm done to the Community in general, or to the Properties of particular Persons; they think they have a Right to shun, as much as possible, paying any Duty for their Goods, and what they get by their Dextority in that Manner, is honest Gain, to be enjoyed as the Fruits of their Industry and Labour; but surely if these People would but listen to the Voice of Reason, they must certainly be convinced, that Smuggling is in itself a Crime of worse Consequence to Society, and more hurtful to particular Persons, than many other Crimes, which Custom has taught them to look upon with great Abhorrence.
In the first Place, the fair Trader is injured in his Property by their kind of illicit Trade: He pays honestly the Duties and Taxes charged upon his Commodity at his Entry, which in some Cases amounts to near as much as the prime Cost of his Goods at the first Market; this he must charge upon the Consumer, with a living Profit for his Risk, Trouble, and laying out his Money; but the Smuggler, who buys his Goods at the same Market, and perhaps at a lower Price, as he chuses the worst Sort upon running them, is able to undersell the fair Dealer, at least one Third, and for that Reason is, by the greedy Retailer, preferred, though the Commodity he deals in is worse in Quality. Is not this robbing the honest Merchant of his real Profit.
It is evident, Taxes must be paid to support the Expences of the Government; and that every Subject, as he enjoys the Benefit of Government, is obliged to contribute his Proportion to that Expence.
It is likewise evident, that if the Duties laid upon one Commodity does not answer the Sum charged upon it, that the Deficiency must be charged upon some other. And as much Money as they pay towards making up this Deficiency, occasioned by the Smuggler, just so much does the Person, who deals withsuch People, rob out of the Pocket of his Neighbour.
It is plain that Smuggling is a Crime of the most dangerous Nature, both against the Community and private Persons, and as such subject to the Divine Displeasure, as much as any other Felony. It is not only a Sin destructive to Society, and contrary to human Laws enacted for the Peace, Protection, and Subsistence of the State, but is a sin against the literal Precepts, as well as the Meaning and Intent of Christianity: We are commanded Obedience to Government for Conscience sake; we are commanded to pay Tribute to whom Tribute is due. Our Saviour gave that Answer to the Jews, though that People had as much Reason as any People on Earth, to look upon the Romans as Tyrants, and having no Right to that Tribute, but what they founded upon the superior Force of their Arms; but how much stronger is the Christian Obligation, to pay towards the Support of a Government established, not by Force or Fraud, but by the Consent of a free People, and conducted by all the Arts of prudent Policy conducing to their Happiness, both in their Religious and Civil Capacities?
9. THOMAS PROCTOR , aged 17, was born in Bartholomew-Close, and lived with his Parents till he went to Sea , which was about six Years ago; and has been used to it ever since till within this four Months, having always before been looked upon as a promising Youth, having had Education agreeable to his Station in Life, and being of good natural Parts. It happened unfortunately for him, that he was at Home last Bartholomew Fair, and he had so great a Desire to see the Diversion of it, that he run the Risque of losing his Voyage; and before he could leave his Pleasures, he lost his Business, and the Ship he used to sail in went to Sea without him. The Loss of the Voyage anger'd his Friends, and occasion'd some Chidings, which the unhappy Youth not very well liking, removed himself from their Sight, from which Time is dated the AEra of his Ruin.
He took Lodgings up and down, from one House to another, for some Time, and at last got into the Lodging House, in Kingsland-Road, where he became acquainted with Ross and Long, and below the Evidence. He said, he had heard them talking of their Tricks, but never was out upon the Lay with them above twice before this Fact, for which he suffer'd; and that Day, he says, he had pawn the only clean Shirt, not having Money to subsist him another Day; and towards the Evening they all agreed to take a Walk to see what was to be done. By the Way Ross open'd the Scheme to them, and told them, that his Mother work'd at such a House, and he knew how to get in, and he did not doubt of good Booty. Accordingly they came to the House, and had the good Luck to get a tolerable Prize; Ross having opened the Door, which it seems was not very well fastened, brought out a Box from off the Counter, which Proctor and Long run away with. Proctor says, there were but a few trifling Things, which they knew not what to do with when they had got them; and the Watch coming towards them, they threw them down in an Alley, and left them; Proctor was that Night taken up as a Vagrant, and disorderly Person, and sent to Bridewell. Afterwards some of his Companions were brought there, and he among the rest was charg'd with robbing Mr. John Roker, Nov. 15, and deservedly found guilty. Proctor behaved well, and seemed to the last very penitent.
10. DARBY LONG , aged 16, was born in Dublin, in Ireland, of Parents, that gave him no Education, and dying, left him to the wide World; his Inclination led him to Sea , and he has followed it for about five Years. For two Years past he has been most, on Shore, playing his little pilfering Tricks, and picking Pockets; and by the Encouragement of Leblon the Evidence, and Ross, who were longer acquainted with these wicked
Ways, he was encouraged to venture on being concerned in this Robbery. Tho' very ignorant, and quite illiterate, he seemed to have great Regard to what was said to him, and with Tears he own'd he had been a wicked Youth, and a great Offender against God. And being heartily sorry for what he had done, he hoped to be forgiven in the World to come for which he was frequently calling on God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
11. CATHERINE CONNOR , aged 17, was born at Kingsale, in the Kingdom of Ireland, and had no other Education but the Needle; she was a young Woman of a very honest Character, when she left her own Country, as appeared by a Certificate she brought from Home with her, when she came to this Part of the World, to see after Wages due to a Brother or two of hers, which died on Board a Man of War. She did receive Money upon their Account at Portsmouth, as she said; and afterwards was married to a Sailor at the Fleet, who soon spent her Money for her; and he was concerned with Dunn, she said, in putting her upon the proving this forged Will of Michael Canty. She owns she saw Dunn writing it, but he told her, that he had Orders to make Canty's Will, who was a Ship-mate of her Brothers, and to make her Executrix; by which Means she being young was easily imposed upon, and by their Directions went to prove it. She died a Roman Catholick .
12. JOHN FOSTER , about twenty-three Years of Age, was born in the Fens of Lincolnshire, and lived there with his Parents till he was about thirteen Years of Age. When his Father died, he came up to London, and served an Apprenticeship to a Lighterman , that lived about Newington Butts. When he left his Master, he went to Sea , and he has been several Trips with different Masters within these three Years past. When out of Service, he was too much given to Idleness, which led him into bad Company; and he has been concerned with Dawson and others in several Robberies, and other Wickedness for some Time. He confessed the Robbery for which he was convicted with Dawson, as also that for which he was convicted with Little Will; and said that he had been concerned with them and the Evidence Hardwick in many other Robberies: But he could not call them all to Mind, and those he did recollect, are scarce worth Mention; and, upon the Whole, he acknowledged he had deserved to die, lamenting that he had so gone on, to cut himself off in the Prime of his Day, shewed Marks of Contrition, saying, he was heartily sorry for his past evil Life, and begged forgiveness through the Merits of Jejus Christ.
13. WILLIAM DAWSON , aged twenty-three, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne, of honest, industrious Persons, with whom he lived till he was about twelve Years of Age, in which Time they endeavoured, by Precept, as well as by Example, to inculcate into him the Seeds of Knowledge, Learning, and Christianity. Even in his Infancy, according to his own Account, he was such an untoward, unlucky, unmanageable Lad, that it was with the utmost Difficulty his Parents kept him within any Bounds of Decency at all; he frequently making Elopements from them, occasioned their giving him proper Chastisement, in Hopes to reclaim him by Severity, being heartily tired of trying every good-natured Method they could invent; but this had the contrary Effect on William, for being of a wandering, roving Disposition; and finding his Parents were determined to keep a more strict Hand over him than usual, he was resolved to prevent them, by taking himself from them for good and all; accordingly he left them, and came to London, where, for Want of knowing how to provide for himself in an honest Method of Life, as well as for Want of Grace, he soon fell into bad Company, and went a thieving. It is now about seven Years ago, that for a Theft he
had committed, he was sent to Bridewell, where he was kept some time to hard Labour; after which, in Consideration of his Youth, by the Compassion of some Gentlemen, he was cloathed, and sent to Sea, where he did not continue long, but returned to London, and to his old Courses; for which he was again sent to Bridewell, and once more had the good Fortune to be equipped out for the Sea; and tho' he did not stay long even this Time, yet he says, that by these two short Trips, he became so much of a Sailor , that he entered on Board the Fleet that went to the Indies, under the Command of Admiral Boseawen, where he remained till the Admiral returned Home. When he came here, he says he received three Years and a Half Wages, which he spent in all Manner of Lewdness and Debauchery, in less Months than he had been Years in earning it; and then he had no other Method than to follow his old villainous Courses of Thieving; and, in order farther to support the Extravagance he had lately been used to, he now began to attack People on the Highway. We have an Account of him in the Sessions Paper in July, in the Mayoralty of John Blachford, Esq ; where he was concerned in stealing a Clergyman's Portmanteau from his Servant in Stepney Churchyard ; but here he got the Start of his Companions, and was admitted an Evidence, and two of them were hanged; but this proved no Warning to him, he still pursued his wicked Methods, till Justice at last overtook him, and he was condemned on two Indictments of different Robberies, and deservedly executed. He behaved well while under Sentence of Death, and died perfectly resigned to his Fate, acknowledging his own Unworthiness upon Account of his Sins, but hoping for a Share in the Merits of Christ's Blood.
14. JOHN ROSS , aged 17, was born of poor Parents in Wapping, who gave him but little or hardly any Education; for indeed he seemed a poor ignorant young Fellow. When they had brought him up to a proper Age, he was put out Apprentice to a Silk-Weaver in Spittal-Fields, with whom he served about three Years, till his Master's Business failing he was obliged to leave him, and being a poor ignorant Lad, knew not how to turn his Hand to any honest industrious Calling, and unfortunately for him, being for Cheapness Sake obliged to take up his Quarters in one of those Lodging Houses where all Sorts are welcome for their Money; he became acquainted with some Lads not of the most honest Sort, with whom he frequently went out pilfering and thieving, what they could lay their Hands on, till from one Degree of Theft to another, they came to breaking open Houses; which Practice he and his Companions followed but a very short Time, before the Commission of the Fact for which he suffered, which he owned in all its Circumstances as sworn against him, and said he died in Peace with all Men, and for hoped Forgiveness from God.
15. WILLIAM BAKER , is about 38 Years of Age, and was the Son of very honest and reputable Parents, who kept a Baker's Shop in Cannon-Street. He was brought up at Merchant-Taylors School, where he had very liberal Education bestow'd on him; and about three Years since he married his own Cousin, the Daughter of a very honest and reputable Clergyman in Northamptonshire, with whom he had a handsome Fortune. He was bred a Grocer , in which Business he set up, with a very good Fortune, in Cannon-Street, upwards of sixteen Years ago; which Business he followed about seven Years, and acquired in that Time a considerable Addition to his Fortune. At the Expiration of this Time he commenc'd Sugar-Baker with one Mr. Carter, to which Business alone had he apply'd himself, he might have been worth some Thousands of Pounds, and lived in Credit and Happiness all his Days; but being in Hopes of encreasing his Fortune, he constantly attended the East-India Company's Sales, where he has bought to the Amount of
ten thousand Poundsworth of Goods at a Time, and always took Care to pay for the said Goods at the Time appointed by the Company. But as he sustained every now and then considerable great Losses upon the Goods bought at these Sales, at last his Fortune was greatly diminish'd, and in a Manner lost; which (unfortunately for him) induc'd him to make use of the unhappy Methods for which he has suffer'd, to raise Money, only to supply present Purposes, without direct Intention to have defrauded any Person whatever, but on the contrary, in Hopes to have had some lucky Chance or other, in his large Undertakings, to have redeem'd his past Losses; and his real Intentions, he declar'd, was to have paid the Gentleman in full of whom he borrow'd the Money; his flattering Hopes gave him strong Presumption so to think. He was a Man that never was addicted to drinking, gaming, &c. the Vices of the Age, nor given to any Extravagancy whatever. He was a Man that bore an exceeding good Character in the World, which did appear from the Character given him by several worthy Gentlemen, and some of the most eminent Merchants of this great Metropolis, who appear'd on his Behalf upon the Trial; so that had his Intention been really inclin'd to have defrauded, he might have got many Thousands of Pounds of Money and Effects into his Hands, of other People's, and gone off with the same, without the least Suspicion from any Person whatever.
N.B. As he used to buy such large Quantities of Goods at these Sales, he was obliged to borrow large Sums upon Interest, to make good his Payments; for which Sums he has, upon an Average, paid above four hundred Pounds per Ann. for Interest, for upwards of these eight Years past, and had continually great Losses upon these Goods likewise.
He, with the utmost Sense of the Badness of the Practice, acknowledged his having been but too much concerned in handing about bad India Warrants. He was content to be made an Example to the Justice of his Country, and wish'd it might have the Effect intended, viz to prevent any one for the future from attempting to make use of such unwarrantable Measures, as by serving their own present Purposes may impose upon, and defraud any Individual, or Body of Men.
The following is a Note of Hand given by Mr. Baker, and a particular Account of the Affair relating to it, also under his own Hand.
As in all Probability an Affair of me, William Baker, concerning the Bankruptcy of William Sandys , Tea-Man (about nine Years since) may at this Time be mentioned to my Prejudice, the Case is as follows: Mr. John Barnes, an eminent Tea-Broker , came to me, and desired I would give him Cash for a Note of Mr. Sandys's Hand, payable to the said Mr. John Barnes, or order, for nine hundred twenty-two Pounds ten Shillings, but I had not so much Cash by me; he desired I would give him my Note of Hand for the same, which I did in Form, as above. He told me he would indorse Mr. Sandys's Note to me, which I took. I was satisfied with his Indorsement, knowing him sufficient to answer the Sum to me. After this Mr. Barnes desired me to prove Mr. Sandys's Note of Hand under the Commission, as he was become a Bankrupt; upon which I ask'd him, How I could prove it, as having no Concern with the Bankrupt? He told me, as he had my Note of Hand for the same Value, I might prove it, and say, it was for a valuable Consideration. Upon this I went to prove the Note, but in my Hurry, as having never proved a Debt before under a Commission, and there being great Debates and Quarrelling at the Meeting, I inadvertently proved the Note for Goods sold and
deliver'd, neither did I know at that Time but the whole Money was due to Mr. Barnes, this Note being given by Mr. Sandys to him on a Mortgage of Teas; but upon Enquiry into the Bankrupt's Affairs, Mr. Barnes was intitled to prove no more than two hundred and ninety Pounds; and I most solemnly declare, as I must soon answer for all my Actions before a true and just God, what I did was without Consideration or Benefit, directly or indirectly, or any Promise or Reward whatever, but to the contrary, I was one hundred eighty-six Pounds out of Pocket for the same, and only have received forty Pounds of Mr. Barnes towards the Expences I was put to.
Witness my Hand, this 24th of December, 1750.
In respect to the above Account given by Mr. Baker, under his own Hand, he always, when talk'd to upon that Affair, did declare, viz. That in his Conscience he did believe Mr. Barnes had no Intention of imposing upon him, or putting him upon doing an unjustifiable Thing; but, on the contrary, he was verily persuaded Mr. Barnes had no other View, but to receive only his just Due: And added, that from what did arise of his own Knowledge of that Gentleman, and the Reputation he bore with the mercantile Part of the World, among whom were his grand Concerns, he could not entertain an Opinion that Mr. Barnes would knowingly have put upon him doing a wrong Thing. To this Purpose was always his Declaration; he express'd himself to the same Effect the Sunday Evening before his Execution, in Presence of several of his particular Friends, who came to take Leave of him, and continued in the same Way of thinking to the last, as may be made appear by a Letter which Mr. Baker sent to Mr. Barnes the Night before Execution.
Various were the Reports, and many the Aspersions every Day handed about upon Mr. Baker's former Conduct in Life, which came to his Ears while under Sentence of Death. There are some Things he does not deny, but upon Account of which he was highly blameable, to atone for which he was to forfeit his Life, and hoped Forgiveness from all those whom he has wrong'd or injur'd. As to many other Things that were said of him without any Foundation, he gave Ear to them, and passed by with generous Disdain, saying, What he really had in Justice to answer for, was sufficient Weight for him to bear, and he was sorry the World should endeavour to load him with more than what really belonged to him. Where he has done an Injury, the injur'd must be but too sensible of it, and need not to be told what is done; and where there is no Injury done, there is no particular Right to call Mr. Baker's Character in Question, since he has satisfied the Justice of the Law by his Suffering; and as he own'd the Justice of the Punishment inflicted on him, and submitted willingly to his Fate, he wished this might so far plead in his Behalf, as to put a Stop to all false Reports; that the Family to which he belong'd, already sufficiently afflicted upon Account of the unhappy Measures he pursued, might not still have Additions to their Sorrows.
His Behaviour all along was quite composed and resigned, and such as was, by all that saw him to the last Minutes, admired and approved of.
At the PLACE of EXECUTION.
ON Monday, December the 31st, between 9 and 10 in the Morning, Darby Long , John Richardson , and Catharine Connor , in one Cart; Thomas Proctor , and John Ross in another; John Watling , William Tidd , and William Dawson , in a third; John Foster , Anthony Byrne , and John Carbold , in a fourth; Little Will , Benjamin Beckenfield , and John Newcombe , in a fifth Cart; and William Baker in a mourning Coach; went from Newgate to the Place of Execution. They all behaved very decently all that while, except William Tidd, who, I presume, for want of Consideration what he was about, shewed some Levity, unbecoming a Person so near his last Moments. When the Executioner had tied them all up to the fatal Tree, some Time was spent in recommending them to the Divine Protection; and then the Carts were drawn from under them, incessantly, while Breath lasted, calling on God, and Jesus Christ, to hear their Cry, and to receive their Souls. When they were cut down, their Bodies were delivered to their Friends; Mr. Baker's was carried away in a Hearse, Watling's and Carbold's in another, were carried down to their own Country; only Connor, and two others, 'tis said, were taken for the Use of the Surgeons. And the Execution was done with as little Noise and Disturbance as the Nature of so tragical a Scene will admit.