THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of ABRAHAM WARD, Who was executed at Tyburn for Murder, on the 11December1752, AND OF THE EIGHT MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the12FEBRUARY1753, BEING THE Second and Third EXECUTIONS in the MAYORALTY OF THE Rt. Hon. Sir Crisp Gascoyne, Knt . LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, Etc.
BY Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir Crisp Gascoyne, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Lord Chief Justice Willes, Mr. Baron Clive, Mr. Baron Legge, Sir Richard Adams, Knt . Recorder , and others His Majesty's Justices of Gaol Delivery, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice Hall, in the Old Baily, on Wednesday the Sixth, Thursday the Seventh, and Friday the Eighth Day of December, in the Twenty-sixth Year of His Majesty's Reign, William Clarke, William Morriss, William Cross, William Lee, Ann Fox, and Abraham Ward, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
ABRAHAM WARD being convicted of Murder, received Sentence immediately upon the Jury's bringing in their Verdict, and was executed on the 11December, according to Direction of the late Act of prevent Murder. And,
By Virtue of the King's Commission of, Etc. held before the Right Honourable Sir Crisp Gascoyne, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Lord Chief Baron Parker, Sir Michael Foster, Sir Thomas Birch, Sir Richard Adams, Knt. Recorder, and others of, Etc. on Thursday the 11th, Friday the 12th, and Saturday the 13th of January, in the Twenty-sixth Year of His Majesty's Reign, Timothy Murphy, John Briant, Patrick Nugent, William Baldwin, and Joseph Hall, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
Their Behaviour has been quiet, and those who were Protestants, Clarke, Cross, Lee, Baldwin, and Hall, constantly attended the Service of the Chapel, and appeared devout.
On Tuesday the sixth Instant, Mr. Recorder reported ten malefactors to His Majesty, when he was pleased to order William Clarke, William Morriss, William Cross, Anne Fox, Timothy Murphy, John Briant, William Baldwin, and Joseph Hall, for Execution, on Monday the 12th Instant.
Lee and Nugent and respited 'till His Majesty's Pleasure touching them be farther made known.
1. WILLIAM CLARKE, was indicted for forging a Warrant, or Order, under the Hands of Lascelles and Maxwell, to this Purpose, viz. Pray pay to Mr. William Clarke, the Bearer, the Sum of 287l.15s. 9d. and place it to the Account of Lascelles and Maxwell; and publishing it with Intent to defraud, Sep. 23.
2. ANNE FOX, was indicted for stealing one Gold Ring, Value 15s. one Pair of Silver Buttons, Value 1s. 6d. one Silk Handkerchief, Value 3s. two Guineas, and one Half Guinea, the Goods of Patrick Quin, in the Dwelling-house of Samuel Porter, October 11.
3. WILLIAM MORRIS, was indicted for that he, on the King's Highway, on John Birk did make an Assault, putting him in Corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, and stealing from him one Hat, Value 2s. one Thread Purse, Value 1d. and seven Shillings in Money numbered, the Property of the said John, from his Person, and against his Will, Novem. 15.
4. WILLIAM CROSS, was indicted for stealing one Trunk, Value 3s. 8 Linnen Shirts, Value 15s. 10 Holland Stocks, Value 2s. 2 Pair of Cotton Stockings, Value 2s. 1 Holland Waistcoat, Value 7s. 1 Silver Snuff-Box, Value 18s. 1 Portugal Piece of Gold, Value 18s. and 2 Guineas, the Goods and Money of Edward Price; one promissory Note, signed under the Hand of Margaret Wright, Spinster , bearing Date 1751, Value 100l. by which Note the said Margaret did promise to pay the Sum of 100l. upon Demand, at 4 per Cent. to the said Edward, in the Dwelling-house of Robert Hall, Novem. 26.
5. JOHN BRIANT, was indicted for that he, together with George Robertson, not yet taken, on the King's Highway, on James Holland did make an Assault, putting him in bodily Fear, and stealing from his Person one Hat, Value 2s. a Peruke, Value 20s. Decem. 31. He was a second Time indicted, with John Welch, for robbing Patrick McDaniel, of a Hat, Value 2s. on the King's Highway, Decem. 14.
6. WILLIAM BALDWIN, was indicted for that he, in the Dwelling-house of Rose Sykes, Widow , on Thomas Mot did make an Assault, putting him in Corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, one Silver Watch, Value 30s. and 16s.
in Money numbered, from his Person did steal, 22December.
7. JOSEPH HALL, was indicted, for that he, together with Charles Sickamore and Jonathan Ward, on the first of December, about the Hour of 7 at Night of the same Day, the Dwelling house of William Grub did break and enter, one Cloth Coat, Value 2s. one Flannel Waistcoat, Value 2s. one Pair of Leather Breeches, Value 2s. two Linnen Gowns, one Stuff Gown, one Camblet Gown, two Quilted Petticoats, and one Peruke, the Goods of the said William, from his Dwelling, did steal, take, and carry away.
As we formerly promised to give some Account of Ward, we begin with him.
1. Abraham Ward, aged 48, was born in the Parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, bred up with his Parents in the said Parish, without any Education; and illiterate he was indeed, and stupidly ignorant, to the last Degree, even all his Days, scarce remembring To-morrow what had been told him To-day. About the Age of fourteen Years he was bound Apprentice to a Weaver , in the Neighbourhood where he was born. He says he served his Apprenticeship, and worked Journey-Work to the same Business some Years after. Having changed his Mind, he left his Trade, and took to the Seas , after being about four Years out of his Apprenticeship; and says, he was in that memorable Expedition, when the English Fleet went up the Mediterranean, to establish Don Carlos in the Kingdoms of Italy, and the Two Sicilies. In this Fleet, he says, he was Abroad about eight Months: Then he came Home, and became again a Journeyman , married, and worked at his Trade to which he had been bred. When the late War broke out, he left his Wife and Family, and went up the Streights with Admiral Haddock. The Admiral being called Home, Ward came to Plymouth on Board the Flag-Ship and was there paid off, and came to London again, and went to work once more at his Trade: But not being very fond of Work, he says he embarked once more at Sea, and was on Board a Ship, which was one in the two Fleets, distinguished at that Time, by the Names of the May and October Fleets.
He got some Money, he says, by his Service and Labour in the Navy , which he spent very idly, in drinking hard, and keeping loose Company. The Man, however, was again taken into Employ in his Trade, and got his Livelihood, he says, honestly. The Woman whom he wickedly murdered, had lived with him about three Years, at different Times; and tho' they were not married, yet Quarrels would frequently arise, and they parted for a-while, and came together again, when their Passions subsided; and once too often they did so at last. They had lately fallen out before this last Quarrel, and he got out of the Way, resolving never to be
with her more. But as she worked with his Mother, who was a Pipe-Maker, and ne now and then went to see his Mother, she saw him one Day come there, and when he went away, followed him to his Lodgings. After this last coming together, there had not passed above four or five Nights, e'er he committed the Fact which was the Cause of her Death. He says, during this Time, they quarrell'd daily and hourly, and he would fain have had her to go away from him, which she would not; and one Word raising another, till both were in violent Passions, abusing, and calling one another every bad Name that came uppermost, their Quarrel ended at last in both their Deaths.
He represented the Case thus, and always was in the same Story, viz. After Breath and Words were almost spent, the Woman catched up a Broom, with which she offered to strike him; he would have taken it from her, and in the Struggle the Broomstick was broke in two Pieces. She had the End the Head of the Broom was fast to, and he had the other. He says he thrust her down Stairs, in Order to turn her out of his Lodgings, and the Fray continuing on the Stairs, he struck her several Blows, he says, with the Piece of the Broomstick he had in his Hand, and owes the Blows he gave her, he believes were the Cause of her Death: but utterly to the last he denied the using the large Piece of Wood, which was produced in the Court at his Trial, which he says, served him as a Fender to his and he never touched it that unhappy Day of the Quarrel, when thewas done for which he suffered, according to the late Act of Parliament, on the second Day after Sentence was passed upon him, upon a plain Evidence given in, to the Conviction of his being guilty of the Fact. He could not therefore but own the Justice of his suffering Death for it; but he had Hope towards God, that, through the Merits of Christ, he might be saved in the World to come. The Man behaved very well, as far as his Capacity would give him Leave, both before and after Trial, and till executed.
2. William Cross, aged 23, was born at Stratford upon Avon, and was bred there with his Parents, who had taught him to read and write a little, till his Mother died, and his Father marrying again, Things did not go so well; and he, as well as the Rest of the Children, his Brothers and Sisters, were obliged to turn out to get their Living: 'T was his Fortune to go to be a Gentleman's Servant , and he was in several Places before he left his own Country; and himself says, he never did any Thing to wrong any Family so long as he staid there.
About three Years ago he came to Town, and lived in Tower-Street, and in the Tower, and from thence removed to Oxford-Market, where he lived with a Tripe-Man, was Servant sometime with him, and hawked Tripes , Etc. about the Streets. Soon after he became acquainted with the Daughter of a poor Man, that bears a good Character in his Neighbourhood, and married her, to whom, and his Family, Cross was the Occasion of no small Uneasiness and Trouble; and it was not long before the poor Girl died, through some ill Usage
She had received from him, to the great Grief of the poor unfortunate Father. However, he was so humane and good-natur'd, as not to turn the Fellow out of Doors be ore he had got a Place for him, hoping that he might yet do better; but he was got now into a bad Way of thinking, and worse Company, and his own Sister afterwards, and other loose Women, pushed him on to rob every one he could, to support their Extravagance and Wickedness.
He begun with two Pair of Stockings, he says, and upon reflecting what Injury he was doing to those who fed him, he promised to himself never to take any Thing more. But now he was given up to bad Ways, and the Devil was too busy with him; so going one Day into the City from Westminster, he called on a Sister that then lived in Clare-Market, whom he found crying, and asked what ailed her. She told him another Sister was come up to Town in ragged Condition: Upon which he went to see her, and found her in sad Plight. The People where she was, said to him, as he lived in a good Place, they knew he could get some Cloaths to set her out, and get her into Place; to which he consented, and promised to do it as soon as he had Opportunity.
On Sunday following Cross's Master dined Abroad, and he found Opportunity, and stole a Pair of Stays, a Shift, an Apron, and two Handkerchiefs, one of which Handkerchiefs the Woman had where his Sister was, and she wore out all the Rest of his stolen Goods. Afterwards the Sister and the Woman quarelled, and Cross was charged three Shillings per Week for her Board, and the Woman seizing him for it, he stole a Gown, and pawned for a Guinea, and out of that paid his Sister's Lodging.
After this he stole a Pair of Stays, which were sold for a Crown; and many other Goods he stole from his Master, he said, which are too many enumerate particularly; and, he says, having given over all Signs and Thoughts of Goodness and Honesty, he went on stealing, and made many Presents to Women of his Acquaintance: And thus he went to play his Tricks in a Family he was taken into, as it were, out of Charity, appearing then to be honest, tho' poor, active, and willing to work.
In this Method he went on for about twelve Months, his Behaviour being apparently such as prevented Suspicion of him; but at length so many Things were missing, and so frequent Robberies were done in the House, that somehow he became suspected, and his Master resolved to turn him away, and accordingly did so.
After some Time he got into Service with a Gentleman at Fulbam; when this reached his former Master's Ears, he thought himself obliged to let the Gentleman know what Sort of a Fellow he had taken into his House: He did so, and soon after Cross was dispatched that Service. However, Cross was not without a Stratagem in his Head, of which he thought to avail himself before he left that Place entirely; and it was this. After he was turned out of the House, he made Shift to get over the Garden-Wall, and knowing the House, went directly to the Kitchen-Window, where the Maid-Servants were, and desired them to let him in for a Minute.
They did so; and having staid there some Time, he begged to stay there all Night, for that he could not set out for London till next Morning. However, they did not like his Proposal, and wanted him gone: Upon which they pretended their Mistress was coming, which put him in a Hurry, and he desired to be hid in a Closet where some Linnen was, but they told him that Place was where their Mistress generally went, whenever she came down into the Kitchen. The Fear of being seen by the Lady, put him upon his Flight, and he went out the same Way he came in, and came to London. He did own, that his Design was to have robbed the House, if he had staid there all Night.
The next Service he got was with a Gentleman at Endfield, with whom he carried not long; for one Day coming up to Town with his Master, he brought with him a Silver Spoon or two, but being somehow detected, his Master left him behind, when he returned into the Country, and he began again to visit his old Haunts in Town; and, like an ingenious Youth, he went to the House of the poor Man, whose Family he had before, as above mentioned, done great Wrong to, and took an Opportunity to break open a Cupboard, in which were several Guineas, which he brought away with him, to the great Detriment of the right Owner thereof, and consumed it with lewd Women.
At this Time he lodged in Eagle-Street, at a Publick-House, where several others lodged. He had seen the Trunk several Times which he was convicted for stealing, and his Fingers itched at it, and he was resolved to have it. He had watched an Opportunity for some Time, but something or other prevented. At length, on the twenty-fifth of November, in the Evening, he took the Advantage of the House being full of Company, and all very busy, to go up Stairs, and brought the Box or Trunk himself, unnotic'd by any Body in the House. He went that Night into Salisbury-Court with it, and the next Day he went to the Cross-Keys in Wood-Street and sent it down, by the Waggon, to Stratford upon Avon, directed to himself, to be left at the Crown, but gave private Orders to the Waggoner to leave it at the White-Lyon in Stratford, intending himself to follow it soon, had he not been prevented by the Interposition of the Hand of Justice.
As he was the last that came to lodge in the House, and the Person with whose Manner of Life the Family were least acquainted, when the Robbery was found out he was suspected, and charged with it; but he denied it, and said, the other Man that lay in the same Room might have done it, but he knew nothing of it; so that he would have put it upon any Body, rather than himself, while he thought there was any Possibility of screening himself. At this Time he was not apprehended, but a Warrant being obtained by the Landlord of the House, Cross was met by him some Days after, and then taken. He was had before a Justice, but would own nothing there; but being taken to the Round-House for further Examination, his Conscience pricked him, and before he went in he took out some of the Money that had been in the Trunk, and shewed it to the Landlord of the House, who took him,
saying, that was taken out of the Trunk. He did not then say that he took the Trunk or the Money, but would have again laid it on an other Person: tho' he since acknowledged, he committed the Robbery himself.
Being push'd thus far, he declared what was become of the Trunk, and a Messenger being sent after it, and overtaking the Waggon at Wheatly in Oxfordshire, the Trunk or Box was brought back, and delivered to the Owner, by the Carrier, before Justice Lediard. Being brought to Newgate, an Indictment was preferr'd, and the Bill found: Upon which, Cross was convicted, having nothing to say for himself, but what the Court and Jury gave no Heed to, viz. That another Person stole the Box or Trunk, and brought it to him.
Immediately after Conviction, his Conscience pressed him sore, upon Account of this, and the many other Robberies he had been guilty of. He found he now was to suffer for all, and began to repent, and own all, as represented above. And, in particular, he expressed his Sorrow, for having attempted to ruin the Character of another, when in Fact he declar'd, they had been in Company at a Play together, and drinking a Pot of Beer, but he never knew the young Man guilty of any bad Action; nor had he seen him for a Fortnight, or more, before he stole the Box or Fortnight, or more, before he stole the Box or Trunk, nor ever since. Cross behaved very well from the Time of his Conviction at December Sessions, till he dy'd, and appeared truly sensible of his past evil Life, and penitent.
3. William Merriss, was 21 Years of Age, and was born in Hounsditch, of Parents whose Circumstances would not admit of giving him any Education, and he was quite illiterate, ignorant of all Good, and obstinate to the last Degree. His Occupation by Day has been, ever since he left his Parents, selling Fruit, and hawking Goods, Lemons and Oranges, and one Sort of Fruit or other, about the Streets of London, and down about the Countries of Bow and stratford, Etc. in Essex, and in all these Places he was very well known, and, at Night, he had his Company to resort to, about Shoreditch and Old-Street, whose Practices, Darkness was necessary to keep from the Eye of the World, at least for their Safety. He did once acknowledge to me, that he had been a very wicked young Fellow, but afterwards he grew surly and obstinate, and I could not get a Word of him, but he was dumb to all I said to him.
This unfortunate Youth, on Wednesday the 15November, between Eight and Nine o'Clock in the Evening, had the Assurance to assault a Man upon Snow-hill, while People were passing and repassing, and was seen in Company with two more by several of the Neighbours, lurking upon the Hill.
The Manner he begun the Attack was thus: Seeing a Countryman go along, he accosted him, with saying, 'Countryman, ' how dost do?' To which the other reply'd, ' Are you my Countryman? I don't know ' you.' Morriss said again to him, 'Come, ' let's take a Pot of Beer together, and talk ' over old Stories; I know your Friends in ' the Country.' Upon which, as they were going under the Saracen's Head Gate, as the Prosecutor told me several Times since he appeared at the Old Bailey against him, Merriss turned about, and began to talk to him in indecent Languages, favouring of base sodomitical Intentions. This the Prosecutor resented; and finding he was not a Man for his Purpose in this Attempt, Morriss told him he was very poor, and must have what he had in his Breeches. Upon this, Morriss swore, if he did not surrender directly, he'd cut his Throat. Then the Prosecutor made for the Street, and Morriss overtook him, and knock'd him down, and jobb'd an Instrument he had in his Hand, into his Mouth, which he took for a Knife; which Moriss told me was nothing but a Piece of a white Chamber-pot: though the Wounds about the Fellow's Mouth and Face, seem'd to be done with another Kind of Instrument
than Morriss would own he had in his Hand, while he would suffer me to say any Thing to him, or give me any Answer.
However, the same Night after the Affair was over, and he had robb'd the Countryman of seven Shillings, and a Purse, upon his crying out, Morriss was pursued down the Hill, and as he was coming up again, was taken; and being charged with robbing, and murdering a Man, who then appeared all in gore Blood, reply'd very impudently,
'What if I have.' I saw him that Night myself, with daring Assurance, defying all Laws, and daring them to carry him before a Magistrate, breathing out Menaces. However, the Countryman was carried to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and taken Care of, and Morriss before the Lord Mayor.
As the People were going along Cheapside, about half Way before they came to the Mansion-House, they were met by some, who seem'd by their Behaviour, to have an Inclination to rescue Morriss, and at the same Time, he began to cry Organges and Lemons; but they had him before the Lord Mayor, who thought proper to commit him, after having first very judiciously sent him, with Number of Persons, to the Hospital, to see if the Man knew him; and he did single Morriss out from among twelve or fourteen Persons. He told me himself more than once, he knew him again, not only by his Face, but his Apron, which he then had on when he attack'd him, and when he was brought back to him by the Lord mayor's Direction.
When he was brought to the Bar to be tried, he behaved with uncommon Sullenness, would scarce be persuaded to hold up his Hand, and plead to the Indictment. At last he did mutter out, Not guilty; but the Evidence being called, proved him guilty, to the Satisfaction of the Jury, or they would never have found him so. When the Court indulged him, with asking, if he had any Thing so say for himself, he behaved odly, and would not speak. He afterwards left the Bar in an indecent, nay, insolent Manner.
For a few Days after Conviction, he went to Chapel. But one Day I took upon me, to ask him concerning the Affair, when he told me, he was quite innocent of the Charge. I said, I could searce believe it; if he was I was glad of it, 'twou'd be the better for him hereafter. Upon which he resolved to go up to Chapel no more, and determined to die a Roman Catholick. So that his Mouth was locked up with regard to me, and I know not whether he owned the Fact or no. But this I know, he told me, 'twas not a Knife he had in his Hand, at that Time, but a Piece of a white broken Pot. So that he owned he was present, and the Countryman swore positively to him. And now,
If Morriss was innocent, what Occasion had his Friends to make use of such Stratagems, as they did, to get the poor Countryman out of the Way, that he might not appear against him? In the first Place, Money was offered him by some that came to him to the Hospital, which he refused, tho' this was a great Temptation to a Man, who was 100 Miles from Home, and had been robbed of his All; yet he withstood it. He was no sooner able to go Abroad, than two People came to him, and pretending to be his Friends, told him, they were Church-Wardens of St. Luke's Parish, and having heard that his Life was threatened, they, in a friendly Manner, came to prevent the Mischief intended. If he would go with them, they would send him Home out of the Way of Danger. He suspected them a little, but their Persuasions were such, that he was induced to go with them to a Publick House, where they said, they would let him know how they intended to manage the Matter. When they came there, they called for Beer, and he having been sick, desired to have it warmed. They had it made hot, and put into it somewhat that he took for Ginger, and gave it him to drink. He drank of it heartily, not suspecting the Trick, and left them, they promising to see him again. In his Way to the Hospital, finding he was sick, he went
into a House, and drank a Pennyworth of not Purl, which moved his Stomach, and carried off, in some Measure, what he had drank before. But, after all, had it not been for the Skill and Care of the Physicians or Apothecaries of the Hospital, the Consequence might have been fatal to him, of having drank with his pretended Friends.
After he left the Hospital, the Church Wardens of the Parish of St. Sepulchre's put him into their Workhouse, in order to secure him from any Harm that might be intended, till such Time as he had given Evidence of the Robbery, Etc. and had received his Share of the Reward, to enable him to go into the Country; and he was there till the Matter was over, Morriss convicted, and himself went into the Country, having received his Share of the Reward. And, during this Time, as he was one Day going thro' Field-Lane to Holborn Bridge, some four or five People met him, and one of them came behind him, and knocked him down. Upon which Birk, the Prosecutor of Morriss, ran back to the Workhouse, as fast as he could, one of the People following him to the Door of the Workhouse, who was secured for a while in the Workhouse, and afterwards sent to the Compter. I saw him, a bold, daring, impudent Fellow, seemingly capable of attempting any Mischief.
If Morriss had been innocent, what Reason for such Methods to be taken; far from such as were necessary to support Innocence, but tending rather to establish the Credit of the Prosecutor.
Had Morriss been innocent, certainly a Method might have been found out by his Friends to have shewed it. But, as the Case was, no Evidence of Innocence, or even to his Character, appeared; so that his Suffering has all the Marks of being supported by the Hand of Justice, whatever he might say to the contrary.
4. William Clarke, aged 26, was born at North-Allerton, in Yorkshire, of a reputable Family; he was brought up in a genteel Manner, and had an Education proper to qualify him for a Trade; and, after having been a proper Time at School, he was put an Apprentice to a Grocer in the same Country, and served his Time. However, as the Apprenticeship drew to its Period, there appeared some Marks of Extravagance, and a roving Mind, which gave some Concern to those who were interested in his future Welfare; and all Methods were made use of, to introduce him properly in the World, and six him in Business. But it was all to no Purpose; his Inclinations did not seem to be fore a Trade, which was confined to a Shop; his Thoughts were more aspiring, and his Designs more extensive, and he chose to go Abroad into the World.
Accordingly, between three and four Years ago, he set out from Home for London, with Design to cross the Seas. And, for some Time before he went, he had Lodgings upon Snow-hill, appeared as a Gentleman, and, for ought I find, behaved so during his Stay in Town. He used frequently to attend then Old Baily, for two or three Sessions, before he went Abroad; and, once upon a Time, (which proved a very fatal one to him in the Event of Things) he happened to see an unfortunate young Gentleman brought to the Bar, to be tried for returning from Transportation, after having been convicted for Forgery, and had his Sentence changed from Execution to Transportion for Life.
The Behaviour of this young Gentleman seemed to catch his Taste, and, he says, he seemed. as it were, uneasy, till he had some Conversation with him.
And it was not long after, but he made it his Business to come to Newgate, and enquiring for him, had Admittance. It happened the young Gentleman's Tryal was put off then to a farther Sessions, so that Access to him was the farther Sessions, so that Access to him was the more easy. They soon became acquainted, and drank together several Times. At their several Interviews, the young Gentleman would be now and then talking of
what he had done in the Way of Forgery, and boastingly said, 'twas an easy Matter for a Man, that had Art of Pen, and Contrivance, to get a great deal of Money, before he might be found out, as he had done; and frequently repeated such Sort of Discourse to Clarke, who says, he heard him in this, and other Points of Conversation, which happened between them, with Pleasure; and thus he drank too freely of the Poison which proved his Bane. And, by the Way, the Person and Conversation of that aforesaid young Gentleman was such, as would have deceived and imposed upon any, but the most wary: And Clarke, through his Extravagance and roving Temper, not being in the best Way of Life, and becoming afterwards in necessitated Circumstances, could not help letting the World see how apt a Scholar he had been, and has since given a fatal Proof of it.
He left England before the above young Gentleman suffered Death for his mischievous Ingenuity: But tho' his Master was dead and gone, Clarke had not forgot his Instructions. He went to the West-Indies, and fix'd himself upon the Island of Barbadres, and took upon him the Character of Merchant ; and in this Manner be went on for about 12 or 14 Months, doing what Business he could with his small Stock. This at length failed, and not being able to go on in a fair Way, he had Recourse to Forgery. He says, the Draught he first made, was in such a Manner, as caused Suspicion, and being examin'd into, he was, after a fair Trail, agreeable to the Laws of that country, found guilty of Forgery, and received Sentence of Death. In thisCase he lay about a Fortnight or three Weeks, and then Interest being made to the Governor of the Country, he had his Life given to him, and he was ordered to depart that Island. Whatever Reflections his Mind might suggest in that melancholy Situation, they were all erased, as soon as he had got he Liberty and Life restored to him again; for one of the first Acts he did, after his Arrival again in London, (whither he came directly from Barbadoes) was the Forgery for which he received Sentence of Death, upon pleading guilty.
Being arrived in London, he came again to his old Lodgings upon Snow-Hill, and there had Lodgings till apprehended for the Fact. In that Neighbourhood he pretended he had made an Advantage of going Abroad, talked of some Hogsheads of Sugar he expected over, and produced a Warrant, or Order, for 287l. 15s. 9d. payable to himself, William Clarke, the Bearer.
This gained him Credit in the Neighbourhood, for he made no Secret of it, tho' he knew it forged; but frequently made Shew of it to several Persons. They looked upon it as good, and upon the Credit of it he had bespoke several Parcels of Goods, which were made up, and ready to be delivered to his Use, as soon as the Order was paid. At length he went out one Day a fishing, and sent the Order for Payment; but he having made the Acceptance wrong, the Fraud was discovered, and the Man sent with it stopped, till he should produce the Person he received it from. Accordingly proper Persons were sent to seek for Clarke, whom they found at his Diversion of Fishing. He did not deny any Thing, and being brought before a Magistrate, was committed to Newgate. Being asked before his Commitment, if he had any Thing to offer for himself, he replied, he should reserve that to another Time.
The Trial was postponed from October Sessions till December, when, on the first Day of the Sessions, being brought to the Bar, and arraigned, he, without Hesitation, pleaded guilty.
He behaved before, and since Sentence passed upon him, very quietly and decently; owned the Justice of the Punishment insticted on him, and said he had merited it to the uttermost, since he did not take Warning by the former Escape he had from the Hands of Justice.
5. Anne Fox, aged 23, was born in the County of Kildare, in the Kingdom of Ireland, of poor Parents, who gave her no Education as we find, she not being able to read. She has been in England, it seems, but few Years, and the People that knew her gave her a good Character, and seemed to say, they never heard any Harm of her, till this Fact for which she suffered. The better for her if the Case were so, she had the less to answer for, or to be afraid of giving Account of; but as she was a Roman Catholick , her Account cannot be expected from me any further than has been made publick.
It seems she was a Friend and Countrywoman of the Prosecutor and his Wife, whom she robbed; she was taken in to look after a Child in their Absence, and to help the Family in other little odd Matters, there might be Occasion to be done.
She had lived with them about Half a Year, and one Day; when they were both out, she took an Opportunity to break open the Chest, where they kept all their valuable Goods, which she carried off, and made away with. She acknowledged the taking of the Goods when she was taken up, and she made no Defence upon her Trail. Her Suffering therefore, appears to be according to Law, and Justly. After Conviction she, being of the Persuasion as above, never appeared at Chapel; but I could find that her Behaviour was not altogether so decent, and becoming a Woman, especially in her Circumstances, for some Time: But, after the Warrant for Execution, she altered her Note; having before had Hopes of Mercy, from the Notion of being recommended by the Jury: When she found all Hopes past, she resigned, with Appearance of Repentance.
6. John Bryant, aged 23, was born at Kingsale, in the Kingdom of Ireland, of poor Parents, whose Circumstances in Life admitted not giving him any Education; for he could not read any more than the former poor unhappy Creature. He seem'd to be a Youth of a strong, robust Constituation, and was bred to the Sea. He was in the Navy during the last War, Several Years, and behaved like a Man in his Place, as a Foremast Man , and was beloved by his Ship.mates. He took some Trips to Sea Since the War, and got Money by hard Labour , which he threw away as foolishly, in drinking and bad company; which brought him at last to his Ruin, after having led him into the Snare. Having lately left the Seas, he got in to be concerned, with some loose ones he met with, in several Robberies and at last was betrayed by a Companion, who being taken first in a Robbery, gave Notice where the Place of Rendezvous was, and Bryant was taken, and convicted, after a fait Trial, having nothing to say for himself, one John Barber, an Accomplice being admitted Evidence against him.
In this Robbery, Bryant held a Cutlass over the Prosecutor's Head, and threatened to cut him, if he made a Noise; but the Watchman being near in Mansfield-street, the Robbers only knock'd him down, took away his Hat and Wig, and run away. Bryant was capitally convicted on the Indictment for robbing Mr. Holland; but being indicted a second Time, with John Welch, for robbing Patrick McDaniel of a Hat on the King's Highway, he was acquitted. 'Tis Pity a Man should be so much an Enemy to his own Life, as to risque it for such Trifles. He died a Roman Catholick , and, to Appearance, a Penitent.
7. William Baldwin, aged 23, says, he was born at Marybone, of Parents, who are said to be good Sort of People. His Father was a Carpenter, who first put this unhappy Youth to School, where he learned to read and write, and afterwards took him an Apprentice to himself. He served Pretty well, a little inclineable to Idleness, and breaking, out now and then, but went on tolerably well, till he came to Man's Estate. Then he thought proper to remove himself from his Father's Presence and Command, that he might take his Swing, and he uncontrouble.
Soon after his Departure, he became famous about the Hundreds of Drury, and took up with this Woman, Rose Sykes, mentioned in the Indictment he was tried upon. He says, she's his Wife, though he has not, as it were, lived with her for twelve Months past. Then he became noted among the Stage-ers, and has fought several Battles well, as 'tis said of him; tho' he was so unfortunate as to acquit himself but badly of the Stage of the World.
About twelve Months ago somewhat happened, he did not care to say particularly what; but yet he was in Danger of Law: Upon Account of which he went beyond,Sea where he staid for about seven or eight Months, and when he thought the Hurry and Noise, he was once afraid of, was over, he returned again to London, to his old Company, and all Ways.
He sometimes work'd by Day as Carpenter , but of late, when he has follow'd the Night-Work, he was not fit for the Day-Work, and so at last he gave it all up, and resolved to stick to that which has proved fatal to him: the being Bully, or Protector, to a House of ill Fame . He was once a Workman, and well respected among the Trade he was bred to; but when he gave Way to his Passions, and followed after new Inventions, he could not any longer contain from Thing. having foregone all honest Industry.
After Conviction he denied the whole Moter, tho' the Evidence against him was very plts and convinting. He denied as he had in the Defence, having ever seen the that was in the House. and saw him do the Fact. He denied the knowing of Anne , in a Wife, he lived with her once, he find, but was not married: And in this Tone he continued, till Rose Sykes was taken, and to Newgate for the same Fact: Then he talked of her as his Wife, and to fit her; but denied the Fact.
After he found himself included in the Warrant for Execution, he behaved in a very surly Manner at first, and seemed agitated with dismal Thoughts of his approaching Fate. In a Day or two after, his Mind was more reconciled to the Thoughts of it, and he began to think of resigning to the Will of God, and said, ' Tho' my Body is ' confined, and killed, yet my Soul shall not, ' I hope ;' and, for the last two or three Days, was persuaded to think a little more of the Matter.
He would not however acknowledge the whole of the Charge against him; but so much he did, as was sufficient to shew, he was concerned in the Robbery. He owned he used Menaces, threw Vollies of deep Oaths and Imprecations against the Prosecutor, but denied that himself took the Watch and Money. He prayed earnestly at last for Pardon of his great, and many Transgressions, and appeared penitent.
8. Joseph Hall, was 23 Years of Age, born at Hockley in the Hole, of poor Parents, had no Education, and was bred to his Father's Trade, who was a Buckle-Maker . But, his Father leaving his Mother, and him, went to live away from them, and they both took to carrying a Basket for their Livelihood. His Mother is esteemed to this Day an honest Woman, and Hall says, if he had followed her Advice, he should never have come to this unfortunate and ignominious Death. He was very ignorant, and searce capable of any good Impressions, and tho' he seemed to pray to God to forgive him his Sins very earnestly, while the Words were putting in his Mouth: yet 'tis to be feared, they were soon forgotten, for Want of Capacity to imbibe and retam; all early Rudiments in good and religious Notions having been concerning the Nature of Sin, and how odions it made Man in the Sight of God, without a true Repentance, he could not refrain from Tears, but all Thought of what had been laid before him,
seemed to vanish with the Tears. He followed the Basket some Years in Newgate and the Fleet Markets, and was well known in both. About a Year ago, he was put into New Prison, on Suspicion of stealing some Lead; but no one appearing to find a Bill of Indictment, he was discharged at the Gaol Delivery. Afterwards, he was taken up again, for another Fact of the same Kind, and being admitted an Evidence, escaped once more. Then he went down to Birmingham, thinking to leave off, for Fear of the Consequence, and to go to work there. But that Fit lasted not long, e'er he returned again to the same Practices, and was a stealer of Lead, and a Pickpocket, ever since, when Opportunity offered, till he was taken up for the Fact for which he suffered, He owned the Justice of his Sentence, and said, he had been a sad naughty Boy, but hoped God would forgive him, for he put his Trust in him.
8. Timothy Murphy, was 30 Years of Age, born in Ireland, but I could not learn what Part of that Kingdom. After his Conviction, when I put the Question to him, what Way of Religion he had been brought up in, he was at a Loss to give me a direct Answer, and only said, he believed he was inclined to be Roman Catholick ; and so he was received, and died: And, by his Advertisement of Saturday last, no one can expect that an Account of his secret Transactions should to given in these Sheets; but, I hope, I may venture to report what is known to many, that others, unacquainted with it, may know what Pains he has taken to make himself unhappily famous in England. And may his example be a Warning to others, how they attempt to set up their own Foolishness in Opposition to the Wisdom of all Laws.
It is possible this may be the only Piece of Forgery the Murphy was ever guilty of, upon which he was convicted; and Charity will engage every one to think so, who does not know to the contrary: But this is contrived with such Art and Cunning, as to shew the Author of it deserving the Censure and Punishment of the Laws of the Country, provided against such a detrimental Crime. This was brought about by such Contrivance, as was not to be seen through presently, even by the most cautious and wary.
In January1750-1, Murphy became acquainted, with one Williams, to whom, after some Weeks, he opened his Breast to him with a Secret, (a fatal one it was) and swore him to Secrecy. This Secret was, that one Wilkinson was dead upon the Coast of Guinty, who belonged to a private Ship, of War, and left Money due, which might be taken by any Body; so he proceeds to make a Will, and wrose it himself, making Williams, by the Name of John Daunt, of Lisborn, in Portugal, Victualler , whole and sole Executor , and made a Power of Attorney to him likewise der the same Name, and put two Witnesses Names to the Will. Upon this they agreed to go to receive the Money, but could not upon the Power, till the Will was proved. Then they went to the Commons, and proved the Will, and returned to receive the Money; which they did, and shared the Money, Murphy having the larger Share for writing the Will, Etc. And now each consulted his own Safety, by getting off the Ground as fast as they could, and neither of them was to be heard of for a long Time after.
Wilkinson pretended to be dead upon the Coast of Guiney, being afterwards seen, the Cheat was discovered, and Daunt's Will and Powers appeared to be a Forgery. Enquiry afterwards being made after Daunt and Murphy. the latter was found at Newington in Surry, who attempted to make an Escape from the Constable, but was soon re-taken. This was in the Month of July last, and Murphy was committed to Wood-Street-Compter.
At the Sessions in September, a Bill of Indictment was preferred to the Grand Jury against Murphy for this Forgery, but was returned Ignoramus; and at the Delivery of the Gaol, Murphy prayed to be continued in the Compter, for what Purpose he best knew, and was accordingly continued.
At the Sessions in October, a Bill of Indictment was again preferred against Murphy, and found; but as it was not proper to try him, without the Testimony of the pretended Daunt, the Trail of Murphy's Indictment was put off to the next Sessions.
At the Sessions in December, Murphy procured a Bill of Indictment to be preferred against the very Gentleman who preferred a Bill of Indictment against him, for the very Crime he stood charged with himself; so Murphy was continued
till the next Sessions, and the Gentleman gave sufficient Bail for his Appearance to the cross Indictment; and the pretended Daunt being found in Gaol in Ireland, owned the Fact, and was brought to Town. And,
At the Sessions in January last, Murphy was brought to the Bar to plead to his Indictment; which being read, he pleaded Not guilty. When the Council objected to his Prosecutor's Evidence being legal, there being a Bill of Indictment found against him, it was over-ruled by the Court, which proceeded to try Murphy. Upon full Evidence the Indictment was proved against him, and the Jury found him Guilty.
Afterwards, the Indictment found against his Prosecutor was brought before the Court, but not one Evidence appearing to support it, he and two other were honourably acquitted, and Coples of the Indictment were granted by the Court, This Indictment was calculated merely and wickedly to destroy the Evidence against Murphy, and to bring an Odium upon the Character of a Gentleman, which stands good upon Record of the Testimony of several as eminent Men as England can wish to produce, who all personally knew him for many Years.
After the Conviction of the Jury, and the Sentence of the Court, I cannot but think, the formidable Conviction of his own Conscience and Heart must follow the Reflection on such a Scene as is here related; but as he died in another Persuasion, I had not the Honour to know whether he owned the Justice of his Suffering or not.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON MONDAY the 12th Instant, about Nine o'Clock in the Morning, William Morriss, Timothy Murphy, and John Briant, in one Cart; William Clarke, William Baldwin, and Joseph Hall, in another; William Cross, and Anne Fox, in a third, were carried to the Place of Execution. Hall, as soon as he had got into the Cart, spake to the Multitude, desiring all young Men to take Warning by him, how they kept Company with lewd Women, for that was his Ruin.
WHEN they were come to the fatal Place, Morriss declared his Innocency to the Populace;Baldwin said, He did not take the Watch and Money;Hall hurried, and not so composed, as might be wish'dThe Rest seemed more composed, and prayed each in his own Way, servently, and, to all Appearance, dovoutly. After having continued some Time in Prayer, recommending all their Souls, in the Name of Christ, and his Church, to the Almighty's Protection, the Cart drew from under them, while they called on the Lord Jesus Christ to receive their Souls.
This is all the Account given by me,