When they sound the fatal Hour of Execution approach, they generally appeared in a very penitent frame and temper of Spirit; confessing the Justice of the Judgement they were to undergo, and particularly warning and desiring all Persons (especially those of the younger sort) To take heed of Idleness, Pride, Profuseness; and above all things to avoid loose women and ill company, which had been the great mean; that brought them to this ignominious and untimely death. And one particularly requested some friends to admonish all whom they knew of his Acquaintance, That they would consider their evil course of life, and for the future amend the same, and betake themselves to honest and industrious Imployments, as the onely Expedient to prevent their falling under the like deplorable Condemnation.
Giving a full and Satisfactory Account of their Crimes, Behaviours, Discourses in Prison, and last Words (as neer as could be taken) at the place of Execution.
Published for a Warning to all that read it, to avoid the like wicked Courses, which brought these poor people to this shameful End.
AT the last general Sessions of Oyer and Terminer for the City of London and County of Middlesex, and Goal-delivery of Newgate, there was no less than Sixteen persons, Thirteen men and Three women, that received sentence of Death for their several and respective Offences; but by the mediation of Friends, and intervening Mercy, Ten of them obtained the gracious favour of a Reprieve; the rest of them were this day carried to the fatal place of Execution, there to expiate their Crimes (as to this world) with their Lives, justly forfeited to the Law by their manifold and repeated Transgreffions.
For the Readers better satisfaction, and not altogether to disappoint his Curiosity, it may be convenient first to give a particular Account of each persons Facts for which they were Condemn'd and next to proceed to their Behaviour in the Goal, and at the place of Execution.
more than once been in Gaol on felonious accompts; the first was in Newgate about three years since, the last was discharged thence but two Sessions ago; yet being incorrigible, they fell to their old Trade of House breaking and Thieving . They now both suffer'd, but for several Crimes committed in different Places, and with separate Associates; one being condemn'd for stealing a very great quantity of Plate and other rich Goods, out of two Gentlemens Houses in the Countrey, which he with one R.L. (now likewise condemned, but reprieved to make further discoveries) did in the Night-time break open; a great part of the Plate being taken with them.
The other brother died for breaking open house in the day-time in Middlesex, with one Richard Shaw his Companion in that Robbery, who received Sentence of Condemnation at the Old Bailey Bar, about a year and an half ago, but then obtained a Reprieve, and afterwards pleading the General Pardon, got out, but was brought in again the 30 of Goods being found about them.
John Seabroake 'tis said was concern'd with his brother Henry lately executed for robbing a Merchant by London Wall, but not being taken or tryed on that Fact, it must pass only his Condemnation confess'd the same: What he died for was a Burglary, upon which being taken in Westminster, he was sent to the Gatehouse, and from thence transmitted to Newgate.
Hen. Graves was Indicted for murthering Will Parker on the the 8th day of Feb.1674 near Islington. Upon full hearing of the Evidence (which seemed to be very close and home) the Jury brought him in only guilty of Manslaughter, for which the Mercy of our English Laws, in favorem vit, allows the Priviledge of the Clergy; but when the Prisoner came to the book, he was put back with a Non Legit; and thereupon received Condemnation with the rest.
The only Woman suffering this Procession was one Kath. Picket, one that had been a frequent visitant of Newgate, several times Arraigned and Convicted of Thefts and Robberies, and often had the Mercy of the Court, who finding her now altogether incorrigible, and that no warning would work upon her for Reformation, thought fit to let Justice pass upon her; that honest industrious people may be no farther injur'd by her evil practises: the Crime she died for being for robbing her Landlord, when they were gone abroad, Filting the Lock of their Chamber-door, opening their Trunks, and stealing Plate, Apparel and Goods to the value of Twenty Pounds.
By this particular of their respective Crimes, the Reader may preceive in what a sad course of Sin and Impenitence these poor Wrethes have lived; and now that they are to die, one would think their awakened Consciences, oppressed with such a mass of Impieties, must needs strike terrour into their Souls. But so sadly true it is, That the Custome of sin takes away the sense thereof; even the terrible Sentence of Death seemed not to make such impres-
sions on their Spirits, as might be expected from persons under their lamentable Circumstances.
But to rowse them out of this most dangerous Lethargy, several worthy Ministers were pleased, in Christian Charity, to visit them, laying before them, in the most plain and pressing manner, the desperateness of that condition they were in; that within very few days they would be cut off from the Land of the Living, and summoned to appear before that most Righteous Judge, that renders to every man according to his works: they desired to know of them, what thoughts they had about their Everlasting Estate, on what grounds they could hope to escape eternal Torments; they laid before them the unspeakable misery attending all that die in their Sins, without making their peace with God, and getting a saving interest in Christ: that by infinite Mercy they had yet, after so many refusals and provocations, some space (though very short) left for Repentance; and therefore it would be exceedingly their Interest to improve every precious minute of this time towards so necessary a work, Etc.
These with other the like pious Exhortations, much more pathetically and advantageously delivered, as well by Mr. Ordinary, as other grave Divines, than I can hope to repeat them, were instrumental, by he cooperation of divine Grace, in some measure to mollifie the obdurate hearts of these Malefactors, so that several of them began to have a sense and feeling of the vileness and loathsom nature of sin in self, and to mourn and be sorrowful not
so much at the apprehension of approaching Death(which they acknowledge themselves justly to havedeserved) as for this reason, that the had offendedso good gracious a God by so many multipliedacts of transgression.
Divers of them acknowledged they had deserveddeath before this time; and being put upon it by aMinister to make an ingenious Confession of whomthey wronged, and to make satisfaction, if by anymeans they could, alleadging that Remission was invain expected till Restitution be made to mans utmost ability; two of them did confess the robbery ofseveral persons, and declared where and for whatthey had pawned and otherwise disposed severalparcels of their Goods, not to a quarter the value, tothe intent the owners might have them again, payingwhat they had taken upon on such Goods, whichthemselves were not now able to satisfie, thoughthey protested great willingness so to do.
On the first Sunday all the condemned person attended with much Reverence and appearing Devotion, two very moving and Soul-searching Sermonsprincipally suited to that occasion; and it beingthought the next Wednesday would have been theday of Execution, when word was brought that itwas put off for a longer time, one of the Prisonerspublickly blessed God, That he had vouchsafed toafford him a further opportunity beyond his expectation, to fit himself for Eternity.
And indeed it was most praiseworthy Charityof Authority to afford a large space for Repentance
to these poor Wretches, that they might the better prepare themselves for another world, who had lived so sinfully in this.
Which blessed Interval several able Soul. Physitions labour'd no less industriously to improve, by their repeated Instructions and Admonitions; sometimes like Bonarges's speaking to them in the Thunder and Lightnings of the Law, setting before them their sinful Lives past and the terrors of Judgment, And afterwards powring in the Oyl of Consolation, by displaying the rich Treasures of Mercy and Grace to the worst of Transgressors, that by Faith and sincere Repentance should lay hold and become interested in the propitiatory sacrifice offered up by the ever blessed Jesus.