THE CONFESSION AND EXECUTION As well of the several Prisoners that suffered at TYBURN On Wednesday the 17th of April 1678.
At which time were Executed
As also of the Burning of
With an Account of their Behaviour in Prison, and last Speeches at the place of Execution.
The Confession and Execution of the several Prisoners Burnt and hang'd on April 17 1678.
DEath in its own nature is very affrighting to Man, the King of Terrours, much more when he comes attended with shameful and ignominious Circumstances; when persons consider that they have hastened his approach by the Errours of their Lives, and are justly cut off for their Crimes. Oh! how sad is it, when poor Souls are themselves the occasion of their being thrust out of this World by untimely Violence, and yet are not at all fitted or prepared for the next. If they look down to Earth, there is nothing but Justice and Vengeance ready to pursue them; and if they look up to Heaven, they cannot but conclude that too pure a place for such unclean Creatures to enter into, whom the Earth it self would no
longer entertain. Yet so lamentably do the Delusions of Satan, and Witchcrafts of Sin, blinde the eyes of these Malefactors, that they rarely reflect on these things till it be too late; nor will be warned by the frequent Examples of their wretched Fellow Criminals, to leave off their wicked Courses, till they are precipi- tated into the same Gulf of Misery.
THe first that we shall give the World an Account of, was one James, otherwise calling himself Maddum, but as he ac- knowledged his true name was Joseph Wright. Under these several Denominations he had committed abundance of villanous Pranks, and those above the ordinary rank: for it was justified before him in Court, That he and his Gang had ruined many Families, having stolen above Forty Horses; and hireing Grounds near London, stockt the same with Fourscore stolen Sheep at a time, and above Twenty Cattel: and in this manner drove a kind of Trade for a long time together; upon all which he was lookt up- on as a person excluded from Mercy. The par- ticular Crimes of which he was now Convicted, and for which he suffer'd, were for stealing a brown Mare out of a Country-mans Stable, and breaking open an house and taking away four Flitches of Bacon and a Fowling piece, which was taken with him.
The next we shall speak of, was one James Crouch a person that had but one hand, yet there doubled to do Mischief: for he had already been more than once burnt in that single hand, yet would take no warning; being now Condemned for that most abominable practice of the Foot pad, Knocking a man down with a piece of Iron (produced in Court) in Bunhill fields. At the Bar he behaved himself very insolently; and took too little regard of all the good Christian Admonition given him afterwards by godly Ministers and others that came to visit him.
George Dogget was Executed upon his Condemnation the last Sessions before this. His Crime was picking a Watch out of a Gentlemans pocket, and that even at Church. He had long and notoriously been concern'd in Fending, that is, as those Hellish Linguists understand the Canting word, receiving and putting off stolen Goods.
Thomas Bateman suffered the same day for breaking an house in Perpool-lane; having been burnt in the hand before for a Robbery in the Temple. And William Baker for robbing a Gentleman in Hatton-garden; having likewise been burnt in the hand in January last.
quent, though treasonable, practice of Clipping and diminishing his Majesties Coin: The Parti- culars of her Apprehension and Tryal we have already given you. Upon her Condemnation she begg'd time of the Court to prepare her self for death; but was feared, the same was not so much out of a pious penitent consideration, as a designe to gain time for an opportunity of getting her Pardon.
There were great pains taken, as well by Mr. Ordinary as other. to Convince these poor Souls of the wickedness of their past Lives, the dangerous condition they were in, Etc. and 'tis charitably hoped those Admonitions had good effect on several of them; though it must be acknowledged as a very great inconvenience, that all Condemned (I mean men) are kept in a Room together; where one debaucht Atheistical Villain, if he do not wholly divert his Fellow Convicts from minding the great concerns of their Soul's wellfare, yet he may too much disturb their Meditation. A sad mischief, which would well become the consideration of Auththority, out of their charitable Compassion towards dying men, to take notice of and regulate, by appointing each person Condemned a distinct and separate Cell, or Lodgeing.
But this obiterThe carriage of most of these persons after Condemnation, was outwardly very penitent; one of the men made a large Confession of the several notorious Exploits he had acted, and those of almost all kinds; as Burghlaries, Horse stealings, Robberies on the High way both on Horseback and on Foot, Etc. But could not be brought to detect any of his untaken Confederates. Another pretended to do great things by way of Discovery in that kinde; but at last, being either unable or no willing to make it appear, suffered with the rest. 'tis no unnecessary or useless Consideration, because 'tis but what one of these took notice of in discourse to some Friends, viz. To observe how these men. who abroad and at liberty were bold enough to invade any mans Propriety, or set upon his Person; yet with how much Terrour (I say) they appeared at the Bar, their hands trembled whilst they were lift up, their Lips quaking whilst they Plead Not Guilty.
Their Countenince condemn'd them before the Judge, and their fears were ready to execute them before the Hangman: yet these Judges are but men that must soon die themselves; that Sentence of Death they can pronounce, is already pass'd by Nature upon the most Innocent. The Act of Death is but Momentary; who knows whether himself shall not die more painfully than any of these Malefactors? But with what herror shall the guilty Soul stand, O God, before thy dreadful Tribunal at the last and General Assizes, where there is the presence of an infinite Majesty to daunt him, a fierce and clamorous Conscience to give in Evidence, against them, Legions of terrible Devils waiting to seize him, a Gulf of unquenchable Fire ready to receive him! There,
I say, where the Glory of the Judge in no less confounding than the Cruelty of the Tormenter; where the Sentence is unavoidable and the Execution everlasting! These thoughts should move us all to hold privy Sessions upon our Souls and Actions, that being acquitied by our own hearts, we may not be Condemned by this dreadful Majesty.
The woman was Executed first at a Stake for that purpose erected in the Rounds in Smithfield. She acknowledged she had for a long time been a very ill Liver, and concern'd in these unlawful practices with others, who were before cut off by Justice, and yet she would take no warning. She made sad moans and lamentations as she pass'd, and likewise at the Stake before the Fire was kindled; but as soon as the same was lighted, the Block was put away, and she strangled by the Rope; with which and the smoak and flame, her breath was taken away, and her body soon after burnt to Ashes according to Sentence. Some report that she declared she died in the Romish Faith; but that is uncertain: for a Protestant Minister went along by her, and prayed with her at the Stake; with which she seem'd to joyn very heartily.