As also the Account of the taking three Notorious Highway Men, who Robbed the Ipswitch Coach of four hundred Pounds.
MOst admirable is the protecting care of Omnipotent providence, to keep the Sons of Men from running headlong on their own destruction, nay even in the very Jaws of Death, saign would step their dangerous Carreer: But oh! So prone are the vile hearts of disobedient Miscreants, that many are affected with their own destruction whilst it shews it self from far, and only seems to threaten, as may be seen in the dread Catastrophy of certain miserable Criminals, whose great Offences against the Nations Laws committed, have pull'd a dreadful Ruine on their Heads, not only painful, but likewise shameful Deaths.
The first of which we shall begin with in this Trajeck Sceen, is Roger Swinny, who was Indicted and Arraigned, for that he in the Company of Edmund Swinny his Brother, and one Harrison, did Murther Richard Jones a Bailiffs follower , near Lincolns Inn Gate in the little Fields, the nature of the Crime as followeth. A certain Bailiff having a Bill of Middlesex against the aforementioned Harrison, for about sixty pounds Debt, came to take him, attended with five Followers, whereof the deceased was one; but the aforesaid Harrison having timely notice of the same, sent for the Prisoner (as the Bailiff's swore in Court) to Guard him into London, to that crossing over the nearest way, they quite outstripd the Bailiffs and might have gon into Lincolns Inn, and so avoided the danger, but in a Braves do, they turned about, and dared them for to come on, at which they and the Baliffs drew; and in the Skirmsh Jones received one mortal wound in his Prest, about half an Inch over, and five inches deep; at which, Reeling for a while, then cried I am killd and spoke no more. The Prisoner denied that he had drawn his sword but in his own Defence, and that they drew upon him first, and what he did was to preserve his Live; being
assaulted by those Men, and that he knew not their Design; but the Bailiffs and their Followers swore desperately to all the circumstances, and one swore point blanck, that some days after the Murther was past, he met the Prisoner, who had then escaped, who called to him, asking him if he knew which way Jones was gone, adding that he ere long should follow him, upon these circumstances he was brought in guilty of Fellony and Murther, and received the dreadful Sentance of corporal Death; after which, his Penitence in Newgate was extream, bewailing his misfortune, and imploring Mercy for his Soul, giving great attention to the Ministers that came to visit him.
The next was Peter Richardson, for breaking open a Gentlemans Chamber in New-Inn, and Felloniously bearing thence, in Guinnies, broad Gold and Silver, to the vallue of one hundred and ten pounds, the Robbery was proved against him by his own Confession, for he lodging at the Bull, a Victualling House near the aforesaid Inn, he lived at an ordinary Rate, seldome being Master of any monies, when on sudden he to the amazement of his Landlord abounded both in Gold and Silver. pulling out whole handfuls of Guinnies and half Crowns, soon after which, the Gentleman coming to his Chamber found his Chests broke open and his moneys gone; the which he declaring to the Porter of the Inn, the noise of the Robbery Spread wide, so that it coming to the Ear of the Prisoners Landlord, he acquaints the said Porter with the lavishness of his Tenant, who giving the Gentleman notice thereof, they thought fit to seize him upon suspicion, the which being done, they secured him at the Roundhouse for that Night, where as it was sworn in Court, he confessed that he in the company of three more, did break open the said Chamber and enter, and after bear away the said monies, throwing the Key into the Garden this in Court he denied, but his Confession being made appear, he was found Guilty of Fellony and Burglary, and received Sentance according to Law.
After his Condemnation, and the dreadful Sentance of Death had passed upon him, he began to bewail his evil Courses, and bewailed him of his mispent time, declaring that pernicious Company, had been the Cause of his untimely end, and being asked if he were Guilty of the Robbery, he could not deny but he had share of the monies, pesiring bardon for the wrong he had done, and so continued penitent, till he had changed this Life for an Eternal State.
Thomas Gold a notorious Offender was Indicted, Arraigned, and Condemned for breaking open the House of one Mrs. Haris in the Parish of Hornsey in the County of Middlesex between one and two in the Morning, where in the Company of three more entering, surprised the Woman and her Children in bed, and roaled them up in the Bed-cloaths, till some of them ransacked the House, and others went to bind the Servant-mind, who lodged in the next Room, the which was alotted to the Prisoner to perform: who approaching her bed side with a dark Lanthorn and two strings, bound her Hand and Foot, whilst he was efecting of the same, She took particular notice of his Physogmony, after they had ransacked the House, they bore away fourteen Pewter dishes, three or six Plates, Childbed and other Linnen, besides fourty Shillings in money; not long after things Gold was committed to New-Prison, upon notice of his being a suspicious Fellow, the aforesaid Mrs. Harris and her Maid went to take a view of him, and no sooner did she see him, but singled him out from amongst a number of other Prisoners, and knew him by a blow he had received on his Nose, and a blemish on his Eye, in Court he pleaded not guilty, and made many protestations. but upon the Maids Evidence he was brought in guilty, and received Sentence of Death, he seemed to be an old offendor, and at first was obstinate at his Trial, but Deaths approach that dreadful King of Terrors, soon allayed his Courage, and he melted into Tears, and doubtless had a feeling sorrow for his black and most prodigious Crimes: for the very thoughts of vast Eternity is of such force, that it over awes the stoutest Sinner, and with trembling Horror Seases very part, so now Fates Frowns Prevail, and he lamented fore his wretched State even to the last, desiring all to pray for his Eterral welfare.
The next in this dread Sceen of Fate was John Maccarty a notorious Offendor, who tho but young in years, yet old in Sin, he was Indicted for stealing a piece of twelve-penny broad Ribbon, valued at ten shillings, the proof was plain that the Prisoner was guilty of the Fellony, and being brought in guilty of the same, the Executioner going to search his Hand, found that he had formerly been burned, so that he being an incorrigeable Offender, the Court passed Sentence of Death upon him after his Condemnation, he began to call to mind the wicked deeds that he had done, and with the rest confessed at the place of Execution, that they had been vile and most notorious livers, and that for their sins God had laid this Punishment upon them, and so with a hearty Admonition unto the Spectators to beware, they left this World to answer for their Crimes before the dreadful Judge of all the Earth.
Yet these sad Warnings and Examples are not of a force sufficient to deter the daring Sinners from their swift Carrear, in dreadful Sin; for no longer then the 14th past, three notorious Highwaymen , viz. Richard Hodgkinson, Richard Downes, and one King who robbed the Ipswitch Coach on the 13th past, between eight and nine in the Evening, of moneys to the value of four hundred pounds, the manner thus, they riding up to the Coachman, demanded what it was a clock, the which is commonly their Watch-word, at which he mistrusting their de-
sign, endeavoured to make what half he could to the next Town, which perceiving, straight they beset the Coach, and with their Pistols cockt and Swords drawn, threatned present Death, unless the Passengers delivered, the which through fear they did, but not content with what they gave them, they rifled the Coach, and having got their Plunder they rode away, but being persued with a Hew and Cry, next day they were taken notice of by a Country-man, who at some distance followed them through the By-ways, they riding over Hackny-Marsh and other vacant places, yet he still kept sight of them, till coming near to Islington, he acquainted a Butcher and a Mealman with the Robbery, who likewise followed them till they came about the middle of Old-Street, where they cried out Stop Theif, which they perceiving turned head and rode back. whereupon they being persued, two of them were taken near Mount mill, and one near Islington: but Edwards not before mentioned rode on and in Smithfield quitted his Horse, and so escaped through Hosier-lane, but the other were Committed to New-gate, where they now remain in order to their Trials. It is reported they had robbed a Gentleman but just before, and had about six hundred pounds about them.