THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE Condemned Criminals IN NEWGATE, Who were Executed On Wednesday, the Sixth of May, 1685. VIZ. Samuel Smith, John Davyes, Peter Roach, Edward Gardner, James Latchford, William Cottle, William Morris, David Antholick, Thomas Blank, Gabriel Sheires, William Peddington, James Burden, Robert Elton, Elizabeth Ellis, with Richard Hallsey, the late Keeper of White-Chappel Prison. The rest are Reprieved.
Together with their LAST Dying WORDS Before their Execution at TYBURN.
IT is very deplorable, That after frequent and publick Examples of Justice upon Malefactors, there should be such a confluence of obdurate Criminals condemned at the Sessions in the Old-Bayly, held on Wednesday, Thursday, the 29th, and 30th of April, as also on Friday, May 1. last past, there being then 23 persons sentenced to Death, for Notorious Crimes, some of which would not take warning, though they had received sparing mercy before.
Thus that Character which the Prophet Isaiah mentions, is verified in these Offenders, viz. Let Favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will they not learn Righteousness. Also that of Zephaniah, Chap. 3. ver. 5. Every morning the just Lord brings his judgment to light; he fails not therein, in giving frequent warnings against Sin, yet the unjust know no shame: But whosoever being often reproved, hardens his heart, past shall fall into mischief, and that suddenly, Prov.29. II.
The Ordinary visited the condemned Prisoners On Saturday, and spent much time with them, to awaken them from their security; and informed them, that the day of their Execution would be speedier than they thought, because they presumed upon the hope of a General Pardon.
The Ordinary therefore, took the more pains to prepare these Criminals for their death, because he was told, That it would be on Wednesday, and that few of them would escape; exhorting them to consider how sad their condition was, how sinful; and that if they trifled away their precious hours, in not making their Peace with the Supreme Judge, who is a consuming Fire to all obstinate Offenders, they could not but aggravate their sin and eternal misery, by rejecting the remedy of both, in not performing the Duties required of them, in order to a blessed Eternity. The Ordinary, after much exhorting of them prayed with them,
To make them the more prepared for the solemn Observation of the Lord’s day: On which he preacht on the 17th of the Acts of the Apostles, Ver 30, 31. The times of this ignorance God winked at: But now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because be hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom be bath ordained; whereof be hath given assurance to all men, in that be bath raised him from the dead.
The Ordinary read Prayers, and preached twice on this Text, observing some of them to be very attentive, and seemingly much affected with both his discourses.
In the Morning Sermon he acquainted them, that the first Clause of that Verse had been much perverted, to an extenuation of Sins of Ignorance, from the mistaking of the Phrase, God winked at the times of Ignorance; but the World in the Original, doth not import any careless Indulgence of Sins of Ignorance, but is a comparative Speech, signifying, that he did not so strictly animadvert, and, for the present, punish the Idolatry of the Athenians, he did not take sudden present punishment to extremity. Sins of Ignorance, under the darker dispensation of the Law, were comparatively overlookt, and passed by of God; but under the clear Revelation of the Gospel, to remain ignorant of God, and of the right way of Salvation, is no excuse not extenuation of such a willful neglect of the means of Grace, and the knowledge of God in Chirst; but rather indulgeth Sloth and Ignorance, is an aggravation of such sins which properly flow from it: The Apostle St. Paul affirms, That if the Gospel be hid from Sinners by a neglect to know their duty, so that they embrace not the terms and conditions of Salvation, such Sinners remaining willfully ignorant, are lost as to any wellgrounded hope of future happiness, and cannot escape the last Judgment of God.
In the Afternoon of the Lords day the Ordinary Proceeded to the remaining parts of the Text, viz That God Now Commands all Men every where to Repent. Which Phrase doth not so properly signifie an Immediate Repentance without Delay, tho this may be Included: But is meant of the present clear, and more Urgent Tenders of Gospel Grace and Salvation by Christ: Whence he observed, that the first Covenant of Works being Broken, did not admit of any Repentance neither could the lapsed Sinner Effect any such frame in himself, so as to satisfie God’s offended Justice, Adams Apostacy, tho it did not blot out the knowledge of the Equity of Repentance, yet it had so disenabled him from working any such Disposition in himself, that he had neither any Capacity nor Encouragement therento, till the drawing of that Gracious Promise (included in the very Doom on the Serpent) That the Seed of the Woman, Christ Jesus Incarnate, by his Meritorious Death and Passion, which was the Bruising only of Heel of Christ’s Humane Nature, should Break the Serpents Head of Subtile malicious Power, against sinful Mankind. This Promise Melted down the Pride of his Heart, and softned the Hardness of it, inviting him to Repentance. Thus no Sorrow for Sin can be accepted without Respect to Christ’s infinite Satisfaction and the Believing Sinners sincere Application thereof.
The Ordinary Refuted all Objections against Repentance, as if that were unsuitable to a Gospel State: then he opened the true Nature of it, wherein it differs from defective legal Sorrow, in all the Evangelical properties of it: Also having Exhorted the Prisoners to obtain it: among many Motives, he made use of such especially as are mentioned in the Text, which would be Tedious to rehearse, and dismist the Condemned Criminals, till Monday in the Forenoon, when he Visited again, and having largely Exhorted and Prayed with them, he desired them to give him some account of their Preparations for a Blessed Eternity. Some refused it with greater Obstinacy, than ever any did for nine Years past, as desperate and hardned in Wickedness, presuming they should be Pardoned, or being bold to venture into Eternal States, without any desire to be Instructed or prepared for it.
These were observed to be greatest Criminals, and the most Obdurate, even rejecting all further counsel, or to give any account now they stood affected with what had before been given with much tenderness and Commiseration
I shall now proceed to give some account of such who Voluntarily offered them selves to be directed by the Ordinary as unto the better clearing up of their fitness for Death and a future Judgment.
First, Richard Maiden, Condemned for Felony and Burglary, upon the House of the Earl of Notingham, Stealing thence divers parcels of Cloths and other Things of a considerable Value, which were the proper Goods of one Mr. Carpenter, Servant to the said Earl of Notingham The Evidence was full and plain against the Prisoner, tho the endeavoured to evade it This Maiden was Born about 15 Miles from Derby Town: he wrought in Husbandry for a time, afterward entred himself a Servant to Squire Brooks in Oxfordshare, he lived with him of a Year, then falling Sick, when he Recovered, he went into the Service of the Lady Hambleton for halfa Year but leaving her service, he fell into Bad Company, and so came to Rob and commit the Burlary as aforesaid, for which he said he is very Penitent, and for all other Sins which Provoked God to leave him to himself, so as to incur this Infamous Sentence of Death
this Fact, as also the Burglary. The condemned Criminal was born in Cornwal, 23 years old, iving idly, came to London, where he hath been three years. He joined himself to bad Company, prophaned the Lord's Day, was addicted to Drinking, &c. confessing that God had justly suffer'd him to come to this shameful End.
The Third, William Peddington, Condemned for flying from his Colours. He said, that he was born in Ireland, Apprentice to a BarberChyrurgion at first, but some time after, he married a Wife, she was in debt, and he also poor, Listed himself to be a Soldier ; but being discontented, he forsook his Colours, begging pardon of God and die King.
The Fourth, Gabriel Sheires, Condemned for Felony. He cold the Ordinary that he was Reprieved and therefore it was needless to give him any account of the past course of his Life, or to declare what his preparations were for death.
Fifth, Ralph Watson, was Condemned with the foresaid Richard Maiden, being found guilty of Felony and Burglary, &c. He said that he was Born in York-shire, was 19 Years of Age; that he had been at the Employment of a Taylor , but following bad Company, he was now too late convinced of the Mischeivous Effects thereof, yet despaired not of God's Mercy, but beleived, that upon his Repentance and Faith in Christ, he should be Eternally Happy.
The Sixth Robert Elton, Condemned for Robbing Samuel Smith, the Evidence was strong against him. He was Born in Scotland, is 17 Years of Age. He was an Apothecary , but some cross Passages befalling him in his Employment; he came into England, where he hath remained, for a quarter of a Year. He Voluntarily confess'd that he had often broke the Sabbath; that he had been Disobedient to his Parents; that the Devil was very busie with him, to tempt him to other Sins. He denied not the Crime for, which he was Condemned, but much lamented with Tears his Manifold Provocations of God, yet hoped,that he had not utterly forsaken him, because that he had made all Sin Now as Odious to him, as at any time it had been Delightful I hope he was truly Penitent.
Seventh, Thomas Blanke, was five times indicted for Stealing three Horses and two Mares, &c The Evidence was very clear against him. He was Born in Hounslow Aged 23 Years, by Trade a Butcher : He confess'd freely, that he had led a very ill Life, for which God justly suffered him to come to this untimely Death.
He complained that he was not able to Pray to God, with that freedome and fervency as he desired,by reason of the terrour of his Approaching Death, yet he is now more willing to Die, because he hath a greater hope of God's Mercy in Christ: And desired the Ordinary to Pray in particular for his poor and weak Soul.
Eighth, Edward Gardner, Condemned with David Antholick, for Robbing oh the Highway near Hide-Park, one Thomas Poynton. A Person joyned in the Robbery with these two affirmed that they with two others not yet Taken, Robbed the said Poynton: So the Evidence Was clear against him, David Antholick was Obstinate to the Ordinary for two days together, tho Prayer was made that God would soften his Heart. But Edward Gardner was very willing upon consideration at last to advise with the ordinary concerning his everlasting State. He is Aged 25 Years, He was Prentice to a Butcher , but his Master failing in his Estate, Gardner bore Arms in France, under my Lord Douglas: after that, in My Lord Cravats Regiment; but he left his Military Employment , by the Enticement of one John Collwood He faith that he hath not followed unjust Practices for above four or five Weeks, But that Collwood called him out of his Bed to Joyn with him in the Robbery for which Gardner how stands Corldemned: Yet he said, that be forgives Cell-wood that was the occasion of his Crime, and his Death upon it.
He of his own accord confess'd that he had not kept the Lord's day, and that he had been an unclean Person, that he cannot pray as he ought and desires to do. He wept that he could not repent and believe as he desires, yet he doth his Best, and hopes that God will have Mercy on his Soul
Ninth, James Latchford Condemned for Stealing. He was Born in Lancashire Aged 19 Years; He was Apprentice to a Master of a Ship , with whom he continued two Years: Then he joyned with ill Company. .His Father to divert him and reclaim him, took him into his Employment, which was Broad weaving, at which, Latchford continued for the space of three or four Years. He freely confess'd that he had Prophaned the Lord's Day; that he did not Pray that God would guard hini from Temptations to Sin. He said that he was addicted to Gaming and Swearing, yet he hopes that upon his Repentance, God will have Mercy on his Soul. And-he Prayes that the Lord would not only forgive him all his Sins, but change his Corrupt Nature, and make him fit for his Death.
The Tenth John Davies Condemned upon full Evidence against him for Felony: He came into the Shop of one Margaret Dransfeild, and took a Bagg of Mony out of her Hand and run out at the Door. He was Born in St. Martins Parish, Aged 18 or 19 Years. He freely confessed that he had lived very Idly about the Streets; that he had been a Gamer at Dice and Cards; that he seldome Prayed; that he broke the Sabbath; that he had been a Swearer and Curser: Yet he hopes that he is now Penitent. The Ordinary asked him after Instruction, in the nature of true Faith and Repentance, whether he thought that his in particular was such. He gave some tollerable account, but said he could
not well express himself, because he could not Read.
Eleventh, Richard Hallsey, he said, that he was very well descended, but was not put forth timely to any Employment, and that his Mother marrying a second Husband, was prevailed upon by his Father in Law, to keep him from injoying some Estate of right belonging to him; this put him to his shifts, and induced upon him a difficulty how to sustain himself. He entred himself into his late Majesties Service , immediately after his Restauration, he was ingaged in Both Wars against the Dutch, he was afterwards a Souldier under the Prince of Orange for 3 years, he hath a Wife and Child now living, and for 2 years past, lived out of Employment, the reason he did so, was because he all that time depended on a Person, who promised to give or procure Employment for him, but that Person failing to do so, he was by long waiting, yet without any Success, brought much into Debt. He said, because he would not. disoblige the Person who promised him Employment, he sought not for any else-where, and this brought him into great streights.
As to the Crime for which he stands Condemned, he affirmed now, as a Dying man, that Roach and Collwood came to his house, and two more with them; Solliciting him to Rob Mr. Henderson a Scotch-Minister, he acknowledges that they all Five walkt out together. But when the other Complices, went into Mr. Henderson’s House, he the said Hallsey ran away, and deserted them. So that he knows not what mischief they did in the House, neither did he share in any pair of the profit.
He said that he had many convictions of his sinful State and course Of Life, before his Commitment to Newgate, but that since his lying there, which Was six weeks, the Lord was pleased much to work upon his Heart, so that he was attentive to the Ordinary in his Praying and Preaching. That he was very much affected. with two Sermons lately: Preacht on the 6. of the Rom and the 5.v. For as we have been planted into the likeness of Christ’s Death, So shall we be also planted into the likeness of his Resurrection. He Said those discourse furnished him with grounds of Comfort as preparatory for his Death.
He said, that he had perished Eternally, if God had not forced him to Humiliation for his Ill spent Life, by this severe but Righteous dispensation; for he had been an old and great Sinner, and could not have any hope of seeing the Face of God, but by Christs Satisfaction; but Oh my wicked Heart, said he, with a very sorrowful interjection, tho I should live the years of Metbusalem, and my Humiliation extend as long, yet could it not wash out the Stain of the lease Sin.
He said he hoped his peace was made with God, because he is freely willing to Dye the rather, least he mould turn to the Folly of Sinning afresh, which would provoke God to Condemne him Eternally.
He said he had sweet rest, kit Night, for in the day time he found that God gave him Tears to bewaile his sinful condition, and he hopes his Repentance is real he said his thoughts did ramble m Praying, but he checkt them Upon my strictest observation of him, I do believe that he the said Mr. Richard Hallsey is a true Penitent, and thereby the Lord hath rolled away the reproch of his Death.
Most Holy herd, Good and Gracious. Feverlasting and Blessed God, bmv Gracious art thou Lord God, Thou art agreat God, and a Merciful God and Thou hast done for me Thousand times more then I deserved; I confess I have been a great Sinner, and have done those things I ought not to have done, and lest undone what I ought to have done: Lord, help me strengthen my Faith every Minute more and more, those few Minutes I have to live, that when my Soul and Body parts, my Soul may ascend up to Heaven; and that be that shed his Blood for Sinners, may make my peace with God. Let my Sins be covered, forsake me mot, because of my Sins; I have been a great Sinner, I have offended against thy Holy Laws, I have humbly contest them all. Lord, for Christ Jesus sake, forgive me all my Sins; I have contest them upon my bended Knees: Grant that I may be a warning to others, that they may Spend their Sabbath better, walk uprightly and justly, and do nothing contrary to God’s Law: Lord, receive my everlasting Soul; Jesus, Keep me from the torment of Hell. One thing more I beg, Lord raise her friends, and give her Grace to undergo this trouble And now I part in peace, I have repented me of all my Sins, and for Christ Jesus sake enable, me with all things necessary this day, concluding this my imperfect Prayer, as Christ himself hath taught me, Our Father, &c
Betwixt Ten and Eleven in the morning, the prisoners were put into several Carts at Newgate, who all seemed very penitent all the way they went; when they came to Tyburn Mr. Ordinary Prayed with them, and Sung a Psalm, after which they exhorted the standers by to take warning by their dismal and untimely Ends of the Effects of Sin, which had brought them to that fatal place. And then they all Prayed earnesstly by themselves, and desired the People to Pray for them, after which they were all Executed.