THE TRUE ACCOUNT OF THE BEHAVIOUR AND CONFESSION Of the Criminals, Condemned on Saturday the 22th. of May, 1686. at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, viz. Edward Hide, Alice Millikin, David Millikin, John Hellier, William Dondle, Jonathan Bridgeman Pascha Rose, Edward Smith, Thomas Baxter, Richard Thomas, James Cordiner, Nicholas Hanghton, Richard Williams, John Mancliff, Mary Lush, Ellenor Rogers, Of which, Edward Smith, Pascha Rose, Jonathan Bridgeman, William Dondle, and Edward Hide, were in the Dead Warrant, to be Executed at TYBURN, On Friday the 28th of May 1686. The other Criminals are Reprieved.
IT is very deplorable to consider, that although the Lord bring every Session his Judgment to Light, against secure Sinners, yet the unjust know no shame. To convince the Condemned Criminals of so great presumption, the Ordinary visited them on Saturday after receiving their Sentence: He put them in mind how they ought to reflect upon their former flagitious Courses, which had provoked the Lord to leave them most justly to these Crimes, which had drawn upon them the Snares of Death. After he had prayed, and used Arguments to excite them to Repentance; he put them in mind, how they might prepare themselves for the Solemn Dutys of the approaching Sabbath, and so dismist them.
On the Lords Day in the Forenoon, he Preached upon these Words of our Saviour, in the 21st. Chap. of St. Luck, the 36. Verse, Watch ye, and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape these things, and to stand before the Son of Man.
This Advice, properly and immediately relates to the destructive miseries of Jerusalem, which were a Prologue and Pledge of the last universal Judgment; and therefore, they are connected in the 24th. and 25th. Chapters of St. Matthew’s Gospel.
Our Saviour Rouzes up the secure Jews to Watching and Praying, that so they might escape the Miseries impending and hovering over them. Would we not be surprised by Death and Judgment, as a Snare; we must actually exercise Holy Principles, and Dispositions in Watching and Praying: Not that this can confer any personal worthiness to escape Divine Wrath, only they yield a becoming fitness, or suitable frame of Heart, with which, Christ is so well pleased, as freely to bestow the Reward of Blessedness.
Every one may certainly conclude what his future State shall be, without perplexing his mind with the Secret Records of Gods Election or Reprobation, as these are Coppyed out, in the lively Graces of Christs Spirit, or the Prince of Darkness sway him, in an indulgent adhearing to his Lusts and the Vanities of this World.
Here the Ordinary set forth the Characters of such sinners, who can least expect to stand Acquitted at Christs Tribunal; also, what sins we must especially Watch and Pray against, which are so deep Dyed in their Malignity and Defilement, that they expose persons to greater difficult
try in escaping Divine Wrath. Then he Argued with the Condemned, how little they had Watched and Prayed, to prevent such sins as are most dangerous, inasmuch, as they waste the tenderness, and watchful Circumspective of the Conscience, violating its Integrity, and exposing it to Presumption, and obduration of Heart in a sinful State, to expect Blessedness without Watching, to avoid the Snares of Sin and Satan, is equally as foolish an Act, as to Reckon any Mans Safety to lye in his Security, or to avoid a deadly Snare by Wincking, when his Capital Hope of Heaven is ready to be Cut off and perish. Here many convictive Arguments were offered to lead them to Repentance, and Advice given, how they might with Safety and Comfort, hold up their Heads at Judgment Day.
In the Afternoon of the Lords Day, a Sermon was Preached from the 6th. Chapter of St. Lukes Gospel, Verse the 46th. viz. Why call ye me, Lord! Lord ! and do not the things which I say? These are the words of our Saviour, wherein he Expostulates with the formal Hypocritical Professors of his Sacred Religion. This was unfolded in the Nature and several parts of it. Also, in the great Obligations and persuasive Arguments of it, to Excite all Christians to the strict Discipline of an Holy Conversation.
The Minister who Preached, concluded with a very suitable Application of the precedent Discourse, to the Condemned Criminals, with which, they seemed much affected.
On Monday, the Ordinary inquired what Divine Impressions were made on their Hearts, by the Prayers and Counsel given them the day before. They said, They hoped they were convinced of their sinful course of Life, and that the Lord would grant them Pardon and Peace in Conscience after this.
I replyed that it is not an easie thing to have a dear sight of any sinful Action, and sincere deep sorrow of Heart for it. The Reason is, because few persons look upon the Malignity and Defilement of the least sin, in the Agonies of a Crucified Redeemer; or so presumptuously rely upon the Richer of Christs Merits, that they neglect and flight, sanctifying and renewing Grace, in all the Methods of Curing the Rooted Viciosity of their Nature: Besides, instead of Watching unto, in, and after Prayer, most stand ready for Opportunities to sin afresh, and so, gravel, confute, and prophane their very Supplications, for Pardon and Power against Lusts.
The Ordinary, therefore warned them of this destructive Hypocrisie, that it is really a Spiritual Phrensie to expert to be saved by Christ’s Priestly Merits, and yet to Rebel against the Scepter of his Kingly Righteousness, that the Divine Original of the Soul is debased, by stooping in a ready Compliance with Satans Temptations, and yet it complains not of its Vassalage.
To this some of the Criminals said, That they now felt their sins against the checks of Conscience to be very grievous: That they desired to be Holy as well as Happy, and were as willing to forgive their Enemies, as to seek Mercy at the hand of God.
To this, the ordinary replyed, that he is very ill-natured to himself, who is filled with bitterness of Spirit, in an implacable Study of Revenge, such, pursue an Enemy to the loss of their own Souls, in forfeiting all Hopes of Mercy at Christs Judgment Seat: We ought therefore, so to think, Speak, and Act toward one another, as they who expect the Gospel Relaxation of the Rigor of the Moral Law.
How can any wait for the coming of Christ in the Clouds, to Judgment, to be Acquitted by him, who are Cloudy in their Countenance, and Censorious of their fellow Brethren. Christ’s appearing, will terrifie such, who subdue not their Ruffling Passions, which disturb Humane Society, and Shame the Profession of Christianity. Here, some of the Criminals said, That they had been Guilty of breaking the Laws of the Nation.
After this, the Ordinary continued visiting of them daily, till the time of their Execution; in which time, after Praying, and Exhortations, he took this following Account of their past course of Life; with their present Preparation and Fitness for their approaching End.
Jonathan Bridgeman was Condemned, for Killing Elizabeth Bridgeman his Wife, on [the 2d. of April last with a Gouge: He was Born in the Forrest of Deane, a Brick-layer by Trade. He Married his said Wife a Year and an half since, by whom he had one Child. Her Maiden Name was Elizabeth Brace; she was Born in Hereford, and was 25. Years of Age; her Father was a Poor Man; she was a Servant in the Strand with a Goldsmith Two Years: He Married her from thence. He owns that she pay’d, in a short time, after they were married 27 s. to redeem him from an Arrest he says that afterward, she would upbraid him with it, whether it were upon illhusbandry, he did not own.
He says, he had hired an house, and was fiting it up, wherein to keep a Cooks Shop, and he was within Four Days of Employing it to that purpose, if this sad Accident had not prevented. When he threw the Gouge at her, he faith he did not intend to Kill her, but to fright her from that Passion, which he pretends she was in at that time. And he advises all persons by his wosul Example, to beware of throwing any thing furiously, least it prove such a Fatal Stroke, as this hath done. And that they keep the fear of God before their Eyes, who knows the Secrets of the Heart. He Confesses he hath been in great torture of mind since, for his neglect of his Duty, in Omitting Prayer, and Prophaning Gods Name in Swearing; not living up to that Knowledge he had; desiring all persons to take warning of these forementioned sins; because it is hard to be a true Penitent at last: Yet desiring to keep from despair, he relys on the Mercy of God through Christ, begging his pardon for all his sins.
2ly Mary Cale, for stealing of Goods to a considerable value: She was Born in Glocestershire; she is Aged 21 Years. She faith that she hath been Married Five Months since to a Baker in Glocestershire; he was a bad Husband, and they
lived crossly together, wherefore she left him, and came to London, and put her self into the Service of a Lady at Graves-End: But being not guarded with the fear of God, Satans Temptations had power over her, and made her Restless in her Service, and desiring to seek a more easie kind of Life: Therefore left the Service, and spent a Months time idly, and then returned to her Ladys house for her Cloaths, where being under greater Temptations than before, she made that bold attempt upon her Ladys Goods, for which she is heartily sorry; and may she find spearing Mercy, she intends to live honestly and labour with her hands, and seemingly is very penitent.
3dly. Edward Smith Condemned for Felony, having formerly been Burnt in the hand. He was Born in Northamptonshire, is Twenty Years of Age; he denys not the Fact. He was Bred up a Seaman , but bad Company took him off from following that Employment, and drew him to be a prophaner of the Sabbath, also to become a Swearer, and excessive Drinker, whereby he neglecte his Duty to God, and though at sometimes the checks of his Conscience would put him upon good Resolutions of Amendment; he Confesses he often broke those Vows to God, for which he now thinks Divine Justice hath overtaken him. He desires, though it be late, his heart may be truly broken for all his sins, and that he may find mercy from God at the hour of Death.
4ly. Pascha Rose, Seven and Thirty Years of Age, Condemned for Felony; he doth not deny the Fact, he saith he was the first who entered the house: He faith he was Born in Devenshire, of credible Parents in Plimpton, within Three Miles of Plimouth. Whilst he lived at home with his Father, he was very Extravegant, in taking his Fathers Rent, and in spending them in Riotous Courses, which he believes broke his Fathers heart: What his Father left him, he spent prophanely, and from his youth, never minded any thing which was good; for when he was sent to Church, he saith, he only designed to learn the Text, and then went out of the Church, and mispend the Residue of the Time.
Take warning by him all Hypocritical pretenders to Religion, whose hearts are far from God, and run out after the Vanities of the World, even while you seem devout in Sacred Ordinances. After he had spent the mony his Father left him, he bound himself Apprentice to a Butcher , with whom he served three years, then he came to London and wrought with Butchers who kept the Markets. He married his first Wife at Lambeth, who is yet living. To pursue his ill course of life, he could not content himself with that Wife but married another, one Rebeccah Biggs, whose Husband was lately hanged: He saith she was drawn away in a short time, by one of her Acquaintance; after this she accused him for having two Wifes, for which he was in Newgate Fifteen Weeks, and then released out of Prison. She who is his second Wife, lyes Condemned for a Felony, being Reprieved as she is quick With Child : He seems to have pity for her, desiring she would hearken to good council, and forsake the several evil courses, she hath habituated her self unto: Formerly he was very just and faithful to such who did intrust him, but since poverty grew upon him by excesses, he made no Conscience of taking by force, that which belonged not to him. He saith, that for his Religion it was so little, that he could shape it to his interest and was somtimes of one Religion, and sometimes of an other: he faith he hath not been at Church for the space of Eight Years.
There are none live so prophanely, but when Death stares them in the Face, they begin to reflect on their bad life; as this poor Creature at present doeth; desiring to repent of his Sabbath breaking, Fornication, Swearing, Drunkenness, of keeping of bad Company, and all other his flagitious courses; and desires All, who are entering into such desperate ways, to fear and avoid the evil effects of them, left persisting in them, they come at last to publick shame.
5ly. and 6ly. Alice Millikin, Condemn’d to be Burnt for High-Treason, in Clipping the Kings Coyn: She was Born in Hereford-shire, is Fourty years of Age; she was brought up to make Gloves she Married a Glover in the Country; she hath only one Son , David Millikin Born at Anwick, in the County of Northumberland, being Twenty years of Age, and brought up in his Fathers Trade of a Glover : He also stands Condemned, with her, for the same Crime.
As for her, she denys not the Crime; she faith poverty was the occasion thereof, with the instigation of other ill persons, some of which, are not yet Apprehended: She acknowledges that she forsook God’s laws and brake his Sabbaths which is an in-let to the breach of the King's law, She says that she is sorry that she hath neglected: the opportunities of salvation, mispent much precious time, and delayed her Repentance till her life is ready to expire: She warneth all, to beware of a Covetous heart, for though ill-gotten gain remain in secret for a time, so strange and unthought of, will the discovery be, yet the end will be bitterness and shame.
As for her Son, he Confesses that formerly he had been disobedient to his Parents, had led an idle prophane life, and if he may find sparing mercy, he hopes he shall improve it, in doing service to God and Man.
7ly. Ellenor Rogers, Condemned for Felony; She was Born in Cheshire, is 26 years of Age; she hath been married to a person very lately, who pretended he had some means whereby to maintain her, yet was only a Gentleman's Servant, and Service was her best imployment; she denys not the Robbing of her Mistress, but faith her Husband came to her in service for Mony, which was a temptation to commit the Fact to supply him and other bad Company, which he was acquainted with: She saith, it is the first wrong she hath done to any person, and if she may obtain a Pardon, she resolves to live honestly and justly for the time to come.
had a mean imployment, in helping to look after Gentlemens Horses , and somtimes riding of them which was hot sufficient for his idle expences, and the bad company which he kept, who caused him to break the Sabbath, and also becomes Gamster, a Drinker and a Swearer; tho' he is young in years, yet he hath been a great offender, and desires all young persons to take warning to spend their time better, that they may not be cut off in the very budding of their Age
As for Mary Lush, the Accessary, she is 39 years of Age, was Born in Wiltshire; she married a Shooe-maker, afterward he kept a Victualing house in Dutchy-lane near the Savoy; he is now a Souldier; but she hath led an ill course of life, in harbouring and countenancing Pick-pockets; being a person of small knowledge she express’d but little, only desires that God will have mercy on her.
John Hellier, Condemned for Felony; he was Born in Clarkenwell Parish, is Aged 17 years; he was servant to a Gentleman in the Temple, after a twelvemonths time he left his service, and sell into ill Company, and having not the fear of God before his eyes, he seldome prayed; he said also that he was given to Gaming, for which his bad Acquaintance furnished him with mony, and somtimes himself pick'd Pockets; that when he lost his mony in Gaming, he did Swear and Blaspheme; but now is convinc’d of his great sinfulness, and desires to hate and forsake all his wicked Courses.
Thomas Baxter, Condemned for Felony and Burglary, He was Born in Lancashire, is 30 years of Age, he hath a Wife and two Children, his Wife (he saith) is now with Child, and for grief of his being Condemned, is like to dye: He was a Sbooe-maker in the Country, but came to London for imployment in his Trade, and workt in a Chamber: He Confesses, that he was wanton with Women before he was Married; that he hath been given to drink excessively, and then would Curse and Swear, but he is sorry he hath many ways offended God, and resolves if he shall be spared, to lead a better life.
12. 13. 14ly. Richard Thomas, was Condemned for Killing Samuel Corbison, on the 18th. of May, near St. Pancrass Church; together with him were Condemned James Cordiner, Nicholas Haughton, and Richard Williams.
Richard Thomas being very sick, the Ordinary went to him and prayed with him; also, desired him to declare if he were the particular man that Killed Corbison, he said no, but was very sorry that he was in such an unfortunate Fray, wherein a man lost his Life; and desired the continuance of Prayers for him, and if he lived he should be more wary of his Company.
Richard Williams Condemned for the aforesaid Fact, was Born in Pembrook-shire in Wales, being Aged Five and Thirty Years. James Cordiner was Born in Scotland, Aged Six and Twenty Years. Both these say, that they had not gone into drink so freely, but that they supposed a Pipe maker in their Company, had mony enough to have paid the Rcconing, which proving otherwise, they were pursued, and being in Drink, there was a Fray betwixt them and some Brickmakers, in which a man lost his Life: But they say that being in drink, they know not which was the person that killed him.
The Ordinary laid it home to them, that if they had not been bad Livers, they had been better guarded from such temptations, and desired of them, that if they shall find mercy of the King, they should improve it to Repentance; because they know not, how unfit the Man slain, was for sudden Death.
As for some others, who have lived in Ignorance, and seem resolved to continue, such the Ordinary can give no Account of them, but leaves them to the Judgment of the heart-searching God who will reward every one according to their ways.
This is all the Account, which the Ordinary can give of the Criminals this Sessions.
About 10 of the Clock on Friday Morning, they were put into two several Carts at Newgate, and conveyed to the place of Execution, where the Ordinary prayed with them, and exhorted the Spectators to take warning by them; after which, the Ordinary sung part of a Psalm, and so concluded with a Prayer, after which they were turned off.
Rose Confessed at Tyburn, that be had been guilty of bearing false Witness against his Neigbour and was very penitent.
This may be Printed, R.L.S. May the 28th. 1686.
LONDON, Printed by E.Mallet, next Door to Mr.Shipton's Coffee-house at Fleet-Bridge. 1686.