The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Dying-Speeches of the Condemn'd Criminals, that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, January the 29th. 1700/1701.
THESE Persons having received their Sentence of Condemnation on Saturday the 18th instant, I preach'd to them the next day, in the Morning upon this Text, Acts 17. 31. Because he has appointed a Day in the which he will Judge the World; and in the Afternoon, upon these Words of our Saviour's, Mark 1. 15. Repent ye, and believe the Gospel. From both which Places having drawn Arguments to prove on the one hand, a Judgment to come; and on the other, the Necessity of Repentance and Faith, in order to avoid the severe Punishments threatned, and obtain the gracious Promises made in the Gospel; I continued, the whole Week after, in my constant Endeavours to perswade them to the Practice of these Duties, which I had thus laid before them, as the necessary Means of their Salvation. And in the prosecution thereof, on the last Lord's Day, being the 26th, I did again preach to them, both Morning and Afternoon; and took for my Text in the Morning these Words, Eccl. 11. 9. But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into Judgment. In discoursing upon which Words, I both shew'd them, Who was to be their Judge; and laid open to them the Matter, and the Dreadfulness; the Certainty and Irreversibleness of that Sentence, either of Eternal Condemnation or Absolution, which every Man was to receive; first privately, with respect only to his Soul, at the hour of Death; and then publickly, both as to his Body and Soul, at the Day of Judgment. And in the Afternoon, I chose for the Subject of my Discourse, this Confession which David made of his Sins, Psal. 51. 3. For I acknowledge my Transgressions, and my Sin is ever before me. From which Words I represented to them, the Usefulness of an ingenuous Confession, and the Indispensableness and Availableness of a sincere Repentance: And then for their further Instruction and Direction, as well as Encouragement, in this Work, I gave them the Description and Character of a True Penitent; and shew'd them the transcendent Blessings propos'd to such. Concluding both these two, and my forementioned Sermons, with pressing Exhortations to true Humility, Self-Resignation, constant Prayer hearty Contrition, unfeigned Repentance, fervent Zeal, and sincere Love to God, and universal Good will and perfect Charity to all Men. Which Christian Virtues I labour'd to excite them to, and fix them in; and to that end attended them every day, both forenoon and afternoon, to the time of their Execution. And in my Examination of them, wherein I spar'd no pains to engage them to undo (as much as in them lay) the wrongs they had done, and to make all possible Satisfaction, and do all the right, and good they could, to all the world; I received from them the respective Declarations following.
1. Jane Eaglestone alias Browne, alias Jenkins; condemned for Shop Lifting. She told me she was born in the Bishoprick of Durham, and brought up a Protestant, but turn'd a Roman Catholick . She confessed herself Guilty, both of the Crime she was condemned for, and of several others; owned that she had been an old Offender and a great Sinner, and that Pride and Idleness were the great Causes of her Fall. She said, that in her Passion, she had accused several innocent Persons, and among the rest, John Jenkins her Husband, having unjustly charged him with being privy to, and concern'd in her stealing a piece of Silk, about 10 months since, out of a certain Shop (viz. the Naked Boy) on Ludegate-Hill; and that she likewise had much wrong'd Mr. Joseph Stratton, in saying, that about 3 years ago, he had received of her two Guineas, for some Service he was to do for her, and that for want of another Guinea, which she could not then procure, he had brought her to her ruin. All which she now declared (as a Dying Woman) to be utterly false; and that the said Mr. Stratton never demanded of her, nor she never gave him any Money upon any such account. She declared that she re embraced the Protestant Religion, which she had been (by some Persons she liv'd with) perswaded to depart from; and that she now dy'd in that Communion, and in Charity with all the World; praying and hoping that God would please to take pity of her, and to have mercy upon her sinful Soul.
II. Benjamin Harding; Condemned for Robbing in the Streets. He said he was about 33 years of Age, a Hatter by Trade, and liv'd in Cripplegate Parish. He told me he was brought up a Protestant; but had forgotten almost all he was taught in Religion; having, for some years past, neglected Prayer and hearing of Sermons; & instead of discharging the Duties which his Christian Profession obliged him to, spent the Sabbath-days, and most of his time, in riotous Living; drinking to excess, and giving himself the liberty to Swear, and to take Gods Holy Name in Vain. He confessed he had sinned in all these, and many other ways; and that the loose Life he had led, had brought him to this his untimely end. He much lamented his past miscarriages, and said he heartily repented of them all. He owned he was justly condemned, and seemed not very unwilling to die; but desirous of God's Pardon and Eternal Life; which he hoped to receive through the Merits and Intercession of Jesus Christ.
III. Thomas Etherington, Condemned for Burglary. He said he was about 36 years Old, was born in Yorkshire, and of late years lived at Gravesend. He told me he was by his Profession a Seaman , and had been Pilot of several Ships, and Master of a Man of War. He seemed to be of a resolute and undaunted Spirit, and not much concern'd that he was to die. He confessed he had been a great Sinner, and liv'd contrary to his known Duty, and the Rules of Christianity; he being born and bred up a Protestant but having slacken'd in the practice of Religion, and given way to those Vices, too common among Seamen, namely Drinking, Cursing and Swearing. He (tho' with some Extenuation and Excuse) own'd the Crime he was condemn'd for, and begg'd God's pardon for it, and for all the Evil he had done; and pray'd also that those he had wrong'd would forgive him, as himself forgave, and dy'd in Charity, with all the World. See more at the end of this Paper.
IV. Thomas Cooper, likewise Condemned for Burglary. He was a young Man of about 20 years of Age. He said he was a Malster 's Son, born in Yorkshire; who, for a while, follow'd his Father's Employment; but having left it, and since his Father's Death, sold his House and all its Appertances, he came to London, and kept an Alehouse in Barnaby street in Southwark; which he was forced to leave, for want of a Trade. I found him (tho a Protestant) very ignorant in the Principles of Religion, but was now desirous of Divine Knowledge, and shew'd a disposition of receiving what Instruction was necessary for his furtherance towards Heaven. He did (but with some restriction) confess the fact for which he was to die, and said he was sorry for it, and for all other his Sins, and heartily repented of them; hoping for Pardon at God's hand, through the Merits of Christ.
V. Thomas Smith, also condemned for Burglary. He was about 24 years of Age. He said he lived at Kennington in Lambeth Parish, and was a Twine-Spinner by his Trade. He confess'd he was guilty of the Fact for which he was to die, and likewise of many other Crimes; which, upon his recollection, he found to have in a great measure sprung from his Profanation of the Lord's Day, and spending in publick Houses and idle and vicious Company, that time particularly appointed for Prayer and hearing of the Word of God. He seem'd to be much dejected and grieved for his Sins: Which he said he truly repented of, and heartily beg'd God's Pardon for.
VI. Edward Ward, Condemned for Robbing on the High-Way. He said he was about 36 years of Age, born at Willey in Warwickshire; where he follow'd Husbandry for a time: But leaving this honest Calling, and associating himself with loose Persons, he fell from the Commission of one sin into another, and at last was overtaken
by the Hand of God and Justice, and brought into this shame and untimely Death, which he own'd he had most justly deserved, being guilty of the Crime he was convicted and is now to suffer for. He pray'd God, and those he had wrong'd, to forgive him, and said he forgave all the World.
VII. Thomas Chambers, also Condemned for Robbing on the High Way. He said-his right Name was Thomas Merryman; That he was about 21 years of Age, born at Dublin, of Protestant Parents, and bred up a Seaman . He confess'd he was justly Condemn'd, and that he had not only committed this heinous Fact, for which he must now die, but had used himself to several other ill Practices (both at Sea and Land) having wrong'd many, and endeavour'd to wrong more. He said, he heartily begg'd their Pardon, whom he had thus injur'd; that he truly repented of all the Vices of his past Life, which he own'd to have been great and many; and that he dy'd in Charity with all the World.
VIII. Edmond Gethings, Condemned for the same Robbery with Thomas Chambers, alias Merryman, just before mention'd. This Edmond Gethings was about 22 years of Age, and brought up in an Hospital of this City. He said he was put out Apprentice to a Sea Chirurgeon , one Mr. Moreton; who dying about 10 months after he was bound to him, Mr. Moreton's Brother and Executor turn'd him over to one Mr. Herring, to serve out his said Apprentiship with him. But this young Man, Edmond Gethings, not liking very well his new Master, did a second time turn himself over to another Sea-Chirurgion, one Mr. Hrodd, and (when cut of his time) betaking himself to the Employment of a Common Sailer , he did in the beginning of our late Wars with France, serve his Many, first in the Assistance in Admiral Wrights Squadron sent to the West-Indies; Then in the Winchester, in the Squadron commanded by Sir Francis Wheeler in the Streights, at the same time when Sir Francis was cast away; and last of all in the Falmouth, Capt. Mitchel Commander, in the West-Indies; from whence being return'd, he was Discharg'd about 10 Months since. I did (to my great Grief) find him very stiff and obstinate; very loath to confess any of the Irregularities of his Life; saying only, that he had not (as he ought to have) answer'd the virtuous and most laudable end of his Education. At length he more plainly own'd that he had been of late very unruly and disorderly and given to the keeping of bad Company, and that he had much indulg'd himself in Drunkenness, and Swearing, and in the Commission of other Crimes, which now prov'd his Ruin. He shew'd at first no very great remorse, or sign of Repentance for his Sins, and seemed more to pride in the appearing flout and unconcerned, than to take care of making his Peace with God, and securing his Salvation. Yet when that King of Terrors (Death) made its nearer approaches to him, he then betook himself to more serious thoughts, and to be affraid of a future Judgment. Then he confessed the Crime for which he was condemn'd, and he mightily call'd upon God for Pardon and Mercy, and I took him now to be in good earnest. But whether his long deferr'd Cries prevail'd and his late Repentance was accepted, I cannot judge; I leave it to God. And here I must admonish other Sinners that may hear of the Death of this, to take timely warning by it, and not venture the loss both of their Temporal and Eternal Life through their willful Engaging and presumptuous continuance in Sin and Impiety.
IX. Daniel Waker, also condemn'd for Robbing on, the High-way. He said he was about 22 Years of Age born at Priers-Hardwick, in the County of Warwick and for the most part of his time, lived at Farthing-stone, in Northamptonshire. He owned the Fact he was convicted of, and though he did not seem to charge himself with any other heinous Crimes; yet he acknowledg'd he had been too much addicted to Sloth and Idleness, having left off his laudable Employment of Husbandry , and turn'd himself loose to the World, by which he grew vicious. He was of a simple Education; yet sensible, that without Repentance, and making all the satisfaction he was able, he could not be sav'd. He said he was sorry he had offended God and wrong'd his Neighbour, and that from his heart he begg'd Pardon of both.
X. John Cavenaugh, Condemned for Burglary. He said he was about 21 years of Age, born in the City of Westminster, and brought up a Seaman ; having served on Board several of his Majesties Ships; namely, first, the Conqueror, Capt Crow Commander; then the Hampton-Court (as a Boatswain ) under the Command of Capt. Robinson; afterwards the Hope, Commanded by the said Robinson; and last of all the Charles Galley, Capt. Seas Commander: Out of which being discharg'd, about 10 months ago, he was (all this while) without Employment; but said, he intended, some time or other, to go to Sea again. Of all the Persons above-named, this seem'd to be at first the most obdurate and unrelenting Sinner. But afterwards confess'd he had been an Old Offender, and done many ill things; had wrong'd several Persons, robbing some and charging others with their commission of the Facts, or privacy thereto; for which they had come to trouble; but he said he had clear'd them since, and had (to the utmost of his power) made satisfaction to those that had suffered by him; and desired that they would forgive him. I pressing him further, to do every Man right, he said he had taken such a care to do it, that no mischief should hereafter ensue, which he could now prevent. As to what respected himself; he further confess'd, that he had been very lewd and debauch'd, a great Drinker, Swearer, and Blasphemer, and that in his Drink and Passion he spar'd neither God, nor Man: In short, that he had broken all Divine and Human Laws, tho he was brought up to better things, and at the same time knew that he acted contrary to his Profession of Christianity, and Protestancy; the Precepts and Duties whereof he having miserably neglected and broken, he was laid open to all Temptations and Sins. Thus he acknowledg'd himself to have wickedly Liv'd, and I could hardly bring him now to learn how he might hapyily Die. Yet at last he (with Tears and mournful Accents) bewail'd his sad Condition, pray'd to God to have Mercy on his poor Soul, and not to reward (as he own'd he deserved) the Iniquities of his Life with the Pains of Eternal Death. He confest the Crime for which he was to die, and at his Death gave extraordinary Signs of true Repentance.
And so did Jane Jenkins, and all the rest of these Dying Persons; who (after they had earnestly desir'd to receive the Holy Communion, and I had administer'd it to them at Newgate) were this Day carry'd in several Carts, to the Place of Execution, where I met them, and did my last Office to them. Than it was, that I truly perceiv'd, that God's Holy Spirit had wrought a good Work upon every Soul of them, even a Through-change of their Hearts; which now they lifted up to God with fervent Prayers and strong Cries, uttering such Ejaculations, as were proper for their Condition, and expressive of their great Concern for Eternal Life. They desired the People to pray for them; and all presumptuous Sinners to take Warning by them. Here they confest again, that they were justly brought to their untimely End; and wish'd others might, by a speedy Repentance, prevent their falling under the like Shame and Misery. They all declared they dy'd in perfect Charity with all the World, and heartily begg'd Pardon of all they had offended; and said, that they wish'd it were in their Power (as it was now in their Hearts) to make double Satisfaction and Restitution to those whom they had wrong'd; praying God to bless them so much the more, and to make them full Recompence and Amends for the Losses they had sustain'd by them.
I stay'd and pray'd with them a considerable time, and sung 2 Psalms; it being their desire, and all of them (Cavenaugh especially, who almost all the while held my Hands) earnestly desir'd me to pray for them, to their last Minute. So I took my last leave of them, and with the greatest desire of their Salvation recommended them to God; with whom (I hope) they now are.
Postscript. Etherington told me that about June last, he (with others) stole a Parcel of Callico out of a Ship in the River of Thames, and dropt some pieces of it, which he understood were taken up by one Matthews, who was put to some trouble about it, and is innocent of the Fact.
This is all the Account that can now be given of these Dying Persons, by
Jan 29. 1700.
London. Printed for E. Mallet, at the Hat and Hawk in Bride-Lane, 1700.