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 28th. 1701.
THE Persons hereafter mention'd, having receiv'd Sentence of Death, on the 16th instant, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily; I did from that Day to this, constantly attend them, both in the Chappel and in their Holds, at Newgate: Where they were also most charitably and seasonably visited by the Reverend Dr. Bray, Mr. Stubbs, Mr. Frank, and other Worthy Divines, who (together with me) exhorted them to a serious Consideration of the Life to come.
On the two Lord's-Days which they had after their Condemnation, I preach'd to them, viz. the 15th instant in the Morning, on these Words of our Saviour. Mat. 16. 26. and 27. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole World and lose his own Soul? Or what shall a man give in Exchange for his Soul? Or what shall a man give in Exchange for his Soul? For the Son of Man shall come in the Glory of his Father with his Angels, and then he shall reward every Man according to his Works.
From which Words I discours'd them;
1. Upon The vast Disproportion between the Things of this World, and a Man's Soul; shewing, 1. The Vanity of the former. And 2. The Excellency of the latter. And then I proceeded to consider,
In the 2d Place, Christ's Coming at the last Day; when he will, not reverse, but confirm, the private Sentence he shall have pass'd upon every particular Man at his Death.
And under this Head I shew'd from Scripture, 1. The Manner. 2. The End of Christ's Coming. 3. The Reward he shall give: viz. to every Man according to his Works: that is, 1. To them that have done well, or truly repented of their Sins, Eternal Life and Glory. 2. To the Workers of Iniquity and Impenitent Sinners, Everlasting Punishment.
In the Afternoon I preach'd upon this Text, 2 Sam. 24. 10. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done. And now I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the Iniquity of thy Servant, for I have done very foolishly.
Having open'd the Text to them, and shew'd them the occasion of this Prayer of David's, and propos'd him to them as an excellent Pattern for their Imitation, in the Confession and Repentance of their Sins; I then laid before them these following Propositions. 1. That where-ever there is true Penitence and hearty Contrition, there is also a free Acknowledgment and Confession of Sins. 2. That the sincere Penitent is always more ready to aggravate his Faults, than (in the least) careful or sollicitous to hide or palliate them. 3. That his Sins are so odious to him, because they have provoked God, that he always judgeth more severely, and thinks and speaks worse of himself, than any other can do of him. 4. and lastly; I shew'd them; That this was the surest, yea the only Way to pacifie the Wrath of God, and be restor'd to his Favour.
On the second Lord's-Day, which was the last, and the 25th instant, I did again preach to the Condemn'd Prisoners, and others; namely, in the Forenoon, upon these Words, being part of the first Lesson for that Morning; Isai. 55. 6, and 7. Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: Call ye upon him, while he is near. Let the Wicked forsake his Way, and the Unrighteous Man his Thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
In discoursing upon which Words, I shew'd them;
1. The Duty,2. The Way,3. The Encouragement,
of Returning to God.
In the Afternoon, I took also part of the second Lesson for my Text, viz. Isai. 56. 2. Blessed is the Man that do's this, and the Son of Man that lays hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing evil.
From which Words, I discours'd them upon these Heads;
1. Man's Duty, both to God, in being truly Religious; and to his Neighbour, in being universally Just: 2. The Blessed Reward attending the faithful Discharge of this Duty.
3. The Thing (though not positively express'd, yet) necessarily imply'd in the Text; namely, the Punishment that will be inflicted on him, who wilfully neglects the Duty, and makes slight of the Reward.
And thus having in these my publick Discourses, as well as in my private Admonitions and Instructions to them, laid before them on the one hand, the severe Judgments of God upon rash and impenitent Sinners; and on the other, his gracious Mercy to them that truly repent, and return to him with their whole Heart; And from thence having also shew'd them the Necessity of calling upon God for his Divine Assistance in this greatly important and difficult Work of Repentance; so as it might prove such as should be acceptable to him: I prepar'd and dispos'd them to their Confessions; wherein they seem'd to be free and ingenuous; discovering, not only what they had done themselves, but what else they were made sensible might be of use to the World, to be discovered concerning others, for the preventing of further Mischiefs, and for the Reformation of Mankind.
Now I proceed to give an Account of these Dying Persons respective Confessions; of which I shall here impart to the Publick, so much, and no more, than they themselves were willing should be inserted in this Paper.
1. Christian Russel, Condemned for the Murther of her Male-Infant Bastard: She said, she was 25 Years of Age, born at Laylum about 4 Miles from Windsor; but liv'd at Teddington near Hampton-Court, where she became acquainted with a certain young Man that debauched her, and perswaded her to the Odious and Beastly Sin of Uncleanness, which was the Foundation of that of Murther, which she committed afterwards: For when she found she grew pretty big, being unwilling to expose her self to shame among her Acquaintance there, she came-up to London, and got into a Service in a very Civil Family; and there she had not liv'd above 10 Weeks, but (unknown to her Mistress, and others) she was (upon the 19th Day of December last) deliver'd of a Male Child; whom she cruelly destroy'd, by throwing him into a House of Office. There was a certain Report, that the Child grasp'd her Hand as she was going thus to murther him; which Circumstance, as it would have still aggravated her Guilt, (if any thing can make so great a Crime greater) so I asked her about it more than once; but she deny'd it, even to the last; though she confess'd the Child was born alive, and that she did cast him away, as is before mention'd. At the first she seem'd very little concern'd for what she had done; she confessing her Sins, without apparent Signs of true sorrow for them: But this might, in some measure, be attributed to her dulness and slowness of Capacity, she being very stupid and ignorant, and a poor simple Creature, that knew little of Religion. At last, she shew'd more sense of her miserable Condition, by reason of her Sins, and express'd much grief and displeasure with her self, and a great desire of God's Pardon for them. She also begg'd Pardon of her Mistress, and of all she had offended; and profess'd that she was in Charity with all the World. She further declar'd to me, that the young Man that had got her with Child; had promis'd to marry her; but he kept not his promise to her; and (as it proves commonly so) when he had made a Whore of her, would not afterwards make her his Wife. This (she said) brought her under the Temptation, and forc'd her to the commission of that horrid Fact, for which she was justly condemn'd to die; and of which, and all other her Sins, which she acknowledg'd to have been many and great, she said, she heartily repented. And as for that young Man, (whose Name I shall here conceal, because I intend, not his Confusion, but his Conversion) he having allur'd this poor wretched Creature into the great Sin of
Whoredom, put her (as it were) under a necessity of committing a yet greater, I mean that of Murther, I must here plainly tell him, that he is greatly guilty before God of both these heinous Crimes, and ought therefore seriously to consider that the Divine Vengeance will soon or late overtake him, unless he bewail and heartily repent of them as long as he lives. And of this I must desire other young Men also to take notice, so as they may avoid such heinous and provoking Sins.
II. Richard Morris, Condemned for Burglary, for breaking the House of the Lady Carew. He said, he was ag'd 45 Years, born in Worcestershire, by Trade a Butcher , and for some time past kept the Red Lion-Inn at Worcester. At his Trial, he did not deny the Fact, and now he plainly confess'd, that he was guilty of it, and justly condemned for it. At first he seem'd not unwilling to die, and very confident that he had made his Peace with God; and this was while his Friends were at Work to obtain his Reprieve. But when he found, that he was certainly to die, and there was for him no Mercy to be obtain'd from Men then he seem'd to apply himself with more humility to seek it from God. He acknowledg'd he had been a great Sinner; having prophan'd the Lord's-Day, committed Adultery, and several other grievous Crimes, and charg'd himself with all manner of Offences against the Divine and Humane Laws, Murther only excepted. He read and pray'd very much, and excited himself and his Fellow-Sufferers to a comfortable Relyance on God's Mercy. He said, he repented of all his Sins and hop'd that his Repentance was sincere, and should find acceptance with God.
III. Benjamin Jones; Condemned for the same Fact. He said he was about 34 Years old, born at Abberley in Worcestershire ; a Baker by Trade; and afterwards kept a Victualling House for above 3 Years in London: And leaving that Occupation, he apply'd himself to Starch-making. Then he fell into ill Company, whereby he became lewd and lascivious; he getting a Woman with Child, at the same time he was marry'd to another; who not being honest; (as he said) that was the great Cause of his growing vicious too. He mightily lamented for his Sins, and that particularly for which he was to die, which he declared Richard Morris had drawn him into. He express'd strong desires of God's Grace and Mercy; and great Hopes, that as he had a perfect abhorrence, and truly repented of all his Sins; o he should obtain the Pardon of them.
IV. Francis Turnley; Condemned for the same Burglary. He was about 28 Years of age, born at Mamble near Bewdley in Worcestershire. He said he was a Labouring Man , and had served with Brick layers and Brewers, both in the Country, and in London. He confess'd the Fact for which he was condemned; but said, Richard Morris (with whom he had liv'd as a Servant ) had drawn him into it, and wish'd he never had been acquainted with him. He also acknowledged that he had not liv'd a good Life, that he had been before now under Sentence of Death, but receiv'd Mercy and Pardon, which he did not improve as he ought to have done. He said, he had formerly been acquainted with several ill Persons in the Country, who used to steal Horses, and do other Mischiefs: The Names of which Persons he gave to the Parties that might be concern'd to know them. He (and the two last mention'd, viz. Morris and Jones) further said, they had not any design to commit Murther. This Turnley confess'd, that he had too often prophan'd the Lord's-Day, and neglected the Service of God; which proved the Cause of his Ruin; declaring, that it is now a great grief to him, to have provoked God's Wrath against him by his Sins: Of which he seem'd heartily to repent.
V. William Tight, also Condemned for Burglary. He said he was 33 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Giles in the Field. Had been Apprentice to a Painter; and before his time was out, listed himself for a Soldier , to serve in Ireland, about 12 Years ago. Since that, he went to Jamaica, and returning thence, served his Majesty here in England, sometimes at Sea, and sometimes at Land; and when he was discharged from his last Service, under Captain Dicksin, in Major General Earl's Regiment, he fell (worse than ever) into Lewdness and Debauchery, and added more and more to his Sins, which he own'd were very heinous and very numerous before. He acknowledged the particular Goodness of God towards him, in having given him time to consider of Death, and not cut him off in the midst, and in the commission, of his Damning Sins. He was not sparing of himself, but accused himself to be guilty of all manner of Crimes, that of Murther only excepted; which he said, he thanked God, he had never committed. He was at first in great Despair, and thought his Sins were too enormous, and too many, to be forgiven him; but afterwards his Mind was more at ease, and felt some comfort. He pray'd very much to God for Pardon, and declar'd that he dy'd in Charity with all Men. He desir'd that all lewd Livers might take Warning by him, and look upon those to be their best Friends (as he is now sensible they are) who, by bringing them to condign Punishment, and having the Laws executed upon them, strive to reform & reclaim them from those too common & no less pernicious Vices of Swearing, Cursing, Sabbath breaking, Drunkenness, Lasciviousness, Irreligion, and the like; which were the dismal Causes of his falling under this just Condemnation in this World, and (which is infinitely worse) of being for ever undone in the next, unless God out of his extraordinary Mercy to him, had not some pity of his poor distressed and sinful Soul.
These dying Persons having thus frankly confess'd their Sins, and expressed their great grief and sorrow for them; and they all earnestly desiring to receive the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, I did administer it to them yesterday, when I thought them well dispos'd for it; there being also several other Persons that receiv'd at the same time; whose Piety, not Curiosity, had brought them thither to join in Prayer with them.
This Morning being with them in Newgate, exhorting them to be sincere and unreserved in their Confessions and Repentance: Tight, Turnley, Jones, and Christian Russel, seem'd really to be so. But as for Richard Morris, I wish I had reason to believe the same of him; he refusing to give the desired satisfaction about some Particulars, where in it was fit for him to have open'd himself. When he was come to the Place of Execution, to which he was carry'd in a Coach, (and the other four in two Carts) he first sung a Psalm; then read several Prayers out of a Book. Afterwards, he, and the others with him, repeated the Creed. And this done, I spoke to them, both in general and particular; and put Morris in mind, that he ought to ask Pardon of those two, viz Turnley and Jones, for his having drawn them into the Fact, for which they were now to die with him: But he then deny'd (tho' he had own'd it before to me) he had done it, when at the same time, those two asserted upon their Dying Word, he was the Man that put them upon that Fact. So there arose a little Passion between them; but they at last declar'd they forgave one another; and Morris kissed them both, and his other two Fellow-sufferers before he dy'd. Having given them some further Admonition, I pray'd with them, and gave them out that Psalm which Morris desir'd they should sing; namely, the two last Stanzas of the first Part of the 39 Psalm. Then I pray'd again with and for them; and so retired. Christian Russel. Tight, Turnley, and Jones, having shewn that Humility and Repentance, which was becoming them. After I had left them, and heartily recommended their Souls to God; Morris made some Speeches to the People: All to this Purpose; That he had been a great Offender, in prophaning the Lord's-Day, and committing several other Irregularities, which had at last brought him to this his untimely End: And therefore desir'd all those that heard him, and pray'd them to desire others that heard him not, that they would take warning by him, and the rest of his Fellow-sufferers, and by her (particularly) who, for the Murther of her Bastard-Child, was brought with them to this shameful Punishment. Having said this, and pray'd again both for himself and the others, and desired the Standers-by to say, Amen; which they did: He then added; That he could not die quietly, unless he declared, that his Religion had taught him Loyalty; and so pray'd God to bless Queen Mary, and the Prince of Wales.-Thus having spent much time in long and repeated Speeches and Prayers, a little more was allow'd him and the other four, for their private Devotions. And so were all turned off; calling upon God, with strong Cries, for Mercy and Eternal Life.
Four others, also under Sentence of Death, are repriev'd.
This is all the Account now to be given of this Sessions, by
Wednes. Jan. 28. 1701.
London: Printed for Elizabeth Mllet, next the King's-Arms Tavern, near Fleet-bridge. 1701.