The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Dying-Speeches, of the Condemn'd Criminals that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday May the 29th. 1702.
THis Paper having receiv'd an happy Interruption from the Gracious Reprieve, given the Persons that were Condemned the two former Sessions at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily; there is now a melancholy Occasion for its appearing abroad again: And that is, to give an Account of Thomas Man and Mary Poole, who (upon the 20th instant) received Sentence of Death both together, for a Burglary by them jointly committed, and by their Jury found Guilty of.
ON the next Day, being Thursday the 21st, and the succeeding Days, I constantly attended them; having them brought up to me twice every Day, to the Chappel, there to receive Instruction, and to pray.
And on the Lord's-Day, the 24th, I preach'd to them, viz. In the Morning upon these Words, (John 14. 21. being Part of the Gospel for the Day:) He that has my Commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest my self to him.
From which Words I shew'd them;
1st. That our Obedience to the Precepts of the Gospel, is an infallible Proof of our Love to Christ; which in the Text is expressed under these two Notions; 1. Having, 2. Keeping, Christ's Commandments.
IIdly. That if a Man thus declares his Love to Christ, that is, if he be a diligent Hearer of his Word, and a Religious Observer of it, Christ declares, that both his Father and He will love him, and he will take delight to do him good; and by making himself perfectly known to him, give him a full and lively Sense of this Love of the Father, which is purely Divine, and of his own, which is both Divine and Human.
This I distinctly explain'd under these Three Particulars.
1. The Divine Love of God the Father. 2. The Divine and Human Love of God the Son. 3. The Sense, which (through the Divine Spirit) they will have of this Love, who are obedient to the Commands of Christ: They shall not live only under the real Benefits, but under the sensible Manifestations of it.
Lastly; I concluded with an Exhortation, To seek and labour after the obtaining of this most precious and most disirable Thing the Love of God and Christ.
1. By receiving his Commands, directing us to the excellent Knowledge of God's Will, and our Duty. 2. By chearfully obeying and performing those Commands, as universally tending to make us Holy here, and Happy hereafter. 3. By repenting heartily and sincerely of all our past Failures, and (through the Divine Grace, which we ought earnestly to call to our assistance) resolve to amend our Lives, and spend the remainder of our Days in the Service of God, and Preparation for an happy Eternal State.
In the Afternoon I preach'd to the Condemned Persons and others, upon Isai. 11. 4. Part of that Scripture that was appointed then to be read for the first Lesson: The Words being these. But with righteousness shall he judge the Poor, and reprove with equity, for the Meek of the Earth: And he shall smite the Earth with the Rod of his Mouth, and with the breath of his Lips shall he slay the Wicked.
Having first shewn, that these Words were prophetically spoken of the Messiah, the Christ of God, the Blessed Saviour and Just Judge of the World; and having given a short paraphrastical Explanation both of the Text, and the three fore-going Verses, I then more largely discours'd therefrom upon these following Heads.
1st. I shew'd, That Christ will do Justice to all Men impartially.
1. He will support the Weak and defend the Innocent. 2. He will pass an irreversible Sentence of Condemnation upon the obstinate Sinners.
IIdly. That he will do this with his Word and Spirit, called in the Text, The Rod of his Mouth, and the Breath of his Lips; and by St. Paul, Eph. 6. 17. the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
1. By his Word and Spirit, Christ will inform the Judgment, and both convert and comfort the Souls of the Poor in Spirit, i. e. the Humble and Meek, such as are willing to receive Instruction -. The Meek will he guide in Judgment, the Meek will he teach his Way. Psal. 25. 9. 2. He will confound and destroy the Unjust, and presumptuous Transgressors of his Laws; those that offend of malicious Wickedness. He will punish them; First, Temporally, by short'ning their Days, or otherwise afflicting them in this World: And then, Eternally, by dooming them to endless torments in the World to come, unless they timely take-up and amend.
IIIdly. I shew'd, The use we ought to make of this Doctrine, That Christ is the Judge of the World, which is, That as God has appointed a Day in the which he will judge the World in righteousness, by that Man, (viz. Christ Jesus) whom he has ordain'd; so is it the indispensable Duty and Interest of all Men every where to repent; according to St. Paul's saying, Acts 17. 31.
From the Consideration of which, I did (by many Particulars) exhort my Auditory in general to Amendment and Holiness of Life; and addressing my self in particular to the Condemned Persons, pressed them to break off their Sins by Repentance. And this I continued to do all the following Days, on which I attended them, as before, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, to the Day of their Executions and within that time received their respective Confessions, as follows.
I. Thomas Man. He said he was about 19 years of age, born at Limrick in Ireland, of honest Parents, who gave him School-Education, and design'd him for the University and the Gown. But his Genius leading him to the Study of Navigatio n, he learned the Theory of that Art; and then went to Sea about 6 years ago, first in the William and Mary, a Merchant-man; and then in the Little Degreaves, another Merchant-man, trading in the Streights. Having served for the space of 3 years on board that Ship, and being afterwards discharg'd from her, (which he said was about 10 Months ago) he fell into bad Company, that brought him to the Commission of the Fact for which he is now, and confesses himself, justly condemned to die. At first he pretended this was the only Offence he had ever committed against the Law. But upon further Discourse with him, I found him to have been before that, engaged in other ill Actions: Which he plainly own'd to me, with seeming sorrow, and declar'd that he wish'd he had never injur'd any Man, and that he were now in a condition to make full amends and satisfaction to those he had wrong'd. His Heart at first was very hard and full of Revenge, particularly against a certain Person, whom he said he would never forgive, and pray'd that God would do so too. But when I had represented to him, what great wrong he did to his own Soul, and what future Misery he was preparing for himself, by his being of such a bitter and revengeful Spirit; for he should certainly be for ever shut out of Heaven, and cast into Hell, if he continued, and died, in that unchristian Temper; he then alter'd his Mind, at least his Speech, and said, That he was in Charity with that Person, and with all Mankind besides. Which he repeating several times with great earnestness, I hope he spoke it sincerely. Asking him, how he came first to engage in those great Sins he had been guilty of; he said, it was by the ill Company he kept, with whom he liv'd in lewdness and debauchery; and with such extravagance, as to have spent and squandred away no less than Thirty Pounds in one Week; and chief of all, (as the root and
foundation of other his great Sins) by his neglect of praying to God, and serving him, as he ought to have done; by which neglect he had lost all Sense of his Duty, both to his Maker and his Neighbour. And now, he said, it griev'd him, that he had been so ungrateful, and made so little good use of former Mercys shewn him by the Divine Providence; for he had taken no notice of, so as to be thankful for, his continual Preservation, and the many Deliverances he had had at Sea, whilst others with him were cast away; and particularly at one remarkable time, when in the Gulf of Lyons, in the aforesaid Ship, the Little Degreaves, some Men were on a sudden washt off the Deck by the Sea, and himself miraculously saved. Neither had he taken Warning by a former Punishment, which the Law not long since, had inflicted upon him, for a Felony then by him committed. All which he declar'd, were now matters of great trouble to him: And he wish'd that other Sinners might be wiser than himself had been, and make no delay to repent; lest it should prove too late, as it is now with him, to avoid that Shame and Death, which he is justly to suffer, for his repeated Offences: Of which, he says, he heartily repents; praying God, for Christ's sake, to forgive both his known and secret Faults, and to give him Eternal Life.
II. Mary Poole. She said, she was about 22 years old, born in Bride-lane London, and had been for some time a Servant, as Apprentice, to a Fish-woman . But leaving that Service about six years ago, and keeping Company with idle and vicious Men, presently fell upon robbing and stealing; adding to the Sin of Uncleanness, that of doing wrong to her Neighbour in his Goods. She confessed she had kept Company for some years past, with a Man, that was not then her lawful Husband, but is so now; he having marry'd her in the Fleet, about five Months ago, which was a little before he went to Sea, where, she says, he is at this time in the Monmouth. And she further says, that her said Husband is now become a good Man; and when he took leave of her, gave her very good advice, and pray'd her not to return to her former ill ways of Whoring and Thieving, but to keep her self honest: If not, she should, and he wish'd she might, come to the Gallows. Which (to her sorrow) she now finds to be verify'd in her present Condemnation; which she acknowledges is most just, both from God and Man; and begs of God, that she may have Grace to take it patiently and resignedly; and sincerely to repent, not only of the Crime that has brought her to this shameful end; but of all others she has committed in any manner, and at any time heretofore, which she confesses to be many and great; saying, that being left Fatherless and Motherless very young, and no body looking after her, she betook herself to an ill Course of Life betimes. But she hopes, God has not quite cast her off; for now she does (though she did not before) plainly see the great folly and evil of Sin, and abhors it from her Heart. And as she asks Pardon of God, for all the Failures and Iniquities of her past Life, so she does of every one she has wrong'd, and wishes she could make them a full recompence and satisfaction; but it is not in her power; the Goods she had unjustly got, having left her as poor, and poorer too, than she was before: Neither can she direct to any Person or Place, where those stol'n Goods may now be had again; for she says, both they and the People that had them from her, are gone beyond the Seas. And so (being able to do no more) she prays God to bless and prosper, in a particular manner, those whom she has any ways injur'd. And this was the wish also of Thomas Man, with relation to them that had come to any loss by him.
Now, as the Day was approaching, which was to determine their State here, they appear'd (both of them, and particularly Mary Poole) very desirous of obtaining God's Mercy and Pardon: And here expressing their desires also to receive (before their Death) the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's-Supper; I did (after Instruction given them, and my hopes of their being truly Penitent) think it proper, for their spiritual Comfort, and the strengthening of their Faith, to administer it to them: Which I chose to do Yesterday Morning, rather than upon this of their Execution; to the end they might have some time and space to exert those Duties of Religion which Men do particularly engage to perform, by their Receiving; That is, Not only to repent of their Sins, and to be in Love and Charity with their Neighbours; but to lead a new Life, following the Commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his Holy Ways. And, as I doubted not but this was their sincere intent; so (in the Name of God) I invited them, To draw near with Faith: Which I hope they did; and so, receiv'd that Holy Sacrament to their Comfort: Thomas Man telling me, (that Afternoon) with Tears in his Eyes, which he said, he had not for many years past, nor thought he could now shed, That his hard Heart was much broken, and he felt it melting within him; and that now nothing troubled him, but the sense he had of his Sins, and the thoughts of the Sorrow which this his shameful and untimely Death would bring to his Father, Wife, and other Friends; whom he pray'd God would please to bless and comfort. And on the other hand, he expressed great satisfaction in the hopes he had, that our good and merciful God had forgiven him all his Transgressions, and that he was now going to be made happy for evermore. Mary Poole also express'd her self much to the same purpose, concerning the hopes she had of her approaching future State. And both She and Man, desired to be pray'd for in Churches; which I had already taken care they should; and I do not doubt but the Prayers that were put up for them by good Christians, were much available to their Conversion and Salvation.
This Day I attended them again, first in Newgate, and then at the Place of Execution, whither they were both carry'd in a Cart. And there having discharg'd my last Office to them, with Exhortations, Prayers, and Singing of Psalm; and they having express'd great Sorrows for their Sins, and Confidence in the Mercies of God, and warned all Sinners, both far and near, not to abuse those Mercies, as themselves had done; but to learn from this their Misfortune, to be wiser and better: And, having declared, That they dy'd in the Faith, Fear, and Love of God, and in perfect Charity with all Men; praying God, that he would save and prosper, both our Governours in Church and State, his People, and all Mankind: And, Thomas Man, in particular naming here his Wife with great concern, and earnestly begging that God would direct her, and bless her; and telling me (as he had done before, and now again upon his Dying Word) That she was no ways concern'd in, nor knew any thing of the Fact, for which he now suffers, but after he was apprehended for it: And Mary Poole having also cleared one John Harding, now a Prisoner in Old Bridewel, about the matter of her Adversary's Buckles; saying, That they were other Buckles, which the said Harding had: And last of all, having again pray'd for themselves, and all the World besides, and over and over again desired all the Standers-by to take Warning by them, and to pray for them: Then I took my final leave of them, and blessed them in the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: To whose infinite gracious Mercy I recommended their now departing Souls.
After this, they had some time allow'd them for their private Devotions: And then, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, calling-upon God in these, and the like Ejaculatory Expressions, viz. Thomas Man, Lord Jesus Christ, who dy'd upon the Cross, and spilt thy precious Blood, for me, have Mercy upon me. Lord, soften the hardness of my Heart, and forgive me my great Sins! Lord open me the Gate of Heaven. Lord I come, &c. So likewise Mary Poole, O Lord, pardon my Sins for thy Son's sake, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake. Lord be merciful to me a great Sinner, &c. And both of them, O Father, have mercy upon me. Lord look upon me! Lord receive me! I am coming, I am coming. Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons, by
May 29. 1702.