The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Dying-Words, of the Criminals, that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, the 30th of December, 1702.
AT the Sessions held in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th, and on Monday the 14th instant, Ten Persons having been found Guilty of Death, and receiv'd Sentence accordingly, Six of them were Repriev'd, and Four order'd for Execution.
On the Lord's-Day, the 13th instant, I preach'd publickly to them and other Prisoners, both in the Forenoon and After-noon, upon Part of that Scripture appointed to be read for the First Evening-Lesson, viz. Isai. 26. the latter part of the 9th Verse and the 10th; the Words being these - When thy Judgments are in the Earth, the Inhabitants of the World will learn righteousness. Let Favour be shew'd to the Wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the Majesty of the Lord.
In discoursing upon which Words, I shew'd;
1st. That the great Design of God's Judgments, is the Reformation of Mankind; That the Inhabitants of the Earth may learn therefrom to be Righteous, i. e. To be Just, and Honest, and Upright in all their Ways, and truly Religious.
2dly. That as it is the Design, so it often proves the Effect of God's Judgments, (where his Mercies are ineffectual) to bring Men to Repentance and Amendment of Life: Which is intimated in this former Part of the Text; When thy Judgments are in the Earth, the Inhabitants of the World will learn righteousness.
3dly. That as the Temporal Judgments, which God inflicts upon Men in this World, are by him design'd for the just Punishment of their Sins, and for their Reformation; so they are also intended for the Prevention of Eternal Judgments: For though upon the Sinners Repentance God does not always remit the Temporal, yet he certainly will the Eternal Punishment; provided that Repentance be truly sincere, and not too late.
4thly. That the Judgments of God in this Life, if they avail not to some Men's Salvation in the next; will however justify God's Proceedings, and leave the obstinate and harden'd Sinners wholly inexcusable, who most unworthily (and to their own ruin) opposed, even to the last, the gracious Methods which God employ'd to reclaim them from Sin and Endless Misery: So that they shall be forced to assent, That their Damnation is just; and that God is Righteous, and all his Judgments are Upright.
In the After-noon I open'd the latter Part of the Text; Let favour be shew'd to the Wicked, &c. From which Words I shew'd the absolute Necessity of exerting severe Justice upon those unrelenting Sinners, whom neither Mercies to them could invite to their Duty, nor Judgments on others warn from their Sins. And this I illustrated from these Three Observables.
1st. That some such profligate and ungrateful Sinners there may be found, who are so far from growing better, that they rather grow worse, for having favour shewn them; not being desirous to accept of that gracious Invitation to Repentance, and walk worthy of that great Mercy offer'd to them. Let favour be shew'd to the Wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness.
2d. That tho' such Persons live in the Land of Uprightness, i. e. in a Country where true Religion and Righteousness are professed and taught, and by many practised; and where Impiety and Unrighteousness are discountenanc'd and punish'd, (which are great aggravations of their Sins;) yet for all this they will venture to commit all manner of Injustice and Wickedness.
3d. That for a further and still greater aggravation of their Sins, they will not behold the Majesty of the Lord: i. e. That tho' God gives such plain Discoveries of his great Excellency and Goodness, both in his Word, and in his Works, and especially in this glorious and gracious Work of his Patience and Mercy to them; yet they wilfully shut their Eyes against this clear Light, and will not be perswaded to see the things that belong to their peace, before they are hid from their Eyes. They will not learn, nor understand, nor seek after God. They will consider neither his Goodness, nor his Power; neither the tenderness of his Love that should win them, nor the severity of his Judgments, that should drive them to Repentance.
Again on the Lord's-Day, the 20th instant, I preach'd to them, viz. In the Fore-noon, upon the 8th and 9th; And in the After-noon, upon the 12th and 13th Verses of the 30th Chapter of Isaiah.
And on our Blessed Saviour's Birth-day, both in the Morning and After-noon, upon John 1. 14.
And last of all, on the Lord's-Day, the 27th instant, in the Fore-noon, upon Rev. 1. 7. And in the After-noon, upon Rev. 22. 12.
All which Texts, very fit for the Occasion, as well as the Season, to be discoursed upon, were taken out of those Scriptures, that came of course to be read on those Days.
These publick Discourses, (the Heads whereof this Paper will not afford room for) as well as the two former, I concluded with particular Application to the Condemned Persons; whom I most earnestly and compassionately exhorted to REPENTANCE: The great Subject of my constant (both publick and private) Instructions and Admonitions to them, while under this Condemnation: Within which time, I did in my frequent Attendances upon them, receive from them the Account of their past Lives, and their present Hopes, which they gave me, as followeth.
1. John Goffe, alias White, alias Gaffney, Condemned for a Robbery committed in Boswel-Court, about 4 Years ago. He said, he was born at Dublin, and was now above 50 Years old, and had been a Soldier the greatest part of his Life, in the Service of this Crown, viz. first in the Foot-Guard, and afterwards in the Earl of Oxford's Regiment, and of late years in Flanders, and was also for some time, in the Duke of Savoy's Army, and now a Voluntier in her MAJESTY's Service, going for Ireland, at the time of his being apprehended at Bristol. He confess'd, that he was guilty of the Fact, for which he was now to die; but said, that he was trepann'd into it, by Daniel Skanlen the Silver-smith , and Thomas Fowler, who were some time after, Executed for it. Those (he said) were the Contrivers and chief Managers of this foul Business, the Odiousness and Baseness of which, I found he industriously endeavour'd to remove from himself, and place it upon them, and three others more, that were concerned with them therein, viz. One Nicholas Moore, (who was then try'd for it and acquitted) and his Brother James Moore, and one Fitz-Morris, the former of whom, viz. Nicholas Moore, he says, was afterwards committed for some other notorious Facts, to Oxford-Goal, out of which he broke, and robb'd the Keeper besides, and is now (as he thinks) in the West-Indies. As for himself, he said, That when he first engag'd in this Affair, he did not well understand what it was; and when at last he saw better into it, he would have declin'd having any further to do with it; but it was not in his power to get off: However, he did as little harm himself, and prevented as much mischief as he could; saying, that he was the cause, that the Persons they had robb'd, were not murther'd, or did not perish in the Cellar, where they had left them bound, both Hand and Foot: For having got the Key of the outward Door of the House, when they had done this their vilanous Fact, he gave it to a certain Porter's Wife, living thereabouts, with Order to make a Fire in the House, and to fetch Coals for it out of the Cellar, though indeed there was none there; but this he said with the intent, that she going to the Cellar, might see those Persons (who were 3 in number) that were bound there, and so cause them to be released. He own'd, he had 26 Guineas for his share in
the Booty; which, he said, it was his desire and purpose to have restor'd to the Parties wrong'd, whenever he could; but he never was, nor is, in a condition to do it: He prays God to make them and theirs amends for it. This is what he now told me relating to this Fact. As for other matters, he said, he never did before, nor since that, commit any Crime deserving Death, or the Censure of the Law, as this do's; for which he heartily begg'd Pardon, both of God, and them he had wrong'd. And for his Religion, he declared that he was born and desired to die a Roman Catholick; but yet, if he was not in the right Way, he wish'd he might be put into it; I had to that purpose several private Discourses with him; wherein having explain'd to him the Doctrine of our Church, he seem'd to give his assent to it, and told me, that he was glad, and it did refresh his Soul, to hear me talk of good things, (these were his own Words) and desired my Prayers; owning himself oblig'd to me for my Ghostly Instructions and Admonitions to him, which he said he would follow, and particularly what related to his making earnest application to God for his Grace, to inlighten his Mind, to purify his Affections, and guide him into the Way of Eternal Rest and Peace. This Conversation I had with him, had this effect upon him, that tho' he was not willing to renounce in particular, and by name, the Errors of the Romish Church; yet it did put him upon doing it in general, in this his Profession and Prayer to God, which he afterwards gave me in Writing, as follows.
I Hold the Apostles Creed. I believe in God the Father, &c. I hope, I am a Member of the Holy Catholick Church mention'd in this Creed. But if thou seest, O Lord, that I am deceived, and that I have taken part with false Teachers, behold here in thy presence I renounce the Errors I have profess'd, whatever they are. I disown the Congregation by which I have been misled, and now lay before thee my most sincere desires of becoming and dying a Member of thy true Catholick Church: And did I but know which in particular it is, I declare, I would this moment be a Member of it. Thou know'st, My God, the sincerity of my Heart; and to thee I profess, I believe all its Doctrines. I now unite my self to it; and though to the World I am not perhaps in union with it, yet before Thee, O Searcher of Hearts, I hope I am. Supply now, I beseech Thee, all that is wanting to me through my own Ignorance, and forgive me my Sins; for I detest them all for Love of Thee; and I firmly hope, through the Death and Passion of thy only Son, to be Partaker of thy Mercy. Forgive me, O Lord, forgive me: For in thee alone I hope, and put my trust.
II. Samuel Shotland, Condemned for several Felonies and Burglaries, which he confess'd. He said he was 21 Years of age, born in the Parish of Stepney, and a Gardiner by Trade. He acknowledg'd that he had been a great Offender; having of late years, and particularly thse two last, follow'd ill Courses, and very much abandon'd himself to Lewdness and Debauchery; saying, that he had committed all manner of Wickedness, Murther only excepted, which he thank'd God he never did, nor was ever in his Heart to commit: But his other Sins were so great, so many, and so heinous, that he thought they could not be pardon'd. Thus he was for a while under the trouble of a despairing Conscience. But afterwards he entertain'd the hopes of Salvation, through the infinite Mercies of God, and the All-sufficiency of Christ's Merits; he expressing his Faith in him, and great Repentance of all those many Robberies, and other enormous Crimes, which he at any time had committed. He did not come to Particulars; for he said, that it was of no use, and he could make no amends to the World for the Wrongs he had done, otherwise than by praying to God, (as he did) to bless them whom he had any ways injur'd; and to grant that his Death might be a Warning to other wicked Persons, so as to reclaim them from their ill-Courses. He begg'd Pardon of God for all his Sins, and desired their Pardon also, whom he had offended; and declar'd that he dy'd in perfect Charity with all Mankind.
III. John Clarke, Condemned for two Felonies. He said, he was about 20 years of age, born at Crowland in Lincolnshire, and a Husband-man . He confess'd he was justly Condemned, and had deserved this Death: But declared withal, that he never was before censur'd by Justice; tho' indeed he acknowledg'd he had been a loose Liver, neglecting the Service of God, profaning the Lord's Day, Swearing, Drinking, and keeping Company with lewd Women. He said also, that being in the Service of a Widow in the Country, he always cheated her, whenever she sent him to Market; which he is now very sorry for, and finds, that for these, and all other his Sins, (of which, he says, he heartily repents) God has justly brought him to this sad and untimely End. He was very ignorant, not being able to read, and understanding very little of Religion. This was also the Case of Samuel Shotland, and Mary Jones.
IV. Mary Jones, alias Eliz. Hunt, alias Beth Hurd, Condemn'd for Felony, and privately Stealing Goods out of a Shop. She at first deny'd the Fact, both as to her having done it her self, and being at all concern'd in it: But at last she confess'd it; and further acknowledg'd, that she had for these many years past, been a very ill-liver, and committed many such Robberies before. She seem'd to be so sensible of her deserving severe Punishment for the great Miscarriages of her past Life, (which she said were of all kinds excepting Murther) that she had great apprehensions of falling under God's Eternal Wrath for them. I exhorted her to apply her self to God with all the Affections of her Soul, for his Converting Grace, that she might truly repent, and find Comfort. She said, she pray'd with all the earnestness she could, for the Pardon of her Sins. But I find she was not willing to part with all of them at first; for she continued as long as she could, in a Spleen against a certain Person, who (she said) was the cause of her Death. I did use my utmost endeavours to compose her Spirit, and (thro' the Divine Grace) to work her to a Love to God and her Neighbour, in order to her making a happy End here, and obtaining a Blessed Endless Life hereafter. Then she told me, she forgave that Person, and all that had offended her; and most earnestly pray'd, that God would forgive her also for Christ's sake. She declared her being desirous, but utterly unable, to make satisfaction to such as she had wrong'd; but begg'd of God to bless and prosper them so much the more.
When the Dead-Warrant came this Morning to Newgate, then they quicken'd their Endeavours of Repenting; wherein they might (as it often proves upon such occasions) have grown remiss through delay. Shotland, Clark, and Jones, desir'd to receive the Lord's-Supper. I judg'd them not unfit for it; and so I accordingly administer'd it to them this Day, in company with a charitable Person, who had lain in the Condemn'd-Hold with them, there reading in the Bible, and other good Books to them; for almost the whole time of their being in that Place. After this, the Condemn'd Persons, (in Number Four) being carry'd in 2 Carts to the Place of Execution; there I met them, and perform'd my last Duty to them, in Exhortations, Prayers, and Singing of Psalms with them; who being ask'd, whether they had any more to add to these their Confessions, they said No: Only Gaffney declar'd, that he dy'd a Roman Catholick: Yet he said, he depended upon Christ's Merits alone for Salvation. I asking him, whether he was not willing to joyn in Prayer with me and his Fellow-Sufferers, and to have the Prayers of the Standers-by; he said aloud, I desire the Prayers of all Protestants while I am alive, and of all Roman Catholicks, when I am dead. The other 3, viz. Shotland, Clark, and Jones, pray'd most heartily; and particularly Shotland, who express'd a great assurance in God's Mercy to him through Christ. He desir'd all that saw, or should hear of him, to take Warning by him: And so did the rest. And all of them begg'd the Prayers of all Spectators, and profess'd they dy'd in Charity with all Mankind: And earnestly calling for God's Mercy, went out of this World with these and the like Words in their Mouths; Lord Jesus, receive our Spirits! O cast not out our Souls! And Shotland had this particular Expression: I know, Lord Jesus, that I shall be with thee this Day in Paradise.
This is the Account that can be given here of these Dying
Dated the 30th of December.
Robert Whitledge, Book-binder , at the Bible in Creed-ane, within Ludgate, sells all sorts of Bibles and Common-Prayers, Tate and Brady's Singing-Psalms, and other Books, neatly Bound, at reasonable rates.