The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Criminals that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 21st of June, 1704.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, on Thursday the 1st. and Friday the 2d. Instant, three Persons receiv'd Sentence of Death; whereof one being found with quick-Child was Repriev'd, and the other two, viz. Thomas Hunter and Sebastian Reis, are ordered for Execution.
On the Lord's-Day, the 4th Instant, being the Day of Pentecost, I preached to them and others that then came up to the Chappel in Newgate; taking my Text out of the Epistle for the Day, viz. Acts 2. 4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them Utterance.
Which Words having chosen, as proper for the Solemnity of the Day, I first open'd them, and then from them took Occasion to discourse upon these following Heads, viz.
I. The Effusion, or Pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost, according to Christ's most gracious Promise at his Ascension, of sending them the Comforter, and enduing them with Power from on high.
II. The happy Disposition the Apostles were in (by their Love, Unity, Faith, and Patience) to receive that inestimable Gift of the Holy Ghost.
III. The Divine, and Wonderful, and Blessed Effects thereof.
IV. The great Motives we have to believe and obey the Doctrine of Christ, which was preached and established with so much Authority, and the Truth thereof attested and confirmed with so many infallible Proofs and Miracles wrought by the Apostles and their Followers.
Here I particularly apply'd my self to shew the Inexcusableness of our rejecting, or living contrary to that Divine Doctrine; and the high and indispensable Obligation we were under of departing from all Iniquity, and leading holy Lives, conformable to the Rules and Precepts, as well as the Practice of our Saviour and his Apostles.
Those were the principal Points on which I discoursed, both in the Morning and the Afternoon of that Day; Concluding (at both times) with an Exhortation suitable to the Auditory in general, and to the Condemned in particular.
On the Lord's-Day following, being the 11th Instant, I preached to them again, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon Joh. 3, 3. Part of the Gospel for the Day, and the Words these. Jesus answered, and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a Man be born again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
From which Words (spoken by our SAVIOUR to Nicodemus, a Ruler of the Jews) I shew'd,
I. What it is to be born again; viz To be regenerated and renew'd by the Spirit of God, transforming us, and changing our Inclinations and Affections from Evil to Good, &c.
II. What is meant by the Kingdom of God, viz. 1st, The State of Grace, into which we are brought by the Gospel and the Spirit of Christ. And 2dly, The State of Glory and Happiness in Heaven, which is consequent thereupon; and will be the Portion of those who in this World shall have lived and died in that State of Grace. This is the Kingdom of God, which we shall see, that is, come to the Possession and Enjoyment of, through Regeneration and Sanctification, which is the New-Birth and Life of our Souls.
On these two Heads I enlarged, and then proceeded to discourse upon the following Particulars: Wherein I shew'd,
I. How habitual Sin is opposite to the New-Birth, and deprives Men of the great Priviledges and Advantages of it. And therefore.
II. How much it concerns Men earnestly to call for the Divine Grace, and thereby recover themselves out of that miserable State into which they are brought by Sin; and in which, if they should continue, they must unavoidably perish for ever.
After I had treated of these, and by many pressing Motives and Considerations, inforced the Duty of Faith and Repentance; I, in the Conclusion, made a particular Application to the Condemned Persons, whom I visited, taught, and pray'd with every Day, both Morning and Afternoon, whilst under this Condemnation. And indeed, I must (though with Dissatisfaction) say, that they appear'd very little concern'd for their future State, and were very stupid and hard to be wrought upon, when I came first to attend them, and prepare them for Death: though afterwards they seem'd to be somewhat awaken'd out of their spiritual Lethargy, and soften'd and dispos'd to receive the Means of Salvation, which they express'd their Desires of.
On the Lord's-Day, the 18th Instant, I likewise preached again to them, upon part of the Gospel for the Day, viz. Luke 16. 23, & 24. And in Hell he lift up his Eyes, being in Torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bosom. And he cry'd, and said, Father Abraham, have Mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the Tip of his Finger in Water, and cool my Tongue; for I am tormenced in this Flame.
From these Words first explain'd with their Context, I shew'd, 1st, That the Soul is capable of an Existence separated from the Body. 2dly, That the Souls of good Men and true Penitents, when they depart from their Bodies, immediately pass into a State of Blessedness. And 3dly, That the Souls of Wicked Men and impenitent Sinners, do, at their Departure out of their Bodies, presently fall into a State of Misery. And then from these Particulars I further proceeded to discourse more at large upon these 3 following Heads, viz.
I. The dreadful Torments of the Damned in Hell, who (like the Rich-man in the Parable, of which the Text is a part) cannot obtain so much as a drop of Water to ease and cool their burning Thirst.
II. The Happiness of the Blessed in Heaven, who (after the Miseries of this Life are over) do, like Lazarus, enjoy perpetual Rest and Felicity in the Bosom of God their Father.
III. The Certainty and Eternity of both these, i. e. the Punishment of the Wicked, and Reward of the Good.
Having gone through these in order, I apply'd my self, in a particular manner, with suitable Exhortations to the Condemned, who in the Sequel of my publick and private Discourses with them, made their respective Confessions to me, as follows.
I. Thomas Hunter, cast upon four Indictments, viz. for breaking and entring the Houses of Mr. Isaac Bird, Mr. Samuel Farmer, and Mrs. Margaret Christian, and taking several Goods out of those Houses; and also for receiving and carrying away Goods that were taken, by one of his Gang, out of the House of Mr. Henry Gibbs. All which Burglaries and Felonies he confessed himself guilty of, as likewise of several other ill Facts he had committed; which, he said, he was sorry for, but could make no Amends, either by himself or others, to the Parties thus wrong'd by him. He pray'd, that God would bless them, and forgive him. He told me, he was but 23 Years of Age (a young Man, but an old Offender) born in the Parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate: That he had very honest Parents, but would not obey them, nor be ruled by them; and that he would never receive the Christian and Civil Education, which they endeavoured to give him: So that he was a most ignorant Person, that could neither read, nor write, neither did (before now) know any thing in Religion; no, not so much as the Creed, or the Lord's-Prayer, or any Prayer at all. Which he now found to be a very great Want and Loss to him. And this he desired might be (as in some measure it was) supply'd by one that might read to him out of the Bible and other Godly Books, in the Condemned Hold, for the better improvement of his time there, and fixing upon his Mind those Instructions which he daily received both in publick and private, in the Chappel, and in my Closet at Newgate. In those private Discourses that I had with him, he told me, that in his younger Years, he served a Silver-Spinner , who at that time did not live far from his Mother's House without Bishopsgate; and that though he was not bound to him by any Indenture, yet he lived above seven Years with him: But when he came to grow up, & to understand himself better (as he said) he would no longer continue in that Service, because of his Master's great Severity to him. So he left him, and went to serve at an Ordinary or Victualing-House in St. Nicholas-Lane, London; where his chief Business was to look after the Cellar as a Cooper , &c. In this Service he remained about a Twelve-month, and then removed himself to another Victualing-House in East-Cheap, where he staid but a little while; and went to Sea in the Russel, a 3d Rate Ship, commanded by Captain Townsend, and was on board that Ship, when she went upon her Expedition to Belle-Isle in France. Having been about seven Months in that Service, he ran away from it; and falling upon Thieving (in which wicked Trade, he said, he had been inured by his former Practice of robbing of Orchards) he was in January last convicted of a Felony for privately stealing Goods out of the Shop of Monsieur Mosette, a French man: Upon which he received the Law, and was order'd into the QUEEN's Service, and accordingly listed by Capt. Belford belonging to the Marine Regiment . But after his Captain had taken him out of Newgate, and given him Liberty to see his Mother and other Friends, and dispatch some Business which he pretended he had, instead of returning to him at the appointed time, he betook himself to his old Trade of Thieving; and so having committed those Felonies and Burglaries first mention'd, he was soon brought to Newgate again. Out of which he own'd he deserv'd not to be deliver'd at so cheap a rate as he was before. He confessed, that he had been an incorrigible Sinner, addicted to most Vices, and perfectly averse from any
thing that was good: That he had prophaned the Lord's-Day, and wholly neglected the Service of God: and though he would sometime drop into a Church, yet, as it was not with any intent to do, or learn, any thing that might tend to the Good of his Soul; so he always came out as wicked and as ignorant as he went in; adding, that besides his Sins of Swearing and Drunkenness, he was very much given to Gaming, which hasten'd his Ruine; and that he had, for a great while, kept Company with lewd and wicked Persons, whom he desires to take Warning by his sad and shameful End, and not (like him) defer their Amendment, and stay till it be too late to prevent their own Destruction. He said, that though he had been such an ill Liver, and done many wicked things; yet (he thank'd God) he never committed Murther. Upon which, I starting the Question, he could not deny but that he would have done it, and had actually prepared himself for it, in case he had been oppos'd in the Execution of his wicked Designs. And hereupon I shew'd him that such a Disposition made him guilty of Murther before God, and he ought to repent of it, as if he had actually committed it. He hearken'd to what I said; and finding himself still more criminal than he thought he was, he express'd his Sorrow for the Wickedness of his Life, and the Hardness of his Heart; saying, that he wish'd he could do any thing to be saved, and desired my Prayers to God for him. He declared, that though he had been unjust to others, yet he never was so to the Masters he served, as to steal any thing from them; abating his drinking too freely, and making his Friends drink at the Cost of some of them. He begg'd Pardon of God, and of all Men he had offended, and said, he dy'd in Charity.
To all this he added, That of late he had robb'd several Goldsmiths, and particularly one near Charing-Cross about 6 Months ago, out of whose Shop (in which there was only an ancient Woman) he stole a Glass, and ran away with it up St. Martins-Lane, and so made his Escape; no Body laying hold on him, though they pursu'd him, and cry'd Thief after him: That not long after that, he stole a pair of Buckles from Mr. Dingley, a Goldsmith in Bishopsgate-street, which Jacob Valt a Dutchman was (upon Suspicion) sent into the Compter for it: And that in February last, he stole a Glass, with several rich Goods in it, from Mr. Fordham, a Goldsmith in Lumbard-street; taking it off his Compter, and carrying it to Richard Lewis's House in Baldwin's-Garden: Which Lewis, together with Jacob Valt abovenam'd, he said, were Confederates with him in this Robbery. Upon which Declaration of his, I endeavouring to make him sensible of the great Mischiefs he had done to the World; and asking him what Amends he had made, or could now make to the Persons he had thus wrong'd; he answer'd, that he was sorry he could not help them to their Goods again; but said, that Mr. Fordham had recover'd the greatest part of his from Mr. Segars, the Thief-taker, who had received them from Lewis, and gave the said Lewis a certain Sum of Money for them, which was divided among them three, i. e. Hunter, Lewis, and Valt, and Hunter had 12 or 14 Guinea's for his Share. The particular Circumstances of which Robbery he discover'd to me; and they were these. On the 11th Day of February last, about 6 in the Evening, he, and his two Companions, Lewis and Valt, set out upon a Design of robbing some Goldsmiths in Lumbard-street; and so accordingly he came to Mr. Fordham's Shop (while the other two were standing at some little distance off it) and took a Glass, as is aforesaid: which he carried to Lewis's House, and laid it on his Bed; and then all three broke the Glass open, and took the Goods out of it, which Lewis wrapt up in his Handkerchief, and put in his Pocket. This done, they carried the Glass to Red Lion-Fields, and there buried it in the ground; and thence (to avoid being suspected) made all the Haste they could to the Dog-Tavern near Newgate, where Sommers the Thief-taker came to them, and read aloud the Paper, which Mr. Fordham had sent abroad concerning his Loss; and thereupon Sommers asking them (and particularly Hunter) whether they knew any thing of it, they answer'd, no, though at the same time Lewis had about him all the Goods, that were mention'd in that Paper. But to remove all Suspicion of it from themselves, they immediately went to Mr. Segars in the Old Baily; where having staid a little while, and talked of the Matter, saying they knew nothing of it; yet they went to to the Three-Tun-Tavern on Ludgate-Hill; and then went all to Dice with others of their Acquaintance that came thither. And when they had play'd some time, and Hunter and Valt lost 10 l. which Lewis had then lent them; Hunter was for going home. So they returned to Lewis's House, and digg'd a hole in his Cellar, and there buried those stoln Goods of Mr. Fordham's, which Lewis had all this while been carrying about in his Pocket. But soon after this, Valt (as is noted before) being sent to the Compter in Woodstreet, as being suspected to have robb'd the said Mr. Dingley, they removed those Goods from the Cellar to the Chimney in the same House, for fear of being discovered by Valt, then under Restraint. In the mean time, Lewis acquainting Mr. Segars that he could procure the Goods, Mr. Segars, not long after, went with Lewis's Wife in a Coach to Lewis's House, and had the said goods deliver'd to him by Lewis.
II. Sebastian Reis, condemned for breaking the House of Mr. Sarsford, and that of Mr. Abbot, and taking several Goods out of them. He confess'd that he was guilty: But (to extenuate his Crime, and excuse himself) said, that he was drawn in by others, one whereof turned Evidence against him; and that he was concerned in the first of those Facts, no otherwise than that he knew of it, and should have gone and join'd with those that committed it, but that something prevented him. As for the other, he plainly own'd, he was actually in it, and did now find (by his own sad Experience) that besides the guilt wherewith he had tainted his own Soul by his Consent to, and Concealment of the first of those Crimes, and actual Commission of the other, he was a great Fool to have put it in the Power of any one to hang him. He protested to me, that he never was before guilty of such Facts, nor of any other that might have brought him to such an untimely End as this. However, he acknowledg'd the Justice of this his Condemnation, and pray'd that those whom he had wrong'd (to whom he could make no other Amends than by his Death) would forgive him, and that Almighty God would please to pardon these Sins, and all the Irregularities of his Life, which were great and many. He told me, that he was a German, of about 33 Years of Age, born at Minicken in the Elector of Bavaria's Country; and that his right Name was as I have set it above, and not (as in some other publick Prints) Augustine alias Sebastian, or Sylvester Rice: By which Names, or by any other than his own, he said, he never went. He said moreover, that he had served the EMPEROR, and afterwards King WILLIAM, in their Armies, but not very long; the chief Employment of his Life having been to work on his Trade of Shooe-Maker ; which he had served his Apprenticeship to, and us'd in his own Country; and also follow'd it in England; where, (viz. in the Parish of St. James Westminster) he had lived above 4 Years. He told me, he was marry'd to an English Woman, and a Protestant, though himself was brought up in the Romish Religion; in which, he said, he desired to die. He could read pretty well in his own Language, and seem'd to be very devout in his own Way, and was also very willing to hear me, and receive Instructions from me. Among his Devotions (as is usual with those of that Church) I found he had several Prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Saints: But yet he declared to me, that he was perswaded, his Prayers to GOD and CHRIST would do him the most good; and he profess'd to believe in, and rely upon the alone Merits of JESUS CHRIST for the Pardon of his Sins and eternal Life. Being told that he must throughly repent in this World of all the Evil he had done, or would have done, had he had Opportunity for it; this seem'd at first an unknown Doctrine to him: but at last he embraced it as most reasonable and most safe; saying, that he heartily repented of all his wicked Thoughts, Words, and Actions, and pray'd God to forgive him. When the Dead-Warrant was come, and he found that he must certainly die, he freely confess'd, that he was guilty before God of the first Fact abovemention'd: For his not being in Company with those that committed it, did arise only from his coming too late to meet them at the place they had appointed. And he acknowledg'd, that God was just, whose Divine Vengeance had overtaken him when he was like to have made his Escape from Justice, after he had broke out of the Gate-House, where he was at first a Prisoner.
This Day they being carry'd (in a Cart) to the Place of Execution, I met them there, and discharged my last Office to them by further Admonitions, Prayers, and Singing of Psalms. They did not say much there, but only desired all Standers-by and others, (and particularly young People engaged in wiched Courses) to take Warning by them, and amend their Lives; and so avoid their Ruine. Which God grant they may do. After this I left them with my Commendatory Prayer for God's Mercy to them, and their Souls Health. When I was retired from them, some further time was allow'd them for their private Devotions, Then the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off; calling upon God to have Mercy on their Souls.
This is all the Account which (in this Haste and Shortness of Time) can be given by
Wed. May. 21.1704.
WHEREAS some Persons take the Liberty of putting out Sha-Papers, pretending to give an Account of the Malefactors that are Executed; in which Papers they are so defective & unjust, as sometimes to mistake even their Names and Crimes, and often (as lately in the Case of Mr. Harlackendon) quite misrepresent the State they plainly appear to be in under their Condemnation, and at the time of their Death: To prevent which great Abuses, These are to give Notice, That the only true Account of the Dying Criminals, is that which comes out the next Day after their Execution, about 8 in the Morning, the Title whereof constantly begins with these Words, The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, &c. In which Paper (the better to distinguish it from Counterfeits) are set down the Heads of the several Sermons preach'd before the Condemned; and after their Confessions and Prayers, an Attestation thereto under the Ordinary's Hand, that is, his Name at length; and at the bottom the Printer's Name,
J. Downing in Bartholomew-Close near West-Smithfield, 1704.