The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were order'd to be Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday, the 28th of April, 1708.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday the 14th, and Thursday the 15th instant, David Baily receiv'd Sentence of Death for Murther; William Greg, who had receiv'd his two Sessions before, for High-Treason, was now order'd to prepare himself for his approaching execution; and John Morgridge, who was try'd at the Old-Baily in July 1706, and since fled from Justice, but was afterwards taken at Gant in Flanders, and lately brought to Newgate again, had Sentence pass'd upon him at the Queens-Bench-Bar in Westminster, on Wednesday the 21st instant, for killing Mr. William Cope on the 17th of June, 1706.
On the LORD's Day, the 18th instant, I preach'd to them and others there present, viz. in the Morning, on Mark Ch. I. the latter part of the 15th Verse, the words being these: Repent ye, and believe the Gospel. Which I shew'd to be the first Words of the first Sermon preach'd by CHRIST, containing the whole Tenour of what the Gospel requires of us, in order to our Salvation, and therefore highly deserving our utmost attention and regard. From which words I took occasion to explain the Doctrine
I. Of Faith.
II. Of Repentance.
And then I ended the Discourse with a particular Application and Exhortation to the Condemn'd.
On this LORD's Day I preach'd again in the Afternoon, and my Text was taken out of Eccl. Ch. II, Ver. 9, the Words being these: Rejoyce, O Young-man, in thy Youth, and let thy Heart chear thee in the days of thy Youth, and walk in the Ways of thy Heart, and in the Sight of thine Eyes: But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into Judgment. In speaking to which Words, I laid down these distinct Propositions.
I. That there is a Judgment to come.
II. That every Man shall be brought to that Judgment; which will be very strict and severe against impenitent and harden'd Sinners.
III. That GOD, the Great Judge of all the World, is He who will bring Men to Judgment.
IV. That the Matter of that Judgment will be the Ways of Men's Hearts; which implies, their Thoughts, Words, and Actions.
V. and lastly, That all this is most certain and evident from this positive Expression in the Text, Know thou. For here we may observe, that Solomon does not say, Thou may'st think, or suppose, or believe; but, Know thou, &c.
Having largely discours'd upon those several Heads, I then resum'd the Subject of Repentance, which I had handled in the Morning, and endeavour'd to perswade my Auditory, particularly the Condemn'd. That unless they truly repented of all their Sins, and clear'd their Consciences, by a free and open Confession of those Crimes they were to die for, they would in a few Days be brought before the dreadful Tribunal of God, and there have a severe Judgment pass'd upon them; of which there was no more reason for them to doubt, than if they sensibly heard a Voice from Heaven, saying to each of 'em, Thou shalt be brought to Judgment.
On the last LORD's Day, the 25th instant, I preach'd to them both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon these words, Numb. xxxv. 31. Moreover, ye shall not take Satisfaction for the Life of a Murtherer, which is guilty of Death: But he shall be surely put to Death.
Which Words, and those they refer to, I first explain'd in general; and then proceeded to shew from them,
I. The Nature and Heinousness of the Crime of Murther.
II. The Severity of the Punishment due to it, which in this World is irremissible, as the Fact is irreparable.
III. and lastly, To what degree of Penitence the Person who is guilty of it, ought to endeavour to come up, praying to God, with holy David, Psal. 51. 14. to deliver him from Bloodguiltiness; that so he may not carry this Guilt with him into that other World, where Justice will be infinitely most severe and unavoidable, and the Punishment intolerable and endless.
In discoursing upon which Particulars I endeavour'd to make it appear, That all those who contrive the Ruin of others, whether of Single Persons or Communities, are Traytors and Rebels; yea, all those that hate (or do not love) their Neighbours, are Murtherers. This I prov'd from the Scriptures: And then desir'd every one that heard me, and was concern'd herein, to make the Application to himself.
On the following Days, to that of their Execution, I attended them, and constantly preach'd to them Repentance towards GOD, and Faith in our Lord JESUS CHRIST. How they receiv'd this Doctrin, and seem'd to improve the Admonitions given them to that purpose, the Reader may judge by the Account of them, which here follows.
I. John Morgridge, Condemn'd for the Murther of Mr. William Cope. There being a great distance between the Commission of that Fact, and the Execution of the Sentence pass'd upon this Malefactor for it, I shall here refresh the Reader's Memory about it.
" Mr. Cope having got a Lieutenant's Commission, invited some Captains and other Gentlemen to dine with him " at the Dolphin-Tavern in Tower-street, on the 17th day of " June, 1706. One of those Gentlemen that were invited " did take Mr. Morgridge with him thither, assuring him, " that he should be as welcome to the Lieutenant as any " of the Company. Upon that he went; and after the " Dinner was over and paid for by Mr. Cope, they all staid " a while and had more Wine, and each Man paid Half a " Crown for his Club, and then they arose, and most of " them went away: But Mr. Morgridge, with some of the " Company, being invited by Mr. Cope to the Corpe-de-Garde, they went along with him, who call'd for Wine " as soon as they were come in. Two Bottles were accordingly brought in; and as they were drinking, a " Coach came to the Guard-room Door with a Woman " in it of no modest Behaviour, who ask'd for Captain " Cope. This Captain, as she call'd him, presently came " to the Coach, with Mr. Morgridge, and brought her into the Guard-room; where having been a little while, " she cry'd, Who shall pay for my Coach? Upon this Mr. Morgridge said, I will; and so discharg'd the Coach. " Then he offer'd to salute her, but she scornfully rejected him, and gave him ill Words; to which he made " Returns of the like kind. The Lieutenant took the Woman's part, and the Quarrel encreas'd, and came up to " a very high ferment, they (that is, Lieutenant Cope and " Mr. Morgridge) being very much in Drink, and therefore in a raging Passion, and not in a condition to consider, that they were contending about a lewd Woman, " which, had they been wise, they should both of them " have abhorr'd, as a very unfit Person to be entertain'd " by Gentlemen that have any thing (I will not only say " of Religion, but) of Honour and Valour in them. " Thus, being both very much in drink, they could not " keep their Passion within any bounds: They took the " Bottles which were upon the Table, and threw them at " each other's Head; and in that heat Mr. Morgridge " drew his Sword, and gave the Lieutenant a Thrust, of " which he dy'd immediately.
Upon which he was try'd at the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on the 3d, 4th, and 5th days of July, 1706; and a Special Verdict about the Matter was brought in by the Jury. Some time after this the Judges sate upon it, at the Queens-bench-Bar, and found him guilty of Wilful Murther. But in the mean time he making his Escape out of the Marshalsea, where he was then a Prisoner, Sentence could not be pass'd upon him till he was taken again. When he was so; as you have heard before, he receiv'd his Sentence; to which he seem'd willingly to submit, owning the Justice of it, tho' he declar'd he had no premeditated Malice against that Gentleman whom he had so unfortunately kill'd. He said, he heartily repented of it, and pray'd, that God would wash away the Stain, and deliver him from the Guilt of that Blood which he had so shed. He own'd that he had been a very great Sinner, but was sorry that he had any ways offended GOD and Man, and begged Pardon of both. And he further said, That he hoped, God would shew him Mercy in another World, because he was always grieving for his Sins, and particularly for
this, ever since he had made his Escape, and had no apprehension of being brought to Condemnation here for it. It was continually before him, and the remembrance of it was grievous to him: He made strong Resolutions to live otherwise, and was always praying to God to pardon him, and to keep him for the future. He acknowledg'd the Justice of God that had overtaken him, and would not suffer him to live long unpunish'd for this heinous Crime: He more and more lamented it; and seem'd not at all unwilling to suffer for it. He declar'd his being in Charity with all the World, even with those who had brought him to this his Punishment, and he pray'd for the Conversion of all wicked Persons, desiring that they would take Warning by his Fall. He told me he was above 40 years of age, born at Canterbury, of good Parents, and brought up in the Communion of the Church of England; That both his Father and Ancestors had had the honour to serve the Crown for above 200 years past; and, that himself was for a considerable time, a Kettle-drummer to the first Troop of Guards , and was going into a Commission when this melancholy Accident happen'd. I think that Strumpet, who was the unhappy Occasion of it, has a great deal to answer for before God, however secure she may fancy her self from Humane Laws; for she must expect some time or other (and that for ever too) to be severely punish'd for it, unless she repent. And God grant her Grace so to do, and seriously to consider that, besides other Mischiefs she may possibly have occasion'd, she has in their Case been the Cause of the Death of two Gentlemen, who might have been Serviceable to their Queen and Country.
II. David Baily, Condemn'd for the Murther of his own Brother, Mr. George Baily, on the 12th day of March last past. He was a Gentleman of a good Family, born in the North Parts of Great Britain; who had very good Education, and the Example of Religion and Virtue given him by his pious and godly Parents; but his Life had no ways been answerable to those great Advantages; for, by his own Confession, he had indulg'd himself in many Vices; which he was now very sorry for. He did for a great while deny his knowing any thing of the Fact for which he was to die, and obstinately persisted in that Denial to the Day before that of his Death, tho' great means were us'd to bring him to a free Confession and true Repentance: At last he own'd the Justice of his Sentence, and express'd his Sorrow for so great and so heinous a Crime. He all-along seem'd to be very stupid, and under some Melancholy; but whether that was natural or accidental, is what I cannot determine. This only I will say, That the Horrour of such a Crime is enough to throw a Man into the greatest Distraction.
Being advis'd to clear his Conscience in all things, and to repair all the Injuries he had done to the World, so far as he was able; he would say nothing more, but that he was sorry for whatever he had done amiss; and sorry too that he could sorrow no more.
William Greg, condemn'd on the 19th of January last, for holding Correspondence with HER MAJESTY's Enemies. He readily acknowledg'd his Crime, and express'd great Sorrow for it. He was a Man of Parts, born at Montross, and brought up in the University of Aberdeen , in that part of Great Britain call'd Scotland, and had for some Years past been employ'd in Publick Affairs. He confess'd, that he had formerly indulg'd himself in Lewdness and filthy Pleasures; and that the Expence attending those sinful ways had brought him to Poverty, and Poverty had brought him to these Treasonable Practices. When, on Tuesday the 20th instant, the Death-Warrant was brought to him, and he had read it in my presence, I spoke to him to this effect: Mr. Greg, I suppose this does not surprize you; for I hope you have long before now been preparing your-self for Death, and are ready to leave this World at any Warning. To this he reply'd, This is what I have a long time expected. This is what I am continually waiting and preparing for. I have already receiv'd too much Mercy, both from God and the Queen, in having had so long time allotted me for this Preparation. I humbly submit and resign my self to the Divine Providence, and the Lord fit me for his Mercy. He outwardly appear'd to be in a good frame. He begg'd Pardon of God and the Queen, and of all he had offended; and all-along behav'd himself as one that was truly sensible of, and sorry for his Faults; so that if he was not a true Penitent, he certainly was one of the greatest Hypocrites in the World.
This Day they were demanded by the Sheriffs, and carried from Newgate, viz. Mr. Baily and Mr. Mergridge in a Coach with me, and Mr. Greg on a Sledge, to Tyburn; where I attended them for the last time. I exhorted them to stir up their Hearts more and more to God; I pray'd and sang some Penitential Psalms with them, and made them rehearse the Apostle's Creed. I ask'd them, whether they had any thing more to say before they left the World: To which they answer'd, No. 1.
They all desir'd the Spectators to pray for them; and Mr. Greg pray'd, That God would bless the Queen; from whom he had receiv'd so much Mercy in sparing him so long. And Mr. Morgridge did likewise pray for Her Majesty with an audible Voice. As for Mr. Baily, he was not so loud, but pray'd more to himself. And all of them were very earnest with God for Mercy, and seem'd to be in a penitent state. They all declar'd, they dy'd in Charity with all Mankind. After I had recommended their Souls to God in my last Prayer with them, they were left to their own private Devotions; for which, time was allow'd them. Then the Cart drew away while they were calling upon God to receive their Souls.
They had many excellent Ejaculatory Expressions, which cannot come in here, for want of room.
This is all the Account that in this hurry can be given of these Malefactors by
Wednesday, April 28. 1708.
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