The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 18th day of May, 1709.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 4th, 5th, and 6th of this instant May, Four Persons received Sentence of Death. Two of them are Reprieved; and the other Two are now order'd for Execution.
When they had received their Sentence, I visited them; and so continu'd to do, all the time they were under this Condemnation, during which I had them twice every day brought up to the Chapel, where I pray'd with them, and expounded the Word of God to them; using all the Arguments from Scripture and Reason, which I thought proper to awaken their Sin-stupify'd Souls unto Repentance and Righteousness.
On the Lord's Day, the 8th instant, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon 2 Cor. 5. 10; the Words being these. For we must all appear before the Judgment-Seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his Body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.
From the Text I laid down this Proposition, viz.
That all Men, whether Rich or Poor, High or Low, Learned or Unlearn'd, Good or Bad; of what Country or Nation, Rank or Condition, Profession or Capacity soever (every one of them, without any exception) shall be summon'd and bound to appear at the great Assizes, before the great Judge of all the World; there to answer for, and give a strict Account of what they shall have done while they liv'd here, and so receive Sentence accordingly; i. e. such a Sentence as they shall have deserved, either for their good or bad Deeds, and likewise for their Words and Thoughts, which shall also come under Examination, be narrowly sifted and search'd into, and have an irreversible Judgment pass'd upon them, at that dreadful Tribunal; at which both Men and Angels shall stand.
To illustrate this Proposition, I proceeded distinctly to shew,
I. The Certainty and Unavoidableness of a future Judgment; and When, and What that Judgment shall be.
II. The dreadful Punishment that will be then and for ever inflicted upon impenitent Sinners.
III. The Eternal Happiness and Glory they shall be advanced to in the next World, who (when they come to be judged) shall be found to have liv'd, or at least dy'd, well in this.
IV. and lastly, How the Sinner might avoid, though not the Judgment it self, yet the Condemnation of it, and obtain a Life of Happiness and Glory, which shall last as long as God, i. e. to all Ages of Eternity.
On the last Lord's Day, the 15th instant, I preach'd again to them, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon Deut. 5. 29. (Part of the First Evening-Lesson) Oh! that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my Commandments always: that it might be well with them and with their Children for ever.
From which Words, first Paraphrastically and Historically explain'd, I then proceeded to shew,
I. What that Duty is, which is here requir'd, and how it may and ought to be perform'd.
II. The great Reward promis'd to this Performance.
III. The transcendent Love of God to Men, express'd in this pathetick and most compassionate Wish in the Text, Oh! that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me - That it might be well with them -.
IV. and lastly, The terrible Punishment they shall receive, who unworthily neglect the Duty, reject the Reward, and slight the Love of God, so visibly shewn in his great concern for the Welfare and Happiness of Men.
I inlarged upon these, and concluded all my publick Discourses with a particular Application to the Condemn'd; whom I did then, and from day to day, exhort to Faith and Repentance, that they might obtain Pardon and Salvation, through the infinite Merits of JESUS CHRIST, who shed his most precious Blood for the Redemption of such Sinners as stedfastly believed in Him, and truly repented of all their Sins.
I found all these Condemned Persons, as well the Two that are Reprieved (who I hope will duly improve this great Mercy) as the other Two that are to Die, very attentive to the Word of God; behaving themselves with that Decency, Humility and Devotion, which became such. And the two last, viz. Dove and Harris, particularly express'd a great abhorrence of their Sins, and desire of God's Grace and Favour, and to be renew'd and chang'd in their stubborn corrupt Nature, and brought into a State of Purity and Holiness, by the Power of his Divine Spirit; which they implor'd, and which they were made sensible was the thing they stood most in need of, in order to their Eternal Salvation.
In my private Conversations with them, they gave me the respective Accounts of themselves, which follow.
I. Richard Dove, condemn'd for High-Treason in counterfeiting and defacing the currant Coin of this Kingdom. He readily confess'd, That he was guilty of this Fact; but said, That the Evidence against him had induc'd him to it; That he had not been at this Work above 4 hours; and that he did neither like it, nor intended to have follow'd it. He told me, he was about 40 years of age or more, born in the Corner-house of Blowbladder-street, London; That he serv'd his Prentiship with his Father-in-Law, a Working Silver-Smith in Gutter-Lane; with whom he continued a while after his time of Servitude was over, and robb'd him of a considerable quantity of Plate. Then he learned the Art of Weaving Lace for Women's Stays , and kept several Journey-men at that Work for some time. Afterwards he apply'd himself to the Trade of Founding , and making Brass-Buttons and other Brass-things for Cabinets: And so by this he fell upon that of Coining. He own'd he had, from his Youth till now, been very viciously inclin'd: That he was disobedient to his Parents, and wrong'd both them and other Persons, stealing whatever he could from them: That he had been very unkind to his former Wife, who was a very good Woman, with whom he liv'd about nine years, and by whom he had six Children, whereof four are now alive; and had been no better to his Second Wife, he having lived from first to last in Adultery with other Women; and thereby not only troubled their Minds, but distemper'd their Bodies, bringing to them that foul Disease, which he had got by his lewd Practices and debauch'd Life. He express'd a great deal of Sorrow for all that Wickedness of which he was so highly guilty, having liv'd so contrary to the knowledg he had of good things from that Education his honest Parents had taken care to give him; the remembrance of which Abuse was now very grievous to him, as he said; adding, That if he were to live again in the World, he hop'd he should be wiser and better; for he found he had now a great abhorrence of those Vices he so much delighted in before; and would not for all the World commit them again, or any other Sin wilfully, were he at liberty so to do. He asked Pardon of God, of the Queen, and of his present Wife, whom he had forsaken soon after they were marry'd. He further declar'd, That he forgave the Party who had (and that very much against his Mind) perswaded him to this Fact, of which he afterwards accus'd and convicted him, and for which he is now to die; yet own'd his Sentence to be just; but said, that he was unkind, who having allured him into it, brought all this Calamity not only upon himself, but he fears on his Children too, who may suffer by his shameful Death. He said, he was nevertheless in Charity with him, as likewise with all the World besides, and pray'd that God would forgive his Enemies, as he from his Heart forgave them: Adding to all this, That he thought himself bound in Conscience to declare, that Ann Martin his Servant knew nothing at all of the Fact for which she was indicted with him, and of which she was therefore justly acquitted. And as to her living with him in a lascivious way, he said, That himself was in the fault; for
she being young and simple, he deluded her and drew her into it, before she was well aware of the Sinfulness of such unclean actions.
He moreover added, That when he work'd with his Father-in-Law (and that is above 20 years ago) he stole a Watch of a certain Person, who enquiring after it, and search being made for it among his Things, it was found there, and with it 150 Ounces of Silver, and a Silver-Porringer, which he had stoln from his said Father-in-Law. The Silver was not so presently miss'd, but the Porringer was, and he laid it upon the Maid that was then a Servant in the House, whose Name he has forgot. She was thereupon had before Sir William Turner, and he does not remember what was done with her. But now he is sorry, that he was so base as to do such a wicked thing (and that too in his Parents House) and charge it upon a poor innocent Maid, who (he fears) has much suffer'd, and may still suffer by it; it not being now in his power to make her sufficient Amends for so great an Injury.
II. Mark Harris, condemn'd for several Felonies and Robberies, in breaking open the Houses of Edward Gould Esq; on the 30th of August 1706; of John Waters Esq; about Easter 1707; of Mr. Thomas Allison, in February, 1708; and another House on the 24th day of March last; and taking out of those Houses, Plate, Linnen, and other Goods of considerable value. He confess'd, he was guilty of all these Robberies, except that of Mr. Gould; saying, That the first he ever committed, or was concern'd in, was that in Mr. Waters's House, a long time before Mr. Gould's House was robb'd, which was twice so, viz. the first time by N. P. and J. C. and the second time by J. C. and J. H. as they told him themselves some years after, when he came to be acquainted with them. I spare naming them here at large, in hopes that they will reform: But if they do not, I may likely have them in my Papers hereafter; which I wish they would take care to prevent, by becoming honest Men in good earnest. But to return to this Malefactor now under consideration, viz. Mark Harris: He said, he was above 30 years of age, born at Newport-Pannel in Buckinghamshire, and was a Carpenter by his Trade, which he exercis'd first in his own Town and thereabouts, and then went to work at Highgate, where he liv'd 2 years in good repute. Afterwards he settled with his Family in Stepney Parish, in which he continu'd 4 years, and pass'd there among his Neighbours for an honest Man; he doing nothing there that should bespeak him otherwise. But it was his unhappiness when he lived at Highgate to become acquainted with J. C. who being a Bricklayer, and he a House-Carpenter, it once or twice fell out that they were at work together at the same House: And so in process of time, the said J. C. induc'd him to go with him and assist him in his Robberies and Burglaries; of which he said (with Tears in his Eyes, and I hope true Sorrow in his Heart) he repented, and wish'd he could make full Satisfaction to the Persons he had wrong'd, but he had not wherewithal; neither did he receive much for his part out of what was then stoln; for J. C. and others concerned with him, had the disposal of those Goods, and the greatest share therein. He desired all to forgive him, as he forgave both them who had been the wicked Instruments of his Ruin, and all others that had injur'd him; and wish'd that none would, upon the account of his vicious Life and shameful Death, reflect on his Wife, who was a very good and honest Woman, and pray'd God to bless both her and their two small Children he leaves alive behind him, with that within her Womb, she being big with Child. He own'd, that God was just in bringing this Condemnation upon him; for he had very much neglected his Service, both in publick and private, and had been guilty of Whoredom, Drinking, and Swearing; But he hop'd he had truly repented of those and other Sins, and had utterly forsaken them, and that if he were to live longer in this World, he would live a better Life. This was (he said) his present Resolution and Desire, which he pray'd to God he might have Grace to perform, had he time and space for it.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were carry'd, viz. Dove on a Sledg, and Harris in a Cart, I attended 'em for the last time; and, according to my usual manner, pray'd with them, and made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, and sing some Penitential Psalms. When this was done, and they had spoken to the Standers-by some few Words, to the same effect as that which is contain'd in their Confessions to me, and wish'd that they would all of them take Warning by this Their Untimely End, and pray for Them while they were alive; I then recommended them again to God's Mercy, and so retir'd from them. They had some time allow'd them for their private Devotions; and after that, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off; all the while calling upon God, to forgive their Sins, and receive their Souls. In which they were very earnest, using many pious Ejaculations, which they utter'd so fast, that they were not all of them intelligible to those who were about them; but, I hope God heard them.
Richard Dove gave me, at the Tree, a Paper, written (as he said) with his own Hand, which containing the same in substance with what he had before declar'd privately to me, and now openly in this Place, there is no need for me to trouble the World with a Copy of it, only I shall here add his last Prayer at the end of that Paper, which is as follows.
I do freely forgive all Men. Do thou Lord forgive them also, as I do desire all whom I have wrong'd and offended, that they would forgive me. So I beseech thee, O Lord, to bless them, and do good to them for the Evil that I have done them. Have mercy on all those to whose Sins I have been any ways accessary, and give them all Grace to repent themselves, and to forgive me. O Lord! seeing my Crimes cut me off from doing good to others by my Life, let my Death be of this good use to others, that those whom my Life has led to Sin, may by my Death be led to Repentance. And that all who are engaged in the like evil Courses, seeing or hearing of my Punishment, may take Warning, and fear, and do no more so wickedly.
This is all the Account, which in this Hurry can be given of these Dying Malefactors, by me,
Wednesday, May 18, 1709.
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