The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that was Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 3d day of August, 1709.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday and Thursday, the 20th and 21st of July, last past; Four Persons receiv'd Sentence of Death. Two of them are now order'd for Execution, and the other Two have obtain'd HER MAJESTIE's gracious Reprieve; which (if they be wise) they will take care to improve according to the intent thereof, and as it becomes and concerns them; that is, Not to follow any more that wicked Course of Life, in which (it seems) they have not been long engaged; and therefore so much the more easie for them to leave it off, and the more hope there is that they will do so, and seriously apply themselves to that which is opposite to such a wicked Course, viz. Religion and Virtue; which will make their Life comfortable and happy in this World, and secure to them Eternal Life and all blisful Enjoyments in the World to come.
While they lay under this Condemnation I constantly visited them, and had them brought up to the Chapel twice every day: And there I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of God to them; giving them such Instructions and Exhortations, and endeavouring to exercise them in such a Course of Devotion, as I thought most conducive to the healing of their Sin-sick Souls.
On the Lord's Day the 24th of July last, I preach'd to them and other Prisoners in Newgate in the audience of a great many Strangers, that resorted thither, some out of Devotion, and others out of Curiosity, as I may suppose: And I took for my Text in the Morning these Words of the Apostle, Rom. 6. 23. For the Wages of Sin is Death; but the Gift of God is Eternal Life, through JESUS CHRIST Our Lord.
From which Words, I shew'd;
I. How the Reward or Wages due to Men for their Sins, is Shame, and Misery; and Death at last.
1. It is Temporal Death, which all Men, both Religious and Wicked, must expect, and can by no means escape: For it is appointed unto Men once to die. And this Death some Men, by Intemperance, Rashness, Capital Crimes &c. (as we do see) too often hasten, and bring sooner upon themselves, than Nature would have done.
2. The Reward or Wages of Sin, is chiefly Eternal Death, which they must inevitably undergo, who shall carry into the other World, the guilt of their Sins committed, and unrepented of in this.
II. How the End of Holiness here, is Eternal Life hereafter, which God freely bestows, as a gracious Gift, on Believers and true Penitents, for the sake and thro' the Merits of Christ, and not for any Merits or Worthiness of their own; the Apostle shewing, That though Death be the due Wages and just Reward of Sin, yet Eternal Life is not a Reward due to Men upon the account of any their Works or Deserts; but (as in the Variation of the Phrase he expresses it) it is the Gift of God through JESUS CHRIST Our Lord.
That was the Subject-matter of my Discourse in the Morning.
And in the Afternoon I preach'd upon this Text, Heb. 9th Chap. the latter part of the 27th Verse. It is appointed unto Men once to Die; but after this, the Judgment.
Having first open'd the Text, and shew'd how few Persons (viz. Enoch and Elijah) have been exempted from Death, and excepted from this general Rule, That Men are appointed to Die once in this World, which is the first Clause of the Text, and is provable from our daily Experience and Observation; I then proceeded to the Second, which clearly discovers to us; That after this Death there is a Judgment, which all Men must look for in the other World.
And what that Judgment will be, I shew'd from several places of Scripture; and endeavour'd to make my Hearers (particularly the Condemned) sensible of the great importance it was to Men to die well; because they die but Once, but that Once is for Erernity.
To imprint this Truth upon their Hearts and Minds, I lay'd before them these Considerations, viz.
I. That this Life is the only time we have allotted to us to prepare our selves for Death, and for that State which is immediately to ensue after it; and, That Faith and Repentance are the great Graces necessary for this Preparation.
II. That when Death has once given the determining Stroke, and put a final Period to this mortal Life, our day of Grace (if it was not so before) then certainly will be at an end, and we shall not be able to repent to any good purpose.
III. and lastly, That as a necessary Consequence of both these, Judgment will seize on us just upon our departure out of this World; and as Death once finds us, so it will for ever leave us: For according as we are then prepar'd, our Souls shall in that instant be translated into an irreversible and eternal State, either of Happiness or Misery.
On those Three Heads I inlarg'd; explaining to my Auditory the State of another World, and shewing them how to avoid the Misery, and obtain the Happiness of it. And I concluded this, as I did my Morning's Discourse, with a pressing Exhortation to the Persons condemn'd, That they would endeavour to redeem the time they had mispent, and make a due Preparation for a happy Eternity.
Upon the last Lord's Day the 31st of July, I preach'd again to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, on part of the Gospel for the Day, viz. Mat. 5. 20. For I say unto You, That except your Righteousness shall exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
From which Words of our Blessed Saviour, I did these Three Things.
I. I shew'd the Drift and Design of the Christian Religion.
II. I stated the Comparison between it and the Pharisaical Religion; shewing how the Sin of Hypocrisie will exclude and shut Men out of Heaven.
III. I gave them some Directions for the sincere Practice of true Religion and Virtue.
And lastly, I drew those Practical Inferences which naturally flow from the Doctrine in the Text.
And concluded all with proper Exhortations to the Condemn'd, who seemed attentive to such Instructions and Admonitions, as were then (and daily) given them: Yet I fear, some of them still harbour'd Worldly Thoughts in their Breasts, and turn'd that long time granted them for their Preparation for Death, into Contrivances and Designs how to avoid and escape it.
Now, as to the Account which they gave me of themselves, it is as follows.
I. Thomas Sollars, Condemned for three Robberies committed by him and two other Persons on the Queen's High-way, the 22d of June last past. He readily confess'd, that he was guilty of all those Robberies; but withal said, That a certain Person (who shall here be mention'd under J. P.) had induced him to the Commission of them; and that the said J. P. was the Man, who had drawn him before into a Business that was like to have cost him his Life; viz. that Burglary which he took a Trial and received Sentence of Death in the Old-Baily, on the 16th day of Octob. 1708, and had since (and that very lately too) obtain'd his Pardon for: And yet, notwithstanding the Mercy he had thus received, he was soon tempted to transgress again, even by him who had been the unhappy Occasion of his former Troubles, and had then brought him to Ruin and to his Death, had not Mercy interven'd. Which Mercy as he had so unworthily abus'd, so he confess'd, that now he highly deserved what the Law had laid upon him, and that he was justly condemned, and had nothing to say for himself, but willingly submitted to his Sentence; and pray'd to God, That he would please to forgive him all his Sins, which were many and great; and that those Persons whom he had
wrong'd in any wise, would forgive him also, as he for his part freely forgave all the World (that was his Expression) and him particularly who had led him away, and was the cause of this his unhappy Death; wishing that wicked Man might reform, and prevent the like shameful and untimely End.
Upon my asking him, What sort of Life he had formerly led: He told me, That in his younger years his Father, who had a little Farm, kept him to Husbandry ; but he not liking that Labour, came up to London, to live with an Uncle of his (a Fencing-Master,) who dying after he had been about three quarters of a year with him, went to live with his own Brother, a Farrier, and would have been of his Occupation; but his Brother would not take him for his Apprentice, as not thinking it fit that they both should be of the same Trade; and so, advis'd him to choose another which he did; and bound himself to a Carpenter , an Inhabitant of the Parish of St. Andrew Holborn, and served five years of his Time with him. But an Aunt of his, who was also his Godmother, happening then to die, and leaving him one Hundred Pounds, he presently bought off the two remaining years, which he should have served; and work'd Journey-work for some time. And then it was, that J. P. a Carpenter also, being employ'd by his Master, became acquainted with him, and knowing he had Money, borrow'd some of him; and as he was one day asking him for it, the said J. P. appointed him to meet him one morning early by the Conduit in Cheapside: To which Place he then went accordingly; and there the said J. P. instead of Money, gave him some few good Words, and made him fair Promises to pay him very suddenly; and in the mean time desir'd him to carry a Bundle of some things, (he knew not what) to his Lodgings, at the Three Mariners at Mile-end: Which he willingly undertook to perform, though he suppos'd they were stoln Goods, as they prov'd afterwards, when he was seiz'd with them, and (as is said before) took a Trial for them, in which he was cast for his Life, while the other (viz. J. P.) made his Escape beyond Sea, and was not heard of, till he the said Sollars had been repriev'd a good while, and was within a few weeks of coming out of Goal, by vertue of the Pardon he then expected; at which time J. P. first sent Edward Juice to him in Newgate, to know how it fared with him, and then came himself to visit him there. And when he had pleaded his Pardon, and had obtain'd his Liberty, the said J. P. follow'd him close every where, and would be always with him; and particularly that Night the foremention'd Robberies were committed, he came to his Company, and brought the said Juice with him, who (he said) was his Brother-Soldier; but Sollars knew him no otherwise than by his having formerly come to Newgate, to visit him there, from J. P. This is the Substance of a long confused Account he gave me of this J. P's deluding him both first and last, and cheating him not only of his Money (for he never paid him all) but of his Life too. And this further Account he gave me with relation to himself, That he was about 25 years of age, born of very honest Parents, at Hampton in Herefordshire; where he was, by their Care, brought up in a virtuous and religious way; but his unhappy Byass and Inclination to Vice made him neglect the practice of the Good Things that were taught him, and follow that Wicked Course which brought GOD's Judgments upon him, and got him the Ill-will of his honest Relations; who knowing of his Wickedness, could not abide him, neither were willing to do any thing for him. This is what he told me of them, and acknowledg'd, that they dealt with him as he deserv'd, who was so great a Scandal to the World, and a Reproach to his Friends.
II. Richard Juice, condemn'd for the three Robberies above-mention'd, in which he was concern'd with the afore-nam'd Thomas Sollars, and a third Person not yet apprehended, who then made his escape, and left both Sollars and him to answer for these Facts, into the commission of which, they both declar'd that Person had brought them. This Richard Juice nevertheless acknowledg'd his Guilt, for having been consenting thereto, and assisting the others therein: but he said, they were not three, but two Robberies; the one committed in Lambs-conduit-fields, upon a Servant of the Lord Chief-Justice Holt's; and the other presently after that, upon two Gentlemen in a Coach, coming from Marybone; and he thought that his having had three Trials, as for three distinct Facts, made him appear so much the greater Offender. But I satisfied him in that, and made him sensible, that there was no reason for this his Nicety in making such a distinction or difference between robbing two Persons singly, or when in company together. And so he agreed with me, that either way made him equally criminal. Now the Person that induc'd him to commit those Robberies, was the same mention'd in the foregoing Confession under J. P. who was a Soldier with him in the First Regiment of the QUEEN's Foot-Guard, and had brought him into the company of Thomas Sollars the Night when those Robberies were committed, in which, he said, Sollars was most active; for he first set on him they robb'd in Lambs-conduit-fields; and after this, as they were walking on all-together towards Marybone, he suddenly snatch'd his the said Juice's Sword from his Side, and with it assaulted the two Gentlemen in the Coach, whom they robb'd there; J. P. and himself joyning in those Facts: But he said, he was surpriz'd and hurried into them; for he neither knew nor intended any such thing when he first set out with J. P. and Sollars.
He further said, That he was about 23 years of age, born of poor (but honest) Parents, at a place call'd March in the Isle of Ely; and liv'd for the most part at Thorney, not far off Ely, where he follow'd Husbandry , till he took a fancy to come up to London, in hopes of finding some Employment there, that might be better for him than Country-Labour: But being disappointed in his hopes, and wanting Money, he went to the Tower and listed himself a Soldier in Brigadier Totton's Company, under Col. Bull, in the First Regiment of Foot-Guard, in which he serv'd about six months, and was actually in the Service when taken. He confess'd he had liv'd in great neglect of GOD's Service, and been a prophane Swearer; for which, and all other Sins, he ask'd GOD's Pardon. He told me, that he never was concern'd in any Theft or Robbery whatever, except these for which he is to die; and, that his Companions were the chief Actors therein, and he did not so much as know what they took, but only had six Guineas of them for his share in the Booty, which was what they thought fit to give him, for his standing by 'em in those Facts. This is the substance of what he declar'd to me, when I had him under examination.
Now this Day being come, on which they were to suffer according to their Deserts and the Sentence pass'd upon 'em, they were carried in a Cart to the place of Execution, where I attended them for the last time; and having perform'd my Ministerial Function to them, as I us'd to do on such melancholy occasions, Sollars deliver'd to me a Paper, which he said contain'd nothing but Truth, desiring me to impart it to the Publick: Then I withdrew from them. They made a short Speech to the Spectators, which was to this effect, viz. That they would take Warning by them, and keep themselves from all Ill Company: That they would serve GOD, and keep the Sabbath-day: And, That they would now pray for their departing Souls. They declared, That they died in Charity with all Men. And Sollars said for himself, That he was not guilty of many ill things he was suspected of; but for the Crimes for which he died, he own'd with sorrow he had committed them. And then added, That no Man ever more willingly and heartily died than he did; hoping that GOD would have Mercy upon him.
When they had done speaking to the People, they apply'd themselves to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allow'd them: Afterwards the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off; all the while calling upon GOD (for CHRIST's sake) to take pity of them, and have mercy upon their Souls.
I Do declare, That the Nine pounds that was by me left in Captain Giles Hands, in the presence of Jane Hill, was only for a Security for my appearance to march with the Captain when he was ready to go, and then the Money was to be return'd to me again: And, That I do not know that any other person paid the Captain any Money. This is Truth, as I am a Dying Man. Witness my Hand, this Third Day of August, 1709. Thomas Sollars.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons, by me,
Wednesday, August 3, 1709