The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at TYBURN, on Saturday, Dec. the 22d 1711.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant, several Persons (viz. 7 Men and 4 Women) being Try'd, and Convicted of divers Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death accordingly; and another Woman, condemn'd the Sessions before, and then Repriev'd, was now call'd to her former Judgment, and advis'd to prepare for another World. Of these twelve Persons, 9 having obtain'd the Mercy of the QUEEN's most gracious Reprieve (which I hope they will take care to improve) only 3 are now order'd for Execution.
While they lay under this Condemnation, I constantly visited them, and had them brought up twice every day, to the Chapel of Newgate, where I pray'd with them, and read and expounded he Word of GOD to them; endeavouring to make them sensible of their great need of Grace, and of what importance it was to them to implore it of that good and merciful God, who is always more ready to give, than Men can be to ask; and who (as he has declar'd) desires not the Death of Sinners, but that they should turn from their wicked ways, and live: i. e. that they would return to God by sincere Repentance, and Amendment of Life here, and so obtain (thro' a lively Faith in Christ) an Eternal Life of Bliss and Glory hereafter.
On the Lord's Day the 9th instant, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the Gospel for the Day, viz. Luke 21. 27. the Words being these; And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a Cloud with Power and great Glory.
Which Words I first explain'd in general; shewing, that they were spoken by our Blessed Saviour, who was that Son of Man, and is so call'd in divers Places of the New Testament, and particularly here, to denote, That as He took upon Him our Human Nature to redeem Mankind, so in that Nature He will appear when He shall come to judge the World.
Having enlarg'd on this, and observ'd from an ancient Father, That Christ, as God and Man, may be said to have three Comings; as,
1. He came among Men in time past, in the fulness of Times, saith St. Paul, Eph. 1. 10. When the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us, saith the holy Evangelist St. John, 1. 14.
2. He comes into Men in the time present by his Grace and Holy Spirit, which the Wicked do most unworthily reject: Behold, (saith he) I stand at the Door and knock, Rev. 3. 20.
3. He shall in the future come against Men, to judge both the Quick and Dead. This is an Article of our Christian Faith, which Sinners would do well to consider, so as to prepare against that terrible Day of Christ's Last (which is generally call'd his Second) Coming, he having but two in the Appearance of a Man, viz. these, already mention'd.
1st, When He was pleas'd to cloath himself with our Flesh, in which he appear'd with great Humility and Abjectness, being despis'd, reproach'd, and judg'd by wicked Men.
2dly, When He shall appear in his glorious Majesty, attended with Myriads of Angels, and shall judge all Men.
Of these two Comings of Christ I gave a Description, and then proceeded to discourse more fully upon the second, to which the first had a clear Aspect and near Relation; shewing,
I. The Certainty of Christ's Coming at the Last Day to judge the World.
II. The Uncertainty of the Time when He shall come.
III. The great Interest which all Men have to be always prepar'd for it, and for Death, which presently ushers them into Judgment; for as soon as the Soul is separated from the Body, a Sentence is privately pass'd upon it, either of Absolution or Condemnation; and that Sentence, which is never to be revers'd, shall be publickly confirm'd, and also extended to the Body at the Day of the General Resurrection, when all must 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. 2 Cor. 5. 10.
The important Consideration of which, I press'd upon all my Auditory, chiefly the Condemn'd, to whom I particularly directed my self, with such Admonitions and Exhortations as I thought suitable to their dismal Circumstances, and proper to be given them at that Time and Place.
On the last Lord's Day, the 16th instant, I preach'd again to them and others there present, (who were many, yea, too many) both in the Morning and Afternoon, on part of the Gospel for the Day, being St. Matt. chap. 11. v. 10. the Words these; For it is written, Behold, I send my Messenger before thy Face, which shall prepare thy Way before thee.
Having first open'd the Text in general, by shewing them 1st, What Place these Words [It is written] refer to, viz. Mal. 3. 1.
2dly, What was the Person of the Messenger here spoken of, viz. St. John the Baptist.
3dly, What was the Nature and Intent of that his Message, viz. the Preaching of Repentance.
I then enlarg'd upon this great Subject, which I handled in the Method here laid down.
I. I shew'd, The Nature of True Repentance.
II. The indispensable Necessity of it.
III. The great Danger of delaying it.
IV. and lastly, The blessed Effects arising from the due Exercise of it.
These were the chief Parts of my publick Discourses to them upon this Text; at my Conclusion whereof I made some Application, in particular, to the Persons condemn'd; who, in my private Conferences with them, did all of 'em promise to follow my Instructions, and amend their Lives; which God grant they may do, who by the gracious Reprieve they have obtain'd, have more Time allow'd 'em for it. And this is all I have here to say of them.
As for those that are now to suffer, the farther Account I am to give of them, is as follows.
1. Phebe Ward, Condemn'd for the Murther of her Female Bastard Child, said, She was about 25 Years old, born at Barsland in the Parish of Hallifax, in the County of York; and, That in her younger Years she had receiv'd good Education from her Parents, who were honest and religious Persons, but she did not always obey their Precepts, nor follow their Example: For after she was grown up to 16 Years of age, she took a mighty disgust at Things of Religion, and then neither read nor heard the Word of God with that Attention and Devotion she was used to do before, and from thence fell into a total Neglect of God's Service, giving Way to other Temptations; so that when the Devil had first taken off her Heart from the Love and Fear of God, he then easily prevail'd further, to the deluding her into the Sin of Fornication, which she confess'd she had committed at several times, and with several Men; and tho' she was courted by One of them to marry him, yet she would not consent to it, nor indeed could endure the Man, she disliking him more than any other; and yet he was the Father to that Child, of whom she (as an unnatural Mother) prov'd the cruel Murtherer. All this she own'd; not all together, but as she was from time to time exhorted and press'd to speak the Truth, for the clearing of her Conscience, and giving me (by her free Confession) the Opportunity of applying effectually the Remedy of the Gospel to her Sin-sick and polluted Soul. I endeavour'd to make her sensible how by degrees the Devil had brought her to the commission of the most crying Sin, and that when she had once suffer'd him to take hold on her, he would not suffer her to get off from him, and stop in her wicked Course; insomuch that when she could have been lawfully marry'd, not only before, but even after the Father of the murther'd Infant had lain with her, she still refus'd to become his Wife. After that, she came up to London, and got into good Service in a worthy Family, where being suspected to be with Child, and ask'd the Question, she positively deny'd it, not only once, but several times: And tho' she was kindly and charitably offer'd by her Mistress (with whom she had not liv'd above a Month) to be taken care of, and well provided for, in her Lying-in, if she would own (as it greatly appear'd) that she was with Child; yet this miserable Wretch (as herself acknowledg'd it to me with Tears) did then make great Protestations
(all taught her by the Author of her Sins and Ruin, the Father of Lyes) That she never had Knowledge of any Man, and therefore could not be with Child. She confess'd, tho' with some difficulty; that the Child (as far as she could perceive) was born alive; and, that she smother'd it (she could not well tell how) and then threw it into the Vault where it was found; as is set forth in her Tryal, to which I refer the Reader. She frequently shed Tears, and said, she heartily repented of all her Sins, particularly of this barbarous Fact, and wish'd all lewd People would take Warning by her.
2. Thomas Pritchet, condemn'd for Assaulting and Robbing Mr. William Richardson, upon the Queen's High-way (between Stepney and Bow) on the 19th of November last; and for Breaking open the House of Mr. Edward Nichols, on the 21st of the same Month. He said, he was not yet 17 years of age, and was born in the Parish of St. Sepulchre; was by Profession something of a Butcher , but more a Sailor , having serv'd the best part of these last seven years on board several of Her Majesty's Ships of War, the last whereof was the New Devonshire. He readily confess'd the Facts for which he was Condemn'd, and was sensible he had not liv'd as he should have done. He ask'd Pardon of God for all his Offences, and hop'd the Persons he had injur'd would forgive him, being very sorry for what he had done.
3. John Matthews, condemn'd upon two Indictments, for privately stealing 24 ounces of Hair out of Mr. Trott's Shop, and 2 Perruques out of Mr. Newth's. He said, he was about 28 years of age, born of good Parents in the County of Glamorgan in Wales; That he had formerly liv'd like a Gentleman, but he being without any Imployment, and in great Straights, had of late Years given himself to this way of stealing Hair and Perruques out of Barbers Shops, which he said his urgent Necessities forc'd him to do. He own'd, he was justly condemn'd, and had been so twice before for such like Facts; so that he could not reasonably expect to find again that Mercy in this World which he formerly had so much abused; but was not without humble Hopes of obtaining Pardon at GOD's Hand, upon true and sincere Repentance, which he told me he did whatever he could to excite himself to, earnestly imploring the Divine Help herein.
This Day they were carried from Newgate (in one Cart) to the Place of their Execution, where I attended them for the last time; and after Prayers, singing of Penitential Psalms, the rehearsing the Apostle's Creed, and my wishing them that Forgiveness of Sins and Life Everlasting, which they had profess'd to believe, and further recommending them to the Grace and Mercy of our Good GOD, I withdrew from them, and left them to their private Devotions. A little before that, they spoke a few Words to the Standers-by, to this effect, viz. John Matthews; Good People, let me have your Prayers, and let every one take Warning by me, &c.
When they had done Speaking, and spent that Time in Praying by themselves which was allotted 'em for that Purpose, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, each of them calling all the while upon God, in these and the like Ejaculations, viz. John Matthews; Lord, have Mercy upon me! Lord JESU, help me! Lord, haste thee unto me! I am ready, O my God, take me unto thee. Lord, open thy Gates! Lord JESU, receive me!
This is all the Account here to be given of these dying Persons, by me,
Saturday, Dec. 22. 1711.
To which I shall add,
A Numerical Account of all the Malefactors who have been Condemned, Reprieved, and Executed, (as likewise of those that Dyed in Newgate between the Day of their Condemnation, and that appointed for their Execution) in London and Middlesex, from the Time of my being chosen to be the Minister and Ordinary of Newgate , (which was in November 1700) to the Close of the late Mayoralty.
NB. When I first enter'd upon this arduous and melancholy Office, in the Beginning of the Mayoralty of the Right Honourable Sir THOMAS ABNEY, Knight , I found no less than 65 Persons that had lain for a great while before under Condemnation, viz. 52 Pirates (who were for the most part Foreigners) and 13 other Criminals. Of the Pirates, 24 were Hanged at one time at the Execution-Dock in Wapping, and of the 13 other Malefactors, 8 were Executed at Tyburn.
In the Mayoralty of
Total Condemn'd 485 Repriev'd. 279 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 4 Executed. 202
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