THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 31st Day of October, 1712.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, Six Persons being found guilty of divers Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death; and another (that was condemn'd to die in January last, and afterwards repriev'd) was now call'd to her former Judgment, and advis'd to prepare herself for Death. Of these Seven Persons, Two are order'd for present Execution, and the other Five respited from it.
All the while they lay under this Condemnation, I endeavour'd to perswade them to think of the Judgment to come, so as to avoid the Severity of it by a sincere Repentance of all their Sins, and a lively Faith in Christ. And the better to dispose them to this great and important Duty, besides my Praying with them, and reading and expounding the Word of GOD to them publickly in the Chapel twice every Day, I frequently discours'd and examin'd them in private, giving them particular Instructions and Admonitions suitable to their respective Cases and Capacities.
On the Lord's Day the 19th instant, I preach'd to them both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon Rev. 9. the former part of the 20th Verse, the Words being these: And the rest of the Men, which were not kill'd by these Plagues, yet repented not of the Works of their Hands.
Which Words I first explain'd in general, with their Context, and then laid down this Proposition arising therefrom, viz.
That notwithstanding the visible Judgments of GOD inflicted upon some Sinners, others that are spar'd often neglect themselves to that degree, as to take no Warning by them, nor in the least endeavour to prevent their own Ruin and Destruction, by their repenting and forsaking of those very Sins, for which they have seen Others severely punish'd.
To illustrate this Proposition, I observ'd,
I. The Strangeness of such Impenitence, consider'd in Common Reason.
II. The Frequency of it in Common Experience.
III. and lastly, The lamentable Consequence of it, in the final Destruction of such obstinate Sinners, as would not be perswaded, nor compelled, to reform their Lives, either by the Mercies shew'd to them, or by the Judgments laid upon others.
On the last Lord's Day I preach'd to them again, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon this Text, Acts 17. 30, 31. And the time of this Ignorance GOD winked at, but now commands all Men every where to repent: Because He has appointed a Day, in the which He will judge the World in Righteousness, by that Man whom He has ordained; whereof He has given Assurance unto all Men, in that He has raised Him from the Dead.
From which Words, first paraphrastically expounded in general, I shew'd in particular,
I. The Certainty and Infallibility of a final Judgment after this Life.
II. The Severity and Dreadfulness of that Judgment to those Sinners who shall then be found not to have provided against it, by a timely Repentance and Amendment of Life.
III. The Use to be made of this Doctrin of a Future Judgment; which is, that we should,
1. Leave off doing ill.
2. Learn to do well.
3. Persevere in well-doing unto the End: And,
4. and lastly, Hope, that through Mercy, we shall in so doing escape the intolerable Miseries of Hell, and obtain the unspeakable Felicity of Heaven.
Upon all these Heads and Particulars I enlarg'd; and then concluded my several Discourses with such Exhortations to the Condemn'd, as I thought most proper for me to give them, and for them to receive.
In their publick Attendance on the Divine Service they appear'd devout in Prayer, and attentive to the Word of GOD; and in private they express'd great Sorrow for their past Sins: And those of 'em that were appointed for Death, gave me the following Accounts of their former vicious Lives, which had brought them to this their sad and untimely End; wishing it might prove an effectual Warning to others, to deter them from such dangerous Courses, in which themselves had unhappily liv'd and miscarried.
I. Elizabeth Price, who was call'd to her former Judgment (of which I shall in its proper place give an Account) said, That she was about 37 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Andrew Holbourn; and that for these several Years past she had follow'd, sometimes the Business of picking up Rags and Cinders , and at other times that of selling Fruit and Oysters , crying Hot-Pudding and Gray-Peas in the Streets , and the like: But she did not so readily own, That she had of late made it a considerable part of her Life and Trade to Break-open and Robb Gentlemens Chambers in diverse Inns of Courts, till I brought to her remembrance several Facts of that nature, which she was Try'd for, Convicted, and now confess'd to be Guilty of, as I shall observe hereafter. But before I come to give my Reader a particular Account of those Facts, and the Punishments she justly receiv'd for them, I shall first take notice (in this place) of the Felony, which she has lain these Nine Months under Condemnation (and is now to die) for; and that is, the Breaking open some of the Apartments
of Mr. Francis Were, in Lyons-Inn, in the Parish of St. Clement Dane, and removing from thence (in the Day-time) diverse Goods, which she, and others suppos'd to be concern'd with her therein, had pack'd up, and were ready to carry away, on the Third Day of January last, who being then discover'd before they could make their Escape, were immediately stopt, and prevented in the effecting their intended Robbery. Now, that which render'd the Guilt of this Fact so much the greater as to Elizabeth Price (the Person now to suffer for it) was this; That upon Search and Examination of the Record, as she stood at her Tryal, she was found to have been convicted before of another Felony, viz. the breaking Mr. John Knight's Chambers, which I shall hereafter speak of in its due order of Date, only observing here, that upon this full Proof of that her Conviction, Sentence of Death was pass'd upon her at that time, namely, on the 12th of January, 1711/1712: And as this was the Condemnation that affected her Life most, so she obstinately deny'd her being in the least concern'd in, or knowing any thing of Mr. Were's Chambers being attempted to be robb'd; though at the same time she own'd (upon my putting her in mind, and pressing her to an ingenuous Confession of them) That she had been guilty of several other Robberies of this very kind, viz.
1st, Her Breaking open, in the Day-time, the Chambers of Mr. Robert Booth, in Gray's Inn, in the Parish of St. Andrew Holbourn, and taking thence some Wearing Linnen, a Silver Toothpick-Case, and a Tortoiseshell Knife, on the First Day of August 1701.
3dly, Her Breaking open (in the Day-time also) the Chambers belonging to Mr. Henry Wright, in Clifford's Inn, in the Parish of St. Dunstan in the west, and taking thence a Cloth Coat, a Drugget Coat and Wastcoat, and divers other Goods, on the 20th Day of March, 1702/1703.
4thly, Her Breaking open the Chambers of Mr. Charles Betts, of Bernard's Inn, in the Parish of St. Andrew-Holbourn, and taking from thence 8 Gold-Rings, a Looking-glass, a Beaver-Hat, a black Coat, a Night-Gown, 9 Shillings in Money, and divers Books, and other things of a considerable Value, on the 10th of October, 1704.
5thly, Her Breaking open (in the Night-time) the Chambers of Mr. John Knight, in the Temple, and taking thence a pair of Silver-Candle-sticks, a pair of Silver-Snuffers, a Snuff-pan, ten Silver-Spoons, one Silver Fork, a Cloth Coat, a Brocade-Wastcoat, several Books, and other Goods of great Value, on the 10th of June, 1708.
All these Robberies she confess'd both her being Guilty of, and her having received for them these several Punishments, viz.
For the 1st she was order'd to be Whipt, on the 17th day of October 1701.
For the 2d she was burnt in the Cheek, on the 15th day of October 1702.
For the 3d she was order'd to be Whipt, on the 8th day of April 1703.
For the 4th she receiv'd Sentence of Death, on the 8th of December 1704, at which time she pray'd the Benefit of her Clergy, but it was deny'd her by the Court, because she was allow'd it once before. But after this having obtained the Queens Pardon, she pleaded it at the Old-Baily, on the 5th day of April 1706, and was then order'd (that being the Condition of her Pardon) to be sent to Bridewel, London, and put to hard Labour, and continue there for One Year and a Day: Which she did, and (as she said) above that time, viz. sixteen Months: And then being discharg'd thence, she return'd again to her old wicked Trade, and so brought herself a Fifth time under the Lash of the Law. For,
For the 5th of those Facts before-mention'd, she was Burnt in the Hand, on the 16th of October 1708, and then order'd to the Work-house in Clerkenwel, where she had not been long, but broke out thence, and made her Escape, and soon after that fell upon Stealing again, and so at length, when the Measure of her Iniquities was filled up, she came to this her last and greatly deserved Punishment. At first indeed, she could not endure to hear she had deserved it; for she all-along deny'd this Fact she is to die for: But when I laid before her the just Methods of God in bringing his Judgments upon persisting Sinners, she at last owned his Justice in inflicting this Death at this time upon her, and said, she entirely submitted herself to his Will.
This is the true, though not fully-compleat History of her sad Life. The manner of her shameful and untimely Death, I shall mention by and by. In the mean time, I must here proceed next to give an Account of,
2. Eleanor Gravenor, alias Gladmore, alias Lovemore, condemned for privately stealing out of Mr. Henry Barton's Shop, a parcel of Gold and Silver Fringe, and out of Mr. John Peel's Shop, a piece of Callicoe, on the 11th instant. She confess'd, That she was guilty of both these Facts, and of several others of the like nature: That she receiv'd Sentence of Death on the 6th of July 1711, for having privately stoln 6 yards of Silver Lace, out of Mr. Henry Hicks and Mr. Arthur Robinson's Shop in Covent-garden, on the 23d of May before; That afterwards she obtain'd the Queen's Pardon, and pleaded to it no later than the 6th of June last, but took no Care to improve it as she ought to have done; saying, That her great Poverty and Inability to get Bread for herself and four small Children, had made her give way to the Temptation by which she fell again into this her old wicked Course of seeking to supply her Wants by unjust Means. She told me, She was 50 Years of age, born at Shrewsbury: That about 12 or 13 Years ago she came up to London, and lived first near Tower hill, afterwards in the Parish of St. James Westminster, where she married, and then remov'd to St. Martins in the Fields; in which last Parish she lived above four Years a Housekeeper : That for the most part of all the time she
had been in London and Westminster, she got her Livelihood (as she did before in the Country) by making Plain-work : That she was very sorry she had not kept to it; and heartily repented. She further said, That after she had pleaded the Queen's Pardon in June last, she was discharged from Newgate (where she had then lain 13 Months) and sent to the Work-house in Clerkenwel; and there being sick and weak, and wanting Food, she follow'd other Prisoners who had made a Hole in the Wall of the Room she lay in, and so went out at that Hole and made her Escape with them; and presently betook herself to her former wicked Trade of Stealing, by which having supply'd herself with Cloaths (for she was even naked before) she appear'd more boldly abroad, and in that Dress went upon some new Expedition: For one Morning having called at a certain Tavern for Wine to refresh her Spirits, she did from thence direct her way as well as she could, first to Mr. Barton's, and then to Mr. Peel's Shop, where she found her Head swimming, and hardly knew what she did, because she then was in the power of the Wine she had drank but a little before; and therefore could not do her Business so dextrously, as not to be discover'd in this last Place; for not only the Callicoe she took at Mr. Peel's, but also the Gold and Silver Fringe she had just before stoln out of Mr. Barton's Shop, were found upon her; who thereupon being apprehended, and brought before a Magistrate, was immediately committed to the House of her former Abode, namely Newgate; and this happen'd about a Fortnight after she had (in an irregular manner) deliver'd herself from a less unhappy Confinement, and less severe Punishment, than that she is now brought under by her own Folly and Wickedness. All this she declar'd; and added, That if she were now to live, she would lead a better Life, and would contentedly yield to have her right Hand cut off, which had done so much Mischief, and pick up a poor Livelihood in gathering of Rags with her left Hand, which ever was honest, and therefore should not suffer with the other. Thus, it seem'd, she look'd upon that Member only, which was made the Instrument of Evil, to be punishable; but she was better informed afterwards, by being shewn, that when any Member does amiss, by the direction of the Mind, the whole Body must suffer for it.
Some other Facts of this Nature, she owned in general she had committed both before and after her Pardon, but she was unwilling to declare more in particular; saying, it would avail nothing, for she could make no Amends, nor give any Satisfaction to the Persons she had wrong'd. She hoped they would forgive her, who earnestly begg'd God's Pardon and theirs.
At the Place of Execution, whither they were carry'd this day from Newgate in a Cart, and where I attended them for the last time, I exhorted them to excite themselves more and more to Repentance; to bewail their manifold Sins and Offences, and earnestly cry to God for Mercy in this their last Hour, the time of their great need, and faithfully depend upon the alone Merits of Christ for Pardon and Salvation. I asked them, whether they had any thing more to confess for the clearing of their Consciences before they dy'd: To which they answer'd, No. And here I admonish'd Elizabeth Price in particular to consider herself, and take care not to go out of this World with a Lie in her Mouth, but freely speak the Truth without reserve, that by taking that Shame which belong'd to her, she might give Glory to God, and be in a fit Condition to appear before his great Tribunal with Joy, and not with Confusion. Upon which she said, she had declar'd to me the Truth before; and now she again protested she was not guilty of the Fact she dy'd for, though God was just in this her Suffering, for she had long ago deserved it at his Hand. After this I pray'd both for her and her fellow-Sufferer, sung some Penitential Psalms with them, and made them rehearse the Apostles Creed. Then I withdrew and left them to their private Devotions, recommending their Souls to the Mercy of God, through the most prevailing Merits and Mediation of JESUS CHRIST.
When I was retired from them, they spoke to the Standers-by to this Effect, viz. That they should take Warning by them: And particularly Elizabeth Price desir'd, That those who knew her Children, would not reflect upon them, nor reproach them with Her shameful Death; for they were very honest.
Then they apply'd themselves in their private Prayers to God for the Pardon of their Sins, and the Salvation of their Souls: And while they were thus praying, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off.
This is all the Account here to be given of these dying Malefactors, by me,
Friday, October 31. 1712.
A Numerical Account of all the Malefactors who have been Condemned, Repriev'd, 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-Dockin Wapping, and of the 13 other Malefactors, 8 were Executed at Tyburn.
In the Mayoralty of
1. Sir Thomas Abney, Kt . Condemn'd. 118 Repriev'd. 48 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 4 Executed. 66 2. Sir William Gore, Kt . Condemn'd 49 Repriev'd. 36 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 13 3. Sir Samuel Dashwood, Kt . Condemn'd. 38 Repriev'd. 20 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 18 4. Sir John Parsons, Kt . Condemn'd. 35 Repriev'd. 18 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 17 5. Sir Owen Buckingham, Kt . Condemn'd. 44 Repriev'd. 28 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 16 6. Sir Thomas Rawlinson, Kt . Condemn'd. 33 Repriev'd. 28 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 5 7. Sir Robert Bedingfield, Kt . Condemn'd. 23 Repriev'd. 5 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 18 8. Sir William Withers, Kt . Condemn'd. 34 Repriev'd. 16 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 18 9. Sir Charles Duncomb, Kt . Condemn'd. 39 Repriev'd. 29 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 10 10. Sir Sam. Garrard, Kt. & Bart Condemn'd. 36 Repriev'd. 28 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 8 11. Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Kt . Condemn'd. 36 Repriev'd. 23 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 13 12. Sir Robert Beachcroft, Kt . Condemn'd. 43 Repriev'd. 29 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 0 Executed. 15 Total Condemn'd. 528 Repriev'd. 308 Dy'd after Condemnation, and before their Execution. 4 Executed. 217
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