THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, the 29th of April, 1713.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th instant, Five Men that were then Try'd for, and Convicted of, several Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death; and another, Condemn'd the Sessions before, and Repriev'd to this, was call'd to his former Judgment. Of these Persons Two being respited from Execution, Four are now appointed for it.
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, read and expounded the Word of GOD to them, and exhorted them to Believe in the Lord JESUS, and to Repent of their Sins; shewing them what Faith and Repentance consisted in, and what were the blessed Fruits of them.
On the LORD's Day the 19th instant, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon 1 Pet. Chap. 3. the former part of the 9th Verse, being part of that Evening Second-Lesson, and the Words these; Not rendring evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise Blessing.
Having first in general open'd this Text, and (together with the Context) illustrated it by several parallel Places of Scripture, I then spoke to it in particular, upon these following Heads, viz.
I. That we ought carefully to abstain from doing any Injury to our Neighbour, whether in Words or Deeds; and if any be done to our selves, not to return it: Which is the Negative Part of the Duty enjoin'd in the Text.
II. That we ought not only to forbear doing III, but are strictly bound (so far as we can) to do Good to all Men, and live in Unity and mutual Love and Peace with them, (if it be possible) as the Apostle exhorts, Rom. 12. 18. In short, we ought to be so affected with what concerns others, as if (in some measure) it were our own Case; truly endeavouring (upon all proper Occasions) to promote every thing that
may be to their real Benefit and Advantage; and even extend this our Good will and Affection to our very Enemies; returning Good for Evil, Love for Hatred, Blessing for Cursing, &c. according to CHRIST's Command, Mat. 5. 44. Which is the Positive Part of the Duty recommended by St. Peter in the Text.
III. and lastly, That if we presume to act contrary to this excellent and divine Precept, we can expect no less than to be brought under the dreadful Wrath of GOD, who is a consuming Fire to Impenitent Sinners, and a terrible Avenger of all the Wrongs, Injuries, and other Wicked Deeds (of any kind) for which those miserable Wretches, that shall be found guilty of them, must greatly suffer, either in this World, or in the next, and perhaps in both.
All which I made it appear, by several Particulars, to be the genuine Result of what GOD has enacted in his Law, with relation to Men's due Comportment and Behaviour to, and just and honest Dealing with, one-another: And then in the Application (which I chiefly directed to the Condemn'd Persons) I shew'd, That such as have been injurious to their Neighbour, or are otherwise Guilty before GOD and Man, and therefore liable to Punishment both here and hereafter, may nevertheless, through a lively Faith in CHRIST, and a Sincere Repentance of all their Sins, obtain Mercy, Pardon, and Salvation, if not in this World, however in the World to come. An Encouragement which Almighty GOD (out of his abundant Pity and Love) is pleas'd to give to Sinners, that by their grieving bitterly for their Sins, forsaking them utterly, and throughly amending their Lives, before they be call'd (immediately after Death) to a strict Account of whatever they have done in this Life, whether it be good or bad, may fit and prepare themselves for their Admission into an immortal State of Eternal Bliss and Glory.
On the last LORD's Day, the 26th instant, I preach'd to them again (both in the Morning and Afternoon) upon this Text, Rom. 6. 12. What Fruit had you in those things, whereof ye are now asham'd? For the End of those things is Death.
In speaking to which Words, I first observ'd the Reference they have to what the Apostle had said before, of which I gave a short Explanation, and then endeavour'd to make my Auditory sensible of, and inculcate upon their Minds and Hearts, the great and important Truths imply'd herein, viz.
I. That Sinners can have but little (or rather no real) Profit and Satisfaction from their Sins; though they are such Fools, as sometimes to fancy that there is great Pleasure and Advantage in them: whereas they should consider,
II. That they can reap nothing from them, but Sorrow, Shame, and Confusion.
III. That Death, yea, Eternal Death and Damnation, will be their Portion; the sad End and woful Reward of obstinate and unrelenting Sinners.
IV. That after this Life they will find a most severe and terrible Judgment: And,
V. and lastly, That such a dreadful Judgment is only to be prevented by Grace and Repentance, which all Men (especially those that are within the sight of Death) are highly concern'd to use their utmost Endeavours, by Prayers and otherwise, to obtain and to practise.
On these several Heads I discours'd at large, and concluded all my Sermons with particular Directions and suitable Admonitions to the Condemn'd, earnestly exhorting them to repent, and flee from the Wrath to come.
As I taught them in publick, so likewise in private: And there it was that I strictly examin'd them, and receiv'd from them (who are now to suffer) the respective Accounts of their past Lives and present Dispositions.
1. James Boyce, Condemn'd for Robbing Isabella Dickson on the QUEEN's Highway, taking from her a Bundle of Holland-Shirts, &c. of the Value of Twenty Pounds, on the 5th day of March last. He said, he was about 24 Years of age, born at North-Alverton in Yorkshire, of very honest Parents, who brought him up well, in a Religious and Virtuous Way; but he departed from it: For after they had bound him Apprentice (when he was about Twelve Years old) to Captain Cole, then Commander of the Expedition, a Third Rate , and he had serv'd out his Time with him, and been afterwards (off and on) for Ten Years employ'd in Her MAJESTY's Service , on board several other Men of War; falling into ill Company, and doing ill things, he brought himself under this Condemnation. He confess'd the Fact for which he was to die, and further said, That he had been a great Offender, though in small Matters at a time; having pick'd several People's Pockets, wherein he acted by himself, and was not then concern'd with any other; adding in particular, That he was highly guilty of the Sins of Lewdness, Sabbath-breaking, Swearing, Cursing, Gaming, and the like; which he now look'd upon to be the Beginning of the Miseries which were consequent thereon, and of this Death he is now condemn'd to; and therefore advis'd other young Men not to follow his vicious and dangerous Steps, lest they should (like him) shamefully fall by the Hand of Justice.
2. Richard Lawrence, condemn'd for breaking open the House of Mr. John Reynolds, in Black-Fryers, and taking from thence a great quantity of Fustian, upon the 11th Day of March last. He said, he was near 29 Years old, born in the Parish of Christ Church, London: That at the age of Twelve years he went to live with a Silver smith , and stay'd with him about Two Years; and then was bound Apprentice to a Poulterer in Newgate-Market: That when he had but One Year more of his Time to serve, his Master dying, he betook himself to ill Courses: That about Three Years ago, he was try'd and condemn'd at Maidstone in Kent, for a Burglary he had committed there: That some time after that, having obtain'd his Pardon and Discharge, he went to the East-Indies, in the Europe, a Ship fitted out by the East-India-Company, and was Two Years in that Voyage: That not long after this, he made another Voyage in the Loretto, a Ship belonging to some private Merchants, in which he serv'd about Ten Months, and then came home again: That at his return he had thoughts of settling himself in some honest Way of living at Land, and go no more to Sea; but falling into bad Company, he was soon perswaded to launch out into those wicked Facts he did since his Return from Sea, which were the Breaking open and Robbing of Shops and Houses; as particularly that for which he stands condemn'd to die, and two he had committed a few Weeks before, in company with George Smith, of which I shall give an Account by and by. He seem'd to be very much griev'd that he had liv'd such a wicked Life, and done so much Mischief as he had in the World, saying, That he was guilty of many ill things; and, That his Neglect of GOD's Service, and the abandoning of himself to a loose and lewd Life, dispos'd him for the commission of those Crimes, which at last prov'd his utter Ruin in this World, and might be the Cause of his Eternal Damnation in the next, without GOD's great Mercy: Therefore he advis'd others to take Warning by him, so as to be wiser and better than himself had been, and avoid such an untimely and shameful End as this, which by his woful Experience he now found his Presumptuous Sins had brought him to.
3. George Smith, condemn'd for the same Fact with Richard Lawrence, before mention'd. He said, he was 21 Years of age, born at Wapping, of very honest Parents, who would have given him good Education, but he would not take it: That about Seven years ago he was bound Apprentice to a Baker , in the Parish of Christ-Church-London; That when he had but Six Months unexpir'd of his Time to serve, he ran away from his Master, but soon after return'd again to him: That after this, he often going abroad without Leave, and his Master hearing he kept bad Company, gave him up his Indenture, and finally discharg'd him from his Service: That being thus discharg'd, he went to serve another Baker, in the Capacity of a Journey-man : That having more Liberty with this Master than he had with the former (for the Afternoons were all his, as he said) he went still more upon rambling abroad, and so contracted more vicious Habits, and greater Acquain
tance, than before, with Wicked People, besides Richard Lawrence, with whom he committed the Burglary for which he is now to die: That a few Weeks before this, they broke open a certain House in Barbican, out of which they took a great quantity of Serge, or suchlike Stuff, which they sold (at an Under-rate) for 10 l. That, some time after, they made an Attempt to rob a House in the Old-Baily, but were disappointed in their Design, being disturb'd by the Watch: That at several other times he had robb'd diverse Shops, stealing Periwigs, and whatever else he could lay his Hands on; and, That about ten Weeks ago he took out of the Bell-Inn Storehouse in Warwick-Lane, an old-fashion'd Desk; which having carried away, and broke open in a convenient place, he therein found six Shirts, a Coat, a pair of Breeches, and diverse Papers and Writings, which he suppos'd might be of great Concern to the right Owner, and therefore wish'd he had them again; as he said (upon my perswading him to make what Reparation he could to the Persons he wrong'd) he had sent for and restor'd some of the stoln Goods to several People that were robbed by him: But as for those Writings, he knew not what to do with them, nor how to let the Party have them safe again, to whom they belong'd. Upon which I desir'd he would deliver them to me; which he did (carelesly seal'd as they were) in a Bundle; and as soon as I had receiv'd them, I lodg'd them in the proper Hands, that should keep 'em till the right Owner of them be known. This is the Substance of what he said or did, while I had him under Examination; adding only, That he heartily repented of whatever he had done amiss. And both he and the other two (viz. Boyce and Lawrence) did wish all young Men, and others, might take Warning by them; and that none would (upon the account of their Wicked Lives and Shameful Death) reflect on their Friends and Relations, who were all very just and honest Persons, and had no ways contributed to their Miscarriages.
4. Richard Passmore, condemn'd for his being Concern'd in the Fact for which he is now to die with the two last mention'd Malefactors, Richard Lawrence and George Smith. He said, he was about 25 Years of age, born in the Parish of Alhallows in the Wall: That he came of good Parents, who brought him up in a Religious and Virtuous Way, and bound him Apprentice to a Mason in the City, with whom he serv'd out his Time very faithfully, and afterwards work'd at his Trade for himself, about the space of Two Years; and then he fell into wicked Company, which brought him to the commission of this Fact, with that in Barbican, and the Attempt upon the breaking open a Shop in the Old Baily, mention'd before; which, he said, were the only Crimes he ever committed, saving the Sin of Whoredom, which he freely own'd he was greatly guilty, and repented of. Both before and after this his Condemnation, he behav'd himself as a Person in his then Circumstances ought to do; and as he made nearer approach to his Death, he still shew'd a greater Sense and Abhorrence of his Sinful Life; into which (he said) he had been deluded by bad Company: He likewise desir'd that no Reflection might be cast upon his Relations, who were all good and just People; adding, That they had no Knowledge of what he then did, when engag'd with those wicked Persons; and, That he never was in any Trouble before.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were this Day carried in two Carts, I attended them for the last time, and (according to my usual manner) gave them Ghostly Admonitions, pray'd, and sung some Penitential Psalms with them, and made them rehearse the Apostles Creed: And so, commending them to GOD's Grace and Mercy, I retir'd from them, and left them to their private Devotions; who, after they had spoke
to the Standers-by to this purpose, That they should take Warning by them, &c. and pray'd a while by themselves, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, they all calling on GOD for Mercy.
This is all the Account here to be given of these dying Persons, by me,
Wednesday, April 29, 1713.
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