THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 29th of January, 1713/1714.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-baily, on Friday the 15th, Saturday the 16th, Monday the 18th, and Tuesday the 19th instant, Nine Men that were convicted of several Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death accordingly. Of these 2 being Repriev'd, 7 are now order'd for Execution: which I wish may prove an effectual Warning to other Offenders.
On the Lord's Day the 17th instant I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, being a Continuation of my Sermons preach'd the Sunday before, and the Text taken out of the Epistle appointed for that Day, viz. Rom. 12. 1. I beseech you, Brethren, by the Mercies of God, that ye present your Bodies a Living Sacrifice, Holy, Acceptable to God, which is your Reasonable Service.
Which Words having first explain'd in general, I then proceeded to consider in particular,
I. The Force of the Preface, couch'd in these words, I beseech you, Brethren, by the Mercies of God; the very Name, Brethren, being a Term most pathetick and most winning, and the Mercies of God, most proper to perswade; forasmuch as they are so excellent, that if the Angels themselves were to preach to us, and invite us to the Belief of the Gospel, and the Practice of the Holy Precepts therein, they could not (in their Perswasives) fly higher than those transcendent Mercies.
II. The Meaning and Import of this Exhortation of the Apostle, That Men should present their Bodies a Living Sacrifice, Holy, Acceptable to God.
III. and lastly, The strong Motive or Argument by him urg'd herein, viz. That this is a Reasonable (or Rational) Service.
On these Heads I enlarg'd; shewing both the great Duty here requir'd of us Christians, and the blessed Reward attending the faithful Performance of it; our Defects wherein should therefore be carefully made up by Faith, Repentance, and Amendment of Life, which are Graces we ought earnestly to pray for, if ever we desire, or can expect, to have our Sins pardon'd here, and our Souls eternally sav'd hereafter.
On the last Lord's Day, the 24th instant, I preach'd again to them, viz. in the Forenoon, upon part of the first Lesson for that Morning-Service, Gen. 1. 27. So God created Man in his own Image; in the Image of God created He him: Male and Female created He them.
After a general Explanation of these words, I did (in a particular and distinct manner) discourse upon the following Points, arising from them, viz.
I. The Power And, II. The Goodness of GOD, manifested,
1. In his Wonderful Creation and Formation of Man's Body.
2. In his Breathing into it a Spiritual Substance, even an Immortal Soul, capable of conversing with GOD, and contemplating the Life to come.
Having spoken to each of those Heads and Particulars, I drew from the Whole some few practical Inferences, such as these; which I shall here set down, without being too curious in the Order of them.
1st, That as God has thus manifested his great Power, Wisdom, and Goodness to us, so we ought to admire, love, adore, and serve Him with all the Faculties and Powers of our Bodies, and of our Souls; which He has made for that very End and Purpose.
2dly, That as our Bodies are curiously fram'd, and have visible Marks of God's Infinite Power and Goodness stampt upon them, so we should take a mighty care not to defile, abuse, and debase them to the vile Drudgery of Sin, as Intemperance, Uncleanness, and the like.
3dly, That as our Bodies are indued with a Rational Soul (an Immortal Spirit) which is no less than the Breath of God, and is properly his own Image; so we should let these Souls of ours ascend up unto Heaven, and fix upon the Contemplation of those Divine Objects there, suitable to their Spiritual Nature; and never suffer them to stoop to the sinful Enjoyments of Sense, and the feculent and paultry Pleasures of this Mortal Life.
4thly, That our Souls and Bodies being such Monuments of the Divine Power, Wisdom, and Goodness; we should therefore frequently view and consider them, and seriously reflect upon the wonderful Work of God in our Frame and Composition, and not be such Strangers to our selves, as we generally are; but think our selves worthy of our own Thoughts, always remembring what we were made for, and endeavouring to attain the highest Improvements of our Nature, and take such Observation of our own Failings, as to amend and rectifie (with all speed) whatever is amiss in us, and do better for the future.
5thly, That from the Consideration of God's Power and Goodness in the Creation of Mankind, we may learn, How much we are bound to love every Man, and look upon him as our Brother, having the same Heavenly Father; and therefore should deal justly and kindly with him at all times; and when we have been so unhappy, as to injure any one, either in his Body, Goods, or Name, make him all possible Amends and Reparation. But some Injuries there may be that are irreparable, as in the Case of Murder; which, because no proportionable Reparation can be made for it, is certainly the greatest and most heinous of all Injuries that can be offer'd to Human Nature.
6thly, and lastly, That upon the whole, we should impartially consider now what our Condition will be hereafter, and what Account we must, in the other Life, render to God of the Talent He has imparted to us in this: What due Improvement we have made of our Time: How we have answer'd the great End of our Creation, Preservation, and Redemption, and all other the Spiritual and Temporal Favours by Him continually confer'd upon us, whose Nature (with exception of all other visible Creatures) He has enobled with Reason and Understanding, by which we are capacitated to comprehend Things of Religion, and rightly know and adore Him, in whom, and by whom, and from whom alone we live, and move, and have a Being here, and may obtain an Eternal Well-being hereafter.
On these I enlarg'd; and in the Afternoon preach'd again to the Condemn'd, and others then present, and then took my Text out of the Epistle appointed for the Day, viz. 1 Cor. 9. the latter part of the 24th Verse - So run that ye may obtain.
Which Words I first explain'd in general, with their Context; shewing the Relation or Allusion they have to those publick Games of Racing and Wrestling so much in use among the Greeks and Romans of old, and so well known to the Corinthians, to whom the Apostle writes this Precept. Then I proceeded to consider in particular,
That the Christian Life is properly compar'd to a Race, wherein we are not to stand still, nor turn aside, neither walk only, but run, and strive, be quick and active in our Motion, while we are on our Journey here below, till we arrive at the Place of our Everlasting Rest above, and there receive the Prize, viz. an Immortal Crown of Bliss and Glory, propounded to us, as a gracious Reward for our sincere Endeavours, and constant Labours in running the Race that is set before us, and making full Speed in the Way of GOD, and in the Path of his holy Commandments, as the Scripture teaches us.
To illustrate this Proposition, and set the Text still in a clearer Light, I shew'd distinctly,
I. Who they are that are here commanded to Run; viz. All Men; for all are Viatores, or Travellers in this Vale of Tears.
II. The Duty; which is, That we must Run our Race. And this implies both the Labour and Shortness of our Life here.
1st, The Labour; in that we are not to rest, nor go softly, but Run; yea, run apace.
2dly, The Shortness; in that it is but a Race: A Place not very long, but of a measur'd Extent, the Beginning and End whereof may both be seen at once.
III. The Manner to be observ'd, and Means to be us'd, in this our Christian Race, thro' the whole Course of our Life; which consist chiefly in these two; viz.
1. A Due Preparation before 2. A Right Disposition in this Race.
IV. and lastly, The Mark set in our View for our Encouragement and Support, which is, an immarcescible and incorruptible Crown, that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for us; as the Apostle speaks, 1 Pet. 5. 4.
Having largely and particularly spoken to those Points, I concluded both this and other my Sermons (preach'd before these Condemn'd Persons) with suitable Exhortations to them; whom I then constantly visited, and to that purpose had them brought up twice every Day to the Chapel of Newgate, where I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of GOD to them, which they seem'd to be very attentive to: And in my private Examinations of them severally, they gave me the respective Accounts of their former Lives and present Dispositions, which follow.
1. Francis Gosling, condemn'd for the Murder of John Hutton, a Seaman . He said, he was 21 years of age, born at Greenwich in Kent: That he had serv'd his Apprentiship with his own Father, a Waterman of that Place; and after that went to Sea , and serv'd sometimes in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, and at other times on board Merchant-men, for these 8 years past. He confess'd, That he had liv'd a vicious Life, and committed some small Robberies heretofore, as stealing Oars, Sails, &c. out of Watermen's Boats, Barges, Lighters, &c. but could give no account of them. And as to this barbarous and bloody Fact, for which he stood condemn'd, I perceiv'd he endeavour'd to extenuate and lessen his Guilt of it, saying, He did not commit it himself, nor laid violent hands upon the Deceased; yet acknowledg'd, that he so far assisted in it, that while John Shaw was knocking him down, and Peter Furlow cutting his Throat, himself was in the Boat with them, rowing along and seeing what they did; but knew not whether it was a premeditated thing in them; or, that finding an Opportunity to do that wicked Deed, it came on the sudden into their Mind to do it. As for himself, he said, he knew nothing before of the Man, nor of any Design they had either to murder or rob him, till he saw them kill him and search him, and take what they found about him. But he own'd, That himself took the Coat of that poor Man, as being better than that he had on, which he left in the room of it; and then they all went away, and left the Boat, and the dead Man in it; Shaw and Furlow giving him 40 or 50 Shillings of the Money; he was not positive how much, for he did not exactly tell it. This is the Substance of what he confess'd to me, who found him a stupify'd, harden'd, and obstinate Sinner. While he lay under Condem
nation he was taken so ill, that one could hardly speak to him, or receive any Answer from him: And this his Illness (as I suppose) did arise, not so much from the Closeness and Loathsomness of the Condemn'd Hold or Dungeon he was kept in, as from the dismal Fears and Horrors he felt in his Guilty Conscience: Which may be a Warning, as to all other Offenders in general, so to Murderers in particular, who (I am afraid) do often out-sin Mercy, in rejecting the Means of Grace, and dying without Repentance. Whether this was altogether the miserable Case of this unhappy Wretch, I will not here determine; but am sorry I must say, that from his whole Behaviour I could not observe he griev'd and repented as he should have done.
N B. Peter Furlow being apprehended and committed to Newgate last Wednesday Night, I had him brought up (with the Condemn'd Prisoners) to the Chapel the next Morning: After Divine Service was over there, I took him with Gosling into my Closet, and there the said Gosling charg'd him home with the Murder of John Hutton; telling him to his face, That he cut the said Hutton's Throat, after John Shaw had knock'd him down, and broke his Scull. Which having said, I ask'd Furlow, What he said to that? He answer'd, He never saw John Hutton, nor John Shaw in his Life, nor was then in the Boat with Gosling. But Gosling persisted in this his Declaration; and upon my Admonishing him to speak the Truth, whatever it was, he protested (upon his Eternal Salvation, and as he was a Dying Man) That this Furlow was the very Person that cut Hutton's Throat, as he had said before.
2. William Whitmore, condemn'd for Breaking and Entring the House of Mr. John Nott, at midnight, and taking from thence two Brass-Slays or Reeds, and one Wooden Shuttle, on the 13th of December last. He said, he was about 30 years of age, born at a Place call'd Blywith in Mansfield Parish in Nottinghamshire: That he had serv'd his Apprentiship with a Weaver at Nottingham, and when out of his Time, listed himself a Souldier , and serv'd several Years in the Regiment of Dragoons under the Command of Colonel Howard and Major Lawrence, and was in the Battel of Almaza, where he receiv'd several Wounds, and was taken Prisoner by the French: That being afterwards set at liberty, and come again into England, he return'd to his Regiment (then in Scotland) from which he was discharg'd about two Years ago: That when he had his Discharge he came up to London, and then work'd at his Trade (as a Journey-man) with a Weaver in that Place. He confess'd he was Guilty of the Fact for which he now lay under Condemnation; and likewise of the two single Felonies he was convicted of; but protested his Innocence of the other Felony he was try'd for, and acquitted of, at the same time; which was, the Stealing of a Cloth Coat from Mr. John Mason. And he further declar'd to me, That tho' he had been an ill Liver many other ways, yet was not a Thief, till he became acquainted (in August last) with the Person that made himself an Evidence against him. Whether it was so or no, I can't tell; but this I know, That I found it very hard to work any good upon him, so perverse and so obstinate he was.
3. Joseph Baily was indicted and condemn'd for three Robberies which he committed; First, in Breaking the House of Mr. John Hall, and stealing thence 8 Shirts, and other Linnen, &c. on the 17th of October last: Secondly, in Breaking and Entring the Shop of Mrs. Katherine Hopley, and taking from thence several pair of Shoes, on the 12th of December last, in the Night-time: And thirdly, in stealing a great quantity of Thread-Stockings out of the Shop of Mr. Thomas Allen, on the 6th instant. The two former of these Facts he readily confess'd, but the latter he at first deny'd, yet afterwards own'd his being Guilty of it. He said, he was about 20 years of age, born in Barbican, in the Parish of St. Botolph Aldersgate, London: That he was bound Apprentice to a Weaver , but did not serve out his time: That he went to Sea , and soon after return'd to London, where he exercis'd the wicked Art of picking of Pockets, and so proceeded to House-breaking; yet he said, he never broke any other House but those which the Evidence that cast him, prompted him to, and he is now to die for. He confess'd he had liv'd a loose Life; breaking and prophaning the Lord's Day; Swearing, Cursing, Drinking, and the like; and that by these, and all other his Sins, he had so provok'd GOD, that he greatly fear'd the Punishment he deserv'd to undergo in the other World. And thus it generally proves with wicked Men,
who having greatly abus'd God's Mercy, find great cause to dread the Severity of his Justice; the thought of which must needs be most terrible, when Death is making its gastly Approach to them.
4. Thomas Blank, condemn'd for being concern'd with the above-mention'd Joseph Baily, in Robbing Mrs. Hopley's Shop; of which Fact he confess'd himself Guilty, but at the same time protested it was the first of that nature he ever committed. He said, he was 22 Years of age, born in Aldersgate-street, London; That he serv'd almost 5 Years of his Apprentiship with a Waterman at Greenwich, to whom he was bound for seven; and then ran away from his Master, having got the Foul Disease (the Fruit of his lewd Life) which he was not willing should come to his said Master's Ear; and so went to Sea , serving on board several Men of War; and at his Return made it his Business (as he had done before) to pick Pockets and pilfer. He was very ignorant, yet sensible he had greatly offended GOD.
5. John Bear, alias Dabis, condemn'd for taking a Silver-hilted Sword, value 3 l. from James Mercer Esq; in High-Holborn, on the 14th instant, which he confess'd. He said, he was but 19 years of age, born in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields; That he served his Apprentiship with his Father, a Glover in that Parish: That afterwards he work'd Journey-work , but that was a very little time; for he grew idle, and gave himself to Pilfering, Pocket-picking, &c. owning particularly that he had stoln small Sums of Money, several times, both from his Mother and Aunt. He confess'd also, that some Years ago he committed a Felony (viz. the Stealing 10 Sword-blades out of Mr. Thomas Jackson's Shop, on the 26th of March 1712.) and was whipp'd for it; and after that proceeded to the commission of a bolder and worse Fact, which was, his Assaulting Mr. Robert Hodson on the Queen's Highway, and taking from him a Silver-hilted Sword, value 50 s. on the 25th of February, 1712/1713 for which Fact he receiv'd Sentence of Death at the Old-baily, on the 27th of the same Month; and some time after obtain'd the QUEEN's gracious Pardon, which he pleaded there on the 12th of August last; and (according to the Condition of that Pardon) was to transport himself within six months after, out of HER MAJESTY's Dominions in Europe. But it seems he was not like to have comply'd with that Condition; for tho' the time was near expir'd, yet he could not positively say that he had, as yet, lookt or made any Provision for his Passage. He was very ignorant, and could not read; nevertheless he seem'd to have some good Desires, and begg'd of me to pray to GOD for him.
6. Thomas Jay, condemn'd for Breaking the House, not of Mr. John Chamberlain, (as he said) but of Mr. Chamberlain's Mother, on the 1st instant, and taking from thence some Linnen, three Cloth-Coats, and other Wearing Apparel, belonging partly to her, and partly to the said Mr. Chamberlain her Son. He said, he was something above 23 years of age, born at Fawnham in Herefordshire: That he never learnt any Trade, but serv'd several Gentlemen as their Footman , alternately, first in the Country, and then here in London and Westminster, and last at Greenwich; and never stole any thing from them, or any relating to them, except Mrs. Chamberlain, whose Daughter, (Mrs. Overton) that then lodg'd at her House, he had formerly been a Servant to. Which Robbery he committed when in Drink, and out of meer Spight and Revenge; as thinking he had been too hardly us'd in that Family, tho' not by his Mistress, who (he said) was a very good Mistress, and very kind to him. And this he protested was the very first Fact of this nature he ever did, and was now heartily sorry he had done it, and humbly begg'd Pardon for it.
7. Francis Collings, alias Howell, condemn'd for Stealing a Horse of Mr. William Jarvis. He said, he was about 21 years of age, born at Lemster in the County of Meath in Ireland: That he was born, brought up, and resolv'd to die in the Romish Religion ; and so desir'd me to force nothing upon his Belief, but only pray for his Soul. I told him, That I was earnestly concern'd for his Eternal Salvation, and therefore would offer nothing to him but what was purely tending to it. And here I ask'd him, Whether he could Pray? Whether he could say the Lord's Prayer, or any Prayer? He said, He could say his Credo, and that was the only Prayer (as he call'd it) he knew by heart. I desir'd he would rehearse it before me; which he did in broken Latin. Then I further desir'd, That he would let me hear him say
the same in English; but he answer'd, He could not: Which having a mind to try, I pitch'd upon (and propos'd to him) these two or three first Words of the Creed, Credo in Deum Patrem -, and asked him, Whether he understood what they signified? To which he replied, That he did not, for he was no Scholar. No more was he indeed, for he could not so much as read. Yet this I must needs say of him, that he appear'd to be serious and devout, and to give attention to the excellent Prayers of our Church, and to my ghostly Admonitions. He also readily confess'd, that he was Guilty of the Fact for which he stood condemn'd; but said, it was his first; and, that he had served several Gentlemen, both in Ireland and in England, and never wrong'd them of any thing, nor any other Person before.
At the usual Place of Execution, to which these seven Criminals were this day carried from Newgate, in three Carts, I attended and assisted them for the last time, exhorting them more and more to stir up their Hearts to GOD in Faith and Repentance: I pray'd, and sung some Penitential Psalms with them, and made them repeat the Apostles Creed, and then wishing they might obtain that Forgiveness of Sins, and that Eternal Life which they had now made a Profession of believing; and further recommending their departing Souls to the All-sufficient Grace and Boundless Mercy of GOD, I left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some small time allow'd 'em. Then the Cart drew away, and they were all turn'd off, while calling upon GOD to have Mercy upon their Souls.
This is all the Account which the present Time will permit me to give of these Malefactors; other Religious Services I am to perform (both To morrow and the next Day) coming so close upon me,
Friday, Jan. 29. 1713/1714.
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Just publish'd in a Pocket Volume,
The History of the Lives of the most noted highwaymen, Footpads, housebreakers shoplifters, &c. of both Sexes in and about London, and other parts of Great Britain, for above fifty Years last past; wherein the Secret History of their several Robberies, Thefts, Cheats, and Murthers, is collected by Capt . Alexander Smith. And on Saturday next will be publish'd the Second Volume, which compleats the History to this present Time.
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THE WHIGS Unmask'd; or, The Calves-head-Club farther expos'd; in a full Account of the Rise and Progress of that impious Society, since their horrid Rebellion in Forty-One. With all the Treasonable Ballads, sung by the villanous Whigs, as Anthems, on the 30 of January. Much enlarg'd by an impartial Account of all the Plots and Conspiracies form'd by the Low-Church-Faction, against the Queen and present Ministry. With Animadversions in Prose and Verse. Adorn'd with curious Cuts, by the best Hands. To which are added, several Characters by that most ingenious Poet, Sir John Denham. And the Hellish Mysteries of the Old Republicans, set forth in Vindication of King Charles the first, by Mr. Samuel Butler, Author of Hudibras.
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