THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 16th of July, 1714.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old baily, London, on Wednesday the 30th of June last, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday, the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 5th instant, Nineteen Persons, viz. Fifteen Men, and Four Women, Try'd for, and found Guilty of several Capital Crimes, did then receive Sentence of Death accordingly. But Seven of the Men, and One of the Women, having obtain'd HER MAJESTY's Reprieve (which I pray GOD they may have Grace duly to improve) Eleven of 'em are now order'd for Execution.
While they were under this melancholy Condemnation, I constantly visited them, and had them (twice every Day) brought up to the Chapel of Newgate, where I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of GOD to them, endeavouring both to instruct them in the excellent Duties of the Christian Religion, and perswade them to the careful Practice thereof, from the weighty Consideration, First, of GOD's Severe Justice against obstinate and hardned Sinners; and, Secondly, of his Infinite Mercy to them that do truly and sincerely repent.
And on the Lord's Day, the 4th instant, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the Second Lesson, which came of course to be read that Morning, viz. Luke 16. 23, 24. And in Hell he lift up his Eyes, being in Torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bosom. And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have Mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his Finger in Water, and cool my Tongue, for I am tormented in this Flame.
From this Text with the Context, first explain'd in general, I then shew'd in particular,
I. That poor Lazarus, as soon as he was dead, had his Soul carried up by Angels into Heaven.
And from hence I prov'd these Three Points, viz.
1st, That the Soul is capable of an Existence, separated from the Body; and therefore is not (as some Atheists vainly dream) a meer Affection of, or Accidence to the Body, but a distinct Spiritual Subsistence, dwelling in it.
2dly, That the Souls of Good Men, and True Penitents, when they depart out of their Bodies, are, like that of Lazarus, immediately admitted into a State of Rest and Blessedness in Heaven, signified by Abraham's Bosom. And,
3dly, That the Souls of Wicked Men and Impenitent Sinners, at the very moment of their departure out of their Bodies, are adjudg'd into the Unspeakable and Unallayable Torments of Hell.
Which I further evidenc'd, by examining the Text still more particularly, and considering, as it is here represented, viz.
II. That the Rich Man being in grievous Torments in Hell, and seeing Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom, earnestly entreated, That this once Miserable, but now Happy Lazarus, might come to him with one Drop of Water to cool his Tongue, who was so lamentably tormented in that Flame.
From which I shew'd,
1st, That tho' the Original Word, translated Hell, be often used for the Grave, yet in this Place it cannot be understood so; for it truly signifies Hell, properly so call'd, as it imports the Place of the Damned.
2dly, That this Text, being a Parable, a Figurative and Comparative Way of Speaking, by which our Blessed Saviour (thro' Things which we do understand) would bring us to the Apprehension of Spiritual and Heavenly Things; we ought not to suppose Heaven to be so near Hell, as that there should be any Correspondence or Converse between the Inhabitants of those two vastly distant and different Places: Neither are we to take the Words strictly and literally, which represent to us the Rich Man as if he were lifting up his Eyes, and begging of Abraham, he would send Lazarus, That with the tip of his Finger dipp'd in Water he would cool his Tongue: For Souls have neither Eyes, nor Fingers, nor Tongue, nor Bosom: Neither can any such Consequence be drawn from hence, as if the Saints in Heaven might be pray'd to; for these are Parabolical Expressions and Similitudes, whereby we are taught (so far as we are able to apprehend) what the State of the other World is; which I explain'd, by shewing,
3dly, That there is a Place of Rest, wherein we shall have a Communion with the Saints, and the same Felicity which is enjoy'd by ABRAHAM, the Friend of GOD, as he is call'd in Scripture.
4thly, That there is also a Place of Torment, where the Misery of Damned Souls shall encrease, by their being made sensible (as Dives was) of the Glory and Happiness of those whom in this Life they have scorn'd, despis'd and abus'd; and (perhaps) been Instruments (thro' their Cruelty and Barbarity) to hasten to those Blessed Mansions they are now in.
5thly, That there shall come a Time when the proudest Sinner will be glad of the Help of the meanest Saint, but shall not obtain it. Father Abraham, send Lazarus, cries the Rich Man in the Text, but to no purpose, because too late. 'Tis as if he had said, Send to me that happy Lazarus, whom when alive, and in great Poverty and Misery, I suffer'd to lie at my Gates full of Sores, and ready to starve and perish, and I would not relieve him.
6thly, That the State of the Damned is such, as is depriv'd even of the least degree of Comfort and Satisfaction. Dives desires but so much
Water for the cooling of his thirsty Tongue, as Lazarus might have taken up with the tip of his Finger, and that was deny'd him: Tho' he ask'd but a very small thing, (a Drop of Water) he could not obtain it.
7thly, That the Tongue is a Member, the Abuse whereof in this Life will lie very heavy upon lost Souls in the other. This the profane Swearer should now think of, and duly consider what his Doom shall be hereafter: And all Sinners, of any Denomination whatsoever, should also seriously reflect upon the State of another World, that (before it be too late) they might repent in this, and thereby escape the Damnation, and obtain the Salvation of their Souls to all Eternity.
8thly, ult. That as the Happiness of the Blessed in Heaven, so the Torments of the Damned in Hell are certain in their Being or Existence, and will be Eternal in their Length and Duration.
Having gone thro' these Heads and Particulars, I then apply'd my self to the Persons that were for Judgment, whom I earnestly exhorted so to repent of their Sins, that they might avoid the Dreadful Pains and Torments of Hell, and attain to the Ravishing Joys and Pleasures of Heaven.
On the last Lord's Day, the 11th instant, I preach'd both to them who were now strictly under Condemnation, and others there present, that prov'd to be very many (more indeed than the Chapel could conveniently hold:) And I took my Text out of the Second Lesson appointed for that Morning Service, viz. Luke 23. 42, 43. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.
From which pathetick Words spoken to Christ by the penitent Thief crucified with him, and Christ's gracious Answer to him, I observ'd,
1. This happy Malefactor's great Faith, and true Conversion, clearly manifested,
1st, In this which he said to his Companion railing on Christ, at ver. 40. Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same Condemnation? hereby acknowledging Christ's Divinity.
2dly, In the ingenuous and free Confession he made of his Sins, owning the Punishment to be just which was inflicted both on himself and that other his Fellow-Malefactor, Ver. 41. We indeed suffer justly, for we have the due Reward of our Deeds.
3dly, In his justifying Christ, and asserting his Innocence in these Words, which immediately follow his Confession, But this Man has done nothing amiss.
4thly, In his fervent and faithful Application to Christ, whose Mercy he thus implor'd, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. By all which it plainly appears, that this New Convert had a right Notion of the two Natures in Christ, (viz. the Divine and Human) and that thro' the gloomy and dark Ignominy and Shame of the Cross his Faith could discern the Brightness and Glory of Christ's Kingdom.
II. The happy Effects of that extraordinary Faith, and sincere Confession, viz.
1st, The Absolution and Pardon of all his Sins.
2dly, The happy Consequents thereof, namely, Eternal Life and Glory.
All imply'd in the most gracious and comfortable Assurance given him by Our Blessed Saviour, in these Words following, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.
After I had largely discours'd upon these Heads and Particulars, wherein I laid stress principally upon Faith and Repentance, which I fully explain'd to my Auditory (shewing them the Nature, Necessity, and Effects of both) I then apply'd my self in particular, with such Exhortations and Admonitions as I thought proper and suitable to the Condemn'd; who seem'd (some more, some less) attentive to what was then deliver'd to them: And in my private Examinations of them, they (who are order'd for Execution) gave me the respective Accounts of themselves, which follow.
1. Ann Edwards, condemn'd for two Burglaries; viz. First, for breaking open and robbing the Lodgings of Mr. James Moody; and, Secondly, for doing the like in those of Mr. Emmanuel Francisco; taking out of the former a Pewter Dish, and 3 Plates; and out of the latter several Goods of Value; both which Facts she committed at the same time, and in the same House, on the 30th of May last. She said, she was 36 Years of Age, born at Preston in Lancashire; That she had, for these 15 Years past, liv'd in the Parish of St. James Westminster, and other Neighbouring Parishes, and there serv'd in the Capacity of a Cook (and sometimes in that of a House-keeper ) in several good Families; That (besides the Facts she was now condemn'd for) she had done many ill things in her Life-time, and was about two Years ago burnt in the Hand, and order'd to the Work-house, where she remain'd a Twelvemonth, according to the Order of the Court; and being afterwards Discharg'd, but not Reform'd, she soon return'd to her former evil Course, and thereby brought her self to this Untimely and Shameful Death. She said, she heartily repented of all the Sins she ever committed, and desir'd me to pray to GOD for her poor Soul, overwhelm'd with Grief. This I promis'd her I would do, and withal instructed her to pray for her self, and pacify the Wrath of GOD, and obtain His Mercy; which (upon her true Repentance) she would certainly find, through the Merits and Mediation of the Saviour of all Men, especially of them that believe, as the Apostle tells us, 1 Tim. 4.10.
2. William Dyer, who pleaded to a Pardon at the Old-baily on the 12th of August, 1713, was now brought again under Condemnation for two new Facts by him committed, viz. First, for breaking open the House of Mr. John Palmer of Edmonton in Middlesex, taking thence a Gown and Petticoat, with other Goods, on the 13th of June last; and, Secondly, for doing the like in the House of Mr. John Blunt of the same Place, on the 23d of the same Month. He said, he was born in that Parish of Edmonton, and had been a Domestick Servant in several good Families thereabouts, and in London. He confess'd, he had robb'd some of his Masters, both while he liv'd with them, and afterwards; and that particularly since he had obtain'd his Pardon, instead of answering the easy Condition of it, which was, That he should transport himself out of the QUEEN's Dominions in Europe, within 6 Months after (which he had 2 or 3 times fair Opportunity to have done) he return'd to his wicked Practice of robbing Houses in his Neighbourhood, and elsewhere; so that, tho' he pretended he would honestly apply himself o his Business of Carpentry (a Trade he had formerly serv'd part of his Apprentiship to) yet his chief Employment, ever since his Discharge out of Newgate in August last, had been Robbing and Stealing, and doing suchlike Mischiefs, to the great Prejudice of the Publick: And herein his Wickedness and Impiety advanc'd so far, as not to spare even the Curate of his own Parish, whose House he broke open and robb'd in January last, about which time also, he said, he stole a black Mare out of the Grounds of Mr. John Allen in that Parish, for which One William Huggins was try'd at the Old-baily in February following. This William Dyer could read well, and had been carefully instructed in the Principles of the Christian Religion, by those worthy Persons he had serv'd; but yet, for all that, he prov'd desperately Wicked, and was like to have committed Murder, in attempting to shoot the Man that apprehended him. He seem'd, in all his Carriage under this Condemnation, to be unsincere and obstinate; and I must needs say this of him, That he gave me very little Signs of true Repentance for a great while; for when I examin'd him in private, he refus'd to make a free Confession of the many ill things he had done, the discovery whereof might have been of Use and Satisfaction to those honest Persons he had so basely wrong'd; but instead of clearing his Conscience by such a Confession; he said, He had declar'd too much already, and would say no more. Being ask'd how Old he was, he answer'd me, That he could not exactly tell, but thought he might be about 28 Years of Age. As I was discoursing him in private, shewing him the Necessity of doing what I advis'd him to, in order to avoid the severe and terrible Judgments of GOD, and obtain his Mercy, and the Pardon of his Sins, I observ'd him to fleer and snigger, mixing Tears and Laughter together; wherein (as indeed in his whole Deportment) he discover'd both a great Weakness, and Indisposition of Mind; but at last his Confession to me seem'd to be sincere, and Repentance true.
NB. That the Facts for which this William Dyer was formerly condemn'd were, viz. the breaking open and robbing the House of Mrs. Elizabeth Wiser, taking thence a Silver Mugg, and a Spoon, on the 15th of February, 1711-12: And likewise for stealing Ribbons and other Goods out of the House of Mr. Charles King, on the 27th of June, 1712. Of both which Facts he was convicted at the Sessions held at the Old-baily in July following.
3. Margaret Stevenson alias Sarah Williams, alias Susan Rogers, alias Susan Lambeth, which last was her right Name; Condemn'd for Stealing a Piece of green Persian Silk of the value of 3 l. out of the Shop of Mr. John Johnson, on the 25th of May last. She said, she was near 28 Years of age, born at Hamersmith in Middlesex; That she coming to London young, was bound to a Seamstress in Chick-lane, with whom she serv'd the full time of her Apprentiship, viz. 7 years; That she afterwards work'd for her self, and for a great while together liv'd an honest Life; but at last falling into bad Company, was thereby corrupted, and enticed into the commission of several Things, which at first were very much against her Conscience, tho' (thro' Custom) became easie to it at last; but she now found by her woful Experience, that, soon or late, Sin brings always along with it unspeakable Sorrow and Misery. She own'd that she was justly condemn'd; and, that she had been so before, and receiv'd Mercy (which, to her great Grief now, she had taken no care to make good use of); for, she having formerly obtain'd the QUEEN's Free Pardon, which she pleaded at the Old baily on the 12th of August last, under the Name of Sarah Williams, she did soon after return to her evil Course of Life, changing her Name indeed, but not her Manners. NB. The Fact for which she was formerly Condemn'd and Pardon'd, was, the Stealing 60 Yards of Persian Silk out of the Shop of Mr. William Ball, on the 8th of June, 1713.
4. Robert Cook, alias Hedgley, which was his right Name, Condemn'd for Breaking the House of Mrs. Mary Mellers, and stealing thence 8 Pewter-Dishes, 40 Plates, and other Goods, on the 13th of May last. He said, he was about 24 Years of age, born at Hoddesdon in Hartfordshire; and, That while in the Country, he was employ'd in Husbandry : Afterwards he came to London, and being prest to Sea , serv'd above 7 Years on board the Lenox, the Boyne, the Monmouth, and other Men of War. He confess'd, he had been a great Offender; That in May last was Twelve-month he was whipt for a Felony he had committed about that time; and, That the Sentence now pass'd upon him was very just, and he readily submitted to it, praying GOD to fit him for his great Change. He likewise confess'd, That he committed a Robbery in a House at Islington, about 9 months ago, taking thence some Pewter, a Coat, a Hat, &c.
5. Thomas Davis, Condemn'd for being concern'd in the same Fact with Robert Cook, last mention'd. He said, he was 23 Years of age, born at Shrewsbury: That he came up to London about 8 Years ago, and was bound Apprentice to a Waterman for 7 Years, which Time he serv'd faithfully; and being out of it about 6 months since, ply'd for himself. He confess'd the Fact for which he was condemn'd, but said it was his first; and I could not disprove it, but told him, 'T was pity he ever enter'd upon such a Course as this, which seldom fails of ending in Destruction.
6. George Horn, Condemn'd for a Robbery committed jointly by him and Thomas Perkins, on the Person of Mr. Thomas Gamball, from whom they took a Coat, a Hat, and a Shirt, with 11 s. and other Goods, upon the QUEEN' Highway, between Clerkenwell and Islington, on the 25th of May last. He said, he was 23 Years of age, born in the Parish of Allhallows in Thames-street, London; and by his Trade was a Lighterman , that us'd to carry Corn, Wood, &c. He confess'd, That once he was burnt in the Hand for a Felony which he committed about 2 Years ago, and afterwards went to Sea , where he serv'd sometimes on board several Men of War, and at other times in Merchantmen. I found him of a very harden'd Disposition, that could not be brought, but with much difficulty, to a sense of his great Duty and Spiritual Interest, being at first regardless of his present miserable state, and of the Means of preventing his falling into that which is infinitely worse, viz. the State of the Damned. I did what I could to rouze him up to a due Consideration of the Danger he was in; to awaken in him a just Fear, and excite him to a sincere Love of GOD.
7. Thomas Perkins just before-mention'd, as being concern'd with the said George Horn in the Robbery committed on Mr. Gamball. He said, he was about 20 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. James Clerkenwell: That he went to Sea , and was a Servant to a Commander of one of HER MAJESTY's Men of War; and afterwards returning home, was bound for 7 years Apprentice to his own Father, a Smith ; That his Father dying when he had but three Years to serve, he left off that Occupation, and went to Sea again; and there being employ'd for about 2 Years, he at last return'd to his Trade of Smithery, working Journey-work with One that had formerly serv'd his Father: That falling into bad Company, he (when in Drink) was perswaded to assist George Horn in the Commission of this Robbery he is now to die for: And tho' he confest he had been an ill Liver, yet he said, he never was Guilty of any such Fact before.
8. James Powell, alias Ashwood, alias Bowen, alias Neale, which last was his right Name. This Malefactor had formerly receiv'd Sentence of Death, being then try'd by the Name of James Ashwood, and obtain'd a Pardon on condition he should (which he did not) transport himself out of the QUEEN's Dominions in Europe, and pleaded to it accordingly on the 12th of August, 1713; and now was Condemn'd again for a Burglary, viz. for breaking open the House of Mr. Tho. Hulls, and taking from thence Two Guinea's, and Thirty Shillings in Silver, on the 15th of May last. He said, he was about 20 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields, and was bound Apprentice to a Perriwig-maker in that Parish; but his Master dying, and so being left to himself, presently fell into ill Courses, which he was now sensible he could not well have left off (so far he was engag'd in them) if this Death had not put a stop to his wicked Career.
9. Charles Goodall, alias Goodale. This Malefactor likewise had formerly receiv'd Sentence of Death, for stealing a Silver Cup and other Goods out of the House of Mr. John Beale, on the 6th of November, 1711, and obtain'd a Pardon on condition he should (but like the abovesaid James Powell did not) transport himself out of the QUEEN's Dominions in Europe: Which Pardon he pleaded on the 6th of June, 1712; as he did to another (and that a Free one) on the 12th of August, 1713; and now was Condemn'd again for breaking open the House of Mr. Albion Thompson, and taking thence a Coat, and several other Goods of Value, on the 17th of May, 1714. He said, he was about 19 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields; but, when very young, his Parents remov'd to that of St. Clement-Danes, and there he liv'd with them, and by them was brought up to School very carefully; but did not improve his Time as he might have done; for he betook himself to ill Courses, and so Corrupt he was, that tho' after his Pardon he had resolv'd to lead a better Life, (which for a time he did, at his Father's House) yet it was not long before he return'd again to his wicked Ways, that brought him to this his Untimely End: A Matter which, upon reflection, was a great Grief to him, and ought to be an effectual Warning to other loose Livers, as he had (and confest himself to have) been; for which he earnestly implor'd GOD's Mercy, and the Pardon of all whom he had any ways offended.
10. Mary Billingsby, alias Brown, Condemn'd for trepanning Judith Favero, an Infant, into a By-place near Hoxton, and there stripping her, and putting her in fear of her Life. She said, she was about 18 Years of Age, born at Norwich, and had liv'd 3 Years in George-yard in Shoreditch, and was there imploy'd in Doubling of Worsted . At first she deny'd the Fact, but afterwards confest it, saying, That Poverty had driven her to it: Upon which I told her, This was a very bad Excuse; and, That if she had been an honest and diligent Person, she might have supply'd her Wants otherwise than by such unlawful Means, and such too as were most base and cruel. I found her very ignorant, not being able so much as to Read, nor give an Account of any Thoughts she had of the World to come, and what would become of her
there; till she was taught, That by the Merits of CHRIST, embrac'd by Faith and Repentance, (which I particularly explain'd to her) she might be sav'd.
11. Robert Porter, alias Sandey, Condemn'd for breaking open the House of Mr. James Deluce, and taking thence a Wastcoat, two Wigs, and three lac'd Hats, on the 2d instant. He said, he was 16 Years of Age, born in the Parish of Stepney, and for some small time serv'd a Weaver there; but leaving his Master's Service, went a pilfering. I found him very obstinate and untractable, unwilling to confess any ill thing he had done; yet when I told him, That he had formerly been convicted of a Felony, and for it order'd to the Work-house, out of which he made his Escape, he own'd all this to be true, but would say no more; nor at first receive such proper Instructions and Admonitions, as were given him, in order to bring him to Repentance and Salvation: But at last finding himself in the Death-Warrant, and so having no further Hope of Life here, he appear'd more concern'd for his Soul than before: I was not wanting in making Use of this Opportunity to bring him (if possible) to a thorough Sence of his past sinful Life, his present sad Condition, and his future Eternal State, from which he was not far off, and which would be a State either of Happiness or Misery to him, according as he did or did not sincerely repent of his Sins. This (with several pressing Exhortations I us'd to this purpose) seem'd to make some kind of Impression upon his obdurate Heart: But whether they melted it indeed into that true Repentance, which alone is available to Salvation, I shall not take it upon me here to determine: but advise them, who walk in the same wicked Paths, to repent sooner and better.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were this Day carried from Newgate in 4 Carts, I attended them for the last time, and endeavour'd to perswade them throughly to clear their Consciences, and strive more and more to obtain GOD's Grace, that they might make a good End in this World, and be receiv'd into that State of Bliss and Glory in the next, which shall have no End. To this purpose I earnestly spoke to them, and pray'd for them: Then I made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, and sing some Penitential Psalms; and finally recommending their Souls to the boundless Mercy of our Good and Gracious GOD, I withdrew from them, leaving them to their private Devotions, for which (and for their speaking to the People to take Warning by them) they had some little Time allow'd them: After this the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, calling all the while upon GOD, to have Mercy on their departing Souls.
Note, That William Dyer did particularly confess, That he had committed the following Robberies, viz. 1st, he robb'd a House and a Shop at Tottenham, 2dly, the Reverend Mr. Butto's House; 3dly, Mr. Allen of a Mare at Edmonton in Middlesex; 4thly, Mr. Coward's House at Waltham-stow; 5thly, Mr. Huvet's House; and 6thly, Mr. King's in the Parish of Greenstead; 7thly & lastly, the House of Mr. Reynolds at Stanford-rivers in Essex. These he said, were (as far as he could remember) all the Houses he had broken and robb'd, &c. (besides those he stood Condemn'd for) since his Discharge out of Newgate in August last; and, That he never robb'd on the Highways, nor ever committed Murder.
This is all the Account I here can give of these Malefactors; Four of of whom, together with Five others mention'd in my former Papers, make up Nine out of Fifty-four that pleaded the QUEEN's Pardon in August last, who (by new-repeated Offences) brought themselves to this shameful End: Which I pray GOD may be such a Warning to those that remain, that they never return again to their Sins and Follies, but lead such a Course of Life as may be comfortable to them in this World, and (through Mercy) advance them to unspeakable Joys and Comforts in the World to come.
Friday, July 16. 1714.
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