THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 22d of September, 1714.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-bailey, on Wednesday the 8th, Thursday the 9th, Friday the 10th, and Saturday the 11th of September 1714, Ten Persons, viz. Eight Men and Two Women, that were Try'd for, and brought in Guilty of diverse Captital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. But of these Ten Persons, One of the Women being found Pregnant, and Two of the Men having obtain'd a gracious Reprieve (which it highly imports them duly to improve) the rest are now order'd for Execution.
While they were under this twofold melancholy State of Guilt and Condemnation, I constantly visited them, and had them, twice every day (save one Afternoon) brought up to the Chapel of Newgate, where I pray'd with them, read and expounded the Word of GOD to them giving them out of it such Instructions and Animadversions as were proper for them, in order to their making a due Preparation for their approaching Death and Judgment, that by a lively Faith and sincere Repentance, wrought in them by the Divine Spirit, and their devout Attention to that Sacred Word, they might obtain Mercy, Pardon, and Salvation, thro' Jesus Christ, the Redeeemer of all them that truly Believe and Repent.
On the Lord's Day, the 12th instant, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon these WORDS of GOD, Exod. XX. 13. Thou shalt not kill.
Which Words I chose to discourse upon, because of two Murderers that were then under Condemnation; And having first explain'd them in general, I then spoke to these distinct Points, arising from them, in particular.
I. The Heinous Nature of the Sin of Murder, with some of the most common Gradations leading to it, and the dismal Effects attending it.
II. The Severe Punishment due to it, which in this World is unpardonable, as the Offence is irreparable.
III. and lastly, The High Degree of Penitence, the Person guilty of such a High Crime, ought to endeavour to stir up himself to; crying bitterly with David in the 51st Psalm, at the 14th Verse; Deliver me from Bloodguiltiness, O God!
These were the Points I largely treated of, on that Lord's Day.
And on the next Lord's Day, which follow'd, i. e. the 19th instant, I preach'd to them, viz.
In the Morning, upon Eccl. XI. the latter part of the 9th Verse; the Words being these - But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into Judgment.
From which Words I shew'd these Five Things, viz.
I. That there is a Judgment to come.
II. That every Man shall be brought to that Judgment; which will be very strict and very severe against Obstinate and Impenitent Sinners.
III. That it is GOD, the great Judge of all the World, who will bring Men to Judgment.
IV. That the Matter of that Judgment, will be the Ways of Men's Hearts: Which implies their Thoughts, Words, and Actions.
V. and lastly, That all this is most certain and evident from this positive Expression in the Text, Know thou: For here we may observe, Solomon does not say, Thou mayst Think; or, Thou mayst Suppose, or Believe; but KNOW; Know thou, that for all these Things [i. e. for thy evil Thoughts, wicked Words, and sinful Actions] GOD will bring thee into Judgment.
In the Afternoon I preach'd upon Eccles. ix. 10. Whatsoever thy Hand findeth to do, do it with all thy Might; for there is no Work, nor Knowledge, nor Wisdom in the Grave, whither thou goest.
Here I shew'd, That the Argument us'd by Solomon in the Text, to perswade Men not to slip, but presently take hold of the Opportunity they have in this Life to prepare for the next, in performing whatever they ought to do before they die, is this; That after Death there is nothing to be done that can any ways be available to their Good.
To enforce this Truth, and press and inculcate it upon my Auditory, I did, with the wisest of Kings in this Book of Ecclesiastes, desire them seriously to reflect upon the Vanity of this present Life; and herein consider,
I. The Shortness of it, and the Troubles attending it.
II. The Eternity which is to follow. And,
III. and lastly, The Great Work we have to do, before our short time in this World be expir'd, in order to our avoiding the Misery, and obtaining the Happiness of the World to come.
Having enlarg'd upon all these Heads, I concluded both my Mornings and Afternoons Discourses with particular Exhortations and Admonitions to the Persons under Condemnation, whom I earnestly advis'd, and press'd by proper Arguments, seriously to consider of, and prepare for, their approaching great Change.
And this was the great Subject I mostly treated of, and daily entertain'd them with, that I might (if possible) make them fit for a better
Life, who had miserably forfeited the Privilege of continuing longer in this.
In my private Examinations of them, they gave me the respective Accounts of themselves, which (with my own particular Observations of them, and occasional Advice to them) do here follow, viz.
I. James Neale, alias John Cobb, Condemn'd for Counterfeiting the current Coin of this Kingdom. He said, he was 28 Years of age, born in Northamptonshire, at a Place call'd Helmedon, near Oxford; and, That he had liv'd above 12 Years in and about London, where he learnt (and that chiefly by Books) and practised the Art of Chymistry ; in which he had made some useful Discovery, but for want of Money and Credit, he could not carry it on. And being thus under great Straits, he was, by some Persons he became acquainted with, who us'd to put off false Money, easily perswaded to try his Skill upon Coining, promising, that they would assist him therein, which they did; but he said, he had not practis'd it above 20 months; and now was very sensible of the Heinousness of his Crime, considering (which he did not before) the Universality of the Mischief occasion'd by it. He said, that (this Crime excepted) he could not charge himself with any other Sins than were common to Human Frailty; which he nevertheless very much bewail'd, and earnestly begg'd Pardon for; as he did in a special manner for this publick Injury he had committed; adding, That his Design was, to have quitted this wicked Trade, and return'd to an honest way of living, after he had gotten a little Money, whereby he might have set himself at work on what was lawful, either in Chymistry or Watch-making , to which latter he was brought up.
2. John Hull, alias Barker, which latter was his right Name, as being his own Father's, and the other his Father-in-Law's, by which he was often call'd: And this, he said, was the reason he had two Names. He was condemn'd with the aforesaid James Neale, for Counterfeiting the current Coin of this Kingdom; which (as he told me) his Poverty (together with the Perswasion of others) had brought him to the commission of. He said, he was 42 Years of age, born at Colchester in Essex, where he serv'd an Apprentiship of Seven Years with a Bake r, and then came up to London, and was a Journey man to several Bakers alternately, at White-chapel, and other Places in and near this City: That afterwards he went to Dublin in Ireland, and there having work'd with a Baker for two Years, return'd to London, and set up for himself at Limehouse. He own'd he had liv'd a wicked Life, being addicted to the foul Sin of Lewdness, and other wilful Sins, but of late years had in a great measure left them off; and that tho' he fell into this Crime of Coining, yet he did not intend to continue long in the Practice of it. Here I observ'd to him, (as I likewise did to the other) that in this appear'd the Devil's Artifice, who putting him upon a wicked Fact, in hopes of repenting, knew that when he was once engaged in't, he would find more Difficulty to get out of it, than it would have been at first for him to have kept himself from meddling with it.
3. Henry Plunket, condemn'd for a barbarous Murder he had committed upon the Person of Mr. Jean le Brun, in English John Brown, by cutting his Throat with a Razour, on the 30th of August last. He said, he was just 20 Years of age on the 3d Day of July last; That he was born at Saar-Louis in the Dutchy of Lorrain, a Place under the Dominion of the King of France; That for the most part of his Life he had been in the French Service in Italy, Germany, and Flanders; and, That when but ten Years of age, he had a Lieutenant's Com
mission, under the Command of his Father Colonel Plunket, an Irish Gentleman, and a Relation of Father Plunket's, Primate of Ireland, (as he call'd him) who came to an Untimely End here in the Year 1679. As for himself, he said, That tho' he was made an Officer so young, (and therefore came to that Post of a Lieutenant more by Favour than Merit) yet, as he grew up, he shew'd himself worthy of it; for by his undaunted Courage he always faced, and never turn'd his Back to his Enemy. And so he would have gone on with a further Account of his Valiant Exploits, but I put a stop to it, by telling him, That the Consideration of those deserved Actions of his, would not in this Case have stood him in any stead, even with the King of France, in whose Service he was then engag'd, much less here in England, where such his Warlike Feats were unknown and useless: And besides, That as he own'd to me he was forc'd to fly out of the French Dominions for killing a Gentleman in a Duel there, so he could not with any colour of Reason expect that such a base Murder as he had committed here, and of which he was fairly convicted, should go unpunish'd. Here I endeavour'd to make him sensible of the greatness of his Offence, that he might duly repent of it, and so obtain God's Mercy; but he deny'd the Fact, and only own'd himself in general guilty of many Irregularities thro' the whole Course of his Life, for which he begg'd Pardon of God, and of those he had offended; but he would say no more as to the confessing in particular the Sins his Conscience was loaded with; telling me, that as he was a Roman Catholick , so he did not think fit to open his Mind to me, but he would do it to a Father-Confessor of his own Religion, who would absolve him. Upon which I observ'd to him, that he seem'd to be more concern'd for, and depend more upon, his Priest's Absolution, than the to following the Sound Advice I gave him, of Praying to God for Grace to repent of all his Sins, in such a manner, as that his Repentance might be sincere, and effectual to Salvation, thro' the alone Merits of Jesus Christ. After I had thus spoken to him, he own'd to me, That he was Guilty, and justly Condemn'd: And would say no more.
4. Joyce Hodgkis, condemn'd for a Murder by her committed on the 18th of August last, upon the Person of John Hodgkis her Husband, who was a Shoemaker by Trade. She said, she was about 42 Years of age, born in Staffordshire, but from her Youth brought up in the Parish of Shadwell, and thence remov'd to Limehouse, about 15 Years since, where she was married to the said John Hodgkis, who prov'd a very cruel Husband to her all the time she was his Wife, which was Fourteen Years. When I first examin'd her, before her Condemnation, about this barbarous Fact she was committed for, she deny'd it: And in that her Denial she persisted for a great while after she had received Sentence of Death; but at last she confess'd it, saying, That in her Passion she gave him the Wound he dy'd of, bu did not design to have killed him: And now she was made sensible, that tho' her Husband was such a wicked Person as she had represented him, who dealt very ill with her, in using her most unmercifully, yet she ought not to have taken his Life away for that, but have endeavour'd by some proper Means (as having the Minister of their Parish, or some other serious Person, to discourse him) to bring him to a better Temper. This she acknowledg'd was a Fault in her, that she did not use such a Method, but instead thereof took a Course with him as rid her of him indeed, but brought a Guilt and Trouble upon her, more than she ever had before. I found her very ignorant in Matters of Religion, tho' she said she went frequently to Church; but not being able to read, she had not that Advantage of understanding Good Things, which they have who were brought up to Reading, and to know the Principles of the Christian Religion from their Youth. She being found Guilty of a Crime which the Law calls Petty-Treason, she was order'd to be, and so accordingly was Burnt for it, as I shall observe by and by.
5. Thomas Trevor, condemn'd for Burglary, in breaking open the House of Mr. William Stevens, and stealing thence several Goods of Value, on the 8th of July last. He said, he would not give me any other Account of what he was, or had been, but this only, That he had serv'd King William and the late Queen above Twenty Years in the Army ; and the World should know no more of him from his own Confession: But to this I answer'd, That whether he would make any Confession, or no, I knew, and the World knew too well, that he had been an Old Offender, who had committed very many ill Facts, and that he had receiv'd Sentence of Death at the Old-baily before this time, and afterwards obtain'd a Pardon, which he pleaded there on the 12th day of August, 1713; but having abused that Mercy by committing new Crimes since, had now brought himself to this shameful End and Destruction. To which I added, That if he did not sincerely repent of all his Sins, which he could not but be sensible were many and great, he would perish for ever; and therefore ought seriously to consider it betimes, for his Life, yea, his Eternal Life, depended upon't. With this he seem'd to be somewhat touch'd, and to relent: But yet I cannot say that he was, as I wish'd he had been, brought up to a just degree of Contrition and Penitence, and an earnest Desire of God's Pardon for them: For (in short) he appear'd to be very obstinate, and to think, that less Repentance would serve his turn, whose Sins he thought did not make him so heinous an Offender in the Sight of God, as theirs did who had committed wilful Murder; of which Crime, he said, he never was guilty. Here finding him to build too much on his Innocence, or at least, less Sinfulness, I told him, That as God was so gracious as to forgive the greatest of Sins on true Repentance, so He would in his Justice most certainly punish the Sinner with Eternal Damnation, who would venture to die in the Guilt of the least Sin unrepented of. At last he own'd, he was concern'd in the Burglary he was condemn'd for, and had in many other respects been a great Offender.
6. Peter La Tour, corruptedly call'd Letune, said he was 20 Years of Age, born in Fleet street, London; That his Father was a Frenchman, and an Officer in the Service of King William the Third of Ever-blessed Memory, and his Mother an Englishwoman: That he was brought up to the Sea , and serv'd on Board several Men of War, and the last Ship he serv'd in was the Bedford: That having left that Service for some Years past, he betook himself to very ill Courses, and committed several Felonies, all of which (one excepted) he being try'd for, and found guilty of, he was several times burnt in the Hand, and sent to the Workhouse. He confess'd his Guilt of the Burglary he stood now condemn'd for, which was the Breaking open the House of Mr. John Palmer at Edmonton, taking thence diverse Goods, on the 27th of July last. Of which Fact, and other Sins by him committed, he said he heartily repented; and gave some demonstration of his Gref, by his Cries and Tears, and other Expressions of the Sense he had of the heinousness of that wicked Course of Life which he had led.
7. Thomas Tinsley, condemn'd for the Stealing of a dark-brown Mare, out of the Grounds of Mr. Thomas Goddard, on the 17th of April last, as also for stealing another Mare (a black one) out of the Grounds of Mr. William Mitchell, on the 11th of May last. He said he was 28 Years of Age, born at South-Myns in Middlesex; That about 8 Years since he went to Totteridge in Hartfordshire, and there follow'd Husbandry , and was a Servant to three or four Farmers alternately; and, That he had all-along behav'd himself faithfully in his several Services, and never committed any such Facts before as these he was now condemn'd for; which he readily acknowledged, and pray'd God to forgive him.
He was a poor ignorant Person, Yet he became very sensible that his Poverty; which at first he alledg'd for an Excuse of his Crime, was not a good Argument, for that could not alter the nature of his Offence, therefore such a Plea would avail him nothing at God's Tribunal, as it was of no force in Courts of Judicature among Men: But what was fit for him to do in the sad Circumstances he had brought himself into by his Sins, was truly to repent, and to that end raise in himself a just abhorrence of 'em, considering how displeasing they were to God, as well as hurtful to his Neighbour, and also to his own Soul. And here I gave him some particular Directions how he might perform this Duty, and by such a Performance
(thro' the Divine Grace, and the Merits of Christ) obtain Eternal Life and Salvation. He receiv'd these my Instructions and Admonitions (as it appear'd) with a desire to follow them; but his great Illness of Body (being sick of a Fever) joyn'd to his want of Knowledg, render'd it very difficult, and made his Progress therein very slow. However, as he seem'd to do whatever he could in it, so I hope the Lord has accepted both of it and of him, out of his boundless Mercy in Jesus Christ.
At the Place of Execution, to which the two Coiners were drawn in a Sledge, and the other Five carried in two Carts this Day, I attended them for the last time, and (according to my usual manner) exhorted them to clear their Consciences, and repent of all their Sins, to their utmost ability, earnestly praying God to assist them, and comfort them with extraordinary Grace at this time of their great Need and Distress, that after their departure out of this miserable World, in which they had so much offended both GOD and Man, they might be fitted for Admittance into the Mansions of Bliss and Glory, where they should sing Praises to God to all Eternity. To help them therein, and excite their Desires thereto, after many Ghostly Admonitions, which I gave them, I pray'd for them, sung some Penitential Psalms with them, and made them rehearse the Apostles Creed: And then commending their Souls to the boundless Mercy of God, I left them to their private Devotions; who, after they had spoke to the People to this purpose, That they should take Warning by them, &c. and pray'd a while by themselves, the Cart drew away, and the Men were turn'd off, calling all the while upon God to have Mercy upon their departing Souls, and receive them into his Heavenly Kingdom.
After the Men were thus turn'd off, the Woman (i. e. Joyce Hodgkis) was ty'd to a Stake, set up for her at a little distance from the Gallows, where I pray'd by her; And when I had done, then the Fuel and combustible Matters, that were there prepared, being placed round her, and set on fire, she was burnt.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Malefactors, by me
Wednesday, Sept. 22d 1714.
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