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 December, 1714.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-baily, on Wednesday the 8th, Thursday the 9th, Friday the 10th, Saturday the 11th, and Monday the 13th instant, Eight Men who were then Try'd for, and Convicted of diverse Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death accordingly; Three of whom having obtain'd the Mercy of a Reprieve (which I hope they will take due care to improve as they ought to do) Five are now order'd for Execution.
While they lay under this Condemnation, I constantly visited them, pray'd with them, and expounded the Word of GOD to them in the Chapel of Newgate, to which they were brought up twice every day, to the end that being instructed in that Holy Word, they might (as in a Glass) see the Deformity and Heinousness of their Sins, and the Beauty and Excellence of Religion and Virtue; and thereupon abhor and forsake those, and become enamour'd with, and exert themselves in the constant Practice of these; bringing forth Fruits meet for Repentance, and by that (with the Merits of Christ apply'd to the sanctifying and saving of their Souls) obtain Eternal Life.
On the Lord's Day, the 12th instant, I preach'd to them, and others there present, upon part of the Gospel appointed for that Day, viz. Matt. 11. 10; the Words (which were spoken by our Blessed Saviour Himself) being these; For it is written, Behold I send my Messenger before Thy Face, which shall prepare Thy Way before Thee.
In my Explanation of which Text, having observ'd,
1st, What Place (viz. Mal. 3. 1.) these Words [It is Written] refer to; which shews the need we stand in of reading and acquainting our selves well with the Holy Scriptures, that are able to make us wise unto Salvation, and administer great Instruction and Comfort to our Souls.
2dly, What was the Person of the Messenger here spoken of, viz. St. John the Baptist; and, What sort of Life he led.
3dly, What was the Nature and Intent of his Message, viz. The Preaching of Repentance.
These Particulars I first briefly discours'd upon, and then spoke more largely to the Points following, viz.
I. The true Nature II. The indispensable Necessity III. The great Danger in the Delay IV. and lastly, The happy Effects of Repentance.
After I had gone thro' every one of these Points, I did (in my particular Application to the Persons Condemn'd) endeavour to inforce on them this important Work of Repentance; which (with other practical Duties of Religion) I laid open before them in my daily Discourses to them, in publick and in private.
And on the last Lord's Day, the 19th instant, I preach'd to them again, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon Numb. 35. 31. Moreover, ye shall take no Satisfaction for the Life of a Murderer, which is guilty of Death: But he shall be surely put to Death.
From which Words I shew'd;
I. The heinous Nature of the Crime of Murder, which of all other Injuries committed against the Person of our Neighbour, is the greatest; because it is the Destroying (as much as in Man lies) the Image of God Himself, and taking that away which can never be restor'd.
II. The severe Punishment of it, which in this World is irremissible, because the Injury is irreparable.
III. and lastly, How much that Person, who is so unhappy as to be guilty of such an horrid Crime, (thus unpardonable by Men) ought to be concerned in doing whatever he can, effectually to repent according to the height and heinousness of such his Crime, that he ay obtain Pardon in the other World, tho' he ought not to expect it in this.
Having discours'd at large upon these Heads, I concluded here (as I did before) with suitable Exhortations and Application to all the Persons there, and particularly those under Sentence of Death; shewing them from Scripture, That a Man, who hates his Neighbour, and does offer any Injury or Violence to him, which may be the unhappy occasion of Blood-shed, is guilty of Murder before GOD, tho' Human Laws may let him escape the Punishment he really deserves. And upon this Account I endeavour'd to make them all sensible, and truly repent of their Sins, in the Commission of which they did put themselves into the Danger either of killing or being kill'd.
What Effect these, and the like Instructions and Admonitions that were given them, had upon their Hearts, I shall leave the Reader to judge from the Accounts they respectively gave me of themselves, which are as follow.
1. Richard Field, condemn'd for the Murder by him committed upon the Person of Mary the Wife of Gabriel Randal, a Tobacco-Pipe-maker at Uxbridge in Middlesex, and stealing out of their House, Gold, Silver, and other Goods, to a great Value, on the 20th day of October last. He said, he was 27 Years of Age, born at Conyhatch in the County of Middlesex: That at first he went to School there, and afterwards to other good Schools in Towns thereabouts, viz. Finchly, Totteridge, and East-Barnet; and, That a good and pious Gentlewoman taking care of his Education, and defraying the Charge of it, he was well and virtuously brought up; but did not answer the End of that his Education; That when he was about 12 Years old, he would (and so did) go to New-England; and there being come, he was bound Apprentice to One Michael Harding, a Tobacco-Pipe-maker at Boston: That when he had serv'd out his seven years Apprentiship, he work'd 3 Years more (as a Journeyman ) with his Master, who being a sober and godly Man, and
keeping his House in good Order, he the said Field could not but outwardly appear religious and careful to discharge Christian Duties then; tho' indeed at the same time he had a wicked Heart, and would often wrong even his good Master secretly; stealing Money and other things from him: That about 5 Years ago, returning into England, he wrought for a while at his Craft of Pipe-making , by which he got 5 s. or 6 s. a Week, and no more; and being perswaded by some of his Friends to follow some other Employment, he try'd to learn some parts of the Art of Watch-making, as Punching, Gilding, &c. But as he could not attain to any Ability and Perfection therein, so he instead of being a Gainer, was at last a Loser by it: That growing Poor, and desiring to get Money at any Rate, and by any Means (Right or Wrong) he not only fell again to work at his old Trade of Pipe-making, but also pilfer and steal wherever he could; and, at last proceeded to the horrid Commission of the two great Crimes for which he was condemn'd to die, viz. Robbery and Murder; the latter whereof (which certainly is the most heinous of all other Facts) he said, the Devil prompted him to, he did not know how; but being in a hurry, and afraid of a Discovery, he stopt Mrs. Randal's Mouth with a Cloth, and thrust it down her Throat, not thinking that it would (as it did) prove the sad occasion of her Death. At first he pretended that One John Gardener was then in the House, and the Person that committed the Murder; but afterwards he confess'd that none did it but himself, and that taking the opportunity of Mr. Randal's absence, who at that time was abroad, and with whom he work'd Journey-work, he of his own head contriv'd and effected these his wicked Purposes; for which he now express'd great Sorrow, and earnestly ask'd GOD's Pardon and his Master's; wishing a thousand times that he had not brought this double Guilt of Blood and Robbery upon his Soul.
2. William Hoskins, condemn'd for two Burglaries, viz. 1st, For breaking the House of one Mr. Joseph Bird, and stealing thence 190 Yards of Spanish Poplin, and diverse other Goods: 2dly, For Breaking and Robbing the House of Mr. Edward Downes, and taking away from thence 80 pair of Silk, and 40 pair of Worsted Stockings, with several other Goods of great Value, on the 22d of November last. He said, he was about 35 Years of Age, born at Micham in Surry; where, from his Youth, he follow'd Husbandry , till of late Years he came up to London, and got into Service in several good Families; being first a Coachman to a Lady at Turnham-Green, and afterwards a Footman to a Gentleman at Shoreditch, and to some others. He own'd, he was guilty, not only of the Crimes for which he is now Condemn'd, but of others, which (as far as he could) he made known to the Persons he had injur'd: That now he was sensible his Neglect of GOD's Service, in which he had liv'd for a considerable time past, had given the Devil too much Power over him, and made him unable to resist his Temptations; Adding, That he once little thought he could ever arrive at the Commission of those heinous Facts, that should bring him to this Untimely End; but bad Company had induc'd him thereto; and, among others, John Chance (by whose Evidence he was Cast) had a great hand therein; having perswaded him to go along with him, and assist him in the Robberies before-mention'd. When I told him, that I thought I had seen him in Newgate before, he confess'd it was true, and that it was for taking a great Coat from off a Horse's Back, in the Street, about ten Months ago; for which Fact he was burnt in the Hand, and order'd to the Work-house, out of which he broke soon after. He further said, That of 3 Years and a half he was in and about London, he spent 18 Months in Service, and liv'd then very honestly; but when he quitted that Employment, he became very Loose and Thievish; for tho' he went part of the Summer to Hay-making, yet at other times he supply'd his Wants by pilfering, and the like Unlawful Practices; the Remembrance of all which, and the Sense he now had of the Miseries he had thereby brought on himself, were very bitter and grievous to him.
3. John Savile, condemn'd for Robbing on the King's Highway, and for Burglary, viz. 1st, For Assaulting and Robbing Mr. Thomas Trenowth on the Highway, on the 2d of November last. 2dly, For Breaking the House of Mr. John Lee, on the 6th of the same Month, and stealing thence a Brass Kettle, a Sawcepan, and other Goods. 3dly, For breaking open the House of Mr. Maurice Jones, and taking thence a Brass Porridge-pot, two Brass Sawcepans, &c. on the 7th day of the same Month. 4thly, For breaking the House of Mr. Edward Hughes, on that Day, and taking thence four Pewter Dishes, and ten Pewter Plates. He said, he was 31 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Mary Whitechapel; and was 7 years Apprentice with an Armorer in Haydon-yard in the Minories: That he served 9 Years on board three several Men of War, viz. the Colchester, the Ipswich, and the Severn, as an Armorer; and, That he had never been concern'd in those Robberies he was condemn'd for, had not Moses Woodfield (the Evidence against him) induced him to that wicked sort of Life; by which he did not get above 40 s. in all, and is now brought to Shame and Death in this World, and might (were not God most Merciful) look for greater Punishment in the next. Which to prevent he seem'd to do what in him lay to repent; and as a Proof of his Sincerity herein, he restor'd (as far as he could) what he had stoln and got by any unjust Means, and earnestly desir'd my Prayers to God for him, so careful he was to prevent his Eternal Ruin.
As I knew he could write, so I desired he would set down what Crimes he had committed; which he accordingly did, in a Letter he wrote and deliver'd to me; wherein he only omitted the mentioning those Robberies he had before told me of, which were more proper to be (as they were) privately made known to the Persons he had wrong'd, and was now willing to help (as he did some of them) to their Goods again. Here follows a True Copy of his said Letter, for the satisfaction of those that will read him in his own Words.
YOU desir'd me to tell you of what Robberies I had committed: Sir, this is to let you understand, that I never did no Robberies of any Consequence, but the Robberies of which I was convicted; for I never did any thing of Consequence till I went with that Moses Woodfield, which took away my Life; and that was about a Month before I came in hither. I was given a little to picking of Pockets before, and took some small Matters of little value, which I do pray heartily to GOD to forgive me, and desire your Prayers for the same. And, Sir, I have offended God Almighty in keeping company with other Women when I had a Virtuous Wife of my own: And I have been greatly addicted to Swearing, and to breaking the Sabbath, and been disobedient to my Parents, in not being ruled by them when they gave me good Counsel, for which I do repent from the bottom of my Heart, and desire that others will take Warning by my Shameful Death. Pray, Dear Sir, let me have your Prayers for my poor Soul.
4. John Awdry, condemn'd for Burglary, viz. For Breaking open the House of Mr. Thomas Fisher, and taking thence six Firkins of Butter, a great quantity of Cheese, and other Goods, on the 13th instant. He said, he was born in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields, aged about 26 Years, being 10 Years older than his Brother Roderick Awdry, that was executed on the 28th of May last, for diverse Robberies by him committed. This John Awdry (who was cast by the Evidence of another Brother of his) own'd the Justice of the Sentence of Death past upon him, which he had deserv'd long e're this, as having been concern'd in several Felonies and Burglaries, formerly with Thomas Jarrott (against whom he made himself an Evidence) who was executed the 24th of October, 1711, and of later Date with Anthony Geary, executed on the 21st of April last, and with some others, who are still alive, and whom he desir'd to take Warning by his and other his Companions shameful End, that they might avoid their own, by a
timely Repentance. Upon my asking him, What was the reason he did not take such a Warning himself, and after he had been (as he once was) Burnt in the Hand, and sent to the Old Bridewell (where he remain'd two Years) and then set at Liberty in April last; he did not take care to lead a better Life? He answer'd, That it was his Intent then to become a new Man, and never more do an ill thing willingly, but go to Sea again, where he had formerly serv'd the late QUEEN for the space of 16 Years, on board the Suffolk, the Norwich, the Betty of Bristol, the Dunkirk-Prize, and other Men of War; but giving way to the Company of lewd Women, and spending his Substance upon them, and being thereby reduc'd to the Want of Money and all Necessaries; to supply these his Wants, he soon return'd to his unlawful Ways, in which he had been to much conversant before, and which he now (to his great Sorrow) found had brought him to his shameful Death in this World, and the Danger of being eternally lost in the next; which he pray'd GOD, of his infinite Mercy, would please to prevent, for the sake of JESUS CHRIST.
5. Richard Stevens, condemn'd also for Burglary, viz. For Breaking open the House of Mr. Joseph Briggs, and taking thence some Pewter Plates, and other Goods, on the 5th of November last: And likewise for stealing three Holland Shirts, and other Linnen out of the House of Mrs. Jane Hare, on the 13th Day of the same Month. He said, he was 17 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields: He readily confess'd, That he had been a very unruly Youth, disobedient to Parents, and unwilling to be bound Apprentice to any Trade; and therefore his Mother sent him to Sea , where he serv'd about 3 Years on Board the Colchester, the Essex, the Chichester, the Oxford, &c. He own'd also, That he was sometime employ'd in crying News about the Streets , but got very little by it: and, That he had committed several small Felonies, as picking of Pockets, and the like, besides the Facts for which he is now condemn'd to die, and a few other Robberies, of which he had given Information to the Persons concern'd. He also own'd, that about 8 Months since he was found guilty of, and whipt for, stealing some Holland Shirts out of a Yard belonging to a House in the Pell-Mell; adding, That tho' he was given to Pilfering and Thieving (to supply his Expences in Gaming, &c.) yet he thought he should never have come up to such an height (as he has done) in the wicked Trade of Robbing, if he had not been prompted and encourag'd to it by Moses Woodfield, who afterwards turn'd an Evidence against him, and whom he pray'd GOD to forgive.
At the Place of Execution, whither they were this day carry'd in 2 Carts from Newgate to Tyburn, I attended them for the last time; and after I had given them proper Exhortations, and pressingly admonish'd them to consider well their great approaching Change, and the Eternity they were just to be lanched into; I pray'd, they might be truly prepar'd for it. They join'd with me both in Prayer, and in the singing of some Penitential Psalms, and likewise in the rehearsing the Apostles Creed; declaring they died in that Faith, which they had thus made Profession of. All of them (but more especially William Hoskins) seemed to be very fervent and earnest in their Devotions; for which they had some further time allotted them, after I was retired from them. They desired the Standers-by to pray for them, and all (particularly Young People) to take Warning by them. Then the Cart drew away, and they were turned off; every one of them with his last Breath mightily calling all the while upon GOD to have Mercy on their departing Souls.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons by me,
Wednesday, Dec. 22th 1714.
Whereas some Letters without Name have, for these three or four Sessions past, been sent to the Ordinary of Newgate, desiring him to expose in his publick Papers, the heinous Sin, said to be frequently committed by Women under Confinement there, in taking Things to cause Miscarriage, which indeed is a most enormous Crime, no less than downright Murder: These are to satisfie the Unknown Person, who sent the 'foresaid Letters, That the Ordi
nary knows of no such thing done in that Goal; and, that on the contrary he is apt to think, that those Women, instead of endeavouring to prevent their being with Child, or cause Abortion, do rather use opposite Means.
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