THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at TYBURN on Wednesday the 3d of August, 1715.
AT the general Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday the 13th, Thursday the 14th, Friday the 15th, and Saturday the 16th of July last, Seven Persons, viz. Five Men, and Two Women, who were Try'd for, and Convicted of several Capital Crimes, receiv'd Sentence of Death; which was accordingly executed on Three of them; the other Four having obtain'd a most gracious Reprieve, the intent of which, I hope, they will take care (as it much concerns them) duly to answer, by obeying those Divine Precepts, and living that Holy Life, they have heard, and may further hear, it is their great Duty, and no less their own chief Interest to follow.
While they were under this Condemnation, I visited them constantly; and 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, who appear'd to give great attention to, and be much affected with it.
On the Lord's Day the 17th of July last, I preach'd to them, and others there present, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the Epistle appointed for that Day, viz. 1 Pet. chap. iii. the former Clause of the 11th verse; Let him eschew Evil, and do Good.
Which Words having in general explain'd, illustrated, and enforc'd by several Proofs from Scripture-Texts relating thereto, I then in particular proceeded to shew from them principally these three Things.
I. That we ought to eschew Evil in Thoughts, Words, and Deeds; and not only so, but even to abstain from all appearance of Evil, as the Apostle exhorts, 1 Thess. 5. 22.
II. That it is our indispensable Duty to do Good, which consists in a constant sincere Obedience to GOD's Commands, and in applying ourselves hereto with all the Faculties of our Souls, through the whole Course of our Lives.
III. and lastly, That our faithful Discharge both of this Negative and Positive Duty enjoyn'd in the Text, viz. our abstaining from Evil, and doing Good, will mightily conduce to our present and future Happiness, which by our Sins we have justly forfeited, but may (through Mercy) upon true Repentance and CHRIST's Merits, comfortably regain.
On the Lord's Day, the 24th of July last, I again preach'd to the Condemn'd, and others there present, who were many, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, taking my Text out of the First Lesson for that Morning-Service, viz. 2 Sam. chap. xii. verse xiii. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also has put away thy Sin: Thou shalt not die.
In which Words are contain'd these two principal Things most worthy of our Observation, and laid before us for our Encouragement to, and Improvement in the great Duty of REPENTANCE.
I. David's ingenuous Confession, who cry'd out here, I have sinned against the Lord.
II. The comfortable Absolution given him by the Prophet in the Name of GOD, immediately upon that Confession, imply'd in these Words. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also has put away thy Sin: Thou shalt not die.
Now what was this Sin of David, I shew'd to be the complicate Crime of Adultery and Murder, the former of which, viz. Adultery, he endeavouring to hide, was (as most Criminals in this Case commonly are) driven to the Commission of the latter, i. e. Murder. The heinousness of which irreparable Injury I represented to my Auditory; and then laid before them the just Character of a true Penitent, both in the Person and Actions of David, after he was brought to a sense and abhorrence of his Crimes; proposing him as a fit Pattern for them to imitate in their Repentance, who had imitated him in his Sins, or committed any other whatsoever.
Again, on the last Lord's Day the 31st of July, and on Monday the 1st of this instant August, the Day of Publick Thanksgiving to GOD for His Majesty, Our most Gracious Sovereign KING GEORGE's Happy Accession to the Throne, I preach'd to them, and took my Text out of the Second Morning-Lesson for that joyful Solemnity; the Place and Words of which Text being these, Rom. 13. 5. Wherefore Ye must needs be subject, not only for Wrath, but also for Conscience sake.
From this Text (which afforded me Matter for four Sermons on these two Days) after I had explain'd both it and the Context in general, I shew'd in particular,
I. The Duty of Subjection to the King as Supream, and unto Those appointed by Him to extcute Justice, in punishing and restraining the Evil-doers, and protecting and encouraging them that do well, according to the Apostle's Precept, 1 Pet. 2. 13.
II. Wherein we are to submit and he obedient to the Powers establish'd over us; and that is, not only,
1. In Things which GOD has plainly commanded: But,
2. In Things which GOD has not positively forbidden.
III. The Reasons laid down by St. Paul in the Text for this our Subjection and Obedience, viz.
1st, For Wrath, i. e. Not meerly for fear of the Punishment which the Magistrate may inflict upon the Offender: But chiefly,
2dly, For Conscience-sake; which implies, That tho' the Magistrate should lay-by his Sword; tho' he should suspend or remit the Punishment; yet, out of a sense of their indispensable Duty and religious Obligation, upon the Account of the Divine Command, Men ought to be subject and obedient to their Superiours; for to offend herein is a Sin against GOD Himself.
Having enlarg'd upon these Heads and Particulars, I exhorted both the Prisoners, and other Persons there present,
" To praise our Great and Good GOD for that, of His infinite Mercy " both to this Church and Nation (which we ought ever to be most thankful for) He has, by a special Providence, safely plac'd and stedfastly establish'd HIS MAJESTY upon the Throne of His Royal Ancestors; by " which we may have hope to see all the mischievous Designs and Practices " of those wicked People, brought to nought, who have an evil Will at our " Sion. And here we should fervently pray Him, the uncontroulable " MONARCH of Heaven and Earth, That He will please, more and " more, to protect, defend, and prosper our Just, Wise, Gracious, and " Religious Protestant KING GEORGE: That His Sacred Person, His " Royal Son, and all His Illustrious Family may always be preserv'd and " bless'd with the most exquisite Blessings both in Time and to Eternity: " That all HIS MAJESTY's Subjects may sincerely be Loyal and Obedient to Him, and (under His Happy Government) lead quiet and peaceable Lives in all Godliness and Honesty: And finally, That there may never be wanting a Prince descended from Him to sit upon the British " Throne so long as the Sun and Moon shall endure. And let all that Fear " GOD and Honour the KING, say AMEN.
After I had spoke to the whole Congregation in general, I then concluded all my publick, as well as I did my private Discourses, with proper Exhortations in particular to the condemn'd Persons, whom I endeavour'd to perswade to a speedy Return to GOD, praying that they might obtain Grace, by which their hard Hearts might be mollify'd and melted into true Repentance and Amendment of Life, to the blessed Comfort of their Souls both here and hereafter.
When I had them under private Examination by themselves, they did (each of them) give me the following Account of their past Life and present Disposition.
1. Edward Dalton, condemn'd for assaulting Mr. Andrew Shields, and robbing him of 12 Guinea's, a Broad-piece, and 18 s. in Silver, on the 30th of May last. He said, he was 38 Years of Age, born in Ireland, and brought up at Dublin; That there he was in a Gentleman's Service for a time, and then came to London, where he liv'd a while with another in the Capacity of a Servant also; That afterwards he went to Flanders, serv'd in the English Troops there, and was a private Centinel 5 years in the Lord Barrimore's Regiment. He acknowledg'd he had been a very ill Liver, and particularly when out of Employment, which was some considerable time: That he had done many things against the Laws of GOD and Man; and, That what he now found to be the great Cause of his Misery, was, his immoderate Desire and Inclination to Gaming, wherein he generally made it his Practice to cheat them he play'd with, as not sticking at any thing to make good his Game. As he was thus addicted to cheat, so he likewise gave himself the Liberty to commit divers Misdemeanours, some of which he was whipt, and some others he stood in the Pillory for, and yet he never reform'd, nor refrain'd himself from those wicked Practises, till by the Hand of Justice he was thus taken off from doing any further Mischief to the World. He seem'd to be very much griev'd, and lamented his past sinful Life, praying GOD to forgive him. A little before his Death he made this Declaration (by the Perswasion, I suppose, of some Persons who privately came to him) That as he was born, so he would die in the Romish Religion ; of which I found he knew little or nothing.
2. Sarah Glass, condemn'd for Shoplifting, i. e. for privately stealing 16 Yards of Muslin, Value 7 l. out of the Shop of Mr. William Hide, and Mr. Francis Cree, on the 18th of June last. She said, she was about 44 Years of Age, born at a small Village near the Devizes in Wiltshire; That she had liv'd 28 Years in London, and had serv'd an Apprenticeship with one that sold Physick-herbs in Stocks-Market; That finding she could not set up for her self, and get a Livelihood in that Employment and Place, she went to White-Chapel; and there kept a Stall where she sold Meat ; but for want of Trade, being reduc'd to great Poverty, she, for these 12 Years past, took to very ill Courses. She own'd, she had been burnt in the Cheek, and in the Hand, for several Felonies of which she was convicted, and had been once condemn'd to die, but obtain'd a Pardon. She would not freely tell me the Name she formerly went by (which was her first Husband's Name) lest the exposing of it might disgrace his near Relations, who are very laborious People, and honest too, as himself was. She further acknowledg'd, That above 2 Years and a half since, she was order'd to the Bridewell of London, but there being no Room to receive her in at that time, she remain'd a Prisoner in Newgate till Christmas last, when she was discharg'd. She own'd the Crime she was condemn'd for, and mightily bemoan'd the sad Condition which her presumptuous Continuance in a wicked Course of Life had now brought her to, and heartily pray'd that others might be wiser than she had been, and that GOD would please to forgive her many and great Sins.
3. Margaret Jones, condemn'd for stealing a Silver Cup, Value 45 s. and a Silver Watch, Value 20 s. the Goods of Mr. Jonathan Chaloner, out of the House of Mr. Robert Legg, on the 16th of June last. She said, she was something above 40 Years of Age, born in the Parish of St. Mary White-Chapel; That she had work'd hard in washing of Cloaths, Scowring, &c . for getting an honest Livelihood to her self and Children; but not being able to subsist by that her Labour, and Poverty growing upon her, she was easily tempted to use the wicked Trade of Stealing, which she had follow'd for several Years past, without getting much by it besides the Punishment she had deserv'd, which was the being (at times) burnt in both Face and Hand, and order'd to Bridewel for two Years. I found her very ignorant in any thing of Religion, yet I hope she was truly sensible of, and heartily sorry for, all her past Sins, and particularly this she was (as she acknowledg'd) justly condemn'd for. She cry'd to GOD for Mercy, and begg'd Pardon of them she had offended.
At the Place of Execution, whither they were carry'd, all Three, in a Cart this Day, I attended them for the last time; and after my usual Exhortations and Prayers, singing of Penitential Psalms, and rehearsing of the Apostles Creed, I left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allotted them. Then the Cart drew away, and so, were turn'd off; they all the while calling on GOD to have Mercy upon them; to pardon their Sins, and save their Souls.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Malefactors, by me,
Wednesd. Aug. 3d, 1715.
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