THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at TYBURN on Wednesday the 21st of September, 1715.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 7th, 8th, and 9th Days of September, 1715, Eleven Persons, viz. Six Men, and Five Women, being Try'd for, and found Guilty of, diverse Capital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. Six of them, viz. Three of the Women, reported to be pregnant, and another Young Woman of 12 Years of Age, together with Two of the Men, having obtain'd the Mercy of a Reprieve (which I wish they may be so wise as to improve into Amendment of Life) Five only are now order'd for Execution.
While they lay under this melancholy Circumstance of Condemnatio I constantly visited them, and had them brought up to the Chapel of Newgate, where I attended twice every Day, and pray'd with them, to whom I also read and expounded the Word of GOD; shewing them from that Sacred Word of Truth, on the one hand, the Severity of GOD's Justice to harden'd and impenitent Sinners, and on the other hand, the greatness of His tender Mercy to such, as will be melted by his Grace into true Repentance and Reformation of Life.
On the Lord's Day the 11th instant, I preach'd to the Condemn'd and others there present, upon these Words of our Blessed Saviour, Matt. 5. 20. For except your Righteousness shall exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
From which Words, I shew'd,
I. The Noble Design and Blessed End of the Christian Religion, which lays upon the Professors of it an indispensable Obligation to do whatsoever GOD commands, and avoid what He forbids, who requires of them true Sincerity in their Discharge of all Religious and other Duties, without the least Mixture of any Invention of their own with the pure Doctrine of the Gospel; which as nothing is to be added to, so nothing is to be diminish'd from. In both which Points the Pharisees of Old were, and their Followers in our Days are, very defective; as I made it appear under the next Head; wherein I shew'd;
II. The Difference between the Christian and the Pharisaical Religion; the latter of which principally consisted in pompous Ceremonies and outward Performances of Traditions, Rites, and Services, which (for the most
part) were not at all requir'd by Almighty GOD, but they of their own accord both made 'em their Practice, and impos'd 'em as necessary Duties on the People, while at the same time they neglected those greater and weightier Things that He strictly enjoyn'd; as Our Blessed Saviour observ'd to them, and upbraided them withal, telling them plainly, That all they did was not out of pure Love to GOD, and Goodwill to their Neighbours, but out of a conceited Pride and Self endedness, viz. To be regarded and rewarded by Men. That was Their Righteousness, which must be far exceeded and out done by Ours. And to shew how this might be done, I laid down,
III. Some Directions for the Practice of true Religion and Virtue; shewing on the one hand, the great Benefits and Advantages resulting there-from; and on the other hand, What the Nominal Christian (that is, the meer outward Professor of Christianity) may justly expect; whose Righteousness does not exceed, but even comes short of, or at best is like to, that of the Pharisees. Such a false Christian, such an Hypocrite, as he is no true Member of Christ, and consequently has no Share in the State of Grace; so neither can he have any just Reason to hope, he may ever be admitted into the State of Glory: For (saith Christ in the Text) Except your Righteousness shall exceed - &c. Which important Doctrine to inculcate and imprint (if possible) on the Minds of my Auditors then, and Readers now, I drew these Inferences from what was said upon the Text.
1. That from the Drift and Scope of the Christian Religion, we may infer, That we Christians ought to wea our Affections from this Wicked World, and raise them to those excellent Things that are above; the Contemplation of which should lessen in our Esteem, all the Pleasure, Grandeur, and Glory of this lower Orb.
2. That as we are taught by the Christian Religion to love GOD above all things, and Our Neighbour as our selves, so ought we carefully to discharge all Religious Service to Him, on Whom our Life and Happiness entirely depend; doing justly, loving Mercy, and walking humbly with our GOD: as the Prophet speaks, Mic. 6. 8.
3. That when we are under any Trouble or Affliction, there is nothing that can so properly and so effectually comfort us, and give true Joy, Repose, and Tranquillity to our Minds, as the Christian Religion both can and does; it being calculated to set us above the Concerns and beyond the reach of all the Accidents and Calamities of this unquiet World, and to promote our Chiefest Good.
4. That from the Nature of the Christian Religion and the Service it enjoins, we may infer, That as GOD has made our Duty to Him profitable and comfortable to us, and agreeable to our Circumstances and Abilities, so He expects that we should chearfully and heartily perform it. For,
5. That in all our Performances of Christian Duties we ought to be true and sincere, and not as the Pharisees of Old were, whose Hypocrisy and Superficial Devotion we find so much and so severely reprov'd by Our Blessed Saviour in his Gospel.
6. That as we Christians make Profession of the Gospel, so it is expected we should have the Life and Spirit of it in our Souls, and manifest it in our Lives and Conversations; being thereby directed to
the constant Practice of Piety and true Holiness suitable to the Divine Precepts given us therein.
7. That as the Pharisees were infinitely mistaken in valuing themselves for their sitting in Moses's Chair, and teaching and practising (as they pretended) the Duties of Religion (which in truth they only did for a Show) so we Christians will find our selves likewise in a sad Mistake, disappointed of our Hopes, and totally ruin'd in our Great and Spiritual Concern at last, if we do rely only upon an Outward Profession of Christianity, unaccompany'd with the Life of it.
8. That we are not (with the Pharisees of old, nor their Imitators of later date) to fancy that a strict Performance of some Religious Duties commanded by Almighty God, o some others pretended and invented by Men, will compensate and make amends for (or any ways excuse) the wilful Neglect of any thing which God requires of us; for we ought to look upon our selves as most indispensably oblig'd to do (to the utmost of our Power) whatever He has been pleas'd to enjoyn us. And herein we are to take due Care not to make our Religion (as some do theirs) a Cloak of Maliciousness, a Pretence or Motive to any Action that is unlawful or unwarrantable.
9. That a Thorough (or at least a Competent) Knowledge in Religion (to which we should all desire and endeavour to attain) is a most excellent Means to bring us to the Love of God, and Obedience to all his Commands; And this will have such a powerful Influence upon our Hearts, as both to turn and incline them to that which is Good, and deter and keep them from what is Evil.
10 ult. That from all the Premisses, duly consider'd, we may reasonably infer, That as we are Pilgrims and Strangers here on Earth, so 'tis both our Duty and Interest always to have in our View, and entertain in our Thoughts, a livly Sense of the Things of another World; making those Excellent Things that are above, and out of the sight of our Corporal Eyes, present and visible to our Souls, by a living and stedfast Faith, which (if we ask) God will give us, and which (upon our Perseverance in it) will render both Our selves and Services acceptable to God in this World, and comfortably prepare and dispose us for Eternal Bliss and Glory in the next.
These Particulars and Inferences I enlarg'd upon, and recommended to the serious Consideration and Practice of my Hearers.
And on the last Lord's Day, the 18th instant, I preach'd to them again, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of one of the Psalms which came to be read for that Morning-Service, viz. Psal. 90. 12. the Words being these: So teach us to number our Days, that we may apply our Hearts unto Wisdom.
From which Words (once spoken by Moses to the Children of Israel, and now with their Context explain'd and apply'd) I laid down this Proposition, viz.
That it is the greatest piece of Wisdom for Men to spend their Days (which are but few) in this World, in a constant Religious and Godly Life, and so Prepare themselves for their future happy State in the next.
And the Reasons of this I shew'd to be principally these:
1. Because this Preparation is of absolute Necessity, for our avoiding Everlasting Misery, and obtaining Eternal Felicity.
2. Because the Time for this Preparation (tho' it were the Whole of our Natural Life) is but short, and when once gone, never to be recall'd.
3. Because this Time is often made shorter, and the Account we are to give of it much greater, by our heinous wilful Sins, which naturally tend to our Temporal and Eternal Ruin both of Body and Soul.
To which I added,
4. ult. That when Men have miserably brought themselves to this sad and deplorable Condition, 'tis their great Interest, as well as Duty, to str up themselves to the highest degree of Repentance, earnestly praying to GOD (the Giver of all good Gifts) to assist them powerfully with his Grace, that they may Believe, Repent, and be Saved.
On this Theme I frequently discours'd to them, who all seem'd to be very attentive both to my Publick and Private Exhortations; and in my Examinations of 'em by themselves, those who are now order'd for Execution gave me the respective Accounts both of their past Lives and Present Dispositions, as follow.
1. John Smith, alias Mackintosh (which latter he said was his right Name) condemn'd for Three Burglaries, viz. First, For breaking open the House of Mr. Randal Lee, on the 20th of May last. Secondly, For breaking the House likewise of Sir Richard Reynolds, Bart , and stealing thence an Iron-Chest, value 4 l. a Diamond Necklace, value 100 l. &c. on the 3d of August last. Thirdly, For another Burglary and Robbery by him committed in the House of John Chetwind, Esq ; taking thence a Silver Embroider'd Cloath Coat, value 15 l. a Gold Embroider'd Wastcoat, value 20 l. and other Goods of considerable value, on the 31st of the same Month of August last. He said, he was 21 Years of Age, born in Bloomsbury Market, in the Parish of St. Giles in the Field: That his Parents had given him good Education, but he did not live accordingly: That he serv'd sometimes at Sea in a Man of War , and at other times was a Labourer to Bricklayers and Plaisterers, but soon left those lawful Employments, and betook himself to vile and wicked Courses: That about 6 Years ago, having stoln a Piece of Flannel, he was burnt in the Hand for it, and order'd to be confin'd in the Savoy; and thence sent to Sea , but made his Escape; and then committed another Robbery, for which he was burnt in the Hand again, and sent to the Bridewell in Clerkenwell for one Year; but thence also he made his Escape: That some time after this being concern'd in a Riot with those People call'd Mohocks, he was fin'd 100 l. and sent to the Gatehouse, there to remain till he had paid his Fine; but making his Escape thence, was taken again and kept a Prisoner there 3 Years, at the expiration whereof he had his Fine emitted, and Liberty given him, which is about 15 Months since, but all this while liv'd no better than before. He now seem'd to be very sensible of his past Follies, and pray'd GOD to forgive him all his Sins, that were many and great, for which he ld make no Reparation to his injur'd Neighbour, otherwise than by acknowledging he was justly prosecuted, and as justly condemn'd, he deserving the Sentence pass'd upon him, and therefore willingly submitted to it: But here he desir'd that his poor Mother (an honest and virtuous Woman) might not be reflected on for this his shameful End, which (had he follow'd her good Advice and wholsom Admonitions) he might have avoided. He further told me (among other pieces of Roguery he had committed) That he once hearing a certain Lady's House, not far from the Place of his Birth, was robb'd of some Plate, he wrote to one of her Ladiship's Servants (himself being at that time a Prisoner in the G use) acquainting him, that he could help his Lady to her Plate: Upon which that Servant coming to him, he ask'd him 2 Guinea's, which he pretended he must have before he could get it. Accordingly he had what he demanded, but afterwards prov'd a Cheat, putting off that Servant with saying, he could do nothing in it. I endeavour'd to make him sensible, as of all others, so particularly of the Baseness of this his Treachery, but he excus'd himself for , saying, That being ready to starve in Goal, he did not know what other shift to make for supplying his great Want at that time, &c.
2. Ralph Walker, condemn'd for privately stealing out of the Shop of Mr. William Thorp 145 Yards of Silk and Worsted Lace, value 30 s. on the 7th of August last. He said, he was 41 Years of Age born in Carter-lane, London; That he was a Smith by Trade, and serv'd his Apprentiship with his Father, who was of that Occupation; That from 2 years old till of late Years he liv'd in Warwick-lane, in the Parish of St. Faith, where his Father kept his House and Shop, and himself likewise (after his said Father's decease) for about 20 Years: That he was left at first in pretty good Circumstances, with a House well furnish'd and a Shop well Custom'd; but Trade decaying, and himself growing negligent, he ran into Debt, and was forc'd to abscond from his Habitation, and to live with a Relation of his in the Country for a time: That about 6 Years ago he stole a Silver Cup, and was burnt in the Hand for it; and his Prison-Fees being paid by some Persons of the Romish Religion, upon Promise he would turn Roman-Catholick, he was thereupon
discharg'd: That in July last he was again burnt in the Hand for another Felony, viz. for stealing 3 pair of Stockings out of the Shop of Mr. Matthew Waldren, on the 5th of that Month; And so going on in his wicked Course of Life, did at last bring himself to this shameful Death. He declar'd, That he would die in the Romish Religion , tho' he knew little of that, or any other.
3. James Putris alias Pewterer, (which latter was his right Name) condemn'd for breaking open the House of Mr. Robert Brigham, and stealing thence a Silk Petticoat, 74 yards of Ghenting, and several Pieces of Linnen, with other Goods, on the 26th of August last. He said, he was 20 Years of age, born at Shadwell; That about six years ago he was enticed into the wicked Course of Thieving by one John Kennedy, lately hang'd at Maidstone in Kent for robbing on the Highway: That Five years since, or thereabouts, he did break (into and rob) a Shop in Nightingale-Lane near East Smithfield, taking from thence 7 pair of Worsted-Stockings, some Worsted, and a Silver-Groat: That not long after this, he also broke open a House in Virginia-street, near the same Place, and by the help of another Person took thence a Copper, a Gown, and a Petticoat: That he was burnt in the Hand once at Maidstone, and kept a Twelvemonth in the Goal there; and another time at the Old-Baily, and order'd to the Bridewell in Clerkenwell; where having been another Twelvemonth kept to Work, was at the end thereof discharg'd, but so far from being reform'd by all this Correction, that he presently return'd to his former Evil Ways; for the esday before his Commitment to Newgate (which was on Friday the 26th of August last) he broke open the House of Mrs. Mary Gosworth, in Ratcliff Highway, and took from thence a Gold Necklace, 2 white Sarsenet Hoods, a Shirt, a Shift, 2 Silk Handkerchiefs, and 4 Silver-Thimbles; all which he sold for 5 l. 10 s. viz. the Necklace for 4 l. 10 s. the Hoods for 10 s. the Shirt and Shift for 5 s. the Handkerchiefs for 2 s. and the Thimbles for 2 s. and a Shilling over. He said also that there was something else he took out of that House at the same time, but could not tell what that was, for he dropt it as he was running from the Watch, who pursued him, but did not overtake him; so he escap'd for that time, but soon after was taken in another Fact, viz. that which has now more immediately brought him to this shameful untimely Death. Upon my asking him, What made him so easi yield (as it seem'd he did) to the pernicious Insinuations of that wicked Person Kennedy he answer'd, That being without Father or Mother, and left upon the Parish, he was put very young Apprentice to a Shoemaker , with whom he was bound to serve till he came to 24 Years of age: That his said Master being very severe and cruel to him, after he had liv'd two Years in his Service he ran away from him, and a few days after return'd to him; But meeting with worse Usage than he had before, he went away a second time, and return'd again: And this he frequently repeated for about two Years more; then left him quite, and wholly a himself in all manner of Wickedness, following the Diabolical Instructions given him by the said Kennedy, and growing more and more harden'd in his Sins, insomuch that no Correction hitherto was able to work any Good upon him. All this he acknowledg'd, and (to his great Grief) now perceiv'd the heinousness of his past Sins, and the mischievous Consequences of 'em He cry'd bitterly, and (according to his Capacity, which was but small) pray'd GOD to shew him Mercy.
4. Alexander Murray, condemn'd for stealing 38 yards of Silk Camblet, value 5 l. the Goods of Messieurs Coleman and Clay, out of the House of Mr. Henry Sheppeard, on the 30th of July last. He said, he was 24 years of age, born at Limerick in Ireland; That his Parents gave him good Education, so that he was well vers'd in School-Learning, and besides this, did understand Navigation, Ganging, and keeping of Merchants Accompts, which he was taught at an Uncle's of his, a great Merchant in Ireland, with whom he liv'd three years: That he serv'd sometimes in the Army in Flanders, where being with a skilful Surgeon, he in a little time learnt something of the Art of Surgery : That having afterwards kept bad Company, and being brought to Poverty, he was induc'd to this Fact, which he said was his first. He express'd a great deal of Sorrow, not only for the Crime that had now brought him to this shameful End, but for all the Irregularities of his Life which were previous to it; praying GOD, and the Persons he had injur'd, to forgive him.
Sheets, and other Goods, on the 22d of July last. She said, her right Name was Mary Nichols, and she was about 30 Years of Age, born at Deptford in Kent; That she us'd to sell Meat (her Husband being a Butcher) and sometimes Fish, Eggs, Butter, Fruit, & c. about the Streets in London, Southwark, &c. thereby endeavouring to get an honest Livelihood; but thro' her Husband's Unkindness, and her Charge of providing for her small Children as well as for her self, being great, she was reduc'd to extream Poverty, and by that driven to Stealing; which wicked Trade she began 2 Years since, and was burnt in the Hand about Christmas last, as she had been twice before, for several Felonies by her committed. She particularly acknowledg'd her self Guilty of the Crime she now stood condemn'd for. I found her very ignorant; yet, I hope, she at last became sensible of the Heinousness of her Sins, so as to repent of them in good earnest.
At the Place of Execution (whither they were all carry'd in 2 Carts this Day) I attended them for the last time, and (according to my usual manner) exhorted them more and more to repent, and stir up their Affections to GOD: I pray'd and sung some Penitential Psalms with them, made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, and finally recommended them to the Divine Mercy, and so retir'd, leaving them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allotted. They admonisht the People to take Warning by their Fall; and those concern'd with them in their Crimes, to repent. Then the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, all of them calling upon GOD to pardon their Sins, and receive their Souls.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons, by me,
Wednesd. Sept. 21st, 1715.
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