THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at TYBURN on Friday the Twenty-third of December, 1715.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-baily on Wednesday the 7th, Thursday the 8th, Friday the 9th, and Saturday the 10th of December, 1715, Thirteen Persons (viz. Eight Men and Five Women) that were severally try'd for, and found guilty of diverse Capital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. Three of the Women being reported to be Pregnant, and Three of the Men having obtain'd a gracious Reprieve (which I would have them duly to consider and improve) Seven only are now order'd for Execution.
While they lay under this Condemnation I constantly visited them, sometimes in their Dungeon, oftener in the Chapel of Newgate, to which they were brought up twice every day; there I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of God to them, laying before 'em those Motives and Arguments (arising from it) which might induce them to an accurate, strict, and serious Examination and Consideration of themselves, with respect to their past Sinful Lives, their present woful Condition, and their future Everlasting State, so as to repent of all their former Transgressions and Offences against GOD and Man, to implore the Divine Mercy and Grace, and humble themselves under the Mighty Hand of God, that they might obtain his Gratuitous Pardon and Eternal Salvation, through the alone Merits of JESUS CHRIST.
On the Lord's Day the 11th instant I preach'd to them, viz. in the Morning on Psal 19. 12. 13. Who can understand his Errors? Cleanse thou me from secret Faults: Keep back thy Servant also from presumptuous Sins: Let them not have Dominion over me. Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great Transgression.
From these Words (first explain'd in general) I shew'd in particular the Nature of Sin, and the different Characters under which it is here represented, viz.
1. Sins of Ignorance and Infirmity, such as the Royal Psalmist here calls in the Text, Errors and Secret Faults.
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II. Sins wilfully committed, having a reigning habitual Power in wicked Men. These are Presumptuous Sins, which (if long indulg'd) will at last get an absolute Dominion over such Sinners.
After I had largely discours'd upon these, I proceeded to shew,
III. ult. That if (by the Divine Grace, which we are continually to implore) we do carefully keep our selves from Presumptuous Sins and Evil Habits, we shall be safe, and out of danger of perishing; for notwithstanding those many Errors and Infirmities that we cannot avoid, God will account us, and deal with us, as Righteous Men; which David insinuates in this latter part of the Text, Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great Transgression. The Meaning whereof is as if he had said, I shall be clear of all such Sins as may endanger my Soul, and expose it to eternal Damnation.
In the Afternoon I preach'd on Hebr. 9. the latter part of the 27th Verse, the Words being these, - It is appointed for Men once to die, but after this the Judgment.
From which I laid down these following Points to discourse upon.
I. That this Life (which is but short) is the only Time allotted Men to prepare themselves for Eternity.
II. That when this Life is once ended, the Day of Grace is certainly past with Men, if it were not (as it might be) so before, and then they are beyond the possibility of repenting to any purpose; for there is no Repenting, no Work, nor Device, nor Knowledge, nor Wisdom in the Grave. Eccl. 9. 10.
On the last Lord's Day, the 18th instant, I preach'd again to the Condemn'd, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, and my Text was 1 Tim. 1. the former part of the 15th Verse, This is a faithful Saying, and worthy of all acceptation, That Christ Jesus came into the World to save Sinners.
Having first open'd the Words, and consider'd them in general, I then discours'd from them in particular, upon these Points, viz.
I. The Doctrine of CHRIST's taking our Nature upon Him, imply'd by this former Clause of the Text, Christ Jesus came into the World.
II. The End of that his Coming, thus plainly express'd in the latter Clause, viz o save Sinners.
And herein I shew'd what sort of Sinners (not the Impenitent, but the Penitent). He came to save.
On these I enlarg'd, and concluded both them and my other foregoing Sermons with particular Admonitions to the Condemn'd, whom I exhorted to Repent, shewing them what true Repentance was, and the blessed Effects of it.
And this Subject took up the greatest part of my Time, both in my publick and private Instructions to, and Discourses with them, who seem'd affected (some more, some less) with what I deliver'd to them in the Name of GOD. And those of them that are now to suffer, gave me the respective Accounts of themselves, which follow.
1. Richard Bell, alias Brown (the former he said was his right Name) condemn'd for stealing five Shop-Books out of the Shop of Mr. William Langton, on the 8th of Nov. last. He said, he was 27 Years of age, born in London, but in what part he was loth to tell: That he was bound Apprentice to a Smith , but did not serve out his time with him; and, that he listed himself in the late Queen's Service , and was in the Army in Flanders above one Year. He was not free to give a full Account of his past Life, only in general confess'd he had been a wicked Man, but that ought not to bring any Reflection upon his Friends, who were honest People. At first he would not, but at last did own he was justly condemn'd, and begg'd GOD's Pardon, and all he had injur'd.
Upon my hearing, that about three Years ago, he was a Soldier in Gen. Seaburgh's Regiment, in Flanders, and did then (in company with 3 others) rob Mr. Robinson, Pay-master to that Regiment, taking from him a great quantity of Gold, for which one of his wicked Comrades was executed there; and that the said Mr. Robinson's Servant (who was innocent) being suspected of that Fact, was so griev'd at this Suspicion, that he hang'd himself for it: I ask'd this Richard Bell, What he said to all this; and, Whether it was not so. Upon which, having paus'd a little with surprize, he own'd himself Guilty; saying, All that was true. Then I endeavour'd to raise in him a due Sense and Horror of that his heinous Crime, shewing him of how great importance it was to him that he should repent of it in a particular manner; for without this he could never be sav'd. And here I further let him know, That this made me greatly suspect his having committed many other grievous Sins of the like Nature or worse. But he said, that was the greatest he ever did, and that he had many times ask'd GOD's Pardon for it.
2. Henry Howard, alias Powell (which latter he said was his right Name) condemn'd for assaulting and robbing two Women on the King's Highway, between Barnet and Kicks end, on the 15th of October last. He said he was 23 Years of Age, born in the Minories, in the Parish of St. Botolph, without Aldgate: That when he was but 12 Years old, his Friends bound him Apprentice to an Apothecary and Surgeon at Wapping: That his Master dying before his Time was expir'd, (viz. about four years ago) he continu'd with his Mistress only while he had settled the Shop-Accompts, that she might see what was due to her Husband; and, That he did defraud her therein, by scratching out of the Books several Persons (Seamen and others) who ow'd his Master Money for Medicines, &c. which he said he did out of Charity to them, because he knew them to be Poor. Upon this I endeavour'd to make him sensible, that this was a great Sin for him thus to give away (as he pretended in Charity) what
was not his own. In the further Declaration he made of his past Life, he told me, That a certain Person, whose Wife being one Day in company with him, having given him a Ring for another he had of much less Value, that Gentleman (her Husband) had him before a Justice of peace, who order'd him into the late Queen's Service, and so accordingly he went to Flanders, and there he was about two Years a private Soldier : That from that time he might date his Misfortune; for then he began to keep bad Company, and to abandon himself to all manner of Lewdness and Debauchery: That he had committed several Capital Facts (both in City and Country) for which he never was brought to Justice, and now he acknowledg'd the just Providence of GOD, that at last now had overtaken him, and inflicted this condign Punishment upon him, who was not like to have been reform'd any other way. I desir'd he would tell me what those Criminal Facts were, and give me a more particular Account of his Life; but he desir'd to be excus'd from this, saying, That it would avail nothing, for he could make no Reparation to the Persons he had injur'd; and besides most of them were absolutely unknown to him. A few of 'em however he nam'd and own'd to the Persons themselves he had robb'd. Here I mention'd to him a certain Robbery committed about Sevenoak in Kent, since Michaelmas last, wherein he was suspected to be concern'd, but he flatly deny'd it: Whereupon I putting him in mind of what was then taken (viz a great quantity of Ribbon) from a Carrier, he own'd he knew something of it, but cou'd not help the poor Man to his Goods again. And this was all I cou'd get out of him.
3. Richard Boucher, condemn'd for breaking and entring the House of Mr. Thomas Brown, with an intent to rob it, on the 3d of November last. He said, he was 24 years of age, born in the Parish of St. James, Westminster: That his Parents brought him up well, and gave him good Education, but he did not live answerably to it: That not liking to live at home, he went to Sea , and serv'd for some time on board a Man of War in the West-Indies, under the late Reign: That when he was return'd home, he had no mind to follow any other Employment but that of being a Drawer in a Tavern , or a Tapster in an Alehouse ; That upon this Account he went to an Acquaintance of his Mother, who kept a Victualling-house at Portsmouth: That after he had been there a certain time, he came up to London again, and got into the Service of another Person, who was of the same Calling; That in all those Services he growing very loose, he did very much neglect Religious Duties, both in private and publick, and became a very ill Liver, breaking GOD's Laws in all Respects, except Murder: Yet at the same time he said he had not transgress'd against the Laws of Men so, as to deserve such a Punishment as this till now. At first I found him very stubborn and harden'd, but at last he seem'd somewhat soften'd, and melted into a due Consideration of his future State, and begg'd Pardon of GOD and Man.
4. Thomas Smith, condemn'd for privately stealing 40 Yards of Justian out of Mr. Finch's Warehouse, on the 8th of November. He said, he was 33 years of age, born of a good Family in the West of England, and had us'd the Seas from his Youth, serving on board several Men of War and Merchant-men, where he bore some Office. He confess'd he was justly condemn'd, and had deserv'd long ago such a Punishment for
other wicked Facts he had committed, and could not now make any manner of Reparation for, which was his great Grief. All the while he lay under this Condemnation he was so very ill as not to be in a capacity of being easily remov'd out of the Condemn'd Hold, nor of answering all the particular Questions that otherwise I would have put to him. Under that his extream Weakness, I did at several times pray with him there, who seem'd to be affected with it, and pray'd GOD would be merciful to him.
5. John Wright, condemn'd for stealing above the value of 20 l. in Gold & Silver out of the House of Mr. Nat. Spurling, where he lodg'd, at Wapping, on the 27 of April last. He said he was 24 Years of age, born at Ware, Hartfordshire; That he was a Baker by Trade, and had liv'd honestly hitherto, but bad Company having debauch'd him, he was tempted to commit the Fact that had brought him to this shameful Death; of which and all other his Sins he heartily repented; praying GOD and the Persons he had injur'd to forgive him, who was very sorry for what he had done amiss, but could not undo it, nor make due amends for it, otherwise than by his Death, to which he submitted.
6. Ann Body, condemn'd for Burglary and Robbery. She said, she was 28 years of age, born at Stoke in Buckinghamshire: That when she was very young, her Friends carry'd her to Saret in Hartfordshire, where she was brought up: That as soon as she came to be of Years capable of Working, she went to Service there : That about 4 Years ago being desirous to try whether she might mend her Condition, she came up to London with an honest Intent to be a Servant in some good Family or other; but before she could find such a Service, she unhappily fell into bad Company that presently deluded and debauch'd her, bringing her into Poverty, and then into the commission of Theft, Whoredom, Drunkenness, Prophanation of the Lord's Day, Swearing, Cursing, and all manner of Sin and Wickedness whatsoever, Murder only excepted; and, That all these 4 Years she had been in London she liv'd that lewd and vicious Life, pilfering and stealing whatever she could lay Hands on: That her common way of Robbing was, the taking Linnen, Cloaths, and other things out of Courts and Yards; and, That for one such Fact she was about 3 Years since brought to Justice, and accordingly order'd to be whipt for it. She further said, That the greatest Crime she ever committed was this she now stood condemn'd for; and, That she did it in this manner, viz. Having got acquainted with the Person that was try'd and condemn'd with her (but repriev'd) she told him one day that she formerly liv'd with a Gentleman in Hartfordshire, who had a great deal of Plate in his House, and she might easily come at it, as knowing every part of that House, and by what way one might enter it; and therefore if he would pay her Lodging, for which she ow'd her Landlady here in Town, and go along with her to that place, they might, set out on their Journey the very next Day. To this he readily agreed, and so accordingly they went; but as they were on their Way her Heart misgave her, and she would go no further, apprehending the Danger she expos'd her self to by this Enterprize; but her Companion being unwilling to go back, they proceeded on their Journey till Night overtook 'em, and then they sought for Lodging, but finding no body that would receive or harbour them, they lay that Night in a Barn: That the next Morning she was again in the mind of returning to London, but he wou'd not comply with her therein, saying, That as she had brought him on thus far, he would go farther: That upon this they both continu'd their Journey, but cou'd not that Night reach Rickmansworth, the Place she told him she would bring him to, so they lay at a certain House by the Way, and the next Morning she made her Escape from him, being mightily afraid to prosecute her wicked Design; But he having enquir'd which Way she went, and being inform'd that she was seen crossing such and such a Field (as they pointed to) he pursu'd and overtook her, and after some hard Words pass'd between them, they finally resolv'd to accomplish this their wicked Purpose; and in order thereto they came at Night to Rickmansworth, and on Monday the 17th of October last, about 2 in the Morning, they broke into the House of that Gentleman she had formerly been a Servant to, viz. Temple-Fotherly Whitfield, Esq ; and taking thence several Pieces of Plate, as, one Silver Sawce-pan, five Spoons, &c. together with some Table-Linnen, and other Things:
Which Goods having thus unlawfully got, they came up to London, where offering to sell them, they were stopt, and themselves brought to Justice. She bewail'd this her Wickedness, and all other the Sins she had committed, praying she might be forgiven by her Master and other Persons she had wrong'd, whom she could make no Satisfaction to; and, that GOD would be pleas'd to pardon her, and be merciful to her Soul.
7. Mary Still, condemn'd for breaking open the House of Mr. Jos. Stolwood, and taking thence 4 Diaper Tablecloths, and 4 Diaper Napkins, with 2 Holland Shifts, and other Linnen and Things of great value, on the 9th of November last. She said, she was 22 Years of age, born in West-Smithfield, London, and a Staysmaker by Trade: That having for these 2 or 3 Years past follow'd evil Courses and us'd herself to Thieving, she was at last discover'd, and brought to Justice for a Felony, and burnt in the Hand for it, about 18 Months ago: That her usual Way of Stealing was this, viz. When she walk'd along the Streets, and saw any House open, she went in privately, and took whatsoever she cou'd light-on and carry away, which (for the most part) were things of small value: That by those ill Practices she brought herself into such a settled Habit of Idleness and Wickedness, as made her quite leave off her Business of Stays-making; not being able, nor willing to work at it any longer: That by this Unlawful Method she had taken to live, growing poorer and poorer (as it generally proves with such Persons) she was easily tempted not only to go on in her wicked Way, but waxed bolder in it, so as to venture at last upon greater Robberies, such as this was she now stood condemn'd for; the Justice of which Sentence she acknowledg'd, seeming then to be (tho' she was not before) sensible, that they who presumptuously abandon themselves to such illegal Courses, do thereby render their Life very uncomfortable, and often (if not always) expose themselves to all manner of Troubles and Fears, and at last to a shameful untimely Death in this World, and to the danger of losing their Souls, and bringing Damnation upon them in the next. She said, she wish'd with all her Heart she had not done so, and that she could make Reparation for all the Injuries and Unjust Actions committed by her; but she knew not the Persons she had wrong'd; and if she did, she was not in a capacity of making Satisfaction to them: She therefore ask'd their Pardon, and above all, pray'd GOD to be merciful to her.
At the Place of Execution (to which they were all carried from Newgate in 3 Carts this Day) I attended them for the last time, and gave them my usual Exhortations, such as I thought seasonable and proper for them. I pray'd and sung a Penitential Psalm with them, and made 'em rehearse the Apostles Creed, and after I had recommended their Souls to God, I withdrew; leaving them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allotted 'em: Then the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, all the while calling upon God to have Mercy on them.
N. B. Powell confess'd he robb'd a Shop in the Minories, taking out of it a great quantity of Stockins. He desir'd me to publish in this my Paper, (as a Caution to all Carriers) That they should take care of their Goods, when they come to any Inn, (in Town or Country) for then they commonly rob both Waggons and Coaches. Bell said, he (with others) rob'd a Shop near the Royal Exchange, and took thence a Piece of Broad Cloth; half of which he had for his Share, the other half he return'd to the Owner. And both Powell and Bell said, that their Wives were honest, and not concern'd in their ill Facts; desiring all to take Warning by them, and to pray for them.
This is all the Account here to be given of these dying Persons, by me
Friday, Dec. 23 1715.
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