THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday the 26th of June, 1717.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-baily, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 6th, 7th, and 8th of June, 1717; Eight Persons, viz. Seven Men and one Woman, who were convicted of several Capital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. But one of the Men having obtain'd a gracious Reprieve (which I wish he may have Grace to improve) and the Woman being found Pregnant, and therefore respited from Death for this time, Six of them are now appointed for Execution.
While they lay under this Condemnation, I frequently visited them, and had them brought up, twice every Day, to the Chapel at Newgate, where I pray'd with them, and read and expounded the Word of GOD to them; endeavouring (by the Divine Grace) to inform their Judgments, correct the evil Dispositions of their wicked Hearts, and bring them into a State of Repentance towards GOD, and Faith in our Lord JESUS CHRIST, that by his alone Merits they might obtain the Pardon of their Sins, and the Salvation of their Souls.
On the Lord's Day the 9th instant, being the Day of Pentecost, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the Epistle appointed for that Day, viz. Acts 2. 4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
From which Text (which I chose as being proper for the Solemnity of the Day to be discours'd upon) I did (after a general Explanation both of it and of the Context) treat of these two Things chiefly, viz.
I. The Effusion of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles.
II. The Divine Effects thereof.
In my speaking to which, I shew'd the Happy and Heavenly Disposition the Apostles of Christ were then in for their receiving of the Holy Ghost: And this I prov'd from these Particulars.
1. Their Unity, which strengthen'd their Prayers; who being all with one accord in one Place (as we read Ver. 1.) were also of one Mind, of one Heart, and of one Spirit.
2. This filled their Souls with Tranquility.
3. It gave them some Foretastes of the Joys of Heaven.
4. It disposed them to a clearer Understanding of the Truth and Mysteries of Christ's Kingdom.
To all which Particulars I distinctly spoke, and added these further Considerations; viz.
1. That their Faith and Patience were excellent Qualifications, fitting them to receive the Holy Ghost.
2. That in a moment, and without any Art, they were enabled to speak with other Tongues, i. e. all the Languages they had occasion to use.
3. That their Capacity was proportionable to their high and difficult Employment, and the Circumstances of the Church at that time.
4. That in a few Years they ran down the Idolatrous Rites and Sacrifices of all Nations, and set up and establish'd the Service and Worship of their Crucify'd Master, shewing Him to be the true Living God.
5. That they were endu'd with a Power of working as great, yea, greater Miracles than himself had wrought.
6. ult. That we Christians, who profess to believe all this to be true, should therefore live suitably, and as it becomes this our holy Profession; and whenever we have been so miserable as to do otherwise, take care to repent (in due time) of all our Sins, and to amend our Lives; undoing (as far as possible) the Evil that we have done.
On these I enlarg'd, and concluded with particular Exhortations to the Condemned.
And on Trinity-Sunday the 16th instant, I again preach'd to them and several others there present, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the Gospel for the Day, viz. John 3. 3. JESUS answer'd and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a Man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of GOD.
From which Words, spoken by our Blessed Saviour to Nicodemus, Ruler of the Jews, I shew'd,
1. That to be born again, is to be renew'd by the Spirit of Christ, and brought out of our Natural Corruption into a State of Purity and Holiness; to be restor'd unto the Divine Image; and of the Children of Adam made the Children of GOD, and Heirs of Salvation and Eternal Life.
II. That by the Kingdom of GOD in the Text, is meant the Kingdom of Grace in this World, and that of Glory in the next.
III. That the Seeing of that Kingdom, is to be admitted into it, to enjoy and possess it for ever.
IV. That such a Blessed and Glorious State is attainable by us Mortals, through the New Birth, which Christ speaks of, as a Regeneration and Renovation of our Minds, whereby our vicious Inclinations and evil Affections are alter'd and chang'd from Bad to Good.
V. ult. That the Way to arrive at this, is strenuously to oppose what is so contrary to this New Birth, and that is, Sin; and when it has been our Unhappiness, as heretofore, to fall into the wilful commission of it, and (by a long Continuance in it) made it habitual to us, we ought-now speedily to use our utmost Endeavours to recover our selves, and get out of this miserable State, by Repentance.
Again, on the last Lord's Day, the 23d instant, I preach'd to them (both in the Morning and Afternoon) on these Words, 1 John 3. 3. And every Man that has this Hope in him, purifies himself even as He is pure.
Which Words I first explain'd in general, and then from them laid down this plain and infallible Proposition, viz.
That as a Man may have a true well-grounded Hope that he shall go to Heaven, who does take Care, while here on Earth, to purge himself from all Sin, and live a Virtuous and Religious Life; so he that wilfully neglects this, and delights to follow a wicked and vicious Course, has no reason to expect that he shall ever be sav'd.
To set this in a clear Light, I shew'd;
I. That all ungodly and impious Persons, who unconcernedly live in a constant Practice of known Sins, and never think of repenting, are in a most dangerous, most dismal, and miserable State, even in a State of Damnation.
II. That whosoever has a just and lively Hope that he shall go to Heaven purifies himself even as Christ is pure.
What that imports I, under several Particulars, made appear; and having largely spoke to those Points, I then apply'd my self, with particular Admonitions, to the Persons under Sentence of Death, exhorting them seriously to examine themselves by what I had laid before them; which was the Tenor of the Word of God, and that by which they must be judg'd one day, & expect to be severely punish'd for all their Sins, unless they did truly and heartily repent of them before it was too late.
To these Exhortations some seem'd to be attentive, and others not; And in my private Examinations of them they gave me the respective Accounts, which follow.
1. John Jones, condemn'd for two Facts, viz. first, for Breaking the House of Sir Arthur Key, and stealing thence 11 Silver-Salvers value 50 l. 3 Silver-Castors value 8 l. 3 Tankards value 16 l. and other Plate, on the 21st of April last: And secondly, for assaulting Mr. James Lowe on the King's Highway, and taking from him a Perriwig, value 15 s. on the 21st of May last. He said, he was about 24 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Clement Danes: That when young he was carried
down to Pembridge in Herefordshire, where most of his Friends and Relations liv'd, and there was bound Apprentice to one of them, a Leather-dresser : That after he had serv'd with him about Two Years he left him, and came up to London: That some time after this, he got into Service with a Captain of a Man of War, and then became a Sailor , and in that capacity serv'd the Crown about Five Years, on board two Men of War, viz. the Guernsey and Triumph, alternately. He would not plainly own his Guilt of the Facts he was condemn'd for, but only said, that he knew something, and might (if he would) have prevented the commission of them. When I charg'd him with being an old Offender, he confess'd he had been so; and, that he had suffer'd the Law for it, being once burnt in the Hand for a Felony, and at another time whipt.
2. Roger Moor, condemn'd for Breaking the House of John Barton Esq ; and stealing thence two Coppers and an Alembick, on the 19th of October last. He said, he was about 20 years of age, born - he could not tell where; for he knew nothing of his Parents, nor how he was first brought up; but only, that an Old Woman living in Temple-street at Bristol took care of him, as her own, when he was but a Child: That after he had receivd some Education, and was become capable of Business, he apply'd himself to the Pedlars Trade, selling Stockings, &c. up and down the Country , by which he could get an honest Livelihood; and so did, till the Evidence against him induced him to do ill things, and particularly the Fact he now stood condemn'd for; which he said was his first, and would be his last, were he to live never so long in this World. He declar'd he was brought up, and desir'd to die, in the Romish Religion ; yet I found he understood very little of it, or any other; nor indeed did he well understand what he said, when he protested to me, he never was concern'd in an ill thing before October last; for, soon after that Protestation, he own'd he had committed several small Robberies (as he call'd 'em) but would not particularly tell what they were.
3. George Mortice, alias Fashion, alias Savil, alias Saven (which last, he said, was his right Name) condemn'd for breaking the House of Mrs. Ann and Margaret Moise at Chelsea, and stealing thence 34 pair of Men's Gloves, and other Millenery-Ware, amounting to a considerable value, on the 7th of May last. He said, he was 30 years of age, born at Silvisho in Bedfordshire: That when but young, his Friends brought him up to London, and put him to a Shoomaker , whom he was not bound to, nor staid long with, but soon left him and went to Sea ; where he serv'd several Years off and on, in diverse Men of War. He at first deny'd the Fact he was condemn'd for, saying, That he never did it, nor was in the least concern'd in it, neither had done any thing of that nature in his whole Life: But upon my telling him, That I believ'd him not, for I knew him to be an old Offender, who once (viz. the 12th of August, 1713) pleaded the late Queen's Free Pardon at the Old-baily, under the Name of George Savil; and, that I was afraid he had done many ill things since; he own'd, it was true, and wish'd now he had been wiser, and (as I then advis'd him) had improv'd that Mercy better.
Here also he confess'd the Fact he was to suffer for, which before he had very strongly deny'd; and now said, That if he could, he would be very glad to help the Persons to their Goods, whom he had wrong'd; but all he was now able to do, was to beg GOD's Pardon and theirs, as he did, praying GOD to bless them, and make up their Losses.
4. Gregory King, condemn'd for a Burglary committed by him and Samuel Freeman, in the House of Mr. William Chapman (as hereafter mention'd) on the 5th of May last. He said, he was about 37 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Andrew Holborn: That his Father, who was a Butcher , employ'd him in his Occupation; but he did not follow it so close as not to carry on another Trade, which was more private, and altogether unlawful; and that was Thieving and Robbing, which he had for some Years past (through the instigation of wicked People that corrupted him) been engag'd in, and more than once suffer'd for. But as for Particulars, and a plainer Account of himself and his wicked Facts, he desir'd to be excus'd from satisfying the World therein, though many Arguments were us'd to perswade him to clear his Conscience in those Matters, by Confession and Repentance, and repairing (so far as he could) the Injuries he had done his Neighbour.
5. Samuel Freeman, alias John Deane, alias Scull Deane, alias Ralph Harwood, who said (but I believe he told a Lie) that his right Name was Samuel Freeman, condemn'd for a Burglary by him committed, with the above-mention'd Gregory King, in the House of Mr. William Chapman, stealing thence a Cabinet with a Silver Lock, and other Goods, on the 5th day of May last. He said, he was 21 Years old, born in the Parish of St. Dunstan Stepney: That from the Age of Seven he had serv'd at Sea, being sometimes a Cabin-Boy , sometimes a Captain's Servant , and at other times a Sailor : That his Service for the most part was on board Men of War. He at first obstinately deny'd the Fact he was condemn'd for, and would fain have pass'd for a Person that had never offended the Law: But when I told him that I knew him to be an old-Offender, who had receiv'd Sentence of Death before this time for stealing three Silver Candlesticks and a Silver Ladle, value 7 l. out of the House of Mr. Charles Hamilton, on the 4th of November 1713; and that he had obtain'd a Transport-Pardon, which he pleaded at the Old-baily on Saturday the 6th of August 1715, and that all this and more I remember'd of him; then he found it to no purpose for him to deny it any longer: And so he confess'd both that former Fact and this, but was loath to discover or own any thing further.
6. Henry Sewell, alias Sweet, alias Old Harry (who said Henry Suet was his right Name) Condemn'd for two Burglaries, viz. first, for breaking the House of Mr. William Towers, and stealing thence four dozen Pair of Yarn-Stockings, and twelve Pair of Socks, on the 29th of October 1714: And secondly, for a like Fact by him committed in the House of Mrs. Morgan Shaw, out of which he took some Linnen, to the value of 3 l. on the 20th of August 1715. He said, he was 23 Years of age, born at Farham in Hampshire: That, when young, his Friends brought him up to London, and bound him Apprentice to a Sawyer there: That after he had serv'd about 6 Years of his time, his Master dying, he chose rather to go to Sea , than to be turn'd over to another of his late Master's Occupation: That he had for these 5 Years past been (mostly) employ'd in the Merchants Service at Sea, and gone several small Voyages, during which time he liv'd an honest Life; but when he wanted Business he took the Liberty of committing those Facts which are not allowable; and therefore was often brought to Justice, and (for want of sufficient Evidence) always acquitted, except once, when he was convicted of a small Felony, and upon that order'd to be whipt: Yet this
did not work on him the Reformation intended, for he still went on in his wicked way. He deny'd the two Facts he stood condemn'd for; but own'd, he had been a great Sinner, and that (besides his being whipt, as he confess'd before) he once was, viz. in October 1711, burnt in the Hand at the Old-baily for a Felony, and order'd to the Workhouse at Clerkenwell, out of which he made his Escape.
When these unhappy Wretches were come within sight of Death, then they seem'd to be a little sensible of their past Follies, and of the irrecoverable Loss of their precious Time, which (for the most part) they had spent in Worldly Mirth, in Roting and Drunkenness, and would by no means, even while under these their sad Circumstances, be perswaded to Seriousness and Sobriety, and to a due Preparation for that Great Change which was now so near; but instead of that, did all along most miserably flatter themselves with the vain and unreasonable Hopes of being Repriev'd, till (almost) the Day of their Execution was come.
At the Place of it, whither they were carry'd from Newgate in 2 Carts this Day, I attended them for the last time; and there they confess'd with apparent Grief, That they had greatly offended GOD, and done much Injury to their Neighbour; for which they craved Pardon, and said, They had sent to those Persons they had robb'd, to give 'em an Account of their Goods so far as 'twas in their power to do it Samuel Freeman (whose right Name was John Dean) declar'd, That he was the Man who in Sept. last stole 9 Mourning Cloaks out of Mr. Boltby an Undertaker's House; and, That Mr. Withers, who some time after was arraign'd for it, and acquitted, was perfectly innocent of it. The two former of these Malefactors behav'd themselves well; and Roger Moor seem'd to be very devout in his Way.
I earnestly exhorted them all to clear their Consciences: I pray'd by them and for them: I sung some Penitential Psalms with them, and made them rehearse the Apostles Creed. This done, I pray'd again, and having recommended their departing Souls to GOD, I withdrew, and left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allotted them; which when expir'd, the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off; all the while praying for that Mercy which some of them especially had so little regarded before; and GOD only knows whether it was not now too late for them to find it.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Malefactors, by me
Wednesd. June 26th 1717.
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