THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday the 2d of October, 1717.
AT the general Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday the 11th, Thursday the 12th, Friday the 13th, and Saturday the 14th of September, 1717, Fifteen Persons, viz. Fourteen Men and One Woman, being found Guilty of several Capital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death: But 9 of them, viz. the Woman and 6 of the Men, having obtain'd a gracious Reprieve (which I wish they may duly improve) 6 are now order'd for Execution.
While they lay under this melancholy State of Condemnation, I endeavour'd to make them sensible of their approaching Change, and of their great Concern therefore to make due Preparation for it, by an earnest Application to GOD the Father, through the Merits and Intercession of his Eternal Son, that He would vouchsafe to send into their Hearts the Spirit of Grace, to enlighten every dark Corner of their sinful Souls; To change their Affections from bad to good; To cleanse and purifie their polluted Consciences from the dead Works of Sin; and raise in them a perfect Abhorrence of every thing that is evil, with a sincere Love to GOD and Virtue; so that of the Slaves of the Devil, as they had made themselves by their wicked Lives, they might now become the Children of GOD, and Heirs of everlasting Salvation; and that (to speak with the Apostle to the Gentiles, Acts 26. 18.) the Lord JESUS would please to open their Eyes, and to turn them from Darkness to Light, and from the Power of Satan unto GOD, that they might receive Forgiveness of Sins, and Inheritance among them who are sanctify'd by Faith that is in Him.
These and such like Admonitions and Instructions, which I thought proper for them under their sad Circumstances, I constantly offer'd to them, and to that purpose had them brought up twice every day to the Chapel of Newgate; and there I pray'd with, and read and expounded the Word of God to them; shewing them from it, how they ought to repent of their Sins, if ever they desir'd to be pardon'd and sav'd.
On the Lord's Day the 15th of September last, I preach'd to them and others there present, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon these Words of GOD in Ezek. 18. the latter part of the 4th Verse: - The Soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Which Words I first explain'd in general, with their Context, and then spoke in particular to these Points, resulting from them.
I. That every Man is to answer, and suffer, for his own, and not for other Men's Sins: For, says the Text, The Soul that sinneth, it shall die.
II. That the Death here meant is opposite to the Life promis'd the Penitent in the 21st and following Verses of this Chapter: And what that Death and this Life are I plainly shew'd. And then I prov'd from Scripture,
III. ult. That both of them are certain, and will be of Eternal Duration.
After I had made out these Points, I proceeded to give some Description of the two vastly different States of the other World.
1. That of the Damned in Hell, who suffer there endless and intolerable Torments.
2. That of the Blessed in Heaven, who do enjoy unspeakable Happiness to all Eternity. And then I shew'd,
3. ult. How the first of these might be avoided, and the other obtain'd.
Again, on the Lord's Day the 22d of September, I preach'd to those Condemn'd, and many other Persons there present, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon the First Lesson appointed for that Morning-Service, viz. Jeremiah 5. 3. O Lord, are not thine Eyes upon the Truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they have not griev'd; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive Correction: They have made their Faces harder than a Rock; they have refused to return.
From these Words, first paraphrastically expounded, I shew'd,
I. That the great Sin, of which the Jews were guilty, and the Prophet complain'd, was their Incorrigibleness and Impenitence under GOD's Judgments.
II. That as it was with that People, so it is with other harden'd and obstinate Offenders, who by their heinous and provoking Sins bring all manner of Calamities and Disasters upon themselves in this World, and run the great Hazard of being everlastingly miserable in the World to come.
III. That when GOD is pleas'd to visit Sinners with his Judgments, while on this side of the Grave, He does it not for their utter Destruction, but for their Reformation and Salvation.
IV. That they who refuse to receive Correction and to return; who, instead of being soften'd by, are rather harden'd under, GOD's Correcting Hand, must not expect to escape the Divine Vengeance; for it will at last most certainly overtake them; and the slower it is in coming, the closer and heavier (when once come) will it sit upon them.
V. That when Sin is universal (found not only among those that are most ignorant, but among them also who understand better things;) 'tis a mighty Aggravation of it, and an high Provocation against the MAJESTY OF HEAVEN.
VI. ult. That whosoever is concern'd for his Soul, and will prevent his final Ruin, and the Dreadfulness of the Judgment to come, must take due and timely Care to repent of all his Sins, that so he may avoid Everlasting Punishment, and obtain Eternal Happiness, through the prevailing Merits and Intercession of the True Lover and Saviour of all Men.
And on the last Lord's Day, the 29th of September, in the Morning, I preach'd to them again, and had both then and in the Afternoon, a great Congregation: And my Text was Joh. 5. 22. - The Father judgeth no Man, but hath committed all Judgment unto the Son.
From which Words, first explain'd in general, I shew'd these Four Things in particular, viz.
I. That the Original Right of Judging the World belongs to GOD, and to none but GOD.
II. That the Person who shall sit as Judge, and pass Sentence upon Men at the last Day, is the Son of Man, viz. the LORD JESUS CHRIST, who also is the Son of GOD, and by his Godhead is Co-equal and Coeternal with the Father.
III. Why GOD the Father has committed this Power and Authority of Judging the World unto His Son.
IV. & lastly, How, and in what Sense, we must understand those other Texts of Scripture, which tell us, That the Saints in general, and the Twelve Apostles in particular, shall Judge.
Upon these I enlarg'd:
And in the Afternoon I preach'd my last Sermon to them, on Eccl. 9. 10. Whatsoever thy Hand findeth to do, do it with all thy Might; for there is no Work, nor Device, nor Knowledg, nor Wisdom in the Grave, whither thou goest.
These Words I first open'd, and then treated of these several Points arising from them, viz.
I. The Shortness of this Mortal Life, and the various Troubles attending it.
II. The great Work we have to do within this little time, and that (chiefly) is, To cast off our Sins; To amend our Lives, and bring forth Fruits meet for Repentance, in order to secure our Everlasting Happiness.
III. ult. The Eternity of the Future State which is to follow immediately after this; and in which Men must be unspeakably miserable, who will take no care, while they live here, to work out their own Salvation with fear and trembling, as the Apostle teaches us to do, Phil. 2. 12.
On all those Heads I largely and severally discours'd, and concluded every one of my Sermons on this melancholy Occasion with a particular and suitable Application to the Persons under Sentence of Death; whom I earnestly exhorted to Repentance, laying Precept upon Precept, and Line upon Line, as says the Prophet Isai. 28. 10. and giving them proper Directions How they might make their Peace with GOD before they went out of this World, and were to be seen in it no more.
In my private Examinations of them, they gave me the respective Accounts of themselves, which follow.
1. Charles Powell, condemn'd for stealing 108 Guinea's, 2 double Doubloons, 1 Moidore, and other pieces of Gold, amounting together to 124 l. 10 s. from Mr. Joseph Dickenson, lodging at the Dolphin-Inn without Bishopsgate, on the 22d of August last. He said, he was 40 Years of age, born at Dean-Forest in Gloucestershire, and brought up in the Town of Monmouth till about 20 Years of age: That he learnt the Art of Perriwig-making , and had ever since follow'd it, dealt in Hair , and now and then traded in Hay , when he found it advantageous: That for the most part of these last 20 Years he had liv'd in the Parish of St. James Westminster, in good Repute; having (as he would have me believe) always behav'd himself as an honest Man ought to do. He deny'd the Fact he stood condemn'd for; but when I press'd him more to a Confession of it, he seem'd to be very uneasie, and industriously endeavour'd to elude the Question, and excuse himself from a positive Answer to it, which I requir'd. I did likewise (as diverse Persons desir'd me) put these several Questions to him, viz. Whether he had not made it his Practice, for these many Years past, to go and lodge in Inns (both in London and Country) and there, as Opportunity serv'd, rob Travellers, taking their Money, &c. out of their Breeches-pockets, being under their Heads, while asleep in Bed? And particularly, Whether (at a certain time, when the Fair was at Bristol) he did not go several Nights to lodge at several Inns there, and steal in this manner about 200 l. from People that lodg'd there? Again; Whether he was not once (namely, about five Years ago) Try'd for such a Fact, and for want of sufficient Evidence acquitted, at the Assizes held at Aylesbury? And likewise, Whether he did not, in the beginning of September 1716, steal out of a Gentleman's Pocket, when in Bed at the Saracen's-Head Inn in Friday-street, London, a GoldWatch, a Steel-Seal with a Coat of Arms engrav'd on it, a Silver-hilted Sword, and some odd Pieces both of Gold and Silver, and so went away in a great hurry, as he did when taken in the Robbery for which he stood now condemn'd? To all these Questions, which I put severally to him, he answer'd, I know nothing of the Matter, saving that of my being clear'd upon my Tryal at Aylesbury. But as this Answer did not satisfie me, so I adjur'd him, upon his Eternal Salvation, to declare sincerely, whether or no he had been guilty of, or any ways concern'd in those Facts I had now mention'd to him: Upon which he made a stand, but at last said, Alas! I know the World does lay all such Robberies upon me, that have been committed in England these 20 Years past. But said I to him, Pray Sir, give me a more positive Answer: I now ask you again, Whether you know any thing of those Facts I have here mention'd to you? Answer me Yea or No. When he found I press'd him so close, he begun a long Harangue on his former Life and Conversation, how he had liv'd, what Employment he had follow'd &c. but not a Word in relation to these or other ill Facts. This was all I could at present get from him.
2. George Hutchenson, condemn'd for two Facts, viz. 1st, For privately stealing 2 Cloth-Coats and a Cloth-Wastecoat, a pair of Breeches, 3 Yards of Cloth, and other Goods, out of the House of Mr. William Yerbury in London, on the 30th of August last; and 2dly, For stealing out of the same Person's House at Hampstead a Perriwig, value 6 l. He said, he was 28 Years of age, born at Castleton in Derbyshire: That he was brought up to no Trade, but for the most part of his Life had been a Servant in honourable Families, and was for 16 Years past in the House of a Noble Duke, looking after his Horses , and afterwards his riding Postilion , having serv'd His Grace in that Capacity about 4 Years: That after he had left that Service, he was taken by a Gentleman to be his Coachman ; whom (and others he had liv'd with before) he serv'd very faithfully, never wronging them in any thing. He confess'd the two Facts he stood condemn'd for, both of which he said he committed within the space of an Hour or two, and were his first. He own'd also, that he had been much addicted to Drinking and Swearing; for which and all other his Sins he begg'd Pardon both of GOD and Man.
3. William Smith, condemn'd for a Burglary by him committed in the House of Mr. John Knight, taking thence 2 Copper-pots, 12 Pewter-Dhes, and other Goods, together with his License for selling Drink &c. on the 13th of August last. He said, he was 25 Years of age, born at Berrow in Norfolk: That he was bound Apprentice to a Tailor in the Country: That when he had serv'd about 5 Years, his Master broke, and came and brought him along with him up to London, where he turn'd him over to another Tailor: That after he had liv'd about 2 Years with this last Master, he wrought Journey work , and continued so to do till bad Company took him off from his lawful Imployment, and brought him into an ill Course of Life, as Drinking, Swearing, Whoring Prophaning the Lord's Day, Stealing, Pilfering, & c. He own'd particularly, That he stole a Silver-Tankard out of the House of Mr. Moor, on the 27th of March 1716, and receiv'd Sentence of Death for it at Justice-Hall in the Old-baily, on the 13th of April following, but was afterwards Repriev'd and Pardon'd. And he further told me, (and on my looking over my Notes I found) That John Hamson, who had been concern'd with him in that Fact, was Executed for it on the 25th of the said April. Upon my asking him what other ill Facts he had committed, he said he could not remember any, and also deny'd his being Guilty of the Fact he now stood condemn'd for. But this I must say for him, That he seem'd, all the while he was under this Condemnation, to be very devout.
4. John Mash, condemn'd for Assaulting and Robbing, on the King's Highway, Mr. William Baker, taking from him a Silver-Watch, value 4 l. and a Hat, value 8 s. on the 16th of August last. He said, he was 25 Years of age, born at Huntington, where he was brought up in his Father's House till about 8 Years old: That then he went to live with a Friend at Peterborough, and afterwards came up to London: That he was bound Apprentice to a Silk-weaver in Spittlefields, and serv'd 7 Years with him: That when his Time of Servitude was expir'd, he wrought Journey work , and never did an ill thing (as he said at first) before this Fact for which he was condemn'd. But upon my further Examination of him, he confess'd that he was once burnt in the Hand for a Felony; and, That about Three Years ago (he could not remember the precise time) He, and another, together with Francis Martin, alias Cushaw (who was afterwards Executed for stealing a Silk-Gown, and other Goods, out of Esq; Hillersden's House) observing some Persons were carrying a Portmantua, out of a Coach, into a Bookseller's Shop in St. Paul's Church-yard, (being then Candle-light) went to that Shop, pretending they came to buy some Books: But in truth, their Intent was to take and steal away that Portmantua; which they effectually did, and made their Escape. And he further own'd, That he had committed some other (small) Facts, which he was never prosecuted for: That he had much neglected the Service, and broke the Commandments of GOD; That he had been a great Drinker, Swearer, Whoremonger, &c. and now perceiv'd that these Sins were the beginning of his Ruin. Of this I endeavour'd to make him truly sensible, representing to him how heinous those filthy Sins were in the Sight of GOD, and how he ought to repent of 'em; whereupon he seem'd to be very sorry that he had so grievously offended a Good and Gracious GOD, whose Mercy and Pardon he implor'd, through the Merits of Christ; and pray'd also, that all the Persons he had injur'd would be pleas'd to forgive him, who humbly acknowledg'd his Faults, but could not repair them.
5. John Dickenson, condemn'd for Assaulting and Robbing, on the Highway, Mrs. Isabella Wilson, taking from her a Gown and Petticoat, value 20 s. He said, he was 20 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Martin in the Fields: That his Parents dying when he was but 8 Years old, the Parish took care of his Bringing-up, and bound him Apprentice to a Fisher-man ; with whom he had not been above 3 Weeks before he ran away, as liking neither his Master nor the Trade; so that he growing up, and being without any Employment, by which he might get an honest Livelihood, betook himself to selling Fruit, Fish, &c. about the Streets . That finding this to be a poor way of Living, he was easily induc'd (by bad Company) to the wicked Trade of Pilfering and Stealing: That this soon brought him to Justice, and he was
twice whip'd for small Felonies, yet not reform'd by such Chastisements, for he came at last to advance his Guilt and Punishment by this Fact, which he own'd he was justly condemn'd for. He also confess'd (but with some difficulty) that he had formerly been concern'd with other wicked Men, in breaking of Houses, &c. but would not be perswaded to give me any particular Account of them. He was a poor ignorant Youth, who knew little or nothing of Religion.
6. William Rose, condemn'd for a Burglary by him committed in the House of Mr. William Towers, stealing thence 4 dozen pair of Stockings, value 6 l. He said, he was 19 Years of age, born in Rider's Court in the Parish of St. Ann Westminster: That he was brought up to no Trade, only helpt his Mother in making and baking Cakes , which he carry'd about in a Barrow, and sometimes Fruit, that he sold to Children and others in the Streets . Upon my asking him, Whether he did not use Dice, and so encourage Youths to throw instead of going to School? He could not deny but that he had often so done, but took no Money of them, only for his Goods. However, I made him sensible at last, that this was an idle way for him to get a Livelihood by, and an Introduction to many Vices, as himself did now find by his woful Experience; who confess'd, That if he had follow'd a better Occupation, he might not have been induc'd to the Commission of the Fact he stood condemn'd for, and of which, and other his Sins, he said he heartily repented. I desir'd him to tell me what other ill Facts he had been concern'd in: Whereupon he said, That he cou'd particularly remember but these three, viz. That once he committed a Felony, and was burnt in the Hand for it; and, That about 2 Years ago (in Winter) he, with two others, broke a House in Leicester-street, and took thence a Gown and Petticoat, and 4 Gold-Rings; and, That his wicked Companions choused him of his Share in the Booty. And again, about the same time, when it was a hard Frost, he, with one of his said Companions, and a third Person, went to an empty House (as he call'd it) near the Bowling-Green in Clerkenwell, and took out of it 6 pair of Sheets, which one of his Accomplices dispos'd of, but did not give him a faithful Account of what he receiv'd for them; so that he suffer'd some Loss by this also. Upon which I observ'd to him, that his greatest Loss was that of Honesty, and his Life in this World, and of putting himself in Danger (unless he repented) to lose GOD's Favour, and perish for ever in the Next. He seem'd to be attentive to what I said, and express'd great Sorrow for his having been so wicked, and pray'd GOD and Man to forgive him.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were this Day carried, in 2 Carts, from Newgate, I attended them for the last time, and gave 'em such Exhortations as were most proper on this sad Occasion. I pray'd and sung some Penitential Psalms with them: I made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, and then wish'd them that Forgiveness of Sins, and that Resurrection and Eternal Life which they had now made Profession to believe. When I had done, and finally recommended their Souls to GOD, I retir'd from them. Then the Cart drew away, and they were turn'd off, each of 'em calling all the while upon GOD in these and the like Ejaculations: Lord, have Mercy upon me! Lord, open thy Kingdom of Heaven unto me! Lord, forgive me, who have been a great Sinner! Lord Jesus, I come, I come, receive me! O Lord, receive my Spirit! &c.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Persons, by me
Wednesday Octob. 2d 1717.
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