THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Tuesday the 27th of May, 1718.
AT the General Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 23d, 24th, 25th and 26th of April, 1718, 22 Persons (viz. 15 Men and 7 Women, were Try'd for, and Convicted of, several Capital Crimes, did accordingly receive Sentence of Death. But 2 of the Women having had their Judgment respited, upon account of their Pregnancy, and the other 5, with 10 of the Men, being repriev'd by HIS MAJESTY's Most Gracious Mercy (which I hope they will take great Care, as it is their great Interest, duly to improve) 4 only are now order'd for Execution, and another, viz. John Price, next Saturday.
All the while they lay under this Condemnation I constantly visited them in the Chapel, to which they were brought up twice every day; and there I taught and pray'd with them, endeavouring thereby to awaken their stupify'd sinful Souls unto Repentance, Amendment, and Righteousness of Life, as a due Preparation for Death; so that whether their Days were few or many, they might (by making a right Use of them) receive Comfort in this World, and at last obtain Eternal Bliss and Glory in the next.
On the Lord's Day, the 27th of April last, I preach'd to them, viz.
1. In the Forenoon, upon Numb. 23. the latter part of the 10th Verse, taken out of the First Lesson for that Morning-Service, the Words being these. - Let me die the Death of the Righteous, and let my last End be like his. And,
2. In the Afternoon upon 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.
In my discoursing upon the first of those Texts (after a short Introduction) I laid down this Proposition, viz.
That to the end we may die the Death of the Righteous, and have our Last End like his, (i. e. depart out of this World in a sate of Grace and Favour with God) we must live an upright and godly Life here on Earth, having always a Conscience void of Offence toward GOD, and toward Men; as the Apostle tells us (Acts 24. 16.) this was his constant Exercise.
To illustrate this Proposition, I shew'd how we ought to take care,
I. Of our Thoughts,
II. Of our Words,
III. Of our Actions; And,
IV. ult. To repent of, and rectify (by the Divine Grace) whatever we find to have been amiss in any of these.
And upon the other Text I explain'd the Nature of Sin, shewing the different Characters under which it is there represented, viz.
I. Faults of Ignorance and Infirmity, such as David calls in the Text, Errors and Secret Faults.
II. Offences wilfully committed, and habitual in us, which are the Presumptuous Sins he (above all) desired and pray'd to be kept from.
After I had enlarg'd upon these, I proceeded to shew,
III. ult. That if we are kept from Habitual Presumptuous Sins, we are safe, and out of danger of perishing everlastingly; for notwithstanding those many Faults, Errors, and Infirmities, which we cannot wholly avoid, GOD will account us, and deal with us, as if we were Righteous Men, and perfectly Innocent. Which the Royal Prophet insinuates in the latter Clause of that Text, where he says, Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great Transgression: That is as if he had said, I shall be clear and acquitted of whatsoever Sin may expose my Soul to the Loss of Eternal Happiness.
On the Lord's Day the 4th instant, I preach'd to the Condemn'd, and many others there present, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon part of the First Lesson for that Evening-Service, viz. Deut. 5. 29. Oh! that there were such a Heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my Commandments always; that it might be well with them, and with their Children for ever.
From which Words (first historically explain'd in an Account I gave of the Context and Occasion of them) I then shew'd,
I. The important Duty here requir'd, which is, That Men should FEAR GOD, and keep all his Commandments always; and how this is to be perform'd.
II. The great Reward promis'd to this Performance. And,
III. The transcendent Love of GOD to Men, express'd in this pathetick and compassionate Wish, Oh! that there were such a Heart in them, that they might fear me - that it might be well with them - &c.
Having amply discours'd upon those three general Points plainly express'd, I then proceeded to lay down another before them, only imply'd in, but naturally resulting from, the Text: And that is,
IV. ult. The terrible Punishment they shall receive, who unworthily neglect the Duty, reject the Reward, and slight the Mercy and Good will of GOD towards them, manifested in this his Desire, That they and their Posterity might be Happy.
On the Lord's Day (the 11th instant) I preach'd to them again, in the Morning, and likewise in the Afternoon, upon part of the Second Lesson appointed for that Evening-Service, viz. Rom. 10. 9. - If thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord JESUS, and shalt believe in thy Heart that GOD has raised Him from the Dead, thou shalt be saved.
These Words, together with their Context, I first explain'd in general, and then shew'd in particular,
I. What is the Import of this Confessing the LORD JESUS with the Mouth.
II. What is meant by this Believing on Him in the Heart.
III. & lastly, What an inexpressible Advantage we may (and certainly shall) receive from such a Confession and Belief; and that is, Eternal Life and Salvation.
On the Lord's Day, the 18th instant, I preach'd to the Condemn'd and others, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, upon part of one of the Psalms that came of course to be read for that Morning-Service, viz. Psal. 90. 12. So teach us to number our Days, that we may apply our Hearts unto Wisdom.
From which Words (once spoken by Moses to the Israelites, and now, with their Context first explain'd in general) I then laid down the following Proposition, to be spoken to, more particularly, viz.
That it is the greatest Wisdom for a Man to spend his Days in this World (especially when they visibly appear to be but few) in a constant Religious Course of Life; and by this, prepare himself for a future Happy State in the next.
This Proposition I illustrated by shewing,
1. The absolute Necessity of this Preparation.
2. The Shortness of the Time we are to make it in.
3. The great Danger of Neglecting it.
4. The infinite Advantage that will at last accrue to them who shall be found so Wise, as to have in due Time (by Faith and Repentance) prepar'd themselves for a Blessed Eternity.
Again, on the last Lord's Day, the 25th instant, I preach'd to them, viz. in the Morning upon these Words, Rom. 8. 18. For I reckon that the Sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compar'd with the Glory which shall be revealed in us.
In my Explication of which Words, I shew'd the great Disproportion there is between the Afflictions of this Life, and the Glory of the next.
And herein I consider'd,
I. The Lightness and Shortness of the Afflictions of this present time.
II. The Weight, Excellency, and Eternity of the Glory that shall be reveal'd in us: Shewing,
III. ult. That this Glory (which implies the perfect Happiness of Good Men, the whole Reward of Christianity) is not of our Merit, but the Purchase of CHRIST, and the Free Gift of GOD.
In the Afternoon I preach'd again (and this was my tenth and last Sermon on this account) to these Condemn'd Persons, my Text being this, Phil. 1. the former part of the 27th Verse, Only let your Conversation be as it becomes the Gospel of Christ.
Having first open'd the Text, I then observ'd,
I. That the Gospel of Christ gives us the best Direction for the Government of our Life and Conversation.
II. That it is most unbecoming a Man, most unreasonable, and most dangerous, to make Profession of the Gospel, and at the same time live in Sin.
III. ult. That they who live thus in contradiction both to the Gospel of Christ and their Profession of it, can expect no other than endless Misery in the next World; whereas those that sincerely endeavour to be conformable thereto, by having while on Earth, their Conversation in Heaven, shall certainly obtain Eternal Bliss and Glory there.
After I had largely and distinctly spoken to every one of these and the foregoing Points, I concluded all with particular Exhortations to the Condemn'd, and to the other Prisoners that were order'd for Transportation; shewing, How the One ought to prepare for their approaching Death, and the Other resolve upon a Good Life: To which End I gave them respectively such Instructions and Admonitions (at each time) as were proper for me to apply to them, and for them to receive and practise.
And those of them appointed for Execution, did (in my private Examinations of them) give me the Account of their past Lives and present Dispositions, as follows.
1. William Calenden, alias Calladine, alias Calendar (which last he said was his right Name) condemn'd for a Burglary by him committed in the House of Mr. Richard Nichols, stealing thence 27 Holland-Frocks, 4 pair of Holland-Sheets, and other Goods, on the 4th of February last. He said, he was 22 Years of age, born near Newcastle in Northumberland: That when he was but young his Friends sent him up to London, and here he lived alternately in two or three Victualling-houses, where he drew Drink, and did other Services: That afterwards he serv'd a Gardiner at Lambeth-Marsh for some time; and having left him, fell into bad Company, that brought him into the wicked Trade of Thieving and Robbing; but though he had done several Injuries to some honest People, yet he never wrong'd any of his Masters with whom he liv'd. He would not confess what particular Facts he had committed, but only said in general, that they were too many, and he could not give any distinct Account of them, neither would that be of any use to those Per
sons he robb'd, for he was not able to make them Satisfaction otherwise than pray (as he did) their Pardon, and GOD to bless them. The Arguments I used to bring him to a full and free Confession of those Facts he was guilty of (which if undiscover'd by him, might be imputed to some other Persons innocent of them) had no force upon him; who seem'd to be very much harden'd in his Sins, till Death, which had been long a coming, made its near Approach, and then he appear'd somewhat melted; yet did make no other Confession than that before: And as to the Crime he was to die for, he deny'd it; but own'd the Justice of GOD in it, who had permitted he should be serv'd by John Walden (the Evidence against him) as he had serv'd others, whom he formerly had brought to Justice, to save himself from it.
2. George Veal, alias Widgeon (which latter he said was his right Name) condemn'd for breaking the House of Mrs. Eliz. Steward, and stealing thence Holland and Damask-Linnen, Handkerchiefs, and other things of considerable value, on the 4th of October last. He said, he was 23 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Andrew Holborn: That his chief Imployment was, to serve several Houses there with Milk ; and, That sometimes also he used Covent-garden, Newgate, and Stocks-Markets, where he bought Fruit, Herbs, &c. which he carried and sold about the Streets for an honest Livelihood. He deny'd the Fact he was condemn'd for; but confess'd, That the Session before the last he was burnt in the Hand for a Felony (viz. stealing two pair of Shoes) and should then have been sent to Bridewell for two Years, had not the Fact he stood condemn'd for kept him in Newgate. He own'd, that for these last 12 Months he had been pilfering up and down, but never did much Harm by those small Thefts, nor was prosecuted for 'em. As to his manner of Life in other respects, he said, he had been a very great Offender, being much addicted to Swearing, Drinking, Whoring, &c. and, in short, was guilty of all manner of Sin, Murder excepted; and, That he was now sensible that his Neglect of GOD's Service had been the Inlett to all those Vices; for which he heartily begg'd Pardon, and was sorry he had been such a miserable Sinner.
3. John Varney, condemn'd for breaking a House at Hammersmith, and stealing thence two Warming-pans, a Sawcepan, and other things of value. He said, he was 29 Years of age, born at Heyford in Oxfordshire: That he had in the late Reign serv'd 11 Years at Sea , on board the Dreadnought, commanded by Capt. Miles; the Oxford, by Capt. Bennet; and in other Men of War, as also in several Merchantmen; and, That in the Intervals of those Services he imploy'd himself in Labourer s Work, carrying the Hodd, &c. He deny'd the Fact he now stood condemn'd for, saying, He had bought those Goods, not knowing they were stoln; and further said, he never did commit any such thing in his Life. He was very ignorant, and could not so much as read; which was (in a great measure) the Case of his Fellow-sufferers, whom I endeavour'd to make sensible, that their corrupt Nature and Ignorance of good Things had brought them under the dominion of Sin and Satan; and, that it was their great Interest (as well as Duty) to pray to GOD for Deliverance.
4. William Haynes, condemn'd for Burglary, in breaking open the House of Mr. Henry Fibb, and stealing thence Goods to the value of 40 s. on the 14th of March last. He said, he was 22 Years of age, born in the Parish of St. Giles in the Fields, but brought up in that of St. Dunstan, Stepney; to which (as he had heard) his Parents remov'd when he was but two Years old: That for these 11 Years past he had us'd the Sea, and was first a Servant for two Years to the Cook of the Ship Mermaid, of which Capt. Chilly was Commander: That afterwards he serv'd (as a Sailor ) in the South-Sea-Castle, Capt. Temple Commander; then in the Barfleur, a Flag-ship, commanded by Sir Geo. Byng; and lastly, in the Exeter, Capt. Trevor Commander. He confess'd the Fact he stood condemn'd for, and said it was his first; but at the same time own'd his Life had been loose enough, but not so as to do his Neighbour any Prejudice before this. He begg'd Pardon for all his Sins, and declar'd he dy'd in Charity with all Mankind.
At the Place of Execution, to which they were this day carried in two Carts from Newgate, I attended them, and still exhorted them to repent, and make a free Confession of their Offences; Upon which William Calendar and John Varney (who hitherto had deny'd) now confess'd the respective Facts for which they died.
After this, and some further Admonitions, I pray'd and sung some Penitential Psalms with them, made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, wish'd their Faith might be lively, and their Repentance sincere, that they might be in Communion with the Saints, and obtain the Forgiveness of their Sins, the Resurrection of their Bodies, and the Life Everlasting. As I advis'd them to do, so accordingly they did, desire the Standers-by to take Warning by them, and pray for their departing Souls. When they had done this, and I had finally recommended them to GOD's gracious and boundless Mercy, I withdrew from them, and left them to their private Devotions, for which they had some time allotted them, and then were turn'd off, each calling all the while upon GOD in these and the like Ejaculations: Lord, have mercy upon me! Lord, I come, I come! Dear Lord, receive me! Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit, &c.
This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Malefactors. - As for that of John Price, who is order'd for Execution on Saturday the 31st instant, the Publick may expect it on Monday the 2d of June next, from me,
Tuesday, May 27. 1718.
NB. Those that enquire after, or are desirous to see the strange and unaccountable Letter lately sent to the Ordinary of Newgate, may read it (with Animadversions thereon) in the Printed Paper giving an Account of Tho. Peacock, a Pirate, executed at Wapping on Friday the 25th of April last, and Sold by J. Morphew.
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