THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviours, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Monday the 19th of September 1720.
ON Sunday, September 18th, being the Day before their Execution, I preached to the Seven Malefactors.
Cast away from you all your Trangressions, whereby Ye have Transgressed; and make you a new Heart and a new Spirit; for why will ye dye, O House of Israel?
For I have no Pleasure in the Death of him that dyeth, saith the Lord God; Wherefore turn your Selves, and live Ye. Ezek. 18. 31, 32.
FIRST, I consider'd the Injunction, Cast away from You all your Transgressions, and showed the Reasonableness of it, from the natural Vileness of Sin, which in its self is detestable, if it was not forbidden in Holy Scripture; 1st, As it is disagreeing from God; 2dly, As it is contrary to the Nature of Man; and 3dly, As it everts and ruins Society in the World.
I reminded Them, how Sin makes us Wretched and Unhealthful in this Life. Whence the Drunkard's Dropsy? Whence the Gout that afflicts the Gluttonous Debauchee? As for the Misfortunes which more flagrant Sins bring on Man, I need not recount them to You, whose present unhappy Circumstances too plainly speak them.
SECONDLY, I considered the Consequence of Casting away our Sins; which is, The having a new Heart and a new Spirit; or as Christ said to the Ruler of the Jews, who came to him by Night, the being Born again, not of the Flesh, but of Water and the Spirit. John 3. 3. I endeavour'd to show them, that Regneration was Real, When a Man perceives and feels his Sins about him, and wonders how he could be blind to them so long; When he is terrify'd at the Number of them, and hates and detests himself for them; When he considers his Sins he burst into Tears, when he remembers the Mercy of God he is as much in Joy; By degrees, the World grows trifling to him, and Heaven valuable; The Company of loose Men is insipid, and the Company of God delightful; till he can say with the Psalmist David, As the HART panteth after the Waterbrooks, so longeth my Soul after thee, O God. Psalm 42. v. 1.
THIRDLY, I considered the Thing to be avoided by these Commands; that is, Death;---For why will Ye die, O House of Israel?
I reminded the Malefactors, that Death is but the Consequence which naturally follows upon Sin; as the Apostle says, The Wages of Sin is Death, Rom. 6. 23. Nor had Death entred into the World without Adam's Transgression, Gen. 2. 17. But that Death which is chiefly to be avoided, is the Death of the Soul; since one Death is but a short Pain, the other is endless Torment: I requested them therefore, if Death is to be fear'd, to fear rather that sort of Death which is Worst; and if Life is desirable, rather to desire that Life which is Longest and even Eternal.
FOURTHLY, I considered the tender Love of God to Man; - For I have no Pleasure in the Death of him that dyeth, saith the Lord. I observed to them the Happiness of Christians in so mild and delightful a Religion: Moloch was a God who must be satiated every Day with Blood, and required his Votaries to make their Sons and their Daughters pass thro' the Fire unto him. This was a fatal Worship, a cruel Virtue; But our God points out to Us Heaven in an easier Path; we are required to act nothing but what is agreeable to our Natures, and Beneficial to the Society we live in. I advised them to avoid Despair, and entertain a lively Hope.
FIFTHLY, I endeavour'd to perswade All to the Issue of the Whole, viz. to turn themselves and live; to turn from Vice and the Paths that lead to Destruction, and to live in the Kingdom of Glory; Where the Simple Man will shine as bright as the Man of Learning; where the Beggar will sit on the same Seat with Emperors and Kings; and where the Malefactor, in regard to his Repentance, will enjoy the same eternal Satisfactions, as the Man of Honour and Reputation.
SIXTHLY and LASTLY, I apply'd my self more particularly to the Prisoners under Sentence of Death; Advised them to Patience and Resignation, nor to attempt an Escape from Confinement (as some had lately done) at the Expence of Innocent Blood. I entreated them to spend all that Night, which was to be their last in this World, in earnest Tears and Supplications, and not to come Unprepared in the Morning to the Blessed Sacrament: and to be careful to keep awake the Sacred Ardour the Sacrament would inspire, all the Way they went to the Place of Execution. I reminded them, that the Devil would be particularly busy at that Hour, but if they withstood him but a little longer, they might hope to be eternally out of his Power.
1. James Wilson) was condemn'd for robbing a Sailor, in the Night time of a large Quantity of Gold. He said he was 29 Years of Age, Born at Eley, 10 Miles from Cambridge, in which Town he was put Apprentice to a Glazier ; But taking it into his Head one Day, that his Master was a very severe and wicked Man, he left him and went to Sea , where, he said, he might have found good Encouragement.
Two Days before he dy'd, he told me that one thing had much concern'd him, which was, that he had told Me and others a false Name, for his Name was Bernard Wellom. He added, that he had been a Robber about 2 Years; But for 5 or 6 Years before, had given himself the liberty of Pilferring and privately Thieving small Matters, for which he was several times committed to Houses of Correction.
He said, that he was found guilty at the Old Bayly, the 27th of April last, for stealing a piece of Beef of twelve Pound weight on the 9th of the said Month, from one Mr. Watts. The May following he was one of the Malefactors Transported. I told him, I had heard that the Captain and all the Sailors were Murdered, when the Insurrection was made by the Malefactors, and they return'd again into England.
Upon this, he told me, that as he was to answer it to God, That Fact was exactly thus. The Captain having very few Sailors on Board, was oblig'd to employ some of the Malefactors: They found means to loose their Comrades at a certain Signal given; and seizing on the Captain, Mate, &c. took Possession of the Ship: The Captain, or Master, desired them at least to spare his Life; if they would consent to that, he would carry them to what part of the World they thought fit. They then told him they would not go to Virginia, but to Vigo. The Master, the Mate, &c. were then relas'd, and manag'd the Ship all the Voyage to Vigo, as before when bound to Virginia. But a Storm rising near Vigo, The Malefactors were forced to get in the Long-Boat, and escape to Cape Fenestre, a League from Vigo, to which Place they went in several small Boats. At Vigo they met the Captain, who appear'd very Affable and Sociable; But on a sudden he caus'd them all to be apprehended, but Two; and declared that he had lost on Board several pieces of Gold, some Rings, and a Watch. His Goods were soon produc'd by the Persons in Custody, upon which he discharg'd them All; And that same Day in the Evening, walk'd about with them in the Streets of the Town.
This he did aver, was the true Account of that Insurrection, which has been so differently reported.
He said he was not 30 Years of Age; that he was Born in St. Olives Parish in Southwark, where his Mother now keeps an AleHouse; that he had a Wife living, but no Children by her. He said he was 'Prentice in London to a Waterman , after which he went to Sea ; That he was some time in New-England; went thence to Jamaica, where he continu'd 4 Years; from whence he went to the Mediterranean. He then, he said, return'd to England, and fell to wicked Practices (which he own'd he had not before been altogether free from). He told me, that he broke open a Gentleman's House at Battersea, and stole some Goods. He also said, that he robb'd a
After this, he said, he took up a Resolution to live Honest, and accordingly bought him a new Boat, and plyed upon the River in it, till about half a Year ago, and then he found the Devil's Instigations too strong for his Resolutions. He confest the Fact he stood convicted of; but said he was never given to rob in the Streets, or on the Road, but the Sailor was his Acquaintance, and told them as they went along, that he had so great a Quantity of Gold about him. This Man was much remark'd by those who came to Chappel for a stubborn Person, of a very careless and audacious Carriage; If that was true, I must yet say, that as often as I talk'd with him, he did not continue that Behaviour.
The Account he gave me of himself was as follows. He said he was not 30 Years of Age; that he was Born in a Village in Derbyshire; and was taught to Write and Read English, which was all the Education he had.
He said he was Transported in May last, with the other Malefactors, for robbing a House (I think) in Lime-street. He freely confess'd both this and the former Crime, and desired I would give him my Prayers for the Pardon of them. He then desired some Directions, for he intended to Receive the Sacrament, having twice receiv'd it before. Three Days before his Execution, He desired to speak with Me in Private; he there told Me, that he had something to impart to me, that had lain at his Heart and made him very Uneasy, so that when he went to Pray or to Read, he could not do either with Attention; this Sin (he said) was, The robbing a Church in Leicestershire; That he went into the Chuch with others to Prayers, but stay'd after the Doors were shut, then he stole two silver Candlesticks from the Altar, and lay conceal'd with them all Night, and the ensuing Morning, till the People came again to Prayers, with whom he went out undiscovered. He desired me to explain the Nature of this Crime, and if it did not require a particular Prayer to obtain God's Pardon for it: After I had given him an Answer to the best of my Capacity, He told me, that he had in his Breast another Crime, But if some Persons concern'd with him in it would give him leave, he chose rather to defer the mention of it, till immediately before his Execution.
He said he was above 40 Years of Age; born at a Village in Scotland, some Miles on this side Edenburgh . His Business in England was the carrying a Pack about the Country loaded with Cloth : These Goods, he said, he procur'd by several illegal Methods, of which he was Convicted and Transported: and own'd whatever Linen he bought, he never had an Intention to pay for it. He said, when he return'd Home, his only Design was to fetch his Wife; for he had lived so
indifferently in England, that he knew no part of the World where he could live worse. He said, when the Malefactors took Possession of the Ship, Anthony Goddard, James Wilson, and others, were the only Men concern'd in it, and that they made him pay 5 s. before they suffer'd him to go a-shore; and added that he took nothing out of the Ship, but a Penknife, which might enable him to defend himself if attack'd on Land.
He said, he had follow'd ill Practices about 6 or 8 Years, having very rarely paid for any thing he bought; for he was a Prisoner in the King's Bench, which gave him an Opportunity of pursuing his ill Courses, and skreen'd him in them.
He told me, he could neither Write nor Read, nor even say the Lord's Prayer quite thorough. At first he was very fully determined not to receive the Sacrament; But afterwards dreamed a certain Dream, which had disposed him he said thereto.
5. Anthony Goddard) of St. Clements Danes, was also condemn'd for illegally returning Home, having been sent over-Sea the last Transportation of the Felons. The little Account he would give Me of himself was, That he was 27 Years of Age, Born in the Parish of St. Mary-Ova's; That he was bound 'Prentice to a Butcher , but took a foolish Liking to a Woman of a Leud Character, and after he left her, associated himself with others of equal Viciousness, who seduced him to wicked Practices, and were the Occasion of his coming to such a scandalous and untimely Death.
He said he had a Wife with whom he had lived free from other Women for some time; He added, that some Persons had very much scandaliz'd her, as if she was as Vicious and wicked as he himself; but he seem'd desirous to clear her.
He also told me, that he had long forgot his Trade of a Butcher, and that if he was of any Employment, it was that of a Seller of Brandy , Which he had practis'd for some time. He said he had been guilty of many great Crimes, which he did not care to mention to me; and that he had been twice cast for his Life.
He said he was about 25 Years of Age, born in Ireland, where his Mother now lives; That he was taught perfectly to Read and Write, and then put Apprentice to a Smith ; but he not liking that so laborious Occupation, and having a severe Master, ran away; and being encourag'd by his Friends, continu'd a while at Home, and was then bound 'Prentice to an Attorney in the County of Cork; But having there too (as he said) a severe Master, and wanting Victuals, he also left Him: Then coming into England, he served a Gentleman of Fortune . But being dismiss'd thence, where he had lived at Ease, he was at a loss for a Livelihood. At length he resolv'd to list himself in his Majesty's Service; but 4 s. a Week being very insufficient to maintain him in the easy and luxurious Manner he had so lately lived, he confess'd he had not been Innocent for a considerable Time, being addicted to Thieving and Pilfering small and (as he then thought) Insignificant Trifles.
He confess'd the Fact; and said he had been committed to the Savoy Prison, suspicion of having Broke into Hampton-Court, where his Grace the Duke of Newcastle's Apartments were robb'd, because a certain Rod (which he took out of a Fountain) was found upon him; and from his Grace's Chambers had been taken Curtains, and such like Goods. Being discharg'd, he was drinking with some by the Savoy, when he heard of Elliot's lying Drunk, at the Gate; He said, That his Friend James Barry put it into his Head to carry Elliot to a Cellar, and take his Cloths, and that the same James Barry (who ran from his Bail and is not yet taken) sold the Cloths,
but that he robb'd Elliot of them. He appear'd very Penitent and very earnest in his Devotions.
The Account he gave me of himself was, That he was a single Man, of a Family very Responsible which had always been in Reputation; That his Friends had given him a liberal Education; That he was afterwards put Apprentice to a Surgeon , to which Occupation he served 7 Years; But meeting with small Encouragement in his Business, he was reduc'd to Extremities very severe, and oblig'd to think of other Methods for a Maintenance. He therefore went into a Man of War to Lisbon, After which he was at Hamburgh, in Denmark, and in Sweden; but not finding Satisfaction in any of those Places, nor meeting with Encouragement equal to his Expectations, he return'd Home, and fell into vicious Courses. He always affirm'd, that he never was in any Gang; and that he never rob'd with any Man but one Tomkins.
He said, that but 8 Months ago, he had an Offer of a Surgeons Place in a Man of War, but he unhappily refus'd it. He appear'd very Solicitious about his Soul, and making his Peace with God: Saturday before his Execution I attended him at 8 o'Clock, and taking him apart, found he had been very careful in preparing Himself for the Holy Sacrament. And I then gave him a Paper I had been Writing, about it, and he was very diligent in reading and explaining it to those who could not read, in the Condemn'd Hold.
Their Behaviour at the Place of Execution.
I Was desired by Letter to ask Robert Jackson if he did not rob a Coach and Four, on the Uxbridge Road. I put it to Him, and he own'd he did rob such a Coach on Honey-Hill, some Villages in Sight; and that he took from the Gentleman one Guinea, and two half Guineas, and from the 3 Ladies some small Matter, as he remember'd a little Silver; and he believ'd he might say, The Lord have Mercy upon me; for he commonly used that Expression, and detested himself for the Vices his Necessities forced him to commit.
This is all the Account to be given by
THAT W. K. Joynes, Gent. Pro the Original Office (for Purchasing and Improving Estates in England, Ireland, and other Parts of his Majesty's Dominions) kept at Mr. Matthew West, Goldsmith , at the 7 Stars, Clare-Street, Clare-Market, gives Notice, that those Gentlemen nominated as Directors, that shall exchange the enting Receipts for Promisary Notes of the said Mr. West, on or before the first of October next, shall be Confirm'd, or otherwise they will be Excluded, and other Gentlemen chosen on or before the tenth of October next, and the whole Management to be under the Inspection of the said Directors; for that end each Purchaser pays 25 s. and if they dislike either the Management, Directors, or the Security, the said Mr. West will return the said 25 s. again without and Deduction, for which Money according to the Proposition, each may receive 3, 4, 5, 7, or 10 l. a Year for ever: Here no Person can be excluded, for he never pays more than 7 l. 10 s. for his Shares in the said Land; which Property is assign'd and convey'd by Leases, or such Conveyance as shall be agreed by the Directors, by Advice of Council Learned in the Law; and their Property Enroll'd in the High Court of Chancery. Besides the Advantage of the Improvement of Lands already treated about, the Advantage of Buying or Selling of Estates will be a very considerable Augmentation. To that end the Proprietor hath appointed Mr. David Dempster, his Agent , who attends at the Custom-House Coffee-House, Dub in, at usual Hours, from whence he will transmit to the General Office at Mr. West's, an Account of such Estates as are to be Purchas'd, &c. Also an Office will be fix'd at Edenburgh for the same Use, which will be of a very great Use to the Nation in general; all which will be Transacted and Transmitted with the greatest Secrecy, Postage being Paid Any Person that hath any Quantity of Lands from 5 Acres to 2000, lying near the River of Thames side, may apply to Mr: West, if proper for Planting of Potatoes Wilow and Ozier, &c: as also for Erecting of Mills and Work-Mouses.