THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviours, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Friday the 12th of May, 1721.
BEFORE the Execution of the Two Malefactors, who out of Five Condemn'd, were then appointed for Death (Three having receiv'd his Majesty's most Gracious Reprieve) I instructed them from the following Text.
And he would fain have filled his Belly with the Husks that the Swine did eat, and no Man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired Servants of my Father's have Bread enough and to spare, and I perish with Hunger.
I will arise, and go to my Father; and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son; make me as one of thy hired Servants. Luke 15. 16, 17, 18, and 19 Verses.
In considering the Words, We
FIRST, made three Observations from the Parable; viz. 1st, The roving unsettled Minds of Sinners, which occasions great part of their Unhappiness, and drives them from one Lebauchery, restless to another; and he Journeyed into a far Country; and perhaps our Saviour might have a Thought of Egypt, because Husks, signifies an Egyptian Fig, the Rine of which alone was eaten. 2dly, The Natural Contempt that follows a Debauched Course of Life, and an Estate wasted by Extravagance: And no Man gave unto him. 3dly, That Men are apt to take up with any Methods of dispersing their Uneasiness, rather than incline to the Delights of Virtue: And he began to be
in Want, and he went and joyn'd himself to a Citizen who sent him into his Fields to feed Swine: will signify a forcible joyning, - That he pinn'd or fastned himself upon the Husbandman, or Substantial Man, or any Terms. 4thly, That Men would even injure their Constitutions, rather than comply with the Dictates of Religion; Before the Prodigal resolv'd to return to his Father, he would fain have fill'd his Belly with the Husks that the Swine did eat. For (Fruit of the Carobe Tree, and which Galen calls ) were cathartick Fruits, as Pliny tells us very unwholsome, but sometimes eaten by Men. 5thly, The ill Change that Men make, who take the Bondage of Satan, instead of the Service of God, whose Service is perfect Freedom, and whose Yoke is Pleasantness: - And he sent him into his Fields to feed Swine.
SECONDLY, We considered the Necessities of Misfortunes and Afflictions to reclaim Sinners from a vicious and debauched Course of Life: And advised the Persons under Sentence of Death, not to murmur or repine at the Providence of God, but to endeavour to be thankful that God had (tho' so severely) awakened them from the Lethargy of Sin, and the vicious Courses they were engaged in; since of his Mercy he had allowed them Time and Opportunities for Repentance; since they could serve God in Publick and Private, and had nothing but their own Negligence to deprive them of Heaven.
THIRDLY, We considered the Humility of the Prodigal, as the first and main Step towards his Repentance; Make me as one of thy hired Servants.
FOURTHLY, and Lastly, We advised all the Prisoners as well as those under Sentence of Death, to endeavour to imitate the Prodigal Son, 1st, In his Excellent Resolution of Resolving To Arise and go to his Father. 2dly, The Condemn'd Persons, To imitate him, in making a due Confession of all their Sins of Omission and Commission; Secret and Reveal'd; Wilfull, and Involuntary; or whereunto they were seduced or deluded by Others, 3dly, To imitate his Humility and strong Opinion of his own Un
worthiness: To acknowledge their Crimes and take shame upon themselves for them; That being duly sensible of their own Imperfections and relying wholly on the Merits of Christ, They might leave Meanness and Contempt, and Ignominy in this Life, For Honour and Glory and Immortallity in the World to Come.
The Account of the Behaviour, &c. of the Malefactors, while under Sentence of Death.
AT the Sessions which began at Justice Hall, on the 19th, of April last, Three Men, and two Women, were by the Law appointed to die; viz.
IN order to bring them to Repentance, and a due Sence of the Condition and Danger their Souls were in, They were carry'd twice each Day to the Chappel; to hear the Word of God Read and Expounded, to be instructed in their Duty, and to worship God according to the Service of our Church. They told me they could all Read, except William Smithurst, who was a young Man came lately out of the Country and wholly Illiterate; But when I found how they could Read, I requir'd Them to repeat the Psalms and the Responses over frequently to themselves, in the Place of their Confinement, That they might be able to read them tolerably true and right in the Chappel; and advised them to endeavour to recover at least so much of what they once were taught, as to be able to read the Holy Scriptures when alone; that they might not be obliged to Spend their few remaining Hours, in Idleness, or any thing worse, when they could not get any of their Fellow-Prisoners charitably to read by them in the Condemn'd-Hold.
THEY were generally Sober and Serious in their Carriage, using no strong Liquors; except that when Martha Smith, was acquainted, that the Report was to be made, before the General Council at St. James's, that Evening, being Sunday the 7 Instant, she was seiz'd with such a severe Surprize and Terror, as made her declare that she despair'd of Gods Mercy, and the like Expressions; but being afterwards informed of his Majesty's most Gracious Reprieve, she promised to make this her Warning, never more to practice any III, nor to enter again into her leud Way of Living, which almost forced her upon Robberies.
WILLIAM BARTON) was convicted of assaulting on the Highway John Lord Viscount Lisbon, near St. Pancrass Church; and taking from His Lordship and Lady, in the Chariot with him, a Silver-Hilted Sword, a Snuff-box, and about 12 s. in Money.
Father; and bound Apprentice to that Business. He said his Grand-father taking a liking to him, gave him all Encouragement; but he being of an uneasy and unsettled Disposition, grew uneasy in the Service of his Grand-father, and long'd to go to Sea , which he did at 12 Years of Age. He said, his Father was not unlike him in the unsettledness of his Temper; For he had left his Wife and him, and other young Children, and was gone to Jamaica, taking with him another Woman, whom he had loved too long before that.
As his Father had taken over to Jamaica, Goods, &c. to a considerable Value; he said he thought it best for him to go to Jamaica, when he forsook England. And when he got thither, he found his Father had been a substantial Planter in that Country, but was lately Dead; and the Woman he had Cohabited with being very Young, and himself at that time very Young, he did not look after his Father's Effects; but enter'd himself in a Sloop, liking the Sea, and got his Livelihood on the Coasts of Jamaica. After this, he said, their Vessel was taken by the Spaniards, and himself, with several Englishmen, carry'd Prisoners into Spain. He said the Treatment they there met with, was at first very Barbarous and Inhuman, and their Allowance Bread and Water; but after a while they were somewhat more at ease. But being several of them one Day employ'd by their Keepers to repair an Old Wall belonging to the Prison; they made their Escape into a Cloyster or Convent, whence the Fryars refused to deliver them up, insisting on the Privilege of their Holy Place, which was a Sanctuary for the Distress'd. He said, they had not been there long (where they were employ'd as menial Servants in the Cloyster) before they made their Escape from thence, and return'd to England in a small Ship; but added, that they were inform'd, that the Religious Order intended voluntarily to have given them their Liberties.
After this, he said, he listed himself for a Soldier , and served her late Majesty Queen Anne, in the War in Flanders, where he was inseveral Engagements, and also at the Siege of Doway, and other Towns on the Brders of France. After a considerable Time, being Disbanded, and returning again into England, he marry'd a Woman, without having, he said, any visible Way of maintaining himself, much less her, and a Family of Children; so that having Co-habited a very short Time, he was obliged to go again to Sea , after he had committed some vicious Actions, being concern'd with a wicked Gang which would, he well knew, bring him to Ruin and Destruction. He said, that during his Continuance at Sea, having a Wife in his Native Country, he was restless and uneasy, and distracted in his Thoughts; and tho' he was certain he could not live in England, he could not bear the Thoughts of continuing away from it; for he daily fancy'd that his Wife and Child being reduc'd to extream Necessity, were Starving, and calling for Bread, and blaming his Absence and Neglect; so that he was forced to return again to England tho' he knew it must be his Ruin. When he had found out his Wife, he said he could not forbear endeavouring to support her even at any Rate; and for that Purpose committed Robberies, and particularly one in Covent-Garden; for which he was Try'd, Convicted and Transported to Ameriea for the space of 8 Years; being
there Sold for 18 l. but was not used as a Slave, but set to overloook the Negroes in their Work, and to lash them when they neglected it: This, he said, was the happiest Part of his Life; that he endured no Wretchedness, had no Care, but found whatever was requisite for the sustaining Life provided for him; yet he was again so very restless and uneasy at the Consideration of his Wife's being far distant, that to quiet his Mind, he said, he was oblig'd to steal privately away, at the end of Six Years, and return'd a fourth Time into England; which was about July last.
When the Dead-Warrant went to Newgate for his Execution, he was in some violence of Grief; occasioned, as he said, by the earnest Desire he had before he dy'd to see his Mother, or at least to know whether she was Alive or Dead; for he said, when his Father was gone to America, where he ended his Days, his Mother let Lodgings in St. James's Street, and having in her House the Earl of Glascow, she marry'd with one of his Dependants; whom the Earl afterwards preferr'd to a Place in Scotland, of 200 l. a Year; and his Mother accompanying his Father-iu-Law, he had not heard of her of a long time: but as for his Father-in-Law, he had been inform'd, that he had been sometime since Dead.
THE Wednesday preceeding his Execution, he said he hoped he had made his Peace with God; That he spent every Moment in Prayer, and in Reading either the Bible, or other good Books that were lent him in the Place of Condemnation; Thanking God that his Child was to be provided for by a Relation; and his Wife he said, who never knew of one of his Ill Actions, would go into the Country, where if she was Honest God would bless and prosper her.
THE Evening before he dyed, he said he was very easy in his Mind; had not his Thoughts on this World; but was very ready to suffer as the Law appointed. Being ask'd if he was prepared for the Reception of the Sacrament? and what the Sacrament was? He answer'd, That he trusted in God he was fit and prepar'd to eat the Flesh of Christ, and to drink his Blood spiritually of Remembrance of his Death; and added, that he threw himself altogether on the Mercys of God for the Pardon of all the many Sins of his Life.
HE was 28 Years of Age; Born in a Village in the Diocese of Durham; where his Parents sometime liv'd in a creditable Manner; but they failing afterwards in the World, were forced to go to Ireland; and he was put Apprentice to an Upholsterer , He said, that he continued five or six Years in that Service, and then went to Sea, and serv'd Her Late MAJESTY in the Mideterranean, against France and Spain; where he was at the Siege of Barcelona, and at the Taking Gilbraltar. Having continued at Sea eight Years, he returned to England, and having his Pay in ready Money in his Pocket, appointed a leud Woman to meet him at an Alehouse in Smithfield, but she disappointing him, he met with another Woman soon after, whom he so well lik'd as to marry. He then, he said, set up a House for Disorderly Persons; But his Wife soon after, forsook him. That he then attempted to set up his own Trade, but finding no Encouragement therein, he and his Wife liv'd together in a Disorderly House in Thames Street, where wicked People were too often skreen'd and shelter'd. But they were soon discover'd and presented by the Common-Council of that Ward, and he sent to Newgate, but acquitted.
THO' he said he could Read and Write, he could not be perswaded to make the Responses in the Chappel; yet he did the utmost he said, that was in his Power to make his Peace with God, and to attone in Measure for his former long vicious Course of Life.
SOME Days before his Death, he complained much of his Wife, as if she had been the sole Occasion of his Sins, and of his shameful End. He said, that she even prevented his preparing for Heaven, by coming to the Prison, and raving and exclaiming against him, and declaring that the Vengeance of God would overtake him for the Ruin of her and her Child, and for associating with another Woman.
WHEN he knew he must certainly dye, he said he had no Reason to live to desire Life; For never had Man before past his Days in such a tumultuous Hurry, and such a turbulent State; having no time to consider even what God thought of him, or whither he was running to Happiness or to Destruction. But the many vicious Women, he said, which he had known; the many Riotous Houses he had kept; the many Intriegues he had had to injure honest People; and the joval and clamourous Mirth that followed their Success; were so far, he said, from affording that Happiness, which he expected from them, that they were to him very painful and uneasy; For that they were often allarmed, often suddenly surprized, and always in Terror and Apprehension; and generally had One or Other of their Company in some Disaster.
ABOUT four Days before he was executed, he said he was in great Doubt as to his Soul, because God he fear'd would not have any regard to his Repentance, because it was forc'd and not voluntary. Upon which, he was directed to peruse the 15 Chap. of St Lukes Gospel, The 18 of Ezekiel, &c.
A little before he dyed, he was lamenting in a very grievous Manner; that all his Friends had then forsaken him; And that tho' he had lately such a great Number of Acquaintance, he then knew not of any One that would concern himself to preserve his Body for Burial, or buy a Coffin in order to it.
The Day preceeding his Death, he said he had wickedly endeavour'd to impose on the World, by pretending in all his Petitions, that he had 2 small Children which must inevitably Perish if he was not reprieved, whereas he acknowledged he had no Child of his own, and but one which his Wife had before she knew him; he confess'd that he ought sooner to have laid aside all Thoughts of Falsity and Misrepresentation.
As to the Sacrament, he seem'd indeed very seriously and devoutly to prepare himself for it: But yet was not without Expectation to the very last of a Pardon.
T. PURNEY, Ordinary and Chaplain.
This Day is publish'd,
††† Bribery in Perfection; or, a Nation sold. With the exemplary Punishment, and terrible Fate of the Guilty and their Families; being fresh Advices from the new Atalantis. Written in French by the famous Madam Dunois, Author of the Ladies Travels into Spain. In this Account is not only shewn the Vices, Follies, and Corruptions of the People of Atalantis in general, but the particular Characters of the great Men who were found Guilty and punish'd. Vindidit hic Auro Patriam. Printed and Sold by John Applebee, a little below Bridewell-Bridge, Black-Fryers; J. Peele, at Lock's Head, in Pater-Noster-Row; and A. Dodd, at the Peacock, without Temple-Bar. Price One Shilling.