THE Ordinary of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT Of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday the 5th of July,1721.
THE Day preceeding the Execution of the Four Malefactors, who, out of seven Condemned to Dye, where then agreeable to His Majesty’s Pleasure, order’d for Execution; I instructed Them, from the Following Text of Scripture;
Finally, Be ye All of one Mind having Compassion One of Another; Love as Brethen, Be Pitiful, Be Courteous;
Not rendring Evil for Evil or Railing for Railing, but contrariwise, Blessing; knowing that Te are Hereunto called to Inherit a Blessing. (1 Pet. 3, 8, 9.)
In speaking to the Words, We mention’d to the Prisoners and Others, The following Things;
FIRST, The Being all of One Mind: Or, The not loving to foment Party-Disputes, and to make this our Land of Milk and Honey a Field of War and Blood. 2dly, The not loving to raise needless Arguments about Religion; or to make That which was designed to render Us Happy Hereafter, rendered Us Divided and Wretch’d Here: Yet not to be All of one Mind, so as a late Author would perswade Us, by blending the Christian, Jewish and Mahometan Faiths together. 3dly, We told the Prisoners that there was a Virtue in being of one Mind with Our Superiours, In thinking those Things Offences, which They had made Unlawful and Leaders to Death; whether it was, The Returning from Transportation; The Counterfeiting the Current Coin; or the Like.
SECONDLY, Having Compassion One of Another. Or as the Word will signify, (if We would prevent its being something the same with the Command be Low, be Pitiful,) Taking part in the Misfortunes of Others; To wit, Being Assistant to Others in their Calamities; Even detrimenting ourselves a little, if we can much advantage
Another Man; And, as a Great Casuist says, hazarding our own Life to rescue our Neighbour’s, supposing, the Robber certainly design’d his Death.
THIRDLY, Love as Brethren. Or, Be Loving or Charitable to the Brotherhood. For so a Learned Commentator tells Us the Word will signify. The way the Malefactors were to show their Charity, or to give Gifts, was, By Helping their Fellow-Prisoners in Reading or Praying; By Giving some Good Advice to the People when they arriv’d at the Place appointed for their Deaths; and by Forgiving All whom they might fancy had done injuriously by Them.
FOUTRHLY, Be Pitiful, Be inclin’d to Softness, and Tenderness of Heart, when others fall into Distresses and Calamities.
FIFTHLY, Be Courteous. Do not affect any stiffness or Bluntness in Behaviour; nor differ from the ordinary Rules of Ceremony. Much less should any Malefactor keep his Moreseness, but be Candid and Ingenuous; which cannot benefit any Man but themselves; and it our Duty to preach it, only as it is pleasing to God.
SIXTHLY, Render not Evil for Evil or Railing for Railing, but contrariwise Blessing. Whereby Malefactors are Commanded, not only to have in general that Love and Affection which Christ told his Disciples should be a great distinction and Characteristick of Christians; but also in particular ‘tis heir Duty to lay aside all Resentment and Ill-will, to those who have been Evidences against them, and by their Accusations caused their Deaths, even tho’ they should fancy they had beer wrong’d and injur’d by them, which indeed is not the Cafe; and especially if any one had been formerly a Friend and Acquaintance and had become an Accuser and Condemner, they were particularly to search their Hearts, left any Rancour and Resentment should lurk in their Bosoms and destrov those Seeds of Virtue, which their dayly Devotions must have planted in their Hearts, if their Performances were real and sincere.
LASTLY, We consider’d the Reason offer’d for this Affection and forgiving Temper of Mind; render Blessings for Evils; Because ye are hereunto called, that ye should inherit a Blessing; the Gentiles call’d from Heathen Ignorance, into the glorious Liberties of the Sons of God; and Sinners called from the Curse of Original Sin and actual Transgression, to the Offer and Tender of inheriting an Eternal Blessing.
The Account of the Prisoners while they lay under Sentence of Death.
During the first Fortnight or longer after their Condemnation; their Behaviour was sober, and seemingly Devout; but afterwards, finding the Time for their Deaths was protracted, and would happen no Body knew when, their Behaviour alter’d on a sudden; and (as it has always happen’d in the like Case) they could not be any longer induc’d to consider Themselves as Persons appointed to dye; but sometimes rais’d Tumults and Quarels with the Strangers, most in the Place for Divine
Worship, and sometimes with those who led them to ,the Chappel, not forbearing to take an Opportunity to beat and abuse them, and with a Knife in Hand to threaten them with present Death.
But tho’ the Deportment of the Malefactors appear’d so visibly chang’d for the worse; when they found the Time for their Execution was become uncertain and precarious, yet if discours’d with, they would affirm, that they, chose rather soon to dye, if Death was to be their Lot, than so long to lye in the Terrors and Apprehensions of eath to them more shocking and dismal than Death itself, especially in a Place so loathsome, and in much Misery and Want.
He said he was near 33 Years of Age; Born at Hempsted in Hartfordshire; brought up at a Village some Miles distant, where his Father kept a considerable Inn: That he lived very happily with his Father, so long as his Mother lived, and afterwards, till his Father marry’d again; But then being Forbidden the House, he said, his Disasters began; he added, that his Mother-in-Law us’d him with the more severity, affirming that he attempted to cut her Throat; and once, in the Middle of the Night, set a Ladder against her Window, and endeavour’d to enter her Chamber Window; but if his Assertions are to be any way credited, he had no Design against the Life of his Mother; but was resolved to have a Shelter and a Harbour against the inclemency of the Weather and the Night; and to get if possible a Bed and Covering for his, Sister; soon after he said his Father died, worth 3 or 4 thousand pounds; but he advantaged by no part of it, was put Apprentice to a Baker in Thamestreet, where he had an Opportunity of being led into an honest, sober. and industrious Course of Life; had not his natural Inclinations directed him to Ease Idleness and Pleasures; for that he was always prone to prefer to all things, an immediate and present Gratifcation.
Once, he said, being drinking at an Alehouse in White-Chapel, and a Crown being mist out of the Til, he and his Companions were seiz’d and searched, and the Money found upon him, whom a Person of the House also affirm’d to have seen thro’ a Hole, to take privately the Crown-piece: For this.being try’d, he was Convicted and Transported to Jamaica for 7 Years; where he was sold for about Ten Pounds; but his Trade being nothing there, he was put to Hoeing, planting Tobacco , and all the Hardships that the Negro Slaves endured. But his Master finding, he said, that no Words nor Stripes could make him Work in that way, sold him to another, who built an Oven, and try’d him in his own Business, to wit the making Jamaica Bread , of Indian Corn, or of European Corn with Leaven: But this Master, he said, beating him to Excess, and allowing him only Homine or American Grain and Water all the Week, and one small morsel of Meat every Sunday: He stole away from the Island of Jamaica, to the Continent, of America, and travelling Four Hundred Miles from Carolina, along
the Sea-Coast to Maryland, there found an Opprtunity of Shipping himself off for England. But the Vessel going to a desert Island to load some Salt, the Sailers were surpriz’d by the Spaniards, and after a long Fight by the Salt-Pits, were taken Prisoners by them; but the Spaniards afterwards rifling the Ship, and setting it adrift with him and some others in it, they by chance arrived safe in England.
This Prisoner was wholly uniform in his Deportment when he was first under Sentence, being the most sober of them all; and when his Death drew near the least disturbed and terrify’d. He said, as his two Children were both dead, and his Wife young enough to maintain herself, he was very easy and contented to suffer as the Law directed.
2. THOMAS CANE, was convicted of stealing a silk Handkerchief value 2 Shillings, from Sarah Socket, going into Hounsditch, on the 29th of April last. He was also convicted of returning from Transportation, without lawful Cause having been sent to America for Seven Years.
As this Melefactor was somewhat Stubborn in his Behaviour, he refused to tell his Age; but he was about 26 as may be guess’d. He was Born, he said, in St. James’s Parish; his Father being a BarbarSurgeon, and sometime a Man of Substance, but since reduced. Till the Tuesday before he was Executed he diligently frequented the Chappel, and appear’d to be very Devout, using always his Common PrayerBook, and reading earnestly the Psalms, and the Responses; but on Tuesday, he said he could not any more frequent our Place of Worship, being a Roman Catholick , and would therefore refuse our Sacrament.
3. JANE WORSLEY, of St. James Clerkenwell, was convicted of assaulting Margaret Pritchard on the Highway, about twelve o’ Clock at Night, putting her in Fear, and taking from her a stuff Riding-hood, and a linnen Sheet.
She was about 40 Years of Age; not able to Write or Read, nor capable of receiving any Instructions that were offer’d to her. But tho’ she cou’d scarcely speak, she show’d that she had some Sense of her approaching Misery, by frequently shedding Tears in great abundance. Before she dy’d, she refus’d to receive the Sacrment; or indeed to learn what the Sacrament was.
She said, she was not 24 Years old; Born in the Parish of St. Giles Cripplegate; she added, That she could not but impute her sad End to the too great Indulgence her Mother us’d towards her; which was also the Occasion of the natural Violence and Fury of her Temper, being never curb’d or restrain’d. She said, on a Difference at Home,
she was put Apprentice to a Mantua-Maker , but her Mistress knowing her from a Babe, was almost as tender of her as her Mother; so that, having served two Years, upon a rough Word given, she return’d Home, and giving a long Account of her Ill-Usage, was continued There. She own’d that she was then Untoward to her Mother, (who kept a Brandy-Shop) refusing to live with her, unless she’d keep a Servant. Being humour’d in this, she said that she soon quarrel’d with the Servant, and her Mother interposing, with her also, and again left her; But added, that she soon return’d Home to her Mother (who now kept an Alehouse in Cripplegate Parish.) But one Day, she said, she was going to see the Malefactors go to die, when her Mother told her she could not go; upon which being enrag’d and violent, her Mother being so too, Struck her, and said she should be Her Death: Going thence to see the Malefactors, she met a Friend, who conducted her to Tyburn; and from thence to a House by St. Giles’s Pound, where complaining of her Mothers Usage, and vowing never to return Home, she was encourag’d and told that her Mother might one Day destroy her; Being then shown some Secrets in the House, she was employ’d she said, to utter their False Money, in which she was afterwards discover’d, and carry’d to Newgate, convicted, and fin’d, That there she begin her Acquaintance with her Comrade Miles, who paid something for her when she was discharg’d.
At Chapel she was often advised to be more serious in her Deportment; but her Answer still was, that ‘twas not in her Nature or Power to look Grave, but she might be as penitent as those who could cry and lament.
Yet some few Days before Death, she appear’d alter’d and chang’d, in her Look and Voice. She said she was sensible of the Turbulency of her Temper; but hoped God and Man would pardon her Fury and Malice at her Condemnation, the Disturbances she had made at Chapel, and her Bitterness against her once Acquaintance Miles.
She would not be convinc’d that her Crime was any Sin, or the least Cheat, nor could she think of Death, till the Warrant went to Newgate; nor would she then believe she should be Burn’d. But the Day before she suffer’d, finding it most true, her former Spirit was quite sunk and dead; she said she was not covetous of Life, but could not bear Burning, nor to be talk’d of so long as the Person so Executed.
She said she was particularly glad that her Husband was not in Being, who once lived well in his Business of a Butcher: She added, that when she went with her Mother to her Death, who she said unjustlysuffer’d she little thought she shou’d so soon follow to the samewretched Fate.
She also said she had never been a Thief; and could only condemn herself for Undutifulness to her Friends, using too much Drink, and neglect of going to Church; adding that she was but in one Prison, besides Newgate, and but twice in that.
When she receiv’d the Holy Sacrament, she was very serious, but show’d, instead of her former Dauntleness, an uncommon Consternation and Surprize at the approach of Death; but said she forgave Miles and all Enemies, and so hoped for Forgiveness of God.
BEFORE she was Burn’d, she said she had learn’d to Coin of a Man and Woman who have now wholly left it off, and live in Credit, tho’ then they were very low reduced; That she was not shown the Art, but only told how to perform it; but that she thought it pity that Family should be ruin’d who had left off Coinings, and so many Hundreds be untouch’d in London who continued in that Employ.
She alfo said that she found it very difficult to forgive Miles, her Companion and Accuser; and added, that tho’ there lay the Faggots and Brushes to burn her, she would not take away the Life of any one, tho’ a Magistrate was to come in Person, and offer her a Pardon to do it.
As she went to the Place of Execution, and as she stood at the Stake by the Wood and Fuel, she seemed to have much less fear of Death, than the Day before, yet was she very desirous of Praying; but complained severely of the Clods of Dirt and stones thrown by Vagabonds behind the Crowd, which prevented her thinking at all of Heaven, and one Time beat her quite down.
Just before she dy’d she said she forgave all the World, and dy’d in perfect Charity; hoped others would take warning by her, and confessed the Fact she was to suffer for.
T. PURNEY, Ordinary and Chaplain.