THE Ordinary of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Fryday the 28th of July, 1721.
AT the Sessions begun July 12, at Justice Hall in the Old-Bayly, were convicted of Capital Crimes, seven Men and five Women; 6 whereof obtaining His Majesty's Reprieve, the others were order'd for Execution. July 28, viz. J. Winshipp; R. Hunter; G. Post; W. Goslin; M. Clark, and M. Inman.
The Sunday preceeding their Execution, I preach'd to Them, and to Others present, from the following Words,
If a Man say, I love God, and hateth his Brother, He is a Lyer; For he who loveth not his Brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 Joh. 4. 20.)
In speaking to the Words, We endeavour'd to explain,
FIRST, What it is to love God? Which the Apostle tells us Ch. 2. v. 3. Namely, To keep his Commandments. And in Those who have neglected so to love God, It is the Compensating, as much as possible, for the badness of their Lives, by their most earnest Repentance, and suing for the favour of Christ.
SECONDLY, We considered, What is meant by loving our Brother. as 1st. To be Courteous. 2dly, Also to lay aside all Rancour, Animosities and III-Will. 3dly, To bear with Those who are of different Opinions, and Perswasions with ourselves. 4thly, To benefit our Neighbours when it is in our Powers, and even to incommode ourselves, if a great Advantage thereby will accrue to our Neighbours. And the like.
THIRDLY, What is meant by Hating our Brother? viz. The Reverse of what is loving Him. Under which we also considered. The seperating from Civil Society, and inhabiting the High and Publick Ways, in order to ravage, despoil, and prey upon all they met: The breaking in upon all the Restraints of Laws and Rules; and the endeavouring to
shake the Peace and Happiness of Mankind, by reversing and confounding all Discipline, and Order among Men.
Besides which, we consider'd, the taking away the Life of Man: which may be the following several Ways; (1st.) In Vindication of God's Honour; As Sampson slew those who had met in Dagon's Hall, to deride Jehovah in the Person of Sampson. (2dly,) At the Command of the King in an unjust War, waged to gratify his Ambition. (3dly,) The destroying innocent Women and Children in the same Ship or Castle with Pirates and Rebels, by burning that Castle or Ship with all things in it. (In which three Cases we may presume to think their does not lye any Sin in the Actions of a private Man.) 4thly, Murther committed, and never known by the Committer; As in the Person who throwing a Stone over a Wall, slew an indulgent and well-lov'd Father. (5thly,) Murther accidental, but known at the same time; for which the Jews fled to the Horns of the Altar. (6thly,) The Murther of an Assaulter or Robber, in defence of our own Life. (In which three Cases, the Occasion being Neglect, or Necessity, we may hope they will not be plac'd to our Account at the Last Great Day.) (7thly,) Murther committed in Excess of Passion. (8thly,) Murther with premeditated Malice. (9thly,) Where that malicious Murther has destroy'd a Labouring Man, whose Death has ruin'd a large Family of Children, and caused some of them to perish. (10thly,) We mention'd the Last and blackest Case, where Nature and Kindred should have gain'd Affection, and led to especial Love. Esaiah saith, Can a Woman forget her sucking Child: That she should not have Compassion on the Fruit of her Womb? (Ch. 49. V. 15.) If the Prophet asks this Question in a Jewish Country, we find it in Practice answer'd in a Christian Nation; having Instances frequent and repeated of Mothers who can see their Infants smile in their Faces, and tear 'em to pieces at the same time with their Hands: Who can hear unconcern'd the Cries of their tender Babes, while they are pulling out their Bowels, and bathing in their Blood. To such Actions as these, what can we say? Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the Streets of Ascalon! lest the Heathens rejoyce; lest the barbarous Nations Triumph! Besides which we mention'd the Murther of a Friend and Acquaintance; the sending an Innocent Person unprepar'd into the other World; to appear before God with all her Sins about her; and without that space which the Law allows a Condemn'd Malefactor. Against such Deeds as these, we need not have recourse to Religion; as Nature itself will loudly here exclaim, O Earth, hide not my Blood.
THIRDLY, We consider'd the Apostle's Reason; For he who loveth not his Brother whom he hath seen, how can be love, &c. That tho' we do see God daily in an effectual Way to make us love; as in the Works of Creation, and his hourly Care and Concern for us; yet, the Apostle might well say, we have not seen God; as God in his full Radiance, and caelestial Glory, is not visible by Man. And tho' the seeing our Friends, in our Affairs and Business with them, in a fuller Manner, does generally lead us to dislike them, and to think meanlier of them than if we knew them a little at a distance, as by secret Kindnesses they had done us; yet that is owing to the Infirmity of our Nature, which will not always suffer Intimacy and Respect to continue
together. And God is different from Man, as the more we could approach to the Knowledge of him, the more we should admire and love him.
LASTLY, Application, to the Persons to dye. As, to turn their former hatred of God into the more intense Love: By true Repentance, by acknowledging their Offences, and by bearing patiently the Dispensations of Providence. Also, to convert their late hatred of Mankind, Preying, Spoiling, Robbing, into Meekness, Charity, Humility: And to endeavour to love even those who had legally accus'd them, and brought them to ignominious Deaths.
The Account of the Malefactors before their Deaths.
AS the Prisoners condemn'd were carried up to the Chappel twice each Day (where, after the Prayers, I endeavour'd, as I had time, to instruct them by explaining the Word of God) I had an easy Opportunity of Regarding their several Behaviours, which was in the general with Decency and Devotion; nor did they ever absent themselves from the publick Duties; except that George Post, and Mary Inman were for some short time Sick, and rendered incapable of attending the Publick Service in the Chapel.
He was about 24 Years of Age, Born at St. Albans, near to which Place he was bred up, and serv'd a Gentleman , in whose Family he might have learn'd a much better Disposition and Temper of Mind, had not his Nature been corruptly bent from the Cradle, and the Dispositions of his Soul forceably leaning to Vice. He said, he was taught very well to Read; but what tended still to the depraving his Mind, was the neglect of Reading, or Hearing the Scripture; but sitting in the Church-Yard with other idle Fellows, during the Time of Divine-Service.
But he added, that he preceiv'd his Mind and Inclinations more sensibly inclined to Wickedness, for a Year or two last past; which he now imputed to God's Spirit having left him to himself. For he could not be contented with his old Way of Life, viz. Going to Plough, and driving Carts; but us'd to skulk about Bushy-Heath (near Watford) intending oftentimes to set upon some Passengers there; that he rob'd on that Heath a Person, of about 45 s. using him cruelly at the same time.
What Money he got by ill Means he own'd never did him any Service; but as he was liked well enough, he said, by most of the young Women about, he consumed much Money in trifling Ways upon them. And being acquainted with her he was afterwards about to wed, while he liv'd at Watford, he used to go frequently to that Town and be Merry; till by his perswasions he had induced the young Woman to consent to Marriage; and bringing her up to London, they went to a Goldsmith's to purchase a Ring; but he not having Money enough to pay for it, left her, and pretended he had a Legacy in the Country bequeath'd him of 15 l. which he would receive, and which would at once defray all Expences. Leaving London, he went toward Neesden, and Wilsden-
Green, where he had sometime liv'd, he said, he lay about for 2 or 3 Days, intending to rob till he had acquired 15 l. But being alone, tho' he oft made a Resolution to attack the next Person that pass'd, his Heart fail'd, and he durst not attempt it. That he here met the Master of the Ale-House where he did the Murder, who asking him how he came to loiter there in Hay time, offer'd him Work, and hired him for a Servant . But he upon this considering 'twas Hay time, and all Folks from Home, and in particular the Master of the said Ale-House, went thither, and calling for Liquor, fate an Hour, renewing the former Friendship that had been between him and the Maid, and talking over the many Meriments and Frolicks; he having before pretended a Love and Kindness for her. After this, he said, when he was now assured that no one was in the House but they two alone, the Devil put it into his Mind, that he could not possibly rob the House, unless the said Servant-Maid was dispatch'd. Upon which he added, that he privately got a Knife under his Coat, and getting up to kiss her, design'd to cut her Throat; but his Heart misgiving him, he sat down again. A while after he went and kiss'd her again; and then, he said (for which God pardon his Soul) he snatch'd the Knife from his Coat, and cut her Wind-pipe, and went away; but the Knife being very dull she made a noise in the Throat as if she call'd to him, and scrabbled to the Door; he seeing she was not dead return'd, and most barbarously cut her Neck round to the Bone, and then rob'd the House of a little Silver, but was too surpriz'd and shock'd to carry off much, (at mentioning this, this most horrid Mind, and most abandon'd Creature, very severely cry'd, and ask'd, if for him there could be any Mercy from God!)
When I enquired farther of the particulars of his Story, he said, that was the whole, and the true Matter of Fact. As for what follow'd afterwards, he told me, he went for London again with the little Money he had got; but being to pass by Tyburn, a sort of Horror and Trembling seiz'd him, nor could he possibly go by it. Returning back he met a Waggon, and the better to prevent Suspicion, undertook to drive it to London. Soon after the Pursuers came up to him, and ask'd him, if any one had pass'd his Waggon who might be suspected of Murther; whereupon he shewing some Confusion, they examin'd him farther, and perceiv'd the Slieve of his Shirt to be Bloody; but he affirm'd that he had met a Soldier, who abusing him, he had fought with him. But the consciousness of his Guilt pressing hard upon him, he soon confest the Truth.
He show'd a Concern, (tho' without Cause) that his Father, an honest and industrious Man, going once to see him in Newgate, said, had he been to die for any other Sin, he would have aim'd at saving his Life; but nothing but Blood could attone for Blood.
On the Tuesday before his Death, when I urg'd him to prepare for his latter End; he said, he could scarcely be well compos'd, the hanging in Chains was so apt to intrude upon his Thoughts, but that he well deserv'd it he own'd; adding, that he had often remember'd what he us'd to read in the Scripture, viz. That the Bodies of the Wicked should be expos'd to the Beasts of the Field, and to the Fowls of the Air for Meat.
Before he dy'd I ask'd him, if he had not had very terrifying and frightful Thoughts, in the Night time especially? He answer'd, that it was not easy to express the Horror of his Soul; that he had frightful Dreams, and dreadful Apprehensions: And how he should meet the murthered Creature at the Last Day, if he had destroy'd her Soul as well as her Body, God only knew! After I had advised him in these Matters, I directed him to prepare for the Reception of the Holy Sacrament, &c.
2. JOHN WINSHIPP) was convicted of assaulting C. Lowther, Esq; in his Coach, between St. Pancras Church , and the Halfway-House, on the 25th of May last, and taking from him a silver Watch, and a Purse with 10 Guineas.
He said he was 22 Years of Age, Born in the Parish of St. Paul Covent Garden; was put Apprentice to a Carpenter , but was of too roving a Mind to follow that Business, but liv'd as he could, and sometimes drove Coaches in the Streets for a Maintenance.
He also said, that tho' he was so very young in an ill Course of Life, he could blame no Person for seducing or leading him aside, tho' the Gangs of Highwaymen he associated with, always courted and caress'd him for his uncommon Agility and Activity of Body, which generally made him the principal Man among them.
He said that he was indeed very desirous of Life, and would willingly go to any part of the World, even for the whole remainder of his Days, to avoid the shameful and ignominious Death of a Brute-Beast: But said, that this was not so greatly his Desire for his own Sake, as on the account of an aged Mother he had, whose Grief would end her Days (he being her only Child) if he came to such a dismal End.
He deny'd that in all his Robberies, which he own'd had been very numerous for one of his Age, he had never committed Murther: For which Reason he hoped, tho' he had been guilty of all other Sins, God would graciously pardon him.
When he was ask'd if he rob'd a Person in a Chaise during Divine Service, who was watering his Horse before the Church Door? He said, he had no Business to confess any thing to any Man, but he suppos'd that Action was the same wherever it was done, and at what time soever.
He would by no means own he was guilty of the Robbery he was convicted of; saying he would not discover any Robbers, because no one should be made Evidence against the rest, for that he said, was what took away his Life. But it was no wonder that he should deny his Crime, because he declared when first Condemn'd, that he would confess nothing, nor had any one any Business to ask him any Questions.
Being ask'd why he refus'd to go over to Africa, as he had engaged; he affirm'd that 'twas not he, but one Downing, reprieved at the same time, who receiv'd 50 l. of the Duke of Chandois, on condition of going over to the African Settlements. But he said he offer'd his Grace to go, if he would please to procure him any small Commission; he added, he had no occasion to go otherways, having an Uncle in Kingston in Jamaica, who went over a Carpenter and Builder of Ships, and has since, by taking Pirate Vessels with his Privateer Ships, raised his Fortune to 2000 l. and would very gladly receive him in that Island, if his Father, Mother, and Wife, would let him go.
3. GEORGE POST) of Cork in the Kingdom of Ireland, was condemn'd, for that he (together with R. Hunter) stole out of the Dwelling-House of John Thomas, a Gold-Watch and Chain, silver Cups, Salts, Castors, a Tankard, &c. on the 25th of May last.
He was about 24 Years of Age, and not wanting in the Knowledge of the Principles of Religion. He said his Father, a Quarry-Man, was very careful to Educate him in that Honesty which he himself professes, and has always sustain'd their Family. He said also, that he had no occasion to do any ill Deed, having the very best of Masters, who allow'd him sufficiently, and intended to settle him in Business, and whom, he added, he should think it his high Duty to serve and oblige with his Limbs and Life, if his Pardon was obtain'd.
He said, the first Step to his Ruin was his being unlawfully familiar with the young Woman who accus'd him; he added, that it was only twice, and that being in Liquor, he was decoy'd and betray'd, nor know where he was, till the ensuing Morning. He said also that he had an assured Hope that God would mercifully accept of his poor, but best Efforts towards Repentance. But afterwards he express'd a great Concern, that his Sickness had render'd him incapable of holding up his Head to Read, and that the violent pains in his Arms and Loyns prevented his thinking on God and Heaven as he us'd to do.
4. ROBERT HUNTER) was condemn'd also, for taking the aforesaid Goods, with George Post. He was also about 24 Years of Age, Born in Ireland. He had little Thoughts of Dying, having some Assurances to the contrary; yet I cannot say that he at all neglected his Duty on that account, being serious and devout at the Prayers, and attending to the Word of God, when explain'd. But both he and his Acquaintance exclaim'd against one Strickland, as their Ruin. Before he dy'd, when he receiv'd the Holy Sacrament, he was very earnest and fervent in his Devotions.
5. WILLIAM GOSLING) of Bishopsgate, was convicted of stealing silver Spoons, Candlesticks, Salts, Castors, &c. to the value of 46 l. from Mark Winn, Esq ; on the 22d of May last; for which Offences he appear'd very penitent; but had the unhappiness to be sick and light-headed during this time of Calamity and Distress.
6. MARY INMAN) late of Hartford, was condemn'd for the Murther of her Female Bastard-Child, at Newington, in an Out-House where she lay, by sitting with her Weight upon it. She was about 35 Years of Age; and since her Husband, a Shoemaker, failed, has gone to Chairing, Haymaking , &c. But before he was forced to fly for Debt, to Holland as she supposed, they and their 2 Sons lived very handsomely and well. She seem'd little concern'd at her Condition; but said the Report was very false of her having murther'd 11 Bastards before. She was out of Order all the time of her Condemnation, which she imputed, she said, to the violent Method of her Delivery.
The Account of the Prisoners at their Execution.
Robert Hunter, and George Post, gave me each of them a Paper, importing that they were both Protestants, and Born of honest Parents; that this was the first ill Thing they committed of this Kind, but ill Women had led them aside; that they were glad they were from their Friends; hoped all the World would forgive them, and pray for them.
Matthew Clarke desired the People might be told, that he own'd he had no ill Will to the young Woman he kill'd, but some Love. That no Body was with him when he rob'd the Man on Bushy-Heath. That be intended to have left the young Woman he was to Marry, but not to have sold her to America, as was said. He hoped all would take warning by him, and would pray for his departing Soul.
T. PURNEY, Ordinary and Chaplain.