THE Ordinary of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT Of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Monday the 23d of October 1721.
AT the Sessions, which began at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, on Wednesday the Eleventh of this Instant October 1721. Five Men and one Woman were try'd, and by the Jury found Guilty of Capital Offences, viz. Richard James, John Dykes, William Courtney, John Trantum, Philip Storey, and Ann Lloyd: But the Last being a Girl of about 7 Years of Age, and the Jury recommending her to the Mercy of the Court, She obtain'd His Majesty's most Gracious Reprieve.
During the Time which they lay under Sentence of Death, they constantly attended their Duty, twice each Day, in the Prison Chapel; except W. Courtney, who was visited with a severe Sickness, which must have ended his Life in a few Days, had not the Effects of his Vices put a quicker Period to it. These Prisoners in general Appear'd Devout and Serious; and perceiving their no dallying or trifling when Death was so near in View, they pursued their Devotions chearfully and earnestly; gave the closest Attention to the Word of God when explain'd on the Week Days; and seem'd to sit easy to this World, and to have fixt their Eyes on a higher and nobler Prospect. Their Friends furnish'd them all with the best Books of Devotion, to their Request, and Entreaty, as the Last and most charitable Benevolence they could afford 'em, before they left the Earth, to take possession of Eternity.
On Sunday Oct. 15. I preach'd to them on the Nature of Justice and Injustice; The several different Degrees of Guilt; and how a Man may participate of an III Action without being immediately concern'd in the Commission of the Fact, &c. And,
On Sunday Oct. 22. I preach'd to them from the following Text of Scripture,
Let the Sighing of the Prisoner come before Thee, according to the greatness of thy Power: Preserve thou those that are appointed to dye! (Psalm 79. Ver. 11.)
After observing, that David is supposed to have prophesied here of the Jewish Captivity, when Thousands of innocent Slaves were cruelly hauld to the Dungeons, scourg'd, mangl'd, and torn to pieces, by the arbitrary Rage of the Babilonians, and other Heathen Powers, and for whose Preservance and Deliverance a good Man ought to pray: We then proceeded to consider the Purport of the Words generally, and agreeable to the Circumstance and Occasion before us.
FIRST, We endeavour'd to distinguish some of the Sorts of Sighing of Prisoners: As, (1) The Sighs of a Prisoner committed to a Dungeon at the cruel Pleasure of a Tyrant, which is Arbitrary Power. (2) A Prisoner committed by well-intending, but mistaken Zealots, on Account of Religion, which is Persecution. (3) The Sighs of Prisoners very justly made so, for the wicked Practices, which is Publick Justice.
And here, we farther distinguish'd, between the Sighing or Sorrow of (1) a harden'd Malefactor, who may grieve that he is leaving Life, and can no longer robb, and ruinate, and plunder. (2) That Sorrow which an unregenerate Prisoner may have, for being cut off from the Light of the Sun, from Gaiety, Worldly Pleasures, and Jocose Companions. (3) That Sort of Sighing or Sorrow, which is rais'd at the Consideration at God and our Saviour's being offended, and being our Foes. The first of these is a vicious Sorrow; the second a fruitless and unprofitable Concern; the third a virtuous and availing Repentance.
SECONDLY, We consider'd the Greatness of God's Power and Capacity to save an Innocent Prisoner from Death, and a Guilty one from Damnation: As He is the Creator of the World; as He continues to direct and surpervise our Affairs; and as He is an indulgent Father engaged to hear the Petitions of sinful Men.
THIRDLY, We considered the Words - Appointed to Die. (1.) That such Appointment was to the Prepar'd Soul the joyful News of being dissolv'd in order to be with Christ. (2.) To the Doubting and Uncertain Sinner, Death is at least the Seals of all his Cares, the Term of his Anxiety, Disquietness and Uneasinesses, and the laying them all asleep in the silent Grave. (3.) To the unprepared Sinner, Death is a Prospect of Horror; the King of Terrors, the opener of Eternity, and the great Beginner of Tortures.
FOURTHLY, We observ'd the Advantage which the being Appointed to Dye, is, to the vicious Liver. As it prevents his running farther into Sin, and rendering his Repentance harder. As the Uncertainty of Death has caused many, especially Robbers, to be wholly Carless and Negligent of their Duty; so that they have by Accidents been cut off, or, by sudden Sickness, been hurry'd out of the World; and some Times without Time to say, Lord have Mercy upon me a Sinner! which Warning for Repentance the Appointment for Death affords them.
FIFTHLY and LASTLY, The Influence that the Appointment for Death should have. It should induce Men to despise the World; to acquire a nobler Treasure in Heaven; to be instant and earnest in Devotions: It should make a Man examine and judge himself that he be not judged of God; make us reflect on the Wisdom of God in bringing down Man to Humility, by having form'd him, tho' the Glory of Creation, one of the most changeable Being created; so form'd, as for one Generation to give Place to another in less than an hundred Years, while the Sun and Moon, and Stars, preserve the Posts, to shine on our Posterity as they have shone on us.
1. JOHN DYKES) of Stepney Parish, was convicted of Assaulting Charles Wright on the Road, between Mile-End and Bow, and robbing him of a Penknife, a Seal, and 5 s. 8 d. in Money, by clapping a Pistol to his Breast, and telling him if he did not peaceably deliver he should be shot through.
He was 23 Years Old, but very Ignorant, having forgot all his Reading and Writing, which (he said) was taught him by his Friends. Being the eldest Child, and having a too indulgent Father, he desliked to go 'Prentice to any Occupation for seven Years, and was not compel'd thereto; yet some Times (he said) he work'd with his Brother as a Carpenter or Cooper . He added, that his Ruin proceeded from an idle Habit which he catch'd of Gaming, at which having spent most of his Money, he would play for Half-Pence with the Children in the Streets, where he some Times re-establish'd his Stock; but at other Times being quite destitute, and afraid to acquaint his Father with his Losses, he took to picking Pockets, which he often practic'd, and was some Times in Bridewell for it: Upon his being discharg'd, he would often promise his Friends that he would go to Sea, but still refused to do so, though often equip'd and enter'd for his Majesty's Service. He also said, that his Friends often lamented to him, begging he would take to some Business, telling him he would assuredly come at length to be hang'd; adding, that his Friends often bought him good Suits of Cloaths, to encourage him to go to Church, but that he was scarce ever in a Church in his whole Life; going, as he said, toward the Fields, to Play and Game, and returning when he thought Church was done.
He also said, that he not only robb'd as a Footpad on the Highway, but broke into several Houses, about Mile-End, Bow, and Hackney; in particular, that Isaac Drew and he forceably enter'd, in the Night-Time, a House, by the School-House, going to Bow, and took Cloaths and some little Plate; but what (he said) most griev'd him, was, that he robb'd a poor Man, near the Men hanging in Chains by Bow, of all his Wages, he being a Gardener, and going Home late at Night.
This Prisoner (as I was told) used, at particular Times, to start up in the Night-Time, and tear his Hair, and beat his Breast, and crying out in a very odd way; but at other Times to be singing forth of Psalms by himself, and repeating the Lord's-Prayer for several Hours together.
Before his Death, he express'd a Chearfulness and Alacrity at leaving the World, said, he had an assured Hope that his Peace was made with God, and received the Holy Sacrament the Morning before Execution, with great Reverence and Devotion.
This Prisoner was about 30 Years of Age, Born near St. Anne's Westminster, was Son to a Nobleman's Cook, who left him very young, and about 12 he went to Sea ; he said also, that being in Jamaica, he and many others were taken Prisoners by the Spaniards; but a Housepainter taking a liking to him, instructed him in his Trade when they arriv'd in New-Spain. He said, he liv'd very well with this Spaniard, but longing to see the Place of his Birth, and to talk his own Language, he return'd to England; and about 17 Years of Age he married, his Wife being much younger; by which, the Friends of them both being anger'd, the Wife was turn'd out from her Fathers, and he oblig'd to go again to Sea, where he continu'd three Years, including (he said) the time that he continued Prisoner in the Hands of some Pirates; adding, that they set him on Shore destitute on the Coast of America, that he travelled to Boston in New-England, from thence to Maryland: But returning after three Years into England, he found his Wife had married again, having had Intelligence that her Husband was Dead in America; he said, he could not perswade her to leave her second Husband, because she had a Child or two by him; he added that he himself also liv'd in the same Adultery; being led into it by the Accidental Loss of his rightful Wife.
He freely confest the Fact; said he well deserv'd to die; and added, that if he was under Tyburn, it would be no concern or uneasiness to him, for those of his Profession never were alarm'd at the Sight of Death.
He said that he was much concern'd at the cruel way he had of using People he robb'd, especially the Waggon which goes from the Bell-Inn in Warwick-Lane, to Chiner in Tame, in Oxfordshire, which he, and Nat. Hawes and Rich. Jones, stop'd by the Lord Portland's Park-Wall, beyond Uxbridge; in which Waggon was one Man and three Women, besides the Waggoner, J. March. Also he mention'd the robbing a Gentleman and Lady in a Chaise, on the 25th of Aug. last beyond Acton; for the Gentleman having by entreaty got Hawes to restore him a Ring he valu'd; this Malefactor rode back and swore he would shoot him thro' the Head if he gave him not the Ring a second time; and being also very angry with his Comrade, for giving the Travellers 2 s. to cross the Water withal. He said also, that being at an Inn at Harrow on the Hill, two Ladies and their Footman call'd in, being travelling to Mortlock a cross the Country; that a Mile on this side Oxford Road, he and his Companions attack'd them; that among the things which they took from the Travellers, they desir'd nothing again but a Whip, which this Prisoner would not grant them; but some Snuff which a Lady beg'd out of a silver Box they gave her in a Paper.
He said, that in August last, to his present great Sorrow, he committed eight Robberies, or more, viz. Two Men on Horse-back, on Finchley Common, at Nine o'Clock in the Evening, some Gentlemen, &c. going for Mortlock: A Man and a Woman behind him, near Tatnam Turnpike
: A Man and a Woman on Finchley Common: A Quaker's Coach, about four Miles beyond Acton, with (I think) one Man and three Women in it, robbing them of a Gold Chain, 4 Guineas, and 8 s. in Silver, on the 28th of August.
But being ask'd of one or two Murders; he said he never took the Blood of any Man; nor robb'd between Hamstead and London, except one Man and Woman, from whom he took only a Crown, he said, and used them so civilly, that they had been to acknowlegde his uncommon good Treatment since he was in Prison, and especially his handsome Usage of the Woman, who was with Child; wishing that he had always us'd the same gentleness and humanity.
He took particular Pains to inform himself of Religion, &c. never was once absent from publick Prayers, but appear'd very earnest and diligently in making his Peace with God, and securing to himself a better World of eternal serenity and entire satisfaction.
The Morning before his Death, he receiv'd the Holy Sacrament, with a becoming Regard. He said that his Defence of his Tryal was all false, and that Hawes did not give his Wife the Stone Ring to let him lye with her. He added, that he thank'd God for taking him off so soon from Sin; and for leting him die a Death that gave him time and space for Repentance: Nor could it all affect his Soul, whatever the World said of the shame of such an End; if he was but in Happiness in Heaven, while they continu'd among Clamours, Cares and Disquietudes in this World.
3. PHILIP STORY) was Condemn'd for seven different Robberies, viz. Breaking and entering the House of Samuel Hadduck, Esq ; of Richard Nicholson, of Mary Roberts; of Thomas Omans; of Will. Gascoin. &c. He having pleaded Guilty to the several Indictments: And being also found Guilty to the robbing the House of John Coverly, and stealing thence a silver Pepper-Box, Tongs, and Strainer, 20 Turnover, and 200 Yards of Holland, &c. on the 14th of Sept. last.
He was about 28 Years of Age, Born of French Parents; but his Father, having a great Charge of Children, and not being able to sustain them by his Weaving Business, after continuing some Years in England, retired again into France; leaving Philip Story without any Subsistence, but what proceeded from a Mother-in-Law. He enquired of me, whether Picking of Pockets in a Church was Sacrilegde or not? He was answer'd, that it was one sort of Sacriledge; and might perhaps be more Offensive in the sight of God, than what was generally so, as it may deter some from frequenting the Temple of God, as it may make those who are there Uneasy and Cautious and take their Thoughts off from Heaven, which stealing Plate, &c. from a Church does not; and also, as it must be the greatest Affront to God, for any one to interrupt those who are taking to him by Prayer.
He acknowledged that he well deserved to die, and as he had never any Expectation of Life, had endevour'd to make his Peace with God, not only after he was condemn'd, but before he was try'd and convicted.
4. JOHN TRANTRUM) was convicted of breaking the House of Jacob de Villa on the 4th of this Instant October, in the Night-Time, and stealing thence twenty Guineas in Money, two Gowns and Petticoats, and of breaking also the House of William Hammond, of
He was about 24 Years Old, Born in London. He was from the first very desirous of being inform'd in the Way to Heaven, having, he said, no Expectations of Life, or of any Reprieve. He also said, that he was not of any Business, but went a Voyage to the East-Indies and China, as Servant to one in the Ship, and there stay'd four Months, till the Vessel was loaded with the Commodities of that Country; adding, that he acquired by the Voyage above fourscore Pounds: But after his Return to England, his Effects being soon expended, he took to vicious Courses; though his Mother some Times told him, she fear'd he lived Dishonestly, and beg'd him not think of subsisting on the Ruins and Spoils of innocent People, for it would terminate in Misery and Destruction.
He also said, that when he was in New-Prison, he had Dreams that secur'd to foretel his Fatal End, and yet continu'd his Ill Actions, giving a Relation of his repeated Robberies, too numerous here to recount: But he hop'd, he said, that no Sins were too great for God's Mercies, that he rely'd wholly on the Merits and Sufferings of Christ his Saviour for the Pardon of his many Crimes; that he flung himself on the Mercies of God, and hoped he sholud find Remission with Mary Magdalen and the penitent Thief on the Cross.
5. WILLIAM COURTENEY) of St. Giles in the Fields was condemn'd for breaking the House of James Fillet, in the Night-Time, and stealing four Ounces of Gold Dust, a Silver Chain, &c. on the 9th of September last.
This Prisoner was also about 24 Years of Age, but very Illiterate and Ignorant; yet seemingly, and to Appearance, he was Penitent, according to his Capacity, and received the Holy Sacrament with the others.
They all went to the Place of Execution in a very devout and supplicant Manner: At Tyburn they were earnest in their Exclamations to God for the Pardon of their Sins; all of them confessing the Facts for which they died. Philip Storey said that one Christian Leonard, his Accomplice, was worse than he. John Dykes said, tho' he confess'd the Robbery, he deny'd that he took the Crown of the Prosecutor's Pocket or knew of it. Will. Courteney confest not that he knew were J. Buxon his former Comrade was. They all denyed that they knew any thing of the Murther of Capt. Hedges.
T. PURNEY, Ordinary. and Chaplain.
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