THE Ordinary of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT Of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 22d, of December, 1721.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old Bayly, on the 6, 7, &c. Days of this Instant December, were try'd and Convicted of Capital Crimes, eight Men and three Women. The three Women, with three of the Men, Receiving his Majesty's Reprieve, upon Condition of being Transported to the Plantations in America, the remaining Five Malefactors were Order'd for Execution, agreeable to the Sentence pass'd upon them by Law.
Before the Time appointed for their Deaths, I endeavoured to instruct them from the following Text of Scripture,
The Wages of Sin is Death. Rom. 6. Chap. Part of 23 Verse.
FIRST, The Wages or natural Consequence of Sin is Death; both Temporal and Eternal. Temporal, because as Sins naturally tend to the loosening and destroying Society, they must also Naturally tend to the destroying each Man, who is a Part of Society; so God said to Adam, that in the Hour he Sined he should die, or be liable to Death. The Wages of Sin is also eternal Death, for as each Sin is committed against an infinite Being, it merits an infinite Punishment.
SECONDLY, What Sins are more especially paid with Death. As Thieving, which brings so many to untimely Ends. Drunkenness and Intemperance, which naturally weaken the Body, and gradually bring it to the Grave. Rebellion and a factious Spirit, which as it is very pernicious to others, so it is seldom itself in Death lies down in Peace, &c.
THIRDLY, we took Notice that the Wages or natural Consequence of Sin being Death, would prevent a wise Man's murmuring or repining at Death, tho' a Death so ignominious and shameful, as that of dying on a Tree between the Heavens and the Earth, because the natural result of illegal Actions.
FOURTHLY, We advised the Malefactors condemn'd to die, tho' they found by woeful Experience that Sin and Satan so ill pay their Servants, that their Wages is temporal Death; yet, by throwing off their former Master, to get free, if possible, from such wretched and lamentable Wages as eternal Death.
LASTLY, How the most heinous Sinner among them, might become the Servant of God; and as the Wages of Sin was eternal Death, might obtain the Gift of God eternal Life, thorough Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Account of the Prisoners, during their Continuance under Sentence of Death.
THE Five Malefactors, who were, (Tuesday the 19 Instant) appointed for Death, were Regular and Orderly in their Attendance on the publick Service in the Chappel, tho' Arthur Gray had been Educated in the Discipline of the Kirk of Scotland, and James Wright in that of the Church of Rome . Nathaniel Haws, whose Behaviour was so Audacious on his Trial; when the Dead Warrant was carried to the Prison, frequented, with the rest, the Publick Prayers, tho' before that, he could not be induc'd to do it, either pretending to be Sick to avoid his Duty, or being really distemper'd by his Passion and Resentment, and the Pressure of Weights, which, refusing to Plead, he had sustain'd upon his Body. When they appear'd at Chappel, I had an Opportunity of regarding their respective Behaviours, and the several Accounts which they gave of themselves.
1. JAMES WRIGHT was convicted of Assaulting Samuel Towers in a Coach with Ladies, in Marlbro'-Street, in the Night, on Jan. 22d 1719. And taking from him a Watch, and 10 s. in Money; by demanding his Money with a Pistol at his Breast, while his two Comrades cry'd out, What, does he resist? Shoot him.
He was about 34 Years of Age; Born in Enfield; Brought up by his Father an honest and sober Man; was put Apprentice, when very young, to a Perriwig-Maker , and liv'd on his Trade for some time in the Old-Baily; But at length by being too often Abroad, he fail'd; tho' he had no Charge of Wife or Children; but he added, that might be the Occasion of his Poverty; for he frequented the Company of leud Women, whose Company was more Expensive than the Maintaining a sober Family would have been. As he us'd several disorderly Houses, he said he was not long before he met with those who puts him into a Method of getting Money and Destruction, and his Wants induc'd him to hearking to their Advice. He said, that he generally aim'd at robbing Coaches, or those whose Equipage and Appearance show'd them best able to sustain a Loss: That he never would rob a poor Man, but pittied him, as much as himself: Also saying, that he had sometimes Tears of Uneasiness and Remorse in his Eyes, even when he was Assaulting a Traveller. That he often pray'd to God in a Morning, not to snatch him on a sudden out of Life, by a Fall from his Horse, or the like; but that God would allow him Time till he could recover his Circumstances, and return to
his honest Course of Life; for that he had in one Days time received more real Pleasure from his present regular Life of Devotion, Than he ever enjoyed in a Month when he engaged in a vicious Way. He aded, (tho' of the Church of Rome he expected Pardon and Mercy alone thro' the Sufferings and for the Sake of his Blessed Saviour Christ; and hop'd he had made his Peace with God.
He said that as his Companions in Sin might Repent, and be reclaim'd from their vicious Courses, he had resolv'd never to discover them; and that he believed they were all of his Nature and Disposition, desirous to benefit themselves as little to the Loss and Detriment of others, as that sad Way of Life would possibly admit of
He found it very difficult, he said to forgive, as he ought to forgive, his Friend and Companion Hawkins, was turn'd Evidence against him; because he was longer in his ill way of Life, but had forsook it above a Year before; adding, that after he was Try'd for the Highway at Kingston Assizes, and Acquitted, a Friend (suspecting his Companions would entice him again to his former Vices) took him Home to his own House, till he could advantagiously Re-instate himself in a way of Business: That if he could have rais'd a Sum of Money, he purpos'd to go to Jamaica, whe he had Friends and Acquaintance; but was not hasty in getting away, because he suspected not the Person who impeach'd him, as thinking if he had any such Designs against him, he would have put them in Execution as soon as he came out of the Marshalsea, having been there confin'd for several Months.
But he told me that his ancient Mother, thro' his ill Life had utterly reduced her to Poverty; when she took of him her last Farewel, four Days before his Death, particularly recommended it to him to forgive his Enemies and Accusers, as he hop'd forgiveness at the Hands of God, before whom he must so soon appear; and that he made it his great Business and Endeavour to do so.
As he drew nearer to his End, he redoubled the Diligence and Earnestness of his Behaviour; and said, That he doubted not but his present Sufferings would work for him a more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory.
He was about 45 Years of Age; had been little in England, tho' Born in White-Chappel, London; but going to Sea when a young Boy, he took a Delight in that Life, and was generally uneasy when he was long on Shore. He said he was long in a Man of War, in the Service of her late Majesty Queen Anne , That he was in several very severe Fights against the French, and often wounded. That he was about settling at Leghorn, their Ship continuing at that time long in the Straights, upon the Coast of Sicily; but his natural Love and Inclination for the Sea, was the occasion of his Returning to his former Maritime way of Life. He said that after this, he serv'd in a Privateer on the Coast of America, and acquired very considerable Prizes, and might have heaped up much Wealth, but (he said) 'twas not in an honest Way, for generally, Ships went out as Privateers, but being Abroad, could not be distinguished from Pirates, for they fought and took any Ships promiscuously that came in their way, and the Merchants in America, who fitted out his Ship, and enquired not how
they came by their Spoils and Prizes, but only commended and encourag'd them the more, the more they had taken.
He express'd a gladness, that his Relations are in Carolina, and distant from his Ignominy. He said he had been Married, but had not any Children, in the way of Matrimony.
He said, he was the first Person who advised the Malefactors at the Downes to surprise the Master of the Sailors, and to free themselves from Bondage; that they accordingly seiz'd upon them, and bound them, and put them under the Hatches, but offer'd no Cruelty or Babarity towards them. He added, that he was order'd for Transportation, for stealing Deal-Boards, out of a Merchant Ship; but that he believed he could have escap'd the force of the Law himself, had he not taken the whole upon him, and by that means acquitted a poor Man who was concern'd with him in the Robbery, and had a numerous Family that depended upon him wholly.
He told me he perform'd the utmost that was in his power in order to make his Peace with God, and Attone for the many various Sins he had committed in the several Ships he was concern'd in, and especially the Privateer. He said he spent no time in idle Talk, but applyed himself as earnestly as he could to his Devotions, and a due Preparation for the Reception of the Holy Sacrament.
3. JOHN JONES, of St. Ann's Westminster, was convicted of assaulting Mary Ferguson in King's-Street, about 6 at Night, (with another in Company) and taking from her a Pocket, and a Prayer-Book, &c. by jostling her up against a Wall, snatching her Pocket, and running to a Bye-Place.
This Malefactor was, as he said, 19 Years old, born in the Parish of St. Andrews Holborn; He mention'd, that he was put to several Trades on liking, but could not fix or settle to any of them, having an idle Inclination to remain at Home and Subsist upon the Labour and Industry of his Parents. He added that being Unruly and Disobedient, he was sent to Sea , and continu'd there for above two Years, that his Friends were of Opinion, that the Hardships he might meet with Abroad, would wean him from Home, and induce him to make some Application to Business; but he acknowledged that his Mind was so averse to Diligence, and so prone to indolent Pleasures, that when his Friends refus'd longer to Support him with Money, he cast about in his Mind to supply himself by illegal Methods without being sollicited thereto, by any thing, but his own corrupt Inclinations.
When he first was under Condemnation, he foolishly pretended to call the Law unjust, that Sentenced him to Death for so small a Matter, and called his Crime putting the Woman in Fear, when (as he said) she was in no Fear: He also at first Laugh'd frequently at the Prayers, was for playing with his Comrades, and hitting some on the Face as he went down, and the like; but when he found himself included in the Dead Warrant, he was alarm'd, and began to consider more seriously of his End.
Before he died, he said 'twas very fitting that the Law should put a stop to that great Number of Villains who crowed the Streets at Night to disturb and molest the Passers by; and that there was more under-Rogues of that Sort than was imagined, who distributed themselves thro' the several Streets of the City, but lay more in Westminster, than in London.
4. NATHANIEL HAWES, was condemned, for Assaulting Richard Hall, in the Evening, on Finchly-Common, and robbing him of 4 s. biding him Dismount, that he might have his Horse, as well as that he might search his Pockets.
He said, he was not 20 Years old; was Born in Norfolk, but was mostly brought up in Hartfordshire. That his Father, was a wealthy Grazier, dying before he was a Year old, he had much less of his Portion than was left him. That he was put thereupon to an Upholsterer , served about 4 Years before he got into expensive Company, which put him upon Robbing his Master, but that he injured him several times before he was discover'd.
When first Condemn'd, he show'd a great Levity of Behaviour, insensible of the wretched State he was in. He then said, that his Behaviour at the Sessions House, was as became a Man of Courage and bold Spirit, and if the Court was so Uncivil as to deny him his own Cloths, he had no business to oblige the Court, in Pleading; That was he to act agen, he would say, (as before) That it used to be a Court of Justice, but was now a Place of Injustice; and that he doubted not but as severe a Judgment would light upon them, as they had pass'd upon him: He said also, that he doubted not but he should be able to leave the World as much like a Man, as he had liv'd in it.
But afterwards, being convinc'd, that Fool-hardiness was not Courage, nor Audaciousness any braveness of Spirit; he began to alter his Sentiments, and own, that to be Unconcern'd at his Disafters, was not a laudable Bravery, but a stupid Insensibility; acknowledging, that he bore on his Breast the 250 Pound weight, for 7 Minuts, not because he would have better Cloths to be hang'd in, than he appear'd with on his Trial, (as he said in the Court.) but to evince his Boldness, and to gain Applause among the Gentlemen of the Highway, as he said, for being so brave a Fellow; for he must allow the Clemency of the Court, in not letting him die, when before Condemned, for Robbing the Upholsterer.
He farther said, that one James and he, committed at least 18 Robberies in a Fortnights time. But that he especially repented of some Cruelties he acted towards those he robb'd; as particularly a Waggon, near a Park-Wall, going to Oxford; a Quaker's Coach near Uxbridge; in which and other Instances he pilliaged and spoil'd, without shewing any Mercy, that he hoped for Mercy from God.
He added, that he should not have broke out of New-Prison, if a Woman had not induc'd him thereto, who instructed him and another in the Means, and furnished them with Requisites; to whom he said they were so Grateful, that they first helped her over the Walls, and afterwards escaped themselves.
Sometime before he was Executed, he was more Grave and Serious in his Deportment; desirous to receive the Sacrament; and positive that thro' the Merits of Christ, he had duly prepared himself for it.
The Account of the Malefactors at the Place of Execution.
NATHANIEL HAWES, acknowledged that he robb'd a Gentleman and a Lady in a Chaise, on the 28th of August, that he took from them 30 s. an empty green Purse, and a gold Ring with an Emerald in it, that they refus'd to restore the Ring, tho' the Gentleman beg'd very much for it; but return'd 2 s. to carry them over the Water withal; That the Gentleman liv'd about the Strand; but the Robbery was committed 4 Miles from Acton. He said then on the 31st of August last, he (in Company with one John James, and Richard Jones, commonly Dick the Countryman; who use to set Waggons for Spicket's Gang) did rob a Man going to the Market with Hats, about 5 Miles beyond Acton; but he having only 18 d. in Farthings, they return'd if to him again. He also said, that he robb'd two young Gentlemen, two Gentlewomen, and their Servant, between Harrow on the Hill and Mortlock, about a Mile from the Oxford Road, on the 31st. also of August; That he took a silver Watch, a silver Snuff-Box, with Mother of Pearl, about 30 s. in Money, and two Cypher Rings; adding that Spickets Wife pawn'd several of the things which they stole, or else gave them herself slender Price for them.
He also desir'd he might confess to the World as well as to God, that every Night from Monday to Friday, from the time he broke out of New-Prison to the time he was Taken, he robb'd on Hackney Road, with the Person who broke out with him, not missing one Night, the last Robbery being a Gentleman's Coach, with 4 Ladies in it, from whom they took a Wedding Ring, 40 s. in Silver, a silver Snuff-Box, and a Snuff-Box with Mother of Pearl.
He desir'd it might be known, that he knew of the Robbery committed lately near Bow; and that a Footman confin'd in the Compter on suspicion, was not concern'd in it.
He also desir'd he might be allowed to declare, that of the Persons Son who keeps the Bell Alehouse in Newton-house-Lane, near Holbourn, he knew no Harm of him, but advised him to consider, and to observe his miserable End.
T. PURNEY, Ordinary, and Chaplain.
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