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 4th of May, 1722.
AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on the 4 &c. of April last past, were found Guilty of Capital Offences seven Men and two Women, viz. T. Reeves, J. Hartley, J. Timms, J. Thompson, J. Hoopes, J. Broom, J. Edwards, and Jane Bean, and Alice Phenix. Five of these Receiving His Majesty's Pardon, on condition of being Transported to America; The remaining 4 were ordered for Execution.
Of the several Texts of Scripture, which I endeavoured to illustrate to them, (during the Month that they lay under Sentence of Death) the last was, Job the 19. Verse, 25, and 26.
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter Day upon the Earth and tho' after my Skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my Flesh shall I see God.
The Words directs us to Consider,
FIRST, Job's assurance, that Christ was then alive; he being coexistant with God the Father, and assisting God in the Creation of the World, for his sake they are, and were created. Nor could the Bars of Death retain him (as the Psalmist prophesied) after he suffered upon Earth, tho' the Soldiers guarded the Tomb, and the Magistrate affixed his Seal.
SECONDLY, Job's assurance, That Christ would return at the latter Day to the Earth, engirt with Thousands and ten Thousands of
Angels sounding the Trumpets of Heaven, to call the Dead from the darkest Corners of the Ground and Ocean; to collect the scattered Ashes of Martyrs burnt at Stakes, and also of Malefactors forced ignominiously out of Life.
THIRDLY, From the Acknowledgment of Job, That after his Death Worms would destroy his Body, We considered the natural Vanity of Bodily Perfections, which are like the Flower of the Field, the Apostle, saith, spreading its Beauties very gaily in the Morning, and boasting the Endowments of Heaven as its own, but in the Evening, languishing, and falling in Dust and Putrefaction. From which Considerations, The Malefactors were directed, not to repine at having their Bodies cut away from Life, which are naturally so frail, and of so short Continuance. Also, to imploy their whole time in decking and adorning the Soul in the Robes of Righteousness, since that, no Times can impair, no Worms will ever corrode.
FOURTHLY, From the assured Expection of Job, That tho' his Body must first go down to the silent Glooms of Death, yet at the latter Day, he in his Body and Flesh should see God, we observed to the Prisoners to suffer Death, (1.) That tho' the Bodies of Sinners are suppos'd to rest till the Resurrection, and tho' the Punishment of the wicked may not be compleat so long as the visible World remain'd; yet the very Moment that the Soul is torn from the Body, by violence of Pain, entering into a new Region on a strange Shore, it is conscious and sensible of its Estate and future Condition, and has exquisite Happiness or exquisite Woe, tho' not compleat and entire, till after the Reunion of the Soul and Body, and the Sentence pronounc'd upon them together. (2.) That the manner of a Persons Death or Place where he suffer'd Death, is nothing in the sight of God; but the same Mercy that relieved a Thief in our Saviours Presence, can save a Malefactor now; and same the Power that gathers together the Ashes of a proud Pharoah or a good Cranmer, can unite the Ashes of a poor Beggar, or an ignominious Sufferer; since all in our Flesh must see God, and be in the Company of Cherubim, Seraphim, Angels and Archangels, and when Christ appears in the Clouds with the Volumes of Good and Evil dispread before him. (3.) We endeavour'd therefore to convince them of the vast Necessity there was of cleansing and purifying themselves from Sins, in order to receive the Smiles of him who is of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity; that tho' they had Shame here, they might not there have Confusion of Face; tho' they lay here in the lowest Darkness, they might not be banished in everlasting Darkness; when thro' the Merits and Sufferings of their Saviour, it was in their Power to pass, from Fetters and Captivity, into the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God.
The Account of the Prisoners, during the time that they lay under Sentence of Death.
THO' the sound of the Sentence past upon Malefactors, does commonly awe and alarm them into a serious Concern for the present, it has sometimes not even that Effect upon their Minds: And that the generallity of those last Condemn'd were so little sensible of their Danger, must be imputed to the greater part of them being wholly Illiterate. Nor was it possible to perswade them to improve themselves in the little Reading they had learnt when Children; but they expected (as they told me) that I must furnish them with Common-Prayer Books, and not their Friends, nor would they otherwise regard the publick Prayers, or below attend to J. Hooper, when he offer'd to read and pray with them in the Condemned-Hold. But to prevent in some Measure their vicious Practice of leud Talking and Swearing, I obtained for them some small stitch'd Books against those Vices, and after the Dead-Warrant was sent to them, they forsook their idle Discourse, and grew more serious; lamenting with Tears their Mistake, in having thought they should be all Reprived either when his Majesty left the Kingdom, or, at the Convention of the New Parliament.
1. JOHN THOMSON, was condemn'd for assaulting George Curry, in Smithfield, on the 2d of March, about One in the Morning, and taking from him a Shirt, a Wig, and Hat, Value 30 s. by knocking him down, and (together with his Comrade) stamping on his Breast, after they pretended to guard him safe Home, seeing he had been Drinking.
THIS Malefactor was Born near Carlisle, but came with his Father and Friends to London, when he was two Years of Age. He said, that when he was very young, he was given to understand several Tricks, and kinds of Villany; liv'd in Houses where dishonest Persons met and harbour'd, who were not always very elose in concealing their Trade, and their Designs. That he, at that time, much admir'd their profuse and generous Way of Life, their jovial Talk, and good Eating and Drinking, and the general Welcome they found for their Money. He also said, that he believed in 15 Years he never read in a Bible, nor heard any good Book read. However, at last he was by a Friend put Aprentice to a Weaver , but never work'd much for his Master; being Listed, when young, to serve Queen ANNE at Sea ; adding, that as he had been used to a different Way of Life, the going into the cold Baltick Ocean against the Swedes, in Conjunction with the Fleet of Denmark, was as bad to him as Death: Yet there, he said, he did Service, receiving some Wounds, and being in several Engagements for his Country, which he hoped, would in some Degree ballance the Harms he had done.
After he return'd from the Baltick, he said, be endeavour'd to perfect himself in the Knowledge of his Business; understanding the Happiness of a private quiet Life, from the tumultuous Hurry and Danger
he had found upon the wide Seas. But happening to Marry after this, he found not his Ease and Happiness encreased in that State of Life, which he before thought was nothing but Ease and Satisfaction: So that going again to Sea, of his own accord, compelled to it by the Badness of his Circumstances, not any Default of his Wife; he went to the Straits, and was a considerable Time in the Mediteranian, and often in Action against the French and Spaniards, but never made a Prisoner by any Nation.
He said besides, That had Providence concurr'd, he had it once in his Power, to have set himself up in the World: For being in the Ship with an Enterprizing Captain, about 10 Yeors ago, they took 19 Ships in the Space of one Year; whereby they all acquired much Wealth, and afterwards took a Merchant-Man, that had lost his Fellow-Ships in a Tempest, and was tatter'd with hard Weather, by which Prize they acquir'd more than a 100000l. the Coffee, Tea, Indigo China Wares, &c. not being detrimented, tho' lost about the Coast of France, from the Isle de Oleron, to Diepe, and Dunkirk, without their being able to land the Ship. Adding also, That in the various Adventures of his Life, he most plainly discover'd a Divine Providence, which wove, and interwove Calamities and Pleasures, Fortunes and Misfortunes, without his Procurement, or even Cognizances: And as the above-mention'd Captain of his Ship, was now a Justice of the Peace, in a retired Country Life, having 1600l. a Year to subsist upon; he himself might have been, with as much Ease, at this Time, a Man of Fortune and Consideration.
As he had a Wife, and one young Child, he could not (he said) easily take off his Thoughts from the World, but daily endeavour'd to do it: And that he advised his Wife to retire into the Country to her Friends, and remember that Sobriety and Regularity have alone, the Blessing of God. He complain'd, at the same time, of a Brother, and some Friends, who refus'd to come to see him in his Distress, and to take their last Farewel of him; and said, that they sure were not sensible of the Vileness, and Frailty of Human Nature.
Before he suffer'd, he much lamented his Carelesness in losing the little Learning his Friends afforded him, which prevented his Reading, or Praying, (tho' 33 Years old) but as others in the Condemned Hold thought fit to assist him therein, which was very seldom. He said, That as to the Viciousness of his Mind, he imputed very much of it to the Course of Life which they led at Sea, and their Custom of Bloodshed there, and their looking on all, as Prey and Plunder that offer'd. But, as to his Repentance, (if his Assertions were true) he had fully and amply repented, and was well prepared to Suffer, as the Law directed.
2. JOHN HARTLY, was convicted of assaulting Roger Worthington at Anniseed Clear near Shoreditch, who was going over the Fields about 9 at Night, on the 9th of March last; and leaving him Naked and bound in a Ditch, after taking from him a Coat, Wastcoat, Shirt, Hat, Wig, &c. Hartley stricking him on the Head with a Pistol, while Reeves bad him stand, and Whilstle, four Comrades up to them, who Collard him, and knock'd him down.
This Prisoner, spent most of the time that he lay Condemn'd in bewailing his miserable Fate in being condemn'd (as he would always af
firm) wrongfully. He had forgotten all the Knowledge he once had of Letters, tho' not 20 Years of Age, and was bred, at a Free-School, in White-Cross-Street, from whence he might have been put 'Prentice, and had he not run away, being discourag'd by his Master, for his Skill in Tricks, and awkardness in attaining to Learning. He said he was never put Apprentice, nor ever Married, tho' he much desir'd that the six Madiens, who in white Petition'd His Majesty to grant him a Pardon upon Condition that one of them Wedded him, might be successful in their Undertakings.
As he served Butchers in the Market , he had a good way, he said, and easy of Maintaining himself, nor had any Occasion to go upon the Highway; but notwithstanding the constant Assertions of his Innocence, his Companion Reeves affirm'd that in other Robberies, about Kentish-Town and Hoxton, Hartly was sometimes Confederate with him, and oftentimes for knocking down and mischiefing, when the others were for a gentler Methods of committing the Robbery.
The Day preceeding his Execution, he said he thought it very hard and unaccountable that they should so long be kept in expectation of the King's Mercy when His Majesty went to Hanover, and be so miserably baulk'd of it at last; and that he had Reason to Curse all those who had buoyed him up with Expectations and Assurances of Life, since he found the reallity to be Death.
4. THOMAS REEVES, about 28 Years old Condemn'd also for Robbing Roger Worthington in the Fields near Shoreditch, Striking him over the Head, binding him Hand and Feet in a cruel manner, and then leaving him Naked in a Ditch at Anniseed Clear.
This Prisoner said that he was by Trade a Tin-Man , having been Apprentice to his Father, who us'd him with much Lenity and Indulgence, little immagining what a wretched and deplorable End he would make. He said he design'd to warn some of his Relations, least they should bring themselves to the like Misery; but that they would not bear it so Manfully as he had done, for he believed no Man had a better Share of Boldness than himself, as appear'd by his being, he said, always the Captain of his Gang, and the Purse-Bearer after every Robbery.
He peremptorily always affirm'd, that be doubted not of going to Heaven, and seem'd to think it next to impossible, that he could in that cheat himself, and impose upon his own Soul, by fancying that he was going very easy on to Happiness, when he might be in the way to Fire and Brimstone. But it appear'd, that some wicked Folks who pretended to be his Friends, had instill'd Notions into his Mind, and postest him with several Lies and Falsities, preventing thereby his Repenting a right, and injuring his Soul to all Eternity. Being ask'd how he us'd the Man he rob'd in so vile and barbarous a Manner, he answer'd, that he believ'd the Asker would endeavour to secure himself from Danger as well as he had done. Being farther told, that even quick Murther would have been more human than exposing a Man naked to perish in a cold Night by a lingering Death, he answered, that he knew no Difference between Robberies; and as they had not Horses to make their own Feet swift, they must e'ene make People rob'd more slow.
After the Dead-Warrant was sent to the Malefactors, he said that he was so far from fearing Death, that he rather chose to die than to live; and as for his Laughing way, he said, it was no whit the less serious and attentive at his Heart; adding that none of them could read but him in the Condemn'd-Hold, but on the other Hand the other Malefactors as much accus'd him of Jesting and Laughing one Moment and Reading the next, and sometimes mixing Prayers and obscene Talk together.
Sometime before he suffer'd, he was very desirous to know how Christians were to fare immediately after Death, supposing that they did not immediately enter upon Happiness or upon Torture; but he was preft to lay aside that
Curiosity, and to look upon it as an extream favour at the Hand of God if his Soul was rescued from any Degree of Tortur as his Conversion and Repentance (if he was Penitent) was originally forc'd and by Compulsion, his being apprehended first stoping him in the Career of his vicious Courses, and not altogether free and voluntary.
When he was immediately to suffer Death, he was not at all surpriz'd or alarm'd at it; but said if he died not now, he must another time; and he doubted not but their was the same Happiness to be receiv'd from the Gallows, as from the Bed.
4. JAMES TIMS, of St Gregory near St. Pauls, was convicted of assaulting John Bonwick, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, about 10 at Night, on the 7th of March last, and taking from him a Watch, a Cornelian Seal, &c. value 5 l. and 8 s. Tims pulling the Watch while another Robber josled him up against the Wall, and pretending after he was apprehended, to Charge Mr. Benwick with an attempt of Sodomy.
He much lamented, that tho' he was about 26 Years of Age, he could only say the Lord's Prayer, having wholly forgotten his Reading, which his Parents indulgently gave him when a Child, not having sound Writing or Reading, he said, necessary in his Way of driving and Managing Cattle and Beast . He said he had been very much disturb'd by the Swearing and Cursing of the other Malefactors in the Condemn'd-Hold, who had no thoughts of dying; but that his Wife and all his Relations had earnestly advis'd him to be serious and attentive. He added, that the found his Mind very inclinable to Repentance, and could easily induce himself to take Delight and Pleasure in the Performance of Religion, Duties; and as for his being before convicted of carrying away a Number of Hogs which he had to drive, and converted the Money he sold them for, to his own Use; that he said was thro' the Instigation of an Acquaintance, who over perswaded him when he had drank after a very sultry Day, and was almost disguis'd in Liquor.
Indeed when he found the Efforts of his Friends were unable to procure him a Reprieve, he was the most observant of his Duty, and the Morning of his Death Received the Holy Sacrament with much earnestness of Devotion, and at the Place of Execution was in the Cart most particularly pressing in his Exclamations to God and Christ.
As they went to Execution, Tims and Thomson were full of Tears, and with wringing Hands implor'd God's Pardon. Hartly, tho' he was the fullest of Tears at first, yet when he saw no Hopes of Life remain, he appear'd wholly without Thought, but with a settled and deaden'd Look. But as Reeves had been from the first no way concern'd at his approaching Danger, the same Deportment which he had at first, continued with him to the last Moment; and as the Mob, for want of Regulation, threw down one of the Horses that was drawing away the Cart; he would not hang in the half Posture of Misery, but threw himself over the Side of the Cart to his Death. They all said, they were even glad at going out of this careful World; took their Leaves of each other; desir'd the Prayers of the People; adding, That as they hoped God had forgiven them, Men they expected would do the same. Reeve said, that tho' his Wife had the Misfortune, to have her Husband before Executed, yet no one ought to Reflect upon her for his ignominious Death, for she was not concerned in his Robberies, but that he himself was indeed guilty of the Fact for which he suffer'd, and had committed many Robberies about 6 or 7 o'Clock at Night, about those same Fields, and once on the High-Rood, robb'd till he had acquir'd 53 l. before he went to Bed, &c. He was extreamly desirous to tell the Spectators, that Hartly was not with him in this Robbery, but in other Robberies had assisted him; but I endeavour'd to convince him, that as his Friend had been found Guilty by 2 impartial Men, he was simple to try to perswade People that his Friend was Innocent; and that they ought both to submit to the Hand of Providence, and to think more of another World and less of this.
This is the Account to be given of the MALEFACTORS, By
T. PURNEY, Ordinary, and Chaplain.
A Water that perfectly cures the Itch, or any Itching Humour, in a few Days, without necessity of Purging, or the dangerous, Use of Mercury, Price 1 s. 6 d. is only prepared and sold by A. Downing, Chymist, at the Crown and Ball in George-Court in St. Johns-Lane by Hics's-Hall, near Wist-Smithfield. Where also may be had, the best Spirits of Scurvy-Grass, by Wholesale or Retale at 8 d. a Bottle. A most effectual Remedy for the violent Pain in the Teeth. Price 1 s. Also most excellent Remedy for preserving the Teeth and clear them from the Scurvy.