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 21st of May, 1722.
AT the Sessions of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal Delivery of Newgate, which began on the 10th of April last, were Convicted of Capital Offences, eight Men and one Woman, viz. Je. Rand, R. Whittnigham, T. Smith, J. Hawkins, G. Simpson, J. Booty, L. Hendry, J. Macpherson, Mary Hambleton, alias Brean. The three last of these Receiving His Majesty's Gracious Reprivee, on Condition of being Transported, among the other Convicts, to America. The five remaining ordered for Execution, agreeable to the Sentence pass'd upon them.
As all these miserable Men seem'd perfectly desirous of attoning (in some measure) for the Badness of their Lives by the Goodness of their Deaths, they had oft-times publick Prayers four times a Day; and the best Instructions that could be given them by several Clergy Men, who, as well as my self attended the Malefactors at my Request.
Immediately after their Condemnation I endeavour'd to instruct them, from the following Words, Job 4. Verses 7, and 8.
Remember I pray thee, who ever perished being Innocent? or where were the Righteous cut off?
Even as I have seen, they that plow Iniquity, and sow Wickedness reap the same.
From which Words the Reasonableness of humble Patience, and Resignation to the Will of Providence, were considered; as for other Causes, so, in particular, because, who looks into his own Heart will find more or less Iniquity sowed there, an ample Reason for his reaping the same; and Providence has sometimes made them escape from one Sin, and brought 'em to Death thro' some other Matter which they knew not, nor thought of.
Afterwards we endeavour'd to convince them, and others, of the natural Consequence of Sin, tho' the vicious Liver may gayly spread his Leaves like a green Bay-Tree, enjoy the Delicies of Nature, regale in the glitter of leud Delights, yet a damping Blast will soon arrive and
nip the Blosom in its fairest Perfection; since Sin leads to Ruin, as Rivers run into the Sea; from Prov. 1. Verse 17, and 18, &c.
Surely in vain the Net is spread in the sight of any Bird.
And they lay wait for their own Blood; they lurk privily for their own Lives.
Endeavouring, for the Conclusion, to direct those Persons, we had so lurked privily for their own bloody Lives, how they were to act, that tho' they had sought their Deaths in this World, they might secure Life in the World to come; how they might pass from Ignominy to Glory; and tho' they dyed a Death that is termed the Death of the Wicked, how they might make it to them the Death of the Righteous, and have their latter End like this.
The Account of the Malefactors under Sentence of Death.
'TIS observeable of these Prisoners, that during the time that they lay under Condemnation, there was not any one of them (being in Health) that once mist the publick Prayers in the Chappel. During those spaces of time that they lay in the Condemn'd-Hole) Hawkins and George Simpson constantly assur'd me, that they permitted not any idle or leud Discourses to be used by any one; but frequently read, especially to Leonard Hendry, who could neither write or read: Refusing to regard those Prisoners underneath the Condemn'd-Place, who thro' a Crevice endeavour'd (as usual) to interrupt them in their Devotions, by calling to them in leud and indecent Expressions. But as Thomas Smith profest himself a Roman-Catholick , and peremptorily asserted he would live and die such, he separated his Prayers from the rest: And a Nonjuror was (toward the last) conducted to the Prison, to assist John Hawkins and George Simpson.
1. RICHARD WHITTINGHAM, of St. Sepulchre's, was found guilty of assaulting William Garnet on the Highway, to wit, in Red Lyon Square, about 12 at Night, on the 26th of November last, and taking from him a Watch, Value 30 s. by diving into his Pocket, while one Appleby knock'd him down, and likewise one Jones and Lee put their Hands to his Eyes, and thrust his own Neckcloth into his Mouth.
He was 19 Years old, had been Apprentice to an Hot-presser by Snow-Hill, to which he served, he said, 4 Years, then left his Master, and got acquainted with several leud Women; who kept him for some Time; but afterwards learn'd him to pick Pockets, that he might be able to pay them something for their Indulgences; Labouring, he said, at this Trade more than his own, he met with J. Lee and J. Jones, who now became Evidences against him.
Being ask'd how he come to take up with so maen and little way of Robbing; he answered, that he thought there was more Danger in House-breaking, and Robbing on the High-way; and that his Way was not mean, for they oftn found in Women's Pockets 5 or 6 Guineas, and a Woman in particular, whom he assaulted near the Bull and Gate Inn, in Holborn, about 3 Months ago, on a Sunday Night, had 3 Guineas and 14 s. in her Pochet. Adding, that they commonly put one of their Company to watch, while another laid his Leg before the Passer and flung her down, and that they ofter robb'd in the Streets, than in bye dark Allyes, for in such narrow Places, a Pursuit would mor easily overtake, or, stop them.
He said, when Appleby his Comrade was apprehended, and he impeach'd, he fled to Rochester, intending to take Ship for Friezland; but his Heart turning toward England, he went from thence, and took a Lodging at Maidstone in Kent, to conceal himself there; but even in Danger, could not abstain from sometimes entering into Pockets. Returning thence to London, he liv'd privately with his Master, never appearing abroad, but having his Victuals convey'd every Day to him.
He appear'd no way obstinate, but according to his Capacity, was observant of his Duty; being (he said) more grieved for his Wife, than for himself, since he deserv'd the unhappy Fate that was come upon him.
2. THOMAS SMITH, was convicted of assaulting John Prat on the High-way, under Ludgate, on the 16th of April last, and robbing him of an Hat and Peruke, Value 25 s. together, which he snatch'd off his Head, but
He said he was about 44 Years of Age; but had never been regularly settled in any Business; but going from one thing to another, at length he was Servant to a Gentleman , but the Gaieties and Frolicks which he there found, far from bettering his Mind, but rather turn'd his Inclinations the farther from Business. After this, he said, he bought old Cloths about the Streets , and sold them at Rag-Fair; and was at last drawn in to give sometimes false Evidence in behalf of People to be tryed for Capital and other Offences.
He profest himself a Roman Catholick , yet said that Christ was the only means of Salvation; being then ask'd how he could be a Roman, and not hold that good Works could save him? he answer'd, that there was one God, one Faith, one Baptism, &c. that he was born and would die in that Communion, and went abruptly away.
3. JOHN HAWKINS, was convicted of assaulting Thomas Green, a Post-Boy , on this side Colebrook; this Prisoner waiting (by reason of his remarkable Bigness) at the End of Harmonsworth Lane, while Richard Wilson, and George Simpson, puting their Handkerchiefs in their Mouths, and turning their Wigs upside down, clapt a Pistol to the Post-Boy's Face, led his Horse down the Lane, there making him dismount, where George Simpson bound the Boy and a Countryman with him to a Tree together, while Richard Wilson carry'd the Male to the End of the Lane, where this Prisoner Hawkins was waiting, in order to riffle the 50 Bags, and pick out the Bath and Bristol Bags.
This Malefactor was 28 Years of Age; born at Stanes in Middlesex; where his Father a sober Man, but of no great Substance, intended he should have been of the Plastring Business ; but he not relishing so mean a mechanick Occupation, could not industriously settle to that, or any thing else of such a Nature; telling me, that he believed not many Men had more Greatness of Spirit than himself, but that was so far from being a Benefit to him, that it had occasion'd his Distruction. After he found that he could not subsist by flying from one Project to another, he settled himself in the Family of Sir Dennis Dutry, where, as Buttler , he liv'd without any Exceptions taken as to his Demeanour in the Family; but that he there gratify'd his natural Inclinations, as to Eating and Drinking, and made that habitual which was before in his Constitution. But an Uneasiness happening in the Family, which they fancied the Buttler was in part the Occasion of, he left that Place with a good Character, as to his Integrity. Having been instructed in the Nature of Trading (he said) to France and Flanders, in Wines, Brandies, &c. He joyn'd with his Brother, a Captain of a Vessel, or Sloop, in fetching those Commodities from those Places, and commonly paid the King's Custom for them: That this way of Life was very agreeable to him, but his Gains were not superior to his Losses, running certain Hazards and Accidents in those Matters; but having a strong and violent Inclination to arrive at great Riches and Splendor; on a sudden, he left the uncertain Way of dealing at Sea , to deal (he said) in the South Sea and the Bubbles from which he had recourse to bubbling in an another Way, as some others besides have done; in which vicious Course, he had Success for a considerable time.
When I went to him before his Trial, he showed me certain Books, which he said were sent him he believed out of a good Design, and not to cajole him and extort a Confession from him; and much accus'd those who had villaniously asserted in the News Papers, that he and Simpson had acknowledged the Fact before the Justice of Peace, together with above 20 other Robberies. At the same time he showed she an Advertisement, which described the Mail to be robb'd by two Men, whereas Richard Wilson's Information made them three in Number. And as for their making a strict and previous Preparation, that he said became every Man under Calamities, because God was the properest Being to apply to in Misfortunes, deserved or oppresive.
At his Tryal, during the 6 Hours it lasted, he behaved himself in a decent and becoming Manner; when he found himself condemn'd, and well knew the Consequence was certain Death, he put on a Deportment surprizingly odd and bold, arraigning the Court and the Jury alternately, and discovering (as
he fancy'd) several irregular Proceedings at his Trial; which Discourse, as it was deliver'd with a good Grace might have an Impression on some People, had it not been fully answered by the Court.
At first after his Condemnation, he was greatly disturb'd at the filthy Place appointed for him, but being forc'd to sustain the Consequence of his Vices, they found it not impossible to remove in some measure, the Objections they had against it; preventing by their Authority that leud and prophane Discourse, which is commonly the most heard in that Place, where it should the least be found, preventing those whose Inclinations have been to be serious.
But tho' he could not at first be induced to allow that the Sentence past upon him was agreeable to Equity; declaring, that had a certain Person been faithful to him, the Jury could never have found him Guilty, and that the Mildness of the Judge was not very remarkable in his Case; yet after I had talked with him twice in private, I found those Prejudices were of themselves fled from him; for he told me then, that he was perfectly Easy, and satisfy'd to dye, and had no Ill-will towards any Body, and that he had expected to Dye some considerable Time before the Calamity came upon him, and when he was first apprehended, but that some who first understand the Law, had thought him a very Babe to let his Life slip away, and that if he'd but exert himself, Life was as near to him as Death, &c. which Discourses had at first wholly turn'd his Mind to Life and the World. Being told by a Gentleman, that he ought to bear no Malice towards Richard Wilson, his Friend and Accuser, because he Acted not out of Ill-will to him, but to preserve his Life; he answered, That Life was sweet, especially to those in their Course of Life; yet, he himself would have died more Deatht than one, rather than have betray'd his Friend, and embru'd his Hands in the Blood of his Companion; however, he freely forgave him from the very Bottom of his Heart, and wish'd that the Creator would so forgive him. Desiring at the same time, that I would give him the Holy Sacrament the Friday before they Dy'd, as well as at the usual Time, to wit, the Execution Morning, which was complyed with.
As to his Deportment, there could be no Objection against it; 'twas serious with Sorrow, and observant with Fear; But as his Death drew near, he appear'd to be greatly more shock'd and alarm'd than George Sympson. At the Sacrament on Fryday, he changed Countenance, when I told him we were to conclude the Sacrament, Prayers, and all, by 9 of the Clock on Monday Morning, being the Day of Execution: During his Devotions he shed a great many Tears, which none else did; which he also did at the Sermon preach'd last before his Death.
At the Prayers, the Morning that he suffer'd, tho' he always aim'd at a settled and compos'd Countenance, he yet appear'd ruffled and somewhat terrified; which shewed he had a true Sense of his Condition, that Death is not only the Pain of Dying, but the appearing before God, with the Eternal Seal set upon our Actious, for happiness or Reprobation.
4. GEORGE SIMPSON, was also Condemn'd for the same Assault on the Post-Boy, on the 6th of April last, about 1 of the Clock in the Morning, and taking a Black Gelding, Value 10 l. as also 2 Mails Value 4 l. 50 Leather Bags Value 5 l. the Goods of our Sovereign Lord the King.
This Malefactor was about 34 Years of Age; born at Putney in Surrey. He said that this Father was a Wine-Merchant, and had a considerable Estate; and that tho' he was sometime mean, yet he was born a Gentleman; he added, that his Father removing from Surrey into Lincolnshire, did not so well bear up his Head; yet he gave a good Education, and he understood something of the Law; he also said, that some thought a Sheriff's Bayliff (which he was at Lincoln) an ungenteel Employment, but he thought a Man might behave himself in it as became a Gentleman, and sometimes where the Business would not set off the Man, the Man has set off the Business; and that he was Ignorant of the Art, or racking Men to severely for Civility Money.
He told me besides, that when he kept a Publick-House in Lincoln, he permitted no Iregularity to be committed there, but he believed was at that time of Day as well look'd upon, as those who were higher in Quality and Fortune, frequently turning away leud Men and Women, who would willingly have transacted their Leudness under his Roof. But delighting, he said, too much in Pleasure, tho' the Diversions were ignorant, yet his Business decayed insensibly, and he was oblig'd to abscond, and soon fly the Country. Afterwards, he said, when he was Servant to the Lord Castlemain, he could defie the World to alledge any thing to his Prejudice. He adds, that when he left the Lord Castlemain's Place, he need not have again submitted to the meanest of such a Station, but that the lowest Life was to him more elegible than the highest Vicious one, at that happy time. But to prevent Temptations, he afterwards served Mr. Green as a Footman ; yet was not easy in such a Post; but aim'd at some writing Business, as to keep Accompts, or the like. That he was Assistant to Mr. Grubshaw a Fruiterer in Collecting his Debts , and to his Sister Ellet, of Bawtry, in managing her Affairs after the decease of her Husband, she being left with some small Children.
He was perfectly compos'd and easy under his Troubles, never shed a Tear, never seem'd terrify'd at the Approach of Death; but was Constant and Regular in his Devotions, Serious at the Sacrament, and maintain'd the very same Deportment to the last of his Life. He said, that Richard Wilson was compel'd to end his own Days, or to shorten theirs, he had nothing to say against him; yet did believe, that there was such a Tye and Obligation in Oaths, especially taken at a sacred Time, that he might question, whether even the Good of the Publick could excuse the breaking thro' them.
He said, that it was his unhappiness never to have liv'd with the Person who was his Wife; but on the other Hand, 'twas his Good-Fortune not have any Children to bequeath to Disgrace, and to the Bryars of a wretched World; he added, that yet, as her Relations were Persons of Estate and Account, he might have entertain'd good Expectations after their Decease, had he not abortiv'd his own Prospects, and their Intentions.
Three Days before his Execution, he told me he felt an uncommon inward Composure of his Mind, was entirely easy at the Prospect of Death, as he had deserv'd it, and had expected a Turn of Fortune a good while (he said) before it came upon him; desiring to receive the Holy Communion twice before he suffer'd, which I agreed to, and gave it him, the Friday before he died in the Chappel, and the same Day he died in another more silent and quiet Place.
He repeated it, that nothing came by Chance, but was under the Direction of a Superior Being. He said also, that he was most concern'd, that some under Condemnation with him, were so Ignorant, that tho' he read and pray'd with them continually, he thought it next to impossible to make them understand.
As this Boy was struck with Sickness immediately after his Condemnation, I had not an Oppertunity of talking to him in private, as I did to all the Rest, till the Day before he died, but being then somewhat recovered, he told me, he was very willing to be instructed in his Duty; that he was above 16 Years old, born near St. Andrew's Church in Holborn; that his own Father, a Periwig-maker, could have given him a Sufficiency of Learning, but he dying when he was very young, he never learn'd to read, but that (he said) was not necessary for him as Cabinet-maker, to which Trade he was to have been bound Apprentice, had not his vicious Practices prevented it. Tho' at first he deny'd his Guilt, and protested the Surgeon never search'd him, but only look'd on his Cloaths; yet, he afterwards said, that he enticed the Child to the Top of the House, and on the Leads did abuse her, and gave her the Foul Disease, because he had heard that it would ease his Pains of Body; for he was afraid to discover to any Body his Condition, even to his own Mother.
He could not be made very sensible of his Condition, but seem'd Careless and unconcern'd; yet, promised that he would call upon God, as he was able, and consider whither he was going, and the Value of his Soul.
6. JEREMIAH RAND, of St. John Wapping, was convicted of Robbing Daniel Bewly, a Porter , in the Night Time, in Upper-well-Alley, Ratclif-High way, of a Clock, by inviting him to Drink, and afterwards pretending he was going the Porter's Way, and would shew him the House, and instead of that, running away with the Clock, after one Falkner has knock'd the Porter down. He was 37 Years old, of a serious Behaviour, and seemingly earnest in his Duty; he said on Friday, he dare not then receive the Sacrament, but receiv'd it on Monday before he died; and to his Death appear'd to make a strict Preparation for a future State.
The Account of the Malefactors, at, and some time before their Execution.
SOME time before he dy'd, J. Booty the Boy, said, that a First-Cousin, who was Maid-Servant at his Master's House, (a Girl about his Age and Bigness) came into the Work-house where he lay, in the Night time, to Mend his Coat (as she pretended) torn by his hanging on a sharp Hook as he was falling down; that instead of working by him, she put out the Candle, and cover'd herself by his Side. By whose Means he caught the foul Disease; but she removing suddenly from thence to her Mothers at Westminster, could never since be found, tho' his Mother had hunted for her; and that he had distempered 4 or 5 Children, besides that which he was indicted for.
John Hawkins being told by a Gentleman, that Richard Wilson has own'd that he and Hawkins, &c. were concern'd in cutting out the ancient Womans Tongue, and throwing it over a Hedge into the Road, because she told the People in the robb'd Coach that she knew one of the Robbers? This Prisoner's answer was, that he never dealt in barbarous Actions. I told him I had receiv'd a Letter from the Widow of Butler Fox, who desired he would acquaint Fox, if he and Simpson were alone concern'd in that Robbery for which Fox dy'd; he seem'd to encline to it, but said the benefiting that Woman would be harming another Person, if he made any publick Declaration to the People. But as for the Robbing any Nobleman's Coach, near Richmond, and taking a Ring much valu'd as being a Present from another Person of Quality, he absolutely denyed it.
George Simpson said, that as a certain Nonjuror had assur'd him, that 'twas not necessary to confess any thing, he was resolv'd to confess Nothing, but said their Robberies about London had been so numerous, that they were too tedious then to Recount, nor were they of any Significance to the World.
All the Malefactors took leave of all their Relations and Friends, the Day before they Died, that they might not be disturb'd on the Day of their Deaths. Having concluded their Petitions to God in the Chappel, and the Reception of the Sacrament in a (then) more quiet Place, they were convey'd between 9 and 10 o'Clock to Execution. No one being allow'd the Priviledge of a Coach, they appear'd in the Carts with uncommon Tokens of Repentance, scarce-ever raising their Eyes from their Books to regard the great Crowds about them; nor tarrying to drink Quanties of Liquor as is usually Done.
John Hawkins desiring the Spectators to be Silent, said, Christians, I am brought to this Place of shame for my Sins, I hope and earnestly hope all Christians will join with me in Prayer for the Pardon of my Crimes; I forgive all, and hope to be forgiven of all myself. I beg all here present will take warning by my wretched Death, and avoid what led me to it. Pray for me blessed People! pray for my departing Soul! Christ receive me! Lord Jesu come quickly. Being in some Confusion, he was turn'd off, and died not without prodigious difficulty and struggling; contrary to his Friend, who was more compos'd before he died, and more easily lost his Breath.
This is the Account to be given of the MALEFACTORS, By
T. PURNEY; Ordinary, and Chaplain.