Omitted in the Common Account of the Dying Speech, for want of Room, and the largeness of this Account. To which is added, the Paper deliver'd by Tho. Wilson, after the Morning Sermon, the Day before their Execution.
AT the Sessions, which began at the Old-Bayly, on Friday the 7th of this instant September, was condemn'd, (with 17 other Malefactors) Matthias Brinsden, of the Parish of St. Anne Blackfryars; for that he, on the 16th Day of July last, did mortally wound, and Murther, Hannah Brinsden, his Wife ; by giving her (with a Knife of 7 Inches in Length) a Wound under the left Pap, of the Length of one Inch, and about the Depth of 6 Inches; under which mortal Stroke, she lay in Agony for one Hour, without Power to speak, or accuse any one of bringing her to an untimely End, and then expired.
This Malefactor being a considerable Time under Confinement before his Tryal, and the Exclamations of the Town being strong and violent against him; I was desir'd by a great Number of People, to take a peculiar Regard of his Soul, his Death being as certain as his Imprisonment: Accordingly, I sent for him to the Chapel, observing he absented himself, but he made an Excuse not to be there; upon my repeating and sending to him, the Messenger told me, and said he was brought up according to the Way of the Roman Catholicks , and had nothing to do with our Chapels, Parsons, or Prayers: But this, I believe, was only to prevent his being forced to the Chapel, that he might indulge himself in Sloath and Idleness: Tho' afterwards, he deny'd that ever he declar'd himself a Roman Catholick, or so much as ever spoke to the Messengers I sent.
However, during the whole Time that he lay before Condemnation, he never once appear'd at Prayers; when he was upon his Tryal, it was thought remarkable, and a Token of a Savageness and Barbarity of Nature, that, instead of throwing himself upon the Mercy of the Court;
instead of desiring Death rather than Life, with Remorse of Conscience; instead of bursting out into Tears, for the Loss of the Partner of his Bed, his Joys, and Griefs; he insisted on trifling Allegations; said his Wife lov'd Brandy and Geneva, disobey'd his Commands, and would not be easy to live as he liv'd; making a Remark, that the Surgeon must swear falsely, in asserting that the Wound was 6 Inches deep, when the Knife produced in Court, was not 6 Inches long.
After his Condemnation, he being at Chapel, I examin'd him, and Tax'd him with having so little reguard for his Soul, which must so assuredly make its Appearance in another World, in so short a Time: He answered, That he trembled at the Thoughts of an avenging God, but not the more, for having ended his Wife's Days, which was accidental: At the same Time, he took hold of my two Shoulders, turn'd me round, twisting his own Body in a very strange Manner, in order to explain fully to me the Way in which he perform'd the Murder, his Wife (he said) being pushing violently by him, that she might force her Way to the Brandy-Shop, near her House, where (he said) she continually went.
The Sunday, immediately following the Condemnation of him, and the other 17 Malefactors, I preach'd to them, from the ensuing Text of Scripture, taken out of the Psalms.
Blood-thirsty and deceitful Men, shall not live out half their Days.
First, We explain'd the Nature of Murder, 1. According to the Natural; 2. The Jewish; 3. The Christian Law; proportionably stronger. By Nature 'tis unlawful, as 'tis injuring Society; as 'tis robbing God of what is his Right and Property; as 'tis wronging the Slain of the Satisfaction of Eating, Drinking, Talking, and the Light of the Sun, which he had a Right given by the Creator to enjoy; And as it is sending a Soul naked, and unprepair'd to appear before a wrathful and avenging Deity, without Time to say (with Composure) Lord have mercy upon me a Sinner!
Secondly, we considered the particular Case of Parricide, and all Murders of Relations; especially; the Murtherer of a Wife; the Parent to a Man's own Children; the Person he once Lov'd, and chose out of the World to be the Companion of his Days, and to live and dye with him; one who had so long shared his good Fortune and his Bad; had brought him, with Pain and Anguish of Travel, several Tokens and Badges of Affection; those Blessings that ought to be like Olive Branches round about his Table; to embrew the Hands in such Blood, must be double Murder, as it murders not only the Person Slain, but kills the Happiness of the Children left, deprives them of Bread, and forces them upon Poverty, and wicked ways of getting a Maintenance, which often terminates in an ignominious Death.
In the next Place, we observ'd, that tho' the Child was the Mothers own Property, yet 'its Life was not; for even her own Life was not hers, but Gods. Nor could it be call'd, no Murder, because the Babe had never enjoy'd the World since it had a Soul, for Happyness, or Misery. We enquir'd, How her Sex could deal in Blood and Slaughter?
How a Parent could tear to Pieces the Life of her own Infant? How she could bear its Cries, Inocent and Helpless, without relenting? If the very Beasts and Birds will spend their last Blood in defending their Offspring, How she could hazard her Life in depriving Hers of that Existance she had given it, &c.
During this Sermon, and another Preach'd by another Clergyman afterwards, Matthias Brinsden, behaved himself no way Indecently; yet appear'd somewhat Serene and Compos'd, as if he was no ways asham'd be, fore Man what he had perform'd, or afraid before God. He complain'd of the prodigious Crowd of Spectators in the Chapel, who were mostly there, he feared, to make Remarks and Triumph over his Misfortunes and Calamities.
Soon after this, I took him to Discourse with, into a private Closet, where I ask'd him, how he could bathe his Hands in the Blood of his Wife, who was his own Flesh, and we are told, no Man ever yet hated his own Flesh? What induced him to pierce that Breast that had once thought so kindly of him as to wed him? How he could wish to see that Face Pale in Death, in which he had once delighted in? To this he answer'd, that he was as Innocent of Guilt as the Child unborn; that his Wife was Jovial and Gay, with four or five Women at his House that Evening when he went home, was Free and Merry with them for a considerale time: They going away, he took a narrow sharp Knife, (which he used in his Business) in order to cut some Bread and Cheese; his Wife enquiring if she must feed on Cheese and Bread at Noon, and also, at Night; he asked her if she was so Nice, that she could not digest what he and his Children did? Whereupon, she answer'd in Anger, She would not. That he intended then to give his eldest Daughter a Pye; as he sometimes befriended her a little in her Dyet, because she was (he said) a good Girl, took Care of his Children when his Wife was at the Geneva Shop, and did a great deal of Business, and he thought well deserv'd much more, than was in his Power to bestow upon her.
He added, that these Things exciting his Wife, in some Measure to Anger, she thrust by him to get thro' the Door, he resolving she should not go Abroad, but stay at Home at Nights, as became a good Wife. In preventing her going out, (having the Knife and Bread in his Hand) the Knife unhappily she thrust into her own Side. We ask'd, How then the Wound could be so deep? He answered, Thro' he resolv'd Temper to go to the Geneva Shop, that nothing but Death should stop her; denying that he did it through Passion, or was so much as Angry with her. Being ask'd then, how he came to buan her Arms with a red-hot Poker some Years a-go? He said, She was of such an odd Temper, that nothing but Beating would do with her, and she was commonly good for a Week after; but if he let her alone for a Fortnight, she would consume all, and turn the House almost upside down: Which was the Reason, that it was just a Week between this Scuffle, as he intended it, that prov'd her Death, and the Fray the Monday before, when the Sheers were run into her Skull, and she was cover'd with Blood, so that he run away, till he heard she was not dead.
He said farther, That tho' his Daughter Swore, he threw his Wife down on the Bed with one Hand, and stab'd her with the other, he laid her
gently on the Bed, to preserve her from Death, and to save the Infant that was sucking at her Breast. He added, that he would that Moment have given a thousand Worlds for her Life; and sent for Basilicon and Sugar, to retain that Life a while, which he could not recal; in order to have her declare, That there was no Malice between them, and she could not believe he design'd her Death.
He also said, That when he was Escap'd to Mr. Ke's at Shadwell dock, he felt that Uneasiness in his Mind, that he wish'd he might be taken up; and tho' he was then in Bed, the Apprehensions of his Mind, would not let him Sleep, but he fancy'd he heard the Constable approaching to seize him every Moment, even while he was safe on his Pillow.
After this, he kept constantly to Prayers, except a Day or two, that he was Sick of three Maladies (he said) at once: But when his Daughter who was Evidence against him, appear'd in the Chappel, to beg h’d forgive her, he turn'd away and would not see her; when the Cirl kneel'd down before him, with the Hands lift up, and in Tears beg'd him to forgive her; and there were near 20 other Persons, some of them kneeling to him) beg'd with Tears, he would pardon his Daughter, &c. He was about half an Hour before he could be induc'd to Kiss her, as the beg'd most earnestly he would, tho' two Clergymen, and others, represented to him, that she was but a Child of sixteen; could mean him no harm, and had only done what Justice and the Law oblig'd her to perform: At last, when he seem'd really to be in Charity with her, he said, (crying very lamentably) For Christ's sake my Child, God forgive me, I have robb'd you of your own Mother; be a good Child rather Die than Steal, never be in Passion, but curb your Anger, and Honour your Mistress, she' be both a Father and a Mother to yon: Farewel my dear Child, Pray for your Father and think of him as well as you can!
During this, the sad Sorrow of the Daughter was encreased, by the Sight of her Father wasted away to a Skeleton, from a sanguin florid Complexion; which was not occasion'd, he said, so much by any Sickness he sustain'd, as by the inward Vexation of his Mind, which prevented his receiving any Nourishment from his Food.
The Morning before he Dy'd he said Death was very acceptable to him, but he hoped he should not be refused the Sacrament, but allowed to receive it in some Place more free from Noise and Tumult, than the Chapel us'd to be; which was administred to him on Monday Morning agreeable to his Request. Before he went to the Sacrament he took his last Farewel of all his Children, with an incredible Number of Tears from him and them. As the Sacrament was given he passionately called on Christ, cry'd vehemently, wrung his Hands, &c. After he had receiv'd it, he grew Calm, and so continu'd till his Death.
Being taken out of the Cart, and plac'd under Tyburn while some others were adjusting the Ropes about their Necks, or taking Leave of Friends, or throwing Books or Handkerchiefs to them among the Croud; M. Brinsden, regarded none, but stood as wholly wrapt in Thought, without any Surprize or Consternation. But afterwards the Prayers being begun, he
was earnest and attentive. Then desiring Silence among the People, he desired I would speak aloud what was dictated to me by him, his Voice being to weak to reach the People around; it was as follows,
I was born of kind Parents, who gave me Learning; went Apprentice to a Fine Drawer , I had often Jars. which might encrease natural Waspishness in my Temper. I fell in Love with Hannah my late Wife, and after much Difficulty won her; she having 5 Suiters at the same Time. We had 10 Children (half of them dead) And I believe we lov'd each other dearly; but often quareled and fought. Pray good People mind. I had no Malice against her, nor thought to kill her 2 Minutes before the Deed; but I design'd only to make her obey me thoroughly, which the Scripture says, all Wives should do: This I thought I had done, when I cut her Skull on Monday, but she was the same again by Tuesday.
Good People, I request you too observe, That tho' the World has spitefully given out, that I carnally and incestously lay with my eldest Daughter, I here solemnly declare, as I am entering into the Presence of God, I never knew whether she was Man or Woman, since she was a Babe; I have often taken her in my Arms, often kiss'd her, sometimes given her a Cake or Pye, when she did any Particular Service, beyond what came to her Share; but never lay with her, or carnally new her, much less had a Child by her: But when a Man is in Calamities, and is hated like me; the Women will make Surmizes be Certainties. Good Christians Pray for me; I deserve Death; I am willing to Dye; for tho' my Sins are great, God's Mercies are greater.
" I Thomas Wilson, desire it may be known, that I was in a Horse-way, that lies " between Highgate and Hornsy , where meeting a Man and Woman; they enquired the Way to Upper Holloway; We directed them cross the Fields; mean " time we drank two Pints of Ale to hearten Us, then follow'd them, and rob'd " them of 2 s, and some Half-Pence, the Womans Apron, her Hat, and her Colour'd Handkerchief; we left them without misusing them, tho' there was " Thoughts of doing it; my Companion that rob'd with me, is gone to Holland " upon hearing I was taken up, tho' should not have Impeach'd him, but h " Friends liv'd in Holland. Another Robbery we committed, was by a Barn in " the Foot-Path near Pancrass Church , of a Hat, and Toe-Wig, and Cane, some " Goods he was carrying; but we heard he had a considerable Sum of Money about him, but he ran away, and I ran after, but I being Drunk, he escap'd, " and I was glad to get off safe. We rob'd two other Men near Copenhagen-house " of a Coat and Wastecoat. I committed many Street Kobberies, about Lincoln's-" Inn. For these and all other Sins, I pray God and Men to Pardon me; especially I pray Pardon for Shooting the Pistol off, before Justice Perry, at my " Friend's Adversary; glad I did not Kill him.
N. B. On Friday last, Thomas Phelps was taken, and Charg'd with the said Robbery of the Man and Woman, who enquir'd their Way to Upper-Holloway, as above. Thomas Wilson confess'd at the Place of Execution, that he never saw Thomas Phelps, and that he is innocent of the said Robbery.
This is the whole Account to be given, by
ALL MRLANCHOLY, HISTERICAL, and HEPOCHONDRIACK Distempers, which variously effect the Mind with strange fears, and dismal Apprehentions, Fainttings and Sinkings of the Spirit, great Hurries, Restlessness, and Disquietments, (little understood, and seldom cur'd by any common Means) also Pains and Giddiness of the Head, Risings of the Throat, sick Fits, Tremblings and Oppressions at the Heart, or any other Disorders caused by Vapours are succesfully cur'd (with God's Blessing) by a Physician who is no vain Pretender; but able to give the most doubtful Person sufficient Proof of his great Success, in those deplorable Cases: He also cures all Sorts of Fits, tho' strange and violent, (if curable) which he will justly inform you: Living at (No. 27.) in Prescot-street, in Goodman's-Fields, near Aldgate; where those that have Occasion, and live remote, may direct their Letters, and they shall be speedily answer'd, or attended on if desir'd.