THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and last dying Words of the Malefactors, that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 8th of February, 1722-3.
AT the KING's Commission of the Peace, and Oyer, and Terminer, which began at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, on Wednesday, the 6th of January last; before the Right Honourable Sir Gerard Conyers, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mr. Justice Powis, Mr. Justice Dormer, John Raby, Esq ; Deputy-Recorder , and several of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace; Five Men and Two Women were Convicted of Capital Offences, viz. Charles Weaver, John Levee, Richard Oakey, Matthew Flood, William Blewit; Mary Radford, and Sarah Wells: William Blewit, and Mary Radford receiving his MAJESTY's Reprieve, and Sarah Wells being declar'd with Quick Child, the remaining Four were order'd for Execution.
The Day preceeding their Execution, I endeavour'd to instruct them from the following Words, Psalm 36. ver. 12.
These are the Workers of Iniquity fallen: They are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.
From whence, we consider'd,
FIRST, Those Misfortunes that Iniquity brings upon the Sons of Men: Those Distempers of Body, and that Infirmness of Constitution, which inferiour Sins induce upon debauch'd and luxurious Persons. And that certain and inevitable Destruction, which enormous Offences occasion, as David saith, The Sinner shall not live out half his Days, and which was too plainly and too sadly there apparent in Reality, to want a Demonstration from Words.
SECONDLY, Since They, the Workers of Iniquity, were so unhappily fallen, from Gaiety to Grief, from Liberty to Fetters, from Friends and Acquaintance to Contempt and Misery, and the Light of the Sun to an unhappy End; how they were to act, in order to secure
to themselves a better Life than this. (1.) To search out their Sins, and to humble themselves in the sight of God for them, by a free Confession, and taking a due shame upon themselves. (2.) To have Faith, both in the infinite Justice, and also in the infinite Mercies of God and Christ. (3.) To consider how great a Favour it must be, if God would accept any Services of theirs, who came in so late, and not freely, but by Compulsion, after the Justice of Man had cut 'em off from Violence; and therefore to be most earnest in Working out their Salvation; taking less Care in obtaining an earthly than an Heavenly Pardon; and guarding against the ill Offices of those who would flatter them with false Expectations. (4.) To root out all Ill-will, and all Resentments from their Minds, with regard to those who appear'd at their Tryals, or the like. (5.) To make what Satisfaction they could to the Publick; and what Restitution they were able to particular Persons they had injured; or if unable to make any Discoveries to their Advantage, at least to ask Forgiveness of them, and request their Prayers to God for their departing Souls. (6.) To take especial Care to prepare for the Holy Sacrament, and to be watchful afterwards lest the Wiles of Satan frustrate the Benefits of it; desiring the Spirit of God to assist them, in laying aside those fleshly Tabernacles; not to sorrow too much, as Men without Hope; nor too little, as those who know not that Death is the entering into the presence of God, and taking possession of Eternity.
1. CHARLES WEAVER, was indicted for the Murther of Eleanor Clark, Widow , by giving her a Wound, of the Depth of 7 Inches with a Sword, near the Left Shoulder, on the 6th of December last, of which Wound she instantly expir'd. It appearing by the Evidence of two Watermen, and of Edward Morris in the Boat with them, that Weaver was angry with Eleanor Clark, for bidding him pay Morris the Money he owed him, upon which he endeavoured to overturn the Boat; but being prevented by Thomas Watkins the Waterman , he drew his Sword, and vowed he would kill them all; but making Passes at them, could destroy only Eleanor Clark; this appearing to the Jury, he was found Guilty of the Indictment.
He said he was 30 Years of Age; Born in the City of Gloucester, where he was put Apprentice to a Goldsmith , and serv'd near four Years; but spending beyond his Circumstances, he went into the Service of the late QUEEN. He said, that the Captain he was under, going over with Soldiers out of the Savoy to America to quell the Indians, who had taken up Arms against the English Plantations; this Weaver went with him. Being arriv'd in the West-Indies, they mounted all their Cannon, and what the Governor also had belonging to his Residence, and wanted only Numbers of Men to have subdu'd the Indians at once; but they collecting together vast Numbers, laid Ambuscades in the thick Woods which were to be pass'd thro', and destroy'd several of the English; some of the Indians being arm'd with Guns, tho' most of them were Naked. But after a great many of them were slaughtered, they durst not appear any more, but kept close in thick Woods, where they could run much faster than any Englishman could follow; after which they went up into America. But as the Indians are unaccountably malicious where they have a Quarrel, they slew several be
longing to the Plantations, sometime after, in a very treacherous and cruel Manner, sending their Lips, Ears, and Noses, &c. for Presents.
After he had continued here near two Years, he return'd into England; and from thence went into Spain, where he was in some Fights and receiv'd Wounds, when the Right Honourable the Earl of Peterborough was General. He added, that he receiv'd such a kindness from a Spaniard, as he never receiv'd from any Englishman, and intended to have spent his Days in that Country, if he might have been allow'd to do so. But being with the late Duke of ORMOND, when Vigo was taken, he had for himself several Hundred Pounds, and brought it into England, as soon as possible, intending to set up at Gloucester; but the Money insensibly wasting, he betook himself to the Wars, and was a second time at the taking of Vigo, about two or three Years ago.
He also said, that belonging to the second Regiment of Guards , he was so much in Favour with his Officer, that he took him into his House, where he liv'd for several Years last past; and was twice review'd in order to his being of the Life-Guard; had he not been imprisoned and convicted of this Murther.
He added, that he thank'd God, that during the whole Course of his Life, he never wrong'd, or defrauded any one of a Half-penny, but had behav'd himself like a Gentleman, and a Soldier; having a Soul above such vile ways of getting Money; but was sorry to say that others had not dealt so honestly by him, but had defrauded him of five Guineas, which was sent to him from a Friend in the Country; and also of a good Coffin which a Gentleman in London had employ'd a Person to buy for him.
His Wife with Child, being kill'd about a Fortnight ago, by a Dray, or Cart that ran over her, in - as she was going to her Husband in Newgate, added very much to his Misfortunes; but he hop'd somebody would take care that his late Wive's Son, about seven Years old, should have a small Estate that was left him by his Grandmother, for he had no one else to bequeath it to.
He much lamented his having always liv'd in such a way that he had wholly forgot to Write and Read, which incapacitated him from performing his Duty; adding, that he had greatly neglected the Church of God, and had scarce heard one Word of the Scripture for several Years, before he was confin'd to Newgate; but he hop'd that his Misfortunes, like those of the prodigal Son, had reclaim'd him; and that he should attain to the Portion of the Righteous, by dying the Death of the Wicked.
This Prisoner also said, that John Junks, otherwise Levee, having unexpectedly a Present made him of a Coffin, he knew not for what Reason; he began to fit it to his Feet at first, passing several Jests upon it; but that he, being offended at Junks's behaviour, said to him, That he need not be so witty upon, or ridicule that Wood, for 'twould be able to hold him fast while he was torn to bits by Worms. And added, that he endeavour'd to settle his Thoughts every Hour and Minute upon Heaven, rising by Three each Morning to begin his Devotion with any one that was stirring.
2. JOHN LEVEE, otherwise JUNKS, was indicted for Assaulting William Young, Esq; and Colonel Cope, in a Chariot on this side Hamstead, about six at Night, on the 10th of December last: It appearing that John Junks and Matthew Flood, and J. Blake (the Evidence) being together robbing on Hamstead Road, Blake went before to give Notice, and crying out lay hold, Flood laid hold of the Horses, while Junks enter'd the Chariot, and took from Mr. Young, a Gold Watch and Chain, two Seals, and a Ring; And from Col. Cope, a Gold Watch, and a Ring, and 22 Shillings in Money: The Evidence appearing plain, the Prisoner was by the Jury found Guty. He was at the same time convicted in all of four Robberies.
This unfortunate Person (whose Name was Levee) about 30 Years old, being born, he said in St. Clements Parish. His Father (a French Gentleman) was one of Those who came over with King Charles II, and had the Honour to instruct Three Dukes, Sons to the said King, in the French Tongue, having a House at that time in Pall-Mall. Some Years afterwards, he was a Wine-Merchant, and dealt for many Thousands per Annum to France; at which time, he said, (tho' since reduc'd) the Children walk'd the Streets with a Footman, or two after them. But his Father afterwards, thro' Misfortunes and Losses failing in the World, was oblig'd to leave his Family and go into Holland. Upon which this unhappy Son John was taken by the French Society, in order to his being put Apprentice, but instead thereof, was put to a Captain of a Man of War , being then very Young. Tho' he was several Years at Sea, he had the Fortune, he said, never to be in any, even the slightest Engagement, nor to have any one with him damag'd. Adding, that he was in the Essex when the Spanish Ships where taken in the Mediterranean, but that Victory was so easily obtain'd, and there was so little need of the Ship he was in, that he could not properly say he was then in any Fight. Afterwards, returning into the British Channel, he was turn'd over into the Elizabeth Man of War, in which he went under Sir John Norris into the Baltick; but the Muscovite Ships not daring to Face the English at Sea, and it being judg'd by the Admiral impracticable to attack them in their good Harbour of Revel, he also return'd from thence, without having the Happiness, he said, of being in an Engagement.
After he return'd home, he said, he was to have been Book-keeper to a Merchant in Tower-Street; but not having Patience to perfect himself in Arithmetick, and being of too busy a Nature to be still and quiet even one Day; as there was not Employment ready cut out to his Hands, he easily fell in with some who at a Publick-House in Holbourn talk'd to him, at first in a Jesting way, of going like Gentlemen on the Highway. But he added, that he believ'd a vast Quarrel that he then had with his Companion, would have diverted him from those Vicious Pursuits, if a Destiny had not over-rul'd his Actions.
He and Blueskin, he said, robb'd often on the other Side of the Thames, in Kent, or Sussex Road. In particular, about the beginning of October last, they stop'd (I think) the Camberwell Stage-Coach, near Stoke-Newington, going from London, about 6 o'Clock in the Evening; there being one Lady, and four or five Gentlemen, they desir'd them not to frighten the Lady, for she was with Child; upon which, they did not search any one, but holding a Hat, took what was put into it; which he thought by the Quantity had been a great Sum of Money, but found afterwards 'twas mostly Farthings, unless his Companion had cheated him of part, which Trick he had before, he said, play'd him. But they heard afterwards that there were several Hundred Pounds about the Coach.
He added, that in the same Road, they stop'd a Gentlewoman alone in a Coach, who had a large Basket of Cakes or Buns, three or four of which he
took; Blueskin searches her, but had nothing from her: He said farther, that had it been a Man, he would far'd badly; for she struck them, he said, on the Face, and us'd them very roughly; but that as she was a Woman, they let her go, and got nothing of her.
On a Sunday Night in October, they met a Coach coming from Kensington Gravel-pits, two Young Ladies in the Coach and a little Miss; bidding the Coachman and the Footman go on the other Side the Ditch, they robb'd the young Ladies of about 10 s. in Money, two Necklaces, of a Girdle-Buckle which they broke off, and of the Effigies of a Man, which they thought had been of solid Silver, but selling it afterwards in Newtners-Lane, he could make but very little of it. He said that he had Reason to fancy, that the Footman, whom they order'd to go over the Ditch, or they'd shoot him, had two Watches about them.
He here acquainted me with more Robberies than I have leisure now to recount. But some I shall mention, as it may perhaps be some satisfaction to the Persons robb'd, tho' it can be no Advantage to them.
About the 1st, or 2d of December last, they robb'd a single Gentleman in a Coach, on the Hampstead Road, he having no Watch, they took his Money, which was not quite 30 s. but scorn'd he said at any time to take any Apparel, tho' never so good.
About 7 Days after, they robb'd a Butcher on Horseback, on the same Road, who told them he had sold two Lambs, and they took the Money for them, being about Twenty eight Shillings, but the Prisoner added, that the Butcher being saucy, they took from him his Great Coat, not for the value of it, and he believ'd that they should have been rougher with him, but that this John Levee knew a Jew's Coach, which was coming, his Father having lived by the Exchange; and thought it proper to lead his Companion another way, than to rob that Coach, with those in it who knew him.
As to the Night, they robb'd Mr. Young, and Colonel Cope; he said, that before they attempted those Gentlemen, this John Levee stop'd a Man on Horseback, but his Foot slipping just as he laid hold of the Bridle, the Man rode away, he fired a Pistol after him, intending to have kill'd his Horse, but the Pistol miss'd Fire. Then came riding along, on the full speed, three Men, inform'd of what had past, he suppos'd, by the Man who escap'd: But they knowing they could not stop them all three; and seeing a Chariot approaching, they let the Horsemen pass unmolested, that Chariot being Mr. Youngs's, they robb'd it, as appear'd upon their Tryals: But this John Levee took Notice, that those two Gentlemen he believ'd might then have taken him, for he was in the Chariot without any Arms, having given away his Pistol to his Companion; and Blueskin being on the other side the Ditch, but that he offer'd nothing rough or uncivil to them. Adding, that he would have sent the Cornelian Ring to the corner House in Bloomsbury-Square the next Day, as one of the Gentlemen desir'd, but his Companion, as he said, would not agree to it.
The same Night, he said, they met a poor Man and took his Horse out of the Road, where was 2 Haycocks, because the Moon was so bright they could not stand in the Highway; that behind the Haycock they rifled him, but found but two Shillings some Farthings: That they were going to bind him for having so little; but he complaining that he was very sick, they help'd him again on Horseback, because he was unable to get up himself, and returned him his Money, and led his Horse safe into the Road again.
These are most of the Robberries which he could remember, except those 4, for which he was Indicted. He said, he never us'd any Man cruelly, but Simon Betts, whose Eye he beat quite out with his Pistol; because the said Betts, as this John Levee affirm'd, rashly struck him several Blows with an Oaken Stick.
As to the Behaviour of this unhappy Man, it was quite different from it self; for at first he was undaunted and bold; but afterwards was as calm, as serious, and as earnest in his Devotions, as any one I ever saw in that Condition. He said, before he dy'd, that he hop'd he had fought the good Fight, as formerly against innocent Men, so now against Satan, and evil Spirits. The Sacrament he receiv'd with a great deal of Devotion. and excited his Companions to do the same.
He was a Londoner, about 25 Years old; put Apprentice to a Taylor ; but his Master failing, at the End of two Years, he betook himself, he said, to Street Robberies for several Years, and robb'd he believ'd above a Hundred Women of their Pockets; for if they had two or three Men with them he feared not to take up their upper Petticoat, and to cut off their Pocket, tripping them down at the same time; and being very well dress'd, he only step'd on the other side of the Way, and walk'd on, and was not suspected. He
took to this way he said, when he was but a Boy; and at length had a Woman, who us'd to stand close to, or run against the Person he robb'd, while he robb'd her; or sometimes to catch the Woman fast round the two Arms behind, crying out, that a Coach would run over her, while this Oakey cut off her Pocket; but that Woman was kill'd in a bad House, he said, he believ'd by one of her Bullies, to whom she had given the soul Disease; but the People of the House, fearing to come themselves into Trouble, (because several Neighbours would Witness that Murder was frequently cry'd out in that House) smothered up the Matter, and none of her Relations to this Day, knew what became of her.
After he had long prosper'd, he said, in this Way; he thought to undertake a higher way of Robbing; but he second House that he broke open with two others, was in Southwark, near the Mint, from whence they took Calamancoe, value 22 Pound; and being apprehended, he was made an Evidence, and his two Companions were convicted at Kingston Assizes; but one receiving a Pardon, the other only was executed, whose Name was Harvey.
This unsuccessful beginning made him at once forsake his intended Course of Housebreaking, and return to Street-Robberies, in which one they call'd Will the Sailor was assistant to him, and sometimes wore a very long Sword, and pick'd Quarrels with single Gentlemen, without Swords, that engaging with them, Oakey might run away with their Hats, or Wigs, or Swords, during the Skirmish.
But that Fellow forsaking him, he fell into Acquaintance with Reading, Hawes, Milksop, Lincoln, Wilkinson, and others, all executed for Robberies on the Hampstead Road, he mention'd about 20 Robberies he was in; and added, that there was scarce a Robbery committed by them, but he was either concern'd in it, or was employ'd the mean time by them in selling Goods, getting, and cleaning Pistols, or the like, in London, and had some part of their Booty; for Nathanel Hawes, he said, us'd to tell him, he was too little of Body for a Hero. Being ask'd, if Wilkinson was not a cruel Fellow in his Roberies, he would not own that he ever, except once, bound or abus'd those he robb'd, and that he struck a Man, whom he robb'd near Highgate, a cross the Shoulder, with the Handle of the Man's own Whip, &c. He added, that he robb'd a Person, who liv'd at the farther End of Grays-Inn-Lane, whose Name he thought was Seats, along with Robert Wilkinson, for which the said Wilkinson was try'd, but the Person robb'd could not bear Witness against him.
Before he dyed, being perfectly destitute of all Expectations of Life, he set himself seriously to prepare for a future State; never miss'd the Prayers in the Chapel, and (as I was told) delighted to get up three or four times in the Night with the Rest, as their Custom was, to go to Prayers together, and to sing Psalms; they being so often called upon to their Duty by a Person who went into the Place with them, for that Purpose.
He was about 25 Years old, born in the Parish of St. Pauls Shadwell, of honest and reputable Parents; and was put Apprentice to a Lighterman , but his Master agreed to his going from him some time ago. He had been but about three Months on the Highway with J. Blake, John Levee, &c. But acknowledged he justly deserv'd Death, and should willingly resign to Death, if the Pardon he expected did not arrive. He appeared very serious and thoughtful, setting earnestly about his Duty, and receiving the Sacrament with a particular Concern, the Morning before he suffer'd.
At the Place of Execution.
Matthew Flood, said he intended to have spoken to the People concerning one James Reps, Convicted of stealing some Malt, by his own Confession, (his Mark being set to it,) but finding he had not Spirits to speak, he beg'd earnestly that I would take Notice of it; for that he and one who is transported, took the four Quarters of Malt from a Barge near Temple Stairs, and sold it to a Man, who keeps an Ale-house over-against Chelsea Colledge.
Richard Oakey said, what most concern'd him, was, that about 8 Months ago, in Cornhil, when he robb'd a Woman of her Pocket (in which was 16 or 17 Guineas, two Guineas loose, and a Coal, and two God Rings) he burnt a WILL with he found among other Papers, and he believed would be greatly detrimental to her.
John Levee said, he robb'd a Gentleman alone in a Hackney Coach of about 28 s. between the Turnpike and Tyburn. After I had pray'd by them, he spoke to the People, affirming, that T. James declared to him, that he did not sell two Gold Watches to one Gretrix, but to another Person. After he had evinced a strange Anger and Passion, that his Hands must be tyed like the others, and that his Cap must be pulled over his Face, he was forced to submit to the same Fate with the Rest of them.
This is all the Account to be given of the MALEFACTORS, By
T. PURNEY, Ordinary, and Chaplain.