THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and last dying Words of the two Malefactors, that was Executed at Tyburn, on Saturday the 25th of May, 1723.
AT the Proceedings on the KING'S Commission of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, &c. Held for London and Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, before the Right Honourable Sir GERARD CONYERS, Kt. Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Lord Chief Justice Pratt, Mr. Justice Tracey, Mr. Baron Price, Sir William Thompson, Knight, Recorder, and several of his MAJESTY'S Justices of the Peace; which began on Wednesday, the 24th of April, in the 9th Year of His MAJESTY'S Reign; two Men and one Woman were found guilty of Capital Offences, and had Judgment pronounced upon them accordingly.
DURING the time that three Persons found guilty of Capital Offences, (viz. Luke Nunny, Richard Trantham and Mary Chandler) lay under the Sentence pronounced upon them, the two Men never absented from Prayers as often as they had an Opportunity of hearing them in the Chappel; the Woman expressing her Sorrow that she was very frequently prevented from frequenting the Publick Prayers so much as she desir'd, by a severe Sickness that hung upon her, and render'd her incapable of doing her Duty to God when alone in the Place appointed for her, or attending to the Word of God when it was read and explain'd to her for a considerable time. But she acknowledg'd the Justice of Providence, in adding that Affliction to her other Miseries, because she had so long, and much neglected to perform in her Health and Strength, what then she wish'd she could perform with more Heart and Resolution. The Lad under Conviction, although he appear'd to those who took Notice of him, to be altogether supine and careless, and to have not the least Notion of the fad State and Condition he was reduc'd unto; yet as often as I talked to him of a future State, and of
the Nature of his Soul and of Eternity, he express'd a great Desire and Inclination to become the Child and Servant of God; saying he thought himself very happy, (as it had pleas'd Providence to lay him in that low Estate of Misery) that no disorderly Persons were under Condemnation with him, but only one Man, who was always Sober, and so far from interrupting any one in his Duty, that he made it his Business during the whole time that they continu'd together in that deplorable Condition, to forward and promote the great Work he had to do, as he had more Knowledge and more Understanding in his Duty than he himself could pretend to have.
Before the Day appointed for Execution, I preach'd to them, and other Prisoners there present, from the following Words, viz.
He that hateth his Brother is a Murtherer, and ye know that no Murtherer hath eternal Life abiding in him, 1 Joh. iii. 15.
We took Notice, that Hatred toward a Brother, that is, a Man of the same Station and Religion with our selves, as it appeared murderous and pernicious, in Calumny and Destraction, so especially was it seen in those Men who break loose from all civil Society, who range and wander the Night, despoiling and preying upon all they meet. Who go about to Maim and Injure, as Christ went about doing Good, healing the Blind, the Lame, and the Deaf. And the common Practice of Robbers and Plunderers, altho' they do not take away a Man's Life, yet, litterally, one Species of Murther; as sudden Fears, Alarms, and terrible Apprehensions, together with the Loss of several of the Necessaries of Life, and perhaps a continu'd Vexation and Uneasiness, destroy the Constitution, lead to the Grave, and are to be accounted a Degree of Murder.
SECONDLY, we observ'd, that hatred was the forerunner of Murder; and where Hatred was settled in the Mind, Murder was lodged there, because the Murther was stifl'd in their Bosoms, and 'twas only the fear of the Law's edge, and their own self-Love, that prevented its appearing in Practice, to the immediate Ruin and Death of the Person so hated; wherefore, tho' such things cannot be cognizable by Man, yet the Great Creator, who at one View surveys the Heart and internal Recesses of the Mind, accounts of such Inclinations to destroy, such catent Murther, such destructive Hatred, as of real Murther put in actual Execution, &c.
THIRDLY, That Men, in particular, should not injure those whom the Apostles calls the Brethren, Persons of the same Communion. For they go to meet the same Deity, at the same Temple and Altar; put up an harmony of Prayers and Adorations in Concord together; Vow together to retain Peace and Unity, and to live Concord as their great Master commanded them: Wherefore the Apostle saith, that they ought to be so far from hating, that they should lay down their Lives for their Brother, even acquiesce in Martyrdom for the Benefit of other Christians, and the Advantage of their Religion, which must flourish and encrease by the Resolution and Perseverance of its Adherents. And the Hatred that is forbidden in the Text, extends not only to those who are exactly, and in every Point, of the same
Sentiments and the same Opinions with ourselves, but also forbids us to abhor or to injure those who worship our God, but hold against us in some little Matters of Ceremony and the Manner of Worship; for such Hatred is hating a Brother, which the Apostle faith is Murder: And they who tear and rend all those who differ from them in PartyMatters, and injure them in their Characters, and revile and backbite them, such Persons are guilty of one Degree and one Species of Murther.
FOURTHLY, We endeavour'd to direct those Prisoners who had been guilty of spoiling and of praying upon their Fellow-Christians, which is the Consequence and the Height of Hatred towards them, how they were to act, lest the Severity of God's Judgments should fall upon them, and render them miserable in the next World, as well as unfortunate in this Life. As first, That they were candidly to acknowledge their Offences, to enumerate them all one by one, to God, and so to implore Pardon and Forgiveness; and then to say, with the Psalmist, David, Lord cleanse thou me from my secret Faults. That, secondly, They were to strive to cleanse their Hands, and to purify their Hearts, with the Assistance of God's Grace, who has promis'd his holy Spirit to those that ask it: And this, because unless we are regenerate, and born again, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God; unless the Hearts of Despoilers were turn'd from the Love of Havock and Injustice, to the Love of Religion and Virtue; unless they took such a Delight and such a Satisfaction in Devotion and Prayers to God, as they once took in Drunkenness, Riottings, and Debaucheries, it was impossible, that if they were entering into another Life, it could be with Happiness; God being, as we are assur'd in the Word of God, a Being of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity. And farther, That whatever their Performances might be, they must be far from relying upon them, or from claiming Heaven as their just Due, and just Reward for their Actions; but must, on the contrary, rely and depend alone upon the all-sufficient Merits of their Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus, Christ, who came down from Heaven to rescue Mankind from Ruin and Destruction, having purchas'd eternal Happiness for all, as many as will accept of the Tenders and Offers of his Mercy; as he saith he came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance: And also, That the Person among those unhappy Persons under Condemnation, who had shed the Blood of a Man, should especially repent of so great a Crime, he not having allow'd the murther'd Man that Time and Space, and Opportunity for Repentance, which the Clemency of the Law did allow to him; but rashly cast him out of the World, without affording him so much as Time to say, Lord have Mercy upon me a Sinner. Lastly, We enumerated to them some of the Directions before given them, at other Times; which, if they pursu'd, tho' they died a Shameful and Ignominious Death, yet they might attain to eternal Joy and Felicity, as there was Mercy for the Thief upon the Cross, and will be for other Malefactors, if they earnestly seek for it; Christ himself having promis'd, that whosoever cometh to him, and taketh his Yoke upon him, Christ will give him rest.
While I and others endeavour'd to give them the best Directions we could, Richard Trantham was most serious and most attentive; the Sentence that was by Law pass'd upon him, having made a much greater Impression upon him than on his Companion, in his Misfortune, who, nevertheless, affirm'd, that he was as diligent and as attentive as was in his Power. They were constantly advis'd and perswaded, not to let the long Time that they lay under Condemnation, make such a wrong Impression upon them, as to slacken their Thoughts and Resolution for Repentance; because the long Opportunity which they had to repent in, would be an Aggravation of their Sin, if they had not made a due Preparation: They being told at the same Time, that the Delay of Justice was no Interruption of it, nor ought they to believe, that because they suffer'd not at the usual Time, they should wholly escape the Execution of the Sentence pronounc'd upon them.
The ACCOUNT while they lay under Condemnation.
LUKE NUNNY, of St. Mary White-Chapel, was indicted, for that he, on the 31st of March last, about one a-Clock in the Morning, gave William Bramston one mortal Wound, of the Length of one Inch, and the Depth of five Inches. It appearing from the Evidence of John Howel, James Young, and others, That the Deceas'd coming up when Nunny was quarrelling with James Young, Nunny gave him a Blow with his Fist, no Provocation having preceeded; after which the Deceas'd made an Offer to strike him, but forbore; but Nunny thereupon struck him another Blow, and gave him a Push; after which the Deceas'd said he was stabb'd, he was a dead Man, and said that Luke Nunny was the Man that did it, who was then running away: This, and more, being confirm'd, by sufficient Evidence, the Jury found him Guilty of the Murther.
He was about 20 Years of Age, tho' in his Behaviour and Appearance he seem'd to be younger: His Father was a Man of Probity, and belov'd among his Neighbours, when he kept House, but having Misfortunes in Life, he was oblig'd to leave off his Shop; and his Children, by that Means, miss'd of some Part of that Education which he purpos'd otherwise to have given them, being always desirous they should be instructed in their Duty, and be brought up in the Fear of God.
He said that when he was very young, he felt strange Inclinations in his Mind to serve God; that he sometimes went to the Assemblies of Dissenters, unknown to any one, and wished frequently that his Mother and his two Brethren did but know how the Word of God was explain'd where he went; adding that as he went home, if he saw any Boys playing on Lord's Day, or heard any loose Fellows Swearing and Cursing, it was a strange Uneasiness to him; and he heartily wish'd that Men would reform, and the World would grow Virtuous and Good. But he said, tho' he went to see how he liked the Quakers, he could not well relish their Way and Manner, but thought it was rather ridiculing Almighty God than Worshipping him.
But he said this good Disposition of Mind did not continue; for jovial Company, Drinking, and profane Talk, (which was usual with the young Fellows of his Acquaintance) quite put those good Inclinations out of his Mind; And he was so far from seeking out Places where he might hear the Word of GOD best explain'd: That he was commonly, on the Sbbath-Days, engag'd in Debaucheries or Idleness; neglecting to read the Scriptures, or to sit at Home to discourse on what was good; which, when his Misfortunes were come upon him, he wish'd he had done, but found it then too late to look back, or repine for past Negligencies and Omissions.
He was by Trade a Shoe-maker , but not being bound Prentice to it, he had not an Opportunity of seeing the World at all, (living always at Home) which he believ'd was some Disadvantage to him; for, had he gone into a good religious Family, he would have been promoted and forwarded in Goodness, and been by his Master constantly put in Mind of his Duty, both to God and Man; but being unfortunately settled in a bad House, (as his Parents had laid some Foundation of Religion in him) their Badness would probably have shock'd him, and put him upon reflecting on the Nature of a vicious Course of Life, as thinking he would be more apter to dislike any Lewdness Abroad than at Home, where he was born and bred, and had always been accustom'd to think right, having never seen any other.
He said he began to grow so very uneasy at living always at Home, and in the same Way (having never been father than eight Miles from London in his Life) that he had resolv'd in his Mind to go into the West of England, there to set up his Trade, amongst some of his Father's Friends and Relations, which reside in them Parts, but while that Resolution was in his Heart, going over into Southwark pretty late at Night, with his Brother, they met an Acquaintance of theirs, with whom they went to drink with, and staid some Time, till he was put in a great Measure aside from his former Resolution; and being naturally exceeding Quarrelsome, when in Liquor, (to his great Sorrow) he was Abusive, he believ'd, and pick'd Quarrels with almost every Body he met, tho' could not recollect any of the particular Circumstances than happen'd in this late unhappy Misfortune, being very much in Liquor.
He neither deny'd nor acknowledg'd the Crime he was convicted of, but said, if he kill'd the Man, he was ignorant of it; nor knew he struck the Blow when the Man fell down dead; but if he lost his Life through him, when disguis'd in Liquor, he said, sure it was the greatest of Crimes, and that he knew not what was become of his Soul, that was so rashly and suddenly sent out of the World into the Presence of God; and he could not imagine how he should meet that Person, at the last Day, before the Judgment Seat of God and Jesus Christ, whose Soul he had, perhaps, ruin'd for ever and ever, to his great Grief and sad Confusion.
But before he suffer'd Death, he very freely acknowldg'd, that he did commit the MURTHER, and very earnestly besought GOD to pardon so Crying a Sin, and to take Pity upon him a poor Object and undone Wretch! Asking if God's Mercy and Goodness (so often mention'd in the Holy Scriptures) could extend to him, or if he might lay any Claim to those Promises which were made by God and Christ. Being assur'd that no Sin or Offence was too great for God's Mercy to extend to, because that was infinite and unlimitted, and Christ desir'd all to come to him that were weary and heavy laden, with the Burthen of their Sins; and that David's Murther of Ura was pardon'd upon his sincere Repentance. He then said, he would leave nothing unperform'd that was in his Power to win the Favour of God; for that he then knew the Value of his own Soul, which could not die or perish; and consider'd, that he could not ask Pity of Jesus Christ for his Soul, unless he now took Pity upon it himself, by performing for it all that ever lay in his Power.
Before be dy'd, he endeavour'd to prepare himself for the receiving the Sacrament, in such a Manner as might be to his Profit, and not to his Ruin; striving to understand the Nature of it, and the Benefits and Advantages that flow from it when it is rightly and worthily receiv'd: And he said, he hoped that there was the same Mercy for Malefactors, who suffer'd a violent Death, as for others who dy'd in the ordinary and common Course of Nature.
RICHARD TRANTHAM, of the Parish of Stepney, was convicted of breaking and entering the House of John Folwell, in the Night-time, on the 28th of July, 1721, and taking thence a Silver Tankard, value 6 l. 10 s. a Silver Salver, value 5 l. 54 Pounds of Bolona Silk, value 70 l. &c.
He was above 20 Years of Age, of a Grave and Sober Deportment; tho', as he lay so long, and the Fact was committed some time ago, he was in expectation of receiving his Majesty's Repreive for 99 Years; but yet he no way neglected the Performance of his Duty; and excited Nunny frequently to joyn with him particular Forms of Prayer. As he was furnish'd by his Friends with considerable number of Books, he had the better Opportunity of reading instructive Things to his Companion under his Misfortunes. Frequently too he check'd those Strangers who were for a short time in the Place of Condemnation, when they us'd any vile or lewd, or indecent Discourse; nor was any Person disguised in Liquor in the Condemn'd-Hold during the whole time that he continu'd there, as I was assur'd.
The Morning of his Execution, I administred the Sacrament to him, and his Deportment then was very grave compos'd and commendable; afterwards being desired by some Gentlemen to Question him touching some Robberies of which he was suspected, I took him into my Closet, and discovering to him what I intended thereby, he with much ready and seeming Sincerity confess'd himself Guilty of the following Burglaries and Fellonies, in particular which he could now call to Mind.
A Stone Cutters House in Chiswell-street, and Mr. Folwell's in Spittle-Fields, and own'd to have taken thence to the value of Ninety Pounds, but did not describe the Amount of what he took out of any other House; this last was the Offence he was convicted of.
He was convey'd in a Mourning-Coach to the Place of Execution, and the other Criminal in a Cart.
An ACCOUNT of the Behaviours of the Malefactors at the Place of Execution.
RICHARD TRANTHAM own'd the Fact of which he was Convicted, and beg'd pardon and forgiveness of Mr. Folwell, and others whom he had in any Sort injur'd, and express'd much Concern, that it was out of his Power to make Restitution to the many People he had wrong'd, for that, what he was possess'd of would be very inconsiderable divided among so many; and therefore he should choose to leave the little he had to his Wife, who has one Child already, and is big with another; he recommended to the Spectators to be warn'd by his unhappy Fate and pray'd that no Reflectious might be cast on his honest Parents for his untimely Death, as they had no in no Sort countenanced him in those Practices that Terminated in untimely Death, he desir'd the Prayers of the People, and then I left him to his private Devotions. His Body when cut down was put in a Hearse to be buried at Mitcham in Surry, he having a House there.
LUKE NUNNY, who always came to the Chappel, tho' he would not joyn in Prayer, or Communion with the other Criminal died of the Communion in the Church of Rome, and asking him at the Place of Execution, whether he repented seriously of the Crime he was to suffer for: He said he knew not whether he was guilty or not, that he was so drunk at the time thau he could not Account for any thing that happen'd, that he had no Knife, and never was in the Company with the deceas'd before, and that one of the Company had affirm'd the Knife to be his. He was very earnest in his own way of Devotion, and took no notice of any Questions put by me or any other.
This is all the Account that can be given by me
T. PURNEY, Ordinary, and Chaplain.