THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and last dying Words of the two Malefactors, that were Executed at Tyburn, on Monday the 17th of June, 1723.
AT the Proceedings on the KING'S Commission of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, &c, Held at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily; before the Right Honourable Sir GERRARD CONYERS, Knight, Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice King, the Honourable Mr. Justice Eyre, and Mr. Baron Page, John Raby, Esq; Deputy-Recorder, and several of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace; which Commission was open'd on Thursday the 30th Day of May last, Four Men were found Guilty of Capital Offences, and receiv'd Judgment accordingly.
While they lay in that sad Estate, being carry'd twice a-Day to Prayers, Joseph Chapman and William Parsons, could only lament their Unhappiness, and acknowledge the Justice of God, who, as they had neglected the Performance of their Duty, while Strength and Ability was theirs, where now, by severe Sickness, render'd incapable of setting about that great Work, which they at last found was so incumbent upon them. But fortunately they both receiv'd the Favour of the Government upon Condition of Transportation, altho' the other two, (viz. William Hawskworth and John Tyrrel) had a great deal of Passion and Resentment; (they being the only Men that had entertain'd Hopes and Expectations of Life;) upon finding that the Clemency of their Superiours, was not fallen upon them: Yet they in a short time compos'd themselves, and apply'd themselves to the Observance of their Duty, as before; William Hawksworth not having once miss'd the Prayers in the Chappel, from the time of his Entering into his Troubles to the time of his Execution; but nevertheless, he could not by any means be induced to look upon himself as a Murderer; constantly asserting, that the Death was accidental; but he submitted to the Hand of God, and
knew that nothing, came by Chance, but by an overlooking Providence, surveying all the Affairs of Life. John Tyrrel also appear'd very desirous to infuse into every Body's Opinion what he at first asserted at his Tryal, to wit, that he purchas'd the Horses at Northampton Fair; and was at some particular times extremely ruffled and disordered in his Mind, upon the Thoughts of Dying a violent Death, which would bring so great a Disgrace to himself and his Family, which was honourable, he said, till this deplorable and execrable time.
On the Sunday immediately preceeding the Day of Execution, I preach'd to them from these Words, Luk. 3. 14.
The Soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, and what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no Man.
After taking Notice, that publick Wars might be shown, even from hence, not to be Unlawful, because Christ did not answer the Soldiers, lay aside your Profession, and cease to destroy Mankind, but only bad them not to use Violence, that is, Injustice; not to war without good Reason, and in those Wars to act agreeably to the Laws of Nature, and of Nations: We afterwards proceeded to consider what is injurious Violence? That Men were chiefly indebted to us three ways, by the Law, by Contracts, and by Injuries done us. That (speaking only to the last) that was an Injury which diminished a Man's Property, whither his Title was deriv'd from Nature merely, as his Life and Limbs, &c. or from human Actions, as Agreements, the Laws, &c. as a Pupil has a right to exact Diligence from a Tutor, a Commonweal from its Magistrate, &c. But as in these Cases there is an Obligation, and consequently an Injury may be offered: In the following Cases there is a different Obligation, which is often mistaken for the same: Those who have the Charge of chusing a Person into a Magistrates Place, the Commonweal has a Right to exact from them a fit Person; and if the Government suffers, by their refusing to make a worthy Election, 'tis the Opinion of the Casuists, that they are oblig'd by natural Justice to repair the Detriment; but by Computation, and in proportion. Thus also, as any Subject (not incapable) has a right to stand Candidate for any Place, tho' no particular Right to that Place; if any Man hinders him from being a Candidate, such a Man is not bound to requite him to the whole value of the Place, but as far as his Chance, by Computation, might extend to.
But, besides the Person directly doing the Injury, others may be bound and oblig'd; either in the Case of acting what we ought not, or not acting what we ought; and in acting what we ought not, may be oblig'd either primarily or secondarily. He is oblig'd primarily, and next to him who commits the Fact, who commands and gives the Consent necessary, &c. Secondarily, who advises to it, or praises it, or assents to it. And even these will be oblig'd to make entire Restitution, if 'tis certain the Detriment would not have been sustain'd, had not they advis'd, commended, &c. but the contrary generally happens, and then the Obligation does not rest upon them. Therefore the Order of Guilt may be reck
on'd thus: (1st.) The Man who voluntarily, and of his Malice commits a Fact: (2dly) The King, or Father who forces and obliges to the Commission of a Fact. (3dly) The oblig'd Person who commits the Fact. (4thly) who assists and aids in the Performance. (5thly,) Who praises and commends it.
And as a Man is oblig'd to make Reparation for an injurious Violence; so also for the Consequences of a Violence; as where a Man had burnt down his Neighbour's House, by firing a Tree near it, Seneca says, Tho' you intended only part of the Damage, you are bound in the whole, as a rational being; for not to have committed any Injury, you ought not to have design'd any, not even the burning the Tree. Thus also, a Murderer is bound, by natural Equity, to pay what Expences have been in Physicians, and to maintain those whom the deceas'd supported having regard to the Years that the murdered Person might be suppos'd to live. A Thief, or Robber is bound not only to restore the Thing stolen, but with its natural Encrease; or if by the being remov'd from its Owner it has suffer'd any Damage, he it to compensate for it. If any Person has been compell'd, thro' Fear, to make a detrimental Bargain, the Casuists believe that the violent Compeller, or Terrifier, is bound by the Law of Nature to compensate to the whole Value of the Thing bought; which appears from the natural Liberty of Man, and from the Nature of Contracts, &c.
Afterwards we endeavour'd to convince the Prisoner who had committed Murder, of the greatness of his Offence, in not only doing Violence, but such a Violence as has depriv'd God of a Creature, his Majesty of a Subject, and the Man himself of his Life; sending him out of the World without half so much space and time to settle his Accounts with Heaven, as the Laws allow'd to him. But that there were Hopes of Mercy, because Christ came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance. Endeavouring last of all to direct the other Prisoners, if they should regain their Liberties, or dwell in another Land, to do Violence to no Man, which proves ruinous and destructive, not only to the Injur'd, but the Injurer too; For they who sow Iniquity reap the same.
The ACCOUNT while they lay under Condemnation.
1. JOHN TYRREL, of St. Martin's in the Fields, was Convicted of stealing a Grey Gelding, value 8 l. from the Grounds of Thomas Brown, at Sourby in Yorkshire; and also of stealing a Bay Gelding, value 5 l. from Francis Webster, at Carlton-Hustwit in Yorkshire, on the same Day, viz. the Ninth of May last.
This unfortunate Man was about 40 Years of Age, and liv'd several Years in good Repute in the Parish of St. Margaret Westminster, dealing in Horses , which, during the War in Flanders, in the Reign of her late Majesty, he carry'd over into Germany and the Netherlands, trafficking with the Princes of Germany, who admir'd particularly the English Horses, and found 'em most strong and serviceable in War. He added, that he was then look'd upon (and has been ever since the same) that
his Word was ever depended upon, in any part of the World, and if he warranted a Horse, the goodness and Soundness of it was never doubted, altho' God and Providence had thought fit so greatly to pluck him down, and lay his Reputation in the Dust.
He also said, that in all his Travels and Voyages, he was particularly careful to retain that learning which his Parents afforded him; frequently, on the High Seas, reading to the Sailers, calling upon them to regard the Lord's Day, and to forbear those impious Blasphemies which were so loud in their Mouths. That he spent his Time, in taking notice of the wonderful Works of God, so visible on the Ocean; and when he arose, apply'd himself every Morning to God for Protection and Security; and as soon as he arriv'd at shore, fell down on his Knees, to return Thanks to That Being to whom alone belong the issues of Life and Death, and who had so powerfully preserv'd him from Destructions, and had brought him safe out of turbulent Whirlwinds and dangerous Tempests.
But the greatest wonder, he said, that Providence had wrought in his Favour, was 4 Leagues from Cambray, by Picardie, were with several English, he was put Sick into an old Cloyster, and had the Sickness, which was there called the Plague, for 14 Weeks together; but he continually praying to God to spare his Life, especially each Morning and Evening, when he was wont to retire alone to a private part of the Garden belonging to the Abby or Cloyster, it pleas'd Providence to restore him to his Health; altho' out of 316 Persons, 4 only recovered. After which he said, had not God particularly favour'd him, he had been lost and destroy'd, in the vast Journies that he took, having very little Support or Subsistance; yet he weather'd all excessive Droughts, Colds, and Heats.
But as, notwithstanding his constantly praying to God, and his believing himself the Friend and the Favourite of Providence; he was fallen into the worst Calamities, and was to suffer an ignominious Death; I found the Effect of it was, that it in some Measure had given an Athestical turn to his Thoughts. Sometimes he could scarce believe God would regard his Prayers, pray he as he would, because Providence had seem'd to favour him, and on a sudden had plung'd him into the severest and vilest Misfortunes. He took it very much to Heart, that he who had always been reputed so Religious a Person, should fall into so much shame: That by dying an ignomious Death, his Family (which he had brought up regularly and in the Fear of the Lord) must so severely suffer as well as himself; observing what is said in the Scripture, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a Tree.
At first, he told me, that as to Religion, he was a Dissenter; but he came pretty frequently to Chappel, to hear the Scripture read, which he said, he had been very Conversant in. In the unhappy, Place where they lay Confin'd, he had several Books of Devotion, which he explained to the others, calling often upon William Parsons and Joseph Chapman, to attend to him, while he Read and Prayed, neither of which two
could read. At last, he said, he would receive the Sacrament with William Hawksworth, either kneeling or sitting, as he should be directed, and desir'd that Bills might be put up in some Churches for the Salvation of is Soul. He added, that he left the World without any Regret; but was concern'd for his Wife and three Children, whom he declared to be the best of his Knowledge, perfectly honest and virtuous.
2. WILLIAM HAWKSWORTH, was Indicted for the Murther of John Ransum, on the 29th of May last. It appear'd, that the Deceas'd going along with a young Woman, by the Admiralty Office, a Company of Soldiers met them, and that William Hawksworth step'd out of his Rank, and took hold of the Girl by her Mouth; Whereupon the Deceas'd interposing to push him off, a Quarrel arose, and Hawksworth struck him on the Head with the great End of his Musquet, of which Wound he dyed about Nine of the Clock the same Night; up-no the Evidence, the Jury found him guilty of Murther.
This Malefactor, (was 28 Years of Age,) born 10 Miles from York, of very careful and industrious Parents, who intended to put him to a Trade, but a Regiment of Soldier s being in the Town, he enter'd himself amongst them, supposing that he could have rais'd himself in the Army, if he had Courage and Industry: But after some time, perceiving that he wanted Friends and Money to make him regarded, and that there was no prospect of Advancing himself, altho' he suffer'd a great deal of Fatiegue and Hardship, he obtain'd a Discharge; but not knowing how to dispose of himself, altho' at Liberty, he was forc'd at length, thro' Necessity, to apply himself to a Gentleman, who very readily, tho' a Stranger to him, employed him as a Footman . And here, he said, he had an Opportunity of improving himself in Reading and of recovering that little Learning, which his Parents gave him, he had in a great Measure lost; For during his Continuance there, he generally read in the Bible once a Day; and on the Sabbath Days, the Family instructed him in what was good. But as he had a roving Fancy, he could not rest, but leaving his Master, became again destitute of an Home and a Maintenance; so that wandering to London, he became there a Soldier again; and he believ'd that not one of the Officers or Common Soldiers would or could give him any Character, but of a careful and civil Man.
He had very great Expectations of a Reprieve, till the Warrant for Execution shewed him that he was to suffer Death. He was very desirous that those who convers'd with him, should believe, that he did not stir out of his Ranks when he struck the Deceas'd, and that the Deceas'd first gave him a Blow over the Face, which oblig'd him to repel Force by Force. He said, that the Laws or Rules observ'd by Soldiers, were very hard and servere; for should the sign of Cowardice appear upon any of them, the Consequence would be that they would be discarded; and if they did not show Cowardice, but were ready to fight when provok'd, the Consequence was, that they brought themselves into certain Trouble, and the Law laid hold of them.
He added, that as he had no Malice against the Deceas'd, he hop'd that God would favourably consider his Intention; altho' he well knew that should human Courts of Judicature (where the Mind of Men can no otherwise appear, but by their Actions) allow Excuses, every Criminal would find such Pleas as would put an End to Justice. Before he dyed, he with a particular earnestness apply'd himself, to make a Preservation for the Reception of the Holy Sacrament; and said he was very easie at leaving this World.
Being carry'd to the Place of Execution, they did no way appear shock'd at the Prospect of Death, but the Apprehensions they had before entertain'd of it, were then vanish'd. William Hawksworth had a Mind to tell the Spectators that he had not committed Wilfull Murder, as he had no Intent to kill; but being satisfy'd that such a Declaration would signify nothing; he only said, That he dyed in Charity, and hop'd that all Mankind forgave him; requesting all about him to pray for his departing Soul.
This is all the Account that can be given by me
T. PURNEY, Ordinary, and Chaplain.