THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and last dying Words of the Five Malefactors, who were Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday the 29th of April, 1724.
AT the King's Commission of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, &c, held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, before the Right Honourable Sir Peter Delme, Knt . Lord Mayor , &c. Mr. Baron Gilbert, John Raby, Esq ; Deputy-Recorder, and several of His MAJESTY's Justices of the Peace. Which began on Wednesday the 26th, of February last, and was continued on Monday, Tuesday, &c. being the 30th, 31st, &c. Six Persons receiv'd Sentence of Death, viz. John Wild, James Collins, Thomas Williams, William Witherington, Frederick Schmidt, and Mary Morgan.
And at the Sessions, which began and ended on Wednesday the 15th, of this Instant April, five Men receiv'd Sentence of Death, viz. Thomas Burden, John Winderham, Samuel East, John Gunner, and Edward Joyce. Of these eleven Men five were order'd for Execution, and five Repriev'd and Pardon'd; but Mary Morgan dyed under Condemnation, chiefly as she herself believed, thro' the closeness of the Place where she was confined; having before her Death confess'd the Murder of her Child, and the Manner how it was perform'd, and mention'd the young Man that was the Father of it, &c. as well as she was able, and as she had Sense and Speech left wherewithal to declare her Sentiments.
The Sunday preceeding their Deaths, the Text was taken from 1 Sam. 31st, Chap. ver. 4th, Then said Saul unto his Armour-bearer, draw thy Sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his Armour-bearer would not; for he was sore afraid: Therefore Saul took a Sword and fell upon it.
In considering the Nature of Suicide, we observ'd, That what some Assert, That as God is of infinite Mercy, he cannot require or be pleas'd with Men's continuing in Life under Agonies and Torture such as almost make them think hardly of the divine Being, &c, is not of any Validity: For tho' he is a God of Mercy, he has made Man not to be Happy in this Life; and the same Reasoning would hold as well against God's Mercy, because he has not made Us as happy as Angels, but Places us in this
World, on Condition, that we bear Sicknesses, Pains, Losses, Vexations, &c. (2) What some alledge, in defence of Suicide, That Man is a free Agent, and has an Authority over Beasts, Birds, and all below, and much more over himself and his own Body; cannot be thought an Argument of any Validity, &c. (3) Nor can their Examples produced from Scripture avail; as of Sampson, who pull'd down the Hall upon himself, as well as on his Foes: Or of Saul, whom the Jewish Expositors suppose to have Repented and dyed a good Man, from his not refusing to fight God's Enemies, tho' he knew he should lose his Life; and from the tender Expressions with which David laments his Death, after the Amalekite had told that he had Slain him, or had put the finishing stroke to his Life, after he had wounded himself and was fallen; for David would not have thought such Sorrow for a wicked King's Death proper; Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their Lives - Ye Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, &c. 2 Sam. 1. But as to the Instance of Sampson, he had a particular Commission from God to kill himself; he prayed to God to restore once more again his vast Strength, God heard his Prayer and did so; But we live not in Times when the Creator vouchsafes to converse immediately with his Creatures. As for Saul, (if he dyed a good Man) we may say, That both Saul and Sampson did not end their Lives only because of Pain, but lest their Enemies should in their Persons deride their God. For the Philistines carried Sampson into their God Dagon's House to mock him, their saying, Our God hath delivered Sampson our Enemy into our Hands; and they praised their God, &c. And Saul said, thrust me thro', lest these Uncircumcised come and thrust me thro', and abuse me, &c. And we read the Philistines did hang up Saul's Armour in Dagon's Temple, and therein Triumphed over the living God, &c.
But having no Opportunity of mentioning any more than this beginning of what was spoken to them, we are abruptly to proceed to give some short Account of their Behaviour, &c.
The Account of these Prisoners, &c.
THOMAS BURDEN, was Convicted of Assaulting William Zouch, on the 3d, of February last, and taking from him thirty one Shillings; it appearing, that the Prisoner having sate with the Prosecutor some time, and ask'd him certain Questions, drew an Iron out of a walking Stick, which he presented to the Prosecutors Breast, (who was very Aged) and compell'd him to produce his Money, which he did in a pint Pot: It appearing also, that he then tyed the old Man in his Chair with a Cord; and that, being apprehended by Whittington and Greenbury, he could not deny the Fact, but offer'd them the Money to Discharge him; the Jury found him Guilty.
He said he was Born in Dorsetshire, but hurryed out of England, when very Young, and forced to go up the Streights; which Voyage he perform'd several Times, and was in various Skirmishes. Before each Fight, he added, That he had so much Virtue in him (for such he accounted it) as Devoutly and fervently to pray to God, and always with Tears did be
wail his Sins, and resolve on a new Life: But after the Fights were over, the Devil was so powerful that he tempted him to deviate from his Resolutions, and to lead a careless Life.
It was owing, he thought, to the Devil, that he did advantagiously employ many Apportunities; especially when he went as Convoy to Turkey, and was offer'd by a Gentleman of Aleppo, a beneficial Place and a Sum of Money, if he would forsake his Ship, and reside in Asia; Fate alone, (he believed) could make him so unfortunate, as to prefer the prophane Conversation of some Companions on Board the Ship, before a settled and regular Life, where he might have served God without hearing continually Cursing and Swearing, and Religion made a Jest of by those who ought, as he acknowledged, to be always prepared to die. He had thanked God very often, as he affirm'd, for preserving him from Turkish Slavery, from that of the Africans, and from that of the French, at that Time publick Enemies; but he said he had better have died in Slavery, than now suffer the ignominious Death of a Dog; and for that Offence, which (as he asserted) was the first of such a Nature, that he ever committed.
He added, that he could not but blame himself, for that being discharged from the Sea, he chose rather to enter into the Land Service , than live a more sedate Life, taking Pleasure in the Service of God and in sober Conversation. But at the conclusion of the War in Flanders, he return'd Home, and following his original Trade in St. Giles's Parish, had good Encouragement, and God seem'd to prosper all his Attempts. But going, said he, on an unlucky Day, to the House of my late Brigadier at Hounslow, who was then absent, and had left a Corporal, my Acquaintance, in the House I: continued with the Corporal all Night, having then no ill Suggestions in my Mind; but the next Day walking by the Common, and talking of the old Man who lived much alone, the Devil put the wicked Thought in my Mind (after having drank freely) of assaulting the poor old Man; whom I tied to his Chair, &c. But like a Person new to such vicious Actions, so tied him that he easily got loose, and occasion'd the apprehending me, as I was walking (not like a skilful Thief) over the open Common, visible for many Miles together, when I might have taken into the Town, or thro' a Wood have secured myself many Ways. He was kindly advis'd to turn his Thoughts from this World to a better; but he could not induce himself to let go his strong Expectations of Life: He was told, that as he was an old Man (being aged about 50 Years) if he was to obtain Banishment he could not expect any great Happiness on this side the Grave; and as he had no Children, he need not be sollicitous for what he was to leave behind him; but such Discourse could not abstract his Thoughts from this World, till Death appeared immediately before him: He thought it was a most deplorable Thing, to live so long like a Man, and then at last to die like a Beast. But before he was executed, he said he doubted not but by suffering in this Life, to escape Punishment in another World, having satisfied Justice, and expiated his Crimes with his Blood.
then dying; so that he knew not how to read, nor did he understand what was read: For about 7 Years ago, he went to Newfoundland in America; and afterwards (he said) to the Straights. He said it was owing to his Education that he had wrong Notions (not as he plainly perceived;) not believing pilfering or plundering were sinful, for many Years together. He easily acknowledg'd that he took the Woman's Pocket, but was not easily brought to believe, there was any Crime in snatching from her. He said he had several times taken such things; and in particular, got a Hat and Wig and other Matters, at the late Duke of Marlborough's Funeral, which he said ought indeed to put Thoughts of Mortality and of another World, into his Mind. Adding, that some time ago, he forced off a Woman's Pocket in Holbourn, in which were a Ring, a silver Box, and several other Things of value, besides Money. He farther said, that he believed he had by those Means acquir'd above an Hundred Pounds: From the Consideration of which he was led to discern a Providence, which suffers not Ill gotten Riches to benefit the Possessor; for after all, he was so far from being advantaged by his Gainings, that he had nothing wherewith to sustain Nature, had neither Food nor Rayment, nor substance wherewith to inter his Corps.
He seem'd much concern'd at the last, at the Thoughts of entering into another World, and appearing before God; being fearful of his Condition, and very uncertain whether God would accept his Efforts or not, which were delay'd so long.
3. EDWARD JOYCE, of St. Michael's Cornhil, was Indicted for assaulting Sarah Wood, in Exchange Alley, about 9 o'Clock, on the 30th of August last. It appear'd that the Prisoner threw the Prosecutor against a Wall, (which violence disorder'd her for two Months after,) then snatch'd her Pocket, which contain'd, a Broad-Piece, an Half-Moidore, a Duccatoon, 7 l. 17 s. in Money, and a pair of silver Buckles; and at that time escaped; but was afterwards impeach'd by his Companion in the Fact with him, who, with others, swore positively to the Person. His Master also F. Roche, appearing to prevaricate in favour of his late Servant; so that he was bound to appear at the ensuing Sessions, the Prisoner was found Guilty of the Indictment.
He was about 25 Years old when he suffer'd Death, and spent most of his time in London; for being by his Father, a Farmer by Tottenham, Bound to a Sawyer , some Excursions he made, as to Sea, &c. and some loose Actions he committed, for which he was committed to Bridewell. The time of his Apprenticeship expiring, he said he sold Brandy , not caring for Labour or Industry; and being in some Danger went to dwell with his Father, till his Apprehensions should be over. He then was advised by his Father, Sister and other Friends, who suspected Disasters which soon overtook him, to go to Sea; and he intended to do so, in order to avoid Wilson, Witherington, Salter, Godfrey, and others, with whom he associated and combin'd, and with whom he own'd he had committed several Ill-Actions, especially Street-Robberies; which ill Courses he carry'd on, as well before as after he was free from his Apprenticeship. He said that he acquir'd above 8 Pounds in Thames-Street, near two Years ago; and about a Year ago, viz. the Beginning of Winter, almost as large a Sum in the same Street; but he was then pursued, and thinking it impossible to escape the Man who
follow'd him, was twice or thrice going to Surrender, but at last reach'd an House, where he had Friends. Finding neither Petitions, nor Cooper's Affidavit deliver'd to the Privy-Council, cou'd avail, he was very Penitent, after he was included in the Warrant.
4. FREDERICK SCHMIDT, was indicted, for erazing and altering a Bank-Note, bearing Date Decem. 24th 1723, payable to W. Richardson, or Bearer; being the Sum of 100 Pounds; on the 16 Day of January last, in the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields.
It appear'd, by the Deposition of John Allyngham, that the Prisoner and a Person call'd The Baron De Loden, being possest of 20 Pound-Note, payable to W. Richardson, it was turn'd into a Note of 85 Pound; and such it was tender'd to Messieur Malyory, who in lieu of it gave to the Bearer (Baron Loden) Goods, &c. and a Bank-Note of 20 Pounds. It farther appear'd, by the Deposition of the Baron de Loden, and that of Eleonora Sophia, Countess de Bostram, That Messieur Mallory's 20 Pound-Note was also alter'd; for the Baron giving it to the Prisoner he carry'd it up Stairs to his Chamber; and when he came down again, the Sum Twenty was taken out and a Blank appear'd; they then drew the Note thro a Plate of Gum-Water, then drying it, with a Box-Iron smooth'd between Papers, Then wrote One Hundred in the Place of the Twenty: Mr. Schimdt having thus alter'd the Note, gave to the Baron and the Interpreter to buy Plate with, which they did, to the Value of 40 Pounds. It appear'd farther, that the Prisoner told the Baron, that he could write 20 Sorts of Hands; and that 3 or 400 Pounds he could augment to 50000: He also own'd that he transmitted a Letter to his Correspondent in Holland, enquiring if English Bank-Notes were Currant there, &c. Whereupon the Jury of Foreigners found him Guilty.
The short Account here given of this unhappy Gentleman, was taken as much from others, as from his own Mouth; but tho' the Particulars are not wholly from himself, they were receiv'd from such Persons as make me confident of the Certainty of them. Frederick Schmidt, was born at Breslaw, the Capital of Silesia, in the North-East of Germany, of a Family Great and Wealthy. His Parents, who were Lutherans, afforded him a learned Education, and nourish'd him with much Tenderness. In the City of his Birth he dwelt many Years, being a Merchant , and having a Correspondency settled chiefly at Hamburg; tho' he had also Affairs of Consequence in other Places, in particular in Holland. He Marry'd young; but it seems, upon Uneasiness that arose from the Behaviour of his Wife, they were separated, and have not cohabited together for many Years. Some time ago, he was in England to Negotiate certain Affairs in the way of Merchandize; from whence he went to Holland; and from thence to Hesia. But Mr. Schmidt denied that he ever was in France, and much more that he ever eraz'd Bills and fled thence into England. And it is certain, (tho' it is by many believ'd) that he never appear'd as Servant to the Baron de Loden; he said to certain of his Friends, That the Baron and he were nearer Friends, and hinted, that they curiously maintain'd the Countess; for whose sake (wanting Money to support her according to her Title) they enter'd into fraudulent Combinations. But how he came to enter upon this way, or when first he began it, we know not: But some say, that even when apprehended, he did not know that his Offence was Capital. We may believe indeed, that he did not at all apprehend he should be condemn'd to dye, from his Behaviour at his Trial; for he said, they can't hurt me, they can't harm me, &c. Even when put into the Condemn'd-Hold, he told the other Malefactors, (as he was able to express himself) that he should not be Hang'd with them; That he should in two Days remove to his former Lodging, &c. For some Days, he took no Notice of either Book or Prayer; but while the other Malefactors were on their Knees, he was writing a large Number of Letters, which he directed to several Noblemen, Foreign-Ministers, Merchants, &c. That he employ'd himself both Night and Day; not immagining in the least he should die.
When he was at the Chappel (which was only 3 or 4 times) I advised him to have a Minister whom he could perfectly understand. But tho' a Gentleman was so Charitable as to visit him, yet at first he made slight of it, and sometimes refus'd to go down to him. But afterwards he mollify'd, and was Thankful for the Minister's Kindness and Charity.
As he understood some Latin, some French, and some English, (tho' none of 'em perfectly) He gave me to understand, that he thought the Interpreter was not his Friends; he complain'd
that he had not an Advocate; and added, that he expected the Jury of Foreigners would many of them have been Germans; which was not so. He said that the Baron (who was an Apothecary's Son, and there by understood Styptick-Waters, &c.) had been in many more such Facts than he, as had the Countess in more than he.
The Minister who attended him, told me, that several Days before he dyed, Confess'd to him that he was Guilty of the Fact. 'Tis probable he deny'd it so long and obstinately, believing he should escape Death, and determining then to convince his Acquaintance that he was wholly Innocent. Several Days before his Excution, he fell sick, and lost all his Strength, and languish'd to the time of his Death. He was about 45 Years of Age.
5. THOMAS WILLIAMS, was Convicted of robbing W. Cole on Smallbury-Green, of a Gold Watch, Snuff-Box, Hanger, &c. Also of Breaking the House of W. Trantum, and stealing Linnen, a Cup, &c. Also of assaulting J. Fletcher, in Windmill-Lane, and taking 15 s. and a silver Stud.
He was 42 Years old, a Native of Dublin in Ireland; came young to England; was a Shoemaker in Spittle-Fields; 18 Years ago, he wedded a Woman older and much wealthier than himself, which rais'd him several Enemies amongst her Friends. Afterwards he was a Dealer in Brumingham Wares, and in Linnens , &c. and went to Ireland, and made other short Voyages When apprehended, he kept a Shop at Hownslow, had a beautiful pleasant House, and let Lodings, his Comrade Dorman, (who was Evidence against him) being then his Lodger. He was in a large Gang; Dormer, Eager, Winton, Piper, Minton, &c. his Confederates. He said, the chief Robbery he committed, was upon 3 Stage-Coaches, going (I think) from Salisbury, one Friday Morning, about two Months ago; at which time 30 l. was acquired, but his share, he said was 7. When alone, he stole, he said, some pieces of Broad-Cloath, &c. hung out at Salisbury, the Night preceeding the Fair: He mention'd a Ship and other Things, which he stole. He was very Penitent; a Fortnight together, all Night he ate up to read and pray, and took his Repose in the Day time. At his Death, with the utmost earnestness he continu'd to recommend himself to God.
At the Place of Execution, Frederick Schmidt (having dismist all Thoughts of Life, after the sight of a Letter that was sent him by one who buy'd him up till then with Hopes of a Reprieve) seem'd wholly composed, serene and sedate; even more so than the Swedish Minister, (as he said) desir'd to see; for he no way appear'd as a Person going into Gods Presence.) Being help'd into the Cart, (on account of his extream Weakness) he pray'd, but could not carry on his Attention to the end of the Prayer. The Players being concluded, he desir'd the Executioner might tye him so as to Die easie, then regarded the other Prisoners while they were fix'd to the Tree; altho, the Minister who attended him, call'd several times earnestly to him to mind his Soul, and to call on God. He also desired that Gentleman to write to his antient Mother in Germany, to inform her of his sad Fate, and to beg her Pardon.
THO. BURDEN gave me a large Paper, but containing chiefly Hardships done him; complaining, that his Brigadier believe'd one Benjamin Cooper before him; affirming that tho' he took the 31 s. when in Liquor, his Conscience would have oblig'd him to return it, when Sober, &c.
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