THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and dying Words of the Malefactors, who were Executed on Friday the 18th of this Instant February at Tyburn.
AT the Proceedings on the King's Commission of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, and Jayl Delivery of Newgate, held for the City of London, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall, in the Old Baily; on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, being the 14th, 15th, and 17th of January, 176, in the twelfth Year of his Majesty's Reign: Before the Right Honourable Sir FRANCIS FORBES, Kt . Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Baron Gilbert; the Honourable Mr. Justice Reynolds; John Raby; Esq ; Serjeant at Law ; and others of his Majesty's Justices; with several of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, for the City of London and County of Middlesex.
Two Malefactors, viz. Samuel Sells and John Mattocks, were convicted and by the Jury found guilty of Capital Offences, and receiv'd Sentence of Death. The time between their Conviction, and the Report being made to his Majesty in Council, having been above four Weeks, made these Criminals entertain strong hopes, that they should either obtain a Reprieve, or at least, that the Report would not have been made, and that their Lives Would have been spar'd, till after the ensuing Sessions, in the Beginning of March next. These and such like ain and ill grounded Thoughts, prov'd an unreasonable Occasion to them, of turning remiss and less careful in Religious Performances, than what Men in their deplorable Circumstances ought to have been. In order to rouse and stir them up from so very dangerous and woful Stupidity, many most powerful Motives, and pressing Arguments, were used.
They were instructed from the Eighth Commandment, Thou shalt not Steal, Exod. xx. 15. In the original of Right and Property; how far contrary it is to the design of Man's Creation, which is to live in Unity, and Peace, and Friendship with one another; how very inconsistent it is with all good Order; and how repugnant to the very first Principles and End of Government, to rob our Neighbour of his Estate and Goods, to which one hath not the least pretence of any just Title or Claim, &c. The heinousness of this Sin was shewn'em, because it never fails to be attended with a complication of Guilt, as proceeding from earthly Mindedness, the highest degree of Sensuality, Covetousness which is a breach of the Tenth Commandment, Idleness, and Contempt of God and Religion; as attended with Drunkenness, Whoredom, Prodigality, and whatever other Vices are practis'd by the basest and most degenerate sort of Men, &c. The Inconveniences and Mischief’s arising from such a wicked Course of Life were expos'd, viz. the loss of one's good Name and Character, the declaring himself an Enemy to all Mankind, exposing himself to the Penalty of the Laws of all civiliz'd Nations, and, which is infinitely worse, making himself liable to everlasting Damnation, if the deepest Repentance, and humiliation for Sin, which can be imagin'd, do not prevent it, &c. They were also instructed in the grounds of the Christian Religion, the nature of Faith in Christ, Repentance unto Life, with an absolute necessity of Reforming and amending the evil of their Ways and Doings; for except, we repent, we shall all likewise perish. They Were most seriously exhorted to prepare for Death from Psal xxxvii. 37. Mark the perfect Man, and behold the Upright; for the end of that Man is Peace. Here we shew'd 'em the Misery of those whose Case, is either, doubtful or desperate, and on the contrary, what inward Peace, and serenity of Mind, attends others who die in the fear of God at their latter End, as having the testimony of their Conscience, that with Simplicity, and godly Sincerity, they had served God in this World, &c. The Nature, Design, and' blessed Effect of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper were explain'd to them from these Words, Acts ii. 42. And they continued stedfastly in the Apostle’s Doctrine and Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread and in Prayers. I Cor.x. 16, 17. The Cup of Blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the Blood of Christ? the Bread which we break, is it not the
communion of the Body of Christ? For we being many are one Bread, and one Body, for we are all partakers of that one Bread. And St, Luke xxii 19. This do in remembrance of me, &c.
While these and many other Instructions were given 'em in Chapel, they were very attentive and seem'd to be devout, making Responses both to the Psalms and Prayers, in a decent Manner. Although one, who of his own accord, for 12 or 14 Days, consin'd himself to the Condemn'd Hold with them, in order to read and pray to them, and exhort them in private, told me that they were constantly very attentive in hearing the Word of God, and other good Books read, and that they appear'd serious at their Devotions in the Hold, excepting some few times that they had a few innocent Jests in Conversation, without any thing of Obscenity or Cursing; only once after the drinking a little Wine in moderation, with some of their Friends who came to visit them, Samuel Sells, upon a certain Disconent at the young Woman whom her call'd his Wife, fell into a violent fit of Passion, and swore a little, at which Mattocts took offence. For this I reprov'd him very sharply, representing the greatness of his Sin, for one in his Circumstances, upon the very brink of Eternity, to give loose Reins to his unruly Passion of Anger. He ingenuously confess'd his Fault, heartily begging God's Pardon, and promising (by God's Grace) not to be guilty of the like in time to come.
Upon Saturday the 12th of February the Report of these two Malefactors, Samuel Sells and John Mattocks, under Sentence of Death, being made to his Majesty in Council, they were ordered for Execution. What we can add, for Information of all who are desirous to know their Behaviour and Confession before, or at their Death, is as follows.
Samuel Sells and John Mattocks, of Pancras, were indicted for assaulting William Halton, Esq ; on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him a Watch, with an inside silver Case, and an outside seal Case, studded with silver, val. 40 s. a cornelian Seal set in Gold, val. 20 s. and 10 s. in Money, the Goods and Money of the William Halton, October the 8th.
Samuel Sls (25 Years of Age) descended of honest Parents, who liv'd in the Liberties of Westminster, and were People of Respect and Credit, had good Education, as he said, having been taught not only to read and write a good Hand, but also instructed in the Latin and Greek Languages, Arithmetick, and every thing requisite to accomplish him for Business. When he was of Age, his Mother put him to a Toy-shop of great Business in the City of London for a tryal, in order to bind him Apprentice afterwards; but he not agrecing with his Mistress, nor inclining to such a settled Life, left that Shop and went to Sea; continuing Sailor for some Years, and then coming home, and not lovingto follow Sea-faring Business any more, his Mother living at Enfield, she procur'd and purchas'd to him the Placed Summoning Bailiff of the Enfield Hundred: But in this Office neglecting his Business, and taking himself to idle and loose Company, upon that account he was discharg'd from his Office, and then Money failing him to support his Luxury and Prodigality, he turn'd Highway Robber. He appear'd to have been a young Man of good naturul Parts and Understanding, and might have prov'd capable of good Business, if a sense of Religion and Virtue; had been join'd to his natural Endowments; but in the whole Course of his Life, from his Childhood, he was drench'd in Sin, and plung'd in Sensuality, stopping at; nothing in order satisfy his brutish and vile Appetites. He confess'd, that he had been most ungrateful to God and Man, for the good Education, and religious Instructions and Examples which had been given him; in his younger Years; that he had turn'd the Grace of God into Wantonness, having been a breaker of the Lord's Day, neglecting the publick and private Worship of God, and slighting the divine Ordinances and Means of Salvation; that he had been addicted to excessive Drinking, Whoring, Adultery, Cursing, Swearing, and Blaspheming in the highest degree, and lying, with other monstrous Vices, which at last led him into the crime of Robbing, which prov'd the Cause of his fatal Misfortunes, I exhorted him, in God's Name, to repent of all these Sins sincerely, and to turn unto God with all; his Heart, from whom he had so deeply revolted; since the only possible Means now left him, after he had (by reason of his own wicked Works) fallen into such miserable Calamities and Distress, to make up his Peace with God was, to believe in Jesus Christ the only Saviour of Sinners, and to bring forth fruits meet for Repentance and amendment of Life; to confess his Sins unto God, who is gracious and righteous to forgive us our Sins, &c. to intreat God's Pardon as for all his Sin so particularly for the great Crime for which he now suffer'd; and also for the most dissolute and irregular Course of Life which he had formerly follow in being guilty of those many heinous Sins formerly enuraerated. He confess'd himself to be among the chief of Sinners, and that his Conscience check'd him grievously for the great enormities of his Life, particularly his sinning against so much Light and Knowledge, against the Providence of God his benign, heavenly Father who had been so very propitious and favourable to him.
in making his Lines to fall in pleasant Places, and who had given him a goodly Heritage, if he had sought Wisdom and Grace from God to improve the same: He much lamented his Ingratitude and Disobedience to a dutiful and indulgent Mother, and his neglecting to listen to the Instructions, or to imitate the virtuous Examples either of his Parents or nearest Relations: He declar'd his sincere Repentance for the Sins of Uncleanness, Drunkenness, Intemperance, Covetousness, and Worldly-mindedness, &c. While his Mother was alive, she took care that he should not take himself to those Extravagances, which afterwards prov'd his Ruin; but a little before, or about the time of her Death, either by neglecting his Business, or detaining of some Money in his Hands which was due to some other Person, he was by his Superiour cast out of his Office; and dissention arising between him and his Wife, (who has the Character of a sober, virtuous Woman) he left her and three young Children; and thus going astray, he associated himself with loose and idle .Company, and coming into the acquaintance of a certain young Woman, he liv'd with her, and gave her out to be his Wife. This young Woman came frequently to visit him, both before and after he had receiv'd Sentence of Death, and he made every Body (who knew nothing to the contrary) believe her to be his true Wife; till on Sunday, the 6th of February, his Wife who had born five or six Children to him, three of which are still iving, coming from Enfield to visit him, she appear'd n Chapel, and spoke to him both before and after Divine Service. I reprimanded the young Woman for ohabiting with another Woman's Husband, and having the impudence to come publicity to Chapel and visit him, he answer'd that she knew nothing of his being married to another, that she was his lawfully married Wife, and had marriage Lines to produce, but these have not been yet seen. I told her that I had seen his Wife in Company with an honest Man, who having brought her to Town, attested her to be Samuel Sells's lawful Wife. She said that she was certainly his Wife; then I told her that the was so much more to blame in involving an honest Woman's Husband in the guilt of Bigamy, a Crime equally punishable by the Laws of this Kingdom with that for which he now was to die. I desir'd her to forbear coming to him for the Scandal it gave to all good People, and especially because it interrupted his Repentance, upon which depended the eternal Happiness or Misery of his Soul in the other World. This Case I expostulated with Mr. Sells very frequently and reprov'd him sharply for such a disorderly Life, telling him, that altho' he was not prosecuted for a Crime equally heinous with that for which he suffered, yet God's Justice had pursu'd him in suffering him to fall into another Crime, for which, by Law Handing convicted, he must die He said that he was married with this young Woman, but that his first Wife was at Enfield: He declar’d himself very penitent for being so far out of his Duty to his virtuous Wife, and three young Children, and told me that he had ask'd pardon of his Wife for the many Offences he had committed against her, which she freely granted: He said that the young Woman was very obliging and serviceable to him while he was in Prison, and that when she call'd for him about the Prison, he only advis'd her to a viruous and holy Life, exhorting her to abstain from bad Company, which might bring upon her the same Misfortunes wherein he was now involv’d When the Dead Warrant came down he was a little surpriz’d, having entertain'd some hopes of a Reprieve, (as commonly they do) because the Report was not made for soon as it often useth to be; but then when he saw that all hopes of Life were gone, he apply'd himself with the greatest seriousness to a careful Preparation for Death expressing an earnest Desire to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which desire I did not disapprove of, but withal told him, that unless he resolv'd to forsake all his Sins, particularly the entertaining Thoughts of an adulterous Love, by conversing with the Woman who came to him, and who (as I suspected, and some of his own nearest Relations and Friends said) was, at least in part, the cause of his Misfortunes: He said that she never advis'd him to an ill thing, and was never partaker in any of his Crimes, and that (as he was to answer to God) he said nothing to her, but gave her Godly Counsels, and Advices to live in the fear of God. I was at great pains to instruct him in the nature of the Sacrament, and found that by the repeated Instructions which were given him, and the reading of devotional and practical, Books, several of which he had in the Hold, he had acquir'd a competent Knowledge both as to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and other fundamental Principles of the Christian Religion, which (no doubt,) considering his manner of Life for some time past, had been in a great measure obliterated. He acknowledg'd the Justice of his Sentence, and declar'd that he willingly submitted to the Penalty which the Law inflicted upon his enormous Crimes He compiain'd upon his Wife's Father, that he would not suffer her to come and speak to him, before he died. He declar'd that he was content to leave this miserable World, wherein there was nothing but sin contracted, and one trouble upon the back of another, and more especially, he was satisfy'd to die, since the Sins which he would have committed, if his Life had been prolong'd, should have been avoided, and by consequence his Account which he was to render to Almighty God should be much less.
He confess'd his Sins to be very great, but trusted in the Mercy of God thro' Jesus Christ thro' whom alone he expected to be saved; he hoped that since he had suffer'd so much in this World, the eternal Sufferings which he justly deserved should not be inflicted upon him, but that he firmly believed, that Jesus Christ was pleading; at the Right Hand of God the Father for the pardon of his Sins, thro’ whose merits alone he expected everlasting Life and Salvation. He freely forgave all Men who had any manner of way offended him, as he expected forgiveness at the hand of a good and gracious God, dying in peace with all the World, and in communion of the Church of England, of which he was an unworthy Member.
John Mattocks (22 Years of Age) has honest Parents, in the Parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, who gave him good Education, in order to instruct him in the Principles of Christianity, and to fit him for Business When of Age, he chose to go to Sea , and was employed in that way of Business for six or seven Years the appear'd more candid and ingenuous than Mr. Sells, and to be a young Man of a smooth and easy Temper. I ask'd him, if Sells had seduced him to the practice of HighwayRobbery? he answer'd by Silence, which made me suspect it the more; but at another Time he denied that it was by Sells Perswasions, out of his own Inclination, that he had joyn'd him in such villainous Enterprises, which Sells also affected, referring the truth of it to Mattocks himself, who indeed (although his Friends alledged Sells to have been his Ruin) took the whole blame upon himself. He confect himself to have been a great Sinner, in too much neglecting the Worship of God, in breaking the Lord's-Day, in disobeying his Parents, who had been very dutiful to him, in giving him good Instruction, and good example of Virtue and Honesty, which he imitated not. The immediate Cause of his Ruin was, that after he came last home from Sea, he had the misfortune to marry a naughty Woman, who had been Mistress to one Campbel that was hang'd last Year, for Robbery on the Highway, near Islington, for whom see had greater respect than for Mattocks. With this young Woman he took an Alehouse near Newgate, but she being acquainted with a Gang of Thieves and Whores, by means of her deceas'd Lover, they flock'd constantly to their House, and the Woman heeding nothing but Drinking and Idleness, they eat and drank all up, so that in two Months time, Mattocks having nothing left, was put to his Shifts. He did not blame his Wife for giving him bad Advice to betake himself to wicked Courses, but only complain'd that she had turn’d a common Street Walker (as he was inform'd)upon which account, he had not cohabited with, nor own'd her, for some time past. I advis'd him to be at peace with her, before he left the World, which he willingly consented to since, suppose that she was once his Wife, it was not proper that any one of 'm should die, having the least Grudge at the other, and he being to die, it was fit he should give her good Counsel for the welfare of her Soul accordingly, after the Dead Warrant, no more hopes of Life remaining, she sometimes waited on him at Chappel, where he spoke to her, and at he affirm'd said nothing, but advis’d her to a godly and holy Life, and to give up her naughty and wicked Practices, which if persisted in, might probably bring her to the like Misfortunes, as he was now justly suffering He express'd a willingness to die for his Crimes, and acknowledg'd his Sentence to be most just. He denied himself to have been extreamly wicked in the precceding course of his Life, and was in good esteem in the Neighbourhood where he livi’d, but that after his unhappy Marriage, falling into an intimate familiarity with Mr. Sells, and their Circumstances at that time being low, they agreed together to ride out, in order to rob Noblemen or Gentlemen upon the Highway, none of them accusing the other, as first proposer or adviser, but each of them taking all the Guilt upon himself, as voluntarily, of his own free accord, and without the least constrain, so much as by persiasion of his Partner, following such a most wicked Course of Life; which (as they said) was only for a Month or two, and during that time they committed seventeen or eighteen Robberies, in different Counties in Middlesex, one in Essex, and some few in Hertfordshir. &c and that they took above sixty, or about eighty Pounds but did not know the Value exactly. Mattocks declar'd, that he died in Peace with all the World, freely forgiving all Men who had offended him, as he expected Forgiveness at then Hand of God, and an unworthy Member of this Church.
A Person, who for ten or twelve Years past hath been close Prisoner in Newgate, waited on them Night and Day in the Condemn'd Hold, almost the whole time they were under Sentence, constantly employing himself in Reading, Praying, giving them good Counsels and Advices, or otherwise holding them to their Duty and religious Exercises. He said that they were always very Devout at Prayer, and most Attentive to the Reading of the Holy Scriptures; and several devout and practical Books which they had provided for their use: But that especially, on Wednesday Night, the 16th of February, the second Night before they suffer'd, they gush'd out into Floods of Tears for the many Sins of their Life On Thursday Forenoon, when they came to Chappel, Sam. Sells came to me, and confess'd himself to be one of the greatest Sinners that ever was in the World, so that (excepting Murder) he believ'd himself to have been guilty of all Sins; particularly, he cry'd out for his Disobedience and disrespectful Carriage to a good indulgent Mother, so that he spit in her Face, beat her, and curs'd her, which bad Usage, with his other Miscarriages broke her Heart, and prov'd the occasion of her Death. Mattocks in great perplexity cry'd out against an ill-spent Life, particularly, Disobedience to his Parents, &c. I exhorted them to compose themselves, and to trust in the Mercy of God, through the Merits of jesus Christ.
At the Place of Execution] They had nothing to add to their tomer Confession. They appear’d with greater presence of Mind than what is usually seen in others in their Condition; expressing from hopes of the Pardon of their Sins and eernal Life, Mr. Sells desired one Mr Hewil (who ormerly was his School-Folow) that when he saw his Wife at Enfield, to tell her, that he beg’d her Pardon heartly and Sincerely for the great Injues he had done her, and his three young Children. Both of them were very thankful for the Prayers and good Instructions and advices which were given em all the time they were under Sentence Mattocks disir’d all young Men to take warning by him, and to avoid ill Company, least it should bring them to the same unhappy End.