THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and dying Words of the Malefactors, who were Executed on Monday the 12th of this Instant September, 1726, at Tyburn.
AT the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer and Jail-Delivery of Newgate, held (before the Right Hon. Sir FRANCIS FORBES, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Hon. Mr. Baron Thomson, Knt. Recorder of the City of London; Mr. John Raby, Serjeant at Law ; and other his Majesty's Justices of Jail-Delivery, and Oyer and Terminer aforesaid, together with his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said City of London, and County of Middlesex) at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, on Wednesday the 31st of August, and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 1st, 2d, and 3d of September, 1726, in the Thirteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Twelve Persons, viz. Six Men and six Women, were found guilty of Capital Offences, and receiv'd Sentence of Death.
While under Sentence, Elias Norcot, an old Man of 70 Years, who stood convicted of stealing three Geldings, appear'd very devout and sincere, but came not to Chapel above once or twice; and being confin'd to the Condemn'd Hold by reason of Sickness and old Age, he dy'd there of two or three Days indisposition, as also another was much of the time oppress'd with Sickness, but when he attended in Chapel he always to outward appearance seem'd sincere and attentive; as did Mrs. Turner, till being afflicted with Sickness she absented from the Publick Worship. The remaining nine were constantly present in Chapel, made their Responses regularly, and (as in Charity we may judge) took good heed both to the Prayers and Exhortations, only (as some who observ'd it told me) Benjamin Aldridge, a young Man, convicted for returning from Transportation, sometimes smil'd, shewing too much indifference when his eternal Salvation lay at Stake: And altho' they were more knowing in Religious Principles than frequently such miserable Miscreants use to be, yet that deep Concern which is necessary upon so important an Occasion did not appear; only some of the Women at times wept and fretted, when thinking of the Calamity they had brought upon their Children and Families, and their ignominious Death, more than the dangerous state their Souls were in, as was evident by their Carriage afterwards.
They were instructed in the only Method of obtaining Salvation by an unfeigned Faith in Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation thro' Faith in his Blood; they were shewn that it was absolutely necessary to repent of all their Sins, whether original or actual; of omission or of commission, particularly the heinous Sins any of 'em might have been guilty of, which (since now Divine Vengeance had overtaken them) troubled their Minds, or oppress'd their Consciences; and the Crime for which all of them suffer'd being the same, viz. Theft and Robbery, I told 'em, that whatever way Robbery was committed, whether openly by Force upon the Highway, or by Plundering of Houses; or privately by stealing Goods unknown to the Owner; that whether by any of those more common Ways, or by deceiving or cheating our Neighbour, or by receiving of Goods knowing them to be stolen; whatever of these ways one robb'd another, it was a Crime rendering a Man odious to God and Man, punishable by all Laws Divine and Humane, and in most Instances by the Laws of the Land with Death. I shew'd 'em the great Folly of such irregular Practices, the Thief seldom escaping without being discover'd, as may witness the many strange Discoveries that have been made of the craftiest Thieves. I also inform'd 'em in the Nature of the Christian Sacraments, and the strong Obligations they laid upon us to Holiness and Virtue.
Upon Tuesday the 6th of September, the Report of the 12 Malefactors under Sentence of Death was made to his Majesty in Council, when nine of them, viz. John Carter alias Cartwright, William Allison, Benjamin Aldridge, Jane Barret alias Holmes alias Frazier, Katherine Fitzpatrick alias Green alias Boswell, Sarah Lawson alias Turner, Mary Robertson, Frances Blacket alias Martin, and Jane Martin alias Floyd, were ordered for Execution, one having dy'd in the Condemn'd Hold before the Warrant came out; two of 'em, viz Edward Boswell, for taking a Boy's Hat valu'd at 18 d. and putting him in Fear, and George Turner, for robbing his Master of some Goods, receiv'd his Majesty's most gracios Reprieve.
When those included in the Dead Warrant lost all hopes of a Reprieve, then they began to appear more concern'd in preparing for their latter End, only some of the Women shew'd too much impatience and discontentment with their Lot. They who desire to know any thing further about their last Confessions and Behaviour, may read the following brief Narrative.
John Cartwright, born in Yorkshire of honest Parents (as he said) 23 Years of Age, was put to School when young, and taught to Read and Write, and had acquir'd indifferent Knowledge of Christian Principles for one of his Station, having taken the Sacrament in the Country before he came up to London. He was not brought up to any particular Trade, but serv'd in the Business of Husbandry , or in Gentlemens Fa
milies, till some more than two Years ago an Uncle of his (after long solicitations) got him to come up to Town, where he serv'd Mr. Schavang, a Mercer of London, without breach of Trust till some Months past, yet being out at Night, and very much intoxicated with Liquor, he (by advice of another young Fellow in Company who shar'd with him in the Spoil) went strait to his Master's Shop in Pater-Noster-Row, open'd the Counter and took the Money, and what other Things were found upon him; but he said that the Sum of Money was not so great as was alledg'd, having been only about 50 l. of which he got the one half (of the most of which, as he said, he was cheated, neither did he know any good that it did him, God having as in a Moment blasted all of it) and his Partner who made his Escape the other. He said that he never was guilty of any Capital Offence, excepting that one for which he suffer'd; that he had liv'd always innocently and virtuously, without giving just cause of Offence to any Person. He seem'd to 've been a young Man of a good, quiet, natural Temper, and his Ruin was bad Company and Counsel. He was very sick and weak (while under Sentence) yet never absented from Chapel, and was very devout, and apparently sincere, in time of Prayers and Exhortations. He begg'd God and the World pardon for the great Crime he had committed; declar'd himself an unworthy Member of this Church; that God in justice had afflicted him, he having sinn'd against so much Light and Knowledge, and conviction of the Truth, which appear'd in the manner of his being apprehended; for having escap'd to Monmouthshire in Wales, and stay'd there two Months, he was taken up upon suspicion, and sent to London to undergo condign Punishment for so notable an Offence. He commended the Gentleman whom he robb'd for a civil, good Master, which aggravated his Ingratitude. He complain'd of the unkindness of some near Relations, while under his Calamity, but freely forgave them, dying in Peace with all Mankind, and in the Faith only of being sav'd thro' the Merits of Jesus Christ.
William Allison, 25 Years of Age, came to Chapel four or five times, but afterwards he was confin'd to the Hold by reason of a most violent Distemper. While he attended in Chapel he was very grave and attentive, and appear'd to be penitent; when I visited him in the Hold he was so afflicted with sickness that he could not speak much, but acknowledg'd the Fact for which he suffer'd, and the justice of his Sentence. He seem'd to 've been a harmless Country young Man, but having fallen into this Snare by reason of Covetousness or Want, I exhorted him to repent of that Sin in particular; he said he did so, expressing his Sorrow and Grief for the same, behaving himself in his sickness with full resignation and attention to the reading of God's Word, other Religious Books, and Prayer in the Hold (as I was told) evincing great signs of Penitence and Contrition for Sin, dying in Peace with all Mankind, and in the Faith of being sav'd only through the Merits of Jesus Christ.
Frances alias Mary Blacket, 34 Years of Age, had education when she was young suitable to her Station, being descended of mean Parents, who put her to School, and instructed her in the necessary Principles of Religion. She said that she went to Service when she was a single Person, and behav'd herself to the Satisfaction of those with whom she had to do; and that afterwards she married a Sailor, who is now at Sea, and by whom she has one Child living, and that it griev'd her much, fearing that the Child would be neglected in its Education after her Death. As to the Robbery of which she stood convicted, she absolutely denied her knowing any thing of it, affirming, that she was always Honest, and never guilty of Theft or Robbery in her Life, and that she wrought as hard for her Bread as any Woman in London. I ask'd her why, at her Tryal, she call'd no Body to her Reputation if it was so? she said, that being a poor Woman she had no Body to come near or stand by her. I urg'd her to be ingenious in her Confessions, as not having Man, but God who trieth the Hearts, to deal with, and to whom in a very short time she was to render an Account. She answer'd, that she knew she was to appear before her Almighty Judge in a few Moments, and as she was to answer to the Great Judge of the Quick and Dead she did not commit the Robbery of which she was accus'd; that she never was a Thief or lewd Liver; and as for the Man who had sworn away her Life upon a mistake, she freely forgave him. She constantly mourn'd and lamented most bitterly when in Chapel, declaring herself truly penitent for all her Sins, believing in Jesus Christ the only Saviour of Sinners, and dying in Peace with all Mankind.
4. JANE HOLMS alias BARRET alias FRAZIER, was Indicted for privately stealing 20 Yards of straw ground brocaded Silk, val. 10 l. the Goods of John Moone, and Richard Stone, June 1. She was a second time indicted for privately stealing 40 Yards of Pink colour'd Mantua, val. 10 l. in the Shop of Matthew Herbert, May 1. She was a third time indicted, in Company with Mary Robinson, for privately stealing a Silver Cup, val. 5 l. the Goods of Esther Dobbins, January 7. She was a fourth time indicted, with Mary Robinson, for privately stealing 80 Yards of Cherry colour'd Mantua Silk, val. 5 l. the Goods of Joseph Bourn, and Mary Harper, December 24. & c.
Jane Holms, alias Barret, alias Frazier, descended (as she said) of honest respected Parents, in a Northern County, Aged 35 Years, had good Education, and understood the Principles of Christianity pretty well, so that it may be wish'd her Practice had been answerable. When she came to divine Worship, which, till the Sunday before her Death, she attended very punctually, she behav'd herself very Christianly and Devoutly: But at other times she was so taken up with thoughts of a Reprieve, that she was in a manner demented and could give heed to nothing. She said she came to London when she was but 15 or 16 Years of Age, to an Aunt, much against her Father's Will; and some time after Marrying one who prov'd but a naughty Husband, yet by her following the Hollands trading , she liv'd in good Credit, and kept a good Family, till her former Husband dying, she married another Man about two Months before Christmas last, who, when she was taken up, dispos'd of her Goods, and every thing which he could lay hold on, particularly her Purse of Gold, which was given to him as she was ex
amining before the Justice, (as she said) and carried all away to Ireland. As to the Crimes for which she died, she very much lamented her being led aside by bad Company, and that she had fallen into the acquaintance of Jonathan Wild, and some of his hellish Crew, who advis'd her to her own Ruin. For upon this occasion it was, that she bought up stollen Goods, and therefore she was Transported some more than two Years ago; but not content to live in Foreign Countries, she return'd to England last Year, as she pretended, out of Love to her three young Children, and being in London again, she renew'd her acquaintance with her old Friends the Ladies who deal in Shop-lifting, in which way of Merchandizing she equall'd most of her Partners, as the Evidence against her declar'd upon Oath. She pretended to 've been the Daughter of a good creditable Family, but none of those whom she call'd her Relations knew any thing of her, and therefore they would do nothing in her favour, in order to obtain a Reprieve, which she was importunately desirous in seeking after, and show'd the greatest Impatience of any I have seen in her miserable Circumstances. I advis'd her for God's sake, and the love she ought to have had to her immortal Soul, to leave off thoughts of this World and fix her Mind upon God and Eternity. She said she could do it, but spoke as tho' she had been cross'd, expressing the highest tenderness to her Children, some of whom came to visit her. I told her that God would take care of her Children, he being a Father to the Fatherless, &c. She denied herself ever to have been a Thief, but confess'd that she had bought Goods when she thought them to be a penny-worth, knowing them to be stollen, but that otherways she went frequently to Holland, and that trading between that Country and England was the way she maintain'd and provided for her Family in an honest way. When all her hopes of obtaining a Reprieve vanish'd, she carry'd herself very impatiently, and to the offence of others. For which I reprov'd her sharply, admonishing her of the danger to which she expos'd her Soul, and exhorting her in the bowels of Jesus Christ, to think seriously upon Death and Judgment. Sunday night before she suffer'd, I told her that the Gentleman she call'd her Father was lately Dead, as one who had Information told me; upon this, she cried most bitterly, reflecting in very modest Terms upon these Gentlemen whom she gave out for her Relations, who disown'd that they knew any thing of her. At this time she was much more compos'd than she had been the day before, or at any other time, and express'd a deal of Assurance of being sav'd by the Mercy of God, in Christ Jesus. She said, she freely forgave the Woman who was Evidence against her, who had been a much more wicked Wretch than her self, and (as she said) had not declared the Truth in several Particulars; and that she died in Peace with all Mankind, being truly Penitent for all her Offences; particularly, the Crime for which she suffer'd so far as she acknowledg'd her Guilt. She still affirm'd herself to be quick with Child, and thought it heard that the Child should suffer with her, but she declar'd, that she entirely submitted to the Will of God.
5. KATHERINE FITZPATRICK, alias GREEN, alias BOSWELL, was indicted for privately stealing 19 Yards of green Damask, val. 9 l. the Goods of Joseph Gifford, and John Ravenal, July 29th, 1724, she was a 2d, time indicted for privately stealing 10 Yards of green Sattin, val. 3 l. the Goods of John Moone, and Richard Stone, Feb. 10th, 1724-5, She was a 3d, time indicted (in Company with another) for privately stealing 50 Yards of green Mantua, val. 10 l. the Goods of John Hutt, May 5th, She was a 4th, time indicted for privately stealing 63 Yards of Modena, and pink Italian Mantua, val. 15l. the Goods of Joshua Feary, Feb. 20 1724-5.
Katherine Fitzpatrick, alias Green, alias Boswel, 38 years of Age, (as she said) born in Lincolnshire of honest Parents, who gave her good and Christian Education, but (as appears) she did not make any good Improvement of it; For coming to London, the got acquainted with the worst of Company, and having got an Husband, (whom indeed she vindicated from being concern'd in any of her wicked Practices, adding, that upon Suspicion of her applying her self to such hellish Courses, as Thieving and Shop-lifting, he had given her many desperate Blows, and Beaten her severely,) to him she bore several Children, affirming that she was quick with Child; and when one of her Children, which was about two Years of Age, was brought to her as she was in Chapel, she fell into the most violent convulsion Fits imaginable. She was very Obstinate, and against many particular Confessions; yet by frequently inculcating and Preaching to her the necessity of Repentance, and confessing our Sins in order to obtain Pardon of God, and to Die in the Peace of the Church. A little before her Death, she was seiz'd with most violent remorse of Conscience, acknowledging herself, with many Tears, to have been one of the greatest of Sinners, that the Sentence was most just, and that God had justly brought upon her such Tokens of his Wrath and Indignation, for the many naughty Courses she had follow'd. She said, that she was afraid God would not Pardon her Sins being so Many and Great: I comforted her with the divine promise of Love, Mercy and Forgiveness; and that she as being Baptiz'd in the name of Jesus, had a right unto the benefits of the Gospel-covenant, and altho' she had Sin'd never so grievously, yet by renewing herself again by Repentance, she might still lay claim to an Interest in God and Jesus Christ. She declar'd her hope and confidence in the Mercy of God thro' Jesus Christ, and of obtaining eternal Life by his Merits. She denied not her Guilt, but complain'd that the Evidence Burton had not been ingenuous in every particularly; and that she had taken advantage of her out of Envy, now when she had betaken herself to an honest way of Living, having been resolv'd never to follow that wicked Manner of Life any more. I told her that capital Crimes might be punish'd at any time when discover'd, for their being kept secret for a time could not secure the guilty Person from Punishment, when they were made known, altho' committed a good time before the Discovery. She seem'd to be satisfy'd, having been a Woman of good natural Parts, and declar'd herself of the Communion of this Church, and that she died in peace with all the World.
6. MARY ROBINSON was indicted, together with Jane Holms, for stealing a silver Cup, val. 5 l. the Goods of Hester Dobbins, January 7. She was a 2d time, with Jane Holms, indicted for privately stealing 80 Yards of cherry-co
Mary Robinson, aged about 70, look'd like the Mother of her Fellow-Shoplifters. She had been a Widow above 14 Years past, and was Mother of a number of Children and Grand-Children. She deny'd that she had been a lewd Liver, but on the contrary, that she had been a laborious industrious Woman, and that she always wrought very hard for the maintenance of her Children and Family. She confess'd that she had been guilty of thievish Practices, but reflected on the Evidence as one of the most treacherous and vilest Women upon Earth, and that her Depositions against her was not altogether according to Truth; and that Burton (the Evidence) had been chiefly instrumental in leading her and many others into those wicked Courses of stealing and Shoplifting. She said that she was willing to die, not having long to live by the course of Nature, but that she lov'd not the manner of her Death. She said that she did not entertain the least grudge or envy against any who had offended her; that she believ'd to be sav'd by Christ's Sufferings and Death, dying in Peace with all Mankind, and an unworthy Member of this Church.
N. B. The preceeding three Malefactors declar'd as dying Women, and in a few Moments being to answer to God, with respect to Mrs. Susannah Baker. Jane Holms said, that she knew nothing of such a Woman, having to her knowledge never seen her: Mary Robinson said, she could not say she was acquainted with her, but that she had seen and spoken to her some few times, and that she believ'd her to be a very honest Woman, knowing nothing of her, but that she traded in Coffee, Tea, and some other little Things in a very honest way: Katherine Fitzpatrick said, that she was not acquainted with her, having never spoke but once to her, that she knew nothing about her, but believ'd her to be a very honest Woman. And as to a piece of Silk which Mrs. Baker reliev'd, and paid for out of a Pawn-brokers, she knew nothing of the matter less or more, neither was she any ways concern'd in that Affair. They all three declar'd the Morning before they suffer'd, (as they had said before) that they knew nothing but that she was an honest Woman.
Jane Martin alias Floyd, about 27 or 28 Years of Age, as she said, the Daughter of a very good and credible Family in the Country, 100 Miles from London, was left an Orphan by her Father when very young, and committed to Tutors, who were not so careful of her in her Childhood as they should have been. She married to a young Gentleman, who in a very short time having squander'd away his Estate, was imprison'd in the King's-Bench Prison for Debt; and while he was there, she being altogether destitute, rack'd her Wit and Invention to cheat and trick People up and down London, out of Money or Goods, particularly once she took a House and Shop in the Strand, near Somerset-House, and having furnish'd them with Goods to the Value of 5 or 600 l. in three or four Days after she had open'd the Shop, upon a Saturday Night, she made a Moon-light moving, carrying all over to the Mint, and was no more to be seen in these Quarters, thus cheating honest People out of all these Goods. She was about some more than two Years ago apprehended and sentenc'd to die for stealing a silver Cup, but Death was turn'd to Transportation, and for returning she now dy'd. She said that the Gentlewoman who was Evidence against her the first time wrong'd her, in swearing that she stole the Cup, it having been given her, and so more properly a Cheat than Theft. She said that she was never a Whore, a direct Thief, nor a Drunkard, never having been drunk in her Life; but confess'd herself to 've been one of the most notorious Cheats that ever was, having trick'd and cheated People in innumerable Instances. This she own'd to 've been equal to Theft, adding that it was only Necessity and Want forc'd her to such indirect Ways. She was very penitent, tearing and crying out mightily; as afraid that God would not pardon her. I comforted her with the gracious Promises of the Gospel, shewing her, that altho' our Sins be as Scarlet, yet God will make them white as Snow, and tho' they be of a deep crimson Dye, yet that there is Virtue in the Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord to cleanse us from all Unrighteousness: Upon this she calm'd a little, and seem'd to submit herself to the Will of God, as being a just Punishment from Heaven upon her, for many most irregular and unjust Dealings and Practices. She said that her Husband was a Man of Honour, and knew nothing, but was much asham'd of the villanous Actions committed by her. She appear'd to be truly penitent, forgiving all the Injuries done her, as she expected forgiveness from God; dying in the Faith of Christ, and in the Communion of this Church, of which she own'd herself an unworthy Member.
At the Place of Execution.
They all desir'd earnest Prayers to be offer'd to Almighty God for their Souls, confessing themselves very great Sinners, and expressing an entire Confidence in the Mercy of God thro' Jesus Christ. They appear'd to be very devout and serious in Prayer. The two young Men were always ingenious in their Confessions, and begging God and the World pardon for their Offences: But the Women would not be perswaded to make particular Confessions, only in general they acknowledg'd that they had been too much employ'd in Shoplifting; and Mrs. Martin, that she had been most dexterous in cheating People out of their Money, or Goods, thinking to elude the Penalty of the Law by that means in which Thought she was disappointed, God's Judgments justly overtaking her for her most wicked and impudent Practices. Flackett for the Highway, altho' she denied the Fact for which she was convicted; yet, without breach of Charity, it may be presum'd that she was the Person who robb'd the Man of his Watch, since at her Death she could not deny it, but only said, she would confess her Sins to God.
This is all the Account given by me,