THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and dying Words of the Malefactors who were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 26th of this Instant June, 1728.
BY Virtue of His Majesty's Commission of the Peace, and of Oyer and Terminer, and Jail Delivery of Newgate, at the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, (before the Right Honourable Sir EDWARD BEECHER, Knight , Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Honourable Mr. Justice Page; the Honourable Mr. Baron Carter; the Honourable Mr. Baron Thompson, Recorder of the City of London; and John Raby, Esq ; Serjeant at Law ; and others His Majesty's Justices of Jail-Delivery, and Oyer and Terminer aforesaid; together with several of His Majesty's Justices of the said City of London and County of Middlesex,) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 5th, 6th and 7th of June, 1728, in the first Year of His Majesty's Reign.
Six Men, viz. Richard Evans, Thomas Ward, John Davis, Richard Hews, Thomas Jenkins and Bryan Macguire; and two Women. viz. Margaret Conolly, and Eleanor Benson were convicted of capital Crimes, and received Sentence of Death.
While under Sentence, they were instructed, how that having such a load of Sin and Guilt, both original and actual, lying heavy upon their Souls, it was necessary for them to be regenerated and born again, as our Saviour representeth the Matter, St. John 3. iii - Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a Man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. I taught them, that by Regeneration is imported, our becoming New-creatures, not in a literal Sense, as Nicodemus at first understood that Expression, till our blessed Lord further instructed him, but in a Moral, Heavenly and Spiritual Capacity. I told 'em, that whereas formerly they had been the Servants of Sin unto Unrighteousness, henceforth they must become the obedient Servants of Righteousness unto Holiness; approving themselves with Consciences void of Offence towards God and towards Man: As the Apostle St. Paul directs us. That they must be like unto Christ in all those heavenly and divine Qualities, which adorn the human Nature, preparing and disposing it for Heaven, and Happiness, and the Glory of the Life to come; in Humility, Patience, Meekness and entire Resignation to the Will of God. I show'd them, that as all Sin is abominable in the sight of God, who is of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity in any of his Creatures; therefore it was their Duty to mourn before God, and Repent as of a Sin in general, so especially of those heinous Sins whereof they were convicted. Then I took occasion, to explain to them the great evil of Theft and Robbery, how near an approach it had to Murder, how destructive it was to all human Society and good Order, and how prejudicial to the Interest and Welfare of our Neighbours; and consequently, it must of Necessity prove highly displeasing to an holy, just and Sin-revenging God, who will by no Means clear the guilty. Exod. 34. vii. I instructed them also, that it was Necessary to confess their Sins ingenuously before God and the World, as tending to the glory of God, the Ease and Peace of their own Minds, and the Satisfaction of Mankind whom they had injur'd. I insisted on the nature of the Christian Sacraments, and what great Advantage their Souls might obtain, by partaking of the Lord's Supper, as proper to dispose them for the Joys of a future Life.
While many such Instructions where given, all of them behav'd in Chapel and in the Cells, with abundance of apparent Devotion and Civility; Mr. Jenkyns, Hews, Evans and Davis made regular Responses, Ward was Illiterate and Ignorant, but appear'd to be very attentive, and serious and desirous of Knowledge, but of a slow Apprehension and dull Understanding; Mistress Benson was attentive and grave, but Illiterate and Ignorant, yet by Application, she attain'd to some Knowledge; Macguire and Mistress Conolly profest themselves to encline to the Church of Rome , but when in Chapel, they comply'd with the Worship, and seem'd Devout; Mistress Conolly having one way or other lost almost all her Cloaths, could not come to publick Worship for a good part of the Time; but when I visited her in the Cell, she appear'd to be desirous of Instruction and Prayers. None of them were Price Two Pence.
of that rude and barbarous Disposition, as too many under their unhappy Circumstances use to be.
Upon Wednesday, the 19th of June, the Report of the eight Malefactors under Sentence of Death, was made to his Majesty in Council: When Richard Evans of St. James's Clerkenwell, for privately stealing a Silver watch, value 30 s. the property of and from the Person of Jeremiah Frith, on the 30th of April last; John Davis of St. Dunstan's Stepney, for a Burglary committed in Company with Thomas Ward; and Margaret Conolly of St. Ann's Westminster, for privately stealing a Gold-watch and Chain, value 20 l. in the House of Jacob Blaney, Esq ; on the 3d of April last, receiv'd his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve. The remaining five, viz. Thomas Ward, Richard Hews, Thomas Jenkins, Bryan Macgurie and Eleanor Benson were ordered for Execution.
Richard Hews, of St. Mary Islington, was indicted for assaulting Mr. Bartholomew on the Highway, taking from him some Money and other things, on the 10th of April last, to which Indictment he pleaded Guilty. After he was admonished of the Danger, it being Felony without Benefit of Clergy, he still pleaded Guilty. He was a 2d time indicted, because with Bryan Macguire, on the 22d of April last, he assaulted Henry Bunn, on the Highway, in an open Place near Islington, putting him in fear and taking from him a Silver Watch, Val. 3 l. two Pieces of foreign Gold, Val. 11 s. and 3 s. in Silver, to which Indictment he likewise pleaded Guilty. He was a 3d time indicted, because he with the said Bryan Macguire, on the 27th of April last, assaulted Philip Dowling, on the Highway near Islington, and robb'd him of his Coat, Val. 10 s. a Wastcoat, Val. 5 s. a Hat, Val. 5 s. a Peruke, and 2 s. 6 d. in Money, to which Indictment he also pleaded Guilty. He was a 4th time indicted, for that he, with Bryan Macguire aforesaid, did on the 27th of April last, assault Richard Bridger on the Highway, in an open Place near Islington, putting him in fear and taking from him 6 s. in Money, to which Indictment he likewise pleaded Guilty. He was a 5th time indicted, because, with Bryan Macguire and William Sefton (executed last Sessions) he assaulted Edward Carrol on the Highway, putting him in fear and taking from him a Gold Ring, Val. 20 s. and 4 s. in Money, on the 27th of April last, and to this Indictment he also continued to plead Guilty. It seems, he being conscious of his Crimes, resolutely took the shortest Method, expecting (as he said) nothing but Death.
Richard Hews, about 24 Years of Age, of honest Parents, who gave him good Education suitable to his Station, and instructed him in religious Principles, in which he was a little more knowing then most of his Fellow sufferers. When of Age, he was put to a Bricklayer , and his Time being out, he afterwards married a Wife, and follow'd his Business for some time, till becoming acquainted with William Sefton, who was executed last Sessions, they listed themselves for Soldiers , but as they were going to Scotland, where the Regiment then was they thought fit to leave the Serjeant who conducted the Recruits at some Town or Village in England, and to turn aside to the Highway to levy Money of Travellers, as their own failed them. He confest himself to have been a very great Sinner, and that the Occasion of taking himself to the Highway, had been his keeping bad Company with lewd Women, who had no good Advice to give, but were satisfy'd what ever way their Prodigality was supply'd, although to the manifest Destruction of their Paramour, otherwise he had no Occasion to rob from others, since he might have lived well by his own Employment, and much better than he could pretend to do by theiving; but accustoming himself to Idleness, he could not afterwards apply himself to settled Business, but joyning in Confederacy with Macguire and Sefton to rob upon the Highway, after they had follow'd this way only for 9 or 10 Days, they were all three taken and brought to suffer condign Punishment for their wicked Courses. Hews behav'd civilly and was very careful in reading and praying, appearing Devout at Chapel, and pretending great Penitence. He begg'd Pardon of God and Man for the Offences of his Life, acknowledge himself among the Chief of Sinners, declar'd his Belief and firm Hope of being sav'd by the Mercy of God in Christ, that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, and died in Peace with all Mankind.
Bryan Macguire, of St. Mary Islington, was Indicted for assaulting Henry Bunn on the Highway, and taking from him a Watch, value 3 l. two pieces of Gold, val. 11 s. and 3 s. in Silver, on the 22d of April last.
Bryan Macguire was a 2d indicted for robbing Philip Dowling on the Highway of a Coat, val. 10 s. a Wastcoat, value 5 s. a Hat. val. 5 s. a Peruke and 2 s. 6 d. in Money on the 27th of April last, Richard Hews (and William Sefton, executed last Sessions,) being in his Company.
He was a fourth time indicted, for assaulting Edward Carrol, on the Highway near Islington, and taking from him 4 s. in Money, and a Gold-ring, value 20 s. on the 27th of April last. The before mention'd Hews and Sefton in his Company.
Bryan Macguire, 28 Years of Age, born at Wickloe, in the Kingdom of Ireland, of honest Parents (as he said) who gave him Education at School, and when of Age, bred him to be a Sawyer , which Employment he follow'd, for some time, but about 4 or 5 Years since coming to London with his Wife, sometimes he follow'd his Business here, in and about the Town, and at other times, to get Money in an easier Manner, apply'd himself to biting and tricking People of Money, and what other Things he could Purchase that way. One Instance of which is, that he us'd to go about the Streets, to Coffee-Houses and other publick Houses, feigning himself dumb, having the dexterity to draw up his Tongue about his Throat, then showing his Mouth, they could discern nothing but the Root of his Tongue, which
made People think that he had no Tongue, but that he was naturally Dumb. He declar'd, that he never robb'd any but in Company with Sefton and Hews for a few Days, but that he made no Conscience of Cheating and Tricking, as occasion offer'd, and when he was discover'd in his villainous Practices, falling in with his two Accomplices, he follow'd their Advice, in laying aside any further Pretensions to Order or Honesty, and took himself to rob on the Highway in their Company, they agreeing to share equally all they could Purchase in that unlawful Manner.
But this Agreement lasted only for a few Days, ending in the speedy destruction of all the Three. He own'd himself to have been a notorious Sinner, in Lying, Drinking, and Whoring, although not so much addicted to swearing, as many others, yet not intirely free from that Sin; But above all, that Covetousness and an Inclination to Cheat and Bite others out of their Goods or Money prevail'd, and that this was the immediate Cause of his Ruin. He was a Fellow of a pretty quick Understanding, and although he declar'd himself firmly addicted to the Church of Rome , yet he always attended in Chappel, comply'd with the Devotion, and made regular Responses. He declar'd, that he be liev'd to be sav'd only through the Merits and intercession of Jesus Christ, and repented truly of all his Sins, especially those heinous ones which brought him to so much Shame and Sorrow, that he forgave all Men the Injuries done him, as he expected forgiveness from Almighty God, and acknowledg'd the Justice of his Sentence according to Law.
Thomas Ward, of St. Dunstan's Stepney, was indicted, for breaking open the Dwelling-House of Nathaniel Ash, on the 2d of May last, in the Night-time, and taking thence a Copper-cover of a Pot, and a Brass-cover of another Pot.
Thomas Ward, 25 Years of Age, born in Norwich, of mean Parents, who gave him little Education, and he being of a cross and wicked Disposition, was not willing to receive even that mean Education they were capable to give him, so that he could neither Read nor Write. When of Age, he serv'd a Butcher , and (as he said) was honest, while he remain'd at Norwich: But some Years ago coming to London, and getting Business in his own Way; at his leisure Hours he frequented the Geneva Shops, and there falling in Company with some idle, lewd young Women, one of them with whom he was familiar, threatn'd to swear a Child upon him, if he did not marry her. Ward afraid of Imprisonment, and persuaded by some others who promis'd to Advance him what Money he might stand in need of, withal exaggerating the Danger he was in, comply'd with the Proposal, and married the young Woman; who (as he said) prov'd a most undutiful Wife, carrying away all he had, whether Money or Cloaths, and dispos'd of all his Effects to support herself in Drinking and keeping Company with other dissolute and lewd young Men, who kept her Company. Upon this Account he parted from his Wife, and after a considerable time married another, with whom he liv'd, and when he wanted other Business, apply'd himself with a Number of young idle Fellows, to the stealing of Lead from Gentlemen's Houses; but as to Street or Highway Robberies he denied that ever he committed any such, all he did being only to pick up any small loose Thing which fell in his way, he never having the Courage or Dexterity to pick Pockets. He said also, that he never was guilty of Burglary or House-breaking, excepting in that particular Instance, of which he was convicted: And this also he endeavour'd to extenuate, alledging that he only lifted up the Shutter and took away the Things, and that one Side of the Cistern was without the Dwelling-House.
As for the House in Shoreditch, which was maliciously set on Fire by some villainous Thieves, who bore some Grudge at, and (as some think) design'd to murder the Landlord: He very often declar'd to me with Tears, and sometimes upon his Knees; that he knew nothing of it, as he was to answer to God, &c. He said indeed, that he suspected, that one R -, with two other Rogues hand a Hand in that Affair: As to his being in the Street that Night, it was accidental, he and another Fellow being out upon their grand Design of stealing Lead from Houses, and that when the Fire began, they were above a Hundred Yards from the House. He was a very mean ignorant Fellow, I instructed him in the first Principles of Christianity, both in Publick and Private, but he was so dull and slow in Understanding, and had been so long inured to wicked Courses, that he attained to very little Knowledge. He owned himself to have been one of the greatest of Sinners, wholly immersed in brutish Sensuality, altogether negligent of his Duty to God, knowing and studying nothing of religious Matters. He was always apparently serious and very attentive in Chapel, professing his Faith in Christ his only Saviour, a sincere Repentance for all his Sins, and acknowledging the Justice of his Sentence, and that God in Justice had afflicted him for his many great Sins, and that he died in Peace with all the World.
Thomas Jenkins, of St. George's Hanover-Square, was indicted for breaking the House of John Wright, Esq ; on the 31st of May last in the Night Time, and taking a silver Tea kettle, a silver Lamp; a Chaffingdish, a Soop-ladle, a Top of a Cruet, 3 Forks, 12 Spoons, a Milk-pot, 5 Teaspoons, all of Silver, besides two silver-baskets, several Silver-hafted Knives and Forks, a Gold-watch, Diamond-ring, and several other valuable Goods, to the value of 400 l. and 82 l. 16 s. in Money.
Thomas Jenkins, as he said, about 30 Years of Age; descended of honest Parents in Herefordshire, who gave him good Education and instructed him in Christian Principles: But before he had time to make much Progress at School, they sent him to Bristol, where he did some little Business for an Uncle and some other Relations: Afterwards when he was advanc'd in Years, he Serv'd as Butler in Houses of Noblemen of great Quality, and behav'd himself with Discretion and Honesty. He denyed that ever he had been guilty of Theft, except in the particular Instance of which he was convicted; or that he had been notoriously Vicious in his Life, either in Drinking, Whoring, Swearing or Lying, as is common to most of them who are Guilty of those Crimes, but that he had always endeavour'd to live Soberly, and that he went to Church, when out of Service, or when his Business would allow him. As to the Crime for which he suffer'd, he own'd that he had all the Plate, Money and Goods of value, as they Swore against him, and that he believ'd, the Gentleman did not lose any Thing, for if any small Thing had been taken out, that it was made up by a little Money of his own, which he laid in with what he
had stolen. He deny'd, that he had concerted with any Person to rob his Master, but that two young Men of Vagrant idle Life, (who, as he believ'd, liv'd by frequenting Gaming-Houses, or otherways upon unlawful Purchase) frequently Advis'd him to rob Mr. Wright, not doubting but he might carry off a considerable Booty, which he might carry to Holland, or some foreign Place, and there dispose off it. Although they frequently importun'd him to this horrid Wickedness, and upbraided him with Pusilanimity, in not daring to execute such a villainous Attempt; yet he did not consent to the Proposal, although he did not altogether dislike it, making but a faint Resistance. At last, they Swore that they would commit the Robbery, if he would not. And the Night he left Mr. Wrights's Service, from some former Discourse of theirs, suspecting they would put their Design in execution, he did not go to his Lodging, but having drunk liberally, he walkt the Streets, and when he thought they might be setting about their Enterprize, he went to Mr. Wright's House, and that after he had gone three times about the House, without discovering any thing of them, at last one of the Fellows came up to him on the Middle of the Street, and deliver'd to him the Bundle with all the Goods, desiring him to wait, till he went and brought up his Companion and Assistant in the Robbery.
Jenkins thought fit to make the best of his way, to shun his Associates whom he saw no more, and to keep all to himself; although this unlawful Purchase continued a very short time in his Possession, he having been apprehended the next Day, and the Goods recovered to the right Owner. He declar'd, that he knew no more of it, only he owned, that having been out of Service for some considerable Time, and most part of what he had, having been laid out for some of his Friends, he stood much in need of Money, which may make it suspected, that if he did not break open the House and steal the Goods himself, at least that he knew of the Design, and was upon some Concert with the Rogues. He behav'd with abundance of Civility, and appeared very Devout in Chapel, professing great Penitence, and declaring an earnest Desire to take the Sacrament. I advised him to forget his old Parents, Friends and Relations, for whom he shew'd a great Concern, because of the Reproach which his shameful Death would cast upon them; to fix his Thoughts wholly upon God and Eternity. He declar'd that he altogether contemned this World, believing to be saved by the Mercy of God in Christ, repenting of all his Sins sincerely, dying in Peace with all Men and in Communion with this Church.
The Day before they were executed, two or three Gentlemen of Honour came to Mr. Jenkins, and told him, if he would freely discover his Accomplices, his Life should certainly be saved, but he would not alter from his former Declarations, which appearing altogether improbable, they left him to think upon it, and the Morning before his Execution, he persisted inflexible, refusing to make any further Discoveries to me.
Eleanor Benson, alias Cater, of St. Giles's in the Fields, was indicted for assaulting Margaret Sutton, on the Highway, putting her in fear, and taking from her a Pocket, val. 1 d. 3 Keys, val. 3 d. a Thimble, val. a Half penny, and 3 s. in Money.
Eleanor Benson, near 23 Years of Age, might have got Education from her Parents, but was of such a perverse and wicked Disposition from her Infancy and Childhood, that she would apply herself to nothing that was good, but joyning to the worst of Company, she gave loose Reins to her sensual Appetites to such a Degree, that wholly void of Virtue, she became altogether a vile Slave to Vice. Having lived in a dissolute Manner for some Years, she took one of her Acquaintance for a Husband, with whom she cohabited, till disliking, or wearied of one another, she sell in with Edward Benson, executed last Sessions for Street Robberies; with him she agreed so very well in Manners and Temper, that he chose her for one of his four Wives, possibly as being more wicked than all the rest. She denied that she was a Thief or Robber, saying that she had not Strength nor Courage, for such desperate Enterprizes on the Street or Highway; but own'd that she knew of every thing which her Husband and his Associates did, and received all from him. As to the particular Fact which she suffer'd, she said that M. S. - swore falsly against her, out of Malice, because she sought some Money which she ow'd for stollen Goods of her late Husband, which had been sold to her, and because she threatn'd to bring D - or N - the Evidence upon her, if she did not do her Justice, adding that she too much encourag'd Thieves by receiving of and disposing of their stollen Goods. She being very ignorant of Religion, I instructed her in the shortest and easiest way could be thought upon: She attain'd to some Knowledge, as the shortness of Time, and the vicious Habits of her preceeding Course of Life could allow. She appeared to be a young Woman of good natural Parts, if they had not been sullied with vicious Habits and Propensions. Some suspected that she had committed some Undecencies while under Sentence, but she said God forbid that I should deliberately damn my Soul, while I knew that I was a dying Woman. She always behaved civilly, and with attention in Chapel. She declar'd her Faith in Christ her only Saviour, a true Repentance for all her Sins, and acknowledging that she suffer'd justly for her sinful and scandalous Life; she died in Peace with all the World, and an unworthy Member of this Church.
At the Place of Execution,
ELeanor Benson said, that it is a good Rain, (for it rain'd and thunder'd violently while they stood under the Tree) I hope the Dew of Heaven will rain down Grace upon our Souls; and added, that she, her Husband and Thomas Neaves, lodged at Mrs. Toys in Rotherhith, who took them to be Sailors, thinking they had some Brandy 0 bring on Shore; for which and no other Use Thomas Neaves borrowed 15 s. of the said Mrs. Toys, and that she was ignorant of what was swore against her, as the Child that is unborn. Mr. Jenkins return'd very hearty Thanks to several Persons of great Quality, who had endeavoured to save his Life, and pray'd for many Blessings upon them and their Families; and forgave all who had been any way against him. Macguire said, he had nothing more to add to his Confessions: He was of the Romish Communion . They were all in appearance serious and attentive to Prayers. Mr. Jenkins gave me many Thanks for my kind Admonitions and Attendance. They went off crying out, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit.
This is all the Account given by me,