THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and dying Words of the Malefactors, who were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 7th of this Instant February, 1729.
BY Virtue of his Majesty's Commission of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, and Jail-Delivery of Newgate, at the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, (before the Right Honourable Sir ROBERT BAYLIS, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Baron Pengelly; the Honourable Mr. Justice Reynolds; the Honourable Mr. Baron Thompson, Recorder of the City of London; and Mr. Serjeant Raby, Deputy Recorder; with other of his Majesty's Justices of Jail Delivery, and Oyer and Terminer aforesaid; together with several of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, for the said City of London, and County of Middlesex) on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, the 16th, 17th, 18th, 20th, and 21st of January, 1729, in the Second Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Six Men, viz. Thomas Neaves, Daniel Crawfoot, William James, alias Ives, Jeremiah Cray, William Davis, and Thomas Revel, and one Woman, Elizabeth Cook, were Capitally Convicted, and receiv'd Sentence of Death: and Judith Hollaway, who had been Capitally Convicted and Sentenc'd, at the preceeding Sessions holden at the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of December, 1729.
While under Sentence, I instructed them from Mat. 16. 24. Then said Jesus unto his Disciples, If any Man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross and follow me. That troubles and afflictions were the common lot of Mankind, and therefore whatever cross dispensations we meet with; it is our Duty willingly to submit, since they are a cup dispenc'd to us by our Father; our Heavenly Father, who knows best what is good for us, who afflicteth no Man willingly, nor grieveth the Children of Men. I show'd them that Christ, the Captain of our profession, the Author and finisher of our Faith, was a Man acquainted with griefs, and that we hid, as it were, our Faces from him; and that in conformity unto him, all those who live Godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution: i. e. as he suffer'd patiently for our sake having no Sin of his own, so we ought patiently to endure all the afflictions which are brought upon us, as a just chastisement for our Sins, still acknowledging, that the Punishment of our Iniquity in this Life, is infinitely less than what we have deserv'd, and therefore why should a living Man complain, a Man for the Punishment of his Sins? And as all Men are are thus liable to manifold afflictions, for, Man that is Born of a Woman, is of few Days, and full of trouble: so much more are those unfortunate People, who by their enormous crimes have expos'd themselves to the penalty of the Laws, and become unworthy of breathing any longer in the common Air, but must submit to the Punishments inflicted upon them, as proceeding from a just and good God, who, by thus humbling them, intended their special advantage to reclaim them from Sin, and make them enamour'd with the ways of Piety and Virtue, that although their Bodies may Perish, yet their Souls may be saved in the great Day of the Lord Jesus. I exhorted them to an ample Confession of their Sins, as the way to die with Peace of Conscience, and in the Peace of the Church, as being an evidence of their Repentance, and the main reparation they could make for the injuries they had done to Mankind. I inform'd them, how they had been early dedicated to God in Baptism, to deny themselves to the World, the Flesh and the Devil, and that having vow'd and sworn Fidelity and all due obedience to Almighty God, and the Laws or Precepts of Jesus Christ, yet having broken their Baptismal Vows in many respects, and having wholly given themselves up to the Service of Sin and Satan, therefore, God had now rejected and given them up to their own Hearts lusts, and suffer'd them to fall into those Notorious Capital Crimes, which brought them to so much Shame and Sorrow.
he smil'd and spoke to disturb others, as his fellow Prisoners, and others observ'd; he was of an abdur'd, insolent Temper, and reproofs were of little avail to him. Daniel Crawfoot, having been of another Communion, behav'd very gravely and devoutly, but in making responses did not Speak out, as not accustom'd to our manner of Worship, but look'd upon the Prayer Book, and had his Bible always in readiness, when Chapters were read, or citations made. Jeremiah Cray, behav'd very Devoutly, and (to appearance) Penitently, as did William James, alias Ives, and Mrs. Cook who always declar'd herself sincerely Penitent. Judith Hollaway, who had been kept since the preceeding Sessions in December last, always appear'd very Penitent, Grave and Devout, and declar'd her self wholly resign'd to the will of God. The other two never came to Chappel, having been grievously afflicted with Sores and Sickness, but as I visited them in their Cells, they were very attentive to, and desirous of Prayers and Exhortations.
Upon Saturday, the 1st of February, the Report of the above nam'd eight Malefactors, under Sentence of Death in Newgate, was made to his Majesty in Council; when Judith Hollaway, of Broad street, for privately stealing a Silver Snuff-box, value 12 s. from the Person of Elizabeth Staples, on the 6th of November last, the property of William Staples. Daniel Crawfoot, for assaulting Mary Dixon, in her own House, putting her in fear, and taking from her 13 s. and 6 d. on the 7th of January last; and William James, alias Ives, of Uxbridge, for feloniously stealing a black Gelding, Value 50 s. on the 27th of September last, the Property of John Weedon, Esq ; receiv'd his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve. The remaining Five, viz. Thomas Neeves, Jeremiah Cray, William Davis, Thomas Revel, and Elizabeth Cook, were order'd for Execution.
Thomas Neeves, of St. Giles's in the Fields, was indicted for feloniously stealing a Duroy Coat, Value 13 s. on the 6th of December last, in the Shop of Charles Lawrence, the Goods of the said Charles Lawrence; who depos'd, that about 7 in the Evening, the Prisoner came into his Shop, and ask'd for a dimity Waist coat, they not agreeing on the Price, he d - d him, and turning about snatch'd up the Coat, and ran away with it; the Deponent pursu'd him about 30 Yards, and cry'd out, Stop Thief, the Prisoner doing the same, till he was taken.
Thomas Neeves, born in London of mean Parents, 28 Years of Age, was educated at School in reading and writing, to fit him for Business, and when of Age was put out Apprentice to a Cane-chair-maker , with whom he staid for some Time, but left him before his Time was out, and betook himself to a rambling Life, which occasion'd his Ruin. He liv'd in a most loose disorderly Manner, and married a Wife, a common Woman of the Town, who apply'd herself to her Husband's Business, of stealing and robbing, for which she was in Prison, and under Sentence of Transportation, while he was under Sentence of Death, and (as he told me) she got leave to come and visit him once or twice, but she having no Children alive by him, and her Character being much upon a Level with his own, he was very indifferent about her. He joyn'd himself to the Gangs of Street-Robbers, and the most notorious Thieves, in, or about this great City; and having been apprehended in March or April last, upon Suspicion of Street-Robberies, he impeach'd his Companions, and turn'd Evidence against them. Accordingly, six Men were convicted upon his Evidence and concurring Circumstances, in April last. Edward Benson confess'd the Fact for which he died, but the other Five, George Gale, alias Kiddy George, Thomas Crowden, James Noon, John Hornby, and Richard Nichols, died with Protestations of their Innocency, as to the Facts which Neeves swore against them. I ask'd him, upon the desire of some of their Relations, if his Evidence was true, as he swore against these five Men, who died denying the Facts he swore against them, although they freely forgave him? He said, in so far as he swore against them, it was true, although perhaps they were not the principal Persons concern'd in those Robberies. I ask'd him the same Question and some others at other Times, but he would make no direct Answer, and told me as he had done to other Persons, that he must give an Account of what things he had done in the other World, it being of no Advantage for him to relate them here, since we could not pardon him: I inform'd him, that the Church, as is acknowledg'd by every Body, hath Power of conditional Absolution, that since it was not in his Power to do any better, he ought at least to make an ingenious Acknowledgement of what Injuries he had done to Mankind, which was all the Reparation he could make them, and by doing whereof he would die in the Peace of the Church, and, doubtless, in much greater Peace in his own Mind, since, He that covereth his Sins shall not Prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall find Mercy. Prov. 28 13. &c. After all I urg'd to him upon this Head, he continu'd inflexible. As to the Crime for which he suffer'd, he said he did not take the Coat, but that another Man gave it him; but in this he varied, which obligeth us to believe the Evidence. At another Time, as we were coming out of Chapel, I desir'd him to speak with me in the Closet, but he refus'd, adding, that he would give no Occasion for composing of Books or Ballads upon him; although I had nothing to say, but to speak a little to him upon the State of his Soul; which, I am afraid, was in the Gall of Bitterness and Bond of Iniquity: For as one or two Persons told me, he said, he had no Hopes of attaining Happiness in another World, yea, that he was sure of being Miserable. The third Day before he died, he curs'd in Chapel, because they would not let Visiters into the Cell to speak with him. The Keeper told him, That he had Orders to keep the Cells very strictly, and that they durst not transgress their Orders, which were occasion'd by the Rudeness and extraordinary Wickedness of the Street-Robbers, who were last executed. I reprov'd him sharply, and exhorted him to Patience under his deplorable Circumstances, which he had brought upon himself by his own Wickedness. Then he sat down and compos'd himself. Two Days before he suffer'd, some Gentlemen of Note coming in to see him, after they were gone, when he came up to Chapel, he abus'd and threaten'd a Gentleman-Prisoner at a strange Rate, because he had told them of his wicked Dispositions and Carriages: For this, the Keeper taking him out threaten'd to punish him severely, and then brought him in again with Tears in his Eyes, when the fear of Punishment kept him Quiet. He was one of the most obstinate, abdur'd, irreclaimable, and (to appearance) impenitent Sinners, I ever saw.
him in fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch, Value 20 s. and 8 s. in Money, on the 4th of December last.
Mr. Benson depos'd, that about 6 at Night, or a Quarter after, he was robb'd as abovesaid, and although he could not swear to his Face, yet he believ'd him to be the Man, by the Cloaths he wore, and the Discription of the Horse; the Coachman swore to his Face and to the Horse also. Hannah Edmonds depos'd, that she was in the Coach, took Notice of his being pitted with the Small Pox, and his wearing his own Hair, and that she was sure he was the Man. He call'd some People to his Character, but the Proof being plain upon him, he was found Guilty.
Jeremiah Cray, near 20 Years of Age, descended of honest reputable Parents, had his Education at School, where he learn'd to read and write, and to understand the Principles of our Christian Religion. He was instructed by his Father, in the Trade of an Upholsterer , which Business (as he said) he constantly follow'd, and never wanted any Encouragement needful for him, as to Cloaths, Money and Maintenance, which was all that was necessary to a young Man of his Age. He said, that he lov'd a young Woman, intending to marry her, but that his nearest Friends were much against that Match; as unproper for him. Upon this he turn'd discontented, and to be reveng'd of them, tho' rather on himself, he took to the Highway, although otherwise he had been always (as he affirm'd) a sober industrious young Man, free of these epidemick Vices, too incident to the Youth of this Age. He own'd the Robbery for which he died, according to the Evidence given by Mr. Benson and others. He appear'd to have been a Youth of a good natural Temper, and his Father declar'd, that he never offended him, by speaking so much as one unbecoming Word to him; and he could give no Account, why he committed such a Robbery, only that he believ'd it to be a violent Temptation of the D - l to undoe him at once. Being ask'd, if he was the Person, who shot at and wounded a Coachman, and Gardiner, sitting upon the Box beside another Coachman, upon the Highway near the Town? He answer'd, that as he was very soon to appear before God, he never stole nor robb'd in his Life, except the single Instance of the Fact for which he died; but that he always liv'd soberly and follow'd his Business, with Approbation of his Master whom he had serv'd. He seem'd to be a young Man of a good natural Disposition, and behav'd very christianly under his Misfortunes, and desir'd earnestly to receive the Sacrament. He declar'd, that his Sentence was just, that he believ'd to be sav'd by the Mercy of God, through the Merits of Christ Jesus, that he heartily repented of all his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.
Thomas Revel, of St. Paul's Covent-Garden, was indicted for feloniously stealing a Silver Tea Canister, Two Cases of Desart Knives, three Silver Castors, eight large Silver Spoons, a pair of Silver Snuffers, a Silver Candlestick, and Extinguisher, a Silver Bason, four Salts, three Salvers, and several other Pieces of Plate, to a great Value, the Property of the Lady Thorold, and 30 Guineas, and three Pounds in Silver, the Property of Mr. Sentement, and in the Dwelling-House of the late Mr. Sentement, on the 28th of July last.
Thomas Revel, 36 Years of Age, of honest Parents in Bedfordshire, who educated him at School, and instructed him in Christian Principles, as was fit for one in a low State of Life. He was not put to a Trade, but serv'd Gentlemen in the Station of a Footman , and sometimes as Coachman , and as several Gentlemen of good Fashion depos'd in Court, with very much Integrity and Honesty, particularly one Gentleman told, that he trusting him wholly with the keeping of his Horses, kept a private Account, unknown to Revel, of what was expended upon them, and that when they adjusted Accounts amounting to more than 20 l. for the Horses, they never varied in a Farthing. He was married and had one Child, and his Wife, who appear'd to be a sober Woman, gave him the Character of being one of the best of Husbands. He declar'd, that he had always liv'd soberly and honestly, that he had been a religious Observer of Ordinances, that he read God's Word, and other good Books, and that he had sometimes, tho' not of late, receiv'd the holy Sacrament. When I ask'd him first about the Robbery of which he was convicted, he said, that Dawling the Evidence committed it, without his Knowledge, and to save himself, swore it upon him; but after he found himself included in the Dead Warrant, and that he had no farther Hopes, he own'd, that the Evidence was true, only he alledg'd, that Tho. D - n first advis'd him to it, and that he bound himself, to remove any Suspicion the Family might have of his Concern in the Robbery. From the Evidence and his Confession it appears, that they were Confederates and equally concern'd in a Commission of that horrid Villainy. All the Time he was under Sentence, he was afflicted with Sickness or Lameness, and could not walk, nor come to Chapel, but as I daily visited him in the Cell, he always declar'd himself sincerely Penitent for all his Offences, particularly the Crime of which he was convicted, which was the only Theft or capital Crime he ever was guilty of, having in all the preceding Part of his Life been very Honest, and still bore a very good Character in all the Families, which were many and of good Note, where he had serv'd. He own'd the Justice of his Sentence, according to Law, and declar'd, that he believ'd in Jesus Christ his only Saviour, that he repented and begg'd God and Man Pardon for his Sins, and that he died in Peace with all the World.
William Davis, of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, was indicted for breaking the House of Thomas Lobe, on the 14th of December last, and taking thence four Silver Spoons, Value 40 s. eleven Holland Shirts, Value 5 l. and several other Things, the Property of the said Thomas Lobe.
William Davis, 23 Years of Age, born at Luton in Bedfordshire, of mean Parents, who got him taught to read and write, and then put him Apprentice to a Baker ; when he had serv'd out his Time he came to London, thinking to better his Fortune, but he took a quite wrong Method of doing it. For about a Year ago, as he said, when he was out of settl'd Business, his Companion and Accomplice Hewlet, who had serv'd the same Master with him, advis'd him to go a stealing and pilfering, drinking and whoring with him, which pernicious Advice he embrac'd, and follow'd ever after, till such Time as he was taken up. He was a simple, clownish, ignorant young Fellow, and a very great Proficient in Wickedness, during the said Time but he threw the whole Occasion of his Ruin upon the Solicitations and over Persuasions of his profligate Comrade. He was grievously afflicted with Sickness, of a Fever and Ague, and a prodigious Swelling in his Feet, all the Time he was under Sentence, occasion'd (as he said) by Cold, and he had also got himself clap'd or pox'd in a high Degree, so that he
could not move from off his Couch, but was in the most miserable Condition imaginable. He cried out and groan'd very much, partly for fear of Death, and partly because of the great Pains he endur'd. When I daily prayed for him in the Cell, he declar'd himself Penitent, and comply'd fervently with the Prayers, and were very attentive to the Instructions and Exhortations which were given to him, but his Indisposition was so great, that he was not fit for receiving them. He declar'd, that he hop'd for Salvation only through Christ, that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, that his Sentence was just, and that he forgave all Men the Offences they had given him, as he expected Forgiveness from God.
Elizabeth Cook, of the Parish of St. Laurence, was indicted for feloniously stealing 10 Guineas, 5 Pieces of Silver, 2 Foreign Pieces of Silver, and a Holland Shirt, on the 22d of December last, the Property of John Oldfield, Doctor of Physick , in the Dwelling-house of Mr. Joseph Porter.
Elizabeth Cook, between 40 and 50 Years of Age, born of honest Parents in Wales, who put her to School, but she was Cross and would not keep it, and could not read. When she came to Age, she serv'd a Gentleman's House in Herefordshire, where she married a Man of the Name of Cook, with whom (as she said) she liv'd Creditably for some Years. After her Husband's Death, she threw up her Country Business of farming Land , and came to Town, where she serv'd in several good Families, and (if we may believe her) with Approbation of her Masters and Mistresses. She said, that she never stole any thing, excepting the Fact of which she was convicted, and that she took no more but the three Guineas, and the Silver which she restored. After all the Motives I us'd, to cause her to make a full Confession, she would not acknowledge any more. She said, that she liv'd Soberly and Virtuously, that in the Country she went to Church, and took the Sacrament sometimes, but for 9 Years past since she came to London, she did not go often to Church. She was very much afraid of Death, against the Fears of which I advanc'd several Arguments and solid Grounds of Comfort. She was very devout and attentive in Chapel, and at other Times express'd a Confidence in the Mercy of God through Christ. She own'd the Justice of her Sentence, according to Law; and declar'd, that she believ'd in Christ her only Saviour; repented of all her Sins; and died in Peace with all Mankind.
N. B. Neeves would not tell any thing about Mrs. Fletcher's Goods, which if he did, he said, it would be to prosecute some Person and ruin their Families.
At the Place of Execution,
THomas Neeves, in Chapel before he went out, behav'd indifferently well, but when he came to the Tree, h appear'd like to a Man in Drink, staggering and scarce able to stand, and as I was praying for them, he frequently cried out to a Man about a Coach which was to carry off his Body, so that I was forc'd to reprove him, and when I alledg'd that he had drunk too much, he said, No Sir, I only took a Dram this Morning. The Father and Wife of one Nichols, a Barber, (who was executed in May last, in Company, and for his being concern'd with the Street-Robbers, upon Neeves's Evidence) came into the Cart, to enquire before Neeves died, if his Evidence against the said Nichols was true; he said, it was not, pray'd to God to forgive him for bearing false Witness, declar'd that Nichols died Innocent, and that he never saw him, till he was taken up, and before the Justice, and that he swore falsely against Nichols by the Persuasion and Advice of some others, who by that Means thought to get some Money to themselves and him. As to the Fact for which he died, he said, he never went into the Shop in Monmouth street, to cheapen any Thing, but would give no further Account, what way he came by the Coat. He said that the Judgment of God had most justly overtaken him, for swearing away the Life of others. He desir'd a Psalm to be sung last of all, and as we were singing, he smil'd to some People near by, which gave Offence to the Spectators. He died as he liv'd, i. e. as we may fear, stupidly Impenitent. Mrs. Cook said, she forgave all Men, as she expected Forgiveness from God. Jeremiah Cray comply'd fervently with the Devotion and singing of Psalms, having nothing to add, but adher'd to his former Confessions. The other two had nothing more to say. The Four last died Penitent, as they declar'd.
This all the Account given by me,