THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and dying Words of the Malefactors, who were executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 22d of this Instant August, 1729.
BY Virtue of his Majesty's Commission of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, for the City of London and County of Middlesex: On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, being the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th of July, 1729, in the Third Year of His MAJESTY's Reign. Before the Rt. Honourable Sir ROBERT BAYLIS, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Rt. Honourable the Lord Chief Baron Pengelly; the Honourable Mr. Justice Reynolds; the Honourable Mr. Baron Thompson, Recorder of the City of London; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Raby, Deputy Recorder; and other of His Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex.
Five Men, viz. Thomas-James Grundy, Joseph Kemp, Benjamin Wileman, James Cluff, and John Pantry; and two Women, viz. Hannah Hartley, and Susannah Frazier, were by the Jury found Guilty of capital Offences, and receiv'd Sentence of Death.
Of them, James Cluff having been convicted upon a Special Verdict, after that he had been acquitted in a preceeding Sessions, for the Murder of Mary Green, was executed on Friday the 25th of July last, for the said Murder, at which Time his last Confessions were publish'd: Hannah Hartley, and Susannah Frazier, having pleaded their Bellies, and a Jury of Matrons being impannell'd, both of them were found Pregnant, and with Quick Child.
The other Four, while under Sentence, were instructed in the fundamental Article of all Religion, how that it is necessary for us to believe, that God is, and that he is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek him. I show'd them that it hath been always the Sentiment of all Men and Nations, that there is an infinite supreme Being, whom we call God, who created and in his Providence preserves all Things; and that this innate persuasion or instinct, could never by the utmost gigantick efforts of a few Sacrilegiously-wicked Men, be eras'd out of the minds of Mankind; ye, that on the contrary, the Consciences of those ungodly Sinners never fail to fly in their own Faces, and to excite in their Breasts the infernal Torments even in this Life, because of their daring attempts against God and Heaven. Then I seriously press'd upon them to believe in Christ the Son of God, equal to the Father, the true Messias, and the only Saviour of Sinners, by whom alone we can be saved from the Guilt and Power of Sin, since there is not Salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under Heaven given among Men, whereby we must be saved. From Acts 3. 19. Repent ye therefore and be converted; that your Sins may be blotted out, when the times of Refreshing shall come from the Presence of the Lord. I exhorted them to a sincere and hearty Repentance for all their Sins, and particularly those of a more heinous Nature, which (no doubt) perplex'd their Consciences, and in an especial Manner, for the great Sin of Theft and Robbery, for which they were then suffering so much Shame and Sorrow. I advis'd them to partake in Christ's Death and Sufferings, in the Blessed Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, from those Words, This do in Remembrance of me, St. Luke 22. 19. &c.
While these, and many such exhortations were made use of, as they were in Chappel, they were attentive, and those of them who could read made regular Responses. Grundy who was young and inconsiderate, at some times did not seem to be duely affected in his Devotion. Wileman always behav'd himself modestly and seriously. Kemp was Sick almost the whole Time they were under Sentence, and for several Days he appear'd like unto one at the point of Death, and was so deaf that he could scarce hear any thing; when I visited him, he desir'd me to Pray by him; and having recover'd some short time before his Death, he gave regular attendance in Chappel. While Wileman was Sick, he profest a deep Repentance, and earnestly desir'd to receive the Sacrament. Pantry was Sick most of the Time, and behav'd himself with apparent Devotion, both in Publick and Private.
Some Days before the Dead Warrant came down to Newgate, some of their Friends who were allow'd to Visit them, found means to convey to them some Implements or Tools, fit for breaking the Prison. This they attempted and succeeded so far, as to break through the Ceiling and Brickwall of Wileman's and Kemp's Cells, and to make two large Holes above the Doors of the Cells; and in the Day time, when they had an opportunity in going from one Cell to another to speak together, between Chappel Time, they had loos'd one of the large Free-stones, where it looks out to Phoenix Court. This design was prevented by a discovery upon Sunday Morning the 17th of August, upon which, Wileman, Kemp and Grundy were remov'd
to the old Condemn'd Hold and stappl'd down: It is the Opinion of many, if they had not been Interrupted, that upon Monday Morning by One or Two o'Clock, all the Three would have got off.
Upon Monday, the 18th of this Instant August, the Report was made to the Queen's Majesty in Council, of the four Prisoners under Sentence of Death in Newgate, when John Pantry of St. John Hackney, convicted for feloniously stealing a brown Gelding, value 3 l. the property of William Stokes, the 9th of June last, receiv'd her Majesty's most gracious Reprieve; the remaining Three, viz. Thomas James Grundy, Joseph Kemp, and Benjamin Wildman, were order'd for Excution.
The Prosecutor depos'd, that his Window was broke open between the Hours of 11 and 1 o'Clock, and he being call'd up by the Neighbours, found the Prisoner up his Chimney, standing upon the Pole that the Pot-hangers were on. The Prisoner had nothing to say in his Defence, but that he was invited by one who said that he lodg'd in the House, to stay all Night with him, but that having let him in, his Friend went off, and he saw and knew him no more; this was look'd upon as a Newgate Plea, and the Jury found him Guilty of the Indictment Death.
Thomas-James Grundy, as he said, about 18 Years of Age, descended of mean Parents, who were willing to have given him such Education at School, as they were able, but from his Childhood, he was of so wicked and perverse a Disposition, that he would be taught nothing at all, which was the Occasion of his being grosly Ignorant of religious Principles, and by Consequence, unacquainted with Devotion, or any thing that's Good and Virtuous. He own'd, that there was not a more abandoned Wretch of his Age to be found, having wholly given himself up to the Devils Service, and to commit all Manner of Wickedness with Pleasure. When he was fit for Business, his Father taught him his own Trade of Weaving , which he follow'd at some Times, when he pleas'd, but seldom was he found in so good a Disposition: For he said, that he could not remember when he commenc'd Thief, having been naturally of a vile avaricious Temper, coveting every thing he saw, or could get his Fingers on. He began with picking and stealing all little things that came in his way, and when about 12 Years of Age, he apply'd himself to House-breaking, which he follow'd close for the 6 last Years of his Life. He did not break Houses in London, but in Hampstead, Highgate, Hackney, and other neighbouring Villages about the Town. He it was who first put Kemp and Wileman upon the Design of breaking the Prison, for he said, that he was so Expert in digging through Walls, that by the Help of some small Tools, the strongest Wall, either of Brick or Free-stone, could not keep him in. He acknowledg'd, that although he was young in Age, yet he had been an old, yea, a most presumptuous Sinner, having accustomed himself to nothing but wicked Practices, from the time that he could discover his right Hand from his Left. He was addicted to Whoring, Drinking, Swearing, Blaspheming, Gaming, and Prodigally squandering what Money or Goods he got upon the pillaging and robbing of honest People. I endeavour'd what I could to instruct him in the first Principles of Religion, for he had been of such a dissolute Life, and his Mind had been so fix'd upon Villainy, that he knew very little, if any thing, of God or Christ. I exhorted him in many Words, to fly from the Wrath to come, by repenting of his Sins, and making Peace with God through Christ. When he knew himself to be included in the Dead Warrant, he wept bitterly, and said, that it was not for fear of Death, but because he was afraid of his Soul being thrown into the Pit of Destruction and eternal Misery. I advis'd him to rely upon the Mercy of God, which is infinite. He said, that he was heartily sorry and griev'd for his most abominably wicked Life, for which he begg'd Pardon of God and Man; he declar'd that he believ'd in Christ, through whose Merits and Sufferings he hop'd to be sav'd, and that he freely forgave all Injuries, as he expected Forgiveness from God.
Joseph Kemp, of St. Botolphs, Aldgate, was indicted for Burglariously breaking and entering the Dwelling-house of Sarah Piccard, in the Night time, and feloniously stealing thence, 36 Gold Rings and Stone Rings, 3 Silver Watches, several Pieces of Silver Plate, and divers other Goods of a considerable Value, the 11th of June last.
Joseph Kemp was a third time indicted of St. James's Westminster, for Burglariously breaking and entring the House of Mrs. Mary Paget, in the Night time, and stealing thence Plate and other Goods, to a great Value, the 20th of March last.
Sarah Piccard depos'd, that her House was fast shut between 10 and 11 o'Clock, and was found broken open about 5 in the Morning; and that one Kemp, a Relation of the Prisoner's, had found that an Augre, and a strong short Knife left in the Yard, were the Prisoner's. Mr. Kemp depos'd, that the Prisoner had shown him the Knife. Joannah Kemp and Jonathan Hoskins, confirm'd this Evidence. And Samuel Gerrard, a Constable , depos'd, that when (with the two preceeding Witnesses in his Company) he found several of
he Goods of Mrs. Piccard's in the Prisoner's House, he then said that he committed the Robbery by himself, without the assistance of any Body. He had nothing to the Purpose to alledge in his Defence. John Knap, an Accomplice, whose Evidence was confirm'd by other Circumstances, clearly prov'd the other two Indictments. The Jury found him Guilty of all the three Indictments. Death.
Joseph Kemp, about 24 Years of Age, born in Holbourn, of mean Parents, who got him educated in reading and writing, and instructed in Christian Principles, at a publick School. When of Age, he was, by his Parents, and those who had the Care of his Education, put out Apprentice to a Glazier , with whom he serv'd out his Time with Approbation. His Parents (as he said) afterwards set him up in a Shop, and gave him 60 l. to enable him to carry on his Affairs; but after all could be done for him, his falling in with bad Company prov'd his speedy Ruin. For he was greatly in Love with a common Woman of the Town, and altho' he knew that she kept Company with two Men that past for her Husbands, he married her, who in a very short Time pawn'd and sold off all his Goods, and when all was gone, betaking herself to thieving and robbing, she was at last taken and committed to Gaol. When Kemp visited her in the Prison, he gave her what Money he had; and when he told her that he knew not how to get any more, she curs'd and swore at him, and bid him go and knock down People in the Street, or go and rob Houses, and carry off Money or Goods, for Money she wanted, and Money she must have. He passionately lov'd her, and being void of the Fear of God, he provided himself with proper Instruments, and then betook himself to House-breaking got her out of Prison, and when done, he gave her a great Quantity of stollen Plate, which she dispos'd off, and spent it upon other Men. At last she was taken up again, and transported for felonious Practices, and then being out of his Sight, he quickly marry'd another Woman, who was try'd with him for the chief Burglary of which he was convicted, and acquitted. By the time of his second unlawful Marriage, he had lost all Credit, and had no Business, but liv'd wholly by robbing and House-breaking, in which way of Trade he had acquir'd no small Dexterity. He own'd, that for 2 or 3 Years past he had liv'd a very wicked, sinful and irregular Life; and particularly, that he committed the three Burglaries of which he was convicted, that he had been a most abandon'd Wretch, void of the Fear of God, and his Thoughts intirely taken up in contriving and putting in Practice his wicked Devices. He did not seem to have been naturally of a bad Disposition, but as he was of too easy a Temper, and in a Manner bewitch'd with the Allurements of that wicked Woman, whom he first marry'd, he was easily carry'd off and led aside to comply with her hellish Counsel. When the Dead Warrant came out, he cried, and wrung his Hands very much. I exhorted him to take Courage, and not to dispair of the Mercy of God which is infinite; I advis'd him to confess all his Sins, and to mourn bitterly over them before God, for Whosoe confesseth and forsaketh his Sins shall find Mercy, but he who hideth his Sins shall not prosper, Pro. 28. 13. I desir'd him to resolve against all Sin, and to dedicate himself to God, since he had been guilty of breaking his baptismal Vows in such a notorious Manner, by sinning against so much Light and Knowledge, against so many Vows and Resolutions to the contrary. He confess'd, that he was one of the chief of Sinners; and declar'd, that he was Sorry for his having offended so good and gracious a God, and that he had prov'd a Scandal to his Fellow Creatures, for which he heartily begg'd Pardon of God and all the World; that he believed in Christ, through whose Blood and Merits he hoped to be saved, and that he died in Peace with all the World.
Benjamin Wileman, of Pancrass, was indicted for assaulting William Hucks, Esq ; on the Highway, and taking from him a Gold Watch, Chain and Seals, Val. 24 l. and one Guinea, the 30th of December last.
The Prosecutor depos'd, that he believ'd Wileman to be the Person who robb'd him. John Doyle, an Accomplice, depos'd, that he and Wileman went out in Company and committed the Robbery on Mr. Hucks, told several Particulars that happen'd, and that he gave Wileman 5 Guineas and a half for his Share of the Gold Watch, &c. 'Squire Bridges depos'd, that he was robb'd of the Things mention'd in the second Indictment. John Doyle depos'd, that he and Wileman committed this Robbery also. Elizabeth Jones depos'd, that she met the Prisoner and Doyle in Bedford Row, that both of them were Booted and Spurr'd, and very Dirty, and that they show'd her the Bank Note, to which she swore to when it was shown her. Arrabella Manning depos'd, that the Prisoner and Doyle giving her a Dram in a Shop in Drury-Lane, one of them drop'd a Paper, and taking it up he said, the Loss of that would be the Loss of 20 l. this being about 8 or 9 o'Clock at Night, the same Day the Robbery was committed. He objected against the Evidence of Doyle, Jones, and Manning, and call'd some Persons to his Character; but both the Facts being plainly prov'd to the Satisfaction of the Jury, he was found guilty of both Indictments. Death.
in reading, writing, and cyphering, to fit him for Business, and was instructed in the Principles of our holy Christian Faith. When of Age, his Father bred him to his own Trade of a Taylor , and when he was wearied of following his Business, he listed himself in a Regiment in Ireland, and serv'd in the Army there 12 Years. Some Years ago he came over to England, and (as he said) liv'd by following his Trade. He confess'd that he was a Man of a very dissolute Life having been addicted to Whoring, Drinking, Gaming, and Swearing; and that he spent almost all the Money he could earn, in a vicious way of Living, and in the worst of Company; and he own'd that the Judgment of God had justly overtaken him, for such a notorious wicked Course of Life. He reflected on Doyle the Evidence, and said that he was taken up by him out of Spite, because he threaten'd to take up a third Person for a capital Crime, against whom he had Proof. He deny'd the Facts of which he was convicted, but own'd himself to have been a most notorious Sinner in other Respects, and that therefore his Afflictions were deservedly brought upon him, as a visible Punishment from Heaven, for his Disobedience to Gods Laws, his neglecting his Worship and despising his Ordinances. Under his Misfortunes he always profess'd a deep Repentance, and a hearty Sorrow for a mispent Life. He declar'd, that he believ'd in Christ, that he was a true Penitent for his Sins and that he forgave all the World, as he expected Forgiveness from God. All the three died in the Communion of this Church.
MY Father and Mother brought me up tenderly and Honestly, and always gave me good Advice, whilst I was under their Care; they put me Apprentice to a Glasier , my Master not being so careful of me, as he ought to have been; I took to ill Courses, and married before my Time was expir'd, to a Woman, that brought me to this untimely End; for she could not Live upon what I got at my Trade, and out of my over fondness of her, I did whatever she requir'd, or requested of me; at length she was taken up for some Fact, and Transported. Then I married a second Wife, and she was as Good, as the other was Bad, and she would do any thing to help to support me, that I might not commit any Wickedness; but I could not take her Advice, but still run on in my wicked Course of Life, till I was overtaken in my Folly; for if we think our selves safe in the committing of Sin, God will certainly find such out, because, he is just, and will punish accordingly. This my miserable End, I wou'd have all take warning by, and that they follow not the Devices of this World, the Snares whereof, are apt to lead Men into evil Courses, unless they endeavour to shun them, and seek the Grace of God, to assist and enable them for that effect. I offer my Prayers to God for the Good of all Men, and ask Pardon of God for my evil Doings, and Forgiveness of all whom I have wrong'd, and particularly the Forgiveness of God to those, who have sworn against my Life. I beg Reflections pass not upon my Wife, for I declare, whatever Wrongs she may have committed, was thro' my Perswasions, of herself inclinable to Good. I would lastly request, That the Follies and Vices which have brought me to this untimely End, may not by any Means be a Cause to afflict my grievous Parents, both Father and Mother: but would have all to consider, when ever they are persuaded to any Manner of Ways, tending to their Ruin, they would likewise remember to call upon God to help and assist them, in shunning such, and all other wicked Courses. Good People, pray for me, that God may receive me through his Mercies, which I trust he will.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
Thomas-James Grundy, wept bitterly when he came to the Place of Execution, and said, that he had been a most wicked and perverse Boy, that he had been guilty of a great deal of Mischief, as breaking open of Houses, and robbing People of their Goods or Money, for which he begg'd Pardon of God and Man. He own'd his Sentence and Punishment to be most Just. Benjamin Wileman deny'd the Facts for which he dy'd, reflecting on the Evidence who had been an Accomplice; that he had appear'd against him, in order to screen another Person from being brought to Justice; he also spoke of a Person, who (as he said) had first deliver'd him up to Justice, contrary to his Promise, which, he said, he freely forgave him, and all the World. They all appear'd very Penitent and concern'd, and joyn'd fervently in Prayer and singing of Psalms. Wileman's and Kemp's Wives went up to the Cart, just before they were ty'd up, and very Lovingly and with many Tears embrac'd and took leave of their Husbands. They all left the Stage, crying out, God have Mercy upon us, and Lord Jesus receive my Spirit.
This is all the Account given by me,