THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT, Of the Behaviour, Confession, and dying Words of the Malefactors, who were executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday the 7th of this Instant October, 1730.
AT the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery of Newgate, held (before the Right Honourable Sir Richard Brocas, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Hon. Mr. Baron Thompson, Recorder; Mr. Serjeant Raby, Deputy Recorder of the said City; and others of his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer for the City of London, and Justices of Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex) at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, being the 28th, 29th, and 31st of August, and Tuesday the 1st of September, 1730, in the fourth Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Eleven Men, viz Samuel Armstrong, Nicholas Bennet, Joseph Robinson, John Head, George Taverner, Andrew Dalton, Nicholas Gilburn, Thomas Griffith, Thomas Hitchin, Gilbert Laurence, and Singdel Street, were by the Jury found Guilty of capital Offences, and receiv'd Sentence of Death.
They having been young Men of a wild extravagant Life, and wicked Conversation, and although some of them might know a little of good Principles, by Virtue of Education, yet altogether ignorant of, and unacquainted with the Practice of Virtue and Goodness, wherein the Life of Religion consists: As I instructed them in the Articles of our Holy Faith, necessary to Salvation, so likewise I shew'd them, that all those Points necessary to be known, in order to Salvation, were intended for the Reformation of our Lives, to restore us unto the Dignity of the divine Native, that we might become Holy as God is Holy, and Blameless in all manner of Conversation, since, without Holiness no Man can see the Lord. I made them to understand, that as Christ came into the World to rectify the Mistakes and corrupt Notions about Religion, which the Jewish Doctors and Rabbi's had propagated, so his great Aim in all these Instructions was to discover unto them wherein they deviated from the Paths of Virtue, and to bring them into the Practice of sincere Piety and Goodness, which is the only way to Happiness; and therefore St. Peter, when preaching to convince Men of the Excellency of our christian Institution, gives this as one of the noblest Epithets of the great Author thereof, who went about doing good: Acts 10. 38. This is one of the signal Characters which Christ bears, that he was constantly imploy'd in doing good to the Souls and Bodies of Men; and in imitation of him, who is the Captain of our Salvation, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, and of those who through Faith and Patience have inherited the Promises; we ought to be constantly employ'd in working Righteousness in exercising ourselves more unto Godliness, which hath Promise of this Life, and that which is to come: For this is the very end of our Creation, that we may glorify God; and by what Means do we glorify God? by working Righteousness and doing good, after the Example of our Blessed Saviour; by exercising our selves to Acts of Justice, Mercy and Compassion; By injuring no Body, but doing good to every one, to the uttermost of our Power; yea, by prosecuting Malice or Revenge against no Person, but freely, and in the Bowels of christian Love, Sympathy and Compassion, forgiving all those who have offended us, as we expect, for the Sake of Christ, Forgiveness at the Hands of a good and merciful God, for the manifold, yea, the innumerable Offences we have committed against him.
I exhorted them all, however many or great their Sins might have been, to throw themselves upon the infinite Mercies of God in Christ, not to despair of the divine Mercy, but to believe in Christ who died for our Sins, to repent of all their Sins, to resolve upon a new Life, and wholly to resign themselves unto God: And in Token of their Repentance, I advis'd them to partake in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, as a Pledge and Confirmation of all the Benefits of the new Covenant.
While these and many such Exhortations were given, all of them attended in Chapel, and they who could read made Responses; but most of them seem'd to be very indifferent, and at some times smil'd and spoke to one another, for which I sharply rebuk'd them, after that they behav'd with more Decency. Polson was always very attentive and apparently Penitent, and complain'd frequently upon the Misbehaviour of some of the rest. Joseph Robinson behav'd gravely and was Careful in his Devotions. Laurence sate very quiet, but being a Foreigner did not perfectly understand what was said.
Upon Thursday the 1st of October, the Report of the above nam'd eleven Malefactors, under Sentence of Death, was made to his Majesty in Council, when Nicholas Bennet, Joseph Robinson, John Head, and George Taverner, of St. James's Clerkenwell, for assaulting John Berrisford, in the House of Joseph Walker, putting him in Fear of his Life, and taking from him two half Guineas, two Six-pences, two Half-pence, and a Counter, the 29th of August last; Andrew Dalton, of St. Dunstan's, Stepney, for feloniously stealing two pair of Silver Buckles, Value 10 s. a Cane, with a Gold Head, Value 3 l. a Wig, Value 20 s. the Property of John Rawlins, jun . a Bay Gelding, Value 10 l. a Bridle and Saddle, the Property of John Rawlins, Sen . the 24th of July last; and Tho. Griffith, received his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve. The remaining Five, viz. Thomas Hitchin, Nicholas Gilburn, Samuel Armstrong, Gilbert Laurence, and Singdel Street, were order'd for Execution.
seven Shillings in Money, a Bay Mare, Bridle, Saddle and a Cane, the 23d of July last.
Thomas Hitchin, whose true Name (as he said) was Polson, 29 Years of Age, Descended of Honest Parents at Marlow, in Shropshire, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading and Writing, and instructed him in Principles of Christianity: He was put to no Particular Trade, but follow'd Country-Business of Husbandry . When Young, he was a Perverse, Naughty Boy, Disobedient to his Parents, neglected his School, was inclin'd to Idleness, and addicted himself to Mischievous and Wicked Practices. When of Age, his Father settled him in a good Farm, gave him a Free-hold Estate of 20 l. per Ann. got him a Wife with an Estate of 10 l. per Ann. more, and at the Death of his own Father and his Mother-in-Law, he had an Estate of 20 l. per Ann. more. When he got his Farm and Estate, he was an Idle, Lazy, Fellow, neglected all Business, join'd himself to bad Company, run in Debt to the Value of 140 l lost all Credit and Esteem in his own Country; and then not knowing what to do, as being Despis'd, Hated or Suspected by every Body, he left his own House, bid farewell to his Wife and Four or Five young Children, and came to London upon pretence of having some Business there, and that he was oblig'd to fly his Country for Debt; but his real Design was to try what Treasure he might pick up upon the Highway. And in order to prepare himself for desperate Attempts, he provided a Pocket Pistol or two, and thought he should have better Success about London than he had in the Country; whereupon he set out, and meeting with Thomas Andrews, between Highgate and Hampstead, in the Day time, between Eight and Nine in the Morning, he presented his Pistol, and robb'd him of those things mention'd in the Indictment, but being immediately pursu'd, and never getting out of Sight of his Prosecutor, or those other Evidences who follow'd close after him, he was apprehended near Cambray House, and committed to Newgate. He own'd this Robbery, as given account of by the Evidence who appear'd against him, and that he had been a very dissolute wicked Youth.
The following is an Account of all the Robberies the above Malefactor gave the Morning of his Execution.
HHe said he began to play at Cards, to which in little Time he took a great liking too, and in Short, when Money began to grow low, would stick at nothing to raise Money, to carry on the Trade of Card-playing: He confess'd, he robb'd his Father at two sundry Times, in order to support his wicked Trade of Gaming, and for above 6 Months successive, his Father's Maid, was mistrusted to have taken the Money, but at lenghth to save her Credit, he wrote to his Father, and own'd the Fact.
Having confessed the taking his Father's Money, was obliged to keep from home; having no Money, and was at a Loss what to turn himself too; he said he was no great lover of Work, and so in short, concluded with himself on going to Wales to steal Horses, and accordingly went, and stole a grey Mare from one 'Squire Lewis, which he sold within 20 Miles of Shrewsberry, to a London Butcher, for 14 l. 10 s. That Money put him forward pretty well in the World, and he ventur'd a second Time into Wales.
Going a second Time, (his Money not being all spent,) he bought a Welch Padd for 50 s. and in his Travels through Wales, met with a Bedfellow at a Country Inn, where he found he had Money about him; took Care to make him Drunk at Night, then they went to Bed together, and he robb'd him of about 6 l. odd Shillings, and in the Morning went a contrary Way to what he said he was going; leaving his Bedfellow fast asleep.
After this Robbery he went to Canterbury, and played a great many Pranks there, but was in a short Time forced to take his Course to some other Place, then he rov'd up an down Kent for sometime, without any valuable Success, that's to Say, Any Thing of a good Booty. But at last, coming near Maidstone, one Day towards the close of the Evening, he spy'd a parcel of fine Linnen drying upon a Hedge, he came up (as he said) on pretence of enquiring the Way, when he found there was no Body there, he took Ten very fine Shirts, and made off undiscovered.
In some short Time after he came up to London, having had but little Success in the County of Kent, and when he came to Town, he sold the ten Shirts to a Life Guard-man for five pound ready Money. He remain'd in London sometime, and then went to Norfolk, Travel'd a great way in that Country, until he came to a Place call'd Ellsome, where he thought to remain for a Time, and there he fain'd himself Lame, by Reason he might not be taken notice off; and in the Time of his stay there, made his Observations round about the Country; being about nine Days there, he paid his Reckoning and came away; but before he parted that Neighbourhood, he stole from the Grounds of Sir John Hubbard, Bart . a Chsnut Mare, which by a great many Stratagems he brought to London, and put her up in the Hay-Market; the Scent was so Hot after him, that he could not pretend to Sell her in London; and at that Time Money began to be very short, was oblig'd to borrow four Guineas of his Landlord, and leave the Mare in his Hands, which (he said) was very much against his Inclination.
Sometime after this, his Father was so good to look over all his past wicked Actions of his Life, and took him Home, where he staid and lived Honest for some time with his Wife and Friends; but the unhappy Distemper of Laziness prevailing, against that of Industry, he could not Work long; then he turn'd out again to his old Trade of Thieving, and Horse-stealing, for Money was difficult to come to in the Country, and he could not bear the Want of it by any means.
According to his Resolution he parted from his Fathers Habitation, and took a little Mare belonging to his Brother, promising to Return her in a few Days, an Travel'd the Country up and down, like a Sportsman, seeking for Game; and for fifteen Days successively, could meet with nothing worth his while, but at Length happen'd to meet an old Man on Horse Back in Flint-shire, who he said, had one Foot in the Grave, and one out, he robb'd him of a Silver Watch and 5 s. and some odd Money, and made his Escape undiscover'd.
After he had committed this Robbery, he came towards London, where he spent what he had upon lew'd Women: So seeing his Money began to grow short; was resolved on going in Yorkshire, and accordingly he put forward, and travel'd a great part of the Way without a Penny Cost, for he was forc'd to take to his old Trade of Bilking of Publick Houses in his Journey. He arriv'd at Doncaster in Yorkshire, and in all his Way from London to thence, he never got
a Penny, but 10 s. he won at Cards; being come to Doncaster, he staid there two Days, and then put forward into the Country, and of a Market Day, Robb'd an old Farmer of 40 s. and a pair of Silver Buckles, and took his Horse, and Rid about 15 Miles a Cross Road, and then turn'd him loose; so went forward into the Country, and committed several Petty Robberies. He remained in the Country up and down about two Months, and then made Homewards. He bought a Colt there for a Watch, which He robb'd a Man off, and then went Home Directly; but in his Way, stole the Top of a large two handle Silver Cup, from an Inn; which was the greatest Booty he met with, between Yorkshire and Shropshire.
Then his Father was so kind once more to receive him, where he remained about 11 Months, and liv'd Honest, but sometimes he said that he went out and stole a Shoulder of Mutton, which he never fail'd off; during that 11 Months, always of a Saturday Night, and so liv'd all the remainder of the Week; sometimes against his Inclinations, he work'd a little, by reason he would not give the World an Opportunity of Judging him an Idle Fellow; Tho' he was one in grain.
Having some Words with his Wife, he said he would go away again, and accordingly he did into Yorkshire, and there he rambled up, and down all this last Summer; was at the Races in several Parts of Yorkshire, pilfered in as many Places as he could, and in particular, at an Inn where he lay; he Stole away the Sheets of the Bed, and went off in the Morning by Times, and made towards York, where he staid some time, then made forwards for London, he shifted as well as he could on the Road, and in Short, was not much out of Pocket in the whole Journey. When he came to London he lodged in Leather-Lane, at an Inn, where he remained a whole Day to refresh him.
Having rested himself a Day, he turned out the next Day towards Hampstead, and that Day, and until 11 at Night, had no manner of Success; so returned Home to his Quarters, as he went the second Day the same Way, and was along Time e're he could see any thing; but towards Evening espy'd an old Gentleman in a one-Horse Chaise, whom he paid his Compliment to, and took from 6 Guineas, a Watch, and a Mourning Ring, and 9 s. 6 d. in Silver, then made homewards, a-cross the Fields, undiscovered, and remain'd at Home at his Lodgings 3 Days, pretending Sickness for fear of being published, and described in the News-Papers.
After the 3 Days were expired; he turned out again, and (as he said,) made a continual Visit out every Night, for 14 Days, sometimes he got 2, or 3 Pieces, and sometimes none. He waited for 800 l. which he knew was to come Hampstead Road, by an old Man, who, he said, a Girl could Robb; but not meeting with him according to expectation; he attacked Mr. Andrews, for which he suffer'd this ignominious Death, and for which Fact, he own'd, and said he was fairly Convicted.
Gilbert Laurence, of the Precinct of St. Brides, was indicted, for that on the 11th of July last, not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, but moved by the Instigation of the Devil, he did on the Body of Paul Oliver, a Male Infant, 14 Years of Age, make an Assault, and violently and wickedly, and against Nature, did B - r the said Paul Oliver.
Gilbert Laurence, 34 Years of Age, born in Pretaigne, in France, of honest Parents, who educated him at School, and when of Age put him to a Gilder . He followed his Business at home for several Years, till about seven Years ago he came over to England, married a Wife and liv'd with her in a good Character: but after her Death he addicted himself too much to drinking and Company-keeping. Paul Oliver was bound an Apprentice to him to learn his Trade of Gilding . He and his Mother prov'd the Indictment very clearly upon him, which was also confirm'd by the Justice of Peace and a Surgeon, who were all such as he could make no Exceptions against: Yet he persisted in a peremptory Denial of the Crime he was convicted of, after all the Reasons could be given for an ingenuous Confession. I told him, it was to no Purpose to deny the Fact, since there was no Hope of a Reprieve, and that he would glorify God by a free Confession, which would also make him leave this World, with the greater Peace of Mind, in taking Shame and Confusion of Face to himself, for so notorious, so heinous, so barbarous, and so unnatural a Crime, as he was convicted of. He said, he had made his Confessions to another already, being of a different Communion, but made the most solemn Protestations imaginable, that it was not so as they gave in Evidence against him. He complain'd of some of the Boy's Friends, that they came to him in Prison, and said that he was not to appear against him, which was the Reason of his not having any of his Friends upon the Trial, who if they had been there (as he said) would have prov'd, that he could not at that time have been guilty of such Rudeness and Barbarity, as he was convicted of, as being in a very bad State of Health, and tainted with the Foul Disease. Some Months before this, he was Prisoner in Newgate for ravishing a Girl about eight Years of Age, but no Body appearing against him, he was at that time dismiss'd. A Woman came often to him and buoy'd him up with Thoughts of a Reprieve, but when he saw that all Hopes were over, he began to be more affected, and to shed Tears, as some of the rest did. He behav'd always very modestly and quietly, and with appearance of Devotion, in the Chapel, where he constantly attended. He own'd that he had been a great Sinner, and that a just Judgment had befallen him for the Sins of his Life. He declar'd, that he believ'd in Christ our Saviour, repented of all his Sins, and that he died in Peace with all the World, and in the Romish Communion .
Samuel Armstrong, (together with Thomas Griffiths, since repriev'd) of St. Mary, White-Chappel, were indicted for breaking the House of John Richfield, the 3d of May last, in the Night-time, in stealing seven Iron Bars, a Fender, a Leaden Cistern, and other Goods, the Property of John Richfield.
Samuel Armstrong, 22 Years of Age, of honest but mean Parents, who educated him at School to read and write, to fit him for Business, and instructed him in religious Principles. When of Age, he was bound Apprentice to Capt. Matthews , who traded to Guiney and the West Indies, whom he serv'd honestly for the space of seven Years; and afterwards he went some Voyages to Sea, having come home from his last Voyage only two or three Months before he was taken up. He said he never was dishonest while he went to Sea. It does not appear that he was so profoundly wicked as many of these Miscreants are. As to the Fact for which he died, he deny'd that he knew any thing of it, which his Partner also affirm'd; who said that Armstrong knew nothing of the Matter, directly
or indirectly, and that the Burglary was committed by Holland and himself, and that Holland never knew Armstrong till he saw him in the Prison; where coming to understand him to be a young Man of a bad Character, to save his own Life he resolv'd to swear the Burglary against him also.
At the last Sessions before, he was capitally Convicted, he was found guilty of a single Felony, for running away with a Man's Hat and Tobacco Box, in the Night-time in Thames-Street; upon which he was taken up immediately and committed to Prison, where he came acquainted with Holland. He said, he never thiev'd or stole any thing till of late falling, into Acquaintance of a young Woman, who pass'd for his Wife a while, for supporting whose extravagancy, he was content to adventure upon any thing; but she abandon'd him in his Calamity, and married another. It was but a short time he was employ'd in that wicked Way, and made but very little or nothing by it; and the Hat and Tobacco-box, (as he said) for which he was convicted of a Single Felony, was taken by his Partner, who made his Escape, after he had given them to him, and left him in the Lurch for all: which prov'd the Occasion of his Ruin. If the account he gave of himself be true, he was cropt in the Bud, and kept from doing much more mischief: he seem'd to be a daring young Fellow, and not to have such a Sense of Sin upon his Spirit, as was needful, till he was past all hopes, when he shed plenty of Tears. He hop'd for Salvation through the Faith of Christ, said he repented of his Sins, and forgave all who had injur'd him
Singdel Street, 17 Years of Age, of mean Parents in Southwark, who would have put him to a Free School, but he was of a perverse Temper, and would not go to it, so that he could neither Read nor Write. He was ignorant of Religion, very dull of Capacity, and could scarce Remember any thing I told him. He appear'd always very attentive in Chapel, behav'd Decently, and made Responses when he could say any thing, but his Slowness of apprehension was a great Impediment. He wrought with a Rope maker, but fell into bad Company, who advis'd him to Pilfer and Steal, and then he took himself to Idleness, upon which his Ruin ensu'd in a very short time. He was so young that he was not capable of those Debaucheries, most of those wretches are addicted to Another young Fellow advis'd him to go out with him, and took the box with the Garters in the Indictment, out of the Shop-Windows, handed them to Street, made his own Escape, and left poor Singdel to answer for the Garters, which cost him very Dear. He wept and cry'd like a Child, Declar'd himself Penitent, that he hop'd to be sav'd through the merits of Christ, and died in Peace with all Mankind.
Nicholas Gilburn, of Paddington, was Indicted for assaulting John Hall on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him 50 Yards of Paudesoy Silk, value 15 l. four Pair of Stockings, &c. the 17th of July last.
Nicholas Gilburn, as he said, 22 Years of Age, of credible Parents in the Kingdom of Ireland, who gave him good Education at School in reading, and writing, to fit him for Business, and instructed him in the Christian Religion. When of Age, he was of no Trade, but listed himself in a Troop of Horse in Ireland, and serv'd as a Trooper for some Time, till they discharg'd him, because he was too little. After that not well knowing what to do, 2, or 3 Years ago, he made a trip over to England, to try if he could better his Fortune there: When he came to London, he entered into one of the Regiments of Guards , where he serv'd till of late one Wilson, (who was taken up for the Highway, and Executed at Kingstone) nam'd Gilburn as Partner with him in the Commission of some highway Robberies. Gilburn said, that Wilson gave false Information against him, and also that it was false that he intended to Inform against Wilson, and to prove him Guilty of Murder, for he said, he knew of no such Thing, and that he never spoke so; but some Persons who did their endeavours to induce Wilson to commence Evidence against him to save his own Life. He continued in denying the Fact, for which he died, till he about two Days before he was Executed, then he own'd that he was concern'd in the Robbery, but that he was not the Person who committed it. He confess'd also, that he had been a very wicked Youth in whoring, drinking, thieving, and coveting the Goods of others, but said he never swore much. He inveigh'd much against his Prosecutor, because (as he said) when he saw him first, he said he knew nothing of him, although afterwards he swore to his Face, as also against some Persons who were concern'd in taking him up. I advised him to beware of entertaining Malice against any Body, as he tendered the eternal Welfare of his Soul. He said, he had no grudge to any Person whatsoever.
He was a well looking young Man, and seem'd to be of a good natural Temper; but was ruin'd by bad Company, both in his own Country, and after he went Abroad. He behav'd always very gravely in Chapel, and made responses in Time of Prayer. He declar'd that he believ'd in Christ; repented of his Sins; and died in Peace with all Mankind.
At the Place of EXECUTION,
SIngdel Street acknowledg'd, that although young in Years, yet he had been a great Sinner, in picking of Pockets, Stealing, Shop-lifting, &c. and that he had had Correspondence with some infamous Women: He constantly cry'd out to God to have Mercy upon him. Hitchen, alias Polson seem'd very much concern'd, and I hope he was Sincere, being a great Offender; he declar'd he was sorry that he should be so unhappy as to Die this ignominious Death; and he hop'd no Body would Reflect on his unhappy Wife, and Children. Gilburn, the Soldier , said he had no more to add but pray'd, and hop'd the Lord would have Mercy on his Soul. He spoke to the Spectators, and advised them who were Young especially to beware of bad Company, which had ruin'd, and bro't him to that fatal Place. He own'd, he had been a very wicked, and vicious Youth. Armstrong adher'd to his former Confessions, wept, and made grievous Complaints, and Expostulations. Laurence did not alter in his Confessions, only said that his Prosecutors had no good Will at him, because he would, or could not make One, viz. his Prentice Master of his Trade, in one Year, as well as in 6, or 7 Years. They were serious, and attentive to Prayers, and singing of Psalms.
N. B. Having not Room in the Speech to Insert all the Account of the Robberies of Nicholas Gilburne, the Highwayman, and Samuel Armstrong, the House Breaker, we are obliged to defer it till Saturday, next when it will be publish'd in Applebee's Weekly-Journal.
This is all the Account given by me,
N. B. This is to give Notice, that a Book Translated from Hebrew, Greek and Latin, published in Name of Moses Marcus, a converted Jew, was wholly Translated by Mr. Guthrie, Author of this Paper. The said Marcus, being nothing but an Imposter and Pretender, understanding neither Greek or Latin. This Book was publish'd about a Year and a Half ago, against Wh - n's Notions about the Corruption of the Bible.