THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were EXECUTED at TYBURN, On Wednesday the 4th of February, BEING THE First EXECUTION in the MAYORALTY OF THE Rt. Hon. Sir JOHN WILLIAMS, Knt .
Number I. For the said YEAR.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
AT the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held (before the Rt. Hon. Sir John Williams, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Honourable Mr. Baron Carter, the Honourable Mr. Justice Probyn, the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the City of London, and Justices of Goal - Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex) at Justice-Hall, in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thrusday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday, the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 15th of December, 1735, and in the Ninth Year of his Majesty's Reign.
William Wreathock, Gilbert Campbell, Peter Chamberlain, George Bird, James Ruffet; William Mackney, John Alder, Robert-Swannel, Burton Brace, Ralph Refue, and Joseph Cole, were by the Jury found Guilty of Capital Crimes, and sentenced to die.
As also, at the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir John Williams, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Rt. Hon. the Lord Chief Baron Reynolds; the Honourable Mr. Justice Lee; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer for the City of London, and Justices of Goal Delivery of Newgate, holden
for the said City and County of Middlesex) at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the 15th, 16th, and 17th of January, 1735, in the Ninth Year of his Majesty's Reign.
While under Sentence, they were instructed in the Christian Faith, how as Christians we are strictly bound to a new and holy Life, being early dedicated to God in Baptism, to deny ourselves to all Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, to the World, the Flesh, and the Devil, and to obey the Laws of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in every Thing.
They were exhorted seriously to repent of all their Sins; to consider their Ways, and turn their Feet unto God's Testimonies; to cry incessantly unto God, that he who made them, might have Mercy upon them, for the Sake of his Anointed; to fit and dispose them for his heavenly Kingdom and Glory; to eradicate those vicious Habits which they had contracted, and which prov'd the Occasion of all those miserable Misfortunes, to which they were then subjected, and implant in their Souls all those gracious and virtuous Dispositions, which would render them amiable in the Sight of God, and prepare them for that never-ending Happiness and Bliss, in the full Enjoyment of God, World without End.
I exhorted them to a diligent Preparation for the Sacrament of our Lord's-Supper, as the Apostles adviseth, But let a Man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup, I Cor. xi. 28. In this religious Ordinance, we are to look on Him, whom God hath set forth to be the Propitiation of our Sins, Rom. iii, 25. Even Jesus Christ, that Lamb of God, which taketh away the Sins of the World, Jo. i. 29.
They were told, that whosoever comes to this Holy Table without an entire Hatred of every Sin, comes unworthily; and he that doth entirely hate all Sin, will resolve to forsake it; for forsaking, naturally follows Hatred, no Man willingly abides with a Thing or Person he hates. And therefore he that doth not so resolve, as that God the Searcher of Hearts may approve it as sincere, cannot be supposed to hate Sin, and so cannot be a worthy Receiver of that holy Sacrament. Therefore they were bound to try their Resolutions thoroughly, so as not to deceive themselves in them, which is to their own great Danger if they do; for it is certain, God cannot be deceived, and that none can gain Acceptation from him by any Thing, which is not perfectly hearty and sincere.
When these and many like Exhortations were given, they attended in Chapel, behav'd gravely and se
dately, comply'd with Prayers, and seemed very Devout and Serious, and attentive to Exhortations and Instructions.
Mr. Campbel, while he was under Sentence, was very attentive to what I read to him. He fell into a very ill State of Health, under which he still Labours.
Thomas Bulker, appear'd to be in full Health at his Tryal, but when he found himself Convicted capitally, he immediately lost all his Spirits and Fainted away, afterwards they were oblig'd to carry him to and from the Cells, and he continu'd very Sick and Indisposed for several Days.
When I visited him, he profest Penitence, and behav'd well both in private and publick, having been attentive to Prayers and Exhortations, but he did not appear to have such a serious Concern upon his Spirit, as became an henious Criminal, in his deplorable Circumstances.
Upon Thursday, the 29th of January, Report was made to his Majesty in Council of the eleven Malefactors under Sentence of Death in the Cells of Newgate, when William Wreathock, Peter Chamberlain, James Ruffhead, George Bird, junior , and Gilbert Campbell, and Convicted capitally; for assaulting Nathaniel Lancaster, Doctor of Laws , on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Gold Watch, two Iron Keys, Six pieces of Foreign Silver-coin, and one Shilling and Six-pence, June 11th. William Mackenny, for stealing a Brown Gelding, value ten Pounds, the Property of Thomas Satcher, September 10th, John Alder, for privately stealing seventy Yards of Sarcenet value five Pounds, the property of Francis Sir, in his Shop November 18th, Ralph Refue, for privately stealing one Guinea, from the Person of Edward Lerougetell, December, 3d, receiv'd his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve, the remaining three, viz. Joseph Cole, Thomas Bulker, and Burton Brace, were order'd for Execution.
Joseph Cole, was Indicted for breaking and entering the House of John Chamberlain, and stealing a Silver Pint Mug, two Silver Spoons, three Silver Tea-spoons, one Silver Salt, one Silver Pepper-box, a pair of Brass Teatongs, a Copper Tea-kettle, a pair of Damask Shoes, two Shirts, two Shifts, three Towels, a Table-cloth, a suit of Pinners, a Musling Hood, a Hat, and a pair of Pumps, November, the 7th, between Eight and Nine at Night.
Smithfield, who where willing to Educate him at School, and in religious Principles, but he being of a Perverse Temper, was no way Inclinable to any Thing that was Good or Virtuous, but associating himself with the vilest of People, in whose Company he contracted the basest Habits, which brought him suddenly to an untimely End. His Father dying, left him Young, and he was not put, nor willing to go to any Trade, only he staid sometime with a Barber and Peruke-Maker , of whom he learnt a little of his Business, but that was what he minded least, making it only a Pretence, for he had contracted such an Intimacy with Whores, and Thieves, that he delighted in no other Company, nor in doing any Thing that was Praise-worthy. For above six Years past, he hath been one of the most notorious Thieves and Robbers in and about Town, having committed many Street-Robberies, pickt Pockets, broken divers Houses, for he had an Iron Instrument or two, with which he professed he could with ease open any Door in England, and these Implements with a dark Lanthorn, a piece of Wax candle and a Tinder-box, all needful for breaking Houses, and such works of Darkness, as he went about in the Night time; his Implements he call'd Mills, with which he forc'd open Doors or Windows; which Things were all found in the Room where he was taken; and at other Times he went out a Shop-lifting and stealing whatever fell in his Way.
He liv'd in a House at the back of Holbourn, where the Landlay kept above Forty Rooms, and had them commonly let out to as many Robbers and common Thieves, each of whom had a Woman, whom they call'd their Wives, and these went out, some by Day, to see what they could pick up by Shop-lifting or picking of Pockets, or any other way as occasion offer'd; but most of them went out at Night, in order to commit Highway or Street Robberies, and whatever they got, Mrs. W-t-d, or her Husband, bought it of them at a cheap Rate, and they spent it with her, who was common to all of them, in a most prodigal and luxurious Manner, in Junketing, Carousing, Dancing, &c. M-s W-d, who hath been often in Newgate for her vile Practices, and infamous Life, in encouraging and assisting Robbers, Thieves and Whores, and her Husband, who were put out of that Place of the Town Disgracefully, are now mov'd into some Place of the City, where Cole own'd the robbing of Mr. Chamberlain, in Cock-Lane, as sworn against him, and as in the Indictment, and that he sold the Plate to W-t-d, who immediately melted it all down.
Cole was Evidence in February last, against Williams, Jsaacson and Gulliford, who were Executed. His Landlady wish't him to a young Woman a Mantua Maker, whom he married, and who was taken up with him; he call'd her Honest, and said she had no Hand in the Robbery for which he died, nor in any other of his Villainies. He confest himself a most flagitious Sinner in Drinking, Gaming, Whoring, Robbing, Stealing, House-breaking, and all other Vices for which he suffer'd most deservedly, and humbly beg'd Pardon of God and Man.
Since he was taken up, he thought upon nothing but Death, and was constantly employ'd in reading and other Exercises. He behav'd well, appear'd Penitent, and Wept often. He sent to an Aunt to speak in his Favour to somebody, she would not do it, but gave it out that he wanted to do her a Mischief. This he declared to be a groundless Aspersion, and that he Entertain'd not the least Grudge at her, or any other Person. He believ'd in Christ as the Son of God, and only Saviour of Sinners; declared himself a true Penitent for all the Offences of his Life, and that he died in perfect Peace with all the World.
2. Thomas Bulker, about 20 Years of Age, of honest reputable Parents, his Father, having been Master of a Ship, died when he was young, and he was left in the Care of his Mother, who was very indulgent to him, and careful of his Education, having kept him four Years at a Boarding School in the Country; but he was a cross perverse Boy, and gave no great heed to his Learning, and being put to a Trade, he soon left his Master, and went to Sea ; and when at Home he fell into the basest Company, and commenc'd Highway, Street-Robber and House-breaker, for several Years past, living in that abandon'd Manner. When young, his Mother and Grandmother were too fond, which made him obstinate and intractable; two or three Years ago he went a Voyage to Virginia, during his Absence his Mother died, and then he had no Body to look after him but his Grandmother, he abus'd her in a strange Manner, and robb'd her of every Thing that was valuable; he mention'd Looking-Glasses, Quilts, Blankets, Money and other Things,
and this he did so often, that he reduc'd the poor old Woman to Poverty, and spoke so disrespectfully, and in such a threatening Manner, that she was afraid to come and see him under Sentence. I told him, that his Calamities were a visible Judgment upon him, for his undutifulness to his Parents, and this he did not deny. He belonged to the Lancaster Man of War, and procured a Furlo before Christmas, but had not Patience to stay at Home a few Days, before taking up with his old Companions, he went on the Highway, and committed the most barbarous Robberies, for which he died, although he had six or seven Months Pay due to him from the Ship he left.
After the dead Warrant came down, Bulker being of a mean timorous Disposition, lost all his Courage, fainted away again, and fell into a very low State of Health, continuing so to the last. He blam'd lewd Women for his Misfortunes, as Cole also did, they having been both much addicted to that kind of idle Company. A Woman and her Husband, in his Neighbourhood, first advis'd him to go a robbing and stealing, when he was only 12 or 13 Years old; and these vile Creatures never left him after that, till they brought him to his utter Destruction; for since he was a little School-Boy, he hath been constantly following these pernicious Courses of Robbing, Stealing, &c. He was most miserably poor, naked and in the most pitiful Condition; have seen any of those unfortunat I People. He believ'd in Christ, wae Penitent, and in Peace with all Mens
I represented also to him his monstrous Barbarity in robbing the two Men after such a cruel Manner, for he not only took what Money, or small Things they had about them, but, after his knocking them down with a Club, beating unmercifully and wounding them, stript them of all their Cloaths. I asked him, why he treated the two Men so barbarously? He said, Edward Pointer, his Partner, bid him do so, and that the said Pointer is now in Maidstone Goal, for robbing a Man of 16 or 17 Shillings near Gravesend. I put him in Mind, how justly God's Judgment had now reach'd him, in leaving him altogether destitute and naked, beside the other Punishments inflicted, and to be inflicted upon him. The Truth of all this he own'd, that the Punishment of his Iniquity was less than what he deserved, and that he was heartily griev'd, and repented for all the Robberies (having acknowledged three others, beside the two he died for) he was guilty of, and for the barbarous and cruel Manner of committing them, and his notorious Disobedience to, and plundering and ruining his Mother and Grandmother; for all which great Sins he pray'd God to pardon him.
3. Burton Brace, 21 Years of Age and ards, born of honest reputable Parits in Town, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading, Writing, Arithmetick, and what was needful to fit him for Business; and instructed him in the Christian Religion When of Age, he was put out to a Vintner by Temple-Bar, serv'd his Time honestly, and to the Satisfaction of his Master. While he was Apprentice, he was favour'd by every Body, but contracted too much Acquaintance, and a Habit of Company-keeping with idle People, which, when he came to have his Freedom, prov'd his Ruin: For then he got into Company with some young Men, who were not willing to follow the industrious Way they were bred to, particularly one James Watkins; but resolv'd to have Money at any Rate, though to the imminent and almost inevitable Danger of their Necks.
He confess'd the robbing Mr. Bardin, by Hemmings's-Row, as sworn against him, only he alledg'd, that it was Watkins, and not he who wore the lac'd Hat at the Time of the Robbery, and who first attack'd the Coach, and that he had the Pistol under his Arm, not in his Pocket, when he was apprehended; but these Circumstances were not material, and no ways diminish'd his Crime. Excepting this Robbery, he was always honest, and never robb'd, stole, nor did any Harm to any Body before. He was enter'd Midshipman in an East-India-man, and if he had not been taken up, he intended to go to Gravesend to the Ship in two or three Days. He was ruin'd by the Company and Advice of bad Women, to which he was very addicted, and to supply whom he ventur'd upon the desperate Resolution, of robbing in the Streets of the City.
He behav'd very well; attended constantly in Chapel, and wept often. The Afternoon before he died, he wept very much in Chapel, as did also the other two. He declar'd that he hop'd for Salvation, through the Mercy of God in Christ; that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, and died in perfect Peace with all Men.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
THE Morning before they went out, they receiv'd the blessed Sacrament, and heard Prayers very devoutly. After Prayers were over, which was about half an Hour after Nine o'Clock, they were Conveyed to Tyburn; Cole and Bulker in a Cart, and Burton Brace in a Mourning Coach, Cole went to Tyburn in his Shroud.
Burton Brace being ask'd a Question, at the desire of a Gentleman, if he was the Person, who of late rob'd or assisted in robbing several Persons about Windsor. He answer'd, that the Robbery for which he died was the first and last he had ever committed; the same Account he gave of himself before; at the Place he adher'd to his former Confessions and had no more to add.
Thomas Bulker, only said, that he had committed a Number of Street and open Highway Robberies, broken a great many Houses, and done a deal of Mischief otherways, for which he beg'd Pardon, heartily Repented and hop'd that God would Graciously forgive him.
Joseph Cole, had no new Confessions to make, having declar'd all before. He desir'd that nobody might reflect upon his Wife or his Brother, who had no Hand in his Robberies, and knew nothing of his other Villainies, and he deliver'd a Paper Seal'd, desiring it to be Publish'd. He appear'd to be Penitent for his Sinful Life.
Burton Brace, wept bitterly in Chappel, and under the Tree. I ask'd him, if it was for fear of Death? he answered No. I exhorted him to think upon the Sufferings of Christ, to compose himself and silently to resign Himself to God.
Then he was quiet and grave. They were very devout and Serious at Prayers and Singing of Psalms, Part of the 16th Psalm, relating to the Resurrection; and at the desire of Burton Brace, Most of the humble suit of a Sinner, was Sung.
They went off the Stage crying to God to have Mercy upon them, and Lord Jesus receive their Spirits.
This is all the Account given by Me,
IT being apprehended, that the Publick would not have less Desire to be acquainted with the Causes, which drew on the Misfortunes of the Malefactors executed last Wednesday, than it has shewn on other such like Occasions; some Pains has been taken, in order to collect such Passages, as were thought most Remarkable, in relation to these three unhappy Men.
Joseph Cole, of whom the Reader has already had some Account, was a young Fellow unhappy in his Family, as well as in his Courses; for he had an Uncle, one Samuel Cole, who was hang'd in the Year 1731: That unhappy Man destroy'd himself by spending all his Time in ill Houses, and with ill Women, notwithstanding repeated Warnings given him by his Friends from Time to Time. This Nephew Joseph Cole, followed the same wretched Course; he had large Acquaintances among these miserable Creatures, and whatever End of the Town he was in, he knew where to find enough of them; to destroy his Time, his Health, and his Money.
He had addicted himself for a considerable Time to these mischievous Courses; for but in February last, he escaped Death by impeaching four of his Companions, and was in great Hopes of saving himself now by the same Method; but it being demanded of him, How many he could impeach? he said only One, who was concerned with him in breaking open the House of Mr. Chamberlain, the very Fact for which he died; but he said, if they had but let him alone for a Night longer, he and his Associates were to have broke open the House of a Silver-Smith, and then he could have given Evidence against three or four.
This is a melancholy Proof of the extream Depravity of human Nature, since it shews us, that Men are capable, first of leaguing themselves with others, to commit Facts the most abominable in their Nature; and secondly, have it in their Heads all the while to hang one another, while they are eating, drinking, and conversing together like Brothers.
Exorbitant Expences led this poor Fellow to think of supporting himself by Robbery, and from the Instant that he had entered on that infamous Sort of Life, he gave a Loose to yet more
exorbitant Expences; for it is the universal Practice of these miserable Men, to spend with a Prospect of Plunder, and to plunder with no other View than to spend; so that it is impossible for them to avoid that Fate which they deserve, since they are continually tempting it, and as it were, hourly running their Heads against the Gallows.
Habit in these People ripens Want of Fear, and Want of Conscience, into horrible Audacity: This very Fellow when he was taken, had a couple of Iron Instruments discovered in his Room, of which being asked the Use? He said they were his Mills, and that with them he would undertake to open any Doors in England. On his Trial however he said that they were not his, but that they were Tools belonging to John Stanley, who had made himself an Evidence.
To pursue the Thread of this Man's Villainies any further, would be tedious and improper, inasmuch as they are particularly related by himself. All that can be drawn from this Recital, is this Memento, that too high an Expence, and the running into promiscuous Companies, are Things the most dangerous to the common Sort of People, and of Consequence they ought to be avoided and left off, from the View of this unpleasant Spectacle, whose Death, if it deters others, effectually answers the End of Justice.
The next Robbery we committed was in a House in the back Street at Islngton, which we broke open between the Hours of Twelve and One, by wrenching the Bar of the Kitchen Window, we took from thence a dozen and a half of Holland Shirts, 8 Holland Shifts, some Cambrick Head Cloths and Handkerchiefs, a Great Coat, a Gold lac'd Hat and Wig, and three dozen of Plates.
Some Time after this Robbery, we robbed a Gentleman by the Burying-Ground by Gray's-Inn-Lane, we stript him of his Clothes, which were of an Olive Colour, and likewise took from him his Gold lac'd Hat and Wig, a Cane and 15 s. in Money, a pair of Silver Buckles we took out of his Shoes, and his Knee-Buckles.
Gold, a Silver Watch, a Pair of Silver Shoe-Buckles, Knee-Buckles, a great Coat, his Hat and Wig, then we made off, and came to Town, where we sold the Gentleman's Watch to one William Howard, who was executed about two Years ago.
Leonard Butler, William Harris (both Executed) and myself stopt a Coach in Smithfield, I went in, and the other two stood at each Door with Pistols in their Hands, I took from the Man 8 s. and his Watch, and from one of the Women half a Crown, half a Guinea in Gold, a Queen Elizabeth's Shilling, a Queen Anne's Farthing, and a gold Ring. I search'd the other Woman, but found nothing on her, upon which I took her Riding-Hood from her out of mere Spite; then we cross'd Smithfield, and went to a Linnen-Drapers Shop, next to the Hospital-Gate, and took from thence upon the Sneak, a large Roll of Check'd Linnon, and a Pair of Sheets ready cut out, and some other Pieces of Holland, and sold them to one Mrs. W-d, who is now a Prisoner in Newgate, on the Information of Nathan Cogram.
Sometime afterwards, I and Anthony Hunt (who cut his Throat in Newgate) and John Williams, robb'd another Man in Red-Lyon-Square, of Fifteen Shillings, and the Scotchman's Pack of Stockings, Hunt stop'd him, and I took the Money, and Mrs. W-d bought the Stockings for between six and seven Pounds.
William Isaacson and I broke open a Shoemaker's Shop in Oxford-Market, in Tyburn-Road, about Ten or Eleven at Night, by breaking open the Door, and took from thence several Pair of Shoes, and sold them to Mrs. W-d.
I and Thomas Campson (since Transported) broke open a Hatters in Blackfryars, last Bartholomew-Fair was two Years, about Eight or Nine o'Clock at Night, and robbed it of three Dozen of Kilps, [that is Hats] we left them with the above-mention'd Mrs. W-d, and she sold them to little Judge B-p, for between 7 or 8 l. and shared the Money between us.
I and William Williams knock'd down a Woman near St. James's, about Eight o'Clock at Night, robbed her of a Parcel, consisting of Shirts, Shifts, Aprons, Head-Cloaths, and a Linnen Gown, we sold them to Mrs. W-d for 9 l and she sold the Gown to one L-e.
I and William Isaacson, abovemention'd, and Thomas Wilson, broke open an Alehouse near St. James's, about Eight at Night, by lifting up the Sash, and took from thence a Quart silver Tankard, a Pint silver ditto, two large silver Spoons, six small Spoons, Tea-Tongs and Strainer, and sold them to Mrs. W-d, for about 9 or 10 l. and shared the Money amongst us.
Night, with a Man and a Woman in it, I went into the Coach, took from the Man 9 s. in Silver, and half a Guinea in Gold, and his Hat; I sunk the half Guinea, that is, concealed it from my Companion.
I and John Bayes (since Transported) and Tom the Milkman, stop'd a Cart with black Cherries in it, about Two or Three in the Morning, at Fleet-Ditch, and took from the Man 4 s. 6 d. a Coat and Waistcoat with silver Buttons, sold the Cloaths to Mrs. W-d for about 4 l. and shared the Money amongst us.
The next Robbery was I, Bayes, and Tom the Milkman, knocked a Man down by the Field near that wherein the Welsh-Fair is kept, between Twelve and One on Sunday Morning and took from him 9 s. in Money, his Hat and Wig, and silk Handkerchief, and Bayes had the Hat and Wig.
I and William Williams went in and took out of Mr. Morgan's, a Haberdashers Shop, near St. Bartholomew's-Gate, Smithfield, about Eight or Nine o'Clock in the Evening, and took from thence a Box of Ribbons of great value.
I and Richard Gulliford went in and took out of Mr. Robinson's Shop, a Haberdashers in Aldersgate-street, about Eight or Nine in the Evening, a Box of silk Handkerchiefs, containing 160, valued at 20 l. and sold 152 to Mrs. W-d for 9 l. 5 s.
Sometime before last Christmas was Twelve-month, Gulliford, William Williams, Isaacson and I, broke open one Mr. Ridgley's House, a Silver-Smith in St. John's-Street, between One and Two in the Morning, by cutting a Hole in the Shutter, taking the Key out of the Pin, and taking down the Shutter, and took from thence a Show-Glass, containing five plain Gold Rings, five Cypher Gold Rings with Cyphers, a Gold Chain, eight large silver Spoons, a Soup Spoon, a Mother of Pearl Snuff-Box with a silver Rim, a Picture within side; three Sets of Tea-Spoons, Tongs and Strainer; a silver Punch-Ladle, three or four silver Boats, three or four silver Milk-Pots, divers Pair of silver Buckles, Buttons, Studs, Thimbles, Clasps; several Pair of Buttons with Cyphers set in Silver; several silver Medals, and one Pair of Gold Ear-Rings, and several other trifling Things; all the Rings, all the Cypher Buttons, and two Pair of silver Buckles apiece, a silver Spoon apiece, and some other odd Trifles, we shared amongst us; the Gold Chain, Snuff-Box, and the rest of the Silver, we sold to Mrs. W-d, living then in Jewin-street, for 20 l. which was valued at 50 l. and Gulliford's Wife had the Gold Ear-Rings.
Gulliford, William Williams, Isaacson, Jacks and I, broke open the Golden-Anchor in Little-Moorfields, between Four and Five in the Morning, by pulling the Head of the Pin off, and took from thence a fine Cloth Coat and black Waistcoat, and a Horseman's Coat with a great Cape to it, four great Coats, a silver Tankard, a Looking-Glass, two Wigs,
and some other Things; the Cloaths, the silver Tankard, valued at 20 l. we sold to Mrs. W-d, for about 9 or 10 l. and shared the Money amongst us; Gulliford had one of the Wigs and Glass, and Jacks had the other Wig.
Sometime afterwards the abovemention'd four, Gulliford, Williams, Isaacson, Jacks and myself, broke open a Grocers and Haberdashers Shop in Spittlefields, about Two in the Morning, by drawing two Hooks that the Window-shutters hung upon, and took out the Pin, and took from thence some sewing Silk, and other Things to the Value of 10 l. and sold them to Mrs. W-d for about 5 or 6 l. which we divided amongst us.
Isaacson and I broke open Mr. Moor's, a Stocking-Shop, at the Golden-Ball, in Shoreditch, about Two o'Clock on Monday Morning, we stript the Shop, all but three Parcels, they were valued at 20 l. we sold them to Mrs. W-d for 8 l.
I and one Robert Tanner, and one James Waters (since Transported) broke open, between the Hours of One and Two o'Clock in the Morning, one Tom Patts Kin to Mill (a Presbyterian Parson's House in Little-Moorfields) we got in at the Kitchen Window, and so into the House, were we took a large Quantity of Linnen, and all Tom Patts's Bands, that he could not Preach that Day, being a Sunday Morning when we broke open the House.
Mr. W-d, who is a Watchmaker by Trade, went with me to one Mr. Tawney's, in Bell-Savage-Yard, on Purpose to take his Case of Watches away, and in order thereto furnished me with a Dozen of Hands belonging to Watches, that if I was met on the Stairs, I might let them know, that I came to offer them to Mr. Tawney to be sold, but having no Opportunity I never did rob him of any Thing, tho' I went twice to that End.
I and one Thomas Campson was coming from Southwark-Fair, and going down Watling-street, we saw a Parcel lying on a Counter, I went into the Shop, under Pretence for a Halfpennyworth of Tobacco, while Thomas Campson took the Bundle, and came off with it unseen, and brought it to a House in Fleet-Lane, we open'd it, and found therein a new Holland Shift, and a quilted Petticoat, which was design'd for a young Woman that was to be Married the Sunday following, and this Present was from the Person she was to be espoused to; upon which I, and the Person that was concern'd with me, consented to return the young Woman her Things again, because she should not be disappointed; accordingly we went to the House, and asked for the Maid rvant, and a young Man came to the Door, and asked us what we wanted with her? I told him, I wanted to speak with her, upon which she came; says I, young Woman I am inform'd that a few Nights agone you lost something. Yes, says she, I have,
I have lost a new Shift, and likewise a quilted Petticoat; well, says I, if you'll go along with me and this young Man, we can help you to it; accordingly we carried her to a House which we resorted to, and return'd her Shift and quilted Petticoat; upon which she gave us a Crown, and informed us at the same Time, that the Shift and quilted Petticoat was made her a Present by a young Man, whom she was to be married to, and was accordingly the next Sunday.
I and another (since dead) broke open a House in Aldersgate-street, next Door to the Half-Moon-Tavern, after the following Manner; the Person who was with me, hoisted me up to the Window-shutter, and there I took out a Pain of Glass, and so I unkey'd the Pin of the Window, I turn'd the Pin round, and the Key drop'd out, and then I took out another Pain of Glass, and open'd the Casement; and so I got in, while he staid without to receive the Goods, viz. a Looking-glass, two Block-tin Cannisters, which we took for Silver ones, a Silver Tea-Spoon, two little Boxes with Cambrick Head-Cloaths in them, Cambrick Ruffles, two or three Cambrick Handkerchiefs, a Holland Handkerchief, a Cambrick Hood, a check'd Apron, two or three Towels, and several other Things; being disturb'd by some Men going thro' the Alley, I was oblig'd to come out, and we both made off with our Booty to my Room in Chick-Lane, I sold the Things to Mrs. W-d for 23 s. we kept out some Things for our Doxias.
THIS with my kind Love and Respects to you, is for to beg of you not to grieve you self upon the Account of my ignominious Death, nor never to take any Notice of them, that was the Reason of it; for why, if I had gone on in this Course of Life, I should have had more Sins to have answer'd for, and I should have committed more Robberies, and in Case of Opposition, Murder might have been done, and if I had been killed in committing a Robbery, I should not have had Time to have said, Lord have Mercy upon me, which would have been a sad Thing, for what would have become of me; and now thro' God's Blessing, I have had a long Time of Repentance, but too short for the great Work I had to do. I judge that one of the chief Causes that makes me afraid of Death is, because I look'd upon God as a most severe and merciless Judge, inflamed with Anger and Fury against me, and armed with Vengeance. When I should consider and acknowledge him to be a merciful Father, full of Compassion and Knaness for Mankind. Every Slave trembles at the Sight of his Lord: There is no Malefactor but is afraid to receive Sentence; then how can I, who am all sptted with Sin, and blacken'd with Crimes? Can I appear before that glorious Throne, That cau
seth the Seraphims to cover their Faces with their Wings, Isaiah vi. How can I, that am but Stubble, subsist in the Presence of the God of Vengeance, who is a consuming Fire, Heb. x. If I had been afraid of a cruel and shamefull Death, I should have kept myself from an evil and prophane Life; for commonly as a Man's Life is, so is his Death.
My Dear, pray mind this; you who are afraid to leave behind you, a desolate, afflicted, and comfortless Widow, come and learn this Lesson. To rely upon the Goodness and tender Compassions of the Father of Mercies, who never fails to comfort the Distressed in all Afflictions, and who is always near to them that calls upon him in their Troubles, ii. Cor. 2. Psa. 14. He favours the Widow to that Degree, that he calls himself, The Judge of the Widows, Psalm 18. That is the Protector of their Integrity and their Rights, and severe Revenger of their Wrongs, that they may suffer. Therefore God tells us in express Words, That he maintains the Widow, and Establisheth her Borders, Prov. 15. But I mean the wise Widows, who being left alone by their Husband's Dath, have their Confidence and Trust in God, continuing in Prayer Day and Night. So to God Almighty's Protection I commit you. Which is all from your unfortunate, but dying Husband.
Burton Brace, was an unhappy young Lad, drawn into these miserable Courses, which brought him to his fatal End, by the two common Vices of this Age, Drinking and Play. He had been bred a Vintner , and behaved very well; he had some small Estate, which he sold for about 200 l. thence forward he lived in quite a different Manner from what he was wont to do, or what became him: His Head was turned with the Notion of appearing like a modern fine Gentleman, and it is much to be feared, that he neither is, nor will be the only Person, such Whims may prove fatal to. The Morning was consumed in Sleep, and the Afternoon was to him the Beginning of the Day, the Evening his Time of Business, and the Place, one of the two mighty Gaming Houses in the Neighbourhood of Covent-Garden; here he lost his Mony and his Wit, he heard nothing but Oaths, Imprecations, and a mixture of avaritious Wishes, and profligate Designs of Spending; here he learned to think Industry a mean Thing, and an honest Way of Living, somewhat unworthy of a great Spirit; here he saw the Effects of these Maxims: Fellows, who a few Years ago cleaned Shoes, now trading in their Way for Thousands; dress'd in every Respect like Men of Quality, and putting on many more Airs, than if they had been really such. In a Word, he acquired in this illustrious Academy, those Principles on which he acted; when he foolishly plundered a Hackney Coach, in order to go and be plundered himself, in as infamous, tho' to the great
Scandal of our Laws, in a less dangerous Way. For though it be most certain, that these infernal Nurseries of Vice, furnish our Gazettes with Bankrupts, our Weekly-Bills with sudden Deaths, and our Streets with Thieves; yet they still lift up their Head, in open Defiance of the Remedies prescrib'd by the Legislature, and the earnest Inclination testified by the Magistrates of Great Britain in general, effectually to root them out.
But to turn to Burton Brace, as he acted wickedly in committing this Robbery, so he behaved as indiscreetly afterwards, for he went directly to a Publick House, where the Company knew him and the Persons he had robbed, and where he very foolishly shewed some of the Things that he had taken from them: Search was very quickly made for him and his unfortunate Companion, and they were both together found at a Publick House, not far from Covent-Garden, the luckless Scene of all their ill fated Adventures. The Manner in which they behaved themselves, and their eyeing very steadily a Gentleman who left some Money at the Barr of the House and took it away again, made them be suspected; on which Notice being given to the Prosecutor, he came and secured Brace, but in the Hurry of apprehending him, the other slipt out of the Room and made his Escape.
Burton Brace always pressed a great Tenderness for this Companion of his, and most earnestly wished, that his narrow Escape, and the frightful Spectacle of his Death, might make a proper Impression on his Mind, and deter him from such Practices for the Future.
Thomas Bulker, a Wretch of mean Capacity and brutal Dispositions; it seems he had lived in a Manner, which Industry would not support, and therefore had a Recourse to Robbing to help it out: Some Companions he had in this detestable Profession, and very probable it is, that as they were no more honest than he, so they were not a Grain more Human; for all that I can find, he and his Associates, have the Honour of introducing the most barbarous Manner of Robbing, that ever yet was practised in this Country; unsatisfied with plundering People of what Money and Moveables they had about them, they fell into a Way of Stripping them to their Shirts, nay, and of taking away their very Shirts also, beating and abusing them into the Bargin; but very happily for the Publick, these Creatures happen'd to have as little Sense, as they had Honesty, and so their Indiscretion is likely to bring them soon to Bulker's Fate, and deliver People from the Terror of expecting Street-Robbers, if on the utmost Emergency, they stir a 100 Yards from their own Doors.
To dwell on the Behaviour of this hapless Fellow, would be to tire the Reader's Patience with a Recital of common Particulars, which rather than doe, we shall here put an End to what we have to say about him, with this Remark, that in Proportion, as People want common Sense and common Understanding, so they are deficient in
Regard to their Fellow Creatures, and loose all Notions of Justice, Equity, or Mercy.
The Publick will not probably be displeased to hear how the following Persons, viz. William Wreathocke, Peter Chamberlain, James Ruffhead, George Bird the younger, and Gilbert Campbell, behaved on the coming down of the Reprieve.
On the Morning of the Day, on which the Report was to be made, they assembled themselves together, in order to implore the Favour of God by Fasting and Prayer; they attended twice on Divine Service in the Chapel, where they behaved with much Decency and Devotion; they continued till Evening without eating, and then being accquainted with his Majesty's gracious Determinations on their Case, Mr. Wreathocke desired they might be allowed to go into a Room by themselves; which being granted, they shut the Door and returned God Thanks for the Mercy vouchsafed them, in the most pathetic Terms; they likewise made a solemn Declaration of their Innocence, acknowledged with great Humility, the many great Offences of which they had been guilty of, and promised with much seeming Sincerity, that their future Conduct, should no way discredit the mighty Favour, his Majesty had been pleased to grant.
Burton Brace left behind him two Papers, one a Letter, the other a Speech intended at the Place of Execution; both of which, as they may be of publick Benefit, if perused with proper Concern, we have thought convenient to insert.
To the DRAWERS in the several TAVERNS in LONDON, and WEST-MINSTER.
WHEN I consider the terrible Situation I am in, what Misfortunes I have brought upon myself, what Reflections upon others, I think it becomes me to do somewhat for the benefit of the Publick, to the End, that my Punishment may have a proper Effect, and deter others from treading such steps as have brought Ruin upon me. However careful the Masters of Taverns may be, to prevent young People who serve in their Houses, from having their Manners corrupted, in which Respect, I must take this Opportunity of declaring that none could be more so than the Master I serv'd; yet it will be simply impossible for them to hinder their receiving any ill Impressions by any other Method, than fortifying their Minds with right Principles, which may make them abhor such Measures as lead to any sort of Vice. If my Misfortunes may be allowed to have taught me Experience, I should be glad to be believed, when I say that nothing is more Ridiculous, at the same Time, that nothing can be more Fatal than for young Drawers to imagine they are to live like the Company they see, and enjoy the same Delights with those they serve, were they capable of understanding it; they ought to place their. Happiness in other Things, they ought to seek a Competency by Honest Industry, and as they
Opportunities of observing what terri Havock, Debauchery and Extravagancies in Men's Persons and Estates, they should thence learn to shun and detest such a Course of Life. Instead of Plays and Gaming-Houses, instead of Country Journeys and House-Races, you would do well to employ your leisure Time in Reading profitable Books, or in some innocent Amusement; for as to exercise the usual Excuses for such Excursions, your Business requires so much, that it cannot be pretended, a strict Habit of Justice ought to be acquired by a scrupulous Niceness in the Affairs of your Masters; for if once you come to think Cheating a small Fault, or Fraud in any Degree excusable, you will quickly advance farther in the same unhappy Path, and come at last to Practices as bad as mine, tho' perhaps less dangerous in the Sight of Men; as I have no other View in this Cordial Advice than your God, and the disburthening my own Mind, so I hope it will be receiv'd as candidly as I intend it, and that you will listen to my earnest Intreaties, as well as vouchsafe me your hearty Prayers.
Your afflicted and dying Friend,
THE Law in adjudging me to a shameful and ignominious Death, and in making me a Publick Spectacle, as you see me this Day, intended not so much the Destruction of my Body, as the Reformation of your Minds; for tho', as a rotten Branch, it was become necessary as well as just, that I should be lopp'd off, for the Sake of preserving Peace in human Society; yet surely my Death is intended as an Example to deter others; and all who are Spectators of my End, are bound in Conscience to take Notice thereof, and consider it in that Light. The Allurements of wanton Women, and the noisy Pleasure of a drunken Life, first led me to think of supporting my Extravagances by Gaming; and that Recourse sailing me, as it does most Men, in the midst of Distraction and Despair, I conceived in my Mind, that fatal Resolution, which has brought me to this shameful Place. If I had employed a few Moments Time, in considering the Difference between a regular sober Life, and those lewd Scenes of false Joy, which I so earnestly coveted, and so eagerly pursued, I had avoided a long Train of Mischiefs, which for some Time past I have suffered, as well as escaped this Ignominious Period of it. If with Respect to my Character, my Relation, and my Person, the present Circumstances I am under are grievous and full of Shame, yet as I have had a competent Time to repent in, and the proper Means of bringing me to Repentance have been furnished, which otherwise perhaps I might never have had. I am reconcile to all the Evils I have undergone, and even to this last terrible one I am yet to undergoe. I trust that my temporal Afflictions will in some Measure, attone for my flagrant Offences; and that Almighty God will have Mercy on my Soul, thro' the Itercession of Jesus Christ his Son, which that it may come to pass, I humbly beg that you will join your Prayers to mine, and continue them as long as Life shall continue in me.
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