THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were Executed at TYBURN, On WEDNESDAY the 8th of MARCH.
Number II. 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 Right Hon. Sir JOHN BARNARD, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Right Hon. the Lord Chief Baron REYNOLDS, the Hon. Mr. Justice CHAPPEL, 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, for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, upon Friday, Saturday, and Monday, the 13th, 14th, and 16th of January, 1737-8, and in the 11th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Twelve Men, viz. Robert, otherwise Briggenshaw Brownjohn, James Cope, Thomas Jenkyns, George Price, John Margets, William Ifield, John Birt, John Parrot, alias Perrot, Thomas Oliver, John Waterman, John Gardiner, and Isaac Mortished, were by the Jury found guilty of capital Crimes, and received Sentence of Death. As also,
At the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Hon. Sir JOHN BARNARD, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Hon. Mr. Justice PAGE, the Hon. Mr. Baron CARTER, and 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, for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 22d, 23d, 24th, and 25th of February, 1737-8, and in the 11th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
While under Sentence, they were exhorted to a sincere Repentance from these Words, 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, Acts iii. 19. I observed to them, that this Exhortation was made by the Apostle St. Peter to a Multitude of the Jews, who were met together to hear the Apostle's Doctrine; that these People were the same who had been the Betrayers and Murderers of Jesus Christ the Lord of Life and Glory. From hence I urged them to reflect upon the infinite Mercy and Love of God, in converting to the Faith of
Christ these Jews, who had been the greatest of all Sinners; and advised them not to despair of Mercy, but sincerely to repent of the Errors of their past Lives, for there was yet Hope concerning them, that God would extend his Bowels of Compassion towards them, having declared, That he is merciful and gracious, long-suffering and patient, not delighting in the Death of a Sinner, but who rather by far that he should repent, be converted, and live.
One of them, George Price, having been convicted of the most horrid Murder committed in the Memory of Man, as he was also guilty of other Murders and most heinous Sins, he had Admontions suitable to his particular Case. The Facts he had committed, were represented to him in their aggravating Circumstances, the Deceas'd being the Wife of his Bosom, whom he had murdered under a Pretence of Friendship. I represented to him the well-grounded Suspicion he lay under of being concerned in the Death of his Children; and he seemed to be very much affected when his unnatural Crimes, and aggravated Guilt, were laid open to him.
They were instructed in the Nature of the Christian Sacraments, and of their Baptismal Covenant; and it was represented to them, how much they had been guilty of the Breach of these Engagements; and as they were soon to leave this World, they were exhorted to renew their Baptismal Covenant, by partaking of the Sacrament of our Lord's last Supper; which if they did in Faith and Love, and with contrite Hearts, they might become Partakers of all the Blessings proceeding from Christ's Passion and Death.
They generally attended at Chapel, and behaved decently, George Price, for several Days, with the rest, and sometimes he wept bitterly, especially when I spoke of Murder; but being taken ill, and his Sickness continuing, he at last was found dead in the Cell. Oliver and Mortished were likewise most of the Time sick; when I visited them they appeared penitent, and were attentive to Prayers. Robert Brownjohn fell into a High Fever, but when he recovered his Senses, he behaved well. Waterman was kept in the old Condemn'd-Hold, it not having been thought fit to put him in the Cells with the rest, for as Perrot and Oliver had been convicted upon his Evidence, they could not bear to see him. Mr. Hillyard, during the few Days he was under Sentence, constantly attended at Devotion. Perrot was inconsolable when he heard he was included in the Dead-Warrant; and the first Time he came to Chapel after that, on Thursday the 2d Inst, he was near fainting away in the Midst of publick Devotion, but recovering he behaved seriously and with Attention, and continued to do so during the few remaining Days of his Life.
On Thursday the 2d of this Instant March, Report was made to his Majesty in Council of the 16 Malefactors under Sentence of Death, when,
George Price having been one of the most notorious and execrable Murderers who has at any Time been heard of, for the Satisfaction of the Publick, since he died in the Cell before his Execution, we shall subjoin the following brief Narrative, as received from his own Mouth.
He was indicted, for that he not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, &c. on the 10th of October, in and upon Mary his Wife , did make an Assault, and with a certain Knife, value 1 d. which he held in his Right Hand, the said Mary, in and upon the Neck, feloniously did strike and cut, giving her in and on the Neck, a mortal Wound, of the Breadth of five Inches, and the Depth of two Inches, of which mortal Wound she instantly died.
He was 23 Years of Age, born of honest Parents at Hay, in Brecknockshire, North-Wales; his Father, who is a Mason in that Town, gave him a tollerable Education: He was not put to any Trade, but serv'd Gentlemen as a Footman : About five Years ago he came to London, and the last House he serv'd in was Mr. Coke's. Two or three Years ago, being in the Long-Room at Hampstead, he saw a young Woman with whom he fell in Love, and making his Addresses to her, they shortly after married privately; this was the unfortunate Woman he murder'd. About three Quarters of a Year after the Marriage, his Wife bore him Twins, who were two Girls, Price then found it hard to keep a Family, and Poverty staring him in the Face, he began to grow weary of his Wife and Children, upon this ensu'd Quarrels and Janglings between them, which never ceas'd till they ended in Murder. Last Year his Master went to the City of Canterbury, and he attended him; while he was there he writ for his Wife to bring down the two Children, she having an Uncle about 3 Miles from Canterbury: Accordingly she came with the Children, and was to stay with the Uncle, a Farmer, 3 or 4 Months, that they might have Time to recruit a little, and be able to pay some small Debts he had contracted. When they met in the Country, the Scheme was laid for dispatching the Children, and for that End George sent her some Poison from Canterbury; she gave it to the Children, and both of them instantly died. When they returned to London, they could not agree, for he complained of the Want of Money, and that she was too lavish in spending what she got; the Differences were so great, that she frequently threatned to discover the Murder of the two Children; he to be revenged on hr, contriv'd in his own Mind, to put her out of the Way, and to palliate his devilish Intention, pretended he had provided her a Place in the Country, and persuaded her to go with him to see it; she consented to go, though contrary to the Advice of a Friend, who entreated her for God's Sake not to trust herself in the Hands of such a cruel unnatural Wretch; yet she would venture, but withal told her Friend, if she did not return, or they did not hear of her that Night or next Morning, every body might conclude she was certainly murder'd.
On he 10th of October last, they went out together in a Chaise, from the Wool-Pack in Monkwell-Street, towards Hounslow-Heath; and in the Evening about 6 or 7 o'Clock, as they were going over the Heath, he put his Design in Execution, and left her dead and mangled upon the Ground. He returned to London about 12 or 1 in the Morning, staid at his Master's that Night, and gave an unsatisfactory Account where he had been since his coming from Canterbury in the Hoy last Morning. His Master the next Evening gave him 3 Guineas to fetch something from a Chymist's; he paid 10 s. for it, and with the rest of the Money he ran away. His Relations knew what he was accus'd of, and suspected him to be guilty, but he thinking there would not be sufficient Proof against him, came to London again, and surrendered himself, was found guilty, and received his deserved Sentence.
The Motive that induc'd him to commit this Fact, was his growing weary of his Wife; when he had got rid of her, he intended to marry another Woman, who came to visit him twice, while he was under Sentence and lay sick in the Cell. When I spoke to him, he gush'd out into a Flood of Tears, so that he could not say any Thing about his Wife, and some Days after he grew sick, and was confined to the Cell. When I exaggerated his heinous Crime, he wept bitterly, and frequently said, O Murder! Murder! Murder! In his Return from Wales to London, he lodged one Night in a publick Inn at Gloucester, where the People of the House observed him to be in a great Disorder and Confusion of Mind, and
being in a Room by himself, they heard him weeping, and constantly speaking to himself; a Gentleman suspecting him to be the Man who murther'd the Woman on Hounslow-Heath, went to the Coffee-house, and finding him to agree to the Description in the Papers, he got a Warrant to apprehend him, but by this Time he had enquir'd the Way to London, and being on the Road thither, they gave themselves no Trouble to send after him. On Tuesday the 7th of February a Gloucester Gentleman being in the Press-yard, gave this Account of him. Two or three Weeks before he died he lost the use of his Limbs; Sickness still encreasing upon him, on Tuesday the 21st of February, when they open'd the Cell Door at 9 o'Clock in the Morning, they found him dead upon the Floor, in a miserable Condition, with his Head leaning on the inside of the Door, having fallen off his Bed in the Agonies of Death. Some of the last Times I visited him, some Signs of Desperation appearing in him, I said, I hop'd he would not lay Hands on himself, he answer'd, God forbid. I exhorted him to trust in the infinite Mercy of God, he declar'd his Faith in Christ, that he was truly penitent for his heinous Sins, and did in Peace with all Mankind.
George Nevil, alias Newel, was sick when he was try'd, and receiv'd Sentence on Saturday the 25th of February; his Sickness continuing, on Sunday Morning the 26th, he breakfasted pretty heartily, but after 12 o'Clock, Divine Service being ended, they found him dead in the Cell. He was convicted for breaking open the House of Richard Hind, Esq ; and stealing Goods of a considerable Value.
Thomas Oliver and John Parrot alias Perrot, were indicted for assaulting Matthias Holst on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, &c. and taking from him a silver Watch, val. 6 l. a pair of silver Shoe Buckles, value 14 s. a Cane, value 3 s. a Hanger, value 5 s. and 5 s. 6 d. in Money, Sept. 27.
1. John Parrot alias Perrot, 36 Years of Age, born of honest Parents in Berkshire, had a good Education. When he was of Age he follow'd his Father's Business of a Butcher , about 7 Miles from Northampton; and while he liv'd in the Country with his Father, no body had any Thing to lay to his Charge; but growing weary of a Country Life, he came to London about 16 or 17 Years ago, and brought his Wife and Family with him, and not liking to follow his Trade of a Butcher, he serv'd Brewers, and for several Years past, work'd in the Service of an eminent Brewer at Westminster, under whom he maintained himself and Family, and had the Reputation of an honest Fellow. But to better his Way of Life for the Maintainance of his Family, having had several Children, two or three of whom are still living, he took an Alehouse in Brick-Lane Whitechapple, the Sign of the Bell and Boy, and tho' by this he and his Family might be provided for more plentifully, yet it prov'd the Destruction of them all; for this House became one of the most noted Receptacles for Thieves in and about the Town, and he soon got acquainted with House-breakers, Street-robbers, and Footpads, who spent their Money prodigally, and when it run short, they went out upon the Highway to rob for more, of this Number was Graston Kirk, Terry Garrard and Shaw, executed last Time for a Highway Robbery, John Parrot, Thomas Oliver, John Waterman and others, who sign'd a sort of a Bond of Agreement, kept Books of all they purchas'd, and were obliged to make an equal Dividend of all they got, whether present at committing the Robberies or not. In this Way they went on since Midsummer last, about which Time Waterman the Evidence join'd into the Gang, and committed above 100 Highway Robberies, as he solemnly declar'd. Perrot had a sore Leg, and that he made a Pretence of leaving his Master's Service, tho' if he had been willing, he was able enough to work, but he found there was more Money to be had in the Course he engag'd in, than in serving a Gentleman honestly with a little Labour, for his House was the common Rendezvous to the Gang, where they spent most of their Money, which made him always ready to encourage them by his Company, in their unlawful Adventures. He stole a Horse (as Waterman said) and went down to Essex and sold it, and kept the Money to himself contrary to Contract. Being asked the Truth of this, he was a little surprised, and only said he knew little of Waterman, and that he was never much in Essex; but he could not deny the Robbers keeping his
House, and that he advised and encourag'd them to their Practices. He was terrified and affrighted at the Approach of Death, behav'd well under his Misfortunes, and wept much; but was not so free in his Confessions, as might have been wish'd. He hoped for Salvation through the Mercy of God in Christ, repented of his Sins, and died in Peace with all Men.
2. Thomas Oliver, 38 Years of Age, born in Berkshire, of honest Parents, who kept a Farm. His Father left him young, and when he was of Age his eldest Brother, who got the Farm and an Estate of 60 or 70 l. per Ann. put him to a Shoemaker , to which Trade he served his Time, but was of such a roving Temper that he could not follow it for himself, but travelled up and down the Countries, pretending to work at his Business in several Places, but his chief Design was to plunder wherever he had Opportunity. He at last settled in a Country Town and married a Wife, by whom he had many Children, 6 or 7 of them are still living. By what his Father left him, the kindness of an Aunt and his Brother, he had once to the Value of 120 l. but as he never confin'd himself to his Trade, this Money was soon gone. Seven or 8 Years ago he came to London with his Family, and kept House in Ratcliff-Highway, and last of all he liv'd in Brick-Lane, just by Perrot his Companion, that they might more frequently meet together, Oliver had been a Thief and a Robber from his Youth. He was once taken up at Oxford for a Robbery, stolen Goods having been found in his House or Lodging, for which, after he had been detain'd a long Time in the County Goal of Oxford, he was tried, and with Difficulty acquitted. He pretended to know but little of Waterman the Evidence, only that he made 2 or 3 pair of Shoes for him, and would not own the Fact in all the Circumstances as sworn against him. He acknowledged that he had been a most wicked, profligate Fellow. He own'd he took 60 Cocks from one Gentleman in Hertfordshire, who delighted in these Creatures; some they sold, the rest they fought in Perrot's House; Cock-fighting in this House brought a heap of Thieves together, with whom he contracted an Acquaintance. He was much of the Time very Sick, but before the Dead Warrant came out he recover'd and came to Chapel. He behav'd quietly and decently, but was not so affected as he ought to have been. He declar'd his Faith in Christ, that he was penitent for his very wicked Life, and forgave all Men as he expected Forgiveness from God.
3. John Birt, 20 Years of Age, of honest Parents in Town, who gave him good Education. He was bred a Cabinet-maker with his Father, but was untractable. About 5 Years ago, his Mother, who was tender of him, died; after this he was altogether ungovernable, and fell in with bad Company. He was a very wicked Youth, and was acquainted with Pickpockets, and intimate at bad Houses, hard-hearted and obstinate, disobedient to his Parents, and a notorious Sabbath-breaker. He was naked, and miserably poor, but his Father sent or brought him the Necessaries of Life, and as for Cloaths, the Rags about him were thought sufficient, as he had so short a Time to use them. He behav'd decently, and was attentive to Prayers and Instructions. He declar'd his Hope of Salvation thro' the Merits of Jesus Christ, his Penitence for a sinful Life, and forgave all Men. As for the Fact he died for, he did not own every Thing in the Manner as John Berry swore against him.
John Gardiner and Isaac Mortished, of St. Peter's Cornhill, were indicted for stealing a Bond for 100 l. payable to John Davis, for the Use of Simon Walmsley, Edward Merrifield, and others, Members of a Society of Pewterers ; and likewise one Promissory Note, sign'd Ford Beauchamp, dated Dec. 6, value 40 s. and payable on Demand, being the Property of the said Simon Walmsley, Edward Merrifield and others, Members of the said Society, in the House of Ford Beauchamp, Dec. 26.
4. John Gardiner was 20 Years of Age, born of mean Parents in Essex, who gave him no Education, he was bred a Taylor in Suffolk, and liv'd honestly in the Country; but 2 or 3 Months ago, thinking to make some Advantage by the Mourning for her late Majesty, he came to London with Mortished, who knew the Town better, and took their Lodgings in the House where they committed the Robbery; they had been some Time in Town before they got Business, and were but newly settled in constant Employment when this Misfortune befell them. He was not so wicked in his Life as most of these People are, but seem'd a harmless, simple Fellow. He confessed the Fact as charg'd in the Indictment, but denied that he was ever guilty of any Dishonesty before. A good part of the Time that he was under Sentence he was sick and deaf, and being grosly ignorant in religious Matters, I instructed him in an easy, familiar Way. When he recover'd he attended in Chapel, as he did in his Sickness, when able to go up Stairs; and was to all Appearance devout and serious. He declar'd that he hop'd God would pardon his Sins for Christ's Sake, that he truly repented of all his Sins, particularly the Crime he died for, and forgave all Men, as he expected Forgiveness from God.
5. Isaac Mortished, 36 Years of Age, was born of honest Parents in Cheshire, who educated him at School; when he was of Age he was put to a Taylor , and liv'd for some Time by his Business in the Country, having the Reputation of an honest Man. He then came to London to work Journey Work, he grew very extravagant, and fell to Drinking, Gaming, &c. He married a Servant Maid at Islington, who bore him several Children, some of whom are now living; after this Marriage he was forc'd to retire into the Country for Debt, and liv'd at Coggs-hall in Essex, where Gardiner also was, they came to Town together upon the same Occasion, and lodg'd in the same Room, they both confessed the Fact of which they were convicted. When I spoke to them, they wept bitterly, and said they had been always honest in the preceeding part of their Lives, and made strong Resolutions of new Obedience for the future, if hey had been spar'd. He believed in Christ, repented of his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.
6. Thomas Gittings, 24 Years of Age, born of honest Parents in Town, his Father a Porter in the Custom-House, gave him a tollerable Education, and put him out Apprentice at the Star Tavern, Coleman-styeet; he served four Years honestly, till his Master left the House, but then having his Liberty, he serv'd in Taverns and Bagnio '. He married a Wife by whom he had four Children, one of them is now living. Of late he fell into bad Company, and he engaged with them in Picking Pockets; he never (he said) took any Thing himself, but received what was stole by others. The Robbery he was condemned for, was committed on the 24th of January, as his Majesty came from the House, just by the Palace; the Gentleman being sensible of it, and never losing Sight of him, two Men pursued him into a Barber's Entry, and the Watch was found between the Cloath and Lining of his Coat; he did not deny the Fact, but said he did not steal the Watch himself, but that it was handed to him by another, for he never had the Boldness to steal a Watch himself, his Business being to attend, breed Confusion, and run away with the Plunder, which was equally divided among them. He had been concerned in a vast Number of Robberies of this Kind for some Years past, but behaved well under his Misfortunes, and wept over them; he declared his Hope of Salvation thro' Christ, that he repented of a scandalous and wicked Life, and forgave all Men, as he expected Forgiveness from God.
Robert Brownjohn, otherwise Briggenshaw Brownjohn, was indicted, for that he being a Person of an evil Disposition, and greedy of Lucre, &c. after the 24th of June, 1723, viz. on the 7th of January last, knowingly, unlawfully, &c. did send to John Bell, Hosier , in the Parish of Alhallows, Lombard-street, a certain Letter without a Name, directed to the
said Roll, Merchant, in Lombard-street, London, demanding the Sum of 100 Guineas, and threatning the Life of the said Bell, if the Demand, was not granted, to his great Damage, and the evil Example of others offending, &c. And the Jurors farther did present, that afterwards, viz. on the 8th of January, the said Brownjohn, knowingly, unlawfully, &c. did send one other Letter, directed to the said Bell, demanding Money, and containing Threats as aforesaid, if the Money was not sent according to the Demand of the said Letter.
7. Robert Brownjohn, alias Briggenshaw Brownjohn, 23 Years of Age, of honest respected Parents in Town, who gave him good Education; when he was about 10 Years old he went to Sea, and hath been employ'd in that Way ever since, sometimes on board of Merchant Men, and at other Times of Men of War, and he was once Mate of a King's Ship , and always behaved well to the Liking of his Superiors. For five Years past he was abroad in North America and the West-Indies, and there he sail'd with several Masters, and of late was Master of a Scooner in Virginia, but after he had made some Voyages in that Ship, he suffered Shipwreck, and lost her with all he had, which was the Occasion of many Misfortunes to him.
He declared himself ignorant of the dangerous Consequence of writing Threatning Letters, and that he had no Malice against Mr. Bell, nor would his Refusal to comply with the Demands of his Letter, have been attended with Danger. He was ignorant (he said) of any Law enacted against such Letters. On Sunday the 29th of January, he laid, a long Letter upon the Desk in the Chapel, when I was to read Prayers, giving an Account of all he knew of that Affair.
One Henry Shackerley, who was transported some Years ago to Maryland or Virginia, and whom he met in these Countries, put him upon the Commission of this Fact, finding him of an easy Temper, he used to talk of his Transportation, and the many Tricks he did about London to support himself. Shackerley told him among other Things, that the easiest Way of getting Money at London, was to write Threatning Letters, and he often mentioned Mr. Bell, the Hosier , in Lombard-street, and his grert Riches, giving him a Copy of a Leter which he was to send Mr. Bell, and named a great many other Gentlemen in London, to whom he might send these Letters, assuring him, that by this Means he might in a short Time get great Riches. Accordingly when Robert Brownjohn came Home, he did not enquire after his Father or Mother, who live now in Holbourn, but took Lodgings at a Publick House by Iron-Gate, on Tower-hill, and the second Day he was in Town, sent a Letter to Mr. Bell, demanding 100 Guineas, and threatning to murder him if he refused it. Mr. Bell was not at Home, so in a Day or two he sent him a second Letter to the same Purpose, and Mr. Bell meeting with the Bearer, obliged him to find out the Person from whom he had the Letter; the Bearer with a Constable went to a Publick House in Gracechurch-street, where they seized him and carried him before a Justice, where he acknowledged his writing both the Letters, but alledged he was ignorant of the Danger or Punishment ensuing upon it. He was not so wicked as many of these unfortunate Creatures are; he was very sick, and had a High Fever a great Part of the Time he was under Sentence. Under his Misfortunes he always behaved decently, both in publick and private; and when he found he must die, he patiently submitted to the Will of God. He believed in Christ our only Saviour, sincerely repented of all his Sins, and forgave all Men as he hoped for Forgiveness from God.
At the PLACE of EXECUTION.
THAT Morning the Prisoners appear'd very devout and serious at Prayers; they had little to add to their Confessions. Perrot and Oliver reflected upon Waterman, the Evidence against them. Birt own'd himself an abandon'd Wretch, and hop'd the World would not reflect upon his Relations, who were ignorant of the wicked Courses he had engag'd
in. Brownjohn confess'd the Fact he died for; he acknowledged his Sins to God, and had (he said) satisfy'd his Conscience. They went off the Stage calling upon God to receive their departing Souls.
This is all the Account given by me,
GEORGE PRICE, was born at Hay, in Brecknockshire, of reputable Parents, where his Father now lives, but his Mother has been dead about 16 Years. He was not put to any Trade, but serv'd a Gentlewoman in Brecknock Town in the Quality of a Foot-Boy : This was the first Person he ever liv'd with as a Servant; and the extraordinary Liberties he was here allow'd, fill'd People's Heads with odd Conjectures concerning him. He continued in this Service about 7 Years, and his Behaviour was all the Time more like that of a Master, than a Servant.
At the End of this Term he left Brecknock Town, and came to London; for some Time he liv'd as a Servant with an Apothecary , in Clement's-Lane, Lombard-Street; from thence he went into the Lady Page's Service, and after he had been in London about a Year and a Half, he returned to Brecknock Town, and continued some little Time with his former Mistress; then he set out again for London, and at parting, she made him a Present of a very handsome Watch.
He had not been long in Town, before he got into the Service of one Mr. Brown, who then liv'd near Golden-Square. Mr. Brown having frequent Occasion to go to Hampstead, his Man Price generally went with him, and at this Place began his Acquaintance with his deceased Wife ( Mary Chambers) who liv'd at a Publick House, where he fell in Love with her, and after a Fortnight's Courtship he married her at Hampstead; and when the Ceremony was over, he carried her in a Coach to the White-Hart at Highgate, and there they both lay the first Night.
The next Day he returned to Hampstead with her, and took Lodgings; here he left her, and returned to his Master Brown's Service, where he continued some little Time, then left him, and while he was out of Place he took his Wife down in a very grand Manner, to see his Friends at Hay, in Brecknockshire, telling them she was a Captain's Daughter, and that he had great Expectations from her Friends, who were People of Figure and Fortune.
After some little Stay at Hay, they both set out for London, and from thence she went to her Lodging at Hampstead, but he got into Mr. Coke's Service in New Broad-street, and continued very fond of his Wife, visiting her as often as he had Opportunity. While she lived at Hampstead and he at Mr. Coke's, she lay in with two Children; what became of them, the following Letters will too plainly discover.
About this Time, by going with his Master into Kent, he got intimately acquainted with one Mrs. S-w, and became passionately in Love with her; she gave him Encouragement to pursue his Addresses to her, but his Wife and Children were dreadful Obstacles in the Way to his Happiness: Then it was that he began to meditate the dire Villanies he has since been guilty of; and had the not been brought to Light, he would have been shortly married to this Mrs. S-w. This was the Temptation to the Murder of his Wife, in whose Punishment the Justice of Divine Providence is very visible; for as she consented to her wretched Husband's Sollicitations, and to oblige him, had not only murdered two Infants about a Year and a Quarter old, in full Life,
but had likewise destroyed another, then unborn, so Providence suffered her Husband, her Adviser to her Crimes, to be the Instrument of its Vengeance upon her, and she was permitted to fall by his Hands, who urged her to her unnatural Crimes; nor was he suffered to rest after he had committed his Part, and concluded the Tragedy, but the Hell in his Bosom obliged him to discover himself, and surrender himself up into the Hands of Justice. But to go on with our Account.
He having resolved to remove his Wife infallibly out of the Way, that she might be no Bar to his fresh Pursuit, an Opportunity offer'd unexpectedly, and which he resolved to make Use of. His Master having on Account of a Hurt he received by a Fall from his Horse, left him at Canterbury to come up by the Hoy when he should be able, his Wife happened to meet him at the Hoy the Morning he arrived; he thinking this a very proper Opportunity to execute his barbarous Design upon her, told her, as soon as he saw her, that he had got a Nursery Maid's Place for her at Wandsworth or Putney, and she must go Home and get a clean Cap and Apron, and must go with him that Day to see the Place. She went to her Lodgings to dress herself, and in the Way Home she called at his Master's, and told the Servants that her Husband was arrived, and acquainted them with what had passed between him and her at the Interview. His Fellow-Servants advised her not to trust herself with him; but she told them she was not afraid of him, that he was in a good Humour, and had given her his Bread and Cheese, which she then shew'd them.
Accordingly having borrowed a Cap, an Apron, and other Things of her Landlady, she went to the Place (the Woolpack in Monkwell-Street) where she was to wait for his coming to the End of the Street; as soon as she saw him at the End of the Street with the Chaise, she went to him, and he drove her away; as they went along, she desired him to stop for a Halfpenny Worth of Snuff, but he told her, She should never have any more.
When he got her to Hounslow-Heath, on the first Heath next Hounslow, he stopped the Chaise, and having got every Thing in Readiness (as he said) he threw the Lash of the Whip over her Head; in the Hurry he drew it over her Chin (the Marks of which remained after she was dead) but loosening the Whip, notwithstanding her Struggling, and the Resistance she made, he got it about her Neck, and before he had drawn it tight, she cry'd out, My Dear! My Dear! For God's Sake, - if this is your Love, I will never trust you more! But he soon put it out of her Power to make any Noise, by drawing the Ends of the Lash with both his Hands.
While she was in the Agonies of Death, he relented, and loosen'd the Whip; but before she recovered herself, it came into his Mind, that as he had begun, he must go thro' the Business, least the Attempt should provoke her to discover not only this Fact, but the Affair of the Children; upon which he fell to his devilish Work again, and twisted the Whip so violently round her Neck, that he broke the Handle in two Pieces.
'Twas about Ten o'Clock when she was quite dead, and then he drew her out of the Chaise, and stripped off her Shoes, Stockings, &c. when she was stark naked, he drew her to the Place where the two Men hang in Chains, and there he gave her that large Wound which the Surgeons gave an Account of on the Trial; he likewise gave her several Cuts over the Eye-Brows, and slit her Nose, that she might not be known, and that it might be imagined, she was robb'd, and stripp'd, and murder'd by Thieves. Her Cloaths he bundl'd up and brought to London, and to prevent any Discovery by them, he cut them into small Pieces, and dropt them Bit by Bit about the Streets; but she having told him what Things she had borrowed of Mrs. Barber, her Landlady, he imagin'd he should be requir'd to make Satisfaction for them, if they were not returned, therefore he contrived to send Home the Hood and the Cloak, as the most valuable Things, in the Manner that Mr. Barber and his Wife informed the Court in their Evidence against him, and this proved a Step towards the Discovery of his horrid Fact. He was asked (after his Condemnation) by a Relation of his,
whether his Mind was not full of Horror as he drove Home in the Dark, after he had thus murder'd his Wife and left her behind him? he said, No, it was not; for he was born to do it, and cold not help it, his Heart being very much harden'd, both before and after the Fact.
After he had returned the Horse and Chaise to the Owners, he went Home to his Master's House, and was let in by his Master's Brother, between 12 and 1 o'Clock; the Reason he gave for his coming Home so late, was, that the Hoy was but just arrived; and the next Day the Enquiry that was made after his Wife, both in the House and by other People, so terrify'd him, that he ran away towards the Evening, and went directly to Portsmouth, where he took up his Quarters at an Alehouse, and went by the Name of Thomas Willis, intending to take Shipping, and get out of the Kingdom: But one Night, while he was drinking a Pint of Beer in a Ground Room by himself, he heard the Crier proclaiming the Advertisement in the Street (which had been sent down to the Sea-Port Towns) forbidding all Captains of Ships, and Owners of Vessels, taking him on board, for that he was under a violent Suspicion of being a Murderer: He heard himself so particularly describ'd, that he was in the utmost Confusion and Horror of Mind. But recollecting himself as well as he could, he consider'd he must not stay in a Publick House, nor yet dar'd he to venture out in the Street, for being a very remarkable Person, he concluded he must be discover'd.
In this Agony of Soul he observed a Back Window in the Room, which look'd into the Sea; this Window he opened, and fell from thence into the Water, making Shift sometimes to swim and sometimes to wade, till he came to a Landing-Place without the City, where he came ashore.
In this Condition he wander'd all that Night, and the next Day, thinking to get into Oxfordshire, and toward the next Evening he came to a Farmer's House lonely situated, and enquir'd at the House if they wanted a Servant? The Farmer was not at Home, but his Wife told him, she thought he did not look like a Country Servant, or one that was fit for her Husband's Business. He told her he had liv'd well, but was now reduc'd; and should be glad to do any Thing in an honest Way to get Bread. She told him she could not say any Thing to it, he might stay if he thought proper till her Husband came in, and then he would have his Answer from him.
When the Farmer came Home, and heard what he had to say, he look'd earnestly at him, (which put the Wretch into a Panic) and told him he wanted a second Plowman, but he was sure he would not do for him, he look'd (he said) as if he wanted to be hid for Debt, or something else. He own'd he was under a Cloud of Misfortunes, and would gladly serve him. The Farmer told him no, he did not greatly like him, but as 'twas Night, he might stay and lie with his Servants till next Morning. He was glad to have a House over his Head, tho' but for one Night, and thankfully accepted the Offer; but when the Servants (who lay in an Out-house) went to Bed, they were afraid of him, and told him, if he lay at their Farm that Night, he should lie in a Barn by himself in the Straw; which he was accordingly oblig'd to do.
From this Place he got to Oxford, and enquired for a Service; the Person that keeps the House, known by the Sign of the Anchor at Felly-Bridge, (Mr. Hooper) did what he could to get him a Place. He offered his Service to a Gentleman (a Physician) there, but the Doctor insisted upon a Character from his last Master. Mr. Hooper asked him what was the Reason he could not obtain a Character from none of the Places where he liv'd? He made many Excuses, telling him, some where dead, others he knew not where to find, and his last Master was a Foreigner, who was broke and run away. Mr. Hooper himself recommended him to the Doctor, and he was in hopes of getting into his Service, but while this Affair was depending, he happen'd to see an Advertisement in a News Paper, which 'frighted him again, and made him resolve to quit Oxford; which he did very suddenly, and made the best of his Way to Bredardine in Hertfordshire, where he lay one Night, then crossed the River Wye, and went to his Brother, who was an Apprentice to a Shoemaker at Winforton, about 4 Miles from his Father's House.
Here he staid but a very little while, and desired him to go with him to his Father's at Hay, a Market-Town in Brecknockshire. His Brother got Leave to accompany him to his Father's; when they came to the House, the Broher went in first, and burst out into Tears, for George had told him as they came along, what a Fact he had committed, and that he was forced to fly from one Place to another to avoid falling into the Hands of his Pursuers. The poor old Father having seen the Advertisement in the Papers, immediately apprehended something extraordinary had happen'd, and the first Words he said were, - Lord - you have seen George! I hope he's not in the Town! Yes, says his Brother, he's just at the Door, but he's afraid you might have some of the Neighbours with you. There being none but their own Family in the House, he was fetch'd in, and the Minute he saw his Father he fell down on his Knees, and with a Flood of Tears begg'd his Blessing. Ah George! (reply'd the Father) I wish God may bless you, and that what I have heard concerning you may not be true! No, no, (said he) it is not, - it is not, - pray let me have a private Room, - make no Words, I have done no Harm, let me have a Room to my self!
As soon as he was put into a Room he pull'd out half a Crown, and desired his Brother John to get him a Lancet with that Money. John asked him what he intended to do with it, and perswaded him not to add Sin to Sin; telling him, he had done enough already, and that he would not be accessary to his farther Guilt. Let me but have a Launcet, said he, and I will put an End to all; he was now satisfied, he said, and desired only to see his Friends, and now would make them all easy, for he would die with them. His Father and Brother perswaded him from his bloody Purpose, and kept him hid 5 Days. Then it began to be rumour'd about the Town, that George was harbour'd in the House, and the People were confirm'd in their Notion, by seeing Smoak come from a Chimney, where there never used to be a Fire before.
The Rumour prevailing, he began to think himself not safe, even in his Father's House, and among his Relations. His Brother John perswaded dim to go on Board a Ship from some Sea Port and be gone, but it being windy Weather, he was afraid to venture at Sea.
At last he determined to get to Gloucester; which Place he reach'd undiscover'd, and staid a Fortnight at an Inn; during which Time, every Body took Notice of his labouring under some Disorder of Mind, the Hostler asked him what was the Occasion of it? He told him, and every one else, that he was in Love with a young Woman who was just married to another Man, and this Pretence went down pretty well. At the End of the Fortnight, he found that Mrs. M - n (with whom he had liv'd at Brecknock) had 2 Sons at School at Gloucester; the Lads having seen him, they made themselves known to him, and in a Letter to their Mother, they inform'd her, that their Man George was at Gloucester; she immediately wrote back to them, charging them to have nothing to say to him, for he was a Murderer. The Boys whisper'd this about, till it came to the Ears of the Hostler, that this was the Man who kill'd his Wife upon Hounslow-Heath. The Hostler as soon as he heard it, told him, if he did not make the best of his Way from thence, he would certainly be taken. I will not detect you, (says he) but I advise you to be gone immediately.
The unhappy Wretch now thought it in vain to think of Refuge any where, he was tired of flying from Place to Place, nor had he any Reason to believe he should be safer any where else, than he had been in the many Places he had attempted to hide himself in; and being under a strong Perswasion that his Crime was legible in his Countenance, that the Hand of Divine Justice was pursuing him; and that it would be in vain to resist it any farther, therefore he came from this Place to London, and surrender'd himself at his Master's House, into the Hands of Justice, as the only Means of putting an End to his constant terrifying Apprehensions.
The following is the Defence which PRICE wrote, intending to have spoke it all on his Trial, but thinking it would be improper to produce the Paper at the Bar, he recollected as much of it as he could, and deliver'd himself as was express'd in his printed Trial.
I Declare, That I am innnocent of all that is laid to my Charge here in Corte; and so far from ever hurting my Wife, much less making away with her, such as murdering hur, or knowing of her being murdered in any Shape, I will take my Oath, that I know nothing to the contrary but what she may be living to this Day, no more than what your Lordship and the jentlemen of the Jury has an Opportunity of hearing from jentlemen, who, upon their Oaths declare, that they se hur after she had been murdered in a barbarous Manner; but it is plain, my Lord, that it is a Sceem of Vilany that has been laid against us both, but whear it spring from I know not; but I hope, and doubt not, but by that Time your Lordship, and the jentlemen of the Jury, has hard me declare the Manner of its being acted, but that you will think me inocent, as I realy am; God forbid but what I should, for I loved my Wife as I did my own Sould, and she merited all my Love, had it been more than what it really was, for she was a modest, virtious, sober, good-natur'd Woman; if she was not so frugall in the Manedgement of the litle that we had to begin the World with, that tended to our Misfortune only, and thear was nobody else could bear aparte; that I bore with Patience, and to confirm which, my Lord, if there is that Person in Corte, or that can be fetch'd in, that can say, George, you have used your Wife ill, or you have abus'd hur in any Respect, or not don for bur to the utmost of my Power, nay more than was in my Power, for I was forsed to troble my Frinds to compleat my Tenderness to hur, if those things can be laid to my Charge, then let your Lordship and the whole Corte, blame me for my Actions; untill then, I hope your Lordship will put charitable Constructions, together with the jentlemen of the Jury, upon the Folly that I have been guilty of, which was, that of leaving my Master's Servis as I did; but eaven that, I was not without my Reasons, and such and such as I dout not but will move your Lordship's Compassion together with the hole Corte, to pity my Surcumstances, and insteed of thinking me that Villan that I have been represented to the World in the publick New's-Papers, as I doupt not but your Lordship, upon inquiring into my Carector, will finde me to be a more tender harted Person than he that should be guilty of such Barbarity: Justice I am not afraid of, my Lord, or I had never come without being forced to look your Lordship and the jentlemen of the Jury in the Face. Gilt is a Stranger to me, thearfore I stand without carn upon my Triall, only for the Loss of my poor Wife. My Lord, I have no Frinds to make intersetion for me in Corte, only God for my Counsellor, and Inocens for my Defence, for hear I expect no more Favour than what Justis gives me a Title to, and that I don't despair of, having no Remorce of Conscience. If I was shure, my Lord, that my Death would add to my Wife's Happyness, I wovld willinly sacrifice my Life for hur. I think, my Lord, that thear is several Parsons in Corte, my Lord, who wear both Eie and Ear Witnesses to my tender Usage, that has Reason to think that what I say is Truth, if your Lordship pleasis to hear them speeck.
This bold Defence I made,
My Life being sweet;
But Fortune did in Corte,
With Justice meet.
After his Conviction, he was asked if he had any Hand in the Death of his Children? His Answer was, As God Almighty is to be my Judge, I know nothing but that they died a Natural Death; my Wife sent me Word they were restless and could not sleep, and I own I sent them some Liquid Laudanum, if she gave them too much, I cannot help that.
A Reverend Clergyman having seen the Letters which were found in his Wife's Lodging, and hearing he continued solemnly protesting his Innocence in this Respect, out of a compassionate Regard to his Condition, he paid him a Visit, and advised him to an ingenuous Confession for his heinous Crimes, and in particular for being a
Moves in the Death of his Children. He again affirmed his Innocence in that Respect, and deny'd his having any Knowledge how they came by their End. But when the Revd Clergyman let him know his Letters to his Wife were in Custody, which were too flagrant a Proof of this Wickedness, he fell in a Passion, and after he had thrown out some angry Expressions, he grew sullen, and could not be perswaded to speak, or give any Answers to the Questions which were asked him. Thus we may plainly see what Regard is to be paid to the most solemn Asseverations of Wretches harden'd in Guilt, and habituated in a constant Course of Wickedness; and that 'tis too often seen, they are more concern'd for appearing innocent in the Eyes of the World, which they are about to leave, than they are for their eternal Interest, and everlasting Welfare.
The following is a Copy of a Letter he sent his Father after his Conviction.
My dear Father,
PRay for the Peace of my departing Sole, and in your Praiers forget not to return God Thanks for all the Mercys he has vouchsaft to me your Child, in bringing me so calmly to Justis, not taking me unawares, and lancing me into Eternity without giving me Time to say, Lord have Mercy upon my Sole. But that has not been the Case with me, for God has been flow in his Anger, and of great Kindness, and has given me Time to repent me of the Evil that I have comitted. I have been with my Burthen upon the Seas, when the angry Waves seem'd to me to threathen me, and the foaming Billows knock'd against my troubl'd Conscience. Then I call'd upon the Lord to save me from the Waters, and he heard me, and suffer'd me to travel some hundreds of Miles, but wherever I stopt my uneasines continu'd, even in Bed, let me turn how I would my Burthen was uppermost. Thus I liv'd for two Months in this deplorable Condition, which God thought long enough, at length he influenc'd my Heart with a Scriptur Proof, which was for those that traveld and were heavy loaden to turn to him and he would give them Ease. This Thought I cherisht, which brought me forth to Justis, and in the Time of my Confinement, God gave me that Grace to spend my Time in praying for Forgiveness of my Sins, which I did with Fervency, and God saw that in the Prison, where he planted, that I brought forth Fruit meet for Repentance, which was a forward Step to bring me to his Kindom; for tho' upon my Trial I made a bold Defence, and there being no plain Proof against me, yet God took Pity on me, and rathar then that I should be turned into the wide World a second Time, choose to take me to himself, and 'tis in this last Hope I quit this wretched Being, in Hopes that God will have Mercy upon my Soul, which I don't dispare of in the least. Pray my dear Father don't think much of parting with me, for I don't think much of parting with this wicked World, for Death is the Punishment God has appointed for Sin, and since my Sins has deserved this Punishment, I am contented to make this earthly Atonement, in sacrificing my Life for my Crimes. There is another Thing that attends the Fraelty of human Nature upon these Occasions, which I hope will be banish'd from you and my Brothers, 'tis that of fearing the scandalos Reflections of your Neighbours if at any Time, or upon any slite Quarrel that may happen between you and them, they should say, which you must expect, so well I know the Town, your Son suffer'd so and so, when they have nothing else to say that can move your Temper, in the midst of your Quarrel when you find these Words spoke, make this Reply with a pleasant Countenance, - God forgive you, I pity you for this Speech you have made. I shall soon be happy I hope, so let that reconcile you, much better than if I had gone into some foreign Country, to escape Temporal Punishment, and be banisht from you and all my Friends besides, and perhaps have spent the remaining part of my Life in rioating. But as Fate has ordain'd it, all those future Things are prevented. I pray God to bless you, my dear Father, and my dear Brothers and Sister, if you have any Thing to say to me, 'tis now too late to let me know on Earth, I hope we shall meet in Heaven, there our Hapyness will be compleated, and it will be out of the Power of our restless Adversaries to disturb us, Adieu. Which is the last Lines you must ever expect to receive from your truly penitent Child,
Another to Mrs. S - W.
Mrs. S - W.
I Little thought that the World would be so censorious to me, as to report it, that I should make any unlawful Pretensions of Love to you, they may be justly call'd unlawful, had there any such been made, because I had a Wife at the Time for which I suffer, now some of the World to compleat their censorious Constructions, will not scruple to say that you ought to bear a Part with me in my Troubles, because they think you have been accessary to my Crime, not Crimes, tho' I have been charged with more then one by the World, but God thought one of that Sort sufficient, so suffer'd me to comit no more, but for that God requires Blood for Blood, and in an Act of Submission to God's Will, I am content to sacrifice my Life for my Sins, in the Destruction of this corruptible Being. I think my Curiosity would be but laudable if I should consult some learned Divine, to know whence it is, that Vice should get the Preference in receiving the Reward before Virtue. You Madam, no Doubt have heard what Death is design'd for me, but I have heard of no extraordinary Reward that your Virtue has mett with. But upon second Thoughts, when I consider that my whole Life has not been spent in Disobedience to the Will of God, 'tis possible, and to be hop'd that the Punishment I meet with on this side the Grave, will be a sufficient Attonement for my Crime. But to those that has had the Benefit of your Conversation, it appears that your whole Life has been a Life of such Virtue and Discretion, that this World is not able to furnish you with sufficient Rewards for your Merits. But be contented and patient under the Reflections (is) cast upon you, your Virtue will not go unrewarded, no more then will my Vice go unpunisht, my Desires in this Letter is to show the World the Justice that is done me, and the Wrong they do you. My Design in this is good, the reading it in one Sense may have one ill Effect, because it will make Servants more cautious how they show common Civility to each other, for fear of the like Reflections being cast on them. A Copy of this I have given to the Ordinary of Newgate, which is all, who is at this Time a Slave to his Misfortunes, under Sentence of Death in the Cells of Newgate.
The following are true Copies of the Letters which were wrote by George Price to Mary his Wife, and which were found (after her Murther) in her Box at her Lodgings at Mr. Barber's a Cutler, near Cripplegate- Church .
I desire you to be in Redyness on Friday Morning, for I desine to com for you by fowr of the Clock. If I don't come, I shan't go before next Week, or may be not at all; for Peeple will not let thair Horsis go so far in a Day, so if we do go next Week, you must contrive to come and lay in Town the Night before. So if I do not come a Friday send me a Letter, whether you can come a Night before.
Which is all from your loving Husband,
No 2. Directed as above.
I have Rit this according to promis, which is to acquaint you that I went safe from you
Home the last Time I was bless'd with thy dear Company, which I long to enjoy oftner than thear is a Possibillyty to do, while I live in Saris. My Dear, you may depend upon my coming as often as possible I can, but I can set no Time, as I am not my own Master. I should be glad to see you, my Dear, in Town, which Request I hope you will grant, if you find I don't come soon, my Love, I hope you will give your self the Trouble to Right, by the Return of the Post, if it suits you.
Which is, my Dear, from your affectionnate Husband,
Who will study thy Welfare to Eternyty.
Happy is he that is free from Care and Strife,
And I'm made so, by making you my Wife.
Rit this at 3 of the Clock in the Morning, half a-sleep.
My dear Life.
I Hope this Leter will finde you in good helth, as I am at present I thank God; but my Dear I would not have you be surprized if you find that I do not come a Wensday Night, for I have been towld since I was blest with seeing you, that he dus not discharge his Sarvants 'till Night, if it be so, you must not expect me till Thursday. But if he dus discharge me in the Morning, I shall make no Stey, but come away directly. My Dear, I thought proper to acquaint you with it, to prevent your being uneasy. My Dear, I hope that my Diligence in this will attone for my former Crime.
My Dear tho' at this distance from your Arms
May Heaven protect thy sweet engaging Charms
O that my Tong or Pen could but impart,
Or show how Love has melted down my hart.
Pardon my Pation which has been so great,
And with my Love I will make it all compleat.
My Dear, give my Love to Mrs. Wells, I hope she and her Family are in good helth.
No. 4. (without Direction)
Dec. 7. 1735.
AFTER the intollerable feteugh (fatigue) of my Journey, I a Rived safe at my Father's House upon Saturday of this Instant, whear I was joyfully receved. I hope my dear Love, you are in good helth. I have no Nuse (News) to tell you, without it is, that I love you to Distraction, but I hope that is no Nuse to you. My Dear, if it any way sutes you to send me the Tea and the Picturs you promised me by the first Opportunity, you will make an Attempt to hithen my Love, but for you to increase it, it is a Thing unpossible, for my Love is now in it's hiest Pitch. My Dear, I shall be as good as my Word,
My Dear I hope you will favour me with an Answer by the next Post.
My kind Respects to Mrs. Wells and all her good Family.
I Hope you will not take it amis that I do not come according to my promis, but do not think that I mean it in any Disrespect to you my Love, but it proceeds from the intollerable feteugh (Fatigue) of my Journey coming down; 'tis that makes me cautious of such another Undertaking, but an pleas God I will be in London my self upon Friday comsenight, or Satterday at farthest, but the Wether has been so very bad, that it was unpossible for me to come this Weeck. My Dear, if you wright an Answer to this Leter, I shall be set out before it comes to the Hay, so that I would not have you wright. Pray my Dear give my Sarvis to Mrs. Wells, and to all the good Family.
ON Monday the 3d of May, I was inform'd that the Merman was come from Newcastle, upon which I went down to King Edward's Stairs, whear I took Water to go abord the Ship to see your Father, as I thought, but when I came thear was no such Man; it suprised me for the present, but when I consider'd that it was no more than convinsin me of that which I have been long in Expectation of, and that was being deceived by your Father. This was his Fault in a great Measure, but the next shall be mine. Don't let it any Ways supprise you, for my Love is still the same to you, I only wright to you to let you know that we have no Frind but God, I shall be glad to see you a Thursday the same Time you use to come.
Which is all from your lovin Husband,
You must excuse my being in hast.
This Letter was wrote by the Prisoner immediately after the Birth of his two Twins. Directed as above, no Date.
I Right this to let you know that I am very desirous that the Children may be crisen'd to Morrow, if you can get Mrs. Green and Mrs. Pennistone to stand along with your Father, let them be crisen'd in the Morning, and if thear is any Possibility I will come and see you in the Evening, but I don't chuse to be at the Crisening if I could. I have sent a Top-knot and Sleevestrings for little Pegee, but tell little Mol, not to cry, because it is never the worse, for she shall have a blue one before it is long. My Dear I hope you are pretty well, I long to see you.
Which is all from your loving Husband,
I AM sorry that I have no better nuse (News) to tell you, for Yesterday I was with your Father, at the House whear you war to be at, and there found him lying on the Bed very bad, with abundance of Pothecary's Stuff with him, so much that all the Money he hase to receive will not above pay for it, which so provok'd me when I hard it, that I could a stabb'd my self for Madness, so God d - n his lying extravagant Head, he told me he was to have six Ginnyes for the Job, and he was not to have five, and out of that, he has made shift to spend four Ginneys, which has made me so ill, that I am redy to dy, so let him dy and be d - d, for he is not fit to live. I would have if you please to send me that Scarlet Waistcoat, and the Cloth Britchas, that large Pair, send them a Friday, and Ile return you some Money by the Bearer, and if I can a Munday, I will come and see my dear Babes crisen'd, and if God will stand my Friend, redeem you from thear if possible, (The rest was torn) -
Which is all from your distrest Husband,
Aug. 19, 1736.
I Received your Letter, and do with Pations bear what the Lord is pleased to afflict me with. You say you are with Child again, if it had pleased God, I had rather it had not happen'd so, but since it is so, God make me able to keep you in Sickness and helth, for while I have a Penny in the World, you and my dear Babs shall never want 3 Farthings of it, so have a good hart for yet nither you nor our little Babs I hope has wanted Bread, but before my Children shall be brought up by the Parish, ile sell the Shurt from my Back if thear be no other Means left. But I hope the Lord will influence me with a better Thought, and that is that you shall put won of my Babs out to nurs to Mrs
Finch or any Body elce, if you can find any Body that will take it at half a Crown a Week, in London I should rather, for then I could see it often, so you shall take the other Babee and go down to your Ant Cleevers. I'le pay for that at London, and you must make shift to keep the other in the Country; this is the last Shift that I have left, since it has pleased the Lord to pour his Afflictions upon me so fast, but as for your saying that I did not borrow any Money for your Subsistance, but that I kept what I had for my self, had I been near you when I read that Line, I think I should have stuck you with my Knife, for your ungratitud, you say you have sould your Ring and have but a laven Shillings left, which I am suprised at, but if it be so, I am poor indeed, and want but won Degree to make me a publick Scandal to the World, my Master and I shall com to London in about 3 Weecks Time, and stay there for a Weeck. You must get a Nurse ready to take the Child when I come, and get your self redy to go into the Country with the other, for in Pond-street you shall stay no longer. If your Mony will not hould out till I come, sell that Frock of mine, but don't take less than fifteen Shillings for it, but get as much more as you can; I will come to see you as soon as I come to London, and set you free from Pond-street by the help of God. Rite me a Letter to let me know how you like my Purposhalls, and then you must rite no more till you see me, which will not be long furst, and this coms from your poor Husband, George Price.
P. S. The Country agrees with me very well I thank God. I hear my Master will com to London sooner than I mention'd before in my Letter, so you must wright as soon as you receive my Letter or not at all, for my Master talks of setting out a Saterday comsenight for London.
I Am suprised that you should want Mony more than what I desired my Friend Mr. Morgan to let you have, which was a Ginny and a half, for had the Children been at Nurse as before, that Mony had not been out till the twelfth Day of August, but he said, I desired you to discharge the Room that you are in, and get your self and the two Children ready to come down to your Unkle's at Sea Salter, who I believe will receive you in a very loving Manner, for when we come to Town we shall go to Bath, as soon as my Mistress is able, or if we don't, I shall be so confined, that if you lived in the same Street I could not see you half so often as usiall. You shall stay with your Unckle till my Year is up, then will either live with you or elce settle you in a littel Shop by your self, for if you are in Town this Winter at my Expence, I shall never be able to pay my Frind that has supported me in my Extremity. Com down by the Hoys, but be shure you don't mention any thing of me, for all the Men knows Sir Thomas Hailes Family very well. Pray send me Word when you intend to come, but pray direct your Letters Madam, if you please, where I desire you, which was for Mr. George Price to be left at the Miter and French Horn in Highstreet Canterbury till call'd for; and send no more to Sir Thomas's House, if you mind what I say to you, if not, do as you please, and pray when you send me a Letter, look at mine, and make it in the same Form, and get some Shoopkeeper to wright the Directions, for I am ashamed of such Leters as you
send me. I receiv'd a Leter from the yong Man that owns the Shurts, to complain that he never had them, which I am suprised at, but I need not wonder, for it is just as you serve me in other Cacis. If you please to send him the Shurts as soon as possible. I thank God I am in perfitt Health, so I hope you and my little Babis are. I hope God will continue my Health, so that I may pay every Body thair own, for that is my Principal. Pray give my Sarvis to my dear Frend Mr. Morgan, and show him this Leter; desiring him to supply your Wants while you stay in London, and let this Leter be his Security, that I promis to pay to him upon Demand the Sums that he has lent to you and me George Price. I hope you will not be above a Weeck before you com down, pray desire Mr. Morgan to take Care to prevent all Suspistions, and I beg that you may not go near our House.
The following Letter, containing his Instructions to his Wife, for the killing his Children, was without Date.
I Have sent you some licquit Laudanum for my Babes, for I have nothing else for them, at least that will do them so much good, thearfore I desire that you may put it to it's Use. About the Quantity of three Tea Spoonfulls a peace will do: I doubt not but God will forgive us for this. Pray burn my Leter as soon as you have read it, then you will be at your Liberty, for at present my Hart akes to think that you cannot enjoy yourself, but ly under so many Obligations to your Relations. Now it is almost Hopping Time, and you may go to your Unkle John's, to pick Hops, or any other Places, but God help me, I have enuff to do to pay my Detts, don't you trouble yourself about that, do the best you can for yourself, I never will interrupt you, and I will take the same Liberty.
When the Children dies, pray give my Sarvis to your Unkle, and tell him to get them beried, and charg whatever it coms to, and I will pay him; desire him to do it as cheap as he can; you nead not wright to me till the Children are beried, and then send me a Leter what Day you will com to Town, and I will meet you at the Miter and French horne in Canterbury. If that Quantyty will not do, give them sum more: They will dy a sleeping, which will be no Pain to them. Pray take Care of the Stuff that you leave till I see you. Give my Sarvis to your Frinds, which is all from your Well-wisher, George Price. I am too poor to be call'd your Husband.
Direct your Letters to the Miter and French horne.
Another to the same Effect.
I Have sent you some more of the same Stuff, and some Powder, if that should not do; but pray, my Dear, don't go to take any of it yourself. I am surpriz'd you should be with Child again, with my enjoying you but once; but if it comes to Perfection, I have no more for it than I have for thease, and do with it what you please. My Dear, I have no Money to buy me a pare of Shoes, much less to give you any, you may believe me, for by God it is true. I desire you would give it all to the Children, and let the next Letter you send me be a litle more to my Satisfaction; as for my coming to Sea-Salter it is impossible, for I am forced to come to Canterbury by stelth, becase I dare not take the Horsis to com, and I have not a Shillin to pay for won, the more is my Misfortune. By Saterday comsenight I shall expect a Leter or see you yourself at Canterbary, but without you have made every Thing easy, do not com: If you should not see me at the Miter, you may conclude that I am sent sum where elce, so leve a Leter for me and go Home to your Unkles, then I will send you Word where to com. My Dear, if you love me, do all theas Things that I desire of you, for I love nobody like you, and all my Grife is, that I cannot help you, you
may then do for yourself better than ever; which is all from your Well-wisher till Death,
Pray date your Letters if you send any.
THIS is the Stuff for you to take, boil a little of it in a Pint of Milk, and drink it in the Morning; take Care that you don't let any body see you, for thay all know it is good for that Use. I would advise you to go to your Unckles to take it, and then you will be safe. I have rit to Mrs. Shaw, and desired her to send you Word, and direct her Leter to the Flower-deluse, For Mrs. Mary Chambers, till call'd for, so if you will call thear, every now and ten, you will hear what she says. Pray take Care of your Unckles Sack; I have lent you an old Shurt, if it will be of any Use to you, your Stuff is in the Shurt, and the Shurt is in the Sack. Which is all from your Well-wisher,
FRIDAY, Sept. 19, 1737.
Mr. Barber produc'd this Letter upon Price's Trial, with a small Bundle of Savin, which he found enclos'd in it, after his Wife was murder'd; but as it did not relate to the Fact, with which the Prisoner stood charg'd at the Bar, it was not read.
N. B. The Originals of the above Letters, may be seen at the Printers of this Paper.