THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were Executed at TYBURN, On FRIDAY the 3d of August.
Number V. 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 Jail-delivery of Newgate, held (before the Rt. Hon . Micajah Perry, Esq ; Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Rt. Hon. Lord Chief Baron Comyns; the Hon. Mr. Justice Chapple; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder of the City of London, and Others his Majesty's Justices for the said City, and Justices of Jail delivery of Newgate, for the City of London and County of Middlesex) at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday,Thursday, andFriday, the 18th, 19th, and 20th of July, 1739, and in the Thirteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign.Four Men, viz. Francis Trumble, George Broderick, Thomas Bridge, and David Roberts, and one Woman, viz. Sarah Kingman; were by the Jury convicted of capital Crimes, and received Sentence of Death.
While under Sentence, they had Instructions given them, suitable to their respective Cases, in Order to bring them to a Sense of their Guilt, and to a hearty Repentance for the many heinous Sins of their Lives: They were admonished to consider that we are all by Nature Enemies to God, and consequently obnoxious to divine Wroth and Vengeance, and therefore they were to repent of that original Guilt, from which all actual Sins proceed, and with the Psalmist David, so confess, that thy were conceived in Sin, and brought forth in In quity. They were instructed in the necessity of becoming Subjects capable of receiving divine Grace, and of living Holy as God is Holy, and blameless of all Life and Conversation, and to lament over the many notorious Sins of their Lives, which had now brought down upon them those greievous Punishments they were under; they were likewise advised to admire the infinite Love of God in sending his Son to dye for Sinners, and to make Satisfaction to the offended Justice of God. They were intreated to believe in Christ as our only Saviour, with that Faith which worketh by Love, and bringeth forth
Obedience, Holiness and Virtue, so their Sins might be blotted out when the Time of Refreshing shall come from the Presence of the Lord.
One of them, Thomas Bridge, having been guilty of a barbarous and cruel Murder upon his own Wife, was instructted in the heinous Nature of his horrid Crime, that it was an usurping upon the Property of Almighty God, who is the Sovereign Lord of the Life and the Death of his Creatures; I kill and I make alive, saith God himself. That his Crime was the greater, in as much as the poor Creature on whom the Fact was committed, had no Time to lft up her Eyes to Heaven, or to implore Forgiveness of her Sins: He was advised seriously to consider these Things, and what a terrible Thing it is to fall into the Hands of the living God, and to improve his few remaining Moments in devoutly and sincerly praying to God, that he may be washed from all his Sins, but especially from that heinous Sin of Blood-guiltiness, in the Blood of Jesus, which speaks much better Things than than of Abel. He was also put in Mind that the nearer the Relation is to whom an Injury is done, so much the greater the Sin must needs be: That it was a horrid aggravation of his Guilt, that the Fact was committed upon his Wife,-one whom by all Laws, both humane and divine, he was obliged to defend and protect.
The rest of them had suitable Instructions, and were informed, how great a Crime it was to injure their Neighbours in their Right and Property; and that if such irregularities were allowed, and were not punished, all order and Society between Man and Man, would be interrupted, and the World would quickly be reduced to Anarchy and Confusion.
David Roberts, convicted of High-Treason in diminishing the current Coin, or Guineas; tho' he was not guilty of openly robbing any particular Person, yet it was represented to him, that his Sin was greater than if he had committed private Robberies, because diminishing the King's Coin, and Guineas was a Crime against the whole Nation, and tended to the general Inconvinience to the whole Kingdom.
They having been early dedicated to God in Baptism, wherein we deny all ungodliness and worldly Lusts, promising to obey God's holy Laws and Commandments, and having broken these solemn Vows and Engagements in innumerable Instances, were exhorted to renew their baptismal Vows and Engagements, by pertaking in the blessed Sacrament of our Lords last Supper, wherein we have the Death and Sufferings of our Lord Jesus represented in a visible and lively manner, and in which blessed Sacrament we have a sure Pledge and Symbol of eternal Life, if we truely conform our Lives to the precepts and Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When these and many other exhortations were given, they all attended in Chapel, excepting Francis Trumble, who was born and bred a Quaker, and he being very sick, weak and disordered in his Senses, was not able to come to Chapple, nor scarcely to speak to any. His Disorder increased with his Confinement, and when he was let out in the Press-yard
for a little Air, he look'd wild, and star'd, but spoke nothing. He continues in so weak and so unhappy a Frame of Mind, that he was not able to give any Account of himself, only in general Terms he promiseth to be more circumspect for the future, if his Life should be spared, and said he truly repented of the Crime he had committed.
Upon Thursday July 27, the Report of these Malefactors was made to his Majesty in Council, when his Majesty was graciously pleased to reprieve,
Sarah Kingman, convicted for privately stealing 3 s from the Person of Moses Wheeler, at the George Ale-house in Queen-street. The remaining three, viz. George Broderick, Thomas Bridge, and David Roberts were order'd for Execution.
Thomas Bridge was indicted for that he not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, but mov'd by the Instigation of the Devil, upon the 5th Day of June, in and upon Mary his Wife , did make an Assault, and with a certain Knife, her the said Mary, in and upon the left part of the Breast, near the left Pap, did strike and stab, giving her a mortal Wound of the breadth of one Inch, and the Depth of three Inches, of which Wound she instantly died.
1. Thomas Bridge, about 53 Years of Age, born of honest, creditable Parents in London, who gave him so good an Education, that he once understood Latin and Greek, and was in other Respects accomplished for Business; when he was of Age he was put Apprentice to a Surgeons Instrument-maker , and he serv'd his Time honestly to the Satisfaction of his Master and Friends When he was out of his Time he set up for himself, and was in a very good Way of Business; then he marry'd a Widow, who proved disagreeable to him, on Account of her Age, he being then much younger than she; this occasion'd a mutual indifference to each other, and was the Cause of his forming a Resolution to go Abroad, in order to advance his Fortune; and accordingly he went to Portugal in the Time of the late Queen Ann's Wars, where he follow'd his Trade, and settled at Lisbon for some Time, with good Success; here he liv'd for some Years, and during the War he kept Shop, and had very good Encouragement; but at last his Wife desirous to see him again, sent a Letter inviting him Home, and promising to be of Service to him if he would return. He accepted of the Invitation and return'd, and liv'd some Time with her, following his Business, but she dying, he took again to his Travels, rambling up and down the Country, and working for himself or for others as Occasion offered in different Places; at last he went from Chester to Dublin, where he liv'd for some Years, and then growing weary of Ireland, he return'd to his native Kingdom, and rambled from Place
to Place as formerly. At Gloucester, he married again, and liv'd in that City for some Years with his Wife, following his Business in an honest Way; but she and the Children he had by her, dying, he left Gloucester, and went to Coventry, and from thence to Northampton and Newark upon Trent, and other I laces, never being contented with his Condition, but loving a wand'ring and uncertain Way of Life, he turn'd an Itinerant Tradesman ; after which he returned to the City of Chester, there he got acquainted with that unfortunate Woman whom he murdered, and who was his third and last Wife: With her he lived for some Time at Chester, she proved a good Wife, and her Friends were very kind to him; but growing weary of this Place also, he went from thence to Birmingham, and from Birmingham he returned to London with his Wife and Family, and took a Lodging in Baldwin's-Gardens near Gray's-Inn-lane in Holborn, where this sad Misfortune befell him, which brought him to this fatal Period.
He lived as he said, in good Friendship with his Wife, whom he commended for a frugal, industrious Woman, confessing that of late he kept too much Company, which occasioned frequent Quarrelings. This made him impatient, and both of them lived uneasy Lives: He had several Children by this unfortunate Woman, but all of them are dead except one Boy, who was present when the fatal Blow was given. When I spoke first to him in private, I exhorted him to glorify God by a plain ingenuous Confession; but he did not incline to tell the melancholly Story so freely as he ought to have done, but the Account he gave of it, was to this purpose. On the 5th Day of June in the Forenoon, about ten or eleven o'Clock, he went out to an Alehouse to drink, promising not to stay, but delaying too long, the Wife sent for him two or three Times, but he not having a Mind to leave his Company, would not come, till at last, being pretty far advanced in the Day, after so many Messages, he turning impatient came Home, and his Wife perswaded him to go out with her, upon the Prosecution of a Neighbour, who had affronted and ill us'd her. While they were out, they both drank pretty freely, and did not return Home 'till Night, and then as he was eating his Supper with his Knife, (which he said had been just new-ground) in his Hand, she began to abuse him about this Neighbour, and Words arising, she flew upon him, and happened to fall upon the Knife, which pierced through the upper Part of her Breast, above the left Pap to her Heart, which being penetrated, she died immediately. This Account he gave to me, and though it be a very improbable one, yet it was all he would own relating to the Fact. And though I press'd him again (after the Death-Warrant came down) to be free in his Confession, and not conceal his Guilt, yet he told me he should confess to God alone, and should not tell any Particulars of the Accident, farther than he had done already.
But though he could not be brought to make a frank Confession, yet I observed that he was fearful of absolutely dedenying the Fact, and that he prevaricated in his Answers to Questions put to him concerning it. The Thing was done when no one was present but himself and a little Child about six Year old, who cry'd and told him, - He had kill'd his Mamma, and possibly he might imagine that no body being present, he should get off upon his Trial, for such a horrid Fact. After the Blow was given, he said, he was very much surprized, and would have given all the World to have recover'd her, but it was too late, and he not knowing what to do with the poor Innocent Child, he carry'd him out into Arundel-Street where he left him lamenting for his Father and Mother, 'till a Neighbour found him in the middle of Gray's-Inn-Walks, and took care of him. And now Father and Mother being gone, he is put into the Work-house of St. Andrew's Holbon. When he had dropp'd the Child he return'd Home, and having fasten'd the Door before he went out, he was obliged to get in at the Window, and continu'd in the Room for an Hour and Half, with his dead Wife; then he went out and rambled about all the rest of the Night, with the greatest Torment of Mind, and his uneasiness urged him to disclose the Matter in the Morning to Mr. Wilstead, upon which he was carried before a Justice, who committed him to Newgate. He very much blamed a Woman Lodger in the House, with whom his Wife used to Quarrel; but he advised them to agree together, which the Wife would not hear of, being resolved upon having the Woman punished for some impertinent Words she had made use of.
This prov'd the chief Cause of this execrable Murder; he was a Man of an unaccountable rambling, unsettled Temper, but otherways honest in his dealings, and was very capable of Business. He wrote well, and had a good knowledge of Religion; he behaved very well under his Misfortunes, was very regular in his Devotions, yet I observed him very much troubled in Mind, and sometimes he shed Tears. He declar'd his Faith in Christ our only Saviour; that he sincerely repented of all his Sins, particularly, the heinous Crime he suffer'd for; and forgave all the World, as he expected forgiveness of God.
2. George Broderick, was indicted for assaulting Mr. Reynolds, on the King's Highway (near Kingsland) putting him in Fear, and taking from him a silver Watch, val. 20 s. a silver Chain, 2 Seals, a gold Ring and 5 s. 6d, in Money.
He was about 20 years of Age, his Father was a Soldier in Queen ANN's Wars, and after the Peace he was Discharged from the Regiment, and went down into the Country to get some Employment. His Wife being with him upon this Journey, she fell in Labour at Cambridge, and was there deliver'd of this unfortunate Son. When she was able to travel, they went to the Bishoprick of Durham, the Place of her Nativity, where her Father and Mother lived, and here after they had resided
short Time they both died, leaving their Son a very young Child upon his Grandfather and Grand-mother's Hands, who were very tender of him, and careful of his Education, and put him to School, where he might have been instructed in a proper manner for one of his Starton; when he was of Age he was bound Apprentice to a Gardner , and to this Trade he serv'd two Years, but being of an unruly Temper, and taking Delight in nothing but riding Gentlemens Horses, he left his Business and came to London, where he was made a Post-Boy , in which Station he served for some Years, that being the only Business he ever followed. About this time he married a Wife, a Servant Maid, with whom he lived in Lodgings when in Town, and at other Times his Wife went to Service, he not being able to keep her. He was charged with having been guilty of some little misbehaviour as a Post-Boy, but he excused himself, by saying, that the allowance was so small that it did not Answer his Necessities, and therefore he quitted that Employment, and then having nothing to do, it laid him open to Temptation, and brought him to a speedy destruction and ignominious End. He had entered himself into a most notorious Gang of Thieves, with whom he committed a vast number of Robberies about the City. Thus he liv'd for a considerable Time before he was taken up and convicted of the Robbery for which he Died.
He was a very profligate and vicious Youth in other Respects also, and was very much addicted to Swearing and Blasphaming, Gaming and squandring away his little Money, to the Company of profane, lewd Women. He was altogether as void of Religion, as the Brutes that Perish, and had no notion of a future State. I instructed him in the necessary Principles of Christianity, as well as the shortness of Time allowed, but it could not be expected, (his natural aversion to Piety and Religion being so great) that he could profit very much in the Knowledge of divine Things After the Dead-Warrant came out, he cried and was so much discouraged, that he was not able to keep up his Spirits under the Misfortune; he grew very Sick, and could not give any farther Account of himself. I comforted him with the infinite Mercies of God, desiring him to cast the Burden of his Soul upon God, who would sustain him, to exercise a lively Faith upon Christ, as the Son of God, and only Saviour of Sinners, to repent of all his Sins, and forgive all Men. He declar'd his Faith in Christ, that he repented of his Sins, and was in Peace with all Men.
He was about 40 Years of Age, born of poor but honest Parents in Wales, who gave him but little Education; when of Age he was put Apprentice to a House-Carpenter , but did not serve out his Time After he had left his Master he lived well by his Business, and in Reputation, he marry'd a Wife and had some Children, but both she and they
died; and afterwards coming to London, he marry'd a Widow Woman in the Borough, who was in a pretty good Way of Business and Credit, with whom if he had behav'd well, he might have liv'd with Reputation, for she had some Money which he might have made Use of in his Business, but he not being very fond of his Wife, got into bad Company, and spent both his own and his Wife's Money, and neglected his Business, which run him into Debts, and consequently into Difficulties. About this Time he got acquainted with one S - h B – k - w, who was more agreeable to his Taste than the true Wife, with her he liv'd for some Time at Lambeth, where the Wife, found them out, and in a discreet manner told her, it was very unjust to alienate her Husband's Affection from her, Br – kl - w did not say much to her at that Time, but as soon as she was gone, she went before a Justice and swore the Peace against the Wife, alledging she had bred great Disturbances and threaten'd to burn the House about her, the Justice sent for Mrs. Roberts, desiring her to find Bail, she offer'd her Landlord, but the Justice accepted of a 100 l. Bail, which was frankly offered by the Constable who attended her, and sharply reprimanded S - h for the unjust Prosecution, obliging her likewise to find Bail in a small Sum to keep the Peace. After this Roberts denied his true Wife, and liv'd with Br – kl - w, calling her his Wife, and giving out that they were marry'd, and that he was not marry'd to the old Woman his true Wife. At this Time being in Debt, he went to live in the Rules of the King's-Bench Prison, and liv'd there some Years with Br – kl - w as his Wife, and then he went down to the City of Coventry with Br – kl - w, where he kept a Publick Inn a little while, and then his Creditors-coming upon him, he left his House at Coventry, the Goods of which the Creditors sold off, and return'd to his late Habitation in the Rules of the King's-Bench at London, where he liv'd for some Time, and took to Guinea filing, and diminshing the Coin. Some Time after he left London and went down to Bath, and while he was there, another Man named Carter, who had practised that Way, fearing to be taken up, and that he should undergo the Punishment of the Law, gave Information against Roberts, who was taken up and kept Prisoner in Goal at Bah in Somersetshire, for seven or eighth Months, and at last was brought up by a Habeas Corpus to London, and at the last Sessions of the Old-Bailey indicted and found guilty of High-Treason, for diminishing the current Coin of this Kingdom. As to the Fact he was charg'd with, he was not so plain in his Confession as might have been wish'd, but reflected on the Evidence, who he alledg'd, had only a View to save himself. Upon Tuesday the 24th of July, one having told Br – kl - w that Mr. Roberts had another true Wife, she said she knew nothing of it, but was sure he would deny the same, and that she was
ry'd to him, having born him or miscarried of four or five Children. When Roberts came out of the Cell, she told him this, he flew in a Passion, and said it was not so, using opprobrious Words. But notwithstanding all this, the true Wife visited him several Times in Newgate, when under Sentence and before, and once he desir'd her to stay and drink a Pot of Beer with him, which she did, and then he embrac'd her most kindly, promising if he got off of this Scrape, to make her Amends for all the Injuries he had done her, only he desir'd her not to come again, but to suffer the other Woman to come to him. The former Wife came to my House upon Sunday the 29th of July after Sermon, and told me a great many Things to this Purpose, she said, that in Token of perfect Reconcilement with him, she was desirous to receive the Sacrament with him before he died. As to Robnrs himself, he always spoke to me with a good deal of Caution and Reserve, tho' I was inform'd he had been much freer and more open, to a particular Person who was with him after Conviction. He reflected much upon Carter the Evidence, and those who testify'd he had offer'd them light Money, and had shewn a great number of Pieces. The unreasonableness of these Reflections must appear, when it is consider'd that these People are Men of undoubted Reputation, and that they only desir'd him to shew one good Piece out of the Number he had then about him. This Proposal, tho' favourable enough, he would not accept of, but begg'd and desir'd them to let him go, and they not caring to be troubl'd with him consented, and he went off at that Time. He behav'd decently under Sentence, but was too much harden'd, and not at all mollified under a Sense of his Guilt. He pretended to be sick, as indeed did the two other, when they saw themselves included in the Dead Warrant, so that none of them at some Times could be brought up to Chapel, this I suppose, might be owing to a desponding, yet harden'd Temper of Mind, into which these miserable Creatures are often plung'd, after a Life spent in presumptuous Wickedness, they not being capable of sincerely repenting, but endeavouring with a sort of desperate Boldness to reconcile themselves to the dismal Consequences of their Crimes. He said he believ'd in Christ, and forgave the World, as he hop'd to be forgiven himself.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
THE Morning they went out I read Prayers to them in Chapel, and they appeared very serious and devout, especially Bridges for the Murder of his Wife, who receiv'd the Holy Sacrament in a very devout manner, and with great Humility. After I had done praying by them, they were conducted to their Cells, where they did not remain long before they was call'd out to have their Irons knock'd off, then they was carry'd out of Newgate in one Cart, and David Roberts on a Hurdle to
Tyburn. When they came there, they were very attentive and serious, and Bridges could not refrain shedding Tears at the near Approach of Death; he begg'd all People to be aware of Passion, for that was the sole Cause which brought him to suffer an ignominious Death; he forgave every Body who was any Ways concern'd in bringing him to Justice, and he hop'd all Persons whom he had any ways injur'd would freely forgive him, and begg'd the Spectators to pray for his poor Soul. I asked him if he had any more to say, he said he had no more to say than what he had said before. David Roberts and Broderick adher'd to their Confessions. They were devout in complying with the Prayers and singing of Psalms, and went off the Stage crying out, Lord have Mercy on us, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit.
This is all the Account given by me
THOMAS Bridge, fifty-three Years of Age the 3d of June last, and the Day following was the unhappy Day the unfortunate Accident happened, born of honest and reputable Parents in the Parish of St. Giles, who gave me very good Education. I was sent to School to one Mr. Hunt, in Bloomsbury, to learn Writing and Arithmetick, and afterwards went to a Minister in Dyet's-street, to learn Latin, and continued there till I read Erasmus; afterwards went to the famous Mr. Snell, in Forster-lane, to learn Writing and Merchants Accounts, where I continued about two Years, and went also to a French School at the same Time; then I was put Apprentice to one Mr. Wyatt, in the Strand, who was a Cutior , and serv'd him about two Year and a Half; but he being no Workman, and my Mother who was the Management of all the Business (my Father being delirious) took me from him, and turn'd me over to one Mr. Thomas Hwett, in Newgate-street, (who lives upon his Estate now in Sussex) and with him I finished my Time.
As soon as my Time was up, I went to work Journeywork with one Mr. Leige, (a Frenchman) in Panton-street, Leicester-Fields, who was a famous Workman, and for my Improvement, I continued with him about 4 Years. In the Time of my Working with him, one Bombee, a Bodice-Maker, kept one Side of the Shop, but he being an Illiterate Man, and his Business requiring to write and answer several Letters, I was employed by his Wife to write their Letters, which introduced an extraordinary Acquaintance between her and me. I happened to be borrow'd by one Mr. Beard, a Gentleman of good Fortune, and one Day he took me a Board of an East-India-Man, to buy a Parcel of Joints, and as we was coming along, we met with a lusty Man, whom had a
bus'd Mr. Beard, and Mr. Beard says to me, can't you come up with this Man, for says he I never fear'd any Man that wore a ead, upon which I took a Razor out of my Pocket that had been just Ground, and I says to him, will you grind me this Razor (he going about with a Barrow to Grind) he took the Razor, and said, It did not want Grinding but said he would set it; he took a Hone from under his Barrow, which was full of Pins, and broke the Razor in Notches; when I saw it, I told him he had spoil'd my Razor, and I would make him pay for it.
He followed me, and insisted upon having a Penny for grinding it, and I struck him with a Joint a Cane a-cross the Face, and told him he had spoil'd the Razor. He thereupon ran and brought a great Board as he turn'd his Stone with, in order to knock me down, but I was too quick for him, and knock'd him down in the Kennel; he cry'd out Murder and that his Back was broke; a Constable who kept an Alehouse just by, took me into Custody; my Master seeing me in Custody, comes back to my Relief, and told the Constable the Fellow was very abusive to every body, and he ask'd me what was the Reason of it, though he knew very well he had set me on it before.
Mr. Beard being well known there, told the Constable he would give him a Shilling and pay the Reckoning if he would discharge me, which accordingly the Constable did. I had then four doz, of new Razors to grind, and the next Day I went to work upon 'em, it was in the hard Frost about thirty Years ago; the Fellow finding I wrought with Mr. Board, threw himself and his Family upon the Parish, in order to make a Property of me; the Overseers of the Parish took an Action against me upon his Complaint; one Day as I was grinding, two Bailiffs came to the Door, the Hatch was deep, so that they could not easily get in; my Master walk'd to and fro, knew them, and ask'd them what they wanted? they told him they wanted two Razors to be ground; he then stood at the Hatch, and bid them go about their Business, and says to me, Mr. Bridge go into the Parlour, I find they intend to be at you, but as I was the Author of it, you shall not suffer if it cost me a hundred Pounds; he gave me two Guineas, and said take a Pair of Oars and go Home to your Parents, accordingly I call'd for a Pair of Oars, and the Thames coming close to our Back-door, I took Boat and went away.
The Sunday following Mr. Beard came to me, and we drank a Bottle together at the Crown-Tavern in Arundel-street; he ask'd me what I could do in this Affair, and whether I would not go to one Mr. Whittin, in the Minories, and finish the Razors there, thereupon I went to Mr. Whittin that very Day, and ask'd him if he would let me finish Mr. Beard's Razors there; Mr. Whittin agreed I should, but I had not been long there, when the Sheriffs Officers got some Intelligence of me; I lay with a Dyer, who had one Side of the Shop, on a Saturday Night
as I was going Home, two Officers came in, under some Pretence of buying some Buckles; my Mistress seeing them, came forward, and said, you don't look like People who want to buy Buckles, but rather to steal; upon which I ran up Stairs, and they finding they were prevented from taking me, they went off, and I stay'd there till Sunday Morning, and then I went to Mr. Beard, and acquainted him with what had happened the Night before, and told him there was no possibility of my staying in Town, and he advised me to seek for a Country Master, and that he would support me untill I got work; he gave me four Guineas, and desired I would let him know when I got into Business.
One Mr. Cole, who was a Master of our Company, whom I acquainted with my Trouble, came to me and told me he had a Letter from one Mr. Sampson, in Oakingham in Berkshire, to send him a good Journeyman, and that he would give him good Encouragement; accordingly I set out in the Oakingham Coach, the Monday following, and when I came down, it was so very cold for two Months, there was no working; I drew upon Mr. Beard for more Money, and accordingly he very generously remitted me Money to support me till I was able to work; I remained there about fourteen Months, in which Time the Overseers of the Parish where I quarrelled with the Wheelbarrow Man were out, and he happened to dye, Mr. Beard advising me thereof, I came to London; in the mean time while I was in the Country, Mr. Bombee the Bodice-Maker happened to dye also; after I came to Town, I happened to go into the Swan Alehouse in Hedge Lane, at the End of Panton-Street, to drink, Mrs. Bombee coming by at the same Time and espied me, she went to one Mrs. Mc. Coy, who kept a great Snuff-Shop, and said to her, Who do you think I saw? Bridge is gone into the Swan; you don't say so said Mrs. Mc. Coy, being surpriz'd, we'll go to the Hoop-Tavern and send for him, which they accordingly did, and sent for me; when I came there, I was surprized to see Mrs. Bombee, and Mrs. Mc Coy, who seemed to be well pleased to see me come to Town again, and Mrs. Bombee envited me to come and take a Dinner with her the next Day, which I accordingly did, and then had a general Invitation both to Dinner and Supper; about three Weeks after she told me, on a Sunday when I dined there, and over a Bottle, you see how I am settled here, and you have known me some Years, I would chuse you for my Husband, and will turn that Woman away who keeps the other Side of the Shop, and you shall carry on your Business there. I answered her in the Negative, and told her the Difference of our Years would cause an unhappy Life, she being a great many Years older than I, she replyed that would make no difference at all in our Lives; but on the Sunday following, I went there again to Dinner, and in that Time she provided a Licence; after Dinner this Mrs. Mc Coy, and she kept drinking with me till four o'Clock in the Morning, Mrs. Bombee gave her a Sute of silk Cloths to
put on, and they desired me to walk towards Covent-Garden, and she would come to me, and in the mean Time sent the Maid away in some Errand; accordingly she followed me, and Mrs. Mc. Coy, set at the Cross-Keys-Tavern at the Corner of Henrietta-street, we walked to and fro the Garden (the People not being up) till seven o'Clock in the Morning, it was in July. We came into the Cross-Keys and called for a Pint of Wine, and as soon as the Morning-Prayer was over, we sent for the Clerk, and acquainted him that there was a Couple to be married, and accordingly we were married after 10 o'Clock Prayers, and came back to the Cross-Keys-Tavern and there dined, and she then pulled off her Silks, put on her Mourning and went Home, and I went into the City amongst my Friends; the Maid lay with her before, but she discharged her that Night from her Bed, on Account of my coming there; we lived about a Year and a Half together, but a Quaker-woman Servant that work'd with her in her Business, told her, I was concern'd with her Journey-women, naming their Names, which was entirely false; it bred so great an Animosity between us, that we differed very often, and had blows. My Mother hearing of it, advised me to go Abroad, and for that purpose I made a Judgement upon my own Goods, and took the best Part of them with me to Lisbon, in Portugal, where I followed my Business with great Success for four Years in great Credit and Reputation. In the latter Part of the four Years, one Henry Green, who lives there now, had three Wives, two of them came over from Cork in Ireland, and prosecuted him, and he having changed his Religion in Portugal, was put into the Inquisition for breaking his Sacramental Vow, having three Wives living, and was sentenc'd while there to go seven Years to go to a Place called Macegon in Turkey; he through Interest got that Sentence of, and was turn'd over to the common Goal, and while he was there he had a second Sentence, which was to be a Galley Slave in Lisbon; while he was in the Inquisition, one of his Wives who went to Cork to buy Goods, abus'd the Wife he married in Cork, who said if it be to my Perdition, I will go to Cork and prosecute him; she got her Certificate back by some Popish Priest in Cork, and they both came over together, and she went to the President of the Irish Convent, and shewed her Letters which she had from a Gentleman in Cork, and the Certificate; and a Cousin of her's, and the President, went up to the Inquisit's Door, who upon seeing the Certificate back'd by a Roman Clergyman's Letters, sent Mr. Green to the Inquisition again; during her Stay there, she lodged at her Cousins, intending to stay till the Trial was over, to know whether she was the first Wife or not; she us'd to come by my Door pretty often, and call'd in, and her Cousin desired me to enquire among the Gentlemen of the Factory, if there was any vacancy for a House-keeper, I promis'd I would, and accordingly I did, but could not hear of any then. About three Weeks after, I ask'd 'em to come in to
refresh themselves as they came by; she replied to me, as you keep so many Servants, I wonder how you can do without a House-keeper; I told her, Wages run so high, I could not afford to keep one; she said as to Wages, she would not disagree, but would come to live with me on any Terms; I answered her I would consider of it, and in a Week's Time she should have her Answer; accordingly she came and we agreed, I took her into the House, and in some Months after she prov'd with Child. Green being in the common Goal, she was brought to Bed, our English Solicitor informed us of the Danger of having the Child baptiz'd, I agreed with some Servans belonging to a Merchant who were coming to London, to bring the Child home to my Mother; I was sent for to a Nobleman's to receive Orders for some Goods, and in my Absence, some English and Irish Women (Roman Catholicks) went to her, and told her, what a Sin it would be upon her, if the Child should dye unbaptiz'd, and at their Instigation, the Child was baptiz'd in my Name. Mr. Green's Friends got a Certificate thereof, and put me two Year and a Day in Prison, and I believe such a Prison is not in the World. About five Months after I was put in Prison, we had a Trial, and I had the Advantage of having my Liberty and my Goods return'd me, but they embarrass'd that Sentence, and in about five Months more, we had another Tryal, which was given in favour of Mr. Green, and it was ordered that I should leave that Country, and come Home for fear I should kill him, and we embargo'd that Sentence, and in about five Months more we had another Trial, which was given in Favour of Mr. Green, and it was order'd that I should leave that Country and come Home, for fear I should kill him, and we embargo'd that Sentence, and sometime after had a Third, which was as the second, and I came Home in the Page Galley; Capt. Golesbury, my Effects and Money being gone and spent in the Time of my Imprisonment, my Friends look'd but cool on me, I shipp'd myself Captain's Steward, on Board a Guinea Man bound for Jamaica, I receiv'd a good deal of Money as Wages, and when I return'd I thought to put myself in some Way of living in the World, but my Friends were against it, my first Wife being then living, and advised me not, saying she would tear me to Pieces if I did, upon which I went to work Journey-work with one Mr. Smith in Bishopsgate-street, who keeps the Globe now at Mile-End, and from him I work'd with several other Masters, and particularly with one Mr. Harbert in Aldersgate street, my first Wife used to come in a Coach with a Servant, and stay two Hours opposite the House unknown to me, in order to inspect into my Actions. Sometime after this she died, then I left London and went to Worcester, and there I met with my late Wife, it was seven Years ago the first of this Instant Aug. I might have had my Mistress's Sister with 100 l. to settle there, but my unhappy Fate was such, as to take this Woman without a Farthing; I work'd there about a Year and half and from thence I went to Birmingham, and there my Wife was brought to Bed of a Boy, which is now living, and is six Years old the 10th of this August; I work'd there about nine Months, I went from thence to Coventry, and work'd there but a Fortnight, from Coventry I went to Northampton, and work'd there about seven or eight Months, from thence to Cambridge, and rested there but about three Days, for there was no Work, and from thence I came to London, where I continu'd ever since. About a Month before this unhappy Accident happen'd, my Wife had been to carry a Letter to the Post-Office to send to her Father, in Market Drayton in Shropshire, when she return'd Home she was standing at the Door, and a Woman who lives in the House, who goes by the Name of S - ds and her Daughter, being both drunk came up to the Door, and used my Wife in a very opprobrious manner with ill Language, this very Woman was the Occasion of both our Lives being lost, and
after having abused her, they fell upon her and beat her; a Neighbour over the Way, one Mr. Lee, sent a Boy to me to my Master's Shop, to Mr. Freeman's where I wrought off and on for 2 Years past, to acquaint me how they had used my Wife, and told me S - ds and her Daughter were abusing my Wife in a very barbarous manner; I supposing it was nothing more than a scolding Bout, or such Quarrels as they often had before, did not go immediately; a little Time after Mr. Lee came himself to me, and told me of the whole Affair, I call'd the Reckoning to pay my Part and go to her Assistance, and accordingly went and got a Warrant for S - ds, and she was bound over. The Week before Sessions, being not acquainted with any Proceedings at Hicks's-Hall, I went to the Goat in Tash-street in Grays Inn Lane, where one of the Clerks of that Court uses, I asked the Landlady if such a Gentleman had been there lately, she answer'd me no, but that as soon as he had done his Business at his Chambers he went to his Country-House at Highgate, and told me that as soon as he came there she would send one of her Daughters to acquaint me. The Monday following, which was the Day the unlucky Accident happen'd, I came Home to Breakfast about 9 o'Clock, my Wife said, as you must have a Pint of Beer at Breakfast, let us go to the Goat, and it won't be above a Pint more, and if the Gentleman is not there, we may probably hear where he is; we went accordingly, and had two Pints of Drink, and the Landlady told us, that we might hear of him at the Swan with two Necks near Hicks's-Hall, that being the House he used in Sessions Time; we went there, and had a Pint of Beer, and enquir'd if such a Gentleman had been there that Morning, the Man of the House told us no, and Sessions did not begin till next Day, and then we might find him there, and that if I had any Business with him, I must come betimes in the Morning, before he went into Court.
Upon this we return'd Home, she to her Lodging, and I to my Work. About 11 o'Clock I intended to go Home again, to get me some Dinner, but a Neighbour meeting me, desired me to drink a Tankard of Beer with him, I did so, and then went Home to my Wife, and talked with her about this quarrelling Business; I desir'd her to let u go to Dinner, for I must return to Work, she desir'd me not to go to Work again any more that Day, but go out with her about this Affair; I told her I had lost Time enough already in prosecuting the Hussey, and desir'd I might spend no more Time about her, but she would not be easy till I consented to her Request, and I accordingly went out with her to several Places, where we drank 'till we were both prety much in Liquor. As we return'd Home we called at a Neighbour's House, and his Wife came with us to our Lodgings, and the Husband presently follow'd. I asked my Neighbour and his Wife to eat some Supper with us, but they both refused, then I told them they should drink with me, and I would send for a Pot or two of Beer, they told me they did not care for drinking, upon which I said then they should have a Dram, and bid my Wife get half a Pint of Spirits; she fetch'd the Spirits and drank a Dram to them, they each of them drank and then went Home. When they were gone, I told my Wife she had drank a pretty deal, and that it would be better for her to eat a little, for the Liquor had got into her Head; No, she said, she would have no Supper, but would have another Dram; accordingly she took another Dram, and then I asked the Child if he would eat his Supper? The Boy chose Bread and Cheese, and I cut him some first, and myself some afterwards; my Wife was then standing at the End of the Table, and I stood by her, I found her Countenance turn pale, and bid her sit down, for fear she should fall, but instead of that she began to talk about prosecuting the Woman who had abused her; I told her it would be better to get Arbitrators, and to make the Matter up, for the Suit would run me out of Money, and I should lose a great deal of Time about it, - besides it would look better in the Neighbourhood to have the Dispute made up, then to go to Law. Ay says she, I find what you're upon, and immediately she stept forward upon me, - you Love her better than you do me, else you would not take her Part, - and so she fell on me, and my Knife took her above her Breast, and pierced her Heart. It was my constant Practice, - I always do it - I hold my Knife pointing from me, had it been a Case Knife with a round ended Blade, it would not have penetrated so deep, tho' I had made a Punch at her with it, but it was a Butchers sharp pointed Knife which I had just ground. When she fell I was in a horrid Consternation, - the Child cry'd, O my Mammy! my Mammy! you have made my Mammy all bloody! I pull'd her farther from the Place where she fell, and found her quite dead in an Instant, for the Puncture was in her Heart. A little after she was dead, I took the Child and carry'd him out to my Brother's Door in Water-street near Arundel-street in the Strand, and there I left him; he wand'red back again into St. Clement's Church-yard, and
was taken up there, and carried to the Parish Work-house for that Night, and afterwards was remov'd from thence to St Andrew's Work-house, where he is at present.
As to the Report of my having been the Occasion of the Death of a former Wife, and of my having another Wife now Living; the Report began at a Place called Millford, within a Mile of Salisbury, where I Work'd, and happen'd to be Drinking at a publick House with 10 or 12 Men in Company: They mention'd these Rumours, and one of them being harder upon me than the rest, I challenged him to Fight me, and we went out into the Yard and Fought; I beat him severely, and he out of Revenge, has ever since propogated these Stories concerning me. It was the 2d, Woman I Married, that they hinted at, as if she Died by my Means; whereas she lay in a wasting Condition for 7 Months before she Died; she was a young Woman, and I did all I could to help her, but in vain; her Indisposition was an internal Wasting, and when she Died, I bury'd her handsomely and openly at Salisbury about 12 Years ago. One Girl is now Living, which I had by he, and she is now at her Grandmother's at Tedbury in Gloucestershire.
July 30 1739.
I Was born at Chepstow, in the County of Monmouth, and am now 38 Years old; my Parents were poor, and gave me so little Education, that I cannot read very well nor write at all. At a proper Age they put me Apprentice to a Carpenter and Joiner at Chepstow, with whom I served but three Years and then left him, and went to the Devizes in Wiltshire, where I work'd Journey-work, and lodged at the White-Hart Inn. I had not been there long before I contracted an Intimacy with my Landlord's Daughter, and in a little Time I marry'd her, and had the good Fortune to get 300 Pounds with her. We were married on the 25th of March, about 18 Years ago, and I had two Children by her, but she dyed in Labour of the last. I staid at the Devizes after the Death of my Wife, 'till I had spent the major Part of the Money I had with her, and then I came up to London, with about 40 Pounds, and lodged at a Publick House kept by a Widow Woman, till all my Money was spent; then I took it into my Head to pay my Addresses to the Widow, and watching all Opportunities to Ingratiate myself into her Good-will; I succeeded so well, that she told me (one Day when she and I were alone) that after what had passed between us, she thought I was bound in Honour to marry her. I readily consented, and had a Habitation of my own for some Time; but as soon as my Marriage with the Widow began to be blown, there was hardly a Day came over my Head, but I was arrested by some or other of her Creditors, for her former Husband's Debts. I then thought it high Time to give her the Slip, and to provide for myself; I sold off all the Goods in the House, and left her to shift for herself in the best Manner she could. I then went to a Brother of mine, who was a Carpenter in Southwark, and with what I had received for the Goods I sold, I proposed going Partners with my Brother, which he agreed to, and with him I lived 'till I had saved a little Money. Then I had a Mind to fetch up two of my Sisters, who were in the Country, in a poor Condition, and endeavoured to provide for them here. Accordingly I went down to Chepstow, and brought them up to Town, and then procured a good Place for one of them at a Tavern, and the other he got well married to a Printer and Bookseller in the Borough. I now began to do Business for my self, and got Credit from Tradesmen for Timber, and materials for Building, and tho' I had a great deal of Business, yet I never cared to pay off any of my Debts; but when I was very much dunn'd by my Creditors, I went with what I had got into the Rules of the King's-Bench, where I made my self a Prisoner. While I was here, I got a large Jobb of Work, for Esq; E - ds, who was recommended to me by one of Pembroke. While the Work was about, I asked Mr. E - ds for Money; he flew in a Passion, and from Words we came to Blows, and I commenced a Suit against him for the Assault, which I afterwards made up, upon his paying me 20 l. But however I was discharged from the Work, after I had cleared between 2 and 300 l. by in While I was doing this Work I got acquainted with one Sarah B - w, who had been Servant to a Lady, and having robb'd her, was try'd for the same and cast for her Life; but she pleaded her Belly, and being found by the Jury of Matrons with Quick Child, her Sentence was respited, and after she had been delivered of a Daughter in Newgate, she was transported, but soon return'd again, about the Time I
was employed by Mr. E - ds and ever since has liv'd with me as a Wife.
When I was turn'd out of this Jobb, Sall and I went down to Bristol, where I took an Inn , and an adjoining Brew-house a little out of the City, and having furnished the House with all the Good; I could take up on credit, and the Brewhouse with a good Stock of Malt, I intended to try what Trade I could drive; but some of the People I had had the Goods from, hearing something of me they did not like, informed my other Creditors, who soon smelt a Rat, and smoak'd the Affair, so I was Arrested one Market Day in the City of Bristol, but stood Trial with the Plaintiff, and got off by pleading a Foreign Plea, for the Debt was contracted out of the City, and I was Arrested in the City, so the Arrest not being justifiable by Law, I got off for that Time; but found there was no staying there for me, so I pack'd up all the Goods I had taken up, and got them privately by Night on Board a Vessel bound for London, and with them I came again to my former Place of Refuge, - the King's-Bench, bringing off clear to the Value of 100 l. I had not been long here, before I saw in one of the News-Papers, that an Inn, the Sign of the Coach and Horses at Coventry, was to be Lett; Sall and I resolved to go down and see what we could do there. Accordingly we went down, and found one Widow King was the Landlady; and the Goods upon the Premises were to be bought, and they were appraised at 500 l. I could not pretend to pay down this Money, so I told Mrs. King the Goods were appraised at more than they were worth, and I would not give so much Money for them, but was determined to come up to London again. Accordingly I set out for London, but she sent after me to treat with me again, and then we agreed to stand to the Determination of two Appraisers, one of whom I was to appoint, and she the other, and this we were both to abide by, under a Penalty of 50 l. each. By this Means I got the Goods for 300 l. which before were Appraised at 500 l. and I immediately took Possession of the Inn, though at that Time I was a Prisoner in the Rules of the King's-Bench.
Some little Time after I had been in Possession, I got a new Sign, and as I was upon the Top of the Sign-Post, hanging up the Sign, who should come by but one Mr. Smith, a Timber-Merchant, to whom I was very much indebted. He enquired who kept that Inn, and was informed that it belonged to the Man who was then upon the Sign-Post; that I had not taken it long, and had laid out a great deal of ready Money to come into it. Mr. Smith when he came to London employed an Attorney, and I was arrested at Coventry for 55 l. due to him. I complained to the Attorney, that it was very hard with me, that I was but just got into the House, and had laid out my Money, &c. At last the Attorney agreed to take 10 l. down, and I was to go to London to make up the Matter with Mr. Smith, the Attorney taking my Word for my Return. Accordingly I went up to London, and having made up this Affair, I returned to Coventry; but my other Creditors hearing where I was settled, I was forced to keep up in the House, and play at Hide and Seek, with the Bailiffs they sent after me. Sall and I now finding this Place would not be for our Continuance, she employ'd all her Time in getting what Goods she could from those who would Trust for them; and in order to make all we could, she and I slipp'd from Coventry and took a trip to Birmingham, where we contracted for hard Ware of several sorts, to be sent to our Inn at Coventry; and when we had got what we could, we return'd thither our selves, and I hid my self in the House, and kept my self from being Arrested, tho' there were several Actions out against me; but at last some Dragoons who were Quartered at Coventry, contriv'd a Way to take me. They pretended that some Pewter was lost from another publick House, and that it might be suspected to be in my House, upon which a Warrant was obtain'd to search my House, and having got Entrance with Bailiffs at their Heels, I was forced to fly from one Room to another, and at last to get out of a Sash Window into a Gentleman's Garden, where I lay conceal'd till the Pursuit was over.
'Twas now high Time for us to contrive how to leave this Place; accordingly I got privately to London, and Sall was to stay behind at Coventry, 'till she could send up all the Goods we had gotten, and they were to be directed to one A - r W - rd. She pack'd up the Goods we had gotten, and loaded a Waggon with them according to our Agreement; but she was not so private in her Management of the Affair as she should have been, for the Creditors were informed of what she was about, and attach'd the Goods in the Waggon. The Creditors were surprized to find them directed to Mr. W - d, so they got Mr. S - r, an Attorney in St. Thomas Apostles to enquire if he knew any thing of these Goods being directed to him, and he declaring to the contrary, they were all detain'd.
Sall sent me Word to London what had happen'd, and I immediately apply'd to one D - t who liv'd in Warwick Court in Holborn, to be recommend
ed to some honest Man, who would go down and see what he could secure for me. D - t recommended Carter the Evidence to me, and this was the Beginning of my Acquaintance with him I ve him (upon D - t's recommendation) a Bill of Sale, and agreed with him for five Guineas to go down and see what he could save for me. But when he got there, he found the best of my Goods secured by my Creditors, - there was nothing left but Lumber, - Benches, Boxes, and such Things, a little Beer there was in the Cellar, which Carter and Sall sold out at any Rate, and for what they could get. C - r when he went down upon this Business, promised to stay but 4 Days; but he tarrying 16 or 17 Days with my Wife, I ventur'd down privately to see what they were about; and I was no sooner got into the House, but they both persuaded me to leave my Horse and get out of the House again, for my own Security; accordingly I went out and waited 2 or 3 Hours under the Man hanging in Chains, without the City; then they came and gave me an Account what they had done; but I imagin'd C - r stay'd so long beyond the Time appointed for his Return, for no Good, so he and I quarrell'd, but my Circumstances at that Time were such, that I durst not let my Resentment go too far, for fear they should discover me; so (much against my Will) I return'd towards London, and C - r and Sall to the Inn, which I have kept shut up ever since, (as I took it upon Lease) because I was so harrass'd, and the People gave me so much trouble while I was in it.
In a few Days after I came to London, Sall and C - r came up, and brought me up about 16 or 17 l. which was (they said) all they could save out of the Inn, which being now shut up, Mrs. King the Landlady, in order to get it into her Hands again, commenced a Suit against me in order to Out-law me, but I made bold to appear to the Outlawry, and then she went to common Law with me. Mrs. King's Attorney appear'd for her, and one Mr. D.-n appear'd for me. After this I moved the Court of King's-Bench, for an Order for my Creditors to shew Cause, - why they seized my Goods, and at last it was agreed that we should stand to Bonds of Award, and the Award was, That I should give a Bill of Sale to my Creditors for my Goods, in Consideration of which, they were to allow me 130 l. and the Bill of Sale being made, the Creditors enter'd the House to dispose of them; at the same Time Mrs. King the Landlady sent down an Execution, but the Bill of Sale being dated earlier than her Execution, she was prevented in her Design.
I was not to have the 130 l. awarded presently, and at that Time no more Money than what C - r me up, (which as I said before) was but 16 or 17 l. therefore knowing I should soon want Money, C - r and I consulted how to get a little, and accordingly he and I went to a Usurer, and I borrow'd 5 l for the Re payment of which C - r became bound with me, and the Money was to be refunded in Weekly Payments; but I neglecting the Agreement, Carter was arrested for the Money, and was forc'd to make it up as well as he could.
After this I shunn'd C - r, and took a Lodging at Hoxton, there I receiv'd the 130 l. at two Payments, which C - r hearing of, he found me out, and desir'd me to lend him 20 l. telling me, now I had got so much Money I might very well lend him such a trifling Sum, and he would engage to pay me 20 s. a Month for the Use of it; I was very desirous to know what he could do with the Money to make it worth his while to pay so much for the Use of it, and I told him I wish'd I could find out such a Use for Money. C - r then ask'd me what I thought of a Liquor that would dissolve Gold, I did not then seem willing to believe any great Advantage could be made of that; but he afterwards came to me, and shewed me a Crucible with a Lump of Gold melted down in it, and asked me again to lend him some Money; I refused, and he out of Revenge got me arrested for the 5 l. I owed him, but I had the good Fortune to make my Escape, and immediately left my Lodgings, and went to the King's-Bench for Security. Here I took a little House and a Yard, and brew'd a little Liquor, and kept some Hogs, but having some Suspicion of C - r's Business, I try'd some Experiments, and thought I had found out his Art, for I got some of the Liquor and made use of it; but then I could not tell how to separate the Gold from it, I attempted it in a Crucible, but it all flew away; upon this I gave over the Attempt, and threw all my Implements into a Ditch in St. George's-Fields. But afterward I got acquainted with a Chymist, who told me how to separate the Gold from the Liquor, I try'd again, but could not do it, nor could I bring the Gold again to its Colour. This put me upon seeking after C - r, and I found him at Westminster, and invited him and one D - w (who was then with him) to Supper, after which I asked him to instruct me in his Art; he seem'd readily to comply, and told me he would then go out and buy the Tools, and would instruct me immediately. Accordingly the
went out for Tools, and brought in Bailiffs to arrest me, but I had the good Fortune to see them before they got into the House, and made my Escape; but in my Hurry I took away Carter's Hat, which he had left behind him thro' Mistake, and being afraid of his swearing a Robbery upon me, I sent to him, and begg'd, he would come to a Publick House to me; he came, and I return'd him his Hat, and giving him very good Words, I pull'd out a 36 s. Piece which I had boil'd and was very black, and I ask'd him if he could bring that to it's Colour again? he told me he could, and that he would instruct me in the Art from the beginning to the End for 20 Guineas, and would meet me at the Tilt-Yard Coffee-house, where he said we might have a Room to ourselves. I bid him 10 Guineas, he would not take it, so we disagreed and parted. I return'd to the Kings-Bench, and not being able to use the Liquor, I try'd what I could do at Filing, and got Dust to the Value of about 10 l. which I hid in a Tobacco-Box under my Bed; but this I lost; my Wife I believe told her Brother of it, and between them 'twas gone. I was now at a Loss how to melt down what I should get, and how to dispose of it, but meeting with G – P - d he let me into the Secret of melting it, and went with me to a Refiners to sell the first I got. My Wife and my Brother used to dispose of the Money after I had work'd upon it, and whenever they went into a Shop for Nutmegs, Sugar, &c. they had always a good Guinea to produce, in case the light one should be discover'd, and I likewise allow'd another Person half a Crown a Day for disposing of my Gold.
In the Beginning of September 1737, I took a good number of these Pieces in my Pocket and went to Mr. Rogers's, a Publick House in St. John-street, there I call'd for a Pot of Beer, and asked if I could have a Guinea chang'd? Mr. Rogers offer'd me Silver for 20, if they were good, I told him I should be glad to have Silver for seven or eighth, and for a 3 l. 12 s. Piece, and at the same Time I took out four and gave them to Mr. Rogers; he found fault with them, and carry'd them out of the House. This made me uneasy, and I call'd for my Money, and would have gone about my Business. At last Mr Rogers return'd with Mr. Gregory the Tobacconist and charged me with uttering light Money, and he being a Constable, kept me in Custody 5 or 6 Hours, and at last return'd me my Guineas and discharg'd me. Upon this I brought an Action against Mr. Rogers, Gregory, and Burden, for false Imprisonment, and scandalous Words. The Cause was try'd in Easter Term 1738, at the King's Bench, where the Verdict was given against me, and Brinklow the sole Evidence I had upon the Trial was committed for Perjury, and Rogers was bound in a Recognizance of 40 l to prosecute; Mr. Rogers afterwards sued me for Cost of that Suit, but before he had run me to an Execution, I brought a Writ of Error, that I might get Time to go off, not being able to pay the same.
After I had got pretty well Master of the Art, I intended to leave England, where I had been so much haunted by my Creditors, and to have gone for Portugal; there I apprehended I should have Gold enough to have work'd upon, and might have gone on without Suspicion, the Art being new there; and it was at the Three Hats, at Islington (the last House I liv'd in) that I took this Resolution. The Advertisement (containing a Description of my Person, and mentioning my Name) then coming out, my Wife Sall and I went from thence to Chatham; there I saw myself again in the News, and I had then with me, - my Wife, my Wife's Brother, and another Woman and her Daughter. At Chatham, I appliy'd to Capt. M - st, and agreed with him for 5 Guineas to carry us to France, and he was to take us all up at Ramsgate. The Captain accordingly came to us there, but the Wind being very boisterous he did not care to put to Sea. I had provided myself with all sorts of Implements, and was very eager to be gone, apprehending the utmost Danger of being taken, after the Advertisement was Publish'd. While we stay'd at Ramsgate for a favourable Wind, the Captain came to me, and told me he had seen my Name, and a Description of my Person in the News-Papers. I told him, - if he would hold his Tongue, and go off directly, I would give him 4 or 5 Guineas more; and lest the Captain should do me an Injury, I from that Time never was out of his Company, Day or Night 'till we went off. At last we persuaded the Captain to venture over with our Company in the Ship's-Boat; and when we were got about half Way between Dover and Calais, Sall's Brother and I Quarrell'd; he D - n'd me for a Rogue, and said I was running away from my Country. My Wife took her Brother's Part, and the Dispute ran so high, that the Captain said he would carry none of us, and he believ'd we were all a parcel of Thieves; so he order'd the Men to turn in again for Dover. I imagin'd I should certainly be appre
hended if I return'd, so I whipp'd up the Stretcher, and Swore bitterly, that I would knock him and his Men over-board, if they did not go on. Sall's Brother took the Captain's Part, and was for Returning, but I ent him a stroke, and knock'd him into the Sea, which cool'd him very much, and it was with Difficulty we got him into the Boat again. The Captain was pretty quiet upon this, and so I went to the Helm, and we bore away 'till we came to Calais. We were no sooner set on Shore, but my Brother B - w's Wife swore, she would blow me, and accordingly she went to the Custom-House, and told them what I was. Upon this, the Officers there insisted upon searching my Things, and they broke open a little Box, where they found my Tools, and a Bottle of Liquor to dissolve Gold; while they were busy in receiving B - w's Wife's Notice, and searching my Boxes, I gave them the Slip and got to Dunkirk, and from thence I travell'd to a little Town in Flanders. While I was at Dunkirk, I li't into the Company of Mr. Henry Justice, who was transported some ago for stealing Books from the University of Cambridge; I imagin'd if I could stay at Dunkirk, he might be useful to me, in getting English Gold Coin (from Passengers who might Land there) for French Silver, and I was about to reveal the Thing to him; but Mr. Justice to whom I paid several Visits during my Stay there, prevented me, by telling me he had heard of my Practice, and 'twould be best for me to be gone. This occasion'd my flying from Dunkirk to Flanders, with my Wife and Child, and from thence I return'd to London, and was secreted at a House in Fountain-Court in the Strand, for six Weeks, and then I furnished myself with Tools, and went to Basingstoke; from thence I went to Salisbury, Blandford and Gloucester, and from Gloucester I came to Bath, where I took a Room, and never worked but in the Night, to prevent a Discovery. The Morning I was taken, my Wife was ill, and I had been at the Apothecary's for something for her, when Mr. Cooling happened to see me and knew me. I went Home with the Physick and said to my Wife, - Lord! I wish I am not betray'd Mr Cooling has seen me! The first Thing she advised me to do, was to throw away my Tools, which I did, and she disposed of three Lumps of Gold. We had hardly done this, before the Men came up Stairs to take me, and I was committed to a little Goal at Bath, after I had been examin'd at the Town Hall. While I was in the Goal, a Friend of mine at Bath, convey'd to me a fine Spring Saw, with which I was to cut off my Irons, and to have made my Way thro' the Window, but was prevented. In my Journey from Bath to London, we pass'd through Illchester, where there was a Design form'd to rescue me, but it did not succeed; and a little beyond Hounslow-Heath, it was attempted again, my Wife there encouraging People with a Purse of Money to do it; but my Keepers hurry'd me on to London, and then secur'd me in Newgate.
The following Letter was sent from a Quaker whom he had defrauded, to him after Conviction
" IN looking over some Receipts find thine for " 2 l. 8 s. in full, but hearing of thy Sentence " thought it not amiss to remind thee of that false " Oath that thou took when thou knew at the " same Time thou was indebted to me 6 l. 10 s. " Its not now fit Time for me to cast Reflections, " knowing thy Time is but short here, I desire " thou would appeal to thy own Conscience, which " I doubt not but it has many Times since convicted thee of that Action. As thou art now going in a few Hours out of Time into Eternity, " I hope that God will freely forgive thee, thro' " Jesus Christ, thy Sins acted in this Life, and " that thou may have that witness in thy own " Conscience before thou departs, is my real Desire; in order thereunto let thy chief Devotion " be in Prayers and Supplications to Christ who " suffer'd for lost Man, he is able to forgive us " our Sins here, and after receive us (thro' true " Repentance) into Glory hereafter I hope thou " wilt freely forgive all Mankind, I freely forgive thee. I hope God in his infinite Mercy " will so gracious do by thy Soul,
I am Thine,
N. B. I need not subscribe my Name, thy own Conscience will tell it, before thou departs, I could be glad of an Answer.
P. S. Mr. Rogers own'd the Night before his Execution, that he did kill his Wife, and said he could not die in Peace till he had made an ample Confession of it, which he did just before the Bell-Man came, and desired it might be made known to the Publick.