THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were Executed at TYBURN, On WEDNESDAY the 6th of August.
Number IV. 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 at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, before the Rt. Hon. Sir JOHN SALTER, Knt . Lord-Mayor of the City of London; Mr. Justice Fortescue; Mr. Justice Parker; Mr. Baron Wright; Sir John Strange, Knt . Recorder ; 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, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 22d, 23d, and 24th of May last.
At the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, &c. held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, before the Right Hon. Sir JOHN SALTER, Knt . Lord-Mayor of the City of London; Mr. Baron Carter; Mr. Justice Chappel; Mr. Justice Fortescue; Sir John Strange, Knt . Recorder ; and Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder of the City of London, and others his Majesty's Justices, &c. on Wednesday the 9th, Thursday the 10th, and Friday the 11th of July last.
After their Condemnation, they were urged in the most serious Manner to prepare themselves for their approaching Dissolution; and as they were all Persons
utterly ignorant of Religion, and absolute Strangers to Piety and Virtue, the Wretchedness of their State, and the Importance of the great Work they had to perform, was set before them in Terms most likely to affect them. Their dreadful Condition was represented to them, as they had forsaken the only Fountain of Happiness, and were Strangers to the Covenant of Promise, having no Hope, as they had liv'd entirely without God in the World.
I endeavoured to make them sensible of this their wretched and miserable State; and to consider, that as they had all their Lives neglected their Souls, and their future everlasting Good, it was highly necessary that they should redouble their Care and Diligence in improving the short Space of Time that was before them, to saving Ends and Purposes. And as the Image of God was destroyed in them, and they had liv'd all their Days in Enmity to God and Goodness, they were instructed to cry mightily to God, to be filled with a due Sense of the Evil of their past Courses, and that clean Hearts, and upright Spirits, might be renewed in them.
Samuel Badham and John Foster, having been convicted of Murder, they had Admonitions suitable to their Cases. The Heinousness of their Crimes were represented to them, and they were made sensible, that their having destroy'd the Lives of their Fellow-Creatures, was an Offence for which no adequate Reparation was possible to be made by them. That it was a bold, presumptuous invading the Power and Authority of the Lord of Life, and the Author of all our Beings, whose Property alone it is to give Life, or to stop the Breath in our Nostrils. That God had expressed against such Offenders his highest Indignation, having declared, That the Bloody and Deceitful shall not live out half his Days; that whosoever sheddeth Man's Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed; and that God himself will require it at the Hands of such Sinners against him, and their Fellow-Creatures.
It was further represented to them, that the Consequences of Murder were horrible and bitter, with regard to themselves even in this World; for though they should have escaped the Justice of Men, yet unless their Consciences were seared, and they under a judicial Hardness of Heart, they could never have expected to be free from that Anguish and Horror of Mind, which would have inseparably haunted them through all the Hours of their after Lives, and would likewise have dreadfully Embittered all their future Enjoyments.
After these Things were laid before them, and they seemingly affected with them, they were in the most serious Manner advised in this their Distress to fly for Refuge to the Hope set before us, to plead for Mercy at the Throne of Grace through the Blood of Jesus, which speaketh better Things than that of Abel, and to pray for that sincere Contrition and Repentance which God would not despise.
During the Time of their Confinement in the Cells, they willingly attended at the Chapel, and to outward Appearance joined with me in Prayer; but yet none of them were so seriously and deeply affected with a Sense of their deplorable and undone Condition, as they ought to have been, and as would have become Reasonable Creatures, under such Melancholly Circumstances.
Arthur Bethell was very thoughtless and foolish; he and John Clark, alias Jack the Catcher, frequently behaved ill, and gave Offence to others, but upon their being reproved, their Behaviour was more decent.
Samuel Badham was seized with an Illness which continued upon him three or four Days: When I visited him he told me he was sensible of, and penitent for the Murder he had committed; but notwithstanding his Declarations, he was not duly affected with his unhappy Condition.
John Foster did not deny the Fact for which he died; but he endeavoured to palliate his Crime, by insisting upon it, that he had no premeditated Malice. He and Susannah Brammah behaved with tollerable Decency.
Rachael Isaacs, (a Jewess) came to Chapel with the other Prisoners, not out of any Regard to Devotion, but merely for the sake of a little Air, and a short Relief from her Cell. She was bigotted to the Jewish Persuasion, nor would she be convinced that any Prophecy in the Old Testament related to our Saviour Christ; much less could she be persuaded to pay any Regard to any Instruction from the New Testament.
During her Confinement in the Cell, she was afflicted with Sickness, and often wept very much. After the Report was made to the Lords of the Regency in Council, I acquainted her and Bethell, (with the others who were reprieved for Transportation) that Mercy was extended to them; upon which they all wept for Joy, and thanked God upon their Knees for this their Deliverance, promising by the Grace of God to amend their Ways, and to lead new Lives for the future.
On Tuesday the 29th of July, Report was made to the Lord Justices of the Seven Malefactors then under Sentence, when their Excellencies were pleased to reprieve,
Arthur Bethell, otherwise Bethwin, otherwise Barwin, for assaulting Edward Edwards on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch, value 3 l. and 3 s. in Money, April the 26th.
1. Samuel Badham, of St. Giles in the Fields, was Indicted, for that he not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, &c. May 20th, in and upon Susannah, the Wife of Simon Hart, feloniously, &c. did make an Assault, and both his Hands in and upon the Throat of the said Susannah, did fix, and fasten, and with both his Hands, so fix'd and fastened, the Throat of the said Susannah did squeeze and press, by Reason of which squeezing and pressing, the said Susannah was choaked and strangled, of which choaking and strangling she instantly died.
He was likewise charged by Virtue of the Coroner's Inquest for the said wilful Murder.
He said he was about 48 Years of Age, that he was born in the Parish of St. Mary Overy's, and for some little Time, was in the Parish School, where he learned to read, but had very much neglected what he had there been taught, and now could read but very imperfectly; yet he had more Knowledge in the Scriptures, than many who are People of much more Learning. He was bound Apprentice at a proper Age, to a Shoemaker , with whom he serv'd out his Time, after which he was sometimes employed by a Relation in the Business of Coney-wool Cutting , and at other Times followed his own Trade, and for some Years he maintain'd his Wife and Family tollerably well; he had several Children born and christen'd in St. Olave's Parish, all of whom are dead, except one Son, who is now living, and as his unhappy Father says, is a very sober, industrious Youth. He told me, that he constantly attended the publick Worship of God, while he was in tollerable Circumstances; that he often went to the establish'd Church, and frequently to Dissenting Meetings, having an Inclination to the Presbyterian Perswasion. He was very Lame in his Feet, which he said was occasion'd by an Illness which seized him some Years ago; the Consequence of which was, that he could never wear any Shoes, but always walk'd with a thick Bundle of Rags tyed under the Soles of his Feet, and with a Stick in each Hand. His Wife died about eight Years ago, and after her Death he fell into extreme Poverty and Want, sometimes supporting himself by mending old Shoes, and when he had nothing else to do, he begg'd Charity in the Streets.
This was his Way of Life when he became acquainted with Susannah Hart, the Woman he murdered, and who was the Wife of one Simon Hart, who having left her; this unhappy Wretch and she agreed to live together, and accordingly they cohabited together as Man and Wife, for two Years, 'till the Time the Fact was committed. He used to go out a begging, and her Employment was to sweep the Doors before Gentlemens Houses in Rathbone-Place, and go on Errands for the Servants.
As to the Fact for which he suffer'd, he was not willing directly to acknowledge his Crime, but seem'd desirous of being thought Innocent. To this End, he frequently exclaimed against the Deceased, in a bitter Manner, as though she was excessively given to drinking Geneva; insinuating that his Conduct and Behaviour was much more reasonable; but that she was continually fuddled, and constantly out of her Senses, and that she had sold or pawn'd all her Cloaths, and had (about a Year ago in one of her drunken Fits, over-laid a Child he had had by her.
The Account he gave of the Woman's Death, was, that on the 20th of May, she went out in the Morning betimes, and return'd Home about ten in the Forenoon; and being in Liquor, she was afraid of his Resentment, so she set down with Booker, th Landlord, for some little Time; after which he helped her up Stairs to their Chamber Door, and then left her. He own'd he let her into the Room, but was not willing to own himself sensible of the Means by which she came to her End, and tho' the Cries of Murder in the Deceased's Voice were heard in his Room, yet, as Quarrels and Out-cries were very frequent between them, the Persons who heard them, gave themselves (at that Instant) no extraordinary Trouble to enquire into the Occasion of them. But she being in a very few Hours after found dead upon the Bed in his Room, and it being apparent, that no one had been in the Room to commit the Fact but the Prisoner, he was taken up, and after Examination before a Justice of the Peace, was committed to Newgate, and afterwards brought to his Trial at the Old-Baily, where, upon full Evidence he was convicted. Tho' he seem'd very desirous to conceal his Guilt in this Particular, yet he behav'd decently while under Confinement; talk'd Scripture very much, was willing to be thought Penitent, and declared he died in Peace with all the World.
2. John Foster, was indicted for that he not having God before his Eyes, &c. in the Parish of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, June 25th, in, and upon Margaret Shovel, otherwise Garret, did make an Assault, and with a certain Hair Broom, value 1 d. which he, the said Foster, had, and held in both his Hands, her the said Margaret, with the Hair Broom did strike and beat, giving her on the right Side of the Head a mortal, contused Wound, of which she languished from the said 25th of June, to the 1st of July, and then died.
He was a second Time charged by Virtue of the Coroner's Inquisition for the said Murder.
He was about 35 Years of Age, and being born of very mean Parents, he was put to a Charity School, where he having learn'd to read and write a little, was afterwards put Apprentice to a Chimney-Sweeper , in Bell-Alley, in Coleman-Street, with whom he serv'd the Term of eight Years; after which he married, and followed his Employment, by which he made shift to maintain his Family, having had several Children, who are all dead but one. His Wife is still living, and frequently came to visit him in his Confinement. He told me he used to go to Church, and that he had not been so disordered in his Life, as some Persons are, but that he had been too much addicted to drink Geneva, and other strong Li
quors, and when he was in Liquor, that he was too uneasy, and too quarrelsome.
The Account he gave of the Fact was as follows. That on the 25th of June last, he went to Hornsey, to sweep some Chimnies, and having got a little Money for his Work, he call'd at several publick Houses in his way Home, and drank plentifully. When he got to his Lodging, his Wife, and he, with another Woman, fell to drinking again, and they all being got very much in Liquor, they laid themselves down to sleep on the Floor. Vawdrey, the Witness against him upon his Trial being in the Room at the same Time. After he had slept a-while, he wak'd, and desired Vawdrey to help him to the Chamber-pot; the Deceased blaming her for it, in the Manner sworn upon his Trial, he resented it, and threaten'd to throw her down Stairs; upon which, he said, she took up the Broom to strike him, and he being provok'd by her ill Language, took up the Broom, and gave her the unhappy Blow, which broke her Scull, and beat the fractured Parts upon the Brain. He endeavour'd to extenuate his Crime, by charging the Deceased with being likewise addicted to Liquor, and by saying, she did not apply in Time to a Surgeon for Assistance, and that when the Church-Wardens got her into the Hospital, it was too late. He did not deny his giving the Deceased the Blow, but was desirous it should be believed that he had no preconceived Malice, that the Deceased provok'd him highly, and he being much in Liquor, did not know what he had done. Tho' his Drunkenness was rather an aggravation, than an Excuse of his Crime, yet this was what he insisted on, in allevation of it. He behaved with seeming Seriousness, and declared that he repented of all his Sins, and died in Peace with all Men.
3. John Clark, alias Smith, alias Pug, alias Jack the Catcher, was about 24 Years of Age, born at Lambeth, and baptised at Hackney, but while he was a Child, he liv'd with an Aunt at Lambeth. His Parents and Friends dying while he was very young, he was put Apprentice to a Waterman , whom he serv'd for some Time, and then being weary of his Business, he left his Master, and married a Woman who sells Fruit about the Streets in a Wheelbarrow. For some Years before he was taken up, he own'd he had left off all Manner of Business, and had liv'd by inventing various Methods of defrauding People of their Money. Among which, none succeeded so well as the practising with the Catcher and Ball, at which, he said he was the most dextrous Fellow of any Man in the World. He said, he had got to such a Perfection in the Use of his Catcher and Ball, that Persons of some Consideration, have often wager'd Sums of Money upon his Performance, and his Success has been such, that he said he might have been worth 2 or 3000 l. had he been a good Husband; but he own'd that what he got too easily, he always spent as idly; and when he was short of Money, he never fail'd by his fruitful Invention to get a Supply. He own'd that his Life had been spent in defrauding every one (with whom he had been concern'd) of their Money; that he had once before been in Newgate, and often in Houses of Correction, but was very unwilling to be thought a Robber.
The Account he gave of the Fact was something different from what was sworn against him upon his Trial. He confessed he had been a most wicked profligate Fellow, and lamented his having lived in the constant Neglect of the Sabbath; and as he had never frequented any Place of Worship from his Childhood, so he was utterly ignorant of, and a Stranger to all the Duties of Religion. He acknowledged the Justice of his Sentence, and declared that he died in Peace with every one.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
THE Morning before they were taken out of the Press-Yard, they all received the Holy Sacrament, and devoutly joined in Prayers. After which, about a Quarter before Nine, they were put into one Cart, and carried to the Place of Execution, where they appear'd under the utmost Concern.
Foster acknowledged his Crime, and own'd he suffered justly.
Clark confessed he deserved the Death he was about to suffer: He owned himself a most notorious Cheat, but insisted on it, that he won the Watch and the Guinea by Gaming with his Catcher.
Badham adhered to his former Confession, and said nothing more. His Son attended him in the Cart, and so deep a Sorrow appeared in both Father and Son, as very much affected the Spectators of their Calamity.
They seriously joined in Prayers and singing Psalms, and went off the Stage with fervent Cries for Mercy, and that the Lord JESUS would receive their Souls!
This is all the Account given by me
Some farther Account of the before-mentioned Malefactors, given by themselves.
I Was born in the Parish of St. Mary Overy's, and was 48 Years old the 27th Day of May last. I liv'd in St. Olaves-street most Part of my Life, and maintained my Family there in a very tollerable Manner. My Wife was a very honest industrious Woman, by whom I had five Children; but she has been dead Eleven Years, and all my Children are likewise dead except one, who is now a Shoemaker, and is about 24 Years of Age, and maintains himself by his Labour in a very sober honest Manner. When I was young, I was Apprentice to Mr. Matthew Bird, a Shoemaker , at the Corner of Lambeth-Hill in Thames-street; I was bound to him at Cordwainer's-Hall, in Distaff-Lane, and served out my Time to the Satisfaction of my Master.
When my Apprenticeship was expir'd, I married, and kept a Stall in Tooley's-(St. Olave's-) Street, where I had good Business, and took fifteen or twenty Shilling a Week for second-hand Shoes, and for mending Jobbs; but when my Wife died, I came to Decay, and then I took to Coney-Wool cutting , with my Father's own Brother; but this Business not answering my Expectation, I went out, and being Lame, I asked Charity, and in my Way of Begging, I always used a great many Scripture Words with good Success; I went different Ways, because it was not convenient to be always about one Place, and at what Part soever of the Town I happened to be at Night, there I used to seek out for a cheap Lodging-House. And at one of these Houses, a Lodging-House, at the Sign of the Crooked-Billet, in Hog-Lane, St. Giles's, I got acquainted with the Deceased, who was of a good Family, for her Father was a Usurer to the Soldiers, and she was married to one Simon H-t, who having run out above 500 l. of her Father's Money, and given her the Foul-Disease, left her to shift for herself; after which she underwent a Salivation; which cured her of the Distemper, but left a Defect in one of her Jaws, which she carried with her to her Grave.
Soon after I had got acquainted with the Deceased, I asked her to live with me, and as her Husband had left her, she consented, and we had liv'd together as Man and Wife 2 Years, when this Accident happened. Her first Husband lived in St Giles's Parish, within a Stones-Cast of the House where she lodged, and her Business being at that End of the Town, I went after our Agreement and lodged with her, in Farmer's-Court, where the Fact was done, for her Husband had not lived with her for many Years; so she and I agreed to come together, and I used to go about a Begging, and would be absent sometimes for two or three Days from Home, picking up what I could get in the Way of Charity; but she used to get more Money than I did, for she used to sweep the French Gentlefolks Doors in Rathbone-Place, and scouer the Brass Knockers, and go on Errands for the Servants; and as she could talk French very fluently, upon that Account the People used to be very kind to her, and so we lived together pretty comfortably, only when she was in Liquor, she would be very quarrelsome, and would pawn her Cloaths.
About a Twelvemonth ago she was brought to Bed of a Child, and this Child she overlaid one Night in her Liquor, while I was abroad getting what I could, so that can't be laid to my Charge. When I came Home, I found what had happened, and some Words rising between us, as she was in Liquor, I left her and went to another Lodging-House till she was sober. She had then on a Parish Gown, and when I returned to her, I told her, - Sukey, there's no body that ever belonged to me ever wore a Parish Gown; so I went out and asked Charity, and with what I got I bought her another Gown, and got the other made into a Petticoat for her. Then I went out again to get a Penny to buy us a little Victuals, and some Flowers to put into the Child's Coffin; and having got Three-pence Three Farthings, I came Home to her, and we spent it together.
There had been no Quarrel between us that Day she was killed, for I went out the Day before about my Business, towards Ratcliff-Cross and Rosemary-lane, and Night coming on, I got me a Lodging in that Part of the Town; but the Bed was so nasty, and so full of Vermin, that I could get no Rest, therefore I came Home as soon as I could the next Day, with a Penny in my Pocket; and having had no Sleep the Night before, I laid myself down upon the Bed and fell asleep, after I had spent the Penny with my Landlord for Liquor. He brought her up into my Room while I was fast asleep upon the Bed, and I count her Death came by a Fall she might get in my Landlord's Yard, against the Dog-Kennel; and I count that the Marks that were upon her Throat, might come by that Means, for I was fast asleep when she came up Stairs, and she was then very much in Liquor, but after she was come up Stairs we did not quarrel, but had some more Liquor which we drank between us.
Whenever I had been away from Home for 2 or 3 Days asking Charity, I always used to bring Home some of the Money, and sometimes I got pretty considerably, for while I lived in St. Olave's Parish, I often heard three Sermons on a Sunday, and having a great Gift of Knowledge and Memory, I retained what I heard, and though I can read but very little, yet I can remember well, and have the Gift to be able to discourse, and to make use of Scripture, and what I have heard, in my asking Charity.
A Clergyman who came to visit us in our Confinement, thought I had been a rare Scholar from my talking Scripture to him at every Word; I told him I could not read a Chapter, but that I had a Gift that Way, and that it was better to have good Thoughts than bad ones, for Man's Life is but a Span long, and we are here to Day and gone To-morrow. I told Arthur Bethell, (who was condemned to die, but afterwards reprieved for Transportation) Young Man, says I to him, you may think your Days long, now you Life is reprieved on Earth, but don't be like the Fool in the Gospel, that you have good Things laid up for many Years, because, said I, you don't know but this Night your Soul may be required of you. Our Time, who are to suffer, is appointed by our Fellow-Creatures, but yours is likewise appointed, though not by Man, for there is an appointed Time when all must die, and Man's Life is very short, 'tis like a Shadow that flies away. My Fellow-Prisoner Clark, is something of a Scholar, and a Man that has Knowledge; I had rather discourse with such a one, than with one that knows nothing, for talking to an ignorant Person, is only sowing good Seed among Tares, according to the Parable; but Clark the Catcher being a Man of some Learning, I bid him turn to the Parable, where the Master of the Vineyard sends Workmen into the Vineyard, and they that were last hired, received as much as they who had Wrought longer. I told that Parable was for the Encouragement of Sinners; and John, says I, this is suitable to your Case and mine. He read it over, and shaking his Head said, it was very extraordinary. After a Taylor, who was at Work in the Press-Yard, hearing me talk Scripture so, thought me a Scholar, and asked me Who was the first Taylor? Why, says
I, what were Adam and Eve's Fig-Leaves, and who sewed them together? Pray, says I to him, Who was the first Pawnbroker? He could not answer me, so I asked him what he thought of Joseph, who took the Lands of the AEgyptians in Pledge for Corn in the Time of Famine; and so I silenc'd him.
And now, tho' I have the Gift of Knowledge, I have no Expectation but to die; but what signifies Life, 'tis but a Vapour and a Trouble, and we all must die sooner or later. I hope no one will reflect upon my Son for my dying in so shameful a Manner, and that is my last Request.
I Was 35 Years old the 17th of last June; my Father and Mother lived in Little Distaff-Lane, near St. Paul's, but I had the Misfortune to know neither of my Parents, for my Mother died in Labour with me, and my Father, who was a Plasterer, died ten Weeks after; upon which I was lft to the Care of the Parish of St. Matthew; Friday-street; and when I was big enough, was put into the Ward Charity School, where I continued till I was 9 Years old. Then I was put Apprentice to John Goldsmith, Chimney-Sweeper , in Bell-Alley, Coleman-street, with whom I served out my Apprenticeship, and afterwards I Worked a Year with him as a Journeyman. After this I married a Wife, and lived with her ten Years; I had five Children by her, but they are all dead except one Girl, who is now about Five Years old.
The Deceased had been Cook at the Sun-Tavern in Aldersgate-street, near the End of Long-Lane, five Years. She married a topping Gentleman's Son, who lived with her but a very small Time; after he left her, she took to ill Courses, such as Drinking and keeping ill Company; and for her Livelihood sold Greens about the Streets; and my Landlady where I lodged being her Acquaintance, used to lend her Money to go to Market with. Her Father's Name was Showell, he was a Chairmaker in St. Luke's Parish, and afterwards kept a Publick-House, the Sign of the Angler, in Brick-Lane, near Old-street.
The Day when this unhappy Accident happened, I had been at Hornsey, and swept the Minister's Chimnies at Croutch-End; after which I went to the Green-Dragon at Muswell-Hill, and did some Work there. When I returned to Crouch-End in my Way Home, I met 2 Men of the same Business, who being likewise going to London, we all three went in at Mr. White's, at the Butcher's-Arms at Crouch-End, and there we drank 4 or 5 Full-Pots of Two-penny. My Misfortune is, that when I drink I cannot eat, so when I got out into the Fields, my Heels grew lighter than my Head, and I could hardly stand; but by that Time I got Home, I was pretty middling, and my Wife and I got some Victuals together; after which we got a few Drams, and she and the Landlady having been drinking Drams before I came Home, we were all three equally fuddled,
and lay down upon the Floor to sleep. In the mean time the Deceased came to pay the Landlady some Money she had borrowed of her, and the Witness Vawdrey being in the Room, I wanted the Chamber-pot, and desired her to lend it me. The Deceased asked her whether she was not ashamed to lend the Pot to such a Black-Guard Fellow as I was, when she could have better than I, to wipe her Shoes? This provok'd me, and I threaten'd to push her down Stairs, upon which she took hold of the Broom, and I took it from her, and happened to give her a Blow on the Right Side of the Top of her Head, and though the Witness swore I afterwards turn'd the Broom and struck her over the Shoulder, yet there was no Marks on her Shoulder, and to be sure a Man in a Passion would strike as fast as he could without turning the Broom; but this unlucky Blow prov'd her Death; and I expected nothing less than to suffer for it, as soon as I heard she was dead. We were all fuddled, and so this Blow was given, and a very unhappy Blow it has prov'd to her and me.
A Copy of a Letter to his Wife, which he deliver'd to the Printer of these Papers, desiring it may be made public.
YOU are not unsensable of my un Timely Eand, and I desire you woold take it as pashenly as you can; and I bag for God's Sake you woold not after my Death gve (give) yourself to drinking, nor prshon, for that as brout me to this un timely Eand; and I bag for God's Sake, you woold take Care of my Child as fur as in you leye, and do not Despare in God's Mercees, for God has promised to be a Husband to the Widow, and a Father to the Fatherlese, and God preserv you boath, and God go along with we are ever you go, and I hope the Lord will forgive me my Sins, for he as promised Forgivenes thro' Repenians, altho' I suffer this shamfull Death. I hope the World will not reflex upon my Wife and Child, and I hope my Death will be a warnen to all, to a ward Drinken and Pashoun, for God's sake think of me when I am dead, and gone, from your dying Husband.
I AM at this Time about 28 Years old, I was born of poor Parents, in the Parish of Lambeth, who (not being able to maintain themselves, and two Children) ran away from us and left us very young to the Care of the Parish, who put me out to Nurse, to an old Woman, who kept a publick House and a Garden at Chelsea, near the Nine Elms . Here I continu'd about 2 Years, and was almost starv'd to Death. My Employment was, to go from Place to Place along the Waterside, to pick up Sticks, Coals , &c. for my Nurse.
put Apprentice to a Waterman , at Standgate, who went by the Name of my Lord Mansfield. I serv'd him five Years, and used to ply with him on the Water. While I was with him, and lay waiting for Pares at the Steel-Yard, Three Cranes, and other landing Places, I generally diverted myself with a Catcher and Ball, and by constant Fractice, I arrived to such Perfection in the Management of it, that I could whenever I pleased catch the Ball, either on the Point, or in the Cup, ninety-nine Times out of a Hundred.
By this Means I used to pick up sometimes 2 or 3 Shillings a Day, by Betting and Wagering among the Watermen, and at Alehouses near our plying Places. This occasion'd me frequently to neglect my Master's Business, and tho' he was angry with me at first, yet when he found I was willing to appease him, with Part of what I won, he was much easier under my Negligence.
After some little Time, I thought it hard my Master should constantly come in for a Share of what I got by my Art, so upon Consideration what was to be done, I resolved to leave him; and accordingly the hard Work of a Waterman not being agreeable to me, I ran away from my Service, and got me a Wife, who drew Beer at an Alehouse at Lambeth.
But tho' I got a great deal of Money, yet by mine and my Wife's Extravagance, we were almost always in Want, and therefore growing weary of this Way of Life, I return'd to my Master the Waterman, intending to have served out the rest of my Time with him, but upon my Return Home, I found he and his Wife were parted, and he would not take me again.
This Disappointment determin'd me to enter into some Society, and it was not long before I got acquainted with Stephen the Brother of Joseph Parker, who was lately executed for returning from Transportation, and I having no other Cloaths than those of a Waterman, Stephen advanc'd Money to buy me a second-hand Livery, which was the Dress I ever after chuse to wear, as being most suitable to my Way of Life.
In this Dress I went immediately with my Companion, and one or two of our Society to St. James's-Park, where we dropp'd a Catcher in the Grass, which was to be found by one of our Company; then we separated for some little Time, and the Catcher being accordingly found, was immediately play'd with in a bungling Manner, by the Man who took it up; our Business was to come by, as if accidentally, and stop, in order to allure more Spectators, and when we had got a sufficient Number about us, then I used to try with the Catcher myself, but perform so ill, that the People wou'd laugh at me; upon which I would lay them as large a Wager as I thought they would agree to, that I caught a great number of Times together, and the
Money on both Sides being staked in my Companions Hands, (who to avoid Suspicion, always took Part with the Man who was to be gulled) I never failed to win whatever was played for; and the first Day I enter'd into Parker's Gang, we got between 6 or 7 l. in this manner, and with my Part thereof, I repaid what Stephen had laid out to equip me in my Footman's Habit.
The next Day we went over the Water, and as we were going along the Road, we overtook a Cart, which had been at London with Greens and Fruit; I made an Agreement with the Gardiner to ride to such a Place, when I got there (Parker and my Companions having gone a shorter Way) were waiting for me, and as soon as I alighted, Parker pick'd up a Catcher, which I offer'd to buy of him; according to Custom we agreed, and he said he would spend the Money. While this was doing we all fell to play with the Catcher, and I took in the Countryman for a good Parcel of his Money, while my Companions assisted in the Design, by taking the Countryman's Part, and urging him to venture good round Wagers with me.
When we had catch'd all we could catch from the Gardiner, I came back for London, and in the Way I took in a poor Fellow for 5 s. but upon his decalring it was all the Money he had in the World, I was sorry for him, and gave him his Money again.
Having met with this Success with my new Companions, I took a Lodging for myself and my Wife in Stephen Parker's House, he then kept a Geneva Shop in St. Martin's-Lane, where I had been but a very little while, before I found all I could get was not sufficient for my Expences, and my Health so very much impair'd by his Liquor, that for several Months I was unable to go out upon Business; but Poverty which laid me under an indispensable Necessity to abstain, soon brought me to rights, as I had a brave Constitution; and as soon as I was able to crawl out, I went with my Companions to Chelsea, for I never could make much without three or four, who as Strangers to me, assisted and bore up the Humour. And as we went along we saw a simple looking Man well dressed sauntering before us, one of our Company went before us, overtook him, and immediately after having asked him what o'Clock it was, pick'd up a Catcher and Ball, we overtook them, and I bought the Catcher, and the Money being to make us all drink, by the Help of my Bearers up, I got all the Man's Money, and tho' they went the Man's Halves, and they lost as well as he, yet I always for the Sake of the Game, not only returned them their Money, but shar'd the Plunder equally among us, because I could do no great Matters without they kept up the Spirit of the Thing.
My Livery being shabby, I went with my Share of the Booty to my Lord Monmouth's, (as we call refitting ourselves in Monmouth-Street) and there I fitted myself with a tollerable Green Coat, a coloured Waistcoat, with a Worsted Lace, a black Stock, to save the Expence
of Washing, and a Cockade in my Hat, that I might pass for a Captain's Servant; but this fresh Equipment run away with all my Stock, so that we were immediately obliged to go out to recruit.
Hampstead Fair, Tottenham-Court Fair, Bartholomew Fair, and Southwark Fair, we visited with the rest of our Family, and did not confine ourselves only to the Use of the Catcher, when any Thing was to be made decently any other Way.
I was always very easy with my Companions about sharing the Booty, and they grew upon me on Account of their Usefulness to me in my Art, insomuch that when I have got 10 l. a Day, they have made Words about allowing me above a Guinea or two, telling me, I ought to consider I could not make a fourth Part of the Money, without their bearing up.
This at length made me determine to leave the Family, and change my Companions; accordingly I quitted their Company, and got acquainted with one we call the Grecian, with him I went down to Birmingham, where for a Disguise he passed for a Tinker, and travell'd upon an Ass, with a Budget behind him, crying old Brass to sell or mend. We made nothing at all 'till we came to Birmingham; but there the Tinker and I took in a Justice's Clerk for a handsome Sum of Money, after which he told us, he would bring us another Person to bet with us if we would let him go our Halves; we consented, and he accordingly brought his Master's Son the next Morning, to the Publick-House where we lodg'd, and we having won all his Money and his Watch, took an Opportunity to pike off, without reckoning with the Clerk as we had promised.
From Birmingham we went to Wolverhampton, where the Grecian turned Mountebank, and I passed for his Servant; we made no great Matter here, so we went from thence to several other Market Towns, with no better Success, and the Money we had got at Birmingham being near spent, we came to London, and in our Way we passed thro' Colebrook, and there being a Fair for Horses, I turn'd Groom to a Gentleman, and gave out, I had a Commission to buy a Horse of 20 Guineas Value. I was quickly shewn abundance of Horses, and one out of the Number I pitch'd upon, and gave Half a Guinea Earnest, which was to be returned if my Master (in the Clouds) did not like him; the Horse Jockey sent a Man with me and the Horse to my pretended Master, and I carry'd them near a Gentleman's House, then I desired him to let the Grecian ride him, that I might once more see his Paces, and while the Grecian was riding the Horse, I gave the Man the slip, and the Grecian gallop'd off to the Place where I had appointed to meet him.
Then I mounted the Horse, and made the Grecian get up behind me, he had before turned off his Ass and Budget, so we made the best of our Way to London; we put up the Horse at Morgan Tate's, the Sign of the Yorkshire-Grey, in Cross-Lane, near Newtenor's-Lane, and upon my telling Tate how I had made the
Horse, and that I wanted to dispose of him, he lent me two Guineas upon him, and in a few Days after, he sold it to Henry Huggins for 7 Guineas: This Huggin's Wife was cast for Transportation last September Sessions for Shop-lifting*.
With my Share of the Money the Horse was sold for, I bought myself another Livery Suit, and then turned out again with a set of Gamblers. I got a Barrow and Dice, and they were to help me to Customers; but this not proving so beneficial as I expected, I left them, and enter'd myself into a Company of 4 or five, who were all Artists different Ways.
Our Agreement was, to be joint Partners in what every one got in his differrent Calling, some were Artists at taking Watches, others went upon the Truck; that is, going into a Shop, buying some small Matter, and throwing down a Piece of Gold to be changed, when the Change is given them, they recollect they have Silver, and demand their Gold again, retaining some of the Silver the Shop-keeper gave them in the Palm of their Hands.
Others were Artists at dropping Money and shuffling the Cards; I was taken into this Society as an Artist with my Catcher, and hoped that some one or other of our Partners would be always at Work, and that I should not want Money now.
The Day Time, and the Fields in fine Weather, was proper for my Business, some of the others could carry on theirs in bad Weather, as well as fine, and the Night-Time was as proper for others in their Way, and that we might none of us be idle, I made my Wife go out with Fruit in the Barrow before-mentioned.
As I always wore a Livery when I had nothing else to do, I have gone to Inns and Livery Stables, pretending to be a Groom out of Place, and by drinking with the Servants and Hostlers a few Days, I have became so well acquainted with them, that I have been sometimes entrusted to ride and exercise a Horse, which I always suffered to run away with me, whenever I had an Opportunity.
Once in particular, I went to a Gentleman's Stables at the upper End of Bedford-Row, when a Servant was dressing the Horses, and asked him if he could help me to a Place. He told me (upon my asking him to drink with me) he would enquire for one for me. And by going frequently to these Stables, I became so well acquainted there as to assist in dressing and riding the Horses; which I did till I had an Opportunity to suffer one to run away with me to Westminster, where I put him up at an Inn, telling the People it was my Masters, and that I should fetch it again in a few Hours. As soon as I had hous'd the Horse, I went to one of our Family (E – B -, now in Woodstreet-Compter, for Perjury) and carried him to the Inn, from whence he took the Horse, and carried it down to Bridge-north Fair, in the County of Salop, and
* See Sept. Sessns Book, 1739, No. 7. Page 145.
there he sold it for twelve Pounds which was shared between us.
The Day on which the Robbery was committed, I was sitting at Morgan Tate's Door, in Cross-Lane, out of Money, and very pensive, when David Izzard, otherwise Birdcatoher, (who is now in Newgate) and another of his Companions, came to me, and asked me to go out with them. I told them, that I had no Bank, (no Money) Izzard bid me never Mind that, - he'd find Bank. I told him I had as soon go out with Old Nick, as with him, for he was so unluckly, that I never made any Thing with him, but I was obliged either to pay back (returning the Money or Goods) or go to Goal; and if I should go with you now, I expect I shall do something to be hang'd for.
However, by Izzard's Perswasions I went with him and his Companion; and as we were all going over the long Field near Pancras, we spyed the Man; Izzard ran round to meet him at the Pond, about the middle of the Field, where he pretended to be looking for a Rat, which he said had just run into the Pond; and after some few Words between them, Izzard left the Pond side, and walked with the Man in the Foot-path, where we had thrown the Catcher. Izzard found it, and I being pretty near him, cry'd out - Halves, and told him I would give him six Pence for his Share. Izzard agreed to take the Money, and said he would spend it, and make them all Drink.
Accordingly we all went to the Adam and Eve, near Pancras Church Yard , and there I began to play with the Catcher; my Companions wager'd with me about Catching the Ball, and I lost Half a Crown to encourage the Man to lay his Money with me, which he did, and lost all he had.
I was taken up for this Fact on an Execution-Day; I had been to Tyburn to assist in carrying off the Body of my Friend Joseph Parker, from the Surgeons, and was seen by the Prosecutor, who got Assistance and took me into Custody the same Day.
I was committed once before to Newgate, by Colonel De Veil, for defrauding a Man of eight Pounds; but then I had the good Fortune to escape. My Companions, Joseph and Stephen Parker are gone before me: Joseph is executed, and Stephen is dead; and the Grcian is now in Clerkenwell-Bridewell, to which
Place he was committed for six Months to hard Labour.
All my Life Time I have been a most wicked Wretch, neglecting all Religion, breaking the Sabbath, drinking to Excess, and herding with bad Company. I always delighted in Gaming and idleness, and have travelled to most of the Country Towns and Fairs in England, with my Companions and my Catcher, and have frequently got 30 or 40 s. a Day, and sometimes 40 or 50 l. in a Week; but as I got it in an ill Method, it never did me any real good, for as fast as I got it in this idle manner, I always squandered it away as foolishly and extravagantly, in my wicked Way of Life.
It was very unhappy for me to be left destitute of Friends, and to be abandon'd by my Parents in my Infancy, if there had been a due Care taken of me in my Youth, and had my Father not deserted me, but trained me up in a regular, orderly Way, and restrained me from vicious Company, my untimely Fate might have been prevented, and I should not have come to this shameful and ignominious End.
But being destitute of Friends, and having no one to prevent my being exposed in my tender Years to the wide World, and to the Vices with which it abounds, and having been carelesly brought up in a total Neglect of all Religion, and Duty both to God and Man, my early Days was full of Crimes, and as I advanc'd in Years, I made a proportionable Progress in every Vice; and being an absolute Stranger to the Obligations of Piety and Vertue, I never was under any checks of Conscience for the Commission of my enormous Crimes.
I now deplore my Misfortune and my Folly too late; and for the Sake of rash unadvised young Persons, whose ill Courses may involve them in the same dreadful Circumstances, into which I am now plunged, I declare that my Life has been a continual Scene of Trouble and Uneasiness, and tho' I have not laboured much under the Remorse of my Conscience, yet I have been in constant and continual Fear, even from the Successes of my Way of Life, and this not without Reason; for the consequence of my Gain has been, that several Times I have been committed to Houses of Correction, from whence I have with Difficulty got my Release; happy would it have been for me, if the Trouble I frequently met with, had warned me from my ill Courses; but instead of that, I always returned with more Eagerness to my old Vices, and my Ignorance even of the first Principles of Religion, rend'red me capable of committing any Crime, if I had but a Shadow of Reason to believe I
should escape without the Punishment of the Law. How thankful ought every one to be for careful Parents, and a pious Education, the Want of which has occasioned me to live the Life of a Brute, in Ignorance, Rapine, and Plunder, without one Hour of Satisfaction in all I have enjoy'd, and the Consequences of which are Misery here, and a dreadful Prospect of Anguish and Torment hereafter.
The Copy of a Letter he desired might be sent to his Friend in Clerkenwell-Bridewell.
Aug. 4, 1740.
Dear G -.
" AS my unhappy Courses have " brought me to the End of " my Days, which, though I am " but a Young Man, must be cut " short by the Hand of Publick " Justice: I thought I could not " do you any greater Kindness, than " to send you Word, that with " my expiring Breath I desire you " would look on me as a miserable Example of that Calamity which " will most certainly overtake you, " and the rest of our Companions, " if you do not turn from those " Courses, which we all inconsiderately have been engaged in so " long. Consider that all our Pleasures have been too dearly bought, " at the Expence of our Peace and " a good Conscience, and the Consequence has been Terror, Fear, " and a constant Apprehension of " that Hand of Justice which has overtaken me. View in me the " Period of all our Engagements, and " as you would avoid those Terrors " with which I am now fill'd, and " which will most assuredly torture " your Mind upon the near Approach " of that shameful Death which will " certainly overtake you, if you persist in our ill Courses; as you would " avoid all these, fly from the Company of wicked Men, and abandon " your Way of Life. What would " I give, that I could be able to look " back upon my past Time without " Torment of Soul; it would afford " me more comfort and satisfaction, "than all the World can now give " me. That you may take Warning " by my dreadful Fate, and immediately shun those Paths which " have brought me to Destruction, is " the hearty Wish of,
SELECT TRIALS at the Sessions-House in the Old-Bailey, for Murders, Robberies, Rapes, Sodomy, Coining, Frauds, and other Offences, from the Year 1720 to the present Time; chiefly transcrib'd from Notes taken in Court, with genuine Accounts of the Lives, Behaviour, Confessions and Dying Speeches of the most eminent Convicts. These Trials, &c. are not to be met with in any other Collection. In Two Volumes, Price 14 s.
These Two Volumes contains the TRIALS of
Hawkings and Sympson, for robbing the Bristol Mail, with an Account of all their Robberies.
Spiggot, the famous Highwayman, that bore 350 Pound Weight on his Breast.
Butler, Barton, Fox, Hawes, Wright, Colthouse, Drury, Warwick, Yates, Armstrong, Beck, Edwards, and many others, all famous Highwaymen and Street-Robbers.
Dr. Kraafe, Pritchard, Simonds, Cooke, Ellis, and many others for Rapes, all very entertaining.
Capt. Stanley, for the Murder of his Whore.
Major Oneby, for the Murder of Mr. Gower, with his Life.
Vexey and Hallam, for the Murder of their Wives.
Captain Jane, for Murder.
Squire Day, alias Davenport, for a Cheat; and several others for bilking their Lodgings.
Two German Counts, for forging a Bank Note.
Mrs. Gregory, for marrying 'Squire Cockeril, under Pretence of being a great Fortune.
Mrs. Sherman, for giving Poison to Mr. Chovet.
Vevers, the Bricklayer, on all his Indictmens.
Blind Cowper and Harpham, and others, for Coining.
Russel, for a Misdemeanour, in endeavouring to carry away Mrs. Benson.
Atkinson for the Murder of his Mother, at Charing-Cross.
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Both Volumes containing upwards of Five hundred Trials; among which are upwards of seventy Trials for Murder, near Sixty of Whores for privately stealing, upwards of one Hundred for the Highway, about Thirty for Rapes; the rest being for Frauds, Forgery, Burglary, Sodomy, Bigamy, Shop-lifting, Riots, Misdemeanors, Receiving Stollen Goods, Single Felonies &c. &c. &c.
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A Select and impartial Account of the Lives, Behaviour, and Dying Words, of the most remarkable Convicts, from the Year 1700, down to the present time; containing amongst many others the following Accounts. viz. Richard Turpin, for several Robberies; Herman Strodman, for the barbarous Murder of Peter Wolter, his Fellow Apprentice ; Thomas Cook, the Gloucester Butcher , for the Murder of Mr. John Cooper, a Constable in May Fair; John Morgridge, for the Murder of Lieutenant Cope in the Tower; Mr. Gregg, Clerk to the late Secretary Harley, Earl of Oxford, for holding Correspondence with her Majesty's Enemies; Richard Town, Tallow-Chandler , the only Person who was executed on the Bankrupt Act; Col. Oxburgh, Richard Gascoigne, Esq ; Justice Hall, and Parson Paul, for High Treason; the Marquis de Paleot, for stabbing his Servant; Lieut. Bird, for the Murder of Samuel Loxton, at a Bagnio; Matthias Brinsden, for the Murder of his Wife; Capt . John Massey, for Piracy; Capt . John Stanley, for the Murder of Mrs. Maycock; Jonathan Wild, the Thief-taker, for several Felonies; Katharine Hayes, for the barbarous Murder of her Husband; Edward Burnworth, William Blewit, and fie more, for the Murder of Mr. Ball, in St. George's Fields; James Cluff, for the Murder of his Fellow-Servant Mary Green: John Gow, alias Smith, Captain of the Pirates, for Piracy and Murder; Mr. Maynee, one of the Clerks of the Bank of England, for cheating the Bank of 4420 l. Mr. Woodmarsh, for the Murder of Mr. Robert Ormes; John Sheppard, who made his Escape out of the Condemn'd Hole, and likewise out of the Stone Room in Newgate, Robert Hallam, for the barbarous Murder of his Wife, by throwing her out of Window; Mr. Shelton, the Apothecary, an Highwayman; Sarah Malcolmb, for the barbarous Murder of Anne Price, Eliz. Harrison, and Lydia Duncomb; in the Temple; John Field, Joseph Rose, William Bush, and Humphry Walkers, for entering the Houses of Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Francis, &c. with above a hundred more.
Falix quem facit aliena Pevicula caut.