THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were Executed at TYBURN, On MONDAY the 24th of November.
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. Sir JOHN SALTER, Knt . Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Rt. Hon. Lord Chief Justice Willes; the Hon. Sir John Strange, Knt . Recorder ; and the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the said City, and Justices of Goal-Delivery of Newgate, for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall, in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th of September, 1740, and in the 14th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Also, At the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Jail-delivery of Newgate, held (before the Right Hon. Sir JOHN SALTER, Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Right Hon. Lord Chief Justice Lee; the Rt. Hon. Lord Chief Baron Commyns; the Hon. Mr. Justice Fortescue; the Hon. Sir John Strange, Knt . Recorder ; and the Rt. Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the said City and County of Middlesex at Justice-Hall, in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th of October, 1740, and in the 14th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Seven Malefactors, four Men, viz. Thomas Clack, William Duell, Edward Madder, and William Meers, and three Women, viz. Ann Howard, Eleanor Mumpman, and Margaret Stanton, were convicted of capital Offences by the Jury, and received Sentence of Death.
While under Sentence, they were instructed from these Words, The Cup
which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? John 18. 11. from which they were desired to observe, that this is a Question, Christ puts to himself; for had he put it to any other, most likely he had been answered in the Negative; but our blessed Redeemer, freely, and willingly drank all that bitter Cup, of God the Father's fiery Wrath and Indignation, in order to attone the divine Justice for the Sins of Mankind. 2dly, Hence they were desired to observe and admire the infinite Love of God the Father, and God the Son, in thus contriving our Redemption, by the Sufferings and Death of that Person, who is God equal to the Father. 3dly, It was observed, That the Afflictions which befall us, are the kind Visitations of our heavenly Father, who knows better what is for our Good and Advantage, than we can do. And 4thly, From these Words, Shall I not drink it? Therefore we ought patiently to submit to the most adverse Dispensations, as proceeding from our beneficent and indulgent Heavenly Father, who will certainly make every Thing work together for Good, to them who sincerely love and obey him.
As also, to comfort them in the miserable and deplorable Condition they then were in, they were desired to take Notice how the holy Psalmist David, a Prince and mighty King, designs the most flourishing Condition a Man can be in, verily every Man at his best Estate is altogether Vanity. Ps. 39. 5 Man in a low, Man in a middling, in a pretty elevated State of Life, is Vanity, but Man at his best Estate, raised to the Height of Plenty and Affluence, a Man exalted to this high Degree is not simple Vanity, he is more than Vanity, he is altogether Vanity. From this Consideration, they were desired to reflect upon the Vanity and Insufficiency of this World, to which they had been so much addicted, after which they had too much coveted, which was the Occasion of so much Misery and Calamity befalling them. And therefore they were exhorted, while any Time was remaining, while God was still calling them to Repentance, to redeem the very short Time they had to live, and to make up their Peace with God, before they went hence to be seen no more.
William Duell, having committed a complicated Guilt, a Rape, Robbery and Murther; I represented his Sin to him in the most properest Manner, and the first of these Crimes he having been only found guilty; as what he confessed to the Justice, though he did not deny to me his having a Part in the Robbery and Murther; he was told, the Villainy he and his Associates perpetrated could not be paralell'd in History, excepting some Similitude in the Sin of the wicked Sodomites, and the Gibeonites, ravishing and murthering the Levites Concubine; the first of which brought immediate Destruction upon Sodom, and Gomrrha, and the neighbouring States, by God's raining down Fire and Brimstone upon them from Heaven, and the latter was Occasion of utterly destroying the Tribe of Benjamin, the twelfth Part of a flourishing Kingdom. Though young in Years, yet his Guilt being of a very deep dye, he was entreated to beg earnestly of God to create a new Heart, and renew a right Spirit within him, since unless he repented, and
became a new Creature, he could not enter into the Kingdom of God.
While under Sentence, they attended in Chapple, and made regular Responses, and they were attentive to Exhortations and Prayers, and more devote than others in that Condition often are. Abraham Hancock was sick much of the Time, but constantly attended Prayers when capable. George White constantly attended and behaved very decently. Thomas Clack was always present at Worship, excepting once or twice when a little out of Order. William Duell was sick sometimes, at other Times attended in Chapple. Ann Howard did not neglect publick Worship, appear'd devout, and behav'd well, as did Eleanor Mumpman.
Upon Monday the 17th of November, Report was made to his Majesty in Council, of the nine Malefactors lying under Sentence of Death in the Cells of Newgate: When Ann Howard, of St. Dunstan, in the West, for stealing a quart Silver Tankard, value 7 l. the Goods of Jonathan Gladman, in his House, Sept. 27, and Edward Madder, for the same Burglary with Thomas Clack (Executed) received his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve. The remaining seven, viz.
William Meers, of the Parish of Edmonton, was indicted for breaking and entering the House of William Finch, about eleven o'Clock at Night, and stealing four Pewter Dishes, 9 Pewter Plates, a Pestle and Mortar, a Brass Warming-pan, a Pair of Brass Scales, three silver Tea-spoons, a silver Boat, and a Brass Pot-lid, the Goods of William Finch, October 7.
1. William Meers, about 19 Years of Age, of honest Parents near Whitechapple, who gave him a tollerable Education at School to read, write, and cast Accompts, and was instructed in Christian Principles. His Father, who was in pretty good Business, died and left him young. When of Age, having some Friends, they were willing to put him Apprentice to a Glazier , Butcher , or Silversmith . William was not content to go to any of them, though he took a Trial of two, if not the whole three Trades, and was always sure to disoblige his Masters, by neglecting their Business, till in a short Time, not loving confinement to Business, he left them all, and took himself to a loose, wicked, vicious Life, associating with none but Thieves, Whores, and the vilest of Company, who never fail to lead such unhappy Wretches to utter Destruction, and the Conversation of all sober and virtuous People he shunn'd.
At first, he denied every Thing but the breaking Mr. Finch's House at Southgate, to which he was advis'd by Seabroke, the Evidence, and Coats: They went out of Town with Intention to rob Mr. Hart's House, but finding that could not be easily done, they broke the House of Mr. Finch, which was next Door, and delivered the Goods as in the Indictment, to Meers, through a Hole, which was easily made in a back Place which needed Reparation; they carried them to Town, and sold them to a Man in Fleet-lane, for 14 s. 6 d. and divided the Money among them. He afterwards confest
his being concerned in breaking and robbing another Gentleman's House, with the same Company, and several other Robberies which he did by himself.
This he confest, when out of all Expectation of Life, and that in general, he was a Boy of a most profligate, vicious Life, for which he most deservedly suffered Death. For his Misfortunes, he blam'd his Brother, Sister and all his Friends, who always complain'd on him to his Father, who often Horse-whipt him, and beat him most unmercifully, banishing him from the House, and forcing him to take up with the worst of Company, the Occasion of his Wickedness, and Cause of his Ruin.
He behav'd well in public, was often sick, and had a great Swelling in his Legs and Feet, occasioned by cold, bruises and hurts which he received by his ill Practices. He believ'd in Christ, repented of his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.
Eleanor Mumpman, of St. John, Wapping, was indicted for breaking and entering the House of Peter Rode, about the Hour of twelve in the Night, and stealing two silver Spoons, three silver Tea-spoons, five Knives, five Forks, six pewter Plates, and two pewter Dishes, the Goods of Peter Rode, Sept. 6.
2. Eleanor Mumpman, 34 Years of Age, born at Whitby, in Yorkshire, of honest Parents, who educated her at School to read, &c. she liv'd at Home with her Parents, and was in several Services in Town and Country, till at length wearied of the Country, some Years ago she came to London, and was in several Places, where she served to the liking of her Masters and Mistresses, as she did at home among her own Friends, having been a young Woman who had some Regard to God and Religion, and had received the blessed Sacrament of our Lord's last Supper sometimes.
Of late, she was out of Business, and she found it difficult to get a Place; then being idle, and having nothing to do, was exposed to bad Company, of debaucht young Fellows, one of whom she liv'd with for some time, and from this she dated her utter Ruin; in this Company of wicked young Men, and the vilest of Women, she contracted a Habit of Drinking to excess, and the worst of Conversation, in which being once engag'd, it was not easy to get rid of it again.
Such unhappy People, for the generality, are always studying which Way they must get Money to support their Extravagancies, they being willing to do any Thing for that End. Accordingly, they resolve upon breaking Houses; tho' Eleanor had something of Conscience before, yet now these Villains induced her to go along with them into every excess of Riot, and she engag'd to concur with them in all their Undertakings.
They agreed to break the House of Peter Rode, whom she had been as a Servant a short Time before, and she knowing the Situation of her Master's House, upon September 16, about twelve at Night, they found Means to break in Mr. Rode and his Servants having something to do, rose at Three o'Clock in the
Morning, when he found his House broke open; the Noise surpriz'd and stopt the Thieves in any farther Prosecution of their Design, and her Associates, two Men and a Boy, rush'd out at the Fore-door and escaped, but she being in a Place where she could not slip by her Master without being apprehended, went backwards, and before she was taken, chose rather to jump into the Necessary House, and suffocated with Stench. Mr. Rode look'd about and found the House of Office broke, and looking down, found something moving; he called up some of the Neighbours to his Assistance, who opening the upper Part of it with an Axe, they with Difficulty took it up, not knowing whether it was Man, Woman, or any other Creature; they laid it upon the Ground, and at last discover'd it to be a Woman; they put her into a Sack, washt her with Water, gave her Drams, or what they thought most proper, till she came to herself, and told of the two Men and the Boy escaping, and how they were packing up the Things mentioned in the Indictment, together with some Eatables, but being Interrupted, they could not carry 'em off.
That Evening she had drunk too Excess with the Fellow who kept her Company, and others, was not inclinable, but over persuaded to go along with them, it being the first and last theft or robbery she ever committed.
They immediately, so soon as she recovered herself, carried her before a Justice, to whom she confessed all as above-related. The two Men and a Boy she always mentioned, could never be heard of more, and she knew nothing what became of them.
Eleanor Mumpman, as she told me in the preceding part of her Life, had been a sober, industrious Woman, living at Home with her Parents, who are honest respected Persons, and at other Times in Services, in which she constantly behaved well, having never been blamed for any criminal Actions or Conversation till now; when out of Place at London, she fell in with those wicked Wretches which was concern'd in the Fact, and which hurried her to the fatal Tree.
She understood Religion better than most of those unhappy People generally do, and was tollerable regular in her Life, frequenting the Church, and sometimes to have taken the blessed Sacrament. She constantly attended in Chapel, was very regular in Responses, and devout both at Prayers and Sermons. She believ'd in Christ the Son of God, and Saviour of Mankind, appeared a true Penitent for all the Sins of her Life, especially the grievous and scandalous Crime for which she suffered, and forgave all Men, as she expected Forgiveness from God.
William Duell of Action, was indicted, for that he not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, &c. upon a certain Person, to the Jurers unknown, &c. did make an Assault, and her against her Will did ravish, and carnally know, September 7.
He was a 3d Time indicted for stealing 2 s. 6 d. the Money of a Person unknown, Sept. 7.
3. William Duell, about 17 Years of Age, had little Education at School, and what little Reading he had, being an obstinate Boy, he almost forgot it; his Father being a Shoemaker in the Town of Acton, was willing to learn him his own Trade, but being careless and negligent, and not willing to be confined, but went out to ride Horses, and look after them, and sometimes he was employ'd by the Farmers , or at Gentleman's Houses, by which Means, before he was taken up, he for the most Part maintained himself, and was some small Assistance to his Father and Mother.
The unhappy Woman whom they so barbarously used, was born in Worcestershire, who some Months ago came from her own Country to live as a Servant in London, and the Air not agreeing with her, she was willing to go Home again, and for that Purpose had a Pass from a proper Magistrate; she set out on her Journey September the 7th. This Boy disobliging his Father, (as he said) he turn'd him out of Doors that very Evening this poor Creature Sarah Griffin was so barbarously used; and that on Sunday the 7th of September, about 8 or 9 in the Evening, he said he met this unhappy Woman, and she asked him for to help her to a Lodging, for she was going to Worcestershire the next Morning down to her Friends; for London Air would not agree with her Constitution. Whereupon he shewed her to a Barn belonging to one Mr. Life's in Horn-Lane, in Acton; as soon as he and the poor Woman came there, he open'd a Truss of Hay for her to lie on, and then he immediately left her, at the same Time she begg'd and desired of him, that he would not acquaint any Person of her being there: He had not been gone long from her, but he goes to one Cannon in Acton, where he met with Henry Richards, John Wolfe, and Jack at the Captain's, and as they were all going Home they met with John Davis, and George Curtis, alias Tug-mutton, who died in Newgate on the Day he was to be tried with this Malefactor. Duell told Jack at the Captain's, that he had just put a Woman into Mr. Life's Barn, they all whisper'd together, (except Duell) then George Curtis said, that he would go and shew them a Girl in a Barn, and they all readily consented and went together, and found the poor Creature: Curtis ask'd who was there? The Girl made Answer, a poor Woman, for God's Sake don't meddle with me? Curtis began to be very rude with her, and swore if she did not hold her Tongue he would cut her Throat; upon which she begged and pray'd, and desired him not to use her ill, for she said she was in a sad and deplorable Condition; but all her Intreaties were in vain; Curtis reply'd, Be in what Condition you will, he swore he would - he then, with the Assistance of Duell and the rest, had c - al Knowledge of her, during which Time the poor Creature cry'd out Murder several Times. After this, Davis swore, if she would not let him do as Curtis had done, he would kill her; where upon she cry'd as before, and likewise said, for God's Sake don't kill me! After he had his Desire of her, he was so inhuman and barbarous, as to thrust a Pin, of the length of an Inch and half, into her hinder Part, up to the very Head,
and not being satisfied with that cruel Usage, he likewise beat her after a very unmerciful manner with his Fist; when he had so done, all the remainder had likewise Knowledge of the poor Soul. Not being contented with the ill Treatment with which they used her with, Curtis got upon her again, and swore, if she did not give him what Money she had, either more or less, he would certainly kill her: The Girl reply'd, if you won't kill me, I will give you what Money I have! but she not giving it him so readily, he fell a beating her with both his Hands; after he had so done, he out off her Pocket, and took out of it 2 d. 3 Farthings, and her Pass which she had to travel with. After this barbarous Treatment, they all went to drink together, except Duell, who had no Money, therefore they would not let him go with them, and staid drinking till between 2 o'Clock in the Morning.
Duell was willing to lessen his Crime in the Eye of the World, because of his Youth; but I inform'd him, his Villainy was of the most blackest die, and that he was the sole Occasion of the whole Tragedy being acted, by bringing the rest, and committing the same Wickedness with them. And to compleat their Barbarity, Curtis alias Tug-mutton, who died the Morning he was to have been tried, went and got a Broom-stick, and thrust it up the poor Woman's Body, which gave her the finishing Stroke to her Sufferings and Miseries; she liv'd some few Days in the greatest Torment and Misery, which no Tongue was able to express, and then expired.
This Duell was a very obstinate Boy, and likewise of a quarrelsome Nature; for altho' he was under those unhappy Misfortunes, he and his Fellow Sufferer Meers challenged each other to fight, and was a going, but was prevented. I being informed of it, I sharply reprimanded them both; upon which they both promised Amendment, and they did afterwards behave themselves more peaceable. Duell after his Condemnation would not directly own his Guilt; yet after the Dead-Warrant came down for his Execution, he with Tears in his Eyes acknowledged himself guilty of the Rape, Robbery and Murder. He hoped those that were concerned in using the poor Woman so barbarous, may be brought to condign Punishment, which they so justly deserve. He believ'd in Christ, and repented of his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.
Edward Madder and Thomas Clack, of St. Mary White-chappel, were indicted for breaking and entering the Dwelling-House of John Clack, between the Hours of One and Two in the Night, and stealing 31 Cloth Coats, value 30 s. 23 Cloth Waistcoats, value 20 s. 13 pair of Cloth Breeches, value 5 s. 13 Cloth Jackets, value 10 s. 6 Linnen Shirts, value 12 s. 1 pair of Leather Breeches, value 2 s. and three Linnen Shifts, value 3 s. the Goods of John Clack, September the 7th. Madder receiv'd his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve for Life, and Clack was order'd for Execution.
4. Thomas Clack, whose true Name was Clerk, was about 30 Years of Age, born of mean Parents, not far from the City of York, who gave him no Education, and was grosly ignorant of Matters relating to his poor Soul. When of Age
he was not put to any Trade, but followed Country Business, or any Thing else he could get to do to support him; after this Manner he lived till some Years ago being very desirous to see London, he came to Town, and lived mostly about Rag-Fair, working on the River-side , and sometimes at Bear-Key, amongst the Colliers, or what fell in his Way (and if we may believe him) was an industrious, careful young Man, had good Cloths, and plenty for one of his low Condition. But he at last, to his great Misfortune, got acquainted with bad Company, that what little good Morals he had, was soon Corrupted by Drinking, Whoring and Swearing; Vices too common to these unhappy Wretches.
He did not commit many Robberies in the Street, or in Shops, but made it his constant Business to go on the River and steal Sugar, Tobacco, and all Sorts of Goods he could lay hold on, but generally in small Parcels; though once he was taken up and sent to Bridewell, where he received the Discipline of the House, but never was committed to Newgate till now. The Robbery of Mr. Clack's House or Stall, was the only considerable Fact he said he was concerned in; but for petty Thefts and Larcenies it was the most of his Trade he lived by. He was miserably Poor, and destitute of all Friends, no one assisting or to relieve him, while under Condemnation, having received but Three-pence all the Time under his Confinement:
He was ignorant of Religion, and not capable of much Improvement; he always attended in Chappel, and was very quiet, and cried to God for Mercy; he believed in God through Christ, was penitent for his wicked Life, and died in Peace with all Men.
Margaret Stanton, otherwise Ruggety Madge, of St. Martin's in the Fields, was indicted (with Catherine Butler, not yet taken) for assaulting Benjamin Parish, in the House of Edmund Cahoe, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a silver Watch, value 3 l. 10 s. a pair of silver Knee Buckles, a holland Shirt, a Pair of Breeches, 3 Portugal Pieces, a Moidore, 14 Guineas, and six Shillings in Money, the Goods and Money of Ben. Parish, October the 8th.
5 Margaret Stanton, otherwise Ruggety Madge, born at Dublin, of mean Parents, 28 Years of Age; she had no Education at School, and knew little of the Christian Faith. When of Age, she served in good Families , but with what Reputation is uncertain. She said she was married to a Butcher, and kept a Stall in a Market at Dublin, and had some Children by her Husband, who are all dead.
Her Husband (she said) was none of the best of Husbands, and she and he did not agree together, and she being of a roving Disposition, she made an Elopement from her Husband, and pack'd up what little Things she had, and made the best of her Way to come to England, and landing in the hundreds of Drury, where she met with abundance of her old Acquaintance, who received her kindly, and instructed her in their own Way of Business, which she readily came into, be
ing no Stranger to it, having practised it in Dublin, therefore soon became a Proficient in their Way.
The Account of the Robbery for which she suffers, is as follows, viz. One Mr. Parish, about twelve o'Clock at Night, on the 8th of October last, as he was going to enquire after his Brother's Wife in Windsor-Court, Drury-Lane, he unfortunately went just by the Door, where two Women were standing (one of them was this Margaret Stanton) who said Countryman, one Word with you; accordingly he went to them, and as soon as he came near them, they laid their Hands, one on one Arm, the other on his other, and with the Assistance of another Person behind him, pull'd him down on his Back, to a House which is kept by one Edmund Cahoe. He had not been in long, before the Door was shut on him; the other Woman, whose Name is Butler, kneel'd on his Breast, and Stanton kneel'd on his Legs, and forc'd open his Breeches Pocket, and took out 23 Guineas in Gold and some Silver, a Watch, and a Pair of silver Knee Buckles; when he came into the House, he saw a great many Men in the House; whereupon he cried out Murder. As soon as he was robbed, they opened the Door; and he went away with a design to go to his Inn, but meeting with a Watchman who pretended to shew him his Way to his Inn, and instead (like an honest Watchman) of going the right Way with the Countryman, carried him to the Cart and Horse in St. Giles's, where some Irishmen made him drunk, that he did not get to his Inn till Morning. A few Days after the Countryman had been robbed, he took up Margaret Stanton, upon which she was carried before a Justice, and he committed her to Newgate, where she has met with her deserved Fate.
A Woman who came to see her while under Sentence of Death, she said had 10 Pound of the Countryman's Money, and gave her but one half Crown; she died in the Faith of Christ, penitent for her most scandalous, wicked Life, and died in Peace with all the World.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON Saturday in the Afternoon, between four and five o'Clock, a Reprieve came to Newgate for George White the Soldier , who robb'd Mr. Martin the Surgeon, and Abraham Hancock, for eight Days. When Prayers and Exhortations in the Afternoon where ended, the Person who brought the Reprieve, being present in the Chaple, acquainted George White with the agreeable News, who, upon hearing of it, fell immediately on his Knees, and at the same Time lifting up his Hands and Eyes to Heaven, and in a most solemn Manner, returning Thanks to God; as did also Abraham Hancock, for their great and unexpected Deliverance.
William Meers, William Duell and Thomas Clack, otherwise Clark, in one Cart; Eleanor Mumpman, and Margery Stanton, otherwise Ruggety Madge, in the other Cart. When they came to the Place of Execution, I asked William Meers, if he had any more to add to his
former Confession; he replied he had not. He own'd he had committed a great many Robberies which he had given an Account on; and likewise said he was a great Sinner; but hop'd God of his infinite Goodness would forgive him. William Duell, said, he forgave all Men who swore falsely against him; I put him in Mind that he did acknowledge and confess after a solemn Manner, of his ravishing and robbing the poor Woman, and using her after a most barbarous Manner. Some of his Acquaintance came into the Cart to take their Farewell of him, as did his Father, on the Sight of whom, he burst into Tears, and they embraced each other, and wept over one another for some Time. I desired him to compose himself, and to pray to God to forgive him his Sins. Thomas Clark said, he had no more to say, but hop'd God would forgive him his man sold Sins and Wickedness. Eleanor Mumpman had no more to say, but that she had Confidence in the Mercy of God, thro' Christ, and died in Peace with all the World. Margery Stanton, otherwise Ruggety Madge, said, to extenuate her Guilt, that she saw nothing of the Man's Money, or any of his other Things, which he lost. Just before she was going to be turn'd off, she out off her Petticoat, being a very good one, and gave it to a Man of her Acquaintance; after that, she spoke to some People she knew. She said, she forgave all the World, and hop'd God would have Mercy on her Soul, and own'd that she had been a most wicked Liver. Just before the Cart drew away, they crying all the Time, Lord have Mercy on us, Christ have Mercy on us, and receive our poor Souls.
This is all the Account given by me
ABOUT three Years ago I took a Lodging on the other Side of the Water, in the Mint, Southwark, with one Sarah P - ly, and going one Evening to seek for a Cull, we crossed the Water, and came to Temple-Bar, and as we were strolling towards the New Church in the Strand, I met a Country Farmer reeling along very much in Liquor; as soon as he came up to me, S'bleed! my Dear, says he, you shall go and drink with me, so he, I, and Sally, went to one G. H at the Sign of the Golden-Lyon in the Strand, and after we had drank three or four Quarterns of Brandy, he began to be very sweet upon me, and finding I had no Opportunity to do any Thing with him there, i. e. To mill his * Cly, I proposed to go to my Lodgings on the other Side of the Water, which he readily agreed to; so we all three went down to White-Fryars
* His Money.
Stairs, and called a Boat, and went over the Water. As soon as I came within a few Yards of my Lodgings, I sent my Friend Sally before to see whether my Landlady was up, I being unwilling she should be acquainted with my bringing the Man Home; she soon came back and told me the Coast was clear, and I having a private Key, we let ourselves in, and I desir'd him to step up into my Appartment, and he had not been long there before he fell fast asleep; as soon as I found him safe, I examin'd his Breeches, and I found upwards of ten Guineas in Gold, and some Silver, and not being content with that, I took his Coat, Waistcoat, Breeches, Shoes and Stockings, and locking the Door softly, I went clear off.
The next Morning I sent Sally to see how Matters stood, she imagining the Man being so much in Liquor over Night that he would know nothing of her when sober. When she came to the House she knocked at the Door, and ask'd for me, and there was the poor Countryman like a Madman, saying he was undone! Undone! swearing that he would hang my Landlady if she did not bring the Woman who took away his Cloaths and Money. Sally came to me, and told me how Affairs stood, and I not caring to be any more thereabouts, took a Lodging near Rag-Fair, and cloathing myself pretty gay with the Countryman's Money, I passed for a Mate of an Indiaman's Widow, who died abroad. I appearing as I observ'd pretty tight and clean, soon procured several humble Servants, who were all mighty desirous of my granting them the Favour of their making their Addresses to me; I promised them all in their Turns, till I found one whom I thought had most Cole to spare, and therefore the fittest for my Purpose. So we liv'd together till all his Money was gone, and then by mutual Consent we parted.
Some small Time after I had parted from him, I was walking one Evening about eleven o'Clock up Holborn, and I met a Man who said he was a Shoemaker, who asking me to drink, I readily accepted the Offer; we went to a Shop near Field-Lane, and drank between us a Quart of Gin, which so intoxicated my Companion, that he was almost out of his Senses. After we left the Shop, we strolled towards the City, and when we came to Wood-street, my Companion imagining he had been at Home in his own Room, so began to undress himself in order to go to Bed, I humoured the Joke, and began to help him off with his Cloaths, but before I got his Shoes and Stockings off, he fell senseless against a Door; as soon as I perceived this, I made shift to get off his Breeches, and left him naked in his Shirt, fast asleep; then I went and hid the Cloaths at a Friends, and came back to see the Issue of this merry Adventure. By the Time I got back the Watchmen were going their Rounds, so I stood almost on the opposite side of the Way, when the Watchman came up to him, he looked affrighted, seeing him in that naked Condition, and began to pull and hawl him to make him wake, which
with much Difficulty he at last effected; when he came a little to himself, imagining the Watchman had used him ill, being very much in Liquor, he suddenly started up, and with his Fist felled him to the Ground; the Watchmen presently recovering himself, call'd for Assistance, and carry'd him in that naked Condition to the Compter, where I since heard he laid all Night, and the next Day giving an Account of himself he was discharged.
I once had a Thought of reclaiming, and becoming an honest Woman; but alass, Vice had got such a deep Root in my poor Soul, that whatever Thoughts of Virtue presented themselves to my View when I was sober, one Fit of Drunkenness entirely erradicated; which Vice God forgive me, I was much addicted too, and to which I owe my Ruin. I mention my former Crimes with no Ostentatious View, hoping on the contrary, that all who may read my Catastrophe, will take Warning by my unhappy Example.
For did they but know and feel within themselves the Horror and Remorse of Conscience I feel for my past Transgressions and Iniquities, for all which I must speedily answer before a just and an offended Deity; how would they pity, alas! and commiserate my now unhappy and deplorable Condition, which through the just Judgment of God has fell so heavily upon me; how have I gloried in my Shame, and despised Reproof? I could sincerely wish that all those unhappy Persons who were Companions of my former Vices, would reflect with themselves, that the Way they are now running on, will sooner or later bring them into my sad State, and then (but too late) what would they give they had in Time reclaimed by seasonable and timely Advice. Thus much I thought incumbent upon me to publish, hoping it may have the desired Effect, which God grant of his infinite Goodness it may.
WIlliam Meers, of the Parish of St. Mary, White-chappel, aged about 19, his Mother dying when he was about 2 Years of Age, his Father married a second Wife, who was not over careful of him, so that he was but indifferently educated and instructed; when he was about 10 Years of Age his Step-Mother died, and his Father having several Children besides by his second Wife, Will was committed amongst the rest to the Care of his Aunt, his Step-Mother's Sister, who was his Father's House-keeper; but she not using him as he thought so tender as her own Sister's Children, he run away, and soon after his Father dying, he was left entirely destitute. When he was about 13 Years of Age, being out of Employment, an Upholsterer took him to run on Errands ; during this his
Seation, he behaved but very indifferently, loitering and squandering away his Time, by tossing up for Half-pence in the Streets, so that his Master turn'd him off.
After this he liv'd with a Butcher, but he not much caring for Work, left this Employment also. Being once more out of Business, he got acquainted with two or three desolute idle Lads, such as himself, who had no Habitation, with these he used to go up and down about the Brick-Fields, and lay there all Day, and in the Evening they used to come into Town and steal whatever came in their Way, as Iron, Brass, &c. for as yet they had not attempted any Thing farther.
One Day Mers, and Coates his Companion, going along by a Cellar near the Seven-Dials, in which an old Woman lived who sold boyl'd Meat, Broth, &c. they went down Stairs, and called for Six-penny worth, and after eating their Belly full, they was in a sort of Quandary how they should bilk the poor old Woman, for it seems they had not a Farthing in their Pockets; at last Coates observing a back Place where the Small Beer was kept, which Place had a Door that locked, says Coates, Dame, let's have a Quart of your Small-Beer? which while the old Woman went to draw, Meers suddenly started up, and push'd the Door too, and lock'd the old Woman in the back Cellar.
As soon as they had done this, they snatch'd up a Leg of Mutton, a Plate of two, and some other triffling Things, and brush'd clean off. While the old Woman kept knocking and calling out for Help, but all in vain, for no Body could hear her; the Mutton they carry'd to a Place where they lay at an old Barn near Hampstead, which made us two or three comfortable Meals; the Plate swe sold to one S - at the Seven-Dials
After this Adventure with the old Woman, we disagreeing seperated for some Time, so I was left to shift for myself.
Two or three Days after we had trick'd the old Woman of her Meat, &c. as I was walking one Evening by myself very melancholy in the Temple, having eat nothing all Day, I espyed a Woman with a Bundle under her Arm, which seem'd to me to contain something for the Belly, I stepped up to her, and told her a long dismal Story, how I had been rambling in the Country along Time, and that I had been out of Business, and was so dirty that I was ashamed to go to my Uncle's Chambers, whom I pretended lived up a Stair-case hard by where we was talking; so requesting that she would do me the Favour only to go and ask for Mr. Tim's, and tell him that his Nephew was waiting for him below, who was ashamed to see him, on Account of his being dirty; the old Gentleman I said would make her Amends, and it would do me a piece of Service; the poor good natur'd, easy, credulous Woman, after commiserating my Condition, told me she would, and as she was going, Hold, says I, you had as good let me hold your Bundle for fear my Uncle should have any Company, and then it won't look so well; so giving me her Bundle, she step'd
towards the Stair-case, and as she went up, when she was out of Sight, I brush'd clean off; and examining the Contents, I found a Quarter of a Goose, some Sausages, and a piece of a Leg of Mutton, which I devour'd as hearty as a ravenous Wolf does his Prey after a long fast.
After this Adventure, as I was going down Holborn-Hill one Night, I met a Shoemaker's Lad carrying Home a pair of Shoes, which I long'd to become Master off, so I followed the Lad at some Distance, in Hopes that I might have an Opportunity of snatching them from under his Arm, but to my great Disappointment, he went through no Alley or Turning, so that my Design in that Respect was frustrated. When he came near Red-lyon-street, he knock'd at a Door, and out came a young Woman, a Maid Servant as I supposed, and asking him what he wanted, as I stood at some Distance I heard him say, that he had brought Mr. Smith's Shoes Home; the Maid told him, Mr. Smith was not at Home, so he desired she would take in the Shoes, which she accordingly did.
As soon as the Lad came away from the House I follow'd him at some Distance, and at a convenient Opportunity I came up to him, and suddenly clapping him on the Shoulder, Ha! old School-fellow Tom, says I, how goes it, how does your Master do? He turn'd about, Why, says he, I don't know you, my Name is not Tom; No, says I, why don't you live with a Shoemaker? Yes, says he, I do, but my Name is not Tom; Why then pray says I, where do you live, and with whom? Why, says he, my Master's Name is Mr. -, and I live in Shoemaker-Row. This was all I wanted, so asking his Pardon for using him so roughly, I told him I was mistaken, and took my Leave; and going back to the House, I boldly knock'd at the Door, and when the Maid came I pretended to be out of Breath, and ask'd if a Lad had not brought a pair of Shoes there from Mr. - in Shoemaker-Row, she reply'd Yes, Why, says I, he has brought the wrong pair, and Mr. Smith, who they was made for is now in the Shop, storming like a Fury; so the Maid runs backwards in a Hurry to fetch them, and in the mean Time I catch'd up a Shirt which laid just by me, and put it hastily in my Pocket unperceiv'd by her; when she came back to me, There, says she, take them you Rogue and make haste Home, I said I would. I tryed them on, and finding they fitted me, I gave my own to a poor Beggar, and wore the new ones myself.
A few days after, as I was walking near the Seven-Dials, I espy'd a Shop-door open, and a Girl asleep by the Fire-side; I walked very softly in, and hearing a Noise of somebody talking backwards, I durst go no farther; so only took a pretty good Hat which lay upon the Compter, and went away. With this Hat Shirt and Shoes, I began to think myself pretty tight; but I soon varified the old Proverb, that ill got Goods don't thrive, as will be seen in the following Story. I have already observed I had no Lodging, and my usual Residence was at that time in an old
uninhabited House near Pancras, and my Bed was a parcel of Hay, which the People had left behind them; one Evening being a little mellow, I came home to my usual Place of Abode, and going to cover myself in order to lay down, I heard something move, and asking with a stern Voice who was there; somebody replyed in a female Tone, Here's one, and coming a little nearer, I found it was a Woman; so asking her where she came from, she told me from Coventry, and that her Friends had used her ill, o she rambled up to Town in order to get a Place, and being benighted, had taken the Opportunity of laying there, so I persuaded her to lay still; and I went back to my place where I lay and soon fell fast asleep; I forgot to observe that before I lay'd down I pull'd off my Shoes and Hat, and lay'd them at my Head. When I awoke in the Morning, I call'd out Ho! young Woman are you there? And nobody answering, I started up and saw she was gone; so I turn'd about going to put my Shoes on, when I found they was gone and likewise my Hat. I was now in a most terrible Condition, it being vey wet Weather and without either Hat or Shoes, so blaming my unhappy Fate, and my easy Credulity in not taking Care of my Things, I laid myself down in a melancholy mood and slept 'till dark; then I arose and walked in that Condition barefooted to London; as soon as I arrived, I went and stood at a Gentleman's Door, and made a dismal Noise, which one of the Servants hearing came to the Door, and pitying my Condition, gave me a pair of old ones, and a Hatt.
After I had got this pair of Shoes and Hat, I met accidentally my Companions, and after some Consultation we agreed with Thomas Seabrook, the Evidence against me, to go upon House-breaking we made several Attempts, but all our Designs were frustrated, by Reason we was shabbily dressed, so that the Watchmen had always a Suspicion of us about Town. One Time Coates and I going along White-Chapel, we spyed a Chandlers Shop, in which sat a young Woman between sleeping and waking. Says Coates, lets * Knap this Chance, so we pull'd a Cord out of our Pockets and shutting the Door softly too, we tyed the Knocker and fasten'd it to a Post which stood near at Hand; as soon as we had so done, we shoved up the Sash softly and snatch'd a Basket of Eggs, a quartern Loaf and a piece of Bacon; in our hurry we awaken'd the Girl, who made an Out cry and run from behind the Compter; but finding herself in Lobbs Pound, she made such a Noise as alarmed some of the Neighbours, who pursued us as far as Petticoat-Lane, which Place we turn'd down, and got clear off. From thence we went to my former Lodging near Pancras, where we made a Fire by the help of some Wood, and with an old Frying-pan which we had stolen the Day before, we made shift to cook us up a good Supper; and afterwards went to bed in my old Place of ATake this Opportunity.
bode, already described; by means of these little petty Tricks, we made shift to keep ourselves in Victuals; as for our Cloaths, as I have already observed, they were in a shabby, ragged Condition, so that we was not fit to be seen in the Day-time.
I had once an Intent of forsaking my Companions, and get into some settled honest Way of Business; but alas! I had so reduced my self by my idle Course of Life, that nobody would give me a Character. Happy indeed had it been for me if I had perished upon some Dunghill, rather than have brought my self by my Practices to this shameful and untimely, though just Death! These are all the principal Facts I committed, except that for which I suffer.
The following LETTER was sent to Seabrooke, the Evidence, against the Malefactor, Meers.
YOU are not insensible I suppose, that I am included in the dead Warrant, and am shortly to suffer for what you and I committed. I take this Opportunity to acquaint you, that I sincerely forgive you, as I hope for forgiveness from my much offended Maker, through the Intercession and precious Blood of my blessed Redeemer; and my last Advice is, that my fatal Example may be a Means through the Providence of God, of your Reformation. Oh! do you think it so? and no longer slight the Mercies of a just God; for did you but know the Horors and Remorse I feel for my former Iniquities. How would you, as I now do, wish almost I had never been. If you still continue to run on, notwithstanding all this? what can I say more? why? you'll speedily come to a shameful ignominious, and untimely Death. Oh! repent while you have Time, and God give you Grace so to do. You may perhaps plead Necessity, for I know your Circumstances must be but indifferent; but do you amend your Life, and no Doubt God will amend your Condition.
Farewell, Think of the Words Of your dying Companion,
AS to the Accident which happen'd at the Execution of William Duell on Monday last at Tyburn, 'twas indeed very singular; but not so unaccountable as some People would make it, since such as have but a very superficial Notion of Anatomy, may easily conceive how a Person very soon cut down may sh even strong Signs of Life, and yet be in no Condition to recover. If he had fell into he Hands of the Mob, instead of the Surgos, in all Probability he could never have came to Life.
When he was cut down, he was put into a Coach and carry'd to surgeons-Hall, and seemed to be dead to all outward Appearance, being laid in a Passage up one Pair of Stairs; when in about ten Minutes Time, a Woman belonging to the Hall heard him groan very much; upon which she immediately acquainted some of the Gentlemen; so one of them went to him, and perceiving Life let him Blood, and took several Ounces from him; after which he reviv'd very fast, and looked very earnestly on the Gentleman who bleed him, seemingly to take no Notice of him, nor was not able to answer him, when he asked him how he did. Some short Time afterwards he spoke, but not to be understood, and remain'd so till he was carry'd to Newgate on Monday about 12 o'Clock at Night, in a Coach from Surgeon's-Hall, attended by some of the Sheriff's Officers.
When he came to the Press-Yard, he cry'd out with a strong Voice, Lord have Mercy on me; being put into one of the Cells, and cover'd up warm, and some warm Wine and Water given him, he lay very Easy and Composed, slept an Ho at a Time; when he a woke, cry'd out his Mother very much; then went to again, and started up in his Sleep seven Times, and repeated the same as before.
On Tuesday Morning when one of the Persons belonging to the Goal unlock the Cell door where he is confined, ask him if he remember'd where he was Monday; he said he was up at Prayers the Chapel, and often insisted he was where else. A Gentleman who is a Prisoner in the Press-Yard of Newgate, gave him a Mess of Broth, he eat it up very heartily, wanted more, and said, had none for Meers. who was executed Being ask'd by the same Gentleman who gave him the Broth, if he could say th Lord's Prayer? He said yes, and said very distinctly; talk'd sometimes very well, and knew very well those Person which used to attend him to Chapel from; and said, God bless you all, repeated it several and several Times. H begg'd for more Victuals, which the abovesaid Gentleman gave him whenever he call'd for it: He began to recover Senses and talk'd very much, but ne remember'd that he was Hang'd, or a Thing like it; nor that he was out of the Goal at all.
In the Year 1650, one Ann Green, was executed at Oxford, and after hanging the usual Time, her Body was taken away, and being thought to have some Signs of Life in it, such Methods were used as brought her to herself; she lived many Years after, and gave a long distinct Account of what she suffered from the Moment she was turned off; this made such a Noise at the Time, that near 40 of the Prime Wits of the University wrote Copies of Latin and English Verses on the Occasion; a circumstancial Account of the whole Affair was printed the next Year in a Quarto Pamphlet of three Sheets and a half, bearing the Title of News from the Dead, in the Revival of Ann Green.
A latter Instance of this sort happened in Scotland, where a Woman was hanged for the Murder of her Bastard Child, (which however she constantly denied, both before and after her Execution) was by the Care of her Friends brought to herself some Hours after she had been hang'd, and lived in the Village of Mussel-burgh, where many people visited her, and gave her Money to hear her Story from her own Mouth.
Such Instances are very rare, and the Causes very difficult to be assigned, and therefore fitter to be left to the Judgment of the Reader, than to be farther insisted on in this Paper.
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Blind Cowper and Harpham, and others, for Coining
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Both Volumes containing upwards of Five among which are upwards of seventy Trials for Sixty of Whores for privately stealing, upwards of for the Highway, about Thirty for Rapes; the Frauds, Forgery, Burglary, Sodomy Bigamy, Shop Misdemeanors, Receiving Stollen Goods, Single .
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