THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were Executed at TYBURN, On MONDAY the 4th of May, 1741.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
AT the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Rt. Hon . Daniel Lambert, Esq ; Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Rt. Hon. Lord Chief Justice Lee; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the City of London, and Justices of Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall, in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 8th, 9th, and 10th of April 1741, in the 14th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
While under Sentence, they were seriously, and fervently exhorted, to prepare for Death, from these Words, Mark the perfect Man, and behold the upright, for the End of that Man is Peace, Psal. xxxvii. ver. 37. they were desired to observe, that however flourishing the Wicked may be for a Season, yet is their End Destruction. I have seen, (says the Psalmist) the Wicked in great Power, and spreading himself like a Green Bay-Tree, yet he passed away, and so he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found; whereas Righteous, and Godly Men, whatever Adversities they meet with in this Life, are sure of eternal Happiness in that which is to come.
Their former Life having been spent in a very wicked Manner, they were exhorted to reflect upon the Evil of their Ways, how they had provoked the Holy One of Israel, for which the just Judgments of Heaven had overtaken them, as they had been great Sinners, they were pressed to mourn over their Sins, to con
fess and humble themselves before that God whom they had so much offended, who is all merciful! and all Gracious! to forgive us our Sins! and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness! for he who covereth his Sin, shall never prosper, but whosoever confesseth, and forsaketh his Sin, shall find Mercy.
Two of them, viz. Carr and Macmanus, having been guilty of intended, and actual Murder, as well as robbing on the King's Highway, 'twas explained to them how heinous that Crime was above all others, it being perhaps the destroying both Soul and Body at one Blow! hurrying the murd'red Person, either to eternal Rest! or everlasting Misery! either to the Company of Angels, or Devils; and what an irreparable Loss must this be to the Soul of a Man, to have no Time for Repentance, but in a Moment, when least expected, in full Vigour and Health, to be hurried by the Hands of a Ruffian, to an uncertain Eternity! 'twas farther explain'd, that as Blood cry'd out loudly for Blood, so were they justly brought to this condign Punishment, and that all their remaining Life ought to be incessantly employed in imploring Forgiveness for their Crimes.
They were also exhorted carefully to prepare to receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and in order thereto, to look on Him whom God hath set forth to be the Propitiation of our Sins, Rom. iii. 5. Even Jesus Christ that Lamb of God, which taketh away the Sins of the World; Jo. i. 29. and earnestly to beg of God, that by his most precious Blood, their Sins may be washed away, and that God would for his Sake be reconciled to them.
While these and many like Admonitions were prescrib'd, they all came to Chapel, and were apparently attentive, John Car was very silent, and professed Penitence; but he did not seem enough affected with the Greatness of his Sin, and his miserable Condition. William Robertson was sick a great Part of the Time, yet generally came to Chapel, made regular Responses, and behav'd well. Andrew Macmanus (being a rigid Papist ) was not at first willing to attend the publick Worship, 'till being told he must either come or be closely confined, he submitted, tho' was very sullen, and frequently conferr'd with one of his own Persuasion. They in general, behaved with seeming Submission, and better than many in their deplorable Circumstances.
John Car, 27 Years of Age, was born in North Wales, of honest Parents, who giving him little or no Education, consequently he could know but little or nothing of Religion, he lived with his Parents, doing such Country Work for them, and for some Country Gentlemen thereabouts, he was capable both before he came of Age, and after, behaving (if we may believe him) all that Time with Reputation and Honesty. When he was apprehended, he said his Name was Car, tho' he has since confessed, that his Name was Edwards, and that he changed it to prevent being publickly known, and for other Reasons best known to himself.
He has a Wife and three Children now living, whom he made shift to maintain by such little Business he undertook: Being asked what that Business was? He seemed to wave giving a direct Answer, but said he had travelled over the Country pretty much, had been at Newcastle upon Tyne, in Northumberland, and many other Places; so that we must leave the
World to judge, what little Business it was he did follow.
Some Years ago he came to London, and liv'd with his Wife and Family, and provided for them in the best manner he was able. Being of no Trade, he hir'd himself as a Coachman to Mr. Bell of Tottenham, in which Station he behaved honestly, and seem'd to bear a good Character, and after being discharged from Mr. Bell, serv'd several Hackney Coachmen in Town, some of whom gave him a very good Character on his Trial. He own'd the Robbery for which he died, and the manner of committing it, which was as follows.
About Sun-set on the 4th of March last, Car being out seeking for his Prey, met on Finchley-Common with Mr. Ingram, (a Surgeon of Barnet) to whom he presented a Pistol ready cock'd, and demanded his Money, Mr. Ingram justly surpriz'd at so bold a Salutation, said You Villain! you will not shoot me! on which Car immediately fir'd his Pistol direct in Mr. Ingram's Face, (which blinded him for three Days, and totally depriv'd him of one Eye) the Blood ran down his Face plentifully, and in this Condition he gave him 4 or 5 s. and Car demanding his Watch, Mr. Ingram reply'd, You Rascal, I never carry any; he then rode directly off to an Ale-house hard by, own'd himself a Highwayman, and that he had just shot a Person on Finchley-Common; the Hue and Cry being after him, he was soon taken, tho' unfortunately the Son of Mr. Ingram coming to his Father's Assistance, was shot in the Feet and Legs by the Pursuers, in a most terrible manner.
Car being told in Newgate how barbarous! how cowardly! cruel! and inhumane it was, to shoot an elderly, unarmed Gentleman in such a villainous manner, without any Provocation, and when he was submitting himself to be robb'd, could alledge nothing in Excuse of himself, but that Mr. Ingram struck at him first, a poor and dastardly Excuse, for attempting to rob a Person of his Life!
Young Mr. Ingram, (lame as he was) came to Newgate to see Car after Chapel the 23d of April, when Car declar'd himself most heartily grieved for what he had done, and pray'd God to bless both him and his Father, hop'd that God and them would pardon his Crime, and begg'd earnestly that Mr. Ingram would intercede for his Life to be sav'd, tho' he were to be banished to the furthermost Part of the World; Mr. Ingram told him he heartily pray'd for, and forgave him, but in Regard to interceding for his Life, it could not be done, the Gentlemen of the County were already so much exasperated against such Villainy, that they were determined at their own Cost, to have him hanged in Chains, as an Example to deter others from the like Crimes for the future.
He was a 2d Time indicted (with Thomas Robinson and Charles Maccleaver not taken) for that he not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, &c. on George Peacock, in the Peace, &c. did make an Assault, and that Thomas Robinson on the 7th of Feb. with a certain Hanger made of Iron and Steel, value 2 s. which he in his Right Hand then, and there, had, and held, on the forepart of the Head of him the said Peacock, feloniously, willfully, and of his Malice aforethought, did strike and cut, giving him, &c. one mortal Wound of the length of 7 Inches, and Depth of one Inch, of which, from the said 7th of Feb. to the 21st of the same Month, he the said Peacock languished, and languishly lived, and then on the said 21st of Feb. in the Parish of St. Leonard Shoreditch died; and that Andrew Macmanus, and Charles Maccleaver, were present, aiding, abetting, comforting, and maintaining him the said Robinson, the said Murder to commit and do.
The Evidence against Andrew Macmanus was the same as on the former Trial, but he was acquitted, there being a Defect in the Indictment, but upon the preceding Indictment for a Robbery, he was found Guilty, Death.
2. Andrew Macmanus, 36 Years of Age, was born in the City of Dublin, of honest but mean Parents, who gave him very little School Education, and brought him up in the Profession of the Church of Rome ; when of Age they bound him an Apprentice to a Thread-maker and Dyer , with whom he serv'd his Time honestly, at the Expiration of which, he serv'd as a Journeyman when Trade was brisk, and Hands wanted; but when it was otherwise, he would undertake any little Job of Work he was capable of, tho' not in his Way of Trade, to get an honest living.
At length marrying a Wife, and having by her several Children, (some of whom are now living in very miserable Circumstances) and Business falling short in Dublin, he determined to come to England, and getting a Passage for himself and Family, a few Years since they came to London, since when what little honest Business he has done has been in the Markets, going of Errands , carrying Goods , &c. by which Means he kept his Family, tho' very poorly, till falling into Company with some of his Country Folk, and others of no great Reputation, who inhabit or meet together in St. Luke's or Shoreditch Parish, and other Parts of the Skirts of the Town, he became as vile as they.
The Abuse of allowing or suffering these People to assemble and meet together in such Places, cursing, swearing, blaspheming, and drinking to Excess, calls aloud for a Reformation, which might be brought about with a great deal of Ease, a very little Expence, and to the great Safety of his Majesty's Subjects, their Lives and Fortunes, were there only a supernumerary Man (besides the Beadles) employ'd by the Officers of each Parish,
District, where such People frequent, to go round, at different Hours of the Day and Night, to disperse these People to their proper Habitations, those who have any, and those who have none, to be sent as Vagabonds to Houses of Correction, as those Salutary Laws already in Force direct; it would be a strong means of destroying those Vermin, (for they can be call'd by no softer Name) who meet in this manner, spending their Time in all sort of Excess, till their Senses are in a manner drown'd, or stupified, or raised to that Pitch, as to be capable of any Villainy; 'tis then that they divide themselves in Parties, and go upon their hellish Designs of robbing on the Highway, Breaking Houses, Street-robbing, Shoplifting, Pick-pocketting, and in short, every Crime capable for Man to commit and which brings so many to condign Punishment.
'Twas in such like Places as these that Andrew received his vile Instructions, which thro' his extreme Poverty, and wicked Inclinations, he too soon complied with, which brought him to his ignominious Death.
As to the Robbery of which he was convicted, and for which he died, tho' he would not own his attacking Mr. Mason in the manner sworn against him, (his Principles leading him to have little or no Regard to what is spoken by any Protestant Divine) yet it is certain, that he was the identical Person who jump'd out of a Ditch, and attack'd Mr. Mason, and that he snapp'd his Pistol twice, and then cursed it for not going off; and that Mr. Mason intreated him not to use him ill, and he would willingly give him what he had about him.
While Macmans was taking from Mr. Mason the Things mention'd in the Indictment, the other two Rogues, viz. Thomas Robinson and Charles Maccleaver, attack'd Mr. Peacock, (who was in Company with Mr. Mason) at a little Distance, Robinson with a Hanger gave Mr. Peacock a mortal Wound in the Forehead, which occasion'd so great an Effusion of Blood, that had not Mr. Mason been with him to help him Home, he must have died in the Highway, of which Wound Mr. Peacock languish'd from the 7th to the 21st of Feb. and then died.
Macmanus as an Accessary was certainly concerned in this Murder, tho' by a Flaw in the Indictment he was acquitted; the other two Villains Thomas Robinson, who actually committed the Murder, and Charles Maccleaver fled and made their Escape, tho' 'tis hoped the Hand of Providence will one Day bring them to Justice.
Macmanus could not absolutely deny these Facts, yet his Heart was so harden'd, that he would not make a clear Confession, tho' it was represented to him what a terrible Thing it was to launch into Eternity with a Lie in his Mouth; and tho' he might impose upon Man, yet God who trieth the Hearts, and searcheth the Reins, could not, nor would not be deceived. It was urged to him, that it was his Duty to glorify God, and humble himself, by an open and free Confession, and that it was altogether in vain as well as sinful in him to make any Excuses, since the Proof was clear against him. This and much more he heard without seeming mov'd, but still continuing in his shifting inflexible Way, possessed with strong Prejudices, and gross Ignorance of every Thing that's good.
He was very poor, miserable and naked; had no Friends; he behav'd well and quietly, and said he died in Peace with all Men.
At the Place of Execution.
CAR, whose true Name was Edwards, and William Robinson, having the Sunday before received the Holy Communion, weeping bitterly (from which Macmanus, being of the Romish Communion , absented) they on Monday Morning came up to Chapel, and behaved very devout and serious at the Prayers; which being ended, his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve came down for W. Robinson; the other Two, viz. Carr and Macmanus, were carried in one Cart to Tyburn.
When they came there, and was ty'd up, Macmanus (being of the Romish Persuasion ) turned his Back and pray'd by himself very devoutly; in the mean Time I went to Prayers with Carr, and after some Time spent therein, I asked him if he had any Thing to add to his former Confession; he reply'd no; so recommending him to God, I took my Leave.
I had no sooner got into my Coach, but the Cart drew away, and Carr's Rope broke, and he fell to the Ground; the Fall somewhat stunn'd him; but he presently recovered, and was again hoisted up in the Cart, and requested the Executioner to let him see the Light of this World once more; which Request being comply'd with, the Executioner drew up his Cap, and he looked stedfastly around him and upon Macmanus that was hanging, for the Space of two Minutes; as soon as he had so done, his Cap was pull'd over his Face, and the Cart drew away.
A poor Man, who about Christmas last was cut and wounded in a cruel Manner by some of the Crew who frequent those wicked Houses abovementioned, begged of me to ask Macmanus, if he knew any Thing about it, which for some Time he refused to answer, but at length in a surly Tone, said he did not.
This is all the Account given by me,
JOHN EDWARDS, was born at a Place call'd Sutton's-Green, near Rixham, in the County of Denby, North Wales. I am now in the 27th Year of my Age, my Father rented a Farm in the Place aforesaid, of about Forty Pounds a Year. I being the youngest Child of seven, three Sons, and four Daughters, and my Mother dying when I was about a Year and a Half old, my Father neglected to give me any Education, altho' at that Time, it was in his Power.
His chief Care was, for my eldest Brother Thomas, who he maintain'd at School at Rixham, some Years, and then put him Apprentice to an Apothecary in the same Place, with whom he behaved but very Indifferently, rather chusing to be a Gentleman's Servant , than an Apothecary, left his Master, and went to Service, in which Station he still remains; leaving me and the rest of his to sink or swim, to starve or shift for our selves, though Divine Providence has been kinder to them all, than me; my Sisters, being all married to honest working Men in the Country, and my Brothers serve good Masters.
When I was about nine Years of Age, I hired myself to a Farmer in the Neighbourhood, for thirty Shillings a Year, with whom I lived two Years; my Business here was to drive Plow , go with my Master to Market, look after Cattle, &c. When I left my Master, I went to Rixham, where at the Three-Spread-Eagles-Inn, I hired my self to be under the Hostler , where I lived about three Quarters of a Year; here my Behaviour was so good, and I was thought so good a Hand at a Horse, and in a Stable, that one Mr. Robert Floyd, of Denby Town, who used the Three-Spread-Eagles, persuaded me to leave the Inn, and come and live with him as his Groom , which I readily accepted; with this Gentleman, I lived a considerable Time, and might have still, had my Behaviour been as it ought to have been.
This Gentleman kept a blind Man in the House, who play'd on the Welch Harp, who I persuaded one Day to take a Walk in the Garden, where there was a large Pond of Water; after we had walked some Time, I drew him to the Side of the Pond, with an Intention of throwing him into it, not that I had any evil Design against him, though the Pond was of a great Depth; however, he perceived my Design, and as we stood by the Side, I asked him, if he knew where he was; he answer'd Yes, and immediately threw me into it, instead of my throwing him, and with a great deal of Difficulty, I got out, and saved my Life; this Story coming to my Master's Ears, he thinking I had an Intent to drown the Harper, for whom he had a great Respect, I was discharged, with a Promise from my Master of his giving me a good Character, whenever I could get a Place.
Whereupon, I made my old Master at the Three-Spread-Eagles, at Rixkham, a Visii, telling the Story; he told me Doctor Apperly, who is a Doctor of Physic in that Town, wanted a Servant, to whom I was directly hired to be his Groom , and wait on him, he keeping no more than one Servant.
I had not been here long, before my Master left Rixkham, and went to see his Father at Hereford, who is a Physician there. During our stay here, which was three Months, I had little else to do than ride about the Country. Here I got acquainted with one Anthony Wearing, a Dealer in Horses, who seeing I understood a Horse pretty well, persuaded me to leave my Master, and get into a Dealer's Stable, telling me that was more beneficial and pleasanter a Life, than a Gentleman's Servant, for that there was little else to do, than ride about the Country from Fair to Fair.
Charmed with this new Scene of Life, I gave my Master Notice of leaving him, and accordingly I did when my Month was up; from hence I went to Leominster, to the said Wearing's Father, who is a Dealer in Horses in that Town, but he not wanting any Assistance, I began to repent leaving my Master Apperly.
However, as Mr. Wearing had no Employ for me himself at that Time, he was Kind enough to give me a Letter of Recommendation to a Gentleman, a Dealer in Horses in Lincoln, where I went, and was employed some Months; but coming to Northampton Fair with a String of Horses, he and I had some Words, whereupon I left him, and intended coming for London; but coming throw Newport-Pagnel, I stoped at the Sign of the Swan, at one Nellson's, a Dealer in Horses, who wanted an Assistant ; here I stayed about seven Weeks, then came to London.
On my Arrival in Town, the first Place I enquired for, was my Cousin Edward Edwards, who lives in Holborn, and keeps Hackney-Coaches , lets out Horses , &c. here I was kindly receiv'd, and the best Part of the first Month was spent in going from Place to Place to see the Town, and Country-people I knew before they came to London, in which Time, near all what Money I brought to London, was spent, which was, as well as I can remember, 4 l. 16 s. when I agreed to live with my Cousin Edwards, as a Servant , who was to give me 6 l. a Year.
Here I learnt to drive a Coach, &c. When my Year was up, I went to live with one Owen Morton, a Horse-dealer , at the George, in Smithfield; here my stay was but short; from thence I went to be Horstler at the White-Horse-Inn, in White-Cross-street; here, by the Number of Gentlemen's Servnnts who used the House, and several Coachmen who stood in the Yard, I got an insight into their Business. My stay here was about half a Year; at my leaving the Inn, I went to my Cousin Edward Edwards, in Holborn aforesaid, where I was five Weeks out of Place; then I was hired to Francis Jackson, Esq ; who
belongs to the Custom-House, to whom I had a Character from Sir W - s W - m W - n, at the Request of my Cousin Edwards, and one Mr. J - s an Attorney at Law; with this Gentleman I lived better than Half a Year, as his Groom and Footman , with whom I might have lived yet, had I not used that Gentleman very ill, whose Pardon I sincerely ask.
One Day, as he and I were riding along, to go to his Brother Captain J - n, at Richmond-Park, Words arose, when he struck at me, I resented it, and struck at him again; whereupon I was discharged; whilst I lived with this Gentleman, I got acquainted with my Wife, who then lived a Servant to a Gentleman in the Neighbourhood.
I was about three Weeks before I got another Place, and when I did, to be Coachman at Mr. Fell's, Wine-Merchant in Wapping, my late Master, Mr. J - n, refused to give me a Character, whereupon my Cousin Edwards, and one David Fox, who lives at the White-Hart, London-Wall, gave me one.
With this Gentleman I lived but two Months; when I was out of Place, I generally lodged either at one Matthews's, the Sign of the Two Brewers, near London-Wall, or Shuters, the Nag's-Head, in Nortonfalgate.
The next Place I lived at, was Dr. Manley's, to whom I was Coachman, but here my stay was short.
The next Place I had, was to be Coachman to Mr. Bell, a Quaker, in Lombard-street, who's Country-House is at Tottingham; here I should have been still, but an unforeseen Accident happened, which was, I bought a Mare at Smithfield, which proved blind, and I sold it to a Friend of my Masters, in his Name, for which I was turned away.
Immediately upon leaving Mr. Bel, I was employed to drive a waiting Jobb for Mr. Henley, a Hosier, in Warwick-Lane, his Coachman being then ill; upon his Recovery, I was discharged, what Course to take then, I was at a Loss to know, however, to my old Lodgings I went, (to Mr. Shuters) with very little or no Money in my Pocket; however, I was easy as to that, because I could go every Day to the Widow J - s, where my Wife was then Cook, and there have Victuals and Drink enough, and as long as she had any Money, I could have it; when all was gone, I could not tell what to do, or which Way to turn, I thought the best Way would be to enquire after a Place; I accordingly
went to my old Friend - - at the W – H -, L – W -, who lets out Horses, &c. when I came to relate the Story to him, he gave me to understand, that his Circumstances were so desperate, that he must use desperate Remedies to retrieve them; when it was agreed between him and me, to turn out upon the Road; but as he is still living, though he does not deserve it from my Hands, I will forbear entering into Particulars, and will only add, that he is the sole Cause of all my Misfortunes; had I never known him I had never been in the wretched Condition I now am in. God forgive him, in my Conscience I can't, because I am made a Sacrifice for his Inequities, and had I thought when I was taken, or before, he would have proved such a Villain as he has to me, I would have had the Satisfaction (if it would not have saved me) of bringing the Villain to Justice, many Highway Robberies have been committed by Persons to my certain Knowledge, that Cook the Stratford Shoemaker has been judged guilty off. But as to that, Mr. – Conscience can best tell.
I would not have the World think my railing against him is out of any Peak or Malice I bear to him; but on the Contrary, in Truth and Justice to myself, and to let the injured World and my poor un happy Wife and Relations know, who was the sole Author of my total Destruction.
But to return, whenever I wanted a Horse-Pistol, &c. necessary for one of my Profession, as then I call'd it, I need but let Mr. - know, and they were provided ready.
As I have above given an Account of my Life, it will be expected by the World to have an Account of the Fact, for which I am to suffer, and the more especially, so as it happened upon a Gentleman of Distinction, and was in itself of so heinous a Nature.
The fatal Day about two o'Clock, I dined at Mr. - with him and his Wife, after Dinner he and I drank two Bottles of Dorchester-Beer, and smoaked a Pipe of Tobacco each, then the best Horse of three (they being all he then had) was fed and got ready for me, and about four, I with my Pistols, &c. walked forward to prevent any Suspicion at the House; and left - to bring the Horse to me, which he did as usual.
Just on this Side Holloway, I mounted, took my Leave of my Companion, with a Promise to meet me at my return at Night, at the King's-Head Alehouse in Christophers-Alley, upper Moorfields. From Hollaway I proceeded to Highgate, where at
By this Time it drew towards Night, which was a convenient Time for me to enter upon Finchley Common; where, as I was riding gently along, I met one Samuel Edridge, a Butcher , who I stopp'd, and from whom I took Eight Shillings.
About a Quarter of an Hour after I was overtook by Dr . James Ingram, upon whom I turned my Horse short about, and demanded him to stand and deliver his Money. He not complying therewith, but on the contrary resisted and struck at me, when I told him, if he came any nearer, I would shoot him, which I really believe he did not hear; whereupon I shot him full in the Face; upon which he alighted from his Horse, and pulled out 4 s. which I call God to witness I never had, though I believe it was lost upon the Ground. The Drs. Horse running away, I call'd out to one Bridgeor, who keeps the George Alehouse on the Side of the Hill, who was then standing about a hundred Yards from the Place, and who saw the whole Affair, to stop the Gentleman's Horse, who reply'd How come you to shoot the Gentleman? I did say I would serve him, or any one else the same, who should resist.
Upon this I rode off to a Hill a little from the Road, where I stood to load my Pistol again, and had it in my Head to go off the Common towards Tottenham, which Road I knew perfectly well, but coming into the main Road again, just at the Top of the Hill, from the Three Horse Shoes, I met a Dealer in Horses, (whose Name I chuse to conceal, because he would, if it had been in his Power, have been my Friend) came singing. What makes you so merry, says I? He answer'd, because he was going Home to his Wife and Children.
Whereupon I asked him, if he had any Money? He said yes, about half a Crown, to which I was heartily welcome, but knowing him, I refused it. Whereupon we both went down the Hill to the Three Horse Shoes, and there drank two Pints of Wine together, shook Hands, and parted, I towards Highgate, and he Home to Coney-Hatch.
I had not rode two hundred Yatds, before I met two Men on full Speed, I demanded them to stand, but they continued riding, and I after them, untill we came to a Place called the Dirt-House, where several Country People were alarmed by that Time with my shooting the Doctor, and were waiting with several long Guns in Order to take me; but by this Time it was dark, they by the Cry of Highwayman, by the Two I was pursuing, shot at the first Man, who happened to be young Mr. Ingram, the Doctor's Son, who was sent for to dress his Father; their Intention being to shoot my Horse, as I suppose, by their shoot
ing so low, as to shoot him in the Leg.
Here they stopped, tho' I continued full Speed, hoping to get off; but before I had rode a hundred Yards, off goes more Guns, and very narrowly missed me. Whereupon I thought proper to get out of the Road; so turning full Speed out of the main Road to go over a Bridge, I missed it, and both me and my Horse fell at least twenty Feet high. My Horse got up and run away, and I finding myself closely pursued, threw away my Pistols, and a little black Peruke I had on when I robbed the Doctor, and my Hat I lost.
However I got out of the Ditch, and crept on my Hands and Knees a considerable Way, whilst my Pursuers were running after my Horse, and got off the Common into the Fields, where I met a Man with a Candle and Lanthorn in his Hand, with whom I walked a Quarter of a Mile.
When I heard the Pursuers a coming, what to do I could not tell, whether to keep with the Man, or run away from him. I kept with him, but was soon overtaken, and carried to the House where the Doctor lay, who said I was the Man who had robbed and shot him. Whereupon I was carried before two Justices at Barnet, who asked me my Name. I refused to tell them; but as they were a looking and talking of two Scars I have in my Face, I told them my Name was Scar, when they put it down Carr, which was the Reason of my going by that Name.
He desired me to be silent, and he would go and swear a Porter hired it, and that he did not know me. Which he did, and got the Horse from the Persons to whom it was forfeited; for the Truth of which I appeal to the Men who took me.
I will leave the World to judge what this Fellow would stick at doing, when he has been guilty of so bare-fac'd a Villainy.
It would surprize the World, was I to relate the innumerable Offences and Robberies committed by this Person and myself; but, as I said before, I shall be silent as to him, because Justice has not yet over-taken him, and relate as to myself.
The first Time I ever went out was on the Essex Road, where I robbed a Butcher of two Guineas, between Stratford and Upton, who had been at London to Market, as several others upon that Road, which, as I said before, was thought to be committed by Cook, the Stratford Shoemaker.
At other Times I used to change the Roads every two or three Days, sometimes the Uxbridge, sometimes the Kent and Surry, and other Times the West Road. The Particulars whereof would be too tedious to relate. Whatever I got was disposed of by -, who has a Brother a Brazier, and supported by a Jew; who, as I really believe, disposed of what I got, not that I ever took much but Money.
I am afraid I have already tired the Reader's Patience with a Melancholly Account of a poor unfortunate young Fellow, who, in three Day's Time is to become a Spectacle to the World, and a Reproach to his Relations, Numbers of whom I have both in London and in the Country, but by them deserted and abandoned, though it was in their Power, without Prejudice to any of them, to have relieved me from the Time of my Commitment to Prison, as long as the Law permitted me to live. May none of them ever feel, what I now do, the Anguish and Torment of which is beyond Expression.
YOURS of Yesterday, I received this Morning, and immediately waited on Mr. S - y, who acquainted me yo were misinformed in Relation to the Affair you wrote to me about; however, I esteem your Sentiments, equally as good. Let me, as a Friend, advise you to bend your Thoughts wholly on Eternity; for o! with Horror I name it, I fear your utmost Mark is now in View; whatever Hopes you may entertain of a Reprieve, are, I fear, without Foundation. For, be assured, you have more Enemies than you are aware of, and such, who like Mines, (Miners) work in private. Some Persons have been with a certain Great Man, to engage him not to stir in your Affair. The Truth of it I know not, but fear it is too true. Therefore don't harbour the least Glimmer of Hopes, when such shocking Scenes of Eternity present themselves so gastly before you. Prepare therefore for Death, for such alas, I fear will soon be you Fate. Think, oh think, of the vast tremendous and shocking Abyss of Futurity, into which you shortly must enter. Prepare your Footsteps aright, the little Time you have left, that you fall not therein. Think, oh think, and recall every Moment of your past Life, and let the Remainder be spent in working out your eternal Happiness. My Prayers attend you, and should they have the desired Effect, I could then with more Chearfulness, assure you, that I always have been,
Saturday Morning, May 2, 1741.
The following Letter with the enclosed, was sent by Car, to his Wife, the Morning of his Execution.
I AM in a few Hours to give an Account to a just and offended God, for my past Transactions, so send you the inclosed, desiring it may be sent to my Friend Mr. - with my Sentiments upon our last Conversation.
My Dear, I suppose you will be surprized that I begin not according to my usual Stile, with Tenderness and Respect, but alas! I am so overwhelmed with Confusion at my Separation from you for ever, that I can scarce write.
I beg you would pray for me earnestly, that I may be found amongst the Number of God's Elect.
God give you comfort, and take my poor Soul to his everlasting Rest. Amen.
Your unfortunate, (tho' I hope not unhappy eternally) Husband,
Monday Morning 6 o'Clock.
" I Humbly thank you for your " kind and seasonable Discourse " on Saturday last, which I have " meditated upon ever since, and " have received much Comfort, God " be praised!
" You may remember, that when " you left me, I was in much Confusion, as then imagining myself " to be of the Number of those " whom God had decreed to be eternally destroyed for ever; I " say these Thoughts, continually " pouring in upon me, I was like a " Stock or Stone, for some Time
" quite stupid, but Providence so " ordered it, that about an Hour " after you were gone, a Friend " brought me a Common-Prayer-Book, in which was contained the " New Testament.
" I looked over Text after Text " for some Time, and at last came " to the Parable of the Prodigal " Son, and when I had reflected " some small Time on that, I immediately jumped upon this Passage, And I say unto you, there is " more Joy over one Sinner that repenteth, than over Ninety-nine " just Persons, which need no Repentance.
" This gave me some Comfort; " but it was soon damp'd by another " Text which started into my Mind, " I will have Mercy, on whom I " will have Mercy. This immediately gave me much Disturbance, " and flung me into my old Fit of " Despairing, and I was so confused, " that I cry'd, Oh! Lord, why " was I formed to be destroy'd? " I had no sooner uttered these " Words, but a sudden Thought " darted into my Mind, Wretch! " thou destroyest thyself, by harbouring such blasphemous Thoughts of " a just and good God! I then " considered with myself, David " was a great Sinner, and yet he " repented and was saved, Aye! " but thought I, he was the Elect of God, and I am not.
" With these Thoughts I shut my " Book, crying out at the same " Time, Oh, how is it possible such " a Wretch can be saved? The " Book I flung down, and in the " Fall it opened, and going to take " it up, I suddenly cast my Eye " upon this Passage, Believe on the " Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall " be saved. Thought I, God is in " this; and I immediately fell upon " my Knees, and pray'd fot the " Space of an Hour, begging him " to direct me and instruct me to " prepare for my great Change.
" I had no sooner poured out my " Soul to God, but immediately had " that Saying of th Prophet impress'd on my Spirit, As I live, " saith the Lord, I have no Pleasure in the Death of him that " dyeth. This gave me great Satisfaction and Comfort, and at the " same Time such a sudden Power " came over me, that I could not " help praying, and continued so to " do the Space of Nine Hours; " and God gave me to see, that he
had Mercy in Store for Me, even Me, the worst of Sinners.
" Oh! pray earnestly for me, " that this my Faith fail not in my " thorny Passage; and accept of my " Thanks for your Trouble.
When I first came to Town, I was employed by Mr. Camm, a Thread-Maker in Bishopsgate-street, for three Years, and behaved myself honestly, and to every one's Approbation. From Mr. Camm's I went to Mr. Egerton's, the Three Pigeons in Fleet-street, where I liv'd about half a Year, and upon my leaving him, I work'd as a Porter for Mr. Gray, and others, in Leadenhall, Newgate, and Stocks Markets, and by them I have been entrusted with a great many Pounds, and never was suspected to be guilty of the least Dishonesty or Injustice.
I must own that it was my Misfortune to harbour Robinson, (who killed Mr. Peacock) and several of his Companions, and imagining I should come into Trouble upon that Account, I entered myself a Sailor on Board the Neptune Man of War, on the 2d of last March, and on the Saturday following, when I came to
see my Wife, I was taken, and this Charge, for which I must die, was brought against me.
I beg that nobody will throw any Reflections on my poor unhappy Wife and three Children; and hope all young Men will take Warning by me, and forsake bad Company, which has been the sole Cause of these my melancholly Circumstances.
I die an unworthy Member of the Roman Catholick Church, and, as I myself hope for Forgiveness, I heartily forgive all those who have injured me, and am in perfect Peace with the whole World.
The Reader doubtless will expect something with regard to all the capital Convicts tried at the last Sessions; we therefore give some Account of this Man though not Executed, which we hope will be acceptable, which is as follows;
The following Person was Reprieved the Morning he was to have been Executed.
William Robinson, of St. Dunstan in the West, was indicted for breaking and entering the dwelling House of John Hambler, at Ten at Night, and stealing two linnen Shifts, value 12 s. one suit of Cambrick Head-cloths laced, value 12 s. two linnen Caps, value 2 s. two linnen Handkerchiefs, value 3 s. two Towels, value 8 Pence, one Pair of worsted Stockings, value 2 s. two Aprons value 3 s. two Guineas, a Half and eight Shillings and Six-pence, the Goods and Money of the said Hambler, March 11.
William Robinson, or Robertson, 25 Years of Age, of honest Parents in Aberdeenshire, who gave him good Education at school, to read, write, cast Accounts, and such other Things necessary to fit him for Business; they had him also instructed in the Principles of our Christian Faith; when of Age, he was put Apprentice to a Merchant in the City of Aberdeen, with whom he serv'd his Time honestly; when he came out of his Time, with the Assistance of some Money given him by his Mother, and other Friends, he began to trade for himself, and continued so to do for some Years, but loving Company too well, not being so carefull as he might, and neglecting his Business too much, he contracted more Debts then he was able to discharge, which made him resolve for London, in hopes to get into some Merchants service as a Book-keeper. He had not been long here, before he was arrested at the suit of a Merchant of Aberdeen, (whom he took for his Friend) and sent to the King's-Bench-Prison.
After which, he listed himself as a Soldier in the Third Regiment of Guards, where he serv'd a Year with Reputation, as appear'd on his Trial by the Testimony of his Serjeant and Corporal.
He confst himself a vicious Youth, own'd that he had been too much addicted to the prevailing Vices of the Town.
The Manner of his committing the Robbery for which he was convicted, is as follows:
Being acquainted with Mr. Hambler (who was a Marshalsea Man) by being quartered in this Neighbourhood, Hambler desired Robinson to go with him to Goodman's-Fields, to assist in apprehending a Man, whither Hambler, his Wife, and Robinson went, but not finding their Person, Hambler, (after treating) discharg'd him (about nine at Night); in his Way home, he knowing the Situation of Hambler's-House, he got in, and stript it of all the Things mentioned in the Indictment, most of which he gave to a Woman of his Acquaintance, who afterwards restor'd them to their right Owner.
Mr. Hambler, and his Wife coming Home about an Hour afr, and nding their House broken, were much surprized, and on Enquiry next Morning, hearing that a tall thin young Man was seen running the Evening before, with a Bundle under his Arm, he suspected the Prisoner and getting a Warrant for him, he was immediately apprehended at his Quarters in Drury-lane, where he found several of his Things, and a Pair of Stockings on Robinson's Legs, and carrying him before a Magistrate he was committed to Newgate.
Robinson did not deny his having these Things, as indeed he could not, Part being found upon him; but in his Excuse said, he found them as he was going along.
He declared as a dying Man, that he was honest in the preceeding Part of his Life, and never guilty of any other Robbery. He was very sick and weak most of the Time, but constantly came to Chapel, and appeared very penitent.