THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS, Who were Executed at TYBURN, On FRIDAY the 12th of June, 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 Hon. Mr. Justice Chapple, the Hon. Mr. Justice Reynolds; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the City of London, and Justices of Goal-Delivery of Newgate, for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall, in the Old-Bailey, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the 14th, 15th, and 16th, of May 1741, in the 15th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Five Men, viz. John Lupton, John Johnson, Francis Piggot, alias Horton, Thomas Ruby and Richard Baker, and one Woman, viz. Eliz. Bennet, were by the Jury convicted of Capital Crimes, and receiv'd Sentence of Death.
While under Sentence, they were instructed from these Words, " Then " said Jesus to his Disciples, if any " Man will come after me, let him " deny himself and take up his Cross " and follow me, St. MATH. 16, 24." From whence was observ'd to them, that tho' the most faithful Servants of the Lord, even the Patriarchs and Apostles, endur'd most unjust Reproaches and Persecutions in this World, yet were they made happy in the next, by patiently submitting and bearing their Sufferings. How much more, then ought they who have been most notoriously wicked here, to submit patiently to suffer the most
exemplary Punishments, rather than endure an Eternity of Misery hereafter.
'Twas urg'd to them, how much it was their Duty, to cry unto the Lord, Day and Night, for Forgiveness of their manifold Sins and Wickedness; to that God who is a Merciful God, and will as has been promised in the Holy Scriptures: When the Wicked Man turneth away from the Wickedness that he hath committed, and doth that which is Lawful and Right, shall save his Soul alive; for if we seek God in Sincerity, he will surely be found, and however great and many our Offences have been, yet there is infinite Mercy with God to forgive them. They were all exhorted from these and the like Words, to be sincere and penitent.
Elizabeth Bennett, having been guilty of the most heinous Crime of Murder, the dreadful Nature and Consequence of that Sin, was more particularly expatiated upon, that she might be brought to a due Sense thereof; the Barbarity, Cruelty and Inhumanity of it was exposed, it being a Crime against the express Commandments of God, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt do no Murder, Whosoever sheddeth Man's Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed, GEN. 9, 6 As God made Man after his own Image, how presumptious! how daring! is it in Man to destroy the Image of the True and Living God, and yet expect to pass unpunish'd; 'twas likewise explained to her that if there could be an Aggravation of that heinous Crime of Murder, 'twas in her Case, to murder in so cruel and barbarous a Manner, her own innocent Child.
A Crime of such a Nature, that the Lord, by the Mouth of his holy Prophet, Isaiah, proposeth as a Singular Care, as if it were impossible such a Thing could happen, " Can a " Woman (says he) forget her Sucking Child? That she should not have Compassion on the Son of her Womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the Palms of my Hands, thy Walls are continually before me. Isa. 49, 15, 16.
In her appear'd a Brutallity and Savageness of Mind, contrary to the Nature of the tender Sex, who are known to be more fond, more sympathizing and more compassionate, towards their innocent Babes, than are the Men. But she, more savage than the Brutes, suffocated her Infant, the Instant it was brought into the Light of the World.
They were instructed in the Nature and End of the Sacrament of our Lord's last Supper, from these Texts, " And they continued stedfastly in
the Apostles Doctrine and Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread, and in Prayers, Acts ii. 42. Blessed are they which are called unto the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Rev. xix. 9.
When these, and many other Admonitions were given, they attended in Chapel, complied with the Prayers, and were attentive to Exhortations. Lupton was ignorant, and could not read, but quiet and decent in his Behaviour; and part of the Time was very sick and weak. John Johnson was for some Days lazy, and would not leave the Cell, but by Persuasion, and convincing him what Danger his Soul was exposed to, he afterwards came up, and gave close Attendance. Francis Piggot alias Horton, was sick and distressed, but always came up when capable. Thomas Ruby was lame, yet scarce ever absented. Mr. Baker behaved decently and christianly, tho' most of the Time very sick and infirm. Elizabeth Bennet attended constantly in Chapel, and wept, as most of them did at one Time or other; but had not that Concern as to outward Appearance, as became one in her Circumstances, convicted of so heinous a Crime.
On Thursday the 4th of this Instant June, Report was made to their Excellencies, the Lords Regents of this Kingdom in Council, of the six Malefactors under Sentence of Death in the Cells of Newgate; when Thomas Ruby, of St. Giles's in the Fields, for breaking and entering the Dwelling-House of John Tucker, between the Hours of 1 and 2 in the Night, with Intent the Goods of the said Tucker to steal, &c. April 28; and Elizabeth Bennit, for that being by the Providence of God, alone and secretly, deliver'd of a female Bastard Child, yet not having God before her Eyes, she the said Child did cast into a Privy belonging to Richard Lucas, of which casting, &c. the Child instantly died, were Reprieved; the other four, viz. John Lupton, Francis Piggot, John Johnson, and Richard Baker, were order'd for Execution.
Francis Piggot, alias Horton, and John Johnson, of St. Giles's in the Fields, were indicted for assaulting Henry Corner, in a certain Field and open Place, near the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Silver Watch, value 5 l. and a Silver Knee-buckle, value 5 s. the Goods of the said Corner, April 24.
1. Francis Piggot, whose true Name (as he said) was Horton, was 29 Years of Age, born of honest Parents in Shropshire, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading and Writing, in order to fit him for Business, and instructed him in Christian Principles; as he grew up, his Father (who was a Farmer) made him do Country Work , which Way of Business he followed, until he was capable of going out into the World. Then he served several Gentlemen at different Times, and Places, was always sober in Life as to Drinking, but very much addicted to bad Company, especially of vile Women, who never fail to have a chief Hand in ruining such abandoned Youths. Some Years ago he came to London, and serv'd several reputable Gentlemen, with one of whom he travelled over many Parts of the Kingdom, as he also did with others,
and was trusted with Sums of Money, and other Things of Value, none of them suspecting his Honesty. He married a Wife, by whom he had several Children, which are all dead. Being too much addicted to lewd Women, in a few Years he grew tired of his Wife, and leaving her, cohabited for near seven Years with another Woman, which occasioned a Report that he had two Wives, tho' he was never married to any but one, who as above, was his true and lawful Wife.
Some Years ago, Francis happening to meet at Park-End with the Cook to a noble Lord, he engaged to serve under him in the Kitchen in the Castle of Dublin, where he soon became a Proficient in that Business; but being ever unconstant in his Resolutions, after some little Time he left this Service, and took up with an inferior Station about a Play-house in Dublin. After staying in Ireland about three Years he returned to England, and went to his Mother in Shropshire; but becoming a Plague to her, she was soon weary of his Company, from thence he came to London, and applying himself to Service, he was employed in several Publick-houses , mostly Bagnio's, particularly of late at the Turk's-Head in Bow-street, and at other Bagnios in Long-Acre, at which last Place he liv'd when he was taken up. His Master and Mistress living themselves at another Bagnio, entrusted the Care of the House to him and a Woman Servant, and gave him the Character of a good and honest Servant , they entrusting him to receive the Money, and transact the Business of the whole House, which he faithfully and punctually performed. Notwithstanding all which, his inclining too much to idle Company, and spending his Money at a very extravagant Rate, constantly brought him into very great Straights.
He had been acquainted for some Years with Henry Corner the Prosecutor, tho' he had known John Johnson his Associate, in the Robbery but a few Days. Johnson, who was by Trade a Sawyer , used to work in the City, but accustoming himself to Idleness, and frequenting that Part of the Town where Horton lived, they soon became acquainted, and committed the Robbery as follows.
Piggot alias Horon, meeting Henry Corner, desired to drink with him, but not having Convenience at that Time, they appointed 6 in Evening (it being the 24th of April) to meet at an Ale-house, accordingly Piggot and Johnson waited there till Corner came, and after drinking two or three Pots of Beer (for which Corner paid) they proposed if Corner would go with them to St. Giles's to treat in Return, to which he consented; but finding all the Houses shut, they decoy'd him on till they came to Southampton-Row, and from thence into the Fields, where they threw Corner on the Ground, and Johnson held him down while Piggot took his Watch, and one of his Silver Knee-Buckles, and then ran away, not having Time to take the other, because of Corner's crying out Murder! Murder! two or three Times, which brought the Watchman to his Assistance, who found him bloody; Corner immediately related the Affair to him, and told him where Piggot haunted, by which Intelligence they were apprehended at an Ale-house in Covent-Garden, and being carried before a Magistrate, were by him committed to Newgate.
Piggot alledged at first, that the Things were given him on a scandalous Account not fit to be mentioned; but Johnson ingenuously confessed the Truth, as afterwards Piggot own'd, that from his Infancy he had been a wicked, obstropulous Boy, and said, that his Mother still living in the Country, would be glad to hear he was hang'd, he having ever since he was four Years of Age been constantly putting her to extravagant Charges, and plunging her out of one Trouble into another. A Master and Mistress of his, with some others, coming one Day to visit him, expressed a very great Sympathy with his Misfortunes; so that he and all of them wept most bitterly, and show'd a very tender Concern; they gave him a very good Character for his Honesty. He often cried, particularly at Divine Service. Four or five Days before he died, as he went down Stairs from Chapel, he was in a Flood of Tears, and could scarcely speak. He believed in Christ our only Saviour, repented of his Sins, and dy'd in Peace with all Men.
2. John Johnson, for the same Robbery with the above Piggot or Horton, was 17 Years of Age, born of honest Parents, who were but mean, and not capable to give him much Education. He was taught in the Ward School in Fridaystreet, to Read, Write, and cast Accompts for Business, and instructed in the Christian Religion, which to his great Loss he minded least, being accustomed to play in the Streets, and learn evil Habits and Practices, when he should have applied himself to his Books, and improved his Education. When of Age he was put to a Sawyer in St. Paul's-Church-Yard, and was honest in his Service, but inclined too much to go Abroad, and spend his Time in idle Company, from whom he learn'd the Vices of the Town, too much followed by the inferior Rank of People, which brought him to this miserable Catastrophe. A great Part of the Time he was sick, and not able to come up, when visited he behaved well, and declared Penitence, and when his Irons were made lighter, came constantly to Chapel, and was attentive to Prayers and Exhortations; but he entertained some Hopes of a Reprieve, by one Friend or other whom he talk'd of, which, together with his Youth and other Frailties, occasioned his not being so deeply affected, as one in his miserable Condition ought to have been. In the preceding Part of his Life he was honest, did not steal nor thieve, and kept in his Master's Service, till taken up for this Robbery, which was the first and last he ever committed, which he freely confessed; and when Piggot or Horton denied it, he reproved him for lying, upon which Horton also confessed the same, and both of them own'd they decoy'd Corner into the Fields, after they had been drinking, and that they robb'd him, as was sworn against them, and disposed of the Goods, which were afterwards restored to the proper Owner. He had been but a few Days acquainted with Piggot, who brought the simple, young Lad into this dismal Scrape, and by Consequence hurried him into speedy Destruction; but Justice instantly overtook them, brought them to a fatal End, and prevented much Mischief, which in all Probability they might have done, if suffered to go on in such a
hellish Course as they had engaged in. He believed in Christ to be the Son of God, and only Saviour of Sinners; repented of all his Sins, especially that for which he died, and forgave all Offences against him, as he expected Forgiveness from God.
Johnson reprov'd Piggot for commiting this Robbery upon an old intimate Acquaintance, for persuading, or in a manner forcing Corner into the Fields with them, it being the dead and dark Hour of the Night, where he neither knowing nor seeing the Ways, fell down a Precipice, or some ragged Road, and was in Danger of breaking his Neck. Both of 'em likewise confessed, that they agreed before-hand to rob Henry Corner, knowing he had a Silver Watch, Silver Buckles, and perhaps some Money about him.
John Lupton, of St. Andrew's Holborn, was indicted (with Alexander Flack not taken) for stealing a Silver handled Cup, value 3 l. and a Silver Spoon, value 10 s. the Goods of William Zachary, in his Dwelling-House, Feb. 26.
3. John Lupton was 16 Years of Age, born of honest Parents, who kept a Publick-House in West-Smithfield, who brought him up in religious Principles, which he being a most obstropulous Boy, but little regarded; and having the Misfortune to lose his Father about four Years ago (who intended to have put him to some Trade) he was left to his Shifts, and not knowing which Way to turn, he serv'd in an Inn in Gosland-street a whole Year, and afterwards in the Punch-House the Back of the Royal-Exchange for some Time, and in some other Places, and (if his own Account be true) in all those Services he was honest, and pleased his Masters and Mistresses.
But his Misfortune was after all this, to become acquainted in the House of one - by the Ditch-Side, where Thieves and Whores meet and consult upon their unlawful Expeditions; they soon corrupted his Morals, which were not the best before, having been a Boy of most wicked Inclinations, and disposed naturally to all manner of Vice from his Cradle.
Here he got himself acquainted with a Gange of most notorious Thieves and House-breakers; and about four or five Months ago, engaged with them to go a House-breaking, which was the particular Species of Theft or Robbery they professed, and constantly followed; in three Months before he was taken up, John with his Associates had committed 30 Burglaries, the Product of which, as they sold the Goods, came to about 300 l. tho' the real Value no doubt was above three Times that Sum.
Thus these vile Wretches threw away the Goods of honest People, and destroy'd whole Families by these hellish Exploits. Lupton came to be well known and famous among the common Enemies of Mankind, and Thief-catchers, who took him up, and had him tried for his Life upon two Indictments, the Sessions before last, with Alexander Flack and John Lowden not taken, for breaking and entering the Dwelling-House of John Deer
more, about Eight at Night and stealing a brown cloth Coat, a Cotton Gown, a short Cloak, a Camblet Bed Curtain, the Goods of John Deermore, a Lustring, a quilted Petticoat and a Camblet Riding-Hood, the Goods of Anne Eukley, March 2, 1741.
He was also indicted for breaking and entering the Dwelling-House of Lewis Morel, between seven and eight at Night, and stealing a large Trunk, a blue Gown, a Grey Shagreen Gown, a Green quilted Petticoat, a white quilted Petticoat, Two Linnen Shifts, Two Linnen Aprons, a Handkerchief, a Pocket-Book, Eleven Guineas, Three Thirty-six Shilling Pieces, a Three Pound Twelve Shilling Piece, the Goods and Money of Ruth Rugg, in the Parish of St. Brides, March 11.
Although he was Guilty of both these Burglaries, yet for want of clear Evidence, he was Acquitted.
Some shore Time after this, a certain Person meeting him in the Street, said, I have lost a deal of Money by you, by the two last Prosecutions, and I will certainly take you up again to repair my Losses.
He knew Lupton to be concerned in a great Number of Burglaries, having had certain Information thereof, and accordingly was as good as his Word, and apprehended him for this capital Crime, upon which he was convicted, and thereby brought to condign Punishment.
He was a very wicked, naughty, incorrigible Boy, and could neither read, nor write, scarce remembered any thing that was good. He mourned over his Ignorance and most vicious Life; declared his firm Resolution, in Case of Life, to do better, and live as becomes a Christian, and was very desirous to be in Company with one of the others, who could read to him, and pray for him.
Thus he confessed his very great Wickedness and most deserved Sufferings, and that his Punishment was much less than what he deserved. He was penitent for his very scandalous and impious short Life, was very ignorant of Religion, and all religious Principles. I endeavoured to instruct him, but the Time was short, his Prejudices Great, and his Corruptions were too much confirmed.
For above one Half of the Time they were under Sentence he constantly came to Chapel, but could scarce say any more than Amen, otherwise he behaved quietly and decently; at last he fell very sick and infirm, and when I visited him in the Cell, he could scarce speak one Word, yet was desirous of Prayers, and loved Admonitions, and when eased of his Irons, made a Shift to come up to Chapel, although in great Weakness, and supported by Johnson, one of his Fellow-Sufferers.
He believed in Christ the Son of God, and the only Saviour of Sinners: He re
pented of a most scandalous and sinful Life, and died in Peace with all Mankind.
At the Place of EXECUTION,
THURSDAY, June 11th, (the Day before they died) their Excellencies the Lords Regents of the Kingdom, were pleas'd to send down a most gracious Reprieve, for Three Months to Richard Baker, which came as he and the rest were receiving the blessed Sacrament of our Lord's last Supper, for which Grace and Favour he gave Thanks to the Lord, and promis'd sincerely to evidence his Gratitude, by the sincerest Tokens of Repentance to the latest Hour of his Life.
The remaining Three, viz. Francis Piggot, alias Horton, John Johnson, and John Lupton, were carried in one Cart to the Place of Execution, where they seem'd much affected with their dismal Circumstances and Condition. They were all very attentive to Prayers and devoutly join'd in Singing the Psalm.
Johnson said he had no more to add to his former Confession, only that he had been a wicked Youth, and had frequently when his Master was out of the Way, robb'd him of a Guinea, which Sums, as he never took more at a Time, he said, were never miss'd.
Piggot, alias Horton own'd that when he went to Shropshire, to visit his Grandmother, who was so kind to keep him when disown'd and deserted by both Father and Mother, he was so base as to robb her of several of her Moveables. Being asked whether he and Johnson were not concerned in robbing a certain Person of 20 l. as dying Men they utterly denied it, and said that had they been acquitted or pardon'd, they were determin'd to lead a new Life.
John Lupton, some Time before he died, seem'd stupid, and could scarce speak; they all went off the Stage crying out to God to have Mercy on them, and to our blessed Lord Jesus to receive their Spirits.
This is all the Account given by me,
AS I must in a short Time, justly be made a Sacrifice to public Justice, for the many Crimes I have committed, it may be expected by the World, that I should give some Account of myself, and it is, with the utmost Contrition, that I take a Review of the short, but vicious Course of Life I have led; and I now perceive (although to my Misfortune too late) that a Life spent in a Course of Religion and Virtue, cannot be attended with those bitter Uneasinesses and Gnawings, which hang upon and torture the Soul of a Person who has always indulged himself in vicious Habits.
It would be a great Alleviation of my Misfortunes, and a Comfort to me under these melancholy Circumstances, could I be persuaded, or had I any Reason to believe, that by untimely Death, my Companions, and all other young Persons would take warning, and forsake their Follies, which must in the End, inevitably be attended with Misery, Destruction and Death.
I am now about seventeen Years of Age, and was born of very creditable Parents, who kept the Rose and Crown in Smithfield, six and Thirty Years, and at a proper Age put me to School to one Mr. Groves, in Red-lion-street, where I continued five Years, but to my Sorrow, I never regarded any Instructions that were given me, for at this Time I can neither write or read.
My Father perceiving that all the Care and Expence he was at upon my Account, was to very little Purpose, and my Mother dying, took me from School, and employ'd me to draw Beer , and do other little Services about the House for him; but about three Years ago, it pleas'd God to call him hence, and then not chusing to stay at Home with my Mother-in-law, I hired myself as a Servant to Mr. Wenman, who keeps the Punch-house behind the Royal-Exchange, where I lived about eleven Months. I must own with the greatest Sorrow, that I was induced and persuaded by my Mother-in-law, to rob Mr. Wenman, who was an exceeding kind Master to me, of several Sums of Money.
I pursued this Course at my Mother's Desire, the greatest Part of the Time I lived there, without being suspected of Dishonesty; sometimes taking Money out of the Till, and when an Opportunity did not offer itself for me to rob Mr. Wenman in that Manner, I have defrauded him of Reckonings, which I have received of Gentlemen, who have been drinking at his House, all which Fruits of my Injustice, were received from me by my Mother, whom I may justly charge with being the sole Cause of my present unhappy Condition.
Upon searching him one Day while he lived with Mr. Wenman, six or seven Guineas was found in his Breeches Pocket, his Mother at the same Time happening to be there, and said the Money was hers; the Boy replied, and said, it was not hers, for he had just receiv'd it of a Person whom his Father had given him Orders to go and receive it. Since his Condemnation, Mr. Wenman and his Wife went to see him, and as soon as he saw them, he fell on his Knees and cry'd, and begg'd they would forgive him, confessing that those Guineas which were found in his Pocket was their Money; and likewise confessed that he and the Bar-keeper was jointly concern'd in robbing them of several Sums of Money at Times. When his
Master and Mistress talk'd to him, he seemed very much concern'd for his Misfortunes, and pray'd again for them to forgive him, and wish'd he had taken his Mistress's Advice; if he had, he had never brought himself to this miserable End. His Master and Mistress relieved and comforted him all they could, and defired him to prepare himself for Death; that he had join'd himself with such a Knot of Villains, that he could not expect any mercy from above, and at the same Time Mr. Wenman told him, that he had been so great an Offender (although so young) that he could not interceed for him in any shape whatsoever, and that he readily forgave him the Injury he had done to him, and desir'd him once more to prepare himself for Death, and not flatter myself with any Hopes of a Pardon, which I am inform'd your Mother flatters you with. What gave him the greater Opportunity to rob Mr. Wenman, while he was in his Service, was, that he kept two Houses, he having not left that on London-Bridge. He was told by a Clergyman, who was so kind to come to pray by him, that what he had to reveal to the World of any Consequence, if he did not do it, it would be a very great Sin, committed both to God and Man; and on the contrary, to declare what he thought would be of Service; the Laws of God obliged him to do it, because it would be of service to the World, and likewise an Acknowledgment to God of his Sins, and might give a Turn to other persons, who might probably be reclaimed by reading of this, that otherwise might have gone the same Way. Let me therefore persuade all persons, both young and old, to let this my unhappy Chance of Life be an Example to all those who shall read this paper, especially the young Woman who was Fellow Servant at Mr. Wenman's, and was concerned with me, in robbing of him, at several Times.
After this, having a Mind to go down into the Country, I quitted Mr. Wenman's Service, and went to Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, and drew Beer about twelve Months for Mr. Barlow at the Sign of the Chequer; and during the Time I lived with him, I frequently defrauded him of small Sums of Money in Reckonings; but on his finding a Pint of Wine which I had hid on the But-head, he discharged me.
When I left Mr. Barlow, I came to London, and lived at Mr. Winder's, the Horshoe-Inn, in Goswell-street, were I drew Beer about three Quarters of a Year; and I had so strongly imbib'd the Principles of Dishonesty, that I never could possibly forsake them; for one Evening a Gentleman coming into the Inn, out of the Country, desired me to pull his Boots off; I did so, and was very well paid for it, for I found two Guineas in them, which I converted to my own Use, notwithstanding all the Enquiry the Gentleman made after them.
After this, Mr. Winder's Maid Servant and I not agreeing together, he turn'd me away, and then I went to live at Gervase Trueman's, the Sign of Mad-Tom, by Fleet-ditch, where I unhappily got acquainted with my two Companions, Alexander Flack, and John Lowther and they persuaded me to go out with them.
The first Robbery I ever committed in their Company was, about half a Year ago, when we broke open a Hosier's Shop in the Strand, and stole about fourscore Pair of Stockings. Flack went in and took the Goods, and I stood * Peter on the Outside, and we immediately took Coach, and carried the Goods to one Mary Brown, who keeps a noted Lock in Rag-Fair, and she gave us 3 l. for them, which we equally divided amongst us. After this, we went to the W – B - r, in B - street, to our Girls and spent the Money.
When all our Money was gone, we were obliged to go out again, and accordingly we went, and got into a Linnen-Draper's Shop, in Covent-Garden, by pushing up the Sash, about 9 o'Clock in the Evening. Lowther went in, and took two large Boxes of Linnen,
To stand Peter, in the Language of these unhappy Wretches, signifies to lie on the Watch.
and I stood Peter. These Goods we carried to Betty Barfoot's, in Rag-Fair, who always us'd to set up for us 'till twelve o'Clock at Night to receive our Goods, and we sold them to her for four Pounds, all which we spent with our Girls in Bow-street.
The next Robbery I committed was at a Washerwoman's House in the Strand. We push'd back the Lock of the Door with a large Knife, and went in, and no body being in the House, we took three large Boxes of Linnen, which we carry'd in a Coach to Betty Barefoot's, who gave us three Guineas for them, which we spent according to our usual Custom in Bow-street.
As to the Robberies for which I was tried in April Sessions, and acquitted, I must own I was concern'd in both. Flack went in at Mr. Morell's Window in Salisbury-Court, and took the Maid's Box, and when he was going off with it, a Gentlewoman coming up the Court, I ask'd her for one Mr. Peter, and kept her in Discourse till Flack got clear off, and I went after him into a Court in Fleet-street, where we broke the Box open, and took out a Pocket-Book, a Purse, eleven Guineas, three thirty-six Shilling Pieces, a Moidore, a three Pound 12 Shilling Piece, and 17 Shillings in Silver, and then went away and left the Box behind us in the Court. I was flush'd at the Sight of so great a Booty of this, and proposed to Flack to sink upon Lowther, but Flack said, perhaps the Money might be advertiz'd, and if we did not let Lowther have a snack of the Cole, he would be spiteful and turn Evidence against us, and have us jam'd.
After this, we all went down with Trueman into the Country, and when we had staid about three Days, and spent our Money, we return'd to London. I propos'd stopping somebody on the Road, but having no Pistols or other Arms, my Companions would not agree to join with me in my new Undertaking.
The next Robbery I was concern'd in was that of Serjeant Wheeler's, in Number-Court, in the Strand, for which I suffer: The Sash of the Window not being fast, we lifted it up, I stood Peter, and Flack went in, and took out a Silver Quart Cup, a Silver Punch Ladle, a Silver Pepper-Box, a large Silver Spoon, and a Silver Pint Mug. This Fact we committed on Easter-Sunday, between Seven and Eight in the Evening, and when we got the Plate, we carried it to Trueman, who sold it for us, but my Companions sunk upon me, for I had a Share of the Cup and Spoon only.
This was the last Fact I was concern'd in, for a few Days after I was acquitted at the Old-Bailey, I was taken by a Person call'd Long Charles, and one Rhodes, at my Lodging at Mrs. Hawkins's, in Cross-Lane.
They imagin'd I would make myself a Stag, (an Evidence) but I was determin'd sooner to undergo the Punishment of the Law, than betray my Companions, and when I saw Lowther, I told him, if he would hold his Tongue, all the World could not hurt us, and he swore he never would Puff; but when I was carried before Justice Poulson, he came to the Three-Tunns to me, and snapp'd his Fingers at me; I was enrag'd at this Behaviour, and threw a Knife at him, but happily did not touch him.
A small Time after, going upon Business in Pall-Mall, we espied a House repairing next Door to Mr. Melchior Wagnier, a Hatter ; Flack said Business might be done that Evening, so we all agreed to go and return about 12 o'Clock, which we judged would be the properest Time for our intended Enterprize; we came according to our Design, and found the Ladder left, which was a great help to us, for by the means of that, we ascended to the Top of the House, and got into Mr. Wagnier's Garret-window, and so rummaging the upper part of the House, we took several Things of Value; Flack was for going down stairs, but Lowther and I being fearful, disuaded him from it; the Goods we dispos'd off chiefly to a Friend on the other side of the Water, and some to our Friend Margery Ackers, otherwise Bunce, who liv'd in Greens Rents, and who usually gave us about a 6th part of the intrinsic Value.
I had almost forgot one of the Robberies for which I was try'd last Sessions; I mean that of Mr. Jephson's House in Wine-Office-Court, Fleet-street, from whence we took a large Bundle of Linnen, while the Maid was gone for Water, and sold it to * Mrs. Bunce, in Green's-Rents, for seven Shillings and Six-Pence.
I have two Brothers and three Sisters now living, but neither they nor my Mother-in-law, who has been the Cause of my Ruin, have been any service to me since I have been in this melancholy Confinement.
And now to look back on my past Life, must to me, or any Person that has lived the same Course with me, and is not altogether insensible, be attended with inexpressible Horror and Torment, for as I have before observed, a Person who has spent the whole Course of his Life in the service of Piety and Virtue, may when he is summon'd hence, look with Courage and Calmness on his past Conduct, and a future State; but the Ends of those who have liv'd a contrary Life, will always be attended with the greatest Marks of Agony and Despair.
I die in perfect Peace with all Mankind, and heartily forgive all those who at any Time have Injur'd me, as I myself hope for Pardon of all my Offences.
His Father was a Tackle-Porter, and put his unfortunate Son to School to Mr. Gilbert, in Bull and Mouth Street, where he remained about six or seven Years, and learned to read, write, cast Accompts, and what was necessary to qualify him for Business.
At a proper Age he was put Apprentice to Mr. Rowland Hare, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, with whom he lived about Half a Year, and from thence he went to live with Mr. Stanworth in Long-Acre, whom he served about two Years and a Half, and then some Difference arising between them, they parted.
After this he went Home to his Mother, and worked for himself, till he was taken up for the Fact for which he suffered.
The Acquaintance between him and his Companion Piggot, began at Mr. Hart's, a Poulterer, in Hedge-Lane, about a Week before this Fact was committed; and on Piggot's telling him, that the Prosecutor Corner lived at the Lord Mordington's, and was a
* Mrs. Bunch was convicted last Sessions at the Old-Bailey, and is to be transported for buying stolen Goods, knowing them to be stole.
* Madge Cull, and that it would be easy to get Money from him, he agreed to follow Piggot's Directions.
Gorner came according to his Appointment, but being desirous to go to the Play, he went and desired Piggot and Johnson to wait for him till his Return. They did so, and the Play being over, they all went to the King's-Head in James-street, where they drank two Pots of Beer.
After this, Piggot persuaded Corner to go along with him and Johnson into the Fields; he did so, and then (if what Johnson says is to be credited) Corner attempted Indecencies upon him, and whilst they were struggling together, Piggot robbed Corner of his Watch and Buckles, and made off.
Corner immediately charged Johnson with being concerned in the Robbery, and therefore he thought it best to follow Piggot. After the Commission of this Fact, Piggot pawned the Watch at a Pawnbrokers, facing the Roe-Buck, in Bow-street, Covent-Garden, for two Guineas, which was equally divided between him and Johnson.
They were both apprehended the next Day, at a Milk Woman's in Gray's-Inn-Lane, and carried before Justice Poulson, who committed Piggot to New-Prison, and Johnson to Clerkenwell-Bridewell, for further Examination.
On the Monday following they were both carried again before the Magistrate, at which Time Johnson confessed what he knew of this Robbery.
They were then committed to Newgate, and as they were going out of the Justice's Door, Piggot behaved with uncommon Assurance, and sang, " At the Tree I shall suffer with Pleasure." And, on Johnson's reproving him, and telling him such Behaviour was not consistent with his melancholly Circumstances; he reply'd, when he went to the Gallows, that should be his Song before he was turned off; and, if his Mother had any Knowledge of his Misfortunes, she would rejoice.
A few Days before their Execution, Piggot being charg'd by a Person with being the Means of Johnson's unhappy End, he fell on his Knees, and desired he would forgive him, at the same Time owning himself to be the chief Cause of Johnson's being involv'd in his Misfortunes.
I Was born at a Place called Lambkin Bank, in Shropshire, and am about 29 Years of Age. My Father died while I was young, but my Mother is still living in Shropshire, and is married to a second Husband, by whom she has Seven or Eight Children.
My Mother spared no Cost or Pains in my Education, but I being naturally of a gay and roving Disposition, could not bear the Thought of applying myself to any Business.
When I was about nine Years of Age, I came to London, and was put to School by my Friends to one Mr. Keight's, in George-Yard, in Holborn, where I continued two Years and a half, and readily took the Instructions that were given me.
When I arrived at a proper Age, I was put to a Glazier ; but that Business not suiting my Fancy, I did not think proper to stay, so I
* A Person whom they call Mollies.
and my Friends differed, and I determined to go to Service .
The first Place I lived at, was Mr. Robinson's, an Exchange Broker in Hoxton-Square, whom I served about four Months, and got a great deal of Money of Company who came to the House, but it was my Misfortune to be never satisfied or contented; so I left him.
I then served Mr. Clark, who kept a Writing and Boarding School, in Peterborough-Court, in Fleet-street, Three Quarters of a Year, and then quitted his Service. After this I lived with a certain Lady by Tothil-Fields- Bridewell , who kept a sort of a Masquerading and Gaming House.
This Sort of Life was agreeable enough to my gay Temper; and I unfortunately one Day happened to go into the Parlour, and observed something pass between my Mistresses Daughter and a Gentleman; upon which the Gentleman immediately drew his Sword, and flung it after me with so great a Force, that it broke the Room Door to Pieces. I resented this Behaviour, and resolv'd to leave the House.
In this Place I lived about Two Years and a Half, and during that Time I got a Hundred Pounds in Vails, and had Eight Pounds a Year Wages, because I wore no Livery.
When I left this Service, I immediately turned Gentleman, and lived upon my Estate, till it was almost spent, and then I went to see my Friends in Shropshire; but I soon set out again for London, and at Northampton I was taken ill, but recovering, I set out for Cambridge, where my Illness again overtook me.
From thence I came directly to London, and my Money being grown very low, and Distress and Poverty presenting themselves in the most shocking Colours before my Eyes, I got acquainted with a Milk Woman, for whom I carried Milk some Time, till I got a set of Customers for myself, and began to live in a tollerable Way.
After this, I unfortunately married a Woman who had another Husband, and left my Business and went into Shropshire again, but the Country being too still and quiet for me, and I having formerly been used to the Publick Way of Business, was determined to leave it.
My Friends then desired me to go and live at Newport-Pagnel; and accordingly I went to Mrs. Harrison's, at the Red-Lion there, and had Threescore Pounds Worth of Liquors laid in for me; but my natural Disposition always led rather to Dancing, and the other Amusements of the Country People, than my Business.
One Christmas Time, after having been Three or Four Days from my Business, I met a Serjeant, Corporal, and a Drummer, who were beating up for Recruits: With them I enlisted as a Drummer in his Majesty's Service, and provided myself with a large Bunch of Ribbons, to wear in my Hat, as a Badge of my new Employment.
Being equipp'd in this Manner, I marched with the Serjeant to Ware, where the Captain of the Company taking Notice of me, desired me to desert the Service, at the same Time giving me a Guinea and a Fortnight's Pay.
I immediately left the Company, and my Money decreasing, I went to Chester, in order to get a Place, and after some Time, I was hired at the Golden Talbot there; but that Place not agreeing with me, I went to the Blue Anchor at Park Gate, where I had Fifteen Pounds a Year Wages; but the House being very much frequented by French and English Officers, I was hired by one Captain Cane, to go along with him to Ireland.
In a short Time we went on Board a Ship, but we had not made much Way before a Storm arose, in which we were in great Danger of being lost; for one of our Men was drowned, and our main Hatch being lost, Four Mares were smothered. Our Captain was at the same Time on Quarter-Deck, and a Wave came and washed him off into the Sea, and another Wave threw him into the Ship again.
Lodgings; but we disagreeing, I parted with him.
While I was here, I saw Two Brothers, and their Sons, executed in the County of Kildare, for the Murder of a poor Shepherd, whom they shot as he was getting out of Bed.
After this I ran through a Variety of Adventures, till I was hired by Mr. Draycott an Attorney in Dublin, and might have lived with him to this Day, had I not unfortunately taken an Antipathy to my Master's Brother when he was drunk, and made a Resolution to leave his Service.
I soon after went on Board a Ship, in order to come away; but a Storm arising, we were obliged to put back, and cast Anchor in the Bay.
Here it was that I became acquainted with Mrs. Reynolds, who was a Performer in the Play-House in Smock-Alley, Dublin, and havin a natural Inclination to Plays, and such Entertainments, I by her Means was admitted into the House, where I used to perform a Page, or a Servant, and I have frequently represented Northumberland, in the Play of Henry the Fourth, and the Duke of York in King Charles: Whereupon I then began to think I was got into a very agreeable Way of Life.
After I had followed this Employment some Time, the Master and I differing, I went to London, and served Mr. Gorman, at the Bagnio in Suffolk-street, and he happening to fall into Misfortunes, recommended me to Mr. Farrel, at the Royal Bagnio in Long-Acre; with whom I lived Three Quarters of a Year, and being taken ill, I was oblig'd to leave him.
The next Place I lived in was with Mr. Pierce, who keeps a Publick House in Clare Market, whom I served Three Months as a Cook ; but there being too much Fatigue for me in this Employment, I quitted his Service.
I was then hired by Mr. Jones, to serve him as a Waiter at his Bagnio, the Turk's-Head, in Bow-street, Covent-Garden, where I lived to the Time that I was taken up for the unhappy Affair for which I must suffer a shameful and ignominious Death.
The following Letter was sent to Mr. BAKER, a few Days before he was repriev'd.
My Dear Cozen RICHARD,
" MY Soul has laboured under no small Uneasiness, since I have seen you, least " you should not be sensible of that Matter of " infinite eternal Importance, the Salvation of " your Soul; and as the Time draws nigh, " nay, is at Hand, wherein you must launch into an Eternity either of Misery or Happiness.
" Oh! arise therefore, and be indeed concern'd about it; it is not, indeed it is not, " now too late; you may now find Salvation for your Soul in this last Hour, tho' you " have never done any Good in all your Life: " but cry unto the Lord Jesus from the Bottom of your Soul, as an undone lost Creature, and he will give you Repentance unto " Life; he will, nay he has forgiven you all " your Iniquities, and make you eternally happy with him: He will give you his Salvation " for nothing, without Money, and without " Price: Ask and it shall be given, knock and " it shall be open'd unto you: This, he who " cannot lie, hath promis'd unto you, and if " you believe it, it shall be performed. He " has confirm'd it by his Oath, which cannot be broken. Our Lord himself saith, " Heaven and Earth may pass away, but not " one Tittle of his Word shall fall to the " Ground.
" It remains only then, if you feel and know " in what a miserable Condition your Soul
" lies under through Sin and Iniquity, a Captive and Slave of Sin and Satan, in spiritual " Darkness and Blindness, alienated from God, " nay, full of Hatred and Enmity against " him, and every Thing that is evil, which " you will find described by St. Paul in the " 3 first Chapters of the Epistle to the Romans; scuh indeed we are all by Nature. " If you do not find this, you must cry " without ceasing unto our Saviour, untill he " makes it manifest unto you by his Light " and Holy Spirit, for by Nature we are dead " in Trespasses and Sins, and know not our " wretched, undone Condition, and consequently cannot desire after a Saviour. As " a Man who has a mortal Wound about " him, if he knows it not, nor feels it, we " can never suppose, that he will ever seek " for a Physician for his Cure; so is it with " our Souls. We are fallen from GOD by " the Transgression of our Father Adam, in " all Unhappiness of Sin and Misery, and " know it not till our Saviour stirs us up, and " awakes us out of our Sleep, and shews us " our lost Condition by Nature, and that we " are in Need of a Saviour.
" He it is who gives Sight to the Blind, and " the Dead, Life, and cures the Diseased; this " was his Work when on Earth, and is yet so " now to this Day by his Spirit. Pray unto " him for this from the Bottom of your Soul, " and it will be given, then you will hunger " and thirst after him, that has shed his Blood " for you on the Cross, and died for you, that " you might not die eternally. But when " our Saviour shall answer your Prayer, and " shew you, that you are nothing but Sin " throughout your Soul, be not frighten'd at " yourself, nor run away from our Saviour; " but fall on your Knees, and thank and praise " him for it, and esteem it as the greatest Blessing that can ever befall you. Then give " yourself over to him, and trust him with " your Soul; believe that you are his, the Purchase of his Blood, the Reward of his Sufferings, dare tell you are a Sinner; and that " it is such, that he is come to seek and to " save. It is not the whole that need Physician, but the sick; when he sees you thus " coming and creeping towards him, it will not " be long e'er his Heart of Love will break " over you, and he will fill your Soul with that " Peace which passeth all Understanding. You " have nothing to do but to believe against all " your Reason, that he has done enough for " you, that he has satisfied for all your Sins, " and reconciled you to GOD. This is what " will give your Heart a solid eace; and if " you doubt not, will To-morrow give you " a safe Passage thro' the Gates of Death, and " waft you to the Bosom of your dear dying " Redeemer. This is his Gift which he will " give you; intreat him that he would let you " feel the Power and Virtue of his Death and " Sufferings in your Heart; that you may feel " Sweetness of his Blood, and find Life and " Salvation therein, before you go hence and " are no more seen; that you yet may be his " living Witness that it is true. O! my dear " Soul, hold fast by this Truth, that he has " died for you; that it is at the Expence of " all his Blood that you are Redeem'd. Cast " your Soul on this, and it will not, no it will " not fail you; lose your Soul in this, and " you shall find it unto eternal Life. O! " what can I say more, Believe, Believe, and " you shall not perish but have everlasting Life. " The Lord Jesus Christ give you a spiritual " Insight and Understanding of what I have " written, that you may feelingly know the " Things that make for your everlasting Peace. " Amen, Amen, Farewel, and think of
Your truely sincere Friend,
" P. S. If it be possible, I beg you wou'd " write to me, and let me know how it is " with your Soul before you go to die. Direct " for me at the Golden-Cup in Round-Court, " St. Martin's-le-Grand. If you cannot write, " get somebody else for you. O, I love you! " and shall continually think of you.
The following LETTER was sent to Mr. BAKER, the Attorney , who was repriev'd the Night before Execution.
St. M - s-G-t, June 5, 1741.
' I Have, my dear Friend, endeavour'd ' to see you, but cannot prevail with ' the Gentleman to admit me, by Reason ' the Dead Warrant is come down for ' your Execution on Friday next; and ' therefore I take this Opportunity to ' commune with you, though absent in ' Person.
' As to your Body, I have nothing to ' say, only, were it the Pleasure of the ' wise Disposer of all Events, to pass the ' bitter Cup! His Will be done.
' I know, and am unwilling to repeat ' the inexpressible Grief you labour under, from the Aspersions that may be ' cast on your unblemish'd Family! but ' dissipate such Cares, as too low for a Person steping into Eternity; it must be a ' Son of a lower Class of censorious Illnature, that will assume to reproach your ' surviving Friends, with the Miscarriage ' of any Branch of so worthy a Family. ' For no Man is his own Keeper, and it ' highly becomes the strongest, to take ' Care least they fall, and every good ' Man knows he has nothing to attribute ' to himself, what ever Good he has done, ' and it is only the restraining Grace of ' God, that keeps us from the blackest ' Enormities. For sure it is, there is no ' Difference (by Nature) between the most ' publick Sinner, and the strictest (unawaken'd) Moralist.
' You know by Nature, we are all born ' the Children of Wrath, and therefore ' every Man must be made Regenerate, ' by the quickening Power of God, and ' his Holy Spirit, e'er he can be a Partaker with the Inheritors of Grace, and ' have an humble, confident, assuring ' Earnest of the Promise of Life, e'er he ' go away, and be no more seen.
' This! This! my dear Friend, is the ' great Errand for which we all came into the World, it mattereth not what ' we have been, but what we now are; ' 'tis vain to premeditate longer on our ' Sins and Follies, when we can faithfully ' see a Mediator.
' There is not that Sin committed since ' Adam, for which Christ hath not dy'd, ' and all we have to do to be Partakers ' of the Efficacy of his Death, is to believe in him with a lively, firm, humble ' (yet assuring Faith) that we find an ' Application of his Blood, sufficient to ' cleanse us from all our Iniquities. This ' indeed is the Balm of Gilliard. This! ' This! alone cures all Diseases of Men ' amongst us, and is free for all who will ' believe on the Donor. With him no ' Time is excepted, no Place excluded, or ' Circumstances exempted; his Love and ' Glory shone on St. Paul in the Prison, ' and his consolating Dove visits the darkest Cell as well as the Altar. No sooner we fell the Want of a Physician, but ' lo! He! the good Samaritan, pours in ' the Oil; no sooner are we determin'd ' to arise and fly to him for Refuge; but
' behold we are in his Arms, and his Love ' embraces us; then will he cloth us with ' the Garment of his Righteousness, and ' adorn us with a Ring of Eternity.
' Oh! my dearest Friend! I rejoice with ' you inasmuch as I hope God hath visited ' you in the Day of Calamity, with the ' consolating Spirit of the afflicteds Comforter: Consider my dear Brother, ' Christ came into the World only to ' cure the broken Hearted; the Motives ' that open'd our Eyes, and brought us to ' Contrition availeth not. It may be, ' God saw the hardness of your Heart, ' and permitted the Dissolution of the ' Body for the Advancement of your ' Soul.
' If you suffer an ignominious Death ' innocently? How much more did our ' dear Redeemer suffer; he in who was ' no Fault, neither was guilt found in his ' Lips, suffer'd for our Transgressions; ' he was abased, that we might be exalted.
Oh! infinite and boundless Love! thy ' precious Blood was spilt for all without ' exemption; even the last Moments does ' he accept, though like the Thief on ' the Cross, we deride and re-crucifie during our whole Lives; yet if in the ' last Moments we believe in our Hearts, ' and confess him with our Mouths, we ' shall sit with him in the Paradiscal Mansions of his Father, and Triumphant ' over Death and Sin; singing endless ' Praises and Hallelujah's with the mighty ' Hosts of Heaven.
' Oh! my dearest Friend! here is the ' Heaven of Rest, and happy is the Man ' that gets to this Port first. What signifies in what Manner we leave the World, 'it's highest Honours, Riches or Pleasure, ' are but fleeting and transitory? The ' spiritual Man disregards it's highest ' Objects, as meer Toys, Feathers, or ' Bladders of Water blown in the Air, ' which when broke, vanish and are forgotten. But he that feels Christ form'd ' in his Soul (as the Apostle says) is in ' fulness of Riches, and his Pleasure is ' past expressing.
' In the present unhappy Situation of ' Circumstances, I cannot have the Pleasure of conversing with you, which if ' you are very desirous let me know, ' and I'll omit no Endeavours ' till I get ' Permission; but in the mean Time, ' if your Constitution will any Way ' permit, let me have a Letter from you ' that I may know how you feel your ' Heart; that haply God might make me ' instrumental to administer Comfort.
' I am also concern'd for the Welfare ' of your Body, which if in any shape I ' can be serviceable, lay your Commands ' on your old Friend; but I hope you ' have an unerring Adviser and Consolator, for what Man can do is nothing; ' therefore I recommend you to the Father of the Afflicted, who heareth the ' Sighs of the Contrite, and putteth their ' Tears in a Bottle; and I hope he will ' have Compassion on you, and your loving ' sympathizing Friend.
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