THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF JAMES HALL, Who was Executed at the End of KATHERINE-STREET in the STRAND, for the Barbarous MURDER of his Master JOHN PENNY, Esq ;
On MONDAY the 14th of September, 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 Willes, the Hon. Sir John Strange, Knt . Recorder of the City of London; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy-Recorder; and others his Majesty's Justices for the said City, and Justices of Goal-Delivery of Newgate, and County of Middlesex) at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey, on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, the 28th, 29th, and 31st of August, and Tuesday, the 1st of September, 1741, and, in the Fifteenth Year of His Majesty's Reign.
Four Men, viz James Hall, John Stevens, alias Henry Cook, Joseph Hudson, and Patrick Bourn; and three Women, viz. Mary White, alias Shays, or Shields, alias Ryan, Mary Harris, alias Murphey, and Elizabeth Hardy, were by the Jury found guilty of capital Crimes and received Sentence of Death.
James Hall being guilty of so notorious a Crime, as the Murder of his own Master, was ordered for Execution by himself, two Days before the rest of the Malefactors, and, for an Example (the Place near the Inn being too narrow) he was ordered to be executed at the End of Catherine street, in the Strand, near the New Church.
While under Sentence, besides the Prayers and Instructions with the rest of the Malefactors, James Hall was particularly exhorted to reflect on the soul, the monstrous Crime he had been guilty of, the Murder of his own Master! A Gentleman whose Bread he daily received, whose Bounty and Indulgence he had often experienced, and whose good Offices he was ever sure of; and, after all, the Requital he made, was to take away that Life, which 'twas impossible for him again to restore: In Robbery there may be some Reparation, but in Murder there can be none; the Loss of Life stagnates all; 'tis the greatest Crime Man can commit; Barbarity to the last Degree, and calls aloud for Vengeance, for Whoso sheddeth Man's Blood, by Man shall his Blood be shed. 'Twas represented to him, how little Expectation such a Man had for Mercy, who would give none; but, as nothing was impossible with God, he was desired to cry out with holy David, Deliver me from Blood Guiltiness, Oh God! thou God of my Salvation, and my Tongue shall sing aloud of thy Righteousness, Psalm 51. 14.
While these, and other Instructions, were giving, Hall gave constant Attendance in Chapel, and was very attentive to Prayers, declared himself penitent for all the Sins of his Life, but especially for this most vile Sin of Murder.
James Hall, of St. Clement's Danes, was indicted, for that he, being a Servant to one John Penny, Gentleman , not having the Fear of God before his Eyes, &c. on the 18th Day of June, on the said John Penny, then and there being, his Master, in the Peace, &c. traiterously, feloniously, wilfully, and of his Malice afore-thought, did make an Assault, and with a certain Iron Bar, Value 2 d. which he the said Hall, in his Right Hand had and held, on the hinder-part of the Head of him the said John Penny, traiterously, feloniously, wilfully, and of his Malice afore-thought did strike, giving to him one mortal Blow, which broke his Skull; of which said mortal Blow, he then and there instantly dy'd.
He was a second Time indicted, for stealing a Silver Case for Instruments, covered with Shag-green, a Lancet with a Tortoiseshell Handle, a Pair of Steel Scissars, a Blade of a Knife, a Silver Ear-picker, a Pair of Tweezers, a Pair of Steel Spurs, a Silver Pencil, two Razors, seven Sticks of Sealing-wax, a Pair of Gloves, a Green Silk Purse, twelve Guineas, and twenty Half Guineas, the Goods and Money of John Penny, Gentleman , in the Dwelling-house, June the 18th.
He was a third Time indicted, for stealing a Silver Case for Instruments, covered with Shag-green, a Lancet with a Tortoiseshell Handle, a Pair of Steel Scissars, a Blade of a Knife, a Blade of a Pen-Knife, a Silver Ear picker, a Pair of Steel Tweezers, a Silver Pencil, two Razors, seven Sticks of Sealing-wax, a Pair of Gloves, a Green Silk Purse, twelve Guineas, and twenty Half Guineas, the Goods and Money of a Person unknown, June the 18th.
The Prisoner pleaded guilty to each Indictment, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
Tuesday, September 8, Report was made to their Excellencies the Lords Justices of the Kingdom, of the Seven Malefactors lying under Sentence of Death in the Cells of Newgate, who were graciously pleased to reprieve one of the Women, and to order the other Six for Execution; and for an Example (as we said before) James Hall was ordered to be executed by himself at the End Catherine-street in the Strand, on Monday the 14 Instant.
James Hall, was 37 Years of Age, and of very honest reputable Parents at Well in Hampshire, who took Care of his Education at Sch to have him taught Reading, Writing, and compts, sufficient to fit him for any Busi which he might (being often urged there to) Choice of: But James, being of a roving per, not liking Confinement, came to London, rather chose to live as a Servant , (which he with several Gentlemen, and behaved well honestly) than be ruled by his Parents, who tended to have set him up in a Farm. But still, he had not been very long in Town, but Mind changed, and he would turn Miller , or Man, and trade in the Barges, which bring down the River to Queenhithe; accordingly went down in the Country, and took a Mill, there he did not continue long, being very settled in his Resolutions: He returned again Town, and lived in Services as before, and, out of Place, would frequently go down, and with his Father till a new one offered.
He married a Wife, who, he said, was not a man of the best Character; however, he with her some Years, and had several Children her, now dead; at length they had so many putes and Quarrels together, being for every ling, that neither of them enjoyed a Mom Peace, so that they mutually agreed to part, accordingly made a formal Seperation, and de themselves free from each other, before Witnesses; and after a few Years, he married nother Wife, who visited him sometimes under Sentence, and brought with her their Daughter of 2 Years and an half old.
Hall had been a Servant to John Penny, Principal of Clement's-Inn, upwards of Years, when he committed this horrid Fact. Master, being a single Gentleman, lived in Chambers in Clement's-Inn, and had nobody him but Hall, to whom he had been ever a Master.
He pretended not to be so vicious as many unfortunate Creatures are, though he cert had great Failings. Owing some small Debts, exceeding (as he said) five or six Pounds, and ving some other little Incumberances, he kne easily how to get from, the Devil put it into
Head to murder his kind Master, and for this hellish Purpose, he provided a big Stick or Club, which he hid for several Days under his Master's Bed. Before he could find an Opportunity, he had taken this damnable Resolution a long time before he put it in Execution, and followed him several Times to do it, though his Heart failed him; but at last the Devil's Power prevailed, and he perpetrated this dreadful Scene of Villainy and Barbarity, on his ancient Master, who was between 67 and 68 Years of Age, in the following cruel Manner.
The old Gentleman had been out the 18th Day of June last, on some Business, and came Home about Nine or Ten o'Clock at Night, and, as his constant Custom was, sat in an outer Room till Bed Time, about Eleven or Twelve. Mr. Penny being undressed all but his Night-Gown, rose to go from the outer Room to his Bedchamber, and, as he walked along, this Monster of Wickedness came behind him, and with the aforementioned big Stick or Club, as himself said, (though the Indictment called it a Bar of Iron) he cruelly struck the old Gentleman in the hinder Part of his Head, which beat him down, broke his Skull, and he never spoke more; yet his Barbarity stopt not there, for he redoubled the Blow; and though he was fully dispatch'd, yet did this vile Man cut his Throat from Ear to Ear, and let all the Blood in his Body run out into what Vessels he had in the House: And so artful was he to prevent Discovery, that he mixt Water with the Blood, that it might not coagulate, and threw it down thro' a Grate into a sink before the Door; then stript both the dead Body and himself stark naked, to prevent any Spots of Blood being seen on his Cloaths, and carried his Master's Corpse upon his naked Back down Stairs, and threw it into the Bog-house. Some of the Blood was spilt on the Floor, which Hall endeavoured to wipe off, but in vain; neither could the Woman, who wash'd the Chambers, ever remove it.
After this dreadful Scene was over, he kept Possession of his murdered Master's Chambers, and went to the Coffee-House as usual for his Master's Breakfast: The Deceased being missing, his Friends and Relations began to be very uneasy about him; they enquired every where both in and out of Town, but to no Purpose. At last 'twas thought proper to search the Bog-hose where the Body was found, after having lain there ten or eleven Days. Hall was taken up on Suspicion, but there not being Proof enough against him in July Sessions, his Trial was deferr'd til this last Sessions, when he was upon his own Confession convicted.
James Hall and John Stevens, alias Henry Cooke, (try'd and convicted the same Sessions) being on the Master's Side of Newgate, and knowing how desperate their Cases were, meditated an Escape, and, by the Assistance of a Country Butcher at Hadley, who brought them Pistols and a Hanger, they were in Hopes to effect it: But being discovered by a Fellow Prisoner, Mr. Akerman, with Jonathan the Turnkey, about twelve at Night, rushed in upon them, took two Pistols from Cooke, and confined them more close in their Cell; and next Day the Butcher, coming again with more Tools, was taken, and put into the Condemn'd-Hold.
Hall, after this Attempt, finding no Possibility of escaping, confessed the whole of this shocking Scene on Sunday, August 23, to a Friend, and on the Tuesday following related the same to the Relations of the Deceased, and confessed that the Murder and Robbery was entirely his own Contrivance, and that his Wife was wholly innocent, though she had been taken up on Suspicion, a Woman having sworn that she saw her go out of the Inn the next Morning, with bloody Linnen in her Apron, which proved to be a little inconsistent, as it afterwards appeared, by Hall confessing that he himself threw them in the Bog-house in a particular Place, where they were found; however, she was before that Confession, admitted to Bail on Five Hundred Pounds Security.
Hall was an obstreporous, ill natur'd, sullen Man; inclined to Women, Drinking, and Gaming, for which his good Master often reproved him, and gave him the best of Advice. While under Sentence, he behaved quietly, and professed Penitence; but seemed a little too hard-hearted and indifferent.
Though he confessed the Murder, yet he would not own the stealing any more than a Purse with 36 Guineas, notwithstanding a great deal more in Cash, as well as Bank Notes and a Diamond Ring, the Whole amounting to a considerable Sum, was missing.
He was a Man of good Sense, and could talk very well, though he made such bad Use of it. He went to Church sometimes, and once received the Sacrament from a Friend of his worthy Master's. Being asked, why he pleaded guilty, and did not stand his Trial? He said, it was to discharge his Conscience, and save his innocent Wife, who might, perhaps, upon a positive Oath, have been convicted, though she knew nothing of the Matter, nor was in any Shape concerned.
He seemed mightily affected that his Body should be hung in Chains, and exposed to open View for many Years after Death. But being reminded of the Heinousness of his Crime, and that his great Duty was to mind the grand Affair, the Salvation of his Soul, which lives when the Body is no more, he then seemed more composed.
On Wednesday the 9th Instant, when the Dead Warrant was brought to Newgate, Hall was intreated, in a tender Manner, to make a good Use of his precious Moments, and to beseech GOD for Pardon for his Sins: At which Time he seemed much mollified, and almost wept; which was the first Instance of his being observed to be tender hearted, or much affected.
Being asked concerning a Report pretty current about the Town, of his going several Nights into his Master's Room, very late, when he was in Bed, with a lighted Candle in his Hand, and looking in his Face, and his Master asking him what he wanted; and his retiring; also, about his Master's observing to some Friends, that for some Time past, his Man seemed to look surly, and their advising him to make a strong new Bolt for the Chamber Door on the Inside? He absolutely denied them, and said, they were idle Reports; and that he never knew his Master entertain any the least Suspicion of him.
He declared his Faith in Christ, that he repented of his wicked Life, and was in Peace with all Men.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON the Sunday Forenoon before he died, when I came down from Chappel, James Hall's first Wife, was in the Press-Yard, sitting on a Bench, and seeing her Husband pass by to the Cells, she cried out in a strange manner, semed to be in Fits, and took off her Hood and threw it in the Dust, as if she had been mad; I advis'd her, to submit to God's Will and resign herself; the Head keeper ordering Hall down, the Woman went and met him in the Passage of the Cells, she freely forgave him, as he did her and he gave her half a Crown.
On Monday Morning, there being a special Order to do Duty betimes in the Morning, James Hall was brought to Chappel, betwixt 6 and 7 o'Clock, he heard and complied with Prayers devoutly, and was attentive to a short Exhortation proper for his Exit. About 8 in the Morning, he was taken out and put into an Hurdle, and carried through Newgate, down the Old Bailey, Ludgate hill, Fleet street, through Temple Bar, and along the Strand 'till they came to the Place of Execution, the middle of the Street opposite to the End of Katherine street, to which Place he came about 9 o'Clock in the Morning, a little after which I went into the Cart, and he devoutly comply'd with the Prayers, and then was willing to hear part of the 16th, Psalm, relating to the Resurrection, Sung, but had no more to add to his Confessions, having done that fully already to Mr. APPLEBEE. After I had discharged my Duty, the Revd. Mr. VILLETTE, Curate of St. Luke, Middlesex, who had at Times attended him after Sentence, went up into the Cart, by his own Desire, and pray'd by him for some Time. The said Gentleman was desired to ask him whither he had not concealed any of the Effects of his late Master, more than what he had in Newgate confessed, to which he answer'd, as he was a dying Man he had confessed the Truth; and being pressed by many suitable Arguments to glorify God by a free and open Confession, he declar'd again, he cou'd add nothing more to his former Confession, which was the very Truth. He seem'd and appear'd intent upon the Prayers, and as the Revd. Mr. VILLETTE made him repeat some suitable penitential Psalms, he wept, and earnestly joined in those Prayers which recommended him to the Mercy of Almighty God. To all outward Appearance, and as far as we can judge, he died a true Penitent. Just as he was going off, he cry'd to God to receive his Soul. His Body hung three Quarters of an Hour; after which he was taken down, and carry'd to Sheppard's-Bush, in order to be hung in Chains.
This is all the Account given by me,
JAMES HALL, deliver'd to the Printer hereof, the following Account of his Birth, Education, &c. some Days before his Confession of the Murder to the DEAN of Litchfield, and Mr. Wotton; which ACCOUNT we have here given exactly as he deliver'd it; and which any Person of Curiosity may see at the PRINTERS, under HALL's Hand.
I AM the younger Son of Michael Hall, now living at a Place called Well, in the Parish of Long Sutton, in the County of Hants, (distant from London 41 Miles, from Odiham 3 Miles, from Farnham 3 Miles, from Basingstoke 7 Miles) I was born at Long Sutton aforesaid, in the Year, 1704; from whence, four Years after my Birth, I was removed with my Father and Mother, and the rest of the Family, to a Place called Stapley Farm, in the Parish of Odiham, and County aforesaid, to an Uncle who lived there, and who having neither Wife nor Family, gave the sole Direction of his Business to my Father; in this Station, my Father continued untill the Death of my Uncle; he being my Mother's Brother, and having no Issue of his own, and dying Intestate, the major Part of his Fortune came to my Mother, as being the only surviving Sister to him, though a Nephew of his by Name T – E -, now living in the Parish of Long Suton, contesting with my Mother for a Share of my Uncle's Estate, when to make him easy, and drop all Pretensions, allow'd him a Farm of about 50 l per Ann. in the Parish aforesaid, whereon he now lives. - My Father and his Family, continuing in the Farm where my Uncle lived 14 Years, when my Mother dying, and my Father being about 60 Years of Age, and incapable of managing so much Business, as he then had on his Hands, he having then two Sons at Home with him, namely, Stephen and William, Stephen the 2d. and William the 4th, and Michael the Eldest, being married and settled in a Farm belonging to my Father at Well, aforesaid. My Brother John his 3d Son, was put Apprentice to a Butcher , with whom he served his Time diligently and soberly; when he was out of his Time, my Father built him a new House at Crundell, with a Piece of Land to it, in order for him to put Cattle in; here he married, and for a considerable Time lived in good Repute, but his Family increasing to 5 Children, and Fortune frowning on him, he mortgaged his House, and that Money being spent, he then sold both House and Land, his Wife dying some Years ago, but he remains in the same Place, she being Sister to one Mr. John Lock, who is a very eminent Master Builder , and Timber-Merchant , in Channel-Row, Westminster, who has been very kind to the Children since her Death, and his Misfortunes.
William and Stephen, my Brothers, as I mentioned before, being at Home with my Father, and he being desirous to leave off Business, gave the Preference to those two Sons, which ever of them should first get a Wife suitable to his Condition, to him would he resign the Stock and Farm, which at that Time was worth upwards of One Thousand Pounds.
My Brother William, upon this Proposal, immediately made his Address to the only Daughter of one Benham of Elverton, in the County of Hants, near Hartly Row, to whom he was soon married, and with whom he had a plentiful Fortune, besides the Dependance after the Death of her Father and Mother; upon my Brother William bringing Home his Wife, my Father and Brother Stephen left the Farm, my Father went to live with my eldest Brother, whose Name is Michael, on his own Estate at Well; which said Estate now stands chargeable with, and liable to pay me, or my Assigns, six Hundred Pounds, from, and immediately after the Death of my Father, who is now in the 75th Year of his Age.
My Brother Stephen leaving the Farm as I said before, went to live with one Esquire Jertis, at Harriot, four Miles distant from Basinstoke; with this Gentleman, he lived in the Capacity of a Steward or Bailiff , near two Years, then married the House-keeper, from whence they went to live at a Farm, at Long Sutton, aforesaid, where she still continues now a Widow, my Brother being dead near a Year.
I had almost forgot to mention that I had a Sister, which is the youngest except myself, she is also married to a Farmer in the same Neighbourhood, in good Circumstances and well beloved.
Nothing but the scandalous Imposition of the Author, (of the Pamphlet, or Libel, call it what you please, Intitled, Matchless Villany) upon the World, should have prompted me to have given the above Account of my Family, which I have in the most consisest Manner I can recollect, on purpose to undeceive the Town, and confute that Scoundrel-like Author, and as he has undertaken to acquaint the World with my past Scene of Life, as also several Suggestions in regard to Murder and Robbery of my Master, I beg likewise to clear these Points in particular, and to give the World a full and authentic Account of my Life, which is as follows, viz.
After my Removal to my Uncles at Stapely as aforesaid, and when I was about six Years old, I was sent to a School at Long Sutton, to one Mr. Wingate, under whose Instructions I was about two Years, in which Time I learned to read the Bible, &c. when my Father removed me from thence, to one Mr. Yeo, a School-master at Odiham, who taught Writing and Accompts, with whom I continued three Years, in which Time I became so good a Proficient in Accompts, and wrote so good a Hand, that the Master of the School, often in the last Year, left the Care of the School to me, particularly on Market-Days, he keeping a Barber's Shop, sold Tobacco, and distill'd Liquors, &c. the Care and Disposal of which, took up his Time mostly on those Days, which though I had the Direction of the School, was a great Backwardness to me, as well as the rest of the Scholars. I being now between eleven and twelve Years of Age, my Father then took me Home for some Time, then sent me to London, to one Mr. James Richardson, at Cupersbridge, near Cupers Garden's, Lambeth, who was a Friend of my Father's, desiring of him to shew me the Town, in order or me to chuse such a Trade as I lik'd.
To this Gentleman I came, who received me very kindly, and daily comply'd with my Father's Request; but after I had seen most Parts of London, and the Trades therein, I neither liked the Town, or any Trade I had seen. After about six Weeks Stay with Mr. Richardson, I return'd again to my Father, who was much surpriz'd at my speedy Return, when finding I would not take to any Trade, he employ'd me at Home in the Husbandry Business , till I was about 17 Years of Age, when he agreed with one Mr. Applegarth a Quaker at Shipbridge-Mills near Swallowfield in Berks, who was a Man of very great Note in the Mealing Business ; my Father agreed with him to take me to learn that Business in the room of a Trade with whom I continu'd near four Years, and altho' it is customary to give Money in such Cases, I was thought so good and able a Hand in that Branch of Business by Mr. Applegarth, &c. that the second Year he gave me 10 l. which with my Persiquites amounted to about 15 l. per Ann. here I might have continued longer, but being taken ill of a Fever, left that Place and went Home to my Father, soon after my recovering, I was recommended by Mr. Applegarth to one Mr. Pyott at Quaker, at Winchester, Hants, who was not only very eminent in the Mealing Business, but also in Malting, and dealt in all sorts of Wined Brandy, and Rum, &c. He kept a very large Coal Warf, and served most part of the Town with Coals, and the neighbouring Places for several Miles round, so that his whole Dealings at a moderate Computation, he return'd at least upwards of 1000 l. per Week, this Gentleman I liv'd with two Years, in which Time I put his Mealing Business in the newest Method, which has accordingly been carried on to this Day.
I then having a Desire to come again to London, gave Mr. Pyott Notice to provide himself with one in my Room, when I came to my Father and acquainted him with my Resolutions of coming to London, at which he seemed well pleased, and gave me a Recommenditary Letter to Mr. Richardson aforesaid, as I was with when I came first to London, with Directions therein, if I wanted Money for him to supply me till I got into Business, which was about half a Year after I came to Town; during this half Year as I had nothing to do, except taking Pleasure about Town, I had the Curiosity to take a Walk to Bow Mills, they being thought the greatest in England; after having view'd them, I fell into Discourse with one of the Millers , whose Name was John Gilby, after having some Discourse about the Mills, I being one of that Business, and wanting a Place, asked if he could recommend me to one, he said he had an Acquaintance at Queenhith, whose Name was Benjamin Hawkins, Clerk to one Mr. Johnson, a Factor and Mealman. Mr. Johnson wanted one to dress his Flower with a Horse Mill, upon telling Mr. Hawkins who I came from, and what my Profession was, I was immediately hired to Mr. Johnson, with whom I continued about two Years, and gave entire Satisfaction to my Master when having the Misfortune of breaking one of my Legs, during the Time of my Illness, I was taken great Care of till I was able to walk with Crutches, when I was again sent to my Friend
Mr. Richardson at Cupers Bridge, where I remain'd till I was got tollerably well, but being advised not to return again to the Mealing Business, for fear of a fresh Hurt, the Surgeon telling me, that if I did, my Leg would never be streight afterwards, which deterr'd me from returning to Mr. Johnson's again.
I was then recommended to one Mr. Dixon, a Sollicitor in Chancery, at No. 2. in Lincoln's-Inn, with whom I liv'd in the Capacity of a Servant , near two Years, and falling ill of the Small-Pox, which some of the Family had not had, was the Occasion of leaving that Service.
After my Recovery from the Small-Pox, I went to see a Country Woman of mine, her Name was Elizabeth Knight, a Mantua-maker , who lodged with one Mrs. Sharp in Clement's-Lane. Upon my saying that I was out of Place, she being then Laundress to Mr. PENNY, and he then wanting a Servant. The next Morning, according to the Directions I had of Mrs. Sharp, I waited on Mr. PENNY, with my Character in Writing from Mr. Dixon, which was as follows, viz.
" I do hereby certify, that James Hall, the " Bearer hereof, has been my Servant near two " Years, but falling ill of the Small-Pox, (which " some of my Family has not had) was the Occasion of his leaving my Service, but he behaved himself well therein, and I believe him " to be a very faithful honest Person, and one " who has good Friends.
Mr. PENNY approving of my Character, ordered me to call the next Day for his further Answer, when finding by Mr. Dixon (with whom he had been with in the mean Time) that all that I said to him was true, I was immediately hired, and lived with him upwards of seven Years and a Quarter. During which Time I always attended him both in Town and Country, and always gave Satisfaction to him in what I did, as he has been pleased to declare to most of his Acquaintance; so that I can justly say, he was a very good Master to me, and I on my Part was faithful to him, tho' the World is pleased to say to the contrary. The first three Years I lived with him, in the Summer Time he generally rode out of Town on Saturdays to a Lady of his Acquaintance, for whom he acted as her Attorney , and in the Management of her Affairs, viz. one Mrs. Wilson at Mitcham in Surrey, stay'd there till Wednesdays, and then returned back to London. She removing to London, took a House in Arlington-street, Piccadilly, where he often dined on Fridays.
This Lady being in Town, he afterwards made Use of his Brother's House at Beddington in Surrey, in the same manner as he did Mrs. Wilson's, his Brother being Dean of Lichfield and Coventry, and Prebend of Norwich, and Rector of Beddington; but he seldom coming to Beddington, he keeping a Curate to officiate for him, and left the Care of his House to one Mrs. Rotherham.
About this Time I became acquainted with one Mr. H - s a Welchman, who says, he is nearly related to Mr. Middleton of Chirk-Castle in Denbighshire, who was then Clerk to Mr. Lloyd an Attorney, whose Chambers was over my Master's, which to my Shame and Sorrow do I say it, was the worst Acquaintance I ever met with in my Life. He soon became very familiar with me, and often used to borrow small Sums of Money of me, which he had Honesty enough to repay some Times; but the last he borrow'd being more than usual, went out of Town, and never return'd me a Farthing of it. But what was still worse than that was, he having a Country Woman of his in Town, whose Name was Eleanor Garnons, and as he represented her to me, to be a Woman descended of a very good Family in Wales, from whom she had great Dependencies. I believing what he said to be true, was desirous of seeing her, he accordingly went with me to make her a Visit, where she then was with a particular Acquaintance of hers, near Norfolk-street in the Strand; I too soon became intimate with her, she then having a Brother who lived in very good Credit at George's Chocolate-House, St. James's, who removed her from thence to one Mr. Pierce's, a Grocer and Chandler in Burlington's-Gardens, here she lodged about three or four Months, in which Time I visited her as often as my Business would admit off, which was three or four Times a Week, thinking from what H - s had represented her to be, as well as the courteous Behaviour of the Woman, I agreed to make her my Wife, and what was a further Inducement, she being nearly related to one Squire Wynn, a Welch Gentleman of great Fortune, whose House was in Burlington-Gardens, where she often was when I came after her, the Reason of that I was then a Stranger too; however not having any Suspicion of her having any criminal Conversation with any one, as I afterwards had great Reason to believe she had, with one Mr. T - who was Gentleman to
Squire Wynn, I was so much overseen as to marry her; immediately thereupon I removed her to a Lodging I had before taken, at one Mr. Lloyds in Wytch street, whose Wife is Laundress to several Gentlemen of New Inn, and he Porter to the same. Here I kept her near a Year, in which Time the said T - often to my Knowledge came to see her, and no doubt a great many Times unknown to me, once in particular, I came unexpectedly to the Lodgings, and found the Door locked, when I knocked very hard for some Time before I could get the Door open'd, but they being obliged to open it, I found them both in the Room, in the greatest Confusion imaginable, and not only that, but often would elope for three or four Days at a Time, and never could, nor would give me any Account where she had been.
When it was mutually agreed between us and several other Witnesses to part, and not in the least to interrupt each other on any Occasion whatever, for near two Years after I heard nothing of her, when as I afterwards learn'd, she was kept by the said T -, who had taken Lodgings for her of one Mrs. Twig, in Swallow street, very near his Master's House, and by all Probability had her Maintenance from thence, for her Rent was paid as it became due, till one of the Footmen at Squire Wynn's discover'd the Intrigue. She soon after left that Lodging, and came no more near her Landlady, to whom she owed 3 l. when Mrs. Twig came to demand it of me, and threatned if I did not pay her she would Arrest me, which I refused, and put her to Defiance, from whence I heard no more of her.
The next Lodging she had, was with one David Hughes, who lives in Goswel street, near Old-street, where she concealed herself from me near a Year, during which Time she was supplied with Money by somebody, sufficient to maintain herself in a handsome Manner, but desiring every one who came to see her, to be very cautious of letting any one know where she was, notwithstanding she sent her Landlady to me, with a Bill of 8 l. which Mr. Hughes said she owed her, and, as she was my Wife, desired me to pay it, which I absolutely denied. About two or three Months after this, the said Mrs. Hughes came again with a Bill of 13 l. which I likewise refused to pay her; and being sent of a Message by my Master, she took that Opportunity of acquainting him of the whole Matter, which till then he was a Stranger to. She went and employed an Attorney to sue me for the same, who was a Gentleman of Tucks-Court, Chancery-Lane: He thought proper not to proceed any further, than only sending me a Letter, to which I sent no Answer; since then I have heard nothing of neither of them, till since my Confinement, Mrs. Hughes coming one Day to ask for me, but did not see me; and her Lodger, as I am credibly inform'd now lives some where in Old street, in a languishing deplorable Condition.
Here I submit it to the impartial World, after the vile Treatment of her, and as it was by her own Desire, that we seperated, to which the above said Mrs. Lloyd and others were Witnesses, if I had not a great deal of Room and Reason for what I did; and as she promised never to interrupt me, as I did her, in whatsoever Situation Providence should seperately Place us in; which contract I strictly observed, though she did not; however, I was determined never to have any Thing to do with, or say to her.
When formerly, I being intimately acquainted with, as well as a great Friendship for one Hannah Chapman, Daughter of a reputable Farmer in Essex, and related to one Mr. William Wright, of Bethnal Green, Middlesex, Dealer in Horses .
She being House-Keeper to Mr. Johnson, of Queenhithe, aforesaid, the major Part of the Time I lived with him. Soon after I went to live with Mr. Dixon, of Lincoln's-Inn; Mrs. Dixon wanted a Maid to wait on her and the Children, the said Hannah Chapman having then left Mr. Johnson, and gone to Mr. Wright's, she, upon my Recommendation, came to live with Mrs. Dixon, where I had an Opportunity of renewing my Friendship with her, and a great Desire to make her my Wife, but could not prevail with her at that Time. Sometime after, leaving Mrs. Dixon, she went to live a second Time with Mr. Johnson, and from thence to be with Mrs. Dixey, an Aunt of hers, in Bunhill-Row, joining to the Artillery Ground, Moorfields, where I went to see her every Opportunity I had, and at length she consented to be married, (not knowing I ever was married before, or that I had a Wife then living) which was accordingly done about three Years ago, when to be near me, I took a Lodging, for her at Mr. Sherman's, Tallow-Chandler, in Vere-street, Clare-Market Here she lodged upwards of a Year, when Expences increasing by having a Child born in that Time, (which is a Girl) and she being tired of such an inactive Course of Life, hearing of a Stocking and Haberdasher's Shop to be Let in Princes-street, Leicester fields, which she and I upon Viewing took, had the Stock therein Appraised; which amounted to One Hundred Ninety
and Five Pounds, and upwards; when we not having sufficient of our own to purchase the Stock, she apply'd to her Relation Mr. Wright, who readily advanced what Money we wanted, without taking any Security at that Time; but some Time after I voluntarily gave him my Bond and Judgment for the same, by Vertue of which he has, since my Commitment to Newgate, taken the whole Stock then in the Shop, for which I am very sorry, it being unknown to me, though I am well satisfied since it was done, out of Compassion to my Wife , who has since been carried before Col. Deveil, when some vile Wretch of a Woman swore, she saw her come out of Clement's Inn at 4 o'Clock on Thursday Morning, the 18th of June, with bloody Linnen in her Apron; when he would have committed her to Prison, had she not given 500 l. Security for her Appearance at the next Sessions at the Old Bailey, although there are sufficient Witnesses to prove, that she was at Home and in Bed at the same Time.
I Being a Servant to Mr. JOHN PENNY, seven Years and a Quarter, during which Time, when in Town, was generally his Custom, to have the News Papers from New Inn Coffee-House, every Morning, about eight o'Clock, and his Breakfast about nine, or half an Hour after. When his Payments came on at his Office at Westminster, he being Deputy Pay-master of his Majesty's Pensions . He went out from his Chambers at half an Hour after Ten o'Clock in the Forenoon, and generally return'd Home at Two to Dinner; at other Times, when the Payments were over, he used to read 'till Noon, then dress himself, and go to Dick's Coffee House within Temple Bar, for about an Hour, then take a Walk in Sommerset Gardens till Two, and come Home to Dinner, which he used to have from the late Captain Witherington's, who kept the Sign of the Rising Sun in Clement's-Inn Passage, going up to Clare Market.
On Wednesday the 17th of June, 1741, He went out as usual, and dined with one Mr. Danvers a Wollen-draper, near the new Church in the Strand, as he generally did on Wednesday's, he came Home about half an Hour after Eleven at Night, undressed himself, and as he was rising out of his Chair in order to go to Bed, his Nose fell a bleeding, and blooded the Floor of the Dining-Room, where he then was; before I could get the Chamber-pot, he came into his Bed-Chamber, and seated himself on the Feet of the Bed, I gave him the Chamber-pot to bleed into, which he did for about 5 Minutes, during which Time he would not consent that I should go for any Body to stop the Bleeding, there was in the Pot some Water, to which he bled; when he offered the Pot to me, after the Bleeding was stopt, he let it go before I had hold of it, which falling on the Floor, broke, which was the Occasion of the Room being stained with Blood.
The next Morning he got up at Eight o'Clock as usual, was very well, notwithstanding his bleeding over Night, and according to his Appointment, dress'd himself to go by Water. He went out a little before Nine, telling me he should Dine out, ordered me to get the Chambers wash'd, and the Fire light, that the Chambers might be thoroughly dry'd against his coming Home, which I expected according to Custom; his not coming that Night, the next Morning I went down to Mr. Wotton, his Nephew, to enquire if he had seen him, or knew any Thing of him, and I went to all the Places in the Neighbourhood, where I knew he used to Use, viz. Dick's Coffee House, Temple Bar, Sommerset-House Coffee-House, Hurt's Coffee-House, and the Waterman, who generally used to carry him; not hearing any Thing of him at these Places, Mr. Wotton thought proper to take his Horse and ride to Richmond, where Mr. PENNY had lately some particular Acquaintance gone to lodge, and several other Places, where he thought there might be any probability of finding him, but return'd Home without the least Intelligence of him. In the mean Time I made all the Enquiry I possibly could, in and about Town, not hearing any Thing of him, neither I nor Mr. Wotton; all this while I continued lying in the Chambers of Nights as usual, going daily to Mr. Wotton for fresh Instructions how to Act.
Near a Fortnight being past, and nothing heard of my Master, Mr. Wotton upon some Consultation with some of the Gentlemen of Clement's Inn, it was thought proper to seal up the Drawers and Doors of the Chambers of Mr. PENNY, his Uncle.
Mr. Wotton, or leave Word where I might be found; he came to the Door, and called me out, and told me, it was judged proper for me to be taken before a Magistrate to be examined relating to my Master's long Abscence, when I readily went with him before Justice De Veil, by whom, after a short Examination, I was order'd to the Gatehouse, at Westminster, for a further hearing the next Morning. Accordingly the Keeper had brought me as far as Charing-Cross, where he was met by a Messenger from the Justice, with Directions to the Keeper, to put me in Irons, on Account that the Body of my Master was found in Clement's-Inn Bog-house, with his Throat cut, and his Brains knock'd out; when I came a second Time before the Justice, Mrs. Law made Oath of the Blood being upon the Chambers as above; as also the Barber's Boy swore, that my Master's Wig was not combed on Thursday the 18th of June, though I do affirm it was, and shall to the last Moment of my Life, what makes me so positive in this particular is, that I knowing of my Master's going out that Day, knew I should not be wanted at Chambers, 'till he came Home, therefore I desired the Boy to Comb out my Wig at the same Time, which accordingly he did, and I made Use of that Opportunity to go out for the whole Day; likewise the Coffee-maid swore that she delivered his Break-fast to me that Morning as usual, though I am sure of the contrary of that. - But supposing what they alledged to be true? it no ways tends to my Disadvantage, but rather to serve me. Upon these Circumstances I was sent to Newgate, on Tuesday the 30th of June. A few Days after I had Occasion for Money, I sent to Mr. Knight, who was my Taylor, for a Parcel I had left with him 3 or 4 Days before, which had 22 Guineas in it, contain'd in a Purse of my Master's, two Razors, a Case of Instruments, a Stock Buckle, some Sticks of Sealing-wax, and three or four Franks, which were all mine, excepting the Purse; the Taylor hearing where I was, instead of coming with it to me as I desired, carried them to Colonel De Veil's, who still has it in Possession; this I mention, because they intend to bring the Purse in as an Evidence against me.
N. B. First, - Is it natural to suppose, was I guilty, but that in so long a Time, I should have absconded, whereas on the contrary, no one was more diligent, or could take more Pains in searching and enquiring after him than I was, having the Liberty of his two Horses to ride when and where I pleased, always coming Home, and lying in the Chambers of Nights as usual. All this I submit to the Judgment of every candid and impartial Reader, was I conscious of my own Guilt, whether I should have acted in the innocent Manner I did, but have fled as a Guilty one.
2dly, Upon the strictest Search and Enquiry made by Mr. Wotton, &c. on me, no one Thing was found belonging to Mr. PENNY, tho' Mr. Wotton has given out there was missing out of the Chambers a large Purse, and a Bank Note No 88, for 50 l. which if there ever was any such Note, I know nothing of; but since that Time I am credibly inform'd, there has been two Bank Notes of 100 l. each found, which had I been guilty in any one Point, I should have taken them, as all who knows it must believe; and as to the little Purse which was found at my Taylor's, in the Parcel I left with him, that Purse I admit was my Master's, which a few Days before his being missing, he gave to me with two 20 l. Bank Notes, and some Cash, with Orders to carry it to one Mrs. Streatfield, in Queen-Square, and brought her Receipt back to my Master for 75 l.
3dly, For the last two Years I lived with my Master, I wrote all or most of his Letters, and was privy to most of his Affairs, from whence it's to be presumed, had I any such wicked Intention against him, of either Robbing or Murdering my Master, I should have done it at a Time when I was sure there was large Sums of Money in the Chambers, whereby I might be a Gainer, whereas at the Time
he was missing or murder'd (as 'tis certain he was by somebody) he could have little or none; because the very Thursday he went out, being the 18th of June, was the last Day of Payments of the Pensions, for the Quarter that was then order'd; during this very Quarter as often as before, he has entrusted me to carry out and pay to the Persons that were entituled to receive it, 7 or 800 l. of a Day, I always discharging my Account faithfully, as those People can justify. - Had I been villainously inclin'd, either to murder or rob my Master, when those large Sums of Money were in the Chambers, would have been the Time.
4thly, As a further Proof of my Innocence, the Day I was brought from the Gate-kouse to be re-examin'd by Colonel Deveil, the Keeper of the said Gatehouse, as he and I came over St. James's-Park, he stoped to talk with an Acquaintance of his some Time, whilst I continued going forwards, until I was near or quite out of his Sight: I looking back, perceived him talking to a Gentleman at some Distance, I then was neither Iron'd nor Hand-cuffed, whereupon I stopp'd untill he came up with me, whereas I could with Ease have made my Escape, as Mr. Thomas Horabin can certify.
Some Days after he had deliver'd the beforemention'd Account to the Printer hereof, he sent for one Mr. Hawkins of Queenhith, (a very honest Man, who had taken some Pains to bring Hall to a Confession) and desired him to come to him on Sunday the 23d of August, which he did, when Hall confessed to him the horrid Murder, with all its barbarous Circumstances, but particularly desired him, that he wou'd not tell it to any one till he saw him again; and accordingly the Tuesday following, August 25, Mr. Hawkins went to him, when he desired Mr. Hawkins wou'd acquaint the Dean of Litchfield and Mr. Wotton, Nephew of the Deceased, with it, which accordingly Mr. Hawkins did, and they all three went with another Gentleman to Hall in Newgate, when he confirm'd what Mr. Hawkins had told them, which was as follows.
I had a Design to murder my Master for about a Month or more, before I did it; and having kept pretty much Company of late, and spent what I had, and being in Debt, I was resolved to stay no longer; accordingly June 17, having drank myself to a proper Pitch, I determin'd to put my Design in Execution.
That Night my Master came Home between 11 and 12, and I pulled of his Shoes and Stockings, and he pulled of his Breeches in the Dining-Room, and was walking to his Bed-Side, with his under Stockings on, when I came behind him in his Bed-Chamber, (it being soon after 12) and with a large Oaken Stick, which I had kept under his Bed some Time for that Purpose, and which I had bought with Design to murder him with, and knocked him down at one Blow; and I am very sure he never knew who struck him, or was sensible of any Pain; after this I gave him two or three Blows on the Head, and believe he was quite dead, for he neither sigh'd or groan'd: This Stick I had in my Hand 8 or 10 Times before with a Design to murder him, but my Heart always fail'd me till now.
It's impossible to describe the Horror and Confusion I was in at what I had done, and I wou'd have given a thousand Worlds if I had had them, that I had not done so cruel an Act, and I hated myself for the barbarity of the Action, and yet the Power of the Devil was so great, that he prompted me to cut his Throat, which I had no Occasion to do, for he certainly was dead, or dying, when I began.
In order to do this, I went into the Dining-Room, and stript myself stark naked, that no Blood might appear on any of my Cloaths or Linnen, and then took a little black handled Knife (with which my Master used to cut Fruit and Cheese with) and cut his Throat, from whence issued such a vast Quantity of Blood, that it filled almost five Chamber Pots, when mingled with a little clean Water, which I did to make it pass thro' the Sink at the Door,
the more easily; three of which Pots thus mixed, I flung down the Sink, and two into the Coal-Hole.
Then I tyed his black Waistcoat which he wore that Day, about his Neck, which being lined with Duffel, I thought would the more easily suck in the Blood from his Throat; as soon as this was done, naked as I was, I flung him a-cross my Shoulder, and run with him to the Bog-honse, and threw him in Head foremost, about one (or soon after) in the Morning, at the large Hole, where they empty Close Stools.
The Horror and Fear I was in was so great, that I rather flew than ran, never felt the Ground under me. As I returned from the Bog-house, my Fears and Apprehensions were such, that the Inn appear'd as if all in a Flame of Fire; when I came back to the Chambers, I took my Master's Coat, bloody Shirt, the Stick I knock'd him down with, and some Rags I had made Use of in wiping up the Blood, and run a second Time naked down to the Boghouse with them, and threw them into the second Seat of the Necessary-house, on the left Hand, opposite to where I had thrown the Body down, and where I believe the Relations found them; after this, I open'd the Writing-Desk, Scrutore, &c. and took about 36 Guineas from out of my Master's Pocket and the Writing-desk, which I put into my Master's green Purse, which I found in his Breeches Pocket; I also took several useless Things, as Wax, Franks, &c. which with the Purse I carried to Mr. Knight's, the Taylor, on the 18th, who upon my Commitment to Newgate, deliver'd them to Col. De Veil: My Master's two mourning Rings I had taken from his Fingers before I carried his Body out of the Chambers, and which Mr. Wotton has found where I directed him. I was under such Confusion, whilst searching the Chambers, that I scarce look'd over half the Drawers or Places, or scarce knew what I took: After this, I was all the remaining Part of the Night washing and rubbing the Rooms with Cloths, but found the Blood very difficult to get out, which made me wet them again, and light the Fire in the Morning to dry them; and then I went to fetch Mrs. Laws the Laundress, to wash them over again, telling her my Master had bled over Night at the Nose, and smear'd them.
All that Day I went from Place to Place, but could find no rest or be easy; the horrid Murder of my Master still running in my Mind; but though I had done so foul a Crime, all my Thoughts were taken up how to conceal it, and the Body being in so secret a Place, I thought would not be found. Whereupon I went on Friday Morning, June 19, to Mr. Wotton, my Master's Nephew, to enquire after my Master, and to tell him he lay out all Night, and that he went out the Day before by Water, and said he would return at Night, but never did, and that I was afraid, my Master had come to some Harm, though I never told him my Master had bled at the Nose over-night, and blooded the Rooms, as I did the Laundress; for he ask'd me so many Questions, and was so particular in enquiring after his Uncle, that it gave me great Uneasiness, and terrify'd me; afterwards, I went generally twice every Day to Mr. Wotton, to know where to go to enquire after my Master, &c. though every time I went, I was under great Anxiety, and Disquietude; and in this dismal State, I continu'd being all the While terribly afraid of laying or even being alone in the Chambers.
On the Sunday after the Murder, I was so afraid, that I had my Wife to lay with me in my Master's Bed, and all Night long I could not sleep for dread and Horror; and a few Nights after, I had her again to lye at Chambers with me; and frequently ask'd Mr. Wotton to send somebody to lay at Chambers, for I did not care to be alone.
On Monday, June 29, Mr. Wotton took me up, and when before the Justice, I stifly denied it, as I did likewise the next Day, even after the Body was found, though I was all over in a sweat the Instant I heard the Body was taken up.
tures, on the Boxes under the Bed, and other Parts of the Room, greatly alarm'd me, for I, in my Confusion, had over-look'd it, and never saw it, though I continu'd so long in the Chambers, for I had not Resolution to look about the Bed-Chamber, and likewise hearing Mr. Wotton had besides the Parcel found at the Taylors, such strong Evidence against me, I grew greatly afraid, and thought I should be convicted; on this I readily came into a Proposal made to me, of an Escape, which miscarrying, and I being detected, threw me into a Flood of Tears, for then I knew all Hopes were lost.
Soon after I was put into the Cells, and there, being so much alone, I began more seriously to reflect on my unhappy Case; and that, by my Denial of the Fact, I might bring an innocent Wife into the wretched Place where I was, (for she was then at large on Five Hundred Pounds Bal) which might kill her, and my Child, though I did not doubt of her Acquittal.
On these Considerations, as well as to ease my own Conscience, I determined to make an ample Confession, which I had frequently a Desire to do; but, when just ready to confess, I flew back, and remained inflexible; but now, resolved upon it, I sent for Mr. Hawkins, formerly my Fellow-Servant, to whom I related the Whole of this barbarous Murder, and desired him to acquaint Dr. Penny, the Dean of Litchfield, and Mr. Wotton, with it, which he did; and they, and he, came to me in the Press-Yard, to whom I confirmed what I had confessed to Mr. Hawkins; and accordingly, as I told them I would, I pleaded guilty to all the Indictments the first Day of the Sessions.
This Confession gave great Ease to my tortured Soul, and made my Mind much quieter: Though I own myself very sorry for one Action done since my Commitment to Newgate, and which I was drawn into unawares, and that was the attempting to hire Witnesses to swear, they saw Mr. PENNY alive June 18, at Noon.
For which Purpose I was recommended by a Prisoner in Newgate, to an Attorney, who came to me soon after my Commitment, and I gave him at one Time 10 s. 6 d. and the next Day two Guineas more, to give two Witnesses, to swear my Master was seen alive the 18th, and to whom I was to give to more Money when the Business was done; and by the Attorney's Directions, I reduc'd into Writing a Description of my Master, and the Places he resorted to, for the Witnesses to swear, but after I had paid my Money to him, I heard no more of him; and I hear since he went and made an Information of what I had said to him and done to Col. Deveil, and delivered to him the Description of my Master under my own Hand.
N. B. The above Account of the barbarous Murder of my late worthy Master Mr. PENNY, which I now deliver to Mr. APPLEBEE, is just after the very Manner that I committed that cruel and most barbarous of Facts. The Lord have Mercy on my Soul.
Sept. 12th, 1741. Saturday, 7 o'Clock.
Some Account of HALL'S intended Escape (and his first Wife) by a Prisoner in Newgate, who was an Eye Witness of the whole Transaction.
SESSIONS drawing near, Hall sent for one Mr. Coombes, of Grange-Court, Attorney at Law to act for him, as he had been his Father's Attorney Time past, who came to Hall, but upon Hall's requesting of him to act for him was refused, and Mr. Coombs told him, no honest Man, or any one who regarded their Character wou'd; from this Hall fell into a sort of Melanchollyness, finding no one would espouse his Cause, or be concern'd for him in any Shape whatever. The last Glance of Hopes was to make his Escape out of Goal, and for that End consulted his Bedfellow Cook, (to whose Account for Particulars refer the World) whose Case he looked upon as equally desperate with his own.
Cook had no sooner the Hint given, than he gave his Assent, and ready Assistance to the Undertaking, and for that End sent for one Wood, (who now is confined) who Cook could intrust to assist them with Things necessary for their Design, which Things according to Cooke's Direction to the said Wood, were brought accordingly, which was a Brace of Pistols, Powder, Bullets, Flints, &c. Spring-Saws, &c. with the latter they intended on the Wednesday Night to have cut their Irons assunder, in readiness against the locking up next Night to pull off in a Minute, when by the Assistance of Wood on the Out-side to secure the Turnkey, and in Case of Resistance to shoot him. Hall and Cook on the Inside armed to shoot the Man who attends in Case of his Resistance, by which Means they have declared they made no manner of Doubt of escaping, had they not been discovered.
Hall's first Wife was at Newgate on Wednesday last, and as she was talking to a Prisoner on the Master's-Side, at the outside of the Gate, and enquiring after her Rival, that Instant who should pass by but the second Wife, the first Wife went after her, and got to the Press-Yard Gate before her, and gave her the Meeting, and asked her who she wanted? She reply'd, Hall, Pray, says the other, how long have you known him? and several other Expressions; but the first Wife at last got with some Difficulty admitted before her Face, at which she swore London should be to hot to hold her.
The first Wife says that Hall kept her Company above three Years before he could prevail on her to have him, which when she did, was against her Will, finding his Temper in the Time of his Courtship to be surly, savage and inhumane; but as it was given out, he had 600 l. depending after the Death of his Father, which her Brother knew, forced her to marry him, with the Compassion she had for him from his often protesting and threatning, if she refused to marry him he would destroy himself, for which End he used to bring a Cord in his Pocket, and once in particular, when she lived in the P - of W - Laundry, as he and she were alone, upon her denying to have him he attempted to hang himself across a Beam which was in the Room to dry Clothes on; which coming to the Ears of her Mistress, she was turned away, soon after which she was married to him.
He being then (as he all his Life time was) stingy, niggardly, and mean spirited, allowed her little or nothing to live on; she understanding Washing, took to that Business, and amongst her Customers was a Taylor, who by often visiting her became a Moth in the Eye of Hall, who took all Opportunities to watch his coming, and was so strict over his Wife, as to look her up off Nights, take Home the Key of her Room Door, and confine her thus
till such Time as he thought proper to come next Day to release her. The said Taylor coming one Night after the Door was locked, insisted upon breaking it open being in Liquor, and accordingly did; she being undressed; the Taylor had no sooner entered the Room, than in came Hall, who seized him, and would have murd'red him, had he not been prevented by his Wife, and another Man who came with Hall, in whose Custody Hall left the Taylor whilst he went for a Constable.
The Taylor being too strong for his Guard got loose, and as he was coming out of the House met Hall at the Door, who pursued him in such a Hurry, that he ran with his Head directly into the Spokes of a Cart that was in the Street, by which means Hall secured him, and tore his Cloaths to Pieces, carried him before a Justice, who bound him over to the then next Quarter Sessions, to which he gave Bail. Hall in the Interim being advised to sue him at common Law, by which he might get great Damages; this Hall thro' his avaritious Disposition readily agreed too, which was accordingly brought to Justice before the Lord Chief Justice Lee at Guild-hall, when a Verdict was given for Hall, with three Guineas Damages and Costs of Suit.
Hall from hence, whenever he came Home to his Wife, used to say little, but under a Pretence of playing together, would pinch, hugg, and squeeze her, till she used to be all over black, and sometimes would draw a Knife on her, make her down on her Knees to sware who had lain with her since he had; she once to prevent his killing her, forced herself when big with Child out of a two pair of Stairs Room and got from him, but at last he being so great a Brute, they agreed to part, and he was to allow her a Guinea a Quarter, which he never paid her, but soon married a second Wife.
As I am in a few Hours to fall a Victim to public Justice, the World may naturally expect I should leave something behind me with Respect to my intended Escape.
The first Person that hinted the Design to me, was Henry Cooke, who is under Condemnation for robbing Mr. Zachary. He told me it was no difficult Matter to set our selves at Liberty, and the next Morning I inform'd Mr. Cross, (who is a Prisoner for forging a Note on Mr. Hoare) of Cooke's Proposal. Cross told me, that himself and Cook had consulted together concerning it, and that he had a particular Friend, a very ingenious Man, who was a Blacksmith, and that he would send to him for Instruments necessary for the forwarding our Escapes. Accordingly he wrote a very long Letter with his own Hand to the Blacksmith, informing him, that some Tools were wanted for his Use.
Sometime after I was committed to this Place, a Book, the greatest Part of which was entirely false, was publish'd against me, and by Cross's Assistance, I compiled another, which I design'd to publish in Answer to it. When this Proposal for an Escape was first mentioned to me, I told Cross and Cooke, if there was a Possibility of setting ourselves at Liberty without committing Murder, I would agree to it, otherwise I would not, for I was fearful of the Consequences that might follow, and unwilling to add to the Load of Guilt, which already lay so heavy on me. Cross said, he did not value it, and if he once got into the Street, he never would go into Newgate again alive, and at last, with some Importunity they got me to join with them in their Undertaking.
Before this Project was put in Execution, Cross told me, that I must pay five Guineas for the Tools, which we were to use; I told
him, that as we were all to be equally concerned, I would pay only my Dividend of the Expence; Cross reply'd, he had no Money to put down, but however, that little Saw, which cut the Bazil of my Iron, and was found under my Bed was produced, and I believe it cost 6 or 7 s.
After this, Cross asked me if I could produce any Person that would swear they saw my Master after he was supposed to be murder'd, for it would be of singular Service to me: I told him I could not, and upon that he told me he would do for me very easily, or Words to that Effect.
Accordingly he wrote a Letter to one W – D - in Charles Court, near Princes-street, Leicester-fields, and when D- came, Cross told me there was one of the cleverest Men in England for that Business. I inform'd Deer of the Situation of my Case, and he was pleased to tell me he would certainly bring me off.
After this D- came backwards and forwards to me three or four Times, and told me he had fix'd on two Men who should swear as I should require; that one of them was an Apothecary, that they were both Persons who would make a good Appearance, and whose Character would be supported. He likewise told me, that they should make an Affidavit before a Judge, and if that Affidavit was produced at my Trial, it would carry the same Weight as if the Evidences themselves personally appear'd, but he must have half a Guinea to treat them, and before they would do me any Service, they were determin'd to have 4 Guineas in Hand.
Upon this I put 2 Guineas into Cross's Hands, and agreed to make them four when the Business should be concluded; but D- afterwards came to me, and desir'd me to let him have a rough Draught, to prepare a Breviate for my Defence, and at Cross's Desire I refused him.
Afterwards D- informing me that no Judge was in Town, and till then my Affair could not be finish'd, I reasonably demanded the two Guineas which I had put into Cross's Hands, but he told me he expected them for the Trouble he had been at in giving me his Advice and Assistance. After this I don't remember that I saw D - any more, and it would have been much better for me had I never seen him at all, for since I have been under Confinement, I have through Cross's Insinuations, been bilk'd out of six or seven Guineas.
This, as I am a dying Man, is the real Truth; and I have not omitted the most minute Thing, that a Man, in my unhappy Circumstances, can recollect: I shall only say this, that I never entertained the least Thought of attempting an Escape, till I was put upon it by Cross and his Accomplices.
At the Time of my committing this Fact, for which I suffer, I was in so much Confusion, that in putting my Master's Body down the Bog-house, the Keys of his Bureau fell in likewise, and there I was obliged to leave 150 l. in Gold, two Bank Notes of 100 l. each, and some other valuable Effects, behind me. It may naturally be asked, whether after the Commission of a Fact of this Nature, (supposing I had escaped the Hand of Justice) I could ever expect to enjoy a quiet Mind? To that I answer, That a Man is sometimes prevailed on to do a Thing that must inevitably destroy his Peace whilst his Life lasts, through the Want of Thought and Consideration; but with Regret I must own, that since I have been under Confinement, I have not had any Uneasiness or Frights upon me, but when I have sat up late, I have slept two or three Hours exceeding well, and have been too little troubled with the Shocks of a guilty Conscience.
Sunday Night, Sept, 13, 1741.
The following LETTER the above Person sent to Cross, now under Confinement in Newgate, an exact Copy of which is now in the Custody of the Keeper.
For Mr. CROSS.
" I Beg the Favour of you to send me the " Original Papers you have of mine: I " would not have you make any Excuse, and " say that you have destroyed them, or used " them as waste Paper; if you do, you will " prejudice yourself much more than you " have already done, and think you have taken such unadvised Steps of late, which " you will have great Cause to Repent " of.
" Besides, you and your Accomplices have " made a very great Property of me, as you " make it your Business to do of all unfortunate People, who are so unhappy as to " come under your Directions.
" This I am now assured of, though too " late; and is all at present, from me, whom " you have much injured.
The following is a true COPY of a LETTER which he sent to his Brother WILLIAM.
" IT is no small Addition to my present Afflictions, to hear of the great Concern " that you in particular are under for my Misfortunes, I am very sorry that I should be the " Occasion of giving you so much Uneasiness, " as also the Trouble it must be to the whole " Family, and others my Friends and Acquaintance; but you may satisfy yourself, " that none but the ignorant will in the least " reflect on you for my Misconduct and unhappy Fate. I would not have troubled " you with this long and melancholy Account, " but that I naturally imagine it will be more " Satisfaction to you to have it from my own " Hand, then from the common News-Papers, which are generally very imperfect.
" Friday, the 28th of Aug. last, I was called " to the Bar at the Old-Bailey, (being the first " Day of Sessions) when my Indictments were " read to me, to which I pleaded Guilty, in " some Measure to ease my own Conscience, " and clear my Wife; whose Innocency I was " well assured of. Notwithstanding which by " some vile Woman swearing falsly against " her, her Life was almost in as great Danger " as mine, and Justice Deveil would have " committed her to Newgate, had she not " found Friends to give 500 l. Bail for her " Appearance at the ensuing Sessions.
" This cruel Treatment, together with the " great Trouble she was in before on my Account, (and knowing her own Conscience " to be quite clear of what was, or possibly " could be alledged against her relating to her " being privy to the Murder) took such Effect " on her, that had she been obliged to appear " in Court, and tried for what she knew nothing of, it was much to be feared whether " it wou'd not have proved the Death of her, " had not she been cast for her Life, which in " all Probability she would, had it not been in " my Power to have clear'd her, which was " more then, than any Mortal living knew " except myself.
" Such false Witness ought to be deem'd " guilty of Murder, the same as any one who " murders another by open Violence, (as you " may find it set forth at large in the Tenth " Chapter of the Whole Duty of Man) This " single Evidence upon the Account of the " bloody Linnen, which she swore she saw my " Wife bring out of Clement's-Inn, on Thurs
day the 18th of June last, at four o'Clock " in the Morning, might have been the Occasion of taking away two Lives, and both innocent, for all she knew at that Time, as I " said before.
" A Relation of my Master's who seem'd " inclined to speak in Favour of this Woman, " by saying, that he was inform'd there was another Woman of my Wife's Acquaintance " in the Neighbourhood, one Mrs. B - " who was very much like my Wife, and that " the poor Woman might be mistaken, by " taking one for the other, which according to " my Apprehension is doing Mrs. B - the " greatest Injustice that possibly can be, for " admitting that she was taken for my Wife, " it must be positively charging her with bringing out the Linnen. To clear which beyond all manner of Doubt, I have since declar'd where I myself put both Coat and " Shirt, which have been found accordingly. " And now I leave the World to judge, what " Grounds any one can have to speak the least " in Vindication of the Person who swore against my Wife. My being so very particular and punctual in this Matter is not in " the least in Favour of myself, for I freely " own the Justice of my Sentence; but as I " have now only a few Hours longer to continue in this World, I think it my Duty to " do all that is in my Power to clear the innocent, and take the Guilt on myself. So " Dear Brother, the Lord protect you and " yours.
I remain your loving Brother,
On Friday next will be Publish'd,
A Full ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, of the Five Malefactors, who are to be Executed To-Morrow at Tyburn: In which will be contain'd a very large and remarkable Account of the numerous Robberies committed by COOK, the Highwayman, taken from his own Mouth in his Cell, two Days after he received Sentence of Death. Likewise a particular Account the Manner of his being taken, by the Means of one Martha Underwood, a Strafford Girl, who lived within three Doors of COOK, where he kept a Shoemaker's Shop, at Strafford. Also a particular Account of the Robbery on Gallows-Green, not far from Strafford, when one of the Gentlemen, whom COK and his Man Taylor went to rob, shot Taylor, and he died of his Wounds next Day. As also an Account how he kept a Shoemaker's Shop at Birmingham about 6 Weeks; and while he was there, he stole Mare from one Mr. Insal, which Mare he was upon when he robb'd Mr. Zachary, and made Mr. Zachary dismount to change Horses with him: And a Copy of a Letter which was sent to COOK from one Mary Barret, a young Woman at Birmingham, who was Partners with him in the Shop. With several other material Things relating to the said COOK, &c. &c.