THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS Who were Executed at TYBURN, ON WEDNESDAY the 7th of NOVEMBER, 1744.
LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
Number IV. For the said YEAR.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
AT the King's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Goal Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir ROBERT WESTLEY, Knt. Lord-Mayor of the City of London, the Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice LEE, the Honourable Mr. Baron REYNOLDS, Sir SIMON URLIN, Knt. Recorder of the City, and others of his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer for the City of London, and Justices of Goal Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 17th, 18th, and 19th of October, 1744, and in the Eighteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign.
FOUR Men, viz. Samuel Ellard, Richard Lee, alias Country Dick, Francis Moulcer, and Peter Velgent; and Three Women, viz. Ann Gwyn, Ann Wells, alias Barefoot, and Ann Duck, were by the Jury convicted of capital Offences, and received Sentence of Death.
WHILE under Sentence, they were instructed in their Duty, from the Words of our Saviour, speaking of the Woman who was a most wicked Sinner, who brought an Alabaster Box of Ointment, and anointed his Feet, and washed them with her Tears, Luke vii. v. 47. Wherefore I say unto you, her Sins which are many are forgiven, for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. A Parallel was made between their Case, and that of this Woman's in the Gospel; and they were informed, that our Blessed Father, thro' the Intercession of his Son Jesus Christ, is ever willing and ready to ex
tend his Mercy, and receive into his Favour the greatest Sinner on his sincere Repentance; it not being the Multitude of our Sins, nor the Greatness of them, that will obstruct God's Mercy and Goodness towards us; but it is our unfeigned Repentance, and true Sorrow for our Sins, that will entitle us to that Mercy: As I live, saith the Lord God, I delight not in the Death of a Sinner, but rather that he should repent of his Sin and live: And again, Turn you, turn you, O House of Israel, from the Evil of your Ways, and live, for I delight not in the Death of a Sinner, saith the Lord, but rather that the Wicked turn from the Evil of his Ways, and live.
THEY were told, that the more heinous their Sins had been, so much the more ought they to magnify and adore the Grace and Goodness of God for the Pardon thereof. They were strenuously urged to prepare themselves for the Change that was so near; to unlade their Consciences, confess their Guilt, and implore Forgiveness from their too much offended God. They were told how great a Crime it was to rob our Neighbour; how expressly contrary to the Command of God, and the Laws of Man; and that the Robber, sooner or later, will meet his Reward. They were also instructed in the Nature, End, and Design of the Christian Sacraments, and were entreated truly to prepare themselves to receive the blessed Sacrament of our Lord's Last Supper.
ON Thursday, November 1, Report was made to his Majesty in Council of the Seven Malefactors convicted last Sessions, then lying under Sentence of Death in the Cells of Newgate; when Peter Velgent, a Foreigner, for breaking open the House of Mr. Christopher Pinchbeck, and stealing from thence Goods of Value, received his Majesty's most gracious Reprieve, and was ordered for Transportation for Life. The remaining Six, viz. Richard Lee, alias Country Dick, Francis Moulcer, Samuel Ellard, Ann Gwyn, Ann Wells, alias Barefoot, and Ann Duck, were ordered for Execution.
THEY all, while under Sentence, constantly attended Chapel, and to Appearance behaved devoutly and, seriously, except now and then when the Felons of the Common-Side came up, they shewed too great a Fondness for their Company, and too little a Regard for their own Souls, for which being once or twice reproved, they became more observant, and more intent.
1. Francis Moulcer, of St. John's Hackney, was indicted, for that he, on the 6th of September, in the Eighteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign, upon Ann Bishop, Spinster, under the Age of Ten Years, feloniously did make an Assault, and her the said Ann Bishop did ravish, and carnally know, and wickedly did abuse, against the Form of the Statute.
Francis Moulcer was 35 Years of Age, born at Market-Deeping in Lincolnshire, of honest reputable Parents, his Father and Grandfather being both born in the same Place, and lived in much Credit and Reputation. He was the youngest of Nine Children, and his Father was very careful in his Education, and brought him up in Christian Principles: When old enough, he was bound as an Apprentice to his Father, who was a Collar-Maker , and served out his Time with him. Though even while an Apprentice, his too early Fondness for Vice and Wickedness appeared, and his following lewd Women was so apparently barefac'd, that his Father in his Will left his whole Fortune to his Brother, who was the Eldest of Nine Children, as he was the Youngest, all the rest being dead, and left him only one Shilling.
AFTER his Father's Death, which happened about Twelve Years since, his Brother, who came into the Business, and had married a Wife with above a Thousand Pounds, would have had him work'd Journey-work with him, but he refused, and came to London, and work'd here and about the Country in many Places, till about seven Years ago he went to Mr. Field, a Collar-Maker, at Stamford-Hill, where he continued till he committed the wicked Crime for which he died.
HE cohabited with a Woman whom he brought out of the Country with him for some Years, and had by her five Children, who are all dead, and the Woman returned into the Country again.
HE was married last June to one Martha Gr - y, who was a Servant in Cheapside; but she would never suffer him (whatever might be her Reason for marrying) to Bed with her. His Acquaintance with her was accidental; he happened to see her at a Public House one Sunday Morning at Stamford-Hill, where he fell into Discourse with her, gain'd from her her Name, and Place of Abode, and after a few Visits married her.
He owned his committing the Rape upon the Child, and his giving her the Foul Disease, as sworn against him on his Trial. He behaved well while under Sentence, declared himself truly penitent for all his Sins, came constantly to chapel, made regular Responces, and behaved as became his Circumstances. He believ'd in Christ, and died in Peace with all Men.
2. Samuel Ellard, was indicted for being seen at large in Great-Britain, without lawful Cause, before the Expiration of the Term for which he was ordered to be transported, to wit, on the 16th of July last, in the Parish of St. Martin's, Ludgate.
THE Record of his Conviction was produced in Court, setting forth, that on the 8th of April, 1741, he was convicted of stealing 18 s. 9 d. the Property of William Shipman; and the Record of his receiving Sentence of Transportation for seven Years for the
same being read, and he being prov'd the identical Person, he was sentenced to die, according to the Act in that case made and provided, which sets forth, that if any Person be found at large within the Kingdom of Great-Britain, within the Time limited for his or her Transportation, he or she shall be executed as guilty of Felony without Benefit of Clergy.
Samuel Ellard, about 30 Years of Age, was born of honest Parents in Spittle-Fields; his Father was a Master Weaver, who put him to School a little while; but dying, he received but very little Learning: when of Age, he was put Apprentice to a Butcher , with whom he serv'd out his Time, and afterwards work'd in Spittle-Fields Market for different People, and generally behaved pretty well, till he committed the Robbery for which he was transported about four Years and a half ago, which Robbery he own'd; but to extenuate it, said he was in Liquor, and did it at the Instigation of a young Fellow a Sailor who was going to Sea; 'twas a Cheesemonger's Shop in Spittle-Fields; he went behind the Counter, and took out of the Till 18 s. 9 d. but being seen by a Neighbour, who alarmed the Cheesemonger, he was seiz'd, though he struggled very hard to get away, saying he would swear a Robbery against them, if they detained him, and swore and curs'd in a prodigious Manner, and was, with a good deal of Difficulty, held, and carried before a Magistrate, where the Prosecutor described the Marks of a Half Crown, and several small Pieces of Money, which were found upon him; he was sent to Newgate, tried at the Old-Bailey, and received Sentence of Transportation for seven Years, and was accordingly with other Convicts, shipp'd on Board for America, where he was sold * to a Planter, who (he says) used him very cruel; that his Master was a Grecian, of a most Savage Disposition, having (by the Accounts he had heard) whipp'd seven of his Men to Death; and his Master's Wife, who was an Irishwoman, being likewise of a turbulent Spirit: He was determined if possible, to run away; and accordingly, the very first Opportunity he had, he embrac'd; and filling his Pockets with what Victuals he could find, set out in the Evening after he had done work, travelled all that Night, and next Day, and so on till he reach'd Philadelphia, which was above 300 Miles distant from his Master's Plantation.
H E frequently travelled thro' Woods 20 or 30 Miles in length, without seeing either Man or House; he was several Times taken up as a † Run-a-way, having no Pass; but no Pursuit being made after him, and he telling a plausible Tale, that he had Served his Time out, but oweing his Master Twenty-Shillings, he wanted to make him Serve 4 Years more for it. The People pittied him, let him lose, and gave him Victuals to support him till he arriv'd at Philadelphia, from whence he went to New York, where he entered himself on Board the Gosport Man of War, where he continued about Half a Year; and then with many others, left that Ship, went to Philadelphia, and enter'd himself on Board a Merchant Man bound for London, and in about two Months, got safe into the River Thames, which is now about two Years and a half ago,
* The Manner of these Convicts being sold, is as follows: They are placed in a Row together, like so many Oxen or Cows, and the Planters come and survey them, and if they like 'em, they agree for Price, with the Person entrusted with the selling of 'em; and after they have paid the Money, they ask 'em if they like him for a Master, and is willing to go with him; if they answer in the Affirmative, they are delivered to him as his Property; if on the contrary, as it sometimes happens, they should answer in the Negative, the Planter has his Money again, and another Planter may make Choice of him, whom he may likewise Refuse, but no more, for with the Third it seems, he is oblig'd to go, whether he likes him or not.
† As there are frequently People who run away from their Masters, there is a Reward of twenty Shillings paid for the taking of 'em, which makes it very difficult for 'em to escape; when a Master gives them a Discharge, he always gives them a Pass, by the Authority of which, they may safely go any where, and without one they are liable to be put into a Goal, and confin'd for some Days, to see if any Enquiry be made after them.
so that he was no more than two Years gone out of the seven.
WHEN he came home he went to Work as a Porter to the Market People , carrying Fruit of different kinds for them, chiefly at Fleet-market, and has earned sometimes (as he says) 30 s. a Week, and behav'd himself very honestly and industriously; and tho' several knew of his former Misfortune, yet did he work in this manner for two Years together, and none offer'd to molest him, till July last he was taken up about half an hour past Six o'Clock in the Morning on Ludgate-Hill, with his Knot on his Shoulder going to Work; was sent to Newgate, try'd and Convicted as above. About Seven or Eight Months ago he was Married to his poor Wife who is big with Child, she came frequently to see him while under Sentence and wept bitterly. He came constantly to Chapel, but seemed very ignorant of Religion; behaved quietly, owned the Justice of his Sentence, frequently shed Tears; said he believed in Christ, he repented of all his Sins, and Died in Peace with all Men.
Ann Duck and Ann Barefoot, otherwise Wells, of St. Sepulchre's, London, were indicted for assaulting George Cheshire on the King's Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him Four Pence in Monies, the Monies of the said George Cheshire, Sept. 21, and were by the Jury found Guilty, and sentenc'd to die.
3. Ann Duck was about 25 Years of Age, born in Little White's-Alley, Chancery-Lane, the Daughter of one Duck, a Black, well known to many Gentlemen in our Inns of Court, by teaching them the Use of the Small Sword, of which he was a very good Master. Duck sent his Daughter to School, and had proper Education given her to fit her for Business. After his Death, her Mother, who is a White Woman, and now living, took Care of her, and the rest of her Children, for she had several by her Husband the Black. But Ann, impatient of Restraint, soon after the Death of her Father, (which was about Four Years since) launched out into such Excesses, as were beyond her Mother's Power to controul; and became as expert a Mistress in all Manner of Wickedness, as Satan himself could make her. In short, hardly any Thing wicked came amiss to her. She first became a Servant at a Bawdy House ; then walk'd the Streets on her own Account; next commenc'd Pickpocket; at length became so bold, so resolute, and so daring, as to commit Street-Robberies even upon Men too, some of which she has confessed, which are hereunto annex'd. A full Account of her Life and Scenes of Villainy, alone would be sufficient to fill this Paper. She has been try'd several Times at the Old-Bailey, yet had the Fortune to get off, till at Length Justice overtook her, and she was deservedly condemn'd, though but for a Trifle.
AFTER Condemnation she appear'd but little Penitent, and when she came to Chapel, would much rather talk with her old Companions thro' the Lattice, than attend to the more serious Affair, the Welfare of her Soul; she nevertheless said, she believ'd in Christ, hop'd that God would save her Soul, and died in Peace with all Men.
Ann Barefoot with Ann Gwyn, of St. Andrew's, Holborn, were indicted for assaulting William Hamilton, in the Dwelling House of Henry Gray, putting him in Fear, and taking from him 12 s. 6 d. the Money of the said William, in the said Dwelling House, Oct. 12.
4. Ann Barefoot, alias Wells, was about 25 Years of Age, born in Cambridge, where her Father, some Years since, kept an Inn, and while he liv'd, bestow'd a good Education upon her: When he died she came up to London, and lived some Time with an Aunt in Bishopsgate-street, and afterwards at divers Places as a Servant , and at first behaved pretty well, till she contracted an Acquaintance with a Brewer's Servant, with whom she lived as a Wife, though she never was married, and by him had two Children, which are since dead; but even while she cohabited with this Man, her Mind was roving, and she frequently walk'd the Streets, and pick'd up Men. 'Twas one Night she came out from her Lodgings in Whitechapel, with a View to pick some one up, she was pick'd up herself by the Constables, and carried to the Poultry-Compter: next Day she was carried before the sitting Alderman, and was by him committed to
hard Labour to Bishopsgate Workhouse, where she continued about one Month, and in that Time contracted an Intimacy with a Woman who was of the same Stamp with herself, and committed to that Place on the same Score: They happened to be both discharged together, and the Woman asking her to go with her to Chick-Lane, where she used to lodge, Ann consented, went with her, and never went near the Brewer's Servant any more.
SHE soon became a noted Thief as well as Street-Walker, and extended her Acquaintance amongst a great Number of Thieves. Whores, Pickpockets, &c. of both Sexes, so that she had Thoughts of keeping a * Bouzing Ken of her own; and accordingly she took a House in Thatch'd-Court in Chick-Lane, which she kept for about a Year; but not finding her Customers come fast enough, and finding too that it was much dearer than Lodging, she laid it down, and went and lodg'd at Mr. Gray's, in Black-Boy-Alley, in Chick-Lane, (from which House she was taken) Twas here she became acquainted with Ann Gwyn, and other infamous People like herself; here too she became acquainted with Tho. Wells, (who is now a Prisoner in Newgate, for assaulting and wounding in a barbarous Manner Alexander Forfar, a Headborough) and passed for his Wife, but she never was married. She was concern'd in many Robberies, and was a most wicked Creature.
WHILE under Confinement, she had hardly any Sense of her miserable Condition; chose rather to be chatting with her Companions, than regarding the precious Moments she was so idly losing. After the Dead-Warrant came down, she sometimes shed Tears, but still seemed not sufficiently sensible of her former mispent Life. She said indeed she repented of her Sins, and died in Peace with all Mankind.
5. Ann Gwyn, 27 Years of Age, born in Golden-Lane, in the Parish of St. Luke's, Middlesex. Her Parents were poor, but honest People, who gave her the best Education they could afford, by putting her to School to learn to Read and Write: They also instructed her in the Principles and Duties of the Christian Religion, and brought her up in the best Manner their Circumstances would admit them. After their Death, she lived in different Places as a Servant, till at Length she turned Washerwoman, and washed for several in and about her own Neighbourhood, and behaved with a good deal of Honesty, till falling into bad Company, she became as vile as any Prostitute of 'em all, and lived upon the Spoil and Plunder of Mankind. She has been a Common Street-Walker for some Years, young as she was, and seldom left a Man whom she had pick'd up, without robbing him of something. In short, I believe, Three such vile Women as Duck, Barefoot, and Gwyn, were hardly ever seen together within the Walls of Newgate; and happy perhaps may it be to many Persons now living, that they are in Time cut off, and prevented from doing more Mischief; from one Degree of Wickedness to another they had already gradually arose, and who knows in the End, had they been suffered to live, to what Height their infamous Impudence might have carried them: And did Men but consider what Hazard! what Dangers they run! when they pick up, or suffer themselves to be pick'd up by such vile Women; surely none in their Senses would ever attempt it.
PITY it is, that some proper Method is not put in Practice to root out of the Streets of this our grand Metropolis such drove of these Creatures we each Night see, a Place famous for good and wholesome Laws; but sorry I am to say it, infamous for not putting them in execution; why will not every Member of the Community, as a Member, exert himself in so good a Cause, if not for his own Sake, for the Sake of his Friends, his Neighbours, and their Families? How often do we hear of a Son, a Servant, nay sometimes the Master himself, being drawn away by these vile Wretches, to the Prejudice of their Healths, and Constitutions, the Loss of their Substance, and the Ruin of their
* A Bouzing-Ken is a Drinking House:
Souls, and all for want of a due Regulation and Observance of our wholesome Laws; suppose, instead of Watchmen sleeping away their Time, or spending their Time at some Alehouse, both which Cases are too frequent among them, one from among their Body, or a Supernumary Man, was appointed by each Parish (and 'twould be but a small Expence to each Parish) whose Business should be to walk round (not with a Lanthorn and Staff to distinguish him, but properly arm'd) to observe, not only that the Watchmen themselves do their Duties, but also to take up every Street-Walker he sees, and carry her to the Watch-house, or some Place of Security, and this to be done every Night, and every Hour in the Night, not at settled Times; this would soon rid our Streets, and we might walk in safety and quietness, from and to our Habitations. I do not doubt but there may be Objections started against what I now propose, Improbabilities supposed, and what not; but to me, that matters not, my Heart is warm in the Cause, I mean well! I mean honestly! for the good Safety and Happiness of Mankind; and let some one, whose Head is better, or Heart more warm, improve on my Hint, or propose a better, I have my End.
Ann Gwyn behaved much in the same Manner with her two Fellow Sufferers, more fond of her Companions than of her own Soul; however, she forgave, as she hop'd for Forgiveness, and died in Peace with all Men.
Richard Lee, commonly called Country Dick, of St. Giles's in the Fields, was indicted for assaulting William Price, in the Dwelling House of Mary John's, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Hat, Value 7 s. a Perriwig, Value 12 s. a Silver Stock Buckle, Value 6 s. a Pair of Silver Buttons, Value 2 s. and 10 s. in Money, his Property, was found Guilty, and received Sentence of Death.
6. Richard Lee was about 19 Years of Age, born at Mashfield in Gloucestershire, about 5 Miles from Bath, and 10 from Bristol. His Father was formerly Coachman to the Lady Molineux, and afterwards kept an Inn at Bath; but Business failing, he retired to Mashfield, where Dick was born. He had very little Education given him, not going above a Month to School to an Old Woman, so that he could neither Write or Read, and was very ignorant of all Religion, but very expert in all Wickedness. His Father's chief Employment was selling Mashfield Cakes, from Place to Place, wherein our Dick was made Use of as an Assistant , as well as to his Mother; after his Father had left her, and till Dick had got some other Employment, which was that of Riding Postillion, to and from London, for several People . He once got into Service, but there he staid not long. He was intimately acquainted with a young Man, born in the same Parish, very near him, with whom he committed several Robberies, as may be seen in the Appendix, and who taught him the Art of selling Rings; which Art Dick soon became Master of, and has sold some hundred Brass Rings as Gold; in the doing which, he always went in a plain Way, like a Country Fellow, which gave him the Title of Country Dick.
HE was the first Person who attempted with Hangers the rescuing Villains out of the Hands of Justice, in which he too well succeeded, and from thence was called their Captain. He was a little Fellow, but of a bold and daring Spirit. He denied his actually Robbing the Prosecutor of the Things mentioned in the Indictment, but owned that he had them in Exchange for Rings. The Fallacy of such a Way of Reasoning was easily exposed, and he became a little more sensible, and owned the Justice of his Sentence, yet he did not behave so well as might be expected for one under his Circumstances, chusing rather to be talking with his Companions, than observing his Duty, till the Dead Warrant came down; then, indeed, he appeared a little more sedate, sometimes shed Tears, said he forgave as he expected Forgiveness, and died in Peace with all Men.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
TUESDAY, November 6, the Day before their Execution, they all of them received the Sacrament of our blessed Lord, and wept each of them most bitterly: being ask'd,
as soon as they had done, if they were not guilty for which they were to suffer, Tears so stopt their Utterance, that hey made no Answer.
THE Morning they died, they all came up to Chappel, were very devout at Prayers and Singing of Psalms; they were then carried down and put into two Carts, about 9 o'Clock. The three Men in one Cart, and the three Women in the other. When they came to the Place of Execution, they had not much to add to their former Confessions: Francis Moulcer for ravishing Ann Bishop, acknowledg'd is Guilt, and that he deservedly suffer'd: Samuel Ellard own'd likewise the Justice of his Sentence, and that he had been a very wicked Youth: Richard Lee, otherwise Country Dick, own'd he had been a notorious Thief and Cheat, et was not willing downright to own the present Fact: Ann Duck was in the same To, in regard to the Fact for which she died; but own'd she had been a most wicked Creature, and had done many Robberies: Ann Barefoot, otherwise Wells, and Ann Gwyn, both own'd the Robbery for which they died.
THEY were all very serious and devout at Prayers, wept plentifully, and went off the Stage crying out, Lord have Mercy upon us, Lord Jesus receive our Spirits.
This is all the Account given by me,
Ordinary of Newgate.
IT is a melancholly Observation, that notwithstanding frequent Examples are made of , and altho', to man fall by the ick Justice, and are punish'd for in the Loss of their Lives; yet such revalence of Evil Custom, and so strong the Force of wicked Habits, that the most shocking Instances of Distress and Anguish, are not sufficient to deter from Courses, which must necessarily conclude in Horror and Destruction.
Too many Proofs of the Depravity and Degeneracy of Human Nature, are generally given in these Accounts: and though the fatal Rocks are so plainly pointed out, on which Multitudes of unfortunate, thoughtless Creatures have been Ship-wreck'd; yet such is the Condition of a Mind in love with, and inur'd to Vice, that even the most firm Expectation of Shame and Ruin, is not attended with any good Effect.
'Tis worth remarking, that when these inconsiderate Wretches have brought themselves to a fatal Necessity of reaping the Fruit of their vicious Labour, their greatest Concern is, to extenuate their Guilt; and even in their dying Minutes, they too frequently endeavour by solemn Asseverations, and mean Prevarications, to persuade the World, that they are Innocent, or not so shamefully wicked as has been imagined.
IT being apprehended, that the Public would be desirous of knowing the Causes which drew on the Misfortunes of the Malefactures executed on Wednesday last, some extraordinary Pains has been taken to get such Transactions as are most remarkable in the Lives of these unhappy Persons, which are as follows, viz.
ON the 28th of December, 1741, I and my Fellow-Sufferer Ann Barefoot, being out on our Walks, as we generally were 3 or 4 Times a Week in the Evenings, we met with one Wm. Cooper, in Eagle and Child Alley, between Shoe-Lane, and the Fleet-Market: I directly laid hold of him, and cried out to Ann Barefoot to come to m Assistance, which she accordingly did; when she came, we both seiz'd him, I with my Right Hand, and she with her Left; I had my other Arm round him, whilst Barefoot endeavoured to dive into the left Pocket of his Breeches, but with the Struggling, pulled out his Shirt, before she could get to his Pocket; at length she got out of his Pocket a Money-bag which contain'd 35 s. and gave it me. After we had got the Money, we cried out George! George! which we did on purpose to frighten the old
Man, that we might have an Opportunity of making our Escapes. It was with some Difficulty that we kept the Money, even after we had got it out of his Pocket, for he pull'd at the Bag one Way, and I pull'd another, till at last I was too strong for him, got it from him, and gave it to Bearfoot, and she run away with it. He then seiz'd on me, and I was carried to the Compter that Night, and the next Day brought before the sitting Alderman at Guildhall, who committed me to Newgate; and when Sessions came on, I was tried and acquitted. My Companion Ann Barefoot, escaped by running away, and she was so ungrateful that she sunk all the Cole.
June 2d, 1743, Elizabeth Yates being out on her Walks, pick'd up one John A - s, and brought him into the House of one Mary Ballat, otherwise Ballard, between Twelve and One in Thatch'd-Alley, Chick Lane, where Yates ask'd him to give her a Dram. I at that Time acted as Mistress of the House, and a hopeful Mistress I thought my self. I shewed Yates and John A - s up one Pair of Stairs, and brought them a Dram. He had not been there above a Quarter of an Hour, before I took an Opportunity of throwing him down by force on the Bed, and put my Hand in his Pocket, and took out 11 Shillings; after I had done, I turn'd his Pocket inside out, and he endeavoured to get the Money from me; upon which I immediately gave a Knock with my Foot, and up came Wm. P - ce, and swore D - n his Eyes, if he made any Disturbance there, he would throw him out of Window; upon which, he went down Stairs, and went to the Watch-house, and brought the Constable of the Night, and a Watchman, and charg'd me with the Robbery; and I was carried to the Watch-house, and from thence to the Compter; and the next Day to the sitting Alderman at Guildhall, who committed me to Newgate, and took my Trial at the Old-Bailey, and was so fortunate once more to be acquitted.
THESE Things gave me no great Conern, for as soon as I was discharged, I went to the old Trade again; and one Evening as I and Alice Norman was on our usual Walks, coming along the Ditch-Side, we met with one Mr. Thomas G - m, who ask'd us to go and drink a Glass with him; I told him I would, if he could persuade the Gentlewoman who was with me to go; on which he ask'd her if she would please to go too; she seem'd very unwilling, but at length says she to him, to oblige you, Sir, I don't care if I do: But I hope, Sir, you mean no Harm; you look like a civil Gentlemen, and I don't doubt but you' act like one. Accordingly we went with him to our old Place, Mary Ballat's, in Thatch'd Alley, and when we came there, we ask'd him, if he would please to go up Stairs, which he readily comply'd with, call'd for several Quarters of Brandy, began to be very merry, and seem'd to be very well pleas'd in our Company, little thinking what Company he was got with; at last I began to be a little busy about his Pockets, whilst Alice supplied him with Liquor, and though he was a little in Liquor, he did not like that my Hands should be so near his Pockets; for says he, I desire you would keep your Hands to yourself, for I don't want them to be so near. O Lord, Sir says I, What de you mean? I don't understand you, I ope Sir, you do not take us for Women of the Town. I don't know, says he, but I cannot say that I approve of your Behaviour. Then I and Norman began to pull off our Masks, and we swore 'D - n our Eyes, (God forgive us!) you shall soon see what we are, and we directly threw him by force on the Bed, and pick'd his Pocket of his Watch, and five Guineas; after we had robb'd him, he swore he would take us up, and prosecute us, if we did not return the Money and Watch. Regardless of his Threats, I took my old Method, that is, I gave a Knock with my Foot, and up came John W - ; when the Gentleman saw a Man, he was a little surpriz'd; but recovering himself, he says, I have been robb'd by these two Women; upon which W - began to bully, and said D - n you Sir, I don't know what Business you have here with my Wife, and Sister; upon which the Gentleman immediately went down Stairs, and made the best of his Way. But three Days after, he took us both up, and we were committed to Newgate; but he not appearing at the Sessions, we were discharged.
saw a Gentleman very well dress'd; Ann Barefoot ask'd him, if he would please to give her a Glass of Wine, and while he and Barefoot were talking together, I came up, and spoke to the Gentleman likewise, at which he seem'd displeas'd, and bid me go about my Business, and said, don't you see I am talking with another Woman; at which Barefoot said, Sir, don't be angry, 'tis only my Cousin, and if you like of it, Sir, we may all go to her Lodging in Green's Rents, which is not far off. He agreed, and we all went together to her pretended Lodging. There being no Wine in the House, which the Gentleman chose, we told him he might have a Tiff of Punch, which he agreed to; it was brought, and we had five or six more; and between Twelve and One o'Clock, he Reckoning, which to the best of my Remembrance was Shillings, and was going, Sir, says Barefoot, it being so late, you had better stay here Night, for fear you should meet People, and be knock'd down and robb'd. You ce Sir, you are got est House, and likewise in very modest Girls Company, will you please to lie down on the Bed, if you don't care to go into it, we both will sit up in the Room that no Body may hurt you, or rob you of your Money and Watch, for I see you have got one. I don't care if I do, said the Gentleman, but I'll have the other Tiff of Punch first, which was accordingly brought; it was drank up, but we took care that he should drink most of it. After it was out, he laid himself down to sleep (having drank pretty freely) it was between 2 and 3 o'Clock in the Morning, and in about half an Hour, he was fast; upon which Barefoot said to me, Duck, now is the Time to do our Business; accordingly I put my Hands into his Breeches, took out his Watch and six Guineas, and out of his Waistcoat Pocket a Silver Snuff-Box; after we had robb'd him, we went down Stairs, and made the best of our Way to our old Habitation in Chick Lane, where the next Day we sold the Watch and Snuff box to a Fence *, who is since dead, or else I would mention her Name; for if there were no Receivers, there would be no Thieves.
ABOUT a Week after this Robbery, I went to the House to see how Matters stood, and the young Woman told me, that we had not been gone a Quarter of an Hour, before the Gentleman wak'd, and miss'd his Things; upon which he knocked with his Shoe upon the Floor, and the young Woman went up: When she came into the Room, he asked her what was become of the two Women who had been in his Company, and lodged there? She told him, they had been gone some Hours, for they did not lodge there; they had no Women Lodgers, nor were there any Women in the House besides herself and her Mother; on which he fell into a violent Passion, and went away, swearing he would prosecute the House; but I was told he never did.
I and my Fellow-Sufferer Anne Barefoot, going up Snow Hill one Evening, I think it was in the Month of December, where we met a Man between the Hours of eight and nine o'Clock, it being a dismal cold Night, and very Snowy, he having a Great Coat on. I accosted him after my usual Manner; my Dear it is a very cold Night, suppose you, this young Woman and I, were to go to a House, I know you will be so good as to give us a Dram this cold Evening; I dont care if I do, says the Man, if you can carry me to a civil House; a civil House! replied I, that I can; with that, Barefoot and I carried him to our old House in Thatch'd Alley, in Chick-Lane, where the Landlady of the House shew'd us all three up Stairs, where we ask'd him what he would treat us withal; he said, my Dears whatever the House affords, Wine, Punch or Brandy; accordingly a Bowl of Punch was call'd for, and we drank it up, and call'd for another; while the Punch was making, he began to be very rude and troublesome; particularly to Ann Barefoot; (for he seem'd to have no liking to me, he swore he did not like my Face, being of a tawny Complexion) upon which Barefoot severely reprimanded him, and ask'd him what he meant by it? What, did he take them to be Women of the Town? If you do, you are much mistaken, for we are both married Women, and have two very
* Who is one that buys stolen Goods at half their Value.
good Husbands (and God knows neither of us were ever married, but we have had many that we call'd Husbands, God forgive us!) Whereupon he began to be a little more civil, and we told him at the same time, it was a Thing they never did in their Lives, go into a House with a strange Man, and that he may take it as a particular Favour; it being a very cold Night, we said, a Dram would warm us, or a Bowl of Punch, which was the very Reason we came with you. While we was talking, up comes the Landlady with the other Bowl of Punch; the Man ask'd our Landlady to drink a Glass, which she did, and drank to his good Health; and at the same time told him, he need not be any way uneasy in the Company he was in, for she could pass her Word they were as modest Girls as any in London, so Sir, I am your humble Servant. When the second Bowl of Punch was just out, we perceiv'd he began to be very merry, and now we thought it was the most properest Time for our purpose; so I took my usual Method, with the Assistance of Anne Barefoot, and threw him by force on the Bed, and while I laid on him with all the Strength I had, she pick'd his Pocket of his Watch, and about two and twenty Shillings in Silver; when we had so done, I gave my usual Signal with a Knock with my Foot, and up came one of our Bullies, (or Husbands as we call-them) Thomas H - s, who swore at the Person we had robb'd, and ask'd him, what Business he had there, in Company with his Wife; the Man being frightned, ran down Stairs, crying out Thieves! Murder! I am robb'd of my Watch and Money! He went immediately to one Mr. R - son, to know what he must do in this Affair; he advised him to go to Justice Wroth, for a Warrant, which was granted him, and he came the same Night with a Constable, and took me in the same House, Ann Barefoot being gone. As soon as he saw the Landlady of the House, he fell abusing of her, and saying, is these your modest Girls as any in London, with a Pox to you I was carried that Night to St. Sepulchre's Watch house, and there was examined by the Constable of the Night, and he swore positively to me, that I was the Person who threw him on the Bed, whilst the other robb'd him; upon which I was committed to the Compter, and the next Day carried before the sitting Alderman, who committed me to Newgate, and was tried the next Sessions, but was so fortunate as again to be acquitted.
I and Ann Barefoot one Evening were going down Holborn, between the Hours of 7 and 8 o'Clock, I think it was in the Month of February last, wen we met one * * * * *, a Gentleman, belonging to one of the Inns of Court, (as I have been informed since) Ann Barefoot went up to him, she being more agreeable than myself, and ask'd him, if he would not give her and her Cousin, (meaning me) a Glass of Wine. The Gentleman reply'd, I don't care if I do, you seem to be agreeable, and likewise a good natur'd Girl; but where shall we go to drink a Glass? Oh! Sir, says she, to my Cousin's Lodgings, which is just by. With all my Heart, says the Gentleman. Accordingly we took him to our old Lodging in Chick-Lane, and conducted him up Stairs: When he came there, he seem'd surpriz'd to see what a Room we brought him to; but giving him good Words, he seem'd at last pretty well satisfied, and began to be very jocular, and asked us what we would drink. Oh, good Sir, it is not Manners for us to choose, it shall be whatever you please. Well then, says the Gentleman, what think you of a Glass of Wine, or a Bowl of Punch for I can drink either. Then if you please, Sir, a Tiff of Punch. Thereupon a Half Crown Bowl was order'd, and as soon as that was out, we had another, which was soon drank, and a Third also was called for. We both took Care to supply him, but were cautious ourselves of drinking, in Regard to the Business that lay before us. After the Third Bowl was out, he began to be a little uneasy; whether he had any Mistrust of us or no, I cannot tell, upon which I went down Stairs, and left Barefoot, and him alone, knowing that she had a Tongue well hung, and, if possible, would prevail on him to stay.
I had not been down Stairs a Quarter of an Hour, but he called for another Tiff, which was immediately carried up by our Landlady, and I follow'd. When I came up, I said to him, Sir, I hope you are in a better Humour than you was
when I went down Stairs; I was afraid that either I, or my Friend, had disoblig'd you No! no! I do assure you, you have not; and to convince you of it, when this Bowl is out, I will have another, if you both will be so obliging as to give me your Companies. Oh! Sir, if our Companies will be agreeable, we are very willing to oblige you in any Thing that lies in our Power, for you look so much like a Gentleman, that I am well assur'd you would offer nothing indecent; for the Gentlewoman of the House knows us to be very modest, sober Girls, and (if you please) we will call her up, that she may justify the Truth of what we say. He reply'd, he did not in the least doubt the Truth of it. When the Tiff was out, he called up the Landlady to see what was to pay, which was between 11 and 12 o'Clock at Night. Says Barefoot, come, Sir, don't let us part with dry Lips; my Dear, 'tis not so late. He then began to be pretty merry, upon which we thought the other Tiff would make him quite so: Accordingly the other was called for, and we took Care to supply him very freely, till at last he began to be sleepy. With some Persuasions he laid himself down on the Bed, and soon fell fast asleep, agreeable to our Desire. Then we both consulted what was best to be done; we soon came to our wicked Resolution (God forgive us!) to rob him, when Barefoot took out of his Fob 8 Guineas, 15 s. in Silver, and his Watch, while I held the Candle. When we had done, we went away directly, giving the Landlady two Guineas not to discover us. We went to a House just by, and shared the Money: The next Day we went to J - T -, and sold the Watch for 3 Guineas, which we also equally divided betwixt us; what became of the Gentleman we never heard since, nor was it our Desire.
N. B. I acknowledge I have been in almost all the Gaols in London, viz. Wood-street and the Poultry Compters; New-Prison, Clerkenwell Bridewell, three Times in the London Work-House, once in Bridewell Hospital, and several Times in Newgate. I hope none will reflect on my poor Mother, for if I had taken her Advice, I had not brought myself to such an unhappy End. I hope my Sister will take Warning by me, and take Care what Company she keeps, for ill Company has been the Ruin of me. So the Lord have Mercy on my poor Soul.
From my Cell in Newgate, Nov. 1st, 1744.
' MY Trust being in the Divine Mercies ' of God Almighty, through the Merits ' of my Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ. whose precious Blood was shed on the Cross for lost, ' and undone Sinners - Glory be to the Holy ' Name, - Seeing there were no other Means ' better to bring me to himself, than by this ' Sort of Death. - O Lord, I thank and ' praise thy Holy Name, for all thy Mercies. ' - O Lord, if I had lived on in my former Course, I might have died as a Brute ' Beast, having neither Sense of thy Mercies, ' nor my having a Soul, which is thy Property: ' Thou gave it, and to Thee, O Lord, I resign it.
' My dear Mother, for Christ's Sake be ' Comforted. Rejoyce in the Lord, for his ' Mercies are infinite, and my Hope is, for the ' Merits of my Precious Saviour, to obtain ' Mercy.
' I conclude with my Prayers to the Almighty, that you may not go with Sorrow to ' the Grave. The Lord bless you, and keep ' you, and my poor Sister, which is the Desire ' of your Daughter, whose Hope it is in a short ' Time to be in Heaven, Amen, Amen!
November 3, 1744. From my Cell.
' IT is the Pleasure of God to call me out ' of the World, Glory be to his Holy ' Name for all his Mercies. I hope it is the ' Means of the Salvation of my Soul, - For ' his Divine Will is not the Death of a Sinner, ' I mean Spiritual Death, but rather that they ' should turn from their Wickedness and live
' MY Divine Lord, I sue to Thee for Mercy, for the Merits of thy Blessed Son my ' Saviour Jesus Christ, in whom I put my ' Trust.
' DEAR Cousin, I return my Thanks, Prayers, and Blessing, to you, for your charitable ' Care in the saving of my Body. I pray God ' bless you in this World and in the next. For ' God's Sake comfort my poor aged Mother and ' my poor Sister, in doing which I hope God ' will shower down Blessings innumerable on you ' and yours, which is the Desire of your dying ' Cousin, who hopes in a short Time to be with ' the Creator. Amen, Amen!
November 3, 1744. From my Cell.
For Mr. BRIDGET.
'I DO not choose to put my Name to this ' Letter, lest some groundless Prejudices, you ' may have taken up, against the Writer of it, ' should prevent its having that due Weight ' with, and good Effect upon you, as is heartily ' wish'd and intended by it. Let it suffice you, ' that it comes from one, who has a Respect for ' you - from one, who for many Years has been ' acquainted with you, - from one, who has observ'd with Concern, that your Life and Behaviour, as a Christian, has in many Instances, ' been very unbecoming the Religion you profess, and unworthy that sacred Name you are ' call'd by.
' I hope, you will readily give Credit to me, ' when I assure you, that I heartily commiserate ' your present unhappy Situation, and could wish ' from the bottom of my Heart, you had done ' nothing to deserve it. But though you should ' be innocent of the Fact, for which you stand ' committed, do not immediately exult from an ' Opinion, that you suffer wrongfully; nor charge ' God foolishly, as if he had laid upon you, what ' you deserv'd not. Depend upon it, the Judge ' of all the Earth must, and will do right. He ' is just in all that is brought upon us; and as ' he cannot but do right, so, if we examine into ' our own Consciences, we must needs confess, ' that we have done wickedly. Neh. ix. 33.
' IN your present Circumstances, you would ' therefore do well to consider, for which of the ' many Sins, you have been guilty of, it has ' pleas'd the divine Wisdom to punish and ' chastise you in so signal a Manner. Is it for ' the prophane Cursing and Swearing, which ' from your Youth up, you have been addicted ' to? Is for unfaithfulness to you Uncle, undutifulness to your Aunt? for shameless and barefac'd Lying, or for repeated Acts of Drunkenness and Uncleanness? whether it be for these, ' or any other heinous Sins, whereof you may ' be guilty, that God is pleas'd to inflict this ' Judgement upon you. - Be assur'd, that he ' intends it for your Good. - And that your ' Punishment therein is not so much aimed at by ' Him, as the bringing you to Reflection, to put ' you upon considering your Ways, and to make ' you the more zealous and earnest in your Addresses to Him.
' THE young Prodigal, in the Gospel (Luke ' xv. 18) never thought of returning to his Father, till the Hunger he felt, and the extreme ' Want he was reduc'd to, put him upon comparing the State he had formerly liv'd in, with ' that, which now he was fallen into. But being ' once so far awaken'd and come to himself, as ' to be sensible of the miserable Condition he ' had brought himself into by his Folly and ' Wickedness. He soon came to a Resolution ' of going Home to his Father, - here to throw ' himself at his Feet, ingeniously and freely to ' confess his Fault, and humbly to implore his ' Pardon and Forgiveness.
' I have that Charity for you, as to hope, ' that the Prison you are in, and the Hardships ' you have undergone during your Confinement, ' must have wrought some such good Effects ' upon you. It would be a Pleasure to me to ' hear of your earnest Desire to be reconcil'd ' to God, of your mourning for your Sins, and ' your Resolution to forsake them: And then, 'though I make you sorry with a Letter, I ' should not repent; may, I should rather rejoice, ' not that you was made sorry, but that you ' sorrowed to Repentance. 2 Cor. vii. 8, 9. If ' you find any good Motions in you, suffer ' them not to cool, but cherish and encourage ' them to the utmost of your Power, by frequently representing to your Mind, the Goodness and Severity of God: on the harden'd ' and impenitent, Severity; but towards Thee, ' Goodness, if by Repentance thou continue in, ' or worthy of, his Goodness: otherwise thou ' also shall be out off. Rom. xi. 25.
' THE Crime you are convicted of, was plainly prov'd upon you, I hope you will take ' shame to yourself, and frankly and ingenuosly ' confess what you know of the Matter. For ' believe me, Confession of Sin, is so necessary a ' Part of Repentance, that we have no Promise of being pardoned without it. If we confess our Sins, says St. John, 1 Epist i 9. He, 'viz. God is faithful and just to forgive us our ' Sins: Which Words seem plainly to imply; that ' if we do not confess our Sins to God, the ' Guilt of them will still remain, and rise up in ' Judgement against us at the last Day.
' NAY, in case our Sins have been public ' and scandalous, it is not only reasonable that ' we should confess them to God, but to Man ' also. We may have offended and injured our ' Neighbour, (and can there be a greater Crime ' except Murder) and upon that Account may ' need to obtain his Pardon, as well as God's: ' And therefore in such Instances, we ought to ' confess our Sins to him, as well as to God.
' DO not give Ear to those who would perswade you, that Confession will bring a Slur or ' Blemish upon your Character and Reputation. ' It is not your denying the Fact, that will induce the World to believe you Innocent: for ' Mankind are too inclinable to judge of the ' uncharitable Side. But though by insisting upon ' your Innocence, you should secure to yourself ' some poor pittance of a good Name. Yet, ' what will it avail you to be spoken well of by ' Men, if at the same Time you are thought ' ill of by God? However we may impose upon ' our Fellow Creature, it is impossible we should ' put any Cheat upon him. For God's Sake ' then, for the Sake of your precious and immortal Soul, if you know yourself Guilty, do ' not go about to deny it. I tremble to think of ' your going out of the World with a Lie in ' your Mouth; for this, believe me, will be ' adding to your former Guilt, and like a Millstone about your Neck, but sink you the Deeper in the Bottomless Pit.
'I do not endeavour to persuade you to accuse yourself: But only, that in case before ' you leave the World, you would publickly ' own and declare your Guilt, and earnestly ' pray to God, through the Merits and Intercession of his Son our Saviour, for Pardon and ' Forgiveness.
' I ear that you sent for your Prayer-book, ' and am in hopes, that since it came, it has ' not lain useless by you. There are many good ' Prayers in it, pertinent to your Case: But I ' particularly recommend to your use the Collect ' for Ash-Wednesday, and the Commination, with ' the Prayers to be used on the first Day of Lent, ' which you will find in your Prayer Book immediately before the Psalms.
' The 51st, Psalm, which contains David's ' Confession and Acknowledgement of those two ' shocking Sins of Murder and Adultery, he had ' been Guilty of; you wou'd do well to read so ' often, ' till you have gotten it by Heart.
' AND now I commend you to the Grace of ' God, begging and conjuring you, that with the ' deepest Sorrow you would lament the many ' daring and presumptuous Sins you have been ' guilty of, and resolve by God's Assistance immediately to forsake them, and never to return ' any more to the Commission of them. These ' are the hearty and sincere Wishes, as well as ' earnest Request of,
Your assured Friend, And Servant in Christ,
Oct. 28, 1744.
' AS many Things will undoubtedly be offered to the Public relating to your unhappy Affair, and which in all Likelihood may ' be mere Invention. I give this Caution, as ' one that wishes your Soul well, let no one ' have any Thing from you, except the Person ' who prints the Dying-Speeches, or myself, then ' I am sure you will have Justice done you, as ' well as the Public. If you have any Thing ' to publish for the Satisfaction of the World, it ' is your Duty to confess your Crimes both to ' God and Man; because some innocent Persons ' may be suspected as guilty of those Robberies ' and Cheats which you have committed; therefore it is your Duty whilst living, to do all the ' Good you can; to take the Guilt on yourself, ' and clear the Innocent. And as God has in ' a great Measure awakened your Soul, it will ' be but just in the Sight of God, and likewise ' in the Sight of Man, that you make an ample ' Confession of all your Sins for the Good of all ' Mankind; and I would also persuade Samuel ' Ellard to do the same. It will be best for you ' to get somebody to write to me in due Time, ' what you have to publish, that your Peace may ' not be interrupted in your last Moments; if ' you cannot conveniently send it by any Person, ' I intend, God willing, to come to you on Saturday Evening, you being to die on Wednesday ' Morning next. I must press you to let nobody ' have any Thing from you, but the Person whose ' Property it is, or myself; because I know the ' ill Usage of some particular Persons to Men in ' your unhappy Misfortunes. I have nothing ' more to add, but to acquaint you, that Prayers ' are constantly made to God for you in our public and private Societies; and that God may ' have Mercy on your Soul, is the Prayer of,
London, Nov. 1, 1744.
IT must be some Satisfaction to the Public, when a Villain has made such a remarkable Figure in the World, as our Country Dick has, to know from what Race he sprung, the Methods he took to rise to such a Height, as well as the Manner how he performed his Exploits; all which Dick has pretty freely given.
I was born (says he) at a Place call'd Marshfield, in Gloucestershire, and in the younger Part of my Life, was employ'd b my Mother in selling what we call Mashfield Cakes from Place to Place, and from Fair to Fair. I frequently
went backwards and forwards to Bristol with my Cakes, and was sometimes accompanied with a Young Man, born in the same Neighbourhood with myself, from whom I learned enough to qualify myself for the Gollows, to which it has at last brought me.
WHEN the Business of selling Cakes was dull, I sometimes rid as Postillion to any Person who would Employ me, for I was very fond of Riding. I rid up to London as Postillion to Mr. Woolley, in the Old Bailey, and down again to Bristol. I lived about a Month as a Foot-Boy with 'Squire Frewer of Exeter, but came away on Account of his Black and I disagreeing.
I carried out Bread for some Time for one Hawkins, a Baker; and lived in several Places up and down; but long no where. My Companion (whom I mentioned above) and I committed several Robberies in and about Bristol, the first that I remember was the following.
HE comes to me one Day, Dick, says he, I was drinking last Night with such a one, the Apothecary, at a House where I saw a fine Silver Tankard; we might easily * Nail it, for there is Nobody in the House but a Woman. Accordingly, next Morning, he and I goes together, and calls for a Tankard of Beer, in Hopes to have it in the Tankard my Companion had mentioned. But the Woman disappointed us, by bringing it in a Quart Pot. While we were drinking the Beer, we peep'd and pry'd about all we could, in Hopes to find the Tankard; but to no Purpose, it was not visible.
VEXT at the Disappointment, I was determined to go back again; and notwithstanding my being almost fuddled, I was resolved to have it. My Companion waited at a little Distance, and away I went, and called for a Pint of Beer, which the Woman went down to draw. While she was gone, I slipped into a little back Room, and after searching about, found it in a Corner Cupboard. I immediately put it in my Lap, and just got down the Threshold of the Door, when the Woman came up with the Beer, who seeing me going away, says, Young Man, here's your Beer. I'll come for it presently, says I, I will but just step and speak to a Friend. And away I went to my Companion, and told him I had Napp'd it.
MY Companion was so overjoyed, that he took me in his Arms, and threw me over the Wall, as one should throw a Stone, and came over after me, and we went directly to my Mother's, which was about Ten Miles, and showed the Tankard, which was a very handsome one, and held about Three Pints, to my Mother and Sister, who shook their Heads, and said, they were very sorry for me; they were sure my Companion would in the End bring me to the Gallows, (and they have prov'd too true Prophets.) The Tankard we kept by us some Time, till we came to London, where we sold it to one Bess Cane, for only Four Pounds.
ANOTHER Exploit of ours was as follows. Being at an Inn about Ten Miles of Bristol, we observed a Man receive 60 Guineas; having learned the Way he was to go, we took Care to be before hand with him, and in order to disguise ourselves, we stripped to our Shirts, and laid our Coats and Waistcoats in a Hedge. As soon as we perceived him coming, I went up to him, seized on his Horse's Bridle, and my Companion demanded his Money. The Man giving him some Silver and Half-pence, saying 'twas all he had, he rapp'd out a great Oath, D - n you, you Rascal, deliver your Bit, (meaning his Purse) or I'll shoot you through the Head, and producing a Brass Barrel'd Pistol, though without any Lock, the Man was so surprized, that he suffered him to put his Hand into his Pocket, and take out his Purse. As soon as he had got it, he ordered the Man to ride on directly, or he'd blow his Brains out.
* That is, Take it.
THE Man rode on, and we went and put on our Cloaths, divided the Money, my Part of which I sew'd in the Waisthand of my Breeches, and proceeded towards Bristol, and coming to the Tholsel, we happened to see there the very Man we robb'd, though he did not see us. This however a good deal surprized us, and we immediately got away, came and took our Tankard, and then proceeded onwards to London.
BEING on the Road, and it drawing towards Night, we came to a Lone House, by the Side of a Wood, and asked if we could have a Lodging there. The Woman of the House, without answering our Question, desired to know what Countrymen we were. Surprized at this Demand, we begg'd to know the Reason of her asking it: Because, says she, I take you to be Irishmen. We are so, says we. Why then, says she, ask me in Irish for a Lodging, and you shall have it. Then says I, * Hyke up to the Gigger and undubb it, and whittle to the Cove of the Ken, and ask him for a Doss. When I had done, she says, now English it; which I did, by saying, Pray, Madam, can we have a Lodging here? She said, it seemed to her English and Irish too. However, she shewed us an Apartment, where we lay all Night. The next Morning early we set forward for London, only going round about, for Fear of being pursued. We consulted on the Road, how we should behave when we came to Town; and nothing appeared more plausible to us, than our old Trade of Plunder.
ACCORDINGLY, after our Arrival at London, we followed the old Practice: And one Sunday Afternoon, I and my Companion being out together, we perceived in Crown-Court, Soho, a Man coming along in Liquor, we directly went up to him, and Jostling him between us, I drew his Watch out of his Pocket, which we pawned the next Day for 35 Shillings.
SOMETIME after this, a new Method of Life presented itself to me, which was that of selling Brass Rings so gilt, as to look like Gold, and which to the Eye appeared as real Gold.
THE first Exploit of this Sort I did, was in Tyburn Road, where I saw Two Women coming along, who appeared to me as if they had not been long in Town. I made up to them; and speaking to one of them with an innocent, demure Look, and a Country Tone, Pray ye, Forsooth, do ye know of any Place for a poor Servant; I am just come out of the Country and am a Stranger, and don't know where to apply. No, indeed, says she, I do not, and still kept walking on. I walked on by her Side talking, and asked her, what Countrywoman she was; she said Herefordshire. I told her I was the same, and having been there, described and named several Persons and Places, which pleasing her, we entered into a close Conversation, till at last, I said, producing my Ring, I found this just now, I believe it is Gold, and I'll go and sell it, for I have no Money left, being out of Place. She very eagerly took it out of my Hand, and looking on it, says, Aye, 'tis Gold, and here is a Posie in it too; why, what will it fetch you? I dont know, says I, mayhap a Guinea. No, says she, nothing like it; I will give you Eleven Shillings for it. Well, says I, Mistress, I don't know where to sell it, and you shall have it. Accordingly she paid me the Money, and we thereupon parted, and I was exceedingly well pleased at my First Performance.
MANY Times after this, I went out with two Companions on the same Lay, of selling Rings, or exchanging Rings, for Hats, Wigs, Buckles, Great-Coats, nothing came amiss, and so proud were the People when they had got the Ring, that I have many times laugh'd to
* That is, Go up to the Door, and unlock it, and ask the Landlord for a Bed.
see with what Expedition they have made off for fear I should want 'em again.
MY Companions generally stood a-loof; if I wanted 'em to come nearer, I put my Hand to my Cheek, when they would come up, and say, Young Man, will you take the Money; and if I wanted 'em to bid one Shilling more, I put my Finger to my Nose; then they would say, well young Man, we will give you a Shilling more; all which Time I show'd myself shy of them, and seem'd not to like 'em, uneasy at their Company, and drew farther from them, with the Chap I was endeavouring to take in.
HAVING sold such a Quantity, as I believe in my Time I have received five or six hundred Pounds for 'em, and have sometimes sold five, six, or eight to one Person.
AFTER coming to Town, one Robinson, a Campanion of mine, was taken up for going upon the Sneak: I directly went and bought a Hanger, and getting some more together, in a Body, we went and rescued him out of the Hands of the Constables and other Officers, and crried him off in Triumph.
AFTER this, I frequently rescued others, under the like Circumstances, and was generally the first who attacked, and the last who retreated, on which Account I gained the Name of Captain of the Gang, and was often sent for out of my Bed on that Account.
THE next Part of my Conduct was, that after I had got some Money in this unlawful Way, (for now, too late I find it is unlawful) I hardly ever kept it, losing all at Gaming, sometimes I have lost thirty Pounds of a Night; 'twas not above a Fortnight before I was taken up, that I sold six Rings together for five Guineas, and lost every Shilling before I slept.
WHENEVER I went out on Business, as I call'd it, I wore my Hat flapp'd, sometimes Boots on, and a Whip: But on other Occasions I generally went genteely drest, with good Cloaths, Ruffles, and a Watch in my Pocket, &c. 'Twas when I was thus genteely dress'd, and with several more of my old Companions, at Tottenham-Court, the last Fair Time, we met three young Girls genteely dressed, with whom we engaged; and after some Time treating them, making them warm with Liquor, we all went to the Fleet and were married, (though I had several Wives before) and lay together that Night.
NEXT Morning we all left them, mine telling me who she was, the Daughter of an eminent Tradesman in Bond street. I went a few Days after to demand her Fortune, but the Affair having been revealed by the Girl before, and she being sent out of the Way, and the Father having learned my Character, he threatned to carry me before Sir Thomas Deveil, and I never went near them more.
I was never in Newgate but once, which was about two Years since. I had sold a Man a Ring in Gracechurch street, on the Wednesday, and he happened to meet me again on the Sunday following, had me secured, sent to the Poultry-Compter, and from thence to Newgate; but he being a Dublin Trader, happened not to be in Town when my Trial was to be, and I was discharged for want of a Prosecutor.
THE next Day, he and his Companion, with two Women of the Town, went down by Water to Greenwich in a Boat, with other Passengers in it, when perceiving a Gentleman to pull out a Silver Snuff Box, they resolved to have it, and on the Gentleman's Landing at Deptford, he got up with a Pretence of Ballancing the Boat, and
‡ The Sneak, is going into a House with a dark Lanthorn, and holding it up just to see where the Things lie, then darken it, and sweep away all we can.
pick'd his Pocket of it, which he sold for 12 s. 6 d. at the best Hand.
AFTER they had been at Greenwich, they came to Deptford, and took Lodgings at an Inn, where they staid two or three Days; but the Ladies thinking the Lodgings too mean for them, they returned to Greenwich, where they took Lodgings in a Place call'd Back-Lane, to their Satisfaction, having agreed to pay 5 s. per Week. They had not been there above a Night, before the People of the Neighbourhood came to desire their Custom. Upon which he reply'd, Aye, with all his Heart, provided they would use them kindly, and then ordered them to send in a Kilderkin of Beer, three Bushels of Coals, and a Peck of Small-Coal, which was accordingly done, (though never paid for.) They had not been many Days there, before a Butcher of the Town knowing one of their Ladies, came to the House, and acquainted the Landlord what they were, and said, he would have the Lodgings searched, for though they went for Gentlefolks, he was sure they were Whores and Thieves: Upon which they thought proper to pack up their Implements, and went off the next Morning early, without taking Leave of their Landlord, or paying any Rent; and coming to London, not having Money, their Ladies were obliged to shift for themselves.
HE had not been long in Town before he went to his Old Trade, that is, putting off gilt Rings for Gold ones, till he was detected, and for which he was very justly brought to condign Punishment.
AS to the Fact for which he died, he own'd it to be true as related in the Sessions Book, and hoped all Men would take Warning by him.
THE Night before his Execution, he said to Samuel Ellard, he could be glad of something for Supper, for he was very hungry. Upon which Ellard reply'd, What a Noise you make about your Supper, To morrow Night you must go to Bed Supperless.
PETER VELGENT, who is to be transported for Life, for breaking open the Shop of Mr. Christopher Pinchbeck, in Pall-Mall, formerly lodged at one Mr. Mego's, a Jeweller, in Porter's-street, by Newport Market The said Mr. Mego was found dead in his own Yard this Summer, all his Family at that Time being out of Town, (except his Maid) who, 'tis said, the above Peter Velgent was very intimate with. The said Mr. Mego lay up Two Pair of Stairs, and the Cause of his Death, as it was reported, was occasioned by his Easing himself out at the Window, and so was supposed to fall backwards; which Practice, as it was said, he had accustomed himself to. After the unhappy Death of Mr. Mego, he was seen frequently in Company with the said Maid; and likewise this Peter Velgent was at great Enmity with Mr. Mego, and there were several Effects of the Deceased's missing; and likewise there was a Note for 200l. drawn by the said Mego (as pretended) payable to Peter Velgent, found in his Custody: Though it is well known, Mr. Mego was a Man in good Circumstances; so it is to be feared, that this poor Gentleman had not fare Play for his Life.