LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
NUMBER III. For the said YEAR.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
IT is proposed for the future to render this paper more generally useful to all ranks and degrees of readers. The misfortune hitherto has been, that the account of these unhappy sufferers, being published in a stile and language a little too gross and indelicate for the better kind of readers, their case has not been attended, to as one could wish, by those in whose power it is to put a stop to the growing evil. The generality of these poor wretches are (owing to this want of attention to the public welfare) born thieves, and suffered gradually to ripen into the commission of mischief.
The magistrates, as far as they are authorised by law, do every thing in their power to prevent the growing evil; but as their power centers rather in the correction of the body, than in the informing of the mind, so the remedies applied are at best but temporary expedients; those who are caught are duly punished, but that rather lessens the numbers for the present, than in any sense removes the cause. It were therefore heartily to be wished that people of fortune and interest would turn their thoughts a little to consider, whether it is not possible to find means of rendering such poor unhappy wretches, who are now the bane, of some real use and service to society, by contributing to remove the fundamental cause, whereon the evil is built.
I need not inform the rich and powerful that these unhappy people are our fellow creatures, nor that it is their interest to make them so in the best sense, since there is no one living but would be glad to walk the streets in safety, and to meet only people as honest and industrious as themselves.
I shall not take upon me at this time to intimate what I think the most natural and obvious means of attaining so important an end, since it is necessary first to learn, whether those, in whose power it is to carry salutary schemes into execution, will attend to them with the same ardor, with the same sentiments of humanity, pity, and compassion, flowing
from the same benevolence and good-will to our fellow creatures, as I shall from the sincerity of my heart propose them.
It is infinitely easy to advise those who either want but little advice, or who have only deviated a little from the paths of honest industry, and have been previously instructed in the principles of religion and virtue; but it is extremely difficult, and a task only suited to the great and good, to attempt the drawing, as it were out of oblivion, poor unhappy wretches, born in vice, and involved in desperation and misery, who hardly know the name of virtue, and are absolute strangers to the most obvious rules of moral rectitude: but as I humbly hope the difficulty is not insurmountable; so I conclude it merits our utmost attention and regard.
If a man of a benevolent turn would but survey our back streets, and observe the manner of life, the poor creatures there are habituated to: If he did but reflect that the magnitude of this town, under proper regulations, would be the same as places of lesser space, and has this advantage over them by a flow of business, that no one need want employment who is rightly taught to love industry and sobriety, he would presently conceive that my meaning is neither so deep nor dark, as to want much explanation. The working up of circumstances into practicable schemes for the sanction of the legislature, will be the effect of much care and labor; but the necessity of something being done, for the peace and safety of the community, ought to render such labor of little estimation to virtuous minds.
As things are now circumstanced, it is extremely disagreeable to see a man executed for the murder of his servant, and that known to be effected gradually; when it is by our laws understood, that every servant has a proper redress when treated by his master with inhumanity; and if this is, as intimated, not the first fact, it is a high dishonour to our constitution, and therefore commands the attention of power; otherwise we are like wild beasts let out to prey on one another, and every man left to do what seems good in his own eyes.
It is likewise extremely disagreeable to find that the poor wretches, now executed, have not the least sense of religion or virtue, nor any kind of compunction or sorrow for the commission of crimes, which are the bane of society, and without being timely remedied are in such an increasing way, as may put a full stop to industry, and render our laudable endeavours to promote the good of society, uneasy, difficult, and impracticable.
The rich and great, we humbly conceive, ought first to consider this, and I dare say, whenever they are inclined to forward a general reformation, that they will find the body of the community heartily united with them.
The Ordinary of Newgate, his Account of the Malefactors who were executed at Tyburn on Friday the seventh Day of June, and in the eighteenth Year of his Majesty's Reign, being the Year of our Lord 1745.
BY virtue of a commission of Oyer, Terminer, and Goal-delivery of Newgate, held (before the Right Honorable Henry Marshall, Esq; Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Right Honorable the Lord Chief Justice Willes; the Honorable Mr. Baron Reynolds, Sir Simon Urlin, Knight, Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices for the said City of London and County of Middlesex) at Justice-hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th of April 1745, the following prisoners were tried and convicted, viz.
Edmund Gilbert, for the murder of his apprentice, a charity boy; Edward Ryan, for stealing a silver tankard, the property of Dorothy Udall; Samuel Keep, for stealing eleven sheep and a ram, the property of Ann Carter; George Norton, for stealing one hundred yards of woollen cloth, the property of William Bray; Stephen Parson, for stealing a silver chocolate pot, a pair of silver snuffers, a pair of silver tea tongs, and a silver stock-buckle, the goods of Sir Simeon Stuart; Mary Cut and Come again, for assaulting and robbing Elizabeth Turner; Lettice Lynn, for breaking and entering the dwelling house of Matthew Wood; and Esther Fowler, for stealing various goods the property of Philip Shirley.
While under sentence of death, they were duly attended by the Ordinary, who endeavoured constantly to insinuate into them his grave and pious admonitions, informing them of the danger of going out of the world in the state of hardened and unrepenting sinners; he set before their eyes the most gracious goodness of the Almighty, in pardoning those which repent, and of his justice in punishing those who neglected his mercy. He remarked to them, that all the evils now attending their unhappy state were entirely owing to idleness; that had they applied themselves to honest labor, they would have acquired more with safety and reputation, than could possibly be got by robbery; that industry would have made them a credit to themselves and families, and an honour to their country, and brought with it peace, prosperity and happiness both here and hereafter; he convinced them of the necessity of keeping strictly to the rule of doing to others as they would be done unto, because none of them would have chosen to have been robbed themselves; that the robbing of one another was the destruction of human society, and that as they behaved in that respect like wild beasts, so it was only owing to the lenity of the government that they were not treated accordingly, and rooted off the face of the earth, they and their posterity; that by trying them in form and giving them time to repent, the government treated them with a tenderness, which their established wickedness could in no sense lay claim to; and having a just regard to their future welfare, they were only punished here, as an example to deter others, and that they might by just and pious exhortations be induced to work out their own salvation, more especially as they could not hope any more to pursue the vanities and follies of this world. As to Edmund Gilbert in particular, it was represented to him, how heinous and wicked his crime was; he was reminded of the punishment of Cain for the murder of his brother Abel: it was intimated to him how wicked a thing murder was in its own nature, as it tended to the destruction of society, but how much worse in proportion as the means used were cruel and unparallel'd, that it behooved him in a more particular manner to repent, as his crimes in the eye of heaven were greater than those of his fellow sufferers. He seemed to listen with attention, but it did not appear that exhortations had any great effect on him. He, as the others, duly attended chapel and behaved with decency, but neither of them appeared to be duly struck with a just sense of their respective crimes, though sometimes, when reflecting on their miserable condition, especially Mary Cut and Come again, and Lettice Lynn, they wept bitterly.
Tuesday, the 28th of May, report was made to the Lords of the Regency, of the above mentioned malefactors, when Esther Fowler received his Majesty's most gracious reprieve, and the remaining seven were ordered for execution.
1. Edmund Gilbert, of the Hamlet of Bethnal Green in the County of Middlesex, was indicted for feloniously, wilfully, and of his malice aforethought, assaulting, beating and wounding Thomas Salter his apprentice with a stick of the value of one penny, as also with beating and whipping him with hard twisted cords, and thereby mortifying him in so barbarous and cruel a manner, as to occasion his death, contrary to the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, and of the form of the statute in such case made and provided.
Edmund Gilbert, of the Hamlet of Bethnal Green, by trade a weaver , sixty-seven years of age, born of mean and obscure parents in the neighbourhood, when young he was sent to school to learn to read and write, but in a course of time forgot all, and seemed to have very little sense of religion or virtue; he was in his natural temper extremely peevish and discontented; when of age he was put out apprentice to a weaver in the said Hamlet, and served out his time faithfully, and afterwards did journey work for some time; then married a wife and set up, by whom he had several children, one whereof is now living and married in the neighbourhood. He had several journeymen and apprentices, and made a tolerable figure in the world, being reckoned generally pretty punctual in his dealings: But being of a very morose spirit used all those very ill over whom he had power, and it is generally believ'd, that Thomas Salter was not the only one who had fallen a sacrifice to his cruel and inhuman barbarity. Though as he was never tried before on that account, we ought out of charity to presume that such conjectures are not grounded on certainty, and therefore to be waved. Those of his apprentices who survived complain much of his cruel usage, in want of suitable provisions and cloaths, as well as bad treatment of their bodies, and being generally friendless charity children, and not knowing the course of our laws, and the remedy in the hands of the magistrate, were obliged patiently to endure such cruel treatment as the master's barbarous turn of mind thought proper to impose on them. The boy, Thomas Salter, was naturally of a very weak constitution, and so unable to perform that part of the business, which, it seems, requires good health and strength, and being abused in his person, grew still worse; and so at last, with his natural weakness, want of proper necessaries, and beating, he fell into a lingering illness, arising chiefly, as it appears, from a mortification occasioned by his master's blows. During this illness strangers were not admitted to visit him, but his mistress was, and furnished him with some small refreshments. But Gilbert being of a very narrow, as well as of a cruel temper, permitted as little to be done for him as possible. His wife is by some blam'd for not preventing him in his barbarity, but if the account of his temper be true, she had possibly as much reason to be afraid of him as his apprentices were; his cruel usage had got him a very bad name amongst his neighbours, so that no one was surprized, when on the body's being taken up, it was found on the coroner's inquest that he died of the blows given him by his master. The prosecution was carried on against him at the expence of the parish, and he appeared both at his trial, and since, to be quite insensible of his crime, as he was of all learning and religion, but several of the prisoners having received the sacrament, he was very desirous to do the same, which was accordingly on his penitence administer'd to him. He said he believed in Christ, repented of his sins, and died in peace with all men.
2. Samuel Keep, was indicted for killing 12 sheep and a ram, the property of Mrs. Carter in the parish of Endfield, contrary to the peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, and the form of the statute, &c.
Samuel Keep, forty years of age, was born in the parish of Endfield, of honest parents, and had some slight education at school: when of age he was not put to a trade but followed country business, as husbandry and attending cattle, and his chief employment for sometime was driving them to Smithfield market, and was reckoned an honest man in his way. In process of time he married a farmer's widow, and thereby came into the possession of a good farm and stock; where falling into decay, they were obliged to resign their farm, and he from that time betook himself to bad company, and consequently to evil courses, and amongst others to this of sheep stealing, for which he died.
He had not any children by his wife, but she had five by her former husband, to whom Keep behaved with great tenderness and affection, as also to his wife, which shews him not to have been a man of a naturally vicious and reprobate habit of mind.
The manner of dealing with the sheep was not to carry them off the ground, but first to rip them up with a sharp pointed knife, and then take out the fat and sell it to some roguish confederate of a tallow chandler for half price, which seldom answered more than the present purpose of a short riot, so that no sooner one mischief was done but they were by necessity ready to commit another, without being the better for all the hazard and labour.
After condemnation he grew very sullen and reserv'd, and seemed not to attend much to the care of a future state, but was very sensible of the afflictions of his wife and her children; the good woman constantly attended, and supplied him with what she could procure for him, which was but little, she being herself in very great distress: the poor woman wept bitterly, as did he likewise, as seeming more sensible of her misfortunes than of his own, he professed to be a sincere penitent, and to die in peace with all men.
3. Stephen Parsons, was indicted for breaking and entering the house of Sir Simeon Stuart, Bart, and stealing from thence a great quantity of plate, particularly a silver chocolate pot, while the family was out of town, and of this felony and burglary he was capitally convicted.
Stephen Parsons was twenty-four years of age, born at or near London of mean parents, put to school to read and write, and to be instructed in the principles of christianity, which it seems he but little minded. He was not put to a trade but chose to serve in the quality of a footman, wherein for aught that appears to the contrary he behav'd honestly, and had the esteem of his respective masters, until very lately that he fell into the company of some lewd woman at a common bawdy-house in the Strand, who persuaded him to commence thief. He was very far from being of that wicked and abandoned turn, that most thieves are, and entered on this new employment with infinite reluctance; but they having both threatened and intoxicated him, he came at last to a resolution of robbing his late master, which he thus effected. Sir Simeon, his lady and family being all out of town, and he knowing the house was well furnished with plate, and the way to it, and the housekeeper not knowing he was discharged by his master in the country, he very easily got admittance to lie in the house, and had thereby sufficient opportunity to carry off the plate for which he was convicted.
He committed various robberies besides this, particularly one on a young woman in the street, from whom he took a riding hood, several suits of fine linen, a pair of fine shoes, and thirteen shillings in money; telling her he was at that time poor, but in a short time he should have a plentiful supply of money, and then she might draw upon him for the sum that was due, and he would honourably answer it. He was the first who desired to receive the sacrament, and the rest of the convicts promised to receive it with him, but only two, viz. Hester Fowler, since reprieved for transportation, and George Norton. He came always to chapel, and made regular responses, declaring, that he believed in Christ, repented of his sins, and died in charity with all the world.
Edward Ryan, 42 years of age, was born in the kingdom of Ireland of mean parents, who neither gave him education, nor put him to any trade, so that the business he must necessarily follow was that of a labourer, which he did for some time, and thereby maintained himself, wife, and children, who are now in Ireland. But at length, whether through idleness or accident, he got himself listed for a soldier in the Earl of Deloraine's Scots regiment, and served in the same above twelve years, and then got his discharge from the regiment being then in Scotland, and went over to Ireland, staid there some time, and then came over to England, and up to London, where he followed labouring work; and if he was not bad before, now fell into bad company. He confessed the stealing of the tankard, but would not own he had ever done any other
facts of the like nature; he was a very simple man, and extremely poor and miserable, his simplicity had something very particular in it, he being, as he said, now, and always was, a papist, but at the same time, knew so little of any religion, as under the sanction of an oath that he was a protestant, he continued in the army twelve years, without conceiving himself to have committed any crime; he did, as most of these poor unhappy senseless creatures do when they can't help it, behaved quietly, made the usual responses, seemed very serious when at chapel, and appeared to die in peace with all the world.
5. George Norton was tried on two indictments, the one for stealing 100 yards of woollen cloth, the property of William Bragg, in the house of Thomas Whaley; of which he was only convicted of simple felony. The other was for breaking open a room in the house of the said Whaley and taking thence a hair trunk, wherein was wearing apparel to a considerable value, the property of Thomas Fox; for which he was capitally convicted.
George Norton, 44 years of age, was born in Yorkshire of honest parents, who gave him a good education at school, so that he could read, write, and cast accompts, and was indifferently well instructed in christian principles, but not being put to any trade, he applied himself to country business, wherein he continued for some years; but the little learning he had, creating in him an ambition to be something better, he travelled up to London, and became an errand porter, and thereby maintained himself very well. In process of time he married a wife, purchased his freedom, and became an established porter , and plied chiefly at Mr. Whaley's at the Bell Inn in Woodstreet, where he more particularly served Mr. Fox the prosecutor whenever he came to town from Wolverhampton. Mr. Fox, on his last going out of town, discharg'd him his service, not for his dishonesty, but because at times he behaved like a madman, owing chiefly as it seems to his drinking of large quantities of spirituous liquors, the bane and destruction of the common people; his temper and disposition seemed to be peevish, sullen, and morose; and not very ready to give any very particular account of himself: He attended constantly at chapel, behav'd very well there, and conform'd with very good will to all rules of the place. He confessed both the robberies for which he stood indicted but did not acknowledge any other.
His wife visited, and assisted him to the utmost of her power, he professed his faith in Christ, repented of his sins, and died in charity with all men.
6. Mary Cut and Come again of St. Ann's Westminster, spinster, was indicted for assaulting Elizabeth Turner, widow, in a certain open place in or near Leicester fields, on the King's highway, putting her in fear, and taking from her an apron value 6 d. the property of the said Elizabeth Turner; an apron value 3 s. a shift value 12 d. a mob value 3 d. &c. the property of Elizabeth Brough, March the 27th.
Mary Cut and Come again , whose true name (as she told me) was Mary White, was born near St. James's of mean parents, who got her some little learning at a charity school, but not being thereby detached from the company she was born to keep, what she learnt at school was of so little significancy, that she forgot it almost as soon as she had learnt it, and at her first setting out in the world, on the credit of her voice, commenced ballad singer , which employed her when she had nothing worse to do. She seem'd to have had her education chiefly amongst thieves, in a pretty regular way, and was as bold, wicked, debauch'd, and impudent as any of the society could well be, she curst and swore in the presence of the magistrate, beat the evidence, and expressed herself, and acted so extravagantly as obliged her to be manacled, which only tamed her a little for the present. Her habitation was chiefly in the public streets both night and day; watching every opportunity to whore or thieve, or both together, as she could find people weak or wicked as herself to engage with. She was queen of the blackguards, pilferers, and ballad singers, univer
sally known amongst them, and partaker in most of their villainies; she acquired the cant name by which she stood indicted for her dexterity in cutting off womens pockets, and having several companions of the same cast, some used to sing to draw inconsiderate women about them, while others of the gang took care to dispose of their pockets. In this course, the poor wretch, with many other of her companions went on, until she was taken up and convicted; she seemed to have no more sense of religion, or of any moral good than a brute; and experience here has convinc'd me, what great numbers there are in the same miserable state, who are so confirmed in the most stupid wickedness, as to be a disgrace to human nature, and without some speedy means of reformation previous to corporal punishment, must grow upon our hands too fast to be easily eradicated. She confessed the fact for which she was convicted in general, but made some idle objections to the manner of its being sworn to. She for company sake went to chapel, appeared very attentive and quiet there, received the sacrament, professed to be really penitent, and as far as she knew of the matter believed in Jesus Christ, and being ask'd whether she died in peace with all men, she answered in the affirmative, saying innocently enough in her way, she bore no body any spite.
7. Lettice Lynn of the parish of St. Mary Whitechapel, was indicted (together with James Devereaux not taken) for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Matthew Wood, and stealing thence in rings and money to the value of about seventeen pounds, the property of Matthew Wood.
Lettice Lynn 22 years of age, was born of mean parents some where amongst the purlieus of Whitechapel, bred at a charity school, and if she is to be believed, put out apprentice a young girl of fourteen years of age, who had the honour to contribute to the support of a bawdy house , by bringing company thither, and where Lettice was debauched the first night of her apprenticeship, by her mistress's special appointment. So particular a beginning could not fail of producing suitable consequences; those who taught her whoring, naturally enough taught her thieving, and she for the future acted in one capacity or the other, or both together, as occasion offered. It's extremely difficult, either through hopes of a reprieve, or natural stupidity, to get any thing out of such poor wretches, that may give any just light into their lives and actions. It is like fishing in troubled waters, where fish are plenty enough but won't bite. Lettice seems to have been taught the principles of villainy with her first debauch, by indicting the person who lay with her for a rape, but had not the fortune to get him convicted. She afterwards fell in with a tradesman of some reputation, and obliged him to marry her, with whom she says, that she lived chast for five years, when her husband leaving her, she first undertook to be the directress of a bawdy house, and by the company she entertained there, became acquainted with, and practised with them street and highway robberies, one whereof she alledges was in company with the woman who calls herself the prosecutor's wife, and who had been previously indicted for receiving stolen goods, but acquitted for want of prosecution. But her chief companion was the famous James Stansbury, late master of the Blood-bowl house in Fleet-street, with whom she committed various robberies, and whose wife having been convicted of a robbery committed in the said house, and being ordered for transportation, Lettice and Stansbury went upon the highway together in order to raise contributions, for the fitting the lady out for her voyage to Virginia; in which undertaking they met with a West-India captain by Mile End, from whom they borrowed fourteen guineas, which was all he happened to be able at that time to spare them, and which proved a very comfortable assistance to the lady in her voyage. Lettice tells many terrible stories about the Blood-bowl house, whereto she often resorted, and of the robberies committed there, but they being only the same as are common to all such houses, and have been on previous occasions published before, are needless to repeat here. When
she was taken up she was well provided with necessaries for her support, but according to custom was soon stript of all, and as these wretches have rarely any friends, so when under sentence, she was miserably poor and naked, which brought her into a state of seeming penitence; her tears flowed very plentifully, and she said she believed in Christ, and not being able to war with the world any longer, very honestly died in peace with all mankind.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
FRiday June the 7th, the seven malefactors, appointed for execution, appeared at chapel at six in the morning, where they all behaved with great decency.
AT their coming to the place of execution they all seemed extreamly terrified at their approaching dissolution, so that in their then situation very little could be obtained from them more than is previously mentioned.
Edmund Gilbert, who was convicted for the murder of his servant, seemed to have no kind of inclination to make any further discoveries of his life and conversation, but on the contrary appeared extreamly sullen and reserved, answered me, that he had said as much as he chose to say, already, and therefore desired to be left to his own reflections; he seemed to be more shocked at his ignominious fate, than sorrowful for the fact, and left this world seemingly a good deal unconcerned for the actions of his life.
George Norton, reflected with great bitterness against the evidence whereby he stood convicted, but seemed modest enough to acknowledge the rectitude of the law in his conviction; a mixture of passion and terror seemed to have got the better of his reason and penitence, so that he rather seemed to leave the world in anger than to be much concerned about it.
Stephen Parsons, here, as heretofore, appeared in every respect a true penitent, confessing his sins with great sincerity of heart, wept bitterly all the time, owned the justice of his conviction, and hoped for mercy hereafter, through the merits of his Redeemer, and left the world with great calmness and resignation to the will of heaven.
Samuel Keep, seemed very penitent, but could say little more, than that he was at peace with all the world; owned the justice of his sentence; seemed very desirous that the company would pray for him; hoped for mercy through Jesus Christ, and left the world in a good deal of tranquillity.
Mary Cut and Come again, otherwise White, seemed to have but little sense of her state as a sinner, though very much shocked at her approaching fate; she seemed to wish, by the example of her companions, that the spectators would pray for her, and would have prayed for herself if any notion of that kind could have been inspired into her, who was a stranger to the very nature and use of prayer; considering all things, and her unhappy ignorance, she went out of the world as much like a Christian, as could be expected from one of her miserable character.
THE Ordinary having consented to commit the conduct of this paper for the future to a new editor, who has more at heart a due care and concern for truth and the welfare of society, than regard to the profits it may produce; it is much to be hop'd, that such papers as appear hereafter, will have the happiness to please people of the best understandings, by letting them into a true light of the causes of all the robberies and mischiefs committed by an unhappy set of people, who are, if I may so speak, regularly educated in villainy, and who have not, generally speaking, so much notion of happiness either here or hereafter, as to be acquainted with the terms, by which it is to be insinuated into them.
Had this paper been set out at first on a right principle, it's highly probable, that the situation of these unhappy people had been consider'd, and some natural remedies applied long ago; but as they have been hitherto generally farce and invention, contrived by the editor rather to lengthen out the paper, than to convey adequate ideas of the facts; so have they been accordingly esteemed, and rarely perused by any, but such as had as little understanding as the editor: When as nothing is more evident than the utility of such paper, wherein the lives and manners of those who are the enemies of society, are fairly and honestly delineated; it may contribute to the amusement of some, the information of others, and the emolument of many. To those who are bad it may be a terror; to those who are wavering between good and evil, a check; and to those who are good, by a natural contrast, illustrate their happiness, which is never so well understood as by a retrospect to misery. It may prove in the event the means of inducing some, who by a kind of natural benevolence are turn'd to good offices, to consider the lowest of their fellow
creatures as meriting their utmost regard and attention.
This first publication falls very short of the intention of the editor, by reason of the materials coming to his hands too late, either to digest them as he ought, or to enquire further into the life and conversation of the unhappy convicts; by which he was prevented, from improving the state of their respective cases to wholsome and salutary ends, as not being able to learn the beginning, course and end of their ways, which is what only can give light into their usual practices, put honest men rightly upon their guard against them, and be the surest guide to the detection of those who are left behind.
This for the future will be taken more particular care of, and the public may not only expect, hereafter, to see them in their proper colours, stript of all disguises, but also attended with such proper reflections, as the editor humbly hopes may prove entirely to the satisfaction of the reader, by giving him such a clear idea of the ways and practices of these sort of people, as may consist at once, both with truth, and instruction.