THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, & Dying Words Of the SEVEN MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On FRIDAY the 1st of AUGUST, 1746.
NUMBER IV. For the said YEAR.
Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and C. CORBETT, over-against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street.
CURIOSITY is one of the chief characteristicks of Britons; the people of every part of this island, like the Athenians of old, spending most of their time either in relating, or listening to some new transaction.
Being now to enter upon a new scene of action, it will, I suppose, be expected, especially by the inquisitive inhabitants of this famous Metropolis; that I should say something by way of Preface, on this melancholy occasion.
The tragedies of this week will afford matter of speculation for ages to come; and the Rebels at Kennington-Common, as well as the Malefactors at Tyburn, may give lessons to posterity.
Truly sorry I am, that there should be any occasion for these sad examples of justice; but the extreme wickedness
of the age calls aloud for them: And executions in the state are frequently as necessary, for the welfare and security of the body politick, as bleeding for the preservation of the life of man: 'Tis certain that no government cou'd subsist long, in case a lawless liberty, or rather licentiousness, were allow'd, and no punishments inflicted on bold offenders: It is requisite that some sort of criminals should suffer death, as examples to deter others; and the justice as well as lenity of the government we live under, is manifest, in its inflicting punishments proportionable to the offences committed.
The prisoners will be daily and constantly attended by me, pursuant to the new order of my most worthy patrons, the Right Honourable the Lord-Mayor, and Court of Aldermen, and from time to time instructed in their duties, both from the pulpit, and in private conversation; nevertheless my account of them, for the future, will not be swell'd with any heads of sermons, nor shall family affairs ever be divulg'd.
The publick may therefore depend upon having a plain, concise, and ingenuous narrative of these unhappy objects, and almost in their own words; with such discoveries as may be of service to particular persons, or of general use to mankind.
Thus much for the introduction, which I presume, will not be thought improper at this juncture: And as I mean well, I hope, that this first attempt to describe low life in affliction, will be receiv'd by the publick, with candour and good nature.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
BY virtue of the King's commission of the Peace, OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir RICHARD HOARE Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Right Honourable the Lord Chief BARON PARKER, Mr. JUSTICE BURNET, Mr. JUSTICE DENISON, John Stracey , Esq ; Recorder , 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 the 2d, and Thursday the 3d of July, in the twentieth Year of his Majesty's reign; eight malefactors, viz. JOHN SHORT, GEORGE THOMAS, THOMAS BIRD, JOHN HUMPHREYS, JOHN JENNINGS, JOHN STEVENS, WILLIAM BRUCE, and JOHN CRIPS, were capitally convicted for several crimes, and received sentence of Death accordingly.
From the time of their condemnation to the day of execution, they all constantly attended at chappel twice every day (except William Bruce who was absent but twice thro' sickness, the weather being excessive hot) not only the behaviour of those under sentence of death, but likewise of the whole goal, in time of divine service, was serious, devout, and regular: Their attention to the preaching was uncommon, for they often desired an explanation of some texts of scripture, they could not immediately understand.
On Wednesday the 23d of July, the report of these eight malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder to his Majesty in council, when he was pleased to order the seven following for execution, viz. John Short, George Thomas, Thomas Bird, John Humphreys, John Jennings, John Stevens, and William Bruce, and to respite John Crips till his Majesty's further orders.
I. JOHN SHORT was indicted with George Thomas , for that they on the 26th of April, in a certain field and open place near the king's high-way, did make an assault upon John Biles putting him in fear and danger of his life, and did feloniously steal one silver lac'd hat, one pair of silver knee-buckles, a pair of leather breeches, a pair of white cotton stockings, two linnen handkerchiefs, four cambrick stocks, and a silver clasp, the property of the said John Biles .
He was a second time indicted with George Thomas for assaulting Edward Clark in a certain field on the king's high-way, on the 8th of April, putting him in fear of his life, and feloniously taking from him a cloth coat, a hat, a pair of buckles, and four-pence in money, the property of the said Edward Clark .
He was a third time indicted with Thomas Bird , for assaulting William Petit , on the 5th of March, in a certain field near the King's high-way putting him in fear of his life, and feloniously taking from him a silver watch value 3 l. 3 s. a guinea, 2 s. in silver, and a clasp knife, the property of the said William Petit .
JOHN SHORT , aged 33, was born of honest tho' poor parents, at Dorchester in the county of Dorset, had no education given him by them, and brought up to no business: His parents being dead, an uncle sent for him at the age of 14, to Northampton county in Virginia, with whom he lived several years, and learned by his Instructions to be a shoe-maker , but being of a roving disposition, left his uncle, and went to sea , afterwards he was instructed in the trade of a carpenter , and was so good a proficient in both, as to be able to get his living at either of them, but could never stick to any settled business. He has been about nine years in his majesty's service , and was at the battle of Fontenoy, confess'd that he had committed several robberies, besides those he was indicted for, tho' he could not remember the particulars: that Bray the evidence, enticed him to go along with him, and was the person who cut and alter'd the pieces: He leaves a wife and child behind him, acknowledges himself a vile sinner, and very ignorant of religious matters, dies in peace with all mankind, and hopes for salvation thro' the merits of his dear Redeemer.
and put him apprentice , first to a glazier , where he remained but one quarter of a year, and afterwards to a taylor , with whom he served out his time, and might have lived well and creditably by his trade, but that he was always enclin'd to be a wicked and profligate wretch. He has been for nine years last past in his Majesty's service , complains of being drawn away by the evidence Bray, who he says charges him falsely with carrying the shoe-buckles and knee-buckles to the silversmith in King-street, tho' he owns the robberies, as well as others in general, of which he was indicted: He has a good wife, who visited and comforted him under his afflictions to the utmost of her power; As he dies in peace and forgiveness with all the world, he relies upon the merits of Jesus Christ for his salvation.
THOMAS BIRD , aged 28, was born in Leicester-fields, of good and creditable parents, who gave him some learning, the most part of which he had forgot, and put him apprentice to a distiller , with whom he served but a short time; has been in his majesty's service about 8 or 9 years, and was at the battle of Fontenoy. He leaves behind him a wife and one child, seem'd to be of a surly, not ingenuous temper, and would confess nothing: he said he never committed any robberies, except bilking the publicans of their reckonings, knew nothing of altering the muskets, and was unacquainted with Bray, but was sick when the robbery was done. He dies in peace and forgiveness with all the world, and hopes for salvation through the merits of our dear redeemer.
IV. JOHN HUMPHRYS was indicted with John Jennings , for assaulting and robbing James Crey in a certain field, or open place, near Stepney, and taking from him a Pinchbeck metal watch, a cornelian seal, a pair of shoe and knee buckles, on the 22d of May .
JOHN HUMPHRYS , aged 20, was born of worthy, tho' obscure parents, at Bletchingly, in the county of Surry, who could not afford to educate him much, for he could only read, and was brought up to no other business than husbandry . It was a great grief to him that his parents and a sister were yet alive, and would hear of his ignominious death: he was very much concern'd he could not see two persons he had robbed, to ask their pardon and forgiveness on his knees. He own'd himself guilty of the crime for which he was condemned, and has confess'd two other robberies, which shall be mention'd in the account of John Jennings, who was partner with him in all his rogueries. He was not married, was but one year and an half in his majesty's service , and only three weeks acquainted with Bray the evidence, who drew him away to these evil practices, acknowledg'd himself an abandon'd wretch, very ignorant, and guilty of all crimes except murder, and more particularly bewail'd his
breaking of the sabbath, as the foundation of all his other sins. He dies in peace with, and asks forgiveness of all men, and relies on his salvation, through the merits of our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ.
V. JOHN JENNINGS was indicted with the afore-named John Humphrys, for assaulting and robbing James Crey in a certain field, or open place, near Stepney, as before-mention'd. Which indictment he was acquitted of.
He was a second time indicted with John Stephens , for assaulting and robbing Edmund Knapp , in the parish of Pancras, in a certain field and open place, upon the king's highway, and taking from him a cloth coat, a hat, &c. on the 4th of May .
JOHN JENNINGS , aged 26, was born at Limpsfield, in the county of Surry, of mean but honest parents, whose circumstances would not allow them to send him to school, or to put him to any trade, so that his inclination led him to husbandry , and other country work. He leaves behind him a wife and one son, was in his majesty's service about 18 months.
He was grosly ignorant of religious matters, and could not read, but own'd himself to be a very vile wretch; he freely confess'd the crime for which he was to suffer, besides two other robberies, which he committed in company with John Humphrys, his country-man and acquaintance, and was as equally desirous as him, of seeing the two persons they had assaulted, that he might also ask their pardon on his bended knees. He heartily forgave every person that had injur'd him, and he died in peace with all mankind, expecting salvation through the alone merits of our Saviour.
The first robbery he was concerned in they committed together, sometime in May last, in the Lock-fields at the end of Kent-street, on a person, whom, as they have been since informed, was a grocer living near the Old Barge-house, and from him they took a watch, which they also dispos'd of, as they had many other things, to one Wr - ht in the Old Bailey.
The second robbery was likewise done in May last, near Mother Red-Cap's, the chief place or scene of their roguish actions, where they assaulted a man, unknown to them, whom they have heard since was a bricklayer, and they took from him a coat, a hat, a perriwig, and about eighteen pence in money: and these are the only robberies he and Stephens did in company together.
JOHN STEPHENS , aged 23 (and as he observed with tears in his eyes, the day he was cast, was the day of his birth) was born at Bletchingly in the county of Surry, of poor tho' well disposed parents, who would have given him some education, but he hated the sight of a school, went only one quarter of a year to it, and could never attain the knowledge of his letters so, as to be able to read: He was by trade a blacksmith ,
and on liking to it for above three years, in which time he became master of his business, then ran away, and was never bound either to a master or mistress, but worked as a journeyman for himself, till he went to serve his majesty in Flanders, was at the battle of Fontenoy, and in the service about six years: He leaves only a wife behind him, acknowledged himself to be an ignorant, extreme wicked and profligate young fellow, and confessed the crimes for which he suffer'd: He died in peace with all the world, and forgave every body, and hoped for salvation by the merits of our dear Redeemer.
WILLIAM BRUCE, aged 23, was born by Newry in the county of Armagh in the kingdom of Ireland, of very poor, industrious, honest parents, who sent him to school for one quarter of a year only, and then took him away thence, to get his own living, because they could not maintain him any longer, his father being a labourer: He has endeavour'd ever since to get a livelihood, by being a labourer , and doing any sort of servile work: was never married, and insisted entirely on his innocency, and that he never saw the post-boy in his life, before he came into the cage and charged him with the robbery. He protested that the defence he made at his trial was the whole truth, that he came out of Ireland to look for work, as far as Islington, but not meeting with any encouragement, and being scarce of money, was returning home; that he laid at the upper end of Barnet in a barn; because, tho' he would have paid for lodging, they said he was an Irishman, and they would not let him have any. He and his companions were very cold when the day-light came; and as they were cold, they said to one another, we had better be going to the coal pits at Coventry, to get what would carry them home.
He was quite illiterate and ignorant of religion, said he had been a very wicked youth, but was born and bred a protestant dissenter, as all his family was before him; he came constantly to chappel, while under sentence of death, behaved there regularly and decently, earnestly desired to partake of the blessed sacrament with his fellow prisoners, was entirely resigned to the will of God, and with tears forgave the post-boy, and every one who had injured him, and he hoped for forgiveness and salvation at the throne of grace thro' the alone merits of our blessed faviour Jesus Christ.
JOHN CRIPS , aged 26, was born at Tring in the county of Hertford, of very mean, but honest parents, who gave him but little schooling, for he could only read, his writing he forgot. He was, like his father, a labourer and shepherd , was never married, acknowledged
himself a wicked and graceless young man; and that he assisted two other men, who got off, in driving away the lambs; but never committed any robberies besides in his life, he behaved well while under sentence, and was entirely resigned, if his fate had been otherwise; but as it had pleased God to raise him up friends to obtain a reprieve for him, he was throughly sensible of the mercy, and would pray to God for his grace to enable him to be a good man, in whatever country his majesty should please to send him.
Lauchlan Macleane , a footman , and prisoner on suspicion of high treason, having charged some one of these unhappy persons with picking his pocket of a watch, in the press-yard, about a week or ten days ago, as they were walking up and down in the place, I charged them with it, but upon examination they all denied the fact, and on monday evening last, when prayers were done, the prisoners desired me to let them know their accuser, that they might be altogether face to face: When we came down, he was in the press-yard, I took him by the arm, and prayed him to fix upon the man, now they were all before him; he said, he would not, and yet insisted on his accusation being true, but I must leave the publick to judge what credit is to be given to such an accuser.
Exact and particular Relation of all the Robberies committed by JOHN HUMPHRYS, JOHN JENNINGS, JOHN SHORT, THOMAS BIRD, JOHN STEVENS, GEORGE THOMAS, and WILLIAM BRAY, all Soldiers belonging to his Majesty's Foot Guards; the six first of whom were executed at Tyburn, Friday August the 1st, 1746. And the last was admitted as an Evidence: In which is contain'd a remarkable Account of three several Robberies committed by the above Soldiers , for which, one Samuel Watson was tried at the Old Bailey and condemned to die, but since reprieved by his Majesty.
IT has been too often the custom of writers, to foist on the publick stories which may appear diverting or surprizing, in order to amuse or entertain their readers without any regard either to truth or justice, which I here declare once for all shall never be my method; and tho' some of the following relations may appear dry and insipid, yet they will appear true, and as they were actually taken from the mouths of the persons themselves, who (as dying men) could have no interest in declaring falshoods; I shall give them as near as possible in the manner they were related, andin the order of time they were committed.
And not withstanding these robberies are forty-three in number, they were all committed in so short a space of time, as from the 5th of January last to the 22d of May, not by the whole seven together, but sometimes by three of them, at other times four, and at some others two; but in general they robbed three in a company.
I. The very first time of turning out (as they term it) was the 5th of January last, when three of them only set out together, and after rambling about for some time, about eight at night, between Pancras and Kentish-town, they met a man, whom they attacked, and demanded his money, he immediately delivered what he had, which was only one shilling in silver, and three penny worth of halfpence; they would have taken his coat which was a pretty good one, but he pleading that he was only a poor carpenter, they desisted stripping him, telling him that it being their first robbery he might escape, but that the next person they attacked should pay for it.
II. The next robbery they committed was two nights following, viz. January the 7th, on a poor man in the Lock-fields, from whom they took only one shilling, it being all he had.
III. As they were now set in, they determined not to be idle, and accordingly the very next night, Jan. the 8th, they set out again, and travelled a great deal of ground to very little purpose, till they came into the Lock-fields, where they attacked a man, and took from him only three shillings.
IV. Meeting with very little success they almost determined to give it up, but resolved however to attempt it once more, and accordingly they went the next evening, Jan. the 9th, to Lock-fields again, where they met two men, from whom they took ten shillings.
V. As they every night got something, tho' only trifles, they thought the Lockfields still to be their best place of resort, and accordingly went there again the following evening, Jan. the 10th, where they waited a long time without any prize, till at length a man coming along, they stepped up to him and demanded his money, he gave them seven shillings, and they walked off.
VI. They went out several nights afterwards and met with no booty at all, till Jan. the 18th, between Deptford road and Peckham, they perceived a man whom they thought for their purpose, and accordingly saluted him in the usual Term of stand and deliver your money, and took from him seven shillings.
The following robbery was committed by three of the above soldiers, as they have since confessed, who declared they never saw Samuel Watson, who was tried and condemned the sessions before last for this robbery; and also declare, on the words of dying men, that he is intirely innocent, and that it was them, and them only who committed it, in the following manner, which I think proper to mention, as well to do justice is the innocent, as for the satisfaction of the publick.
VII. The 24th of Jan. three of them set out together to seek their prey, and after strolling about for some time, about eight o'clock at night, they met between Tottenham court and Mother Red-cap's two men and a woman (which since appears to be one Mr. Morris and his wife, and one Mr. Ashborn) who had been to Mother Red-cap's to eat pig; it was one field from Tottenham-court towards Mother Red-cap's, one of the soldiers jostled Mr. Morris between the posts as he was coming through, on his asking what he wanted, the soldier clapping a pistol to his breast, answered, your money; to which Marris replied, he had none; the soldier told him he could not take his word but must search him, and accordingly took from him eight shillings and a watch key; Mr. Morris begged for his watch key again, but the soldier said, no d - n him he would have his watch also, and accordingly took it out of his pocket; in the mean time, another of the soldiers going to attack Mrs. Morris,
she cried out, and her husband hoisted her over a bank to make her escape; nevertheless, the soldier seized hold of her cloak and got it away; the third held a pistol to Mr. Ashborn's breast, and demanded his money; but Mr. Ashborn refused to deliver, and defended himself with his stick till the woman's cries raised some people at Tottenham-court, and the soldiers thought proper to retire with what booty they had got, and he escaped being robbed: The people from Tottenham-court pursuing the soldiers, who got clear off, seized on one Samuel Watson, who was tried and condemned for this robbery, which the soldiers, as I have said above, declare on the words of dying men he is absolutely and entirely innocent of.
VIII. The very same evening they attacked two young men between Mother Red-cap's and Tottenham-court road, from whom they took three shillings and some keys, they begged for their keys again, saying they were apprentices, and they returned them.
IX. The 26th of Jan, three of them set out towards Camberwell, and in the road between Newington and that town, met two men whom they attacked and demanded their money, they gave them nine shillings, a knife, and a tobacco box; but immediately one of the men made a blow at one of the soldiers and knocked him down, on which ensued a very smart engagement, and 'twas with great difficulty they made their escape; the gentlemen they attacked being very stout, and men of courage, they own that one of their companions had liked to have been taken, being deserted by the other two, but he made shift to fling one of the gentlemen into a ditch, and throw the other cross a rail on his head, and made off.
X. This last affair occasioned high words as well as blows among themselves, and they began to fear each other, Impeaching now was all the cry, however, after a few days it blew over; and Jan. 31st they went out again, and in the road between Newington and Camberwell, robb'd a Man of six shillings.
XI. The next evening, Feb. 1st, they took the same road, and near the same place robbed another man of one shilling and sixpence, and tho' they travelled about for some hours after that, they met with no other prey that night.
XII. For several days after they went together on the same day, but February 8th, they met in the Lock-fields with three Sailors whom they made stand, and after searching them found no money, only three pieces of silver foreign coin, which they took from them and made off.
XIII. Three of them met with two men, Feb. 11. in the Lock-fields, and took from them a silver watch, a pair of bristol-stone buttons, and one penny; before they had got the watch, they were going to strip one of them of his coat, in the doing which they perceived his watch fix'd under his left arm, which they took, and left him his coat, telling him, his watch had redeem'd his garment.
The following robbery, was another that Samuel Watson was supposed guilty of, and so strong was the suspicion, that the person robb'd, viz. Mr. B - n hearing that the soldier who turn'd evidence, had put this robbery among the rest in his confession, came to him and questioned him, how and in what manner they robb'd him, which he described to him, and also what words past, and what they took from him, viz. a silver watch, and a pound of tobacco, which he said was perriwigcut tobacco; Mr. B - n not yet satisfied prevailed on the governor of Tothill-fields Bridewell, to admit the evidence under a proper guard to go to the place where the robbery was committed, and shew him the spot where they met, and how they proceeded, which he did, and Mr. B - n was convinced.
his silver watch and one pound of tobacco.
XV. The next robbery they committed, was Feb. 21st last; they met a man between Newington and Camberwell, from whom they took two great coats, one off his back, and t'other hanging over his arm, and one shilling and six-pence.
XVI. They met a man, Feb. 27th last, between Pancras and Kentish-town, whom they saluted with stand and deliver; from whom they took thirty shillings in silver and nine shillings in halfpence; by the weight of the bag they imagined they had gotten a very large booty, and proceeded joyfully to Town; but when they came to examine the hig and find the copper, they were greatly disappointed.
XVII. This last booty served them sometime, before they turn'd out again; but when it was all gone they were determined to seek a fresh supply, accordingly March 5. they set forth again in hopes of more plunder, and just between Tottenham-court and Mother Red-cap's, about eight at night they perceived two men coming forward, one with a link in his hand lighting another, whom they first past by, to see if they lik'd them, then turn'd about, made them put out the link, and demanded their money, they took from one of them a silver watch, with the name Petit upon it, which they perceived him endeavouring to hide in his bosom, one guinea in gold, eight shillings in silver, and a knife; they searched the other who told them he was a poor man, but they found nothing about him only some bread and cheese in his Pocket.
N.B. This was one of the robberies on which they were convicted.
XVIII. The next robbery was March 8. between Tottenham-court and Mother Red-cap's, they took from a man a great coat and some silver.
XIX. The same evening between Pancras and Kentish-town, they robb'd another man of a great coat and some money.
XX. Within half an hour afterwards they stopp'd between Pancras and Mother Red-cap's, a man from whom they likewise took a great coat and some money.
XXI. The same night coming home between Pancras and London, they overtook a man, from whom they also took a great coat and some money.
XXII. The 10th of March, they turn'd out again, and between Pancras and the New River-head, they robb'd a man of his great coat, a pair of silver shoe-buckles and some silver.
XXIII. The same evening they robbed a man between the New River-head and Islington, of a guinea in gold, ten shillings in silver, and a silver medal, which weighed about an ounce, they likewise stript him of his coat, waistcoat, and hat, and then made directly to Town.
XXIV. The next night of their adventuring, was March 14th, when they attack'd a man between Pancras and Mother Red-cap's, from whom they took a coat, a pair of silver shoe-buckles, eighteen shillings and two silk handkerchiefs.
XXV. March 19th, They robb'd a man between Pancras and Kentish-town of his coat, hat, and some silver.
XXVI. Three nights after this, March 22d, between Pancras and Mother Red-cap's, they met two men, from whom they took a coat, a handkerchief, and some silver.
XXVII. After this last robbery they laid still for some time, being some of them obliged to be on duty, or otherwise employ'd; however, being now become proficients, they could not forget their old trade, and therefore three of them set out March 31st, being Easter-monday, in search of fresh adventures, and between Bloody-bridge and Hide-Park corner, they attacked three men, made them stand, and deliver what money they had among them, which amounted to about a dozen shillings; they also took from one of them a pair of breeches, which they made him pull off himself, which breeches came to George Thomas's share, and he was hang'd in them; they took also two pair of buckles, a handkerchief, a knife, and a snuffbox.
The following robbery committed by these soldiers, was likewise charged upon the above Samuel Watson, for which he was tried at the Sessions-house in the Old Bailey, and found guilty, DEATH; which the soldiers as dying men declare was done by three of them in the following manner.
XXVIII. The third of April they had rambled about till between nine and ten at night without meeting with any booty, and were returning home, but between Pancras and Southampton-row they met a man (who since appears to be one Mr. Parran) coming over the fields with another man lighting him along with a link, they attacked them and ordered the man with him to put out the link, which he for some time obstinately refused, but, however it was at last put out, and they took from Mr. Parran sixteen shillings in silver, a pair of silver shoe buckles and knee buckles, a tobacco-box, on the lid of which is wrote William Parran, London (which box the evidence one of the soldiers who was in this robbery himself delivered to the governer of Tothill fields Bridewell, in whose custody it now is) they likewise took from Mr. Parran a memorandum book, a handkerchief, and a tobacco-stopper, and then parted; but one of the soldiers who searched him recollecting he had a sob for a watch, return'd back and search'd him over again in hopes of finding one, and search'd the man who carried the link likewise, imagining it might be given to him for safety, but none was found, and they once more parted.
XXIX. The 8th of April the same three set out again in search of their prey, about 8 or 9 at night, tho' a different road; and between London and Chelsea they met with one Mr. Edward Clark, they ordered him to stand, and they demanded his money, which he not readily delivering, they hauled him out of the road, hit him a blow on the head with a pistol, and took from him a coat, a hat, a pair of buckles, a pair of scissars, and about a groat in half-pence.
N.B. This was one of the robberies on which they were convicted.
XXX. Two nights after, viz. the 10th of April, they robbed another man between London and Chelsea, near the same place, of his coat, hat, and a pair of buckles.
XXXI. The 18th of April they went out again, and between Bloody-bridge and Hide-Park Corner attack'd three men, from whom they took nine shillings, two pair of buckles, two coats, and three silk handkerchiefs.
XXXII. One of the above soldiers together with two others (who have since made their escapes) went out together April 19th, and between Tottenham-court and Mother Red-cap's they robb'd two men and two women of five shillings and three halfpence.
XXXIII. Between nine and ten at night, April 22d, the same three robb'd a man between Pancras and Kentish-town of four shillings and six-pence, a knife and a handkerchief.
XXXIV. Between London and Pancras, April 26th, three of them robbed a man of a great coat and some silver.
XXXV. The same evening about nine or ten at night, between Tottenham-court and Mother Red-cap's they attack'd one Mr. Biles, presented their pistols and demanded his money; he telling them he had none, they made him pull off his breeches, which they took away with them, they likewise took his silver shoe-buckles and knee-buckles, a silver clasp, two handkerchiefs, a pair of white ribb'd stockings, three stocks, a silver laced hat, a cork-screw, and a Letter (which Letter after they had read they burnt, and then ordered him to go on.
N.B. This was one of the robberies in which they were convicted.
XXXVI. About ten at night, April 30th, they attacked a man on Smallbery-green between Brentford and Hounslow, who seemed terribly frighted, shook like an aspenleaf, and begg'd for God's sake they would take away those frightful great things (meaning the pistols) and he would give them his money, which was but two shillings, and they parted.
XXXVII. Between Tottenham-court and Mother Red-cap's, the 4th of May, they attacked one Mr. Knapp, two of them first, to whom he refused to deliver, and struggling endeavoured to get away, but the third coming up, they knock'd him down, and took from him his hat and coat, in the pocket of which they found a pair of gloves, a pocket-book, an indenture, and explanation of the bass relievo on the Lord-mayor's Mansion-house.
N.B. This was one of the robberies on which they were convicted.
XXXVIII. The 8th of May they robb'd a man between Tottenham-court and Mother Red-cap's of a coat and some silver.
XXXIX. They had for a long while left their old place the Lock-fields, but this evening, May 10th, they bent their course that way, where they met two men, from whom they took a silver watch with a buck leather string, mark'd with a Marlborough star, a penknife, a handkerchief, some silver and some half-pence.
XL. About nine at night, May 11th, they attacked two men between Mother Red-cap's and Pancras, whom they robb'd of two half-crowns, and some other silver, some half-pence, a hat and a pencil.
XLI. After committing the above robbery, the same night they crossed the water, and in St. George's Fields about one in the morning they robbed a man of two shillings.
XLII. The 18th of May, about 12 at night, between Mother Red-cap's and Hamstead, they robbed one Mr. Plummer of his coat, hat and wig, a pair of silver clasps, a cane, a tobacco-box, some silver and some halfpence.
XLIII. The last robbery they committed was May the 22d, about 11 or 12 at Night, between Bow and Stepney, they robbed two men, viz. Mr. Crey, from whom they took a Pinchbeck metal watch with a gold dial-plate, a cornelian seal set in gold, a pair of silver shoe-buckles and knee-buckles, two handkerchiefs and a pocket book; and Mr. Birch, Mr. Crey's father-in-law, from whom they took eighteen-pence in silver, six-penny worth of halfpence, and a pair of silver shoe-buckles marked G. B.
N. B. This was one of the robberies on which they were convicted.
This robbery proved fatal to them, for next day going to a house they frequented in Fleet-lane, they sent a woman with the two pair of shoe-buckles and one pair of kneebuckles, to Mr. Barnes's shop near Ludgate to sell; Mr. Barnes having received a warning from the goldsmiths company to stop such things if they were offered, got a constable, and went with the woman to Fleet-lane, where he secured one of them, which greatly alarmed the rest, who began to be tearful of each other; at length one of them voluntarily went before Justice Fraser, made himself an evidence, and by his direction the others were taken, brought to their trials at the Old Bailey, and deservedly executed.
The pistols, or rather imitation of pistols they robbed with, they made themselves, out of three muskets which they stole from the Tilt-yard guard-room: They cut off the stock and butt end with a hand-saw, and cut off the brass with a three square file, took the barrells out of the stocks, cut them to a proper length, and made them pistol fashion; what remained of the muskets they sold to their old chapman Mr. - in the Old Bailey, who generally bought during the course of their robberies, whatever they brought him.
The behaviour of these miserable criminals has been so very extraordinary, during the whole time that has been allowed them to prepare for death, that I must not omit some further remarks concerning it.
Their knowledge of divine things was small indeed, yet their hearts seemed to be thoroughly touched and enflamed with what they heard both at chappel and in private discourse; for they often sighed, and wept, and entreated me to pray for them. The blessed sacrament of our Lord's supper, was thrice administred to them and others whowere religiously disposed, at which, their devotions were devout and grave. On Sunday morning, five only of those under sentence received it, but on Wednesday morning, and the morning of their execution, they all took the sacrament with others in the prison both debtors and felons.
They were all free and ingenuous in their confessions, except Thomas Bird, whom I examined a second time on Wednesday morning before I gave them the sacrament, and I am afraid he prevaricated, but he still insisted on his innocence and that he was sick at that time the robbery was committed.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
THEY were carried to the place of execution, about nine o'clock in the morning, in three carts; in the first of which, were Short , Thomas , and Bird , in the second, Humphreys and Jennings , in the third, Stephens and Bruce . At Tyburn they behaved as true penitents, with seriousness and devotion.
BIRD was very loth to confess, but at last own'd the robbery for which he died, and that he had committed many others, but strenuously insisted upon not altering the pieces, as sworn against him by the evidence, and that he had been acquainted with Bray, but a little while.
THOMAS said this was his birth-day, and a blessed day to him. He, Humphreys, and the rest declared their ruin was chiefly owing to drunkenness, sabbath-breaking, and leud women.
* BIRD and SHORT acknowledg'd their attempt of breaking the goal, the day-before their execution, and thought themselves excusable in trying to escape, because, as they term'd it, life is sweet.
* They attempted to break their way through the cells, by picking a large quantity of bricks out of the wall, which was found out by one of the keepers who was going round the cells, as is customary for them to do, when the prisoners are gone to chappel; and perceiving some rubbish on the ground, he looked a little more narrowly about, perceived a very large hole in the wall which they had artfully covered with their coats; and being taxed with it when they came from chappel, they confessed their design, and were directly separated, they having been indulged before with being together on account of one reading to the other, who could not read.
BRUCE declar'd his innocency to the last moment.
SHORT, THOMAS, HUMPHREYS, JENNINGS, and STEPHENS, ingenuously adher'd to their former confessions, said, they had nothing more to add, and were urgent in pressing Bird to confess.
They all went off, calling, with great servour, on the Lord to have mercy on their souls.