THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, & Dying Words Of the SIX MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the 20th of FEBRUARY, 1748-9.
NUMBER I. 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, the only authorised Printers of the Dying Speeches.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S 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 ROBERT LADBROKE , Knt . Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice WILLES; 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 7th, Thursday the 8th, Friday the 9th, and Saturday the 10th of September, in the 22d Year of his Majesty's Reign, RICHARD GOULSTON, WILL. JEFFERYS, otherwise JEFFERSON, otherwise WILLIAM LUKE, otherwise BILLY LUKE, were capitally convicted; GOULSTON received Sentence accordingly, but JEFFERYS's Case was reserved for the consideration of the twelve Judges.
By Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir WILLIAM CALVERT , Knt . Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Honourable Sir THOMAS DENNISON , Knt . the Honourable Sir THOMAS ABNEY , Knt . the Honourable Mr. Baron CLIVE, Sir JOHN STRACEY , Knt . Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the City of London, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 7th, Thursday the 8th, Friday the 9th, Saturday the 10th, and Monday the 12th of December, in the 22d Year of his Majesty's Reign, JOHN FRIMLEY, and THOMAS JONES, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
And, By Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir WILLIAM CALVERT , Knt . Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Right Honourable Lord Chief Baron PARKER, the Honourable Mr. Justice BURNET, RICHARD ADAMS , Esq ; Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City of London, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey, on Friday the 13th, Saturday the
14th, Monday the 16th, Thursday the 19th, and Friday the 20th of January, in the 22d Year of his Majesty's, Reign, USHER GAHAGAN, TERENCE CONNOR, and JOSEPH MAPHAM, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
Those of the two first Sessions have behaved very well, and becoming People their unhappy Circumstances, and their Attendance on divine Service has been regular and constant. As to those of last Sessions, GAHAGAN and CONNOR, having been born and bred in the Roman Catholic Persuasion, their Prejudices were not to be removed, and they were permitted to have a proper Person, whom they made choice of to attend them, FORSTER, was constantly at Chapel, and MAPHAM as often as his Infirmities would permit.
On Tuesday the 14th Instant, the Report of eight Malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder to his Majesty, when he was pleased to order the seven following for Execution, viz. William Jefferys, Thomas Jones, John Frimley, Usber Gahagan, Terence Connor, Joseph Mapham and John Forster, on Monday the 20th Instant.
1. WILLIAM JEFFERYS, otherwise JEFFERSON, otherwise WILLIAM LUKE, otherwise BILLY LUKE , late of Benacre Labourer , was indicted for that he, with divere other Persons, after the 24th Day of July, in the 19th Year of his Majesty's Reign, to wit, on the 8th of November last, at Benacre, in the County of Suffolk, did with Fire Arms, and other Offensive Weapons, riotously, unlawfully, and feloniously assemble themselves together, and did rescue James Holt out of the Hands of the Officers of his Majesty's Customs; and that they on the 11th Day of March, in the Year 1746, at Horsey, in the County of Norfolk, did, with Fire Arms, &c. riotously, unlawfully, and feloniously assemble themselves together, in order to be aiding and assisting in running, and landing, unacustomed Goods, &c.
He was a third Time indicted for not surrendering himself according to the Act of Parliament against the Peace, &c.
3. THOMAS JONES , was indicted for that he, on the 6th Day of September, having in his Custody a certain Paper writing, purporting to be an Inland Bill of Exchange, and to be signed by one John Edgerton and to bear Date, at Broxton, August the 15th, 1748, and Directed to Charles Cholmondeley , Esq ; in James Street Westminster, near London, for the Payment of 300 l. to Sir Watkins Williams Wynne, Bart . on his Order, at one Month after Date, for value received: At the Bottom of which said Paper, the Words, and Letters following were subscribed, that is to say, accept to Pay when due, C. Cholmondeley, purporting to write Acceptance of Charles Cholmondeley; he the said Thomas Jones, on the 6th Day of September, with Force of Arms, feloniously forged and counterfeited an Indorsement on the same, purpoting to be a Bill of Exchange as aforesaid, in the Name of Sir Watkins Williams Wynne, Bart . with an Intent to defraud the said Sir Watkins Williams Wynne, against the Form of the Statute, in such Case made and provided, and against his Majesty's Peace, his Crown and Dignity . And he was likewise indicted for knowingly, and feloniously, uttering and publishing a counterfeit Indorsement of a Bill of Exchange, with Intent to defraud Sir Watkins Williams Wynne, and likewise for forging the said Indorsement, and for uttering the same with Intent to defraud Edward Belchier , Esq ; and Company, Banker s in London .
4. USHER GAHAGAN , late of London, was indicted for High Treason, for that he with certain Tools, called Files and Sheers, and other Instruments, did diminish the Current Coin of Great Britain, September 6th .
lived there with his Parents, till sent to Newgate, he never was bound Apprentice, but learnt the Business of his Father, and they worked together in making all Sorts of wooden Hoops for Casks . His Parents kept a public House at Charterly, which was the daily Resort of Smugglers; and this unfortunate Youth living in the House with them, could not but be frequently in such Company. Besides which, the public House requiring to be supplied with some such Goods, as they dealt in, such as Brandy, Tea, &c. occasioned him to have particular Intimacy, and Friendship with divers People, who were reputed Smugglers, and certainly did carry on a Trade, contrary to the Laws, and Interest of the Country in general. Jefferys was generally look'd upon as a good natured young Fellow, so that he might easily be work'd upon to do any Thing almost to serve those who used their House, and from whom the Family reaped much Advantage by means of their Custom. He said, he could not refuse to serve his Friends, when it lay in his Way; 'twas making what Returns he was capable of for their Civilities, as he term'd it to his Family. And I thought, he was in the Way to confess his being in the Plot of rescuing James Holt from the Custom-house Officers, who had brought him from the Walnut-Tree at Benacre, to Charles Welch 's at Kessingland; where a Number of Smugglers assembled at the Door in a disorderly Manner with Fire-Arms, and by Violence took him away from them. - But, he persisted to the last, and denied that he was present at the Rescue. Thus much he did own, that he drank with the People, that were suspected to have rescued Holt, but still denied being with them either at Benacre, or Kessingland.
Recollecting, that one Evidence had sworn at his Tryal, that when he was apprehended, he confessed who was there, and hoped he should be an Evidence for the King; that he own'd he was at the Rescue of Holt, and gave an Account of several Persons, who were present; that 'twas put into Writing, and that Jefferys desired his own Name should be put down first; I thought proper to mention it to him. At first he changed Countenance a little, and to all this replyed only; that he had no regard to what had been sworn, or said against him, he knew his Innocence of what was laid to his Charge. He further said, he was not sensible of having done Injury to any one, that he had always lived in Charity with all Men, and desired to die so.
2. John Frimley , aged 31, was born at Stains, near which Place when he was of proper Age, he was bound Apprentice to a Paper-maker , serv'd 7 Years, and learnt the Art of making Paper. He work'd at his Trade, till within this 10 or 11 Years past. When he went in Admiral Haddock's Fleet to the Mediterranean. The first Ship he was on Board of was the Somerset Man of War, where he continued for 3 Years, and a Half. From her he was turn'd over to the Marlborough, and there he was for 3 Years and a Half more: He was afterwards in the Neptune 3 Months, and in the Devonshire 20 Months. When he return'd from the Mediterranean, he was in the St. George for 8 Months cruising in the Channel, and afterwards in the Invincible till she was paid off at Portsmouth; and last of all he was in the Tavistock for about 2 Months.
Before he and two others, that had been Shipmate s with him, left Portsmouth, they thought proper to commit a Robbery, which was in this Manner. They had one Day passed by a Shop several Times, in the Window of which hung a great Number of gold Rings; these they had their Eyes upon, and thought, they would be very convenient for their Purpose. Accordingly in the Dusk of the Evening, one of them broke the Window, and snatching the Rings, slung as they were on a String, they made off with their Booty for the present undiscovered. But a Rumour of what was done being spread over the Town, their Fears presently seized them, and gave Wings to their Heels. They immediately turn'd their Backs upon Portsmouth, and having spent all their Wages, they had Recourse to the Rings for Support upon their Tramp; so at every House they stopt between Portsmouth and London, they left a Ring to defray their Expences.
They staid in London some Time he says,and the other two endeavour'd several Times to persuade him to turn out, as he call'd it; but he withstood all they could say, and was resolved to be concerned in no more such Tricks with them, but to live honestly. They had outstaid their Time of Leave from the Ship, not caring to return, left they might be discovered. But not hearing any thing of the Matter, and thinking 'twas blown over, they were for going down to Portsmouth again in order to go on Board their Ship, and came to a Resolution, he says, so to do. Accordingly the 19th of November they hired Horses from London to Hounslow; but upon Small-berry Green, between Brentford and Hounslow, about 6 o'Clock in the Evening they met a Man, to whom they presented their Pistols, and robbing him of 8 Shillings, rode off towards Hounslow. Between 7 and 8 o'Clock Frimley was taken by 6 or 7 People, who carried him to the White Bear in Hounslow; where the Person, that was robbed by them, saw him; and when they went before a Justice of the Peace, swore to him, as one of the 3, and he immediately committed him to Newgate.
3. Thomas Jones , aged 28, was born in Cheshire, and was bound Apprentice to a Master in the Manchester Way , as 'tis call'd, in Manchester. When he had served about 3 Years and a Half, his Master dying, he went home again to his Parents, and continued with them about 1/2 a Year; when his Father thought proper to launch out some more Money, in order to put him into the same Way of Business, that he might serve out the Remainder of 6 Years. But this Master, he says, happening to be one of those unhappy Persons, that suffered at Kennington Common, he was again at a Loss, and returned again to his Parents. Presently after an Uncle of his brought him to London, in Hopes to get him into some Business here; but after a Stay of 12 Months, not meeting with Success, he went back again into the Country. At length he got to be a Captain's Clerk on Board the Jamaica Sloop of War of 14 Guns on the N. Station, where he continued about 9 Months, and was turn'd over to the Squirrel, and staying on Board her 3 Months return'd to England, and went home to his Parents. Again he came to London, and going on Board the Kingston Privateer staid 12 Months in her, and then she was put out of Commission, on the 24th of May last. Lodging afterwards for some Time near the London Infirmary Coffee-house, he had contracted a Debt of 14 l. for which he was arrested, and put into the Marshalsea, where he commited the Fact; an Account of which is as follows, given to me under his own Hand, viz.
The chief Reasons, why I forged the Note for which I was tried, and convicted, are, I contracted a Debt of near 14 l. for which I was arrested, and carried into the Prison of the Marshalsea; and having in a great Measure disobliged my Friends by my former Extravagancies, I was under Confinement for upwards of 3 Months there, without the least Support imaginable, from any Person, I could reasonably expect it of. Not one Friend, or Relation came near me for the Space abovementioned, nor had I one Farthing in my Pocket; so that all the Support I really had for that Time, was given me by those, who were at that Time my fellow Prisoners. I leave it then to any-body's Judgment, whether I was not in terrible Circumstances, especially having no Expectation from my Friends; and no Views of getting clear of my then present Enthralment: Added to this the Thoughts of still labouring under these Misfortunes, (for how long Time I did not know, but had Reason to believe no short Time) made me undertake to cure a desperate Disease by a more desperate Remedy. And so one Day being in a very melancholy and pensive Humour, I sat me down alone, and began to consider of some Methods, how to get over my Troubles: And a sure one indeed (God, and the Gentlemen whom I should greatly have injured, I hope will pardon me for it) I found out; for unhappily I thought of this wicked Scheme, which I immediately set about, and put in Practice. But as God is my Judge, my Intention was not absolutely to wrong Messieurs Belchier and Comp. For, if I had got the Money, my real Design was to have converted it, (as I was brought up some Part of my Time to the Manchester Trade ) to a particular Branch in that Trade, which Ithen did verily think, would in short Time have turned out to such an Advantage, that I might have been enabled to remit them back the Money: Which I actually should have done, tho' in some secret Manner. All that I have more to say is, that I have as near as I can related the real Truth of this Affair.
However he owns the Scheme, (after putting the best Gloss upon it) to be a very wicked one, and that he had greatly given a very bad Example, and great Scandal to the Public. He declared that no one was in any Shape concerned in the Contrivance, and hoped that his Example would be a Terror to others, and prevent any such Attempt of vile Imposition for the future.
4 Usher Gahagan , about 36 Years of Age, was born of very reputable Parents, in the County of Westmeath, in Ireland, who gave him an extraodinary Education, particularly in classical Learning, in which he made a very great Progress, as may be seen by his Translations of some of Mr. Pope's Pieces, as well as by his Corrections of a late near Edition of the Classicks, printed by Mr. Brindley, Bookseller to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, in Bond-street. He was brought up and educated in the Protestant Religion, his Father intending him for the Bar, but by his own Inclination, or by the Persuasion of some of his Companions he forsook the Religion he was educated in, and embraced that of the Church of Rome , whichrendring him unqualified to grace that State of Life his Parents designed him, he was oblidged, as he had not a Fortune to support him, to think of some proper Way of Subsistance; and accordingly on his first coming to England, which was about 4 Years since, he engaged himself as a Corrector of the Press to several Printers in London, to whom he gave entire Satisfaction: But that Employment not bringing in a Sufficiency to support him in the Manner he chose to live, and falling unluckily into the Company of his Countryman, Coffey, he was easily persuaded to follow that Practice, which in the End brought him to his ignominious Death. Being strongly persuaded by his Companion, that diminishing the Coin would soon enrich them all, and put them above the Frowns of the World; he sat heartily to Work, and not considering the Mischief he was doing to the mercantile Part of the World, filed such a Quantity of Gold of different Sorts, as soon rendered them suspicious.
Notwithstanding his striving to extenuate, yet he did not deny his Guilt, but lamented greatly the Fate of Connor, whom he frequently declared to be innocent, averring that he was only his Servant , whom he employed in Messages on different Occasions, and that he never filed a Guinea in his Life.
5 Terence Connor , about 40 Years of Age, was born of creditable Parents in the Province of Connaught, in the Kingdom of Ireland, who put him early to School, where he soon made a Progress in the Latin and Greek, and was particularly conversant in the Roman Historians; he was brought up in the Faith of the Church of Rome , which he profess'd to his Death. On the Decease of his Parents, he says he became involved in several expensive Law Suits for the Recovery of his just Rights, but wanting Money to carry them on he was obliged to leave Ireland and seek his Fortune on the English shore; when he came to London, he says, he applied to several of his Countrymen for Recommendation to some Employ, whereby he might be enabled to subsist, but without Success, till Fortune threw him in the Way of Mr. Gahagan, who had just printed a Translation into Latin, of Mr. Pope's Essay on Criticism, who employ'd him to carry them to Noblemen and Gentlemen's Houses, which was to him for the present, some, tho'a very poor Subsistence, especially as he had also a Wife to maintain. During his serving Mr. Gahagan he acknowledged he had seen both him and Coffey file Gold, and had even been to fetch Portugal Pieces for them before they were filed, and had put them off after they were filed, and assisted in blowing the fire when the Gold was melting; but that he himself never did file any, nor attempt to file any, nor did he ever receive any Part of the Profit arising therefrom, but only his board and sometimes a Trifle of Money.
He was inform'd that were the whole of his Assertion to be admitted as Fact, yet was he equally an Accomplice, and justly condemned by the Laws of this Land, as he assisted in melting the Gold, fetch'd in the heavy, and put off the light Pieces, he was as much guilty of high Treason as either Gahagan or Coffey.
6. Joseph Mapham , aged 50, says he was born of reputable Parents in the Year 1699. When he came to the Age of 7 Years, he was put to School, where in Process of Time he learnt the Art of Navigation, and continued there till such Time as he was qualified to be put Apprentice to a Captain of a Merchant Man , with whom he served about 3 Years. Afterwards he had a Mind to enter into his Majesty's Service, thinking he might get himself promoted sooner on Board a Man of War, by Means of his Education, and Learning in the Mathematicks, than on Board a Merchant Ship. Accordingly he entered as a foremast Man , and in about 4 or 5 Days Time, was made School-master , (but does not say on Board what Ship) and continued so for some Years to teach the Mathematicks. When he came home to London, his Brother, having very good Business, was desirous he should learn it, and leave the Sea. Accordingly he did, and in about a Month's Time, he says, he was able to get a very good Livelihood at inlaying of Tortoise-shell . Some Years before this, he says, he married a Wife, that got her Livelihood in a very handsome Manner, by keeping an Herb-shop in Newgate-market; and between them they lived very well, keeping a House in Warwick Court, in Warwick Lane. From this Marriage came several Children, and she dying, he thought it necessary to marry a second Wife to take Care of the Children; which he did in a little Time, and she died in Child-bed ten Months after Marriage. A third Wife he married, and by her had 3 Children in about 4 Years Time; and she dying, he thought proper in about 2 Years after her Decease, to take unto him a 4th Wife, by whom he had two Children, one now living, and lately taken from the Breast; having left behind him 4 Children now living, and a Wife in Tears. For some Time he was Book-Keeper to some Country Waggons, that went forth, and back to Town; but afterwards getting into the more lucrative Employ of receiving, and paying Money for the Graziers in Smithfield, he thought proper to stick to that for the ten or eleven last Years of his Life; some thousands a Year went to be sure through his Hands by those Means; and he says, he always did it with Honesty and Justice, and Reason good to be given, why he should do so, 'twas to get his own Bread, and maintain his Family: But in the End the Truth came out, and no doubt, he found it necessary to be honest in this Calling, that he might have the more frequent Opportunities to practise upon the Money received, and make his publick Business too much subservient to his private and clandestine Purposes. Yet as to the Fact for which he dyed, (though proved as positively as Words could declare) he persisted to say, he was innocent as the Child in the Mothers Womb. Ports he would own he had practised upon, but Guineas, he said, he never deminished, or defac'd. However, he had so much Christianity as to say he forgave all that Swore against him to take away his Life, and dyed in Charity with all Men.
At the PLACE of EXECUTION.
MONDAY Morning February 20th, about Nine o'Clock, John Frimley , and William Jefferys in a Cart, Thomas Jones in a Mourning Coach, Usher Gahagan , Terence Connor , and Joseph Mapham in a Sledge, or Hurdle, went from Newgate to the Place of Execution. Where having stayed with them some time, and recommended their Souls to God, they were turn'd off the Cart, with their last Breath calling on God, and Jesus Christ to have Mercy on them, and pardon their Transgressions.
Gahagan and Connor, dying in the Roman Catholick Persuasion, continued in Prayer by themselves during the intermediate Space of their being put up from the Sledge or Hurdle into the Cart, and their being turn'd off.
There were 3 Hearses 2 Coaches, that attended to carry off all the Bodies, and accordingly did so.
John Foster , condemn'd for Robbing his Lodgings, was reprieved, by a Warrant which came to Newgate, on Sunday Night, from the Office of his Grace the Duke of Bedford, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State .
GAHAGAN himself, while under Sentence of Death in Newgate, and sign'd by them Both, and deliver'd on Sunday, February 19, 1748-9, the Day before his Execution, in the Presence of several Gentlemen, to the Printers of the Dying Speeches, with a strict Charge, neither to add to it, or diminish from it; and accordingly we here give it exactly in his own Words.
AS it is Customary for People under my unhappy Circumstances, for the publick Satisfaction, to give some Account of their Birth, Parentage, and Life, in Conformity to so common, and perhaps, not illaudable a Custom, and to prevent any Counterfeit and ungenuine Details, which probably may be published of my Life and Family, after my departure from this World; and also in regard that I have nothing to disclose in that respect, but what leads more to my Credit and Reputation than otherwise, I therefore make my dying Declaration in Manner following.
And first as to my Birth and Family, be it known, that I was born by Father and Mother, of a genteel and reputable Family, in the County of Westmeath, in Ireland, as appears by a Testimonial sent from Ireland in my behalf, and sign'd by my Lord Belfield, and many more of the top Gentlemen of that County, and the King's County adjacent, which Testimonial now lies in the Hands of Edmund Kelly , Attorney at Law in Fetter lane. My Grandfather was one of the six Clerks of the high Court of Chancery in that Kingdom, and so much relyed on the Worth of his own Blood and Family, that he refused
being Knighted. My Uncle, his eldest Son, was a very Emiment Attorney in the City of Dublin, and possess'd of a large Fortune of his own Acquisition, besides that which was to devolve to him from my Grandfather, whose youngest Son, my Uncle, is now a Barrister at the Bar of Ireland; and as to my Father, he was bred up a Country Gentleman, and lived in very creditable Circumstances, and great Credit, tell within these few Years, when by vexatious Law suits, and other Misfortunes, he was reduced to the small Fortune of a 100 l. a Year in Leasehold Concerns; my Mother was Daughter to a Gentleman in the King's County, of a very large Estate and Fortune, so much esteem'd, that the Duke of Ormond very commonly resided at his Seat, in the said King's County, and intrusted him with his most important Secrets: but now in my Mothers Family there only remains an Estate of 500 l. per Ann. in the Possession of my second Cousin.
As to my Education, my Parents spared no Expences upon it, my Father having intended me for the Bar, and I hope that since my coming to London, and even my Confinement, I have given such publick Proofs of my Education, being genteel and liberal, that it cannot be doubted, but I had retained and imbibed some Part thereof: As to my Principles of Religion, I was educated, having been intended for the Bar, in those of the Church of England by Law Established; but when I had given myself a little to reading polemical Writings, I found by Conviction of Judgement, that I could not with ease to my Conscience, in the Affair of eternal Salvation adhere to the Principles of the Religion I had been Educated in, and therefore declined studying the Law, and became a Roman Catholick , and hereby prosess myself to be an unworthy Member of that Communion, upon which Account I fell into the Disgrace of Relations and Friends, who would else have provided for me; about 16 Years ago I marry'd a Gentlewoman of a slender Fortune; but of as good a Family as any of the anteint Irish, besides a very plentiful Estate, there being in the Memory of People now living, four large Manors, and six antient Castles, in Possession of her Grandfather and Uncle; I do not chuse naming her, because I am too great a Stain to my own Family, and think it improper to draw Ignominy upon her's.
As to my own Life, I must owe to my great Sorrow, that I have been guilty of the Frailties of the Children of Men; and that only thro' the Merits of my blessed Redeemer, Jesus Christ, I cannot be justified before the Tribunal of Heaven; but cannot charge myself with Robbery private, or the Highway, nor with Housebreaking, Thievery, Murder, Sodomy, or any such crying and enormous Crimes, praise be to the Almighty God, I always lived in the Esteem of every Rank in my Neighbourhood, and tho' ill Company brings me to this untimely End, kept the best Company till Necessity obliged me to try Fortune in London, where since my coming, I deported myself modestly and decently, untill Hugh Coffey, the only direct Evidence against me, came to my Lodging, telling me he had been arrested and had escaped from the Bailiffs, and requesting to lodge with me, which I readily complied with thro' Affection to my native Country, and by this Means, he found the colourable Grounds of Swearing against me as he did; but submit it to the Publick, what Credit he deserved, when he owned himself an Accomplice, and at the Time of my Tryal, stood under three several Indictments for Forgery and Perjury, which still hang over him; besides on his Examination before Mr. Cook, Sollicitor of the Mint, when he informed against several others, he by several Oaths and Execrations declared me and Conner Innocent, and upon Mr. Cook's saying he had Information against me from other Hands, answer'd, that if any such Information was, it was absolutely false, all which Sworn against him by credible Witnesses. There were indeed some Circumstances sworn by others, that might bring me under a strong Suspicion, as my going to the Bank and the Refiner's, which I did to serve Coffey, he not daring to go abroad much himself for fear of an Arrest; but as Coffey's Oath was manisestly to save his own Life, and that his Character was so infamously impeached, as before mentioned, let Circumstances be ever so pregnant, I do not see how
by the Laws of England I could be found guilty, because Circumstances, without a positive unimpeached Witness to support them, can amount at most but to a high Probability, which is a Kind of Evidence, except in the Case of Murder, the Laws of England will not admit sufficient to condemn a Man capitally upon; for it is notorious that none swore to the actual filing of Guineas but Coffey, whose Character was so branded, as dwindled his Evidence at least into a Circumstance only; yet I shall not omit some Observations upon the circumstantial Evidences. - The first, Matthew Fretwell , a Teller in the Bank , who swore that Coffey often made Proposals to him about diminishing the Coin, but that I was not present at any, except the first Proposal, which he said happened at the Cross-keys Tavern near the Change, in which Article I declare to God, before whom I'm shortly to appear, that I never was present, or heard Coffey make any Proposals to him touching diminishing Gold Coin, or any other Coin at the Cross-keys, or elsewhere since I was born; nor can this hang with what he swore in another Article, viz. that Coffey desired him to keep any Proposals between them secret from me, which would have been absurd in Coffey, if I was present at the very first Proposal. Hannah Smart swore she had seen me and Coffey put a Crucible into her Kitchin Fire, in which she said I pretended there was some Stuff for a Salve, but could not tell the Contents. But when I sent to her House to have the Distance between her Walls, and those of Mr. Dell's House measured, she refused permitting the Measure to be taken, saying that if it was to save my Life, she would not suffer it; which Declaration so wickedly, malicious and inhuman, was proved against her by two Witnesses, and would be a sufficient Exception against a Juror, much more against her; yet the Jury made a Circumstance of her Evidence. As to Mr. Dell, whom I had never seen, but when I was at New-Prison, and the Day of my Trial, he swore that without the Help of an Optic Glass, he did often see thro' his own Window, which was all bedusted, and thro' Mrs. Smart's Window, which had Paper gummed on it within side to prevent our being overlooked in our Beds, and which two Windows were above twelve Yards asunder, as I verily believe; he swore, I say, that he often seen three Men at Work filing of Six and thirty and Seven and twenty Shilling Pieces, a penetrating Sight indeed! and which seemed to the Judge so incredible, that he asked him if he had any Glass or Instrument to look thro'; to which he answered no, but that he looked thro' his Hand, closed to contract the Rays of Light, and I submit it to the Publick, if he could not in these Circumstances make his Observations without closing his Fist, whether he could be at such a Distance much enabled to observe by closing it; especially so as to be able to tell the specifick Coin; and after all he swore, that my Side-Face only was towards him; how could he then know me at New-Prison, or the Bar, to be one of those Men he seen at Work? Besides, he swore only as to foreign Coin, which did not affect my Life, yet he got circumstantial Credit with the Jury. Mr. Sandal produced a Piece of File, some Fragments of a Crucible, and a very small Particle of Gold alledged to have been found in my Room. But was this a Circumstance of any Weight, when Coffey, who confessed himself guilty of the Practice, lodged in the same Room, and might have been Owner of these Things unknown to me, he having a Trunk with Lock and Key, whereby to conceal his Instruments from me. Sandal also produced three Guineas, which he got with ten more in my Pocket, one wanting 6 d. the other 11 d. and the third 1 s. 11 d. to the best of my Memory; and might not a Man have thirteen Guineas in his Pocket, and three of them be light unknown to him; besides its plain they came from different Hands, as they were so different in their respective Lightness; for if they were diminished by one Hand, they would have been nearer to each other than half and half in Lightness; and as they were found with ten more in the same Pocket, which were full Weight, is it probable, had I known them to be diminished, but I would have had them apart; besides Sandal swore only that they were light, but
would not take upon him to say they were industriously diminished. As to Mr. Disten, the Refiner's Man, he swore nothing but Truth against me, viz. that I several Times sold Gold at his Master's, which in truth I did, but for Coffey's Use, and as to the Entry in the Memorandum Book, I believe I made such an Entry to satisfy Coffey what Money of his came into my Hands from the Refiner's from Time to Time, because Coffey having made me often a Bearer for him to the Refiner's, used to bring me to an Account. Mr. Disten, however, was not quite so honest with respect to Mr. Connor; for in his Information before Justice Green, which was read to me, he swore he see Connor at his Master's once selling Gold, in the Month of March last, but upon Trial, he thinking it improbable that he would be supposed to know a Man at one View for near nine Months, and never seeing him before or after, till in Prison, to mend this Defect, swore he see him at his Master's but once, and that in July last, which Connor hereby declares to be abominably false, as he does Mr. Fretwell's swearing to have given him Money several Times at the Bank, Connor hereby protesting before God, that he never received any Money whatever from the said Fretwell at the Bank, or elswhere, but owns that for Mr. Coffey's Use, and as a Messenger from him he received Money from Mr. Welsh twice only, tho' Welsh swore he frequently received Money from him, in order, as I believe, to have him convicted at any Rate.
Conner was born in the Province of Connaught, of a very reputable Family, his Brother having been lately possess'd of a considerable Patrimony, but by Extravagance and Law-suits squander'd it away, without paying him or his Sister their Portions, which obliged him to come to London, chusing to live poorly here rather than in his Native Country, where he once was in genteel Circumstances: Has had liberal Education, as appears by his being a tolerable Latin Scholar, and very conversant in the Roman History, thus I have laid before the Publick, the Severity of our Cases, and hope they will be so charitable as to believe that we do not insert in this Account, any thing which we did not think true to the best of our Knowledge, believe and hear say. Mr. Connor declares he is innocent of the Fact he dyes for, and the great God knows if I be not equally so; we dye unworthy Members of the Roman Catholick Church, forgive Judge, Jury, Witnesses, and all Mankind, hoping through the Merits of our blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ, to find Mercy at, and after the Hour of our Deaths; and we farther declare, that any other Account but what is in this Paper, and which we desire may be published by Mr. THOMAS PARKER , is counterfeit and not genuine. The Lord of infinite Mercy, Wisdom and Goodness, have Mercy upon us; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, dear Jesus Redeemer of Mankind.
To his Royal Highness, Prince GEORGE, Duke of CORNWALL, And eldest Son of his Royal Highness FREDERICK PRINCE of Wales, on his acting the Part of Cato at Leicester House.
- Tuusjam regnat Apollo.
HAIL! little Cato, taught to tread the Stage. Awful, as Cato of the Roman Age; How vast the Hopes of thy maturer Years, When in the Boy such Manly pow'r appears! Say, what Spectator but did pleas'd admire To hear thee talk with Sage Catonick Fire, A tender Stripling of the Royal Blood Breathing his Country's Liberty and Good; What Rapture warm'd thy Princely Father's breast! What joy thy scepter'd Grandsire then confess'd! Beholding thee, a Tyro from the School, Foreshew the Wisdom of thy future Rule, And Ned, thy little Juba, play his Part, Half form'd by Nature in Bellona's Art.
Well may we say, when Royalty thus deigns To grace the Stage, that now Apollo reigns, Whose tuneful Hand maids shou'd exult to see Such regal Honour done to them in thee, Nor less thy Shade, O! Addison rejoice, To find thy Cato made a Cato's Choice.
Lo! Britain glories, in thy Years to trace A buskind Hero of the Brunswick Race, Her Stage now trod (tho' Collier, once thy Scorn) By destin'd Monarchs, and high Princes born; Augusta too, some King's allotted Bride, Adorns her Scenes, and gives an equal Pride; But Oh! When thou shalt once thy Scepter wield, And Edward shine dread leader of the Field; When thou a Cate's, he a Juba's Task Perform in real Action, not in Masque; At Home, when thou'lt thy Country's Good enhance, While he Abroad shall stem the Pride of France; When thou'lt establish Europe's wish'd Repose, Returning he the Gates of Janus close; Then, then Britannia may with Reason boast, Nor think her Blood or Treasure fruitless Cost;
O! may she hail, (but late) the glorious Day, When exercising thus imperial Sway; Of Sire and Grandsires Vertues thou possess'd Shalt gentle rule, and make thy People bless'd; When harrass'd Europe, rescu'd from Alarms, Shall owe her Rest to George and Edward's Arms.
Rous'd with the Thought, and impotently vain I now wou'd launch into a nobler Strain; But see! the Captive Muse forbids the Lays Unfit to sketch the Merit, I wou'd praise; Such, at whose Heels, no galling Shackles ring, May raise their Voice, and boldly touch the String. Cramp'd Hand and Foot while I in Goal must stay, Dreading each Hour the Execution Day. Pent up in Den, opprobious Alms to crave. No Delphick Cell, ye Gods! nor Sybil's Cave; Nor will my Pegasus obey the Rod, With massy Iron barbarously shod; Thrice I essay'd to force him up the Height, And thrice the painful Gives restrain'd his Flight.
So when a sickly Snake attempts to creep And climb some slipp'ry Rock, or Ditches steep: Scarce half her Length advanc'd she backward falls. And in slow Volumes languishingly crawls.
Qui Consulta patrum, qui leges Juraque Servat. Hor.
HAIL! Adam's gen'rous in thy Soul as Blood, Chosen Recorder, and our certain Good; While thousands now, to magnify thy worth, Applaud his Choice, and set thy Merits forth; Still, like thy self, be gentle; nor refuse The lowly Tribute of a Captive Muse, Tho' rude her Strains and impotent her Flight, Accept benign her poor officious Mite;Nor doubt, but what the Poet wants of Art He ransoms with Sincerity of Heart: Say whence I must the Web Pierian spin, Shall I, or with thy private Life begin? Or with thy public, fill my feeble Lays? Either's too great a Theme for me to praise,
Then let me paint thee on the Judgment-seat Awful, serene, and modestly elate; No fullen Frown betok'ning Cause of Fear, Meekness and Candour in thy Looks appear, Mercy and Justice, the good Judge's Fame, Embrace in thee, and consecrate thy Name.
The Court now open'd, and the Jury sworn, Stands at the Bar some Criminal forlorn, Not worth of little Pelf, a Council's Fee, But sure to find a Council then in thee, However bad his Crime, or mean his State, He meets in thee both Judge and Adocate: For Poor and Rich must equal Justice share. No Favour, nor respect of Persons, there; No partial Byass, tho' 'tis ever thine To Mercy, darling Mercy, to incline.
Again: I hear thee scrutinously sift Some perjur'd Witness, now devoid of Shift; While you, conducted by Astraea's Clue With Question, and Cross-question, him pursue, Probe to the Bottom ev'ry Circumstance, And catch the flying Truth with seeming Chance. On a bright Morning, so the od'rous Crew Chace the swift Hare, and thunder o'er the Dew; The cunning Puss avoids them many a Wind, But leaves a hot perfidious Scent behind; Led by the Scent thro' every wily Maze, Close they pursue him, and at last they seize.
But still, thy Learning strikes with more surprize When on a Trial Points of Law arise, Year Books, Reports, and Entries, are display'd With the Same Ease, as in thy Presence lay'd, The Volume, Page, and Author's Name you trace, As if thou wer't a Code of Common-place: O Memory immense! O real Son And certain Heir of mighty LITTLETON: Well have the May'r and Aldermen decreed That you, the late RECORDER shou'd succeed. Self-Easers! by thy Wisdom manag'd right, To make their Burden of the City light.
The Bard attends thee giving now the Charge, The Evidence before rehears'd at large. Here you disclose the Riches of your Sense In a resistless Tide of Eloquence; This while we think the wretched Criminal Must, to the Laws, a Victim sudden fall; Again we hear him clear'd, by Force of Wit, If Circumstances can at all admit. So far thy nervous Orat'ry prevails, Justice, in Doubt, forbears to lift her Scales; By Evidence alone, the Jurors taught. Declare their Verdict, and escape all Fault: If an Acquittal, Pleasure we may trace, Th' Effect of Mercy in thy very Face. But, O, if Guilty I What a dire Contest Duty and Pity, wage within thy Breast! With what a tender Eye you look on him Thy Heart wou'd pardon, but the Laws condemn; While conscious of thy Fellow-creature's Fears You pass the Sentence, not without some Tears.
Thrice happy London! scarce exempt the Grudge of neighb'ring Cities, in so wise a Judge: Late may it be, O! very late be said, Thou need'st a new RECORDER in his stead; But may he long survive of Heav'n, the Care, No less the Poet's than the City's Pray'r.
REgretful, yet thy Lays so much invite A Bard, an artless Bard! presumes to write; Charm'd by thy Muse, mine with unequal Wing, Pursues her Flight, ambitious thee to fing, And fir'd with Beauty of superior Verse, In rude Essay thy Merits wou'd rehearse.
So the young Linnet with transported Far. Silent attends some practic'd Warbler near; Eager imbibes each modulated Note, Then tunes in mimic Airs her liquid Throat.
Who without Rapture can thy Numbers read? Who hear thy Fate, and Sorrow not succeed, Who not condole thee betwixt Fear and Hope, Who not admire thee thus translating Pope? Translating Pope in never dying Lays, Berest of Books, of Liberty, and Ease; Translating Pope, beneath severest Doom, In Numbers worthy old Augustan Rome; Whose ablest Sons might glory in thy Strains, Tho' sung in massy, dire, incumb'ring Chains.
Say, wondrous Bard, how wou'dst thou thus attempt To raise thy Voice, from every Joy exempt, Friends, Kindred, all that's dear excluded quite. A glimm'ring Taper for thy Noon-day Light: In Strains heroic yet to court the Muse, And for thy Task a Theme heroic chuse: Man's final Lot in View, to tune thy Breath, Or dwells there Inspiration thus in Death? O! dauntless Bard, who cou'd thy Soul unlock Amidst such Terrors, and so dread a Shock.
The fam'd Pelignian, from his Country rent, Not so could bear the Load of Banishment, A milder Fate! yet exile not revers'd, He pleads Excuse in ev'ry Page rehears'd; And tho' the Bard, in native Latian Tongue, To his great Master, mighty Caesar sung, His Genius levell'd, and exult his Fire With what a feeble Hand he touch'd the Lyre; Bewailing Loss of former Energy. Sunk from the Epic to low Elegy.
Were this once boasted Minion of the Nine, A Victim doom'd, for Libitina's Shrine; Did he attempt to sing beneath thy Fate, And from his own, to foreign Lore translate. How fainter wou'd his dying Notes appear, Not like the Swan's, more musically, clear; But to the Cyclic Writers Strain declined, And in an Ovid, we'd a Bavius find. Decree'd to Death severe, a worse Exile, You rise from Flaccus, to the Mantuan Stile: At Ease translating Pope's Horatian Lay, His Epic Song of Fame you now display; And in such Numbers, as may justly claim No vulgar Mansion in the Doom of Fame; The Dome of Fame, where Pope himself might pride To see thee plac'd by his, and Honour's Side; While fast in sad portending Shackles bound You make his Lays in those of Maro sound, In Language far from thy domestick grown, But by thy tow'ring Genius made thy own. None wrote than you, we therefore must confess With greater Spirit, and Advantage less.
Nor modestly in this my Candour tax, Because great Rawleigh wrote beneath the Ax; He did, 'tis own'd, but still in his Distress Had Money, Books, and ev'ry Friends Access: Not pent in gloomy Cell, and Gives he lay, Nor was his Food one Penny-loaf a Day; Nor Water was his Drink, nor Boards his Bed, Nor Stone (thy Pillow!) to support his Head; Death's horrid Prospect only cou'd controul The learn'd unlocking of his treasur'd Soul; With ev'ry other full Advantage bless'd By Night at Study, and by Day caress'd; Grim Death himself lowr'd in a distant View Not ev'ry Sun expected, as in you; In you from all these needful Comforts torn From Home, from Country, wretched and forlorn, Insulged, menac'd, taunted and abus'd, Of ought that's gentle and humane refused. Ost fore'd the Fumes of Ordure to inhale, Such is the Treatment of a Newgate Jail, O! wert thou but dimiss'd and render'd free, What Wonders might'st thou work at Liberty; When captive and distract with Death's Alarms, Thy Verse, surprises and with Rapture warms; Perhaps if freed thy bolder first Design Might be some Hero of the Brunswick Line, Taught by thy Muse to stride the sanguine Field, Now face the Cannon, now the Faulcion wield; Now midst the thickest Ranks of Foes engage, While all the Battle thunders in thy Page, While ev'ry Reader kindled by thy Strian, A Chief in Fancy! Vows the next Campaign.
But, Sir, thy Fate I shou'd not half regret, Did real Guilt thy Miseries beget, Ev'n I, who'd favour any Son of Rhime, Scarce well could pardon thy imputed Crime, Imputed falsely; half an Eye may see There wert convicted; how? by Perjury; The Implement of which to common Sense, Appears of some too black for Evidence; Himself imprisoned first upon the Charge, Then turning Witness to be set at large; Impeach'd of threesold Forgery beside, In the same Court thy hapless Cause was try'd, Each Forgery within its guilty Womb Brooding the Monster Perjury, thy Doom! The Judge, his Fame so manifestly sad, Stiling him Man indeed, but very bad; These, and as many Circumstances more Demand my Pity; who wou'd not deplore Close to behold thee in a Dungton hemm'd? The learn'd at once, and innocent condemn'd!
Yet be consold, for still there is a Place, Reserv'd for Mercy, and for royal Grace; Maugre this Storm, thou may'st survive to sing The wonted Bounty of our gracious King, Eccho repeating to each Hill and Plain, That Peace and Meekness bless a George's Reign.
But whither have I, by Concern betray'd Far from my first intended Master stray'd? While my unhallowed Lays were only meant The sacred Beauties of thy Muse to paint; From sadder Numbers scare can I resrain Intending thee to sing, I but complain; Say, Guiltless Bard, what Patron wilt thou chuse, A Stanhope or a Pelham for thy Muse; Or both, or either may thy Pardon sue, Both fond of Learning, and of Mercy too, Ev'n to thy self I shall submit the Choice, And only say, whoever has the Voice, If pardon'd thou, or doom'd, alass! to die, May boast a precious Gift, or Legacy.
Laturam Misero te mihi rebar opem.
THOU great Protectress of th' Aonian Train' Support in each cotemporary Reign; Brightest Devotress at the Delian Shrine, Oft sung and courted by the sacred Nine; If e'er thy Kindred, of immortal Fame, The Muses lov'd, nor scorn'd a Poet's Name: If e'er thySelf vouchsafe to touch the Lyre, And join'd with equal Voice the tuneful sQuire: If on the Canvass, to describe the Face With animated Bloom, and living Grace, To draw the vernal Flow'r and tinging Shape, The Peach, the Melon, and the ripen'd Grape, To make each Story, holy or profane, Move in the Landskip, and to Vision plain: If these, with courtly Wit and Eloquence, Be Gifts, Apollo did to thee dispense, Which sure they are, in Charity regard; The meanest of his Sons, a Captive Bard; Far, far, alas! from Home, and Native Clime, The first, perhaps, that did in Newgate Rhime: The first, perhaps, beneath his dreadful Doom, That ever mounted the poetick Loom.
O! born thyself of high Pierian Blood, Boast of their Times, nor yet more learn'd than good; Display thy Bounty, where a Life's at stake, And save the Wretched for the Poet's Sake; The Poet pent in narrow darkling Cell With Vagrants and Bandities, forc'd to dwell In pond'rous Gives of Iron, rudely bound, A Stone his Pillow, and his Bed the Ground: One Penny Loaf, the Banquet of a Day, And chilling Water to dilute his Clay; Broke ev'ry Morning of his painful Rest, The Scorn of Turnkeys, and the Keeper's Jest. Sternly rebuk'd, if he the least complains, And menac'd with a double Load of Chains. Thus, Day, and Night, disconsolate I spend Unpittied, and debarr'd of ev'ry Friend, Deserted by the Muses, as by Men, Save Elegeia's Visits now and then: Daughter of Grief! an ever-plaintive Muse, Taught only Songs of Sorrow to infuse. Dire Comfort! thankful yet am I, that she Inspires these Lines, O Queensbury! to thee.
Thou then, from Infant Years brought up in Courts, Directress of their Houshold, and their Sports; The brilliant Grace of both the George's Age, In Wit facetious, and in Council sage, Allow'd, as heretofore, the same Access, Pity this Bard, and banish his Distress; Maintain the Glory of thy former Days, And iutercede to save a Son of GAY'S; Nor be it ever said, in British Land, That a poor Bard was mercilessly hang'd.