THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, & Dying Words Of the THIRTEEN MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On Wednesday the 16th of MAY, 1750.
NUMBER III. 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 SAMUEL PENNANT , Knight , Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Lord Chief-Justice LEE, Mr. Justice ABNEY, Mr. Baron CLARKE, 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 Wednesday the 25th, Thursday the 26th, Friday the 27th, Saturday the 28th, and Monday the 30th of April, in the 23d Year of his Majesty's Reign, the 18 following Persons were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly, viz. EDWARD CLARKE, ANDREW CAREY, JOB SAVAGE, THOMAS LEWIS, THOMAS MAY, BENJAMIN CAMPBEL HAMILTON, WILLIAM ARCHER, JOHN ANDREWS, JOHN THRIFT, JOHN GIDDIS, HENRY SMITH, JOHN GROVES, JAMES SHERMAN, otherwise NICHOLSON, MICHAEL NUNNAN, WALTER VAUGHAN, THOMAS REDHEAD, THOMAS PERRY, and JOHN CLARKE.
There never was a Set of such wicked, ignorant young Fellows under these unhappy Circumstances since my Knowledge of the Place. Most of them indeed attended Prayers when Sickness did not hinder, but seem'd to give little Heed or Attention, as appear'd by their Behaviour, till within a few Days of their Execution, when it pleased God that they might see into the Evil of their Ways, and Reflections on their former Provocations of the Almighty to suffer the Vengeance of his Laws to fall upon their Heads, produced a different and better Behaviour in most of them, and they began to seek God'sFavour and Pardon, by meer earnest Prayer, and calling upon him.
On Thursday the 10th Instant, Mr. Recorder made the Report to their Excellencies the Lords Justices assembled, when they were pleased to order the 14 following for Execution, viz. Andrew Carey, Job Savage, Thomas Lewis, Thomas May, Benjamin Campbel Hamilton, William Archer, John Giddis, Henry Smith, John Groves, James Nicholson, Michael Nunnan, Walter Vaughan, Thomas Perry, and John Clarke.
Edward Clarke , John Andrews , and Thomas Redhead , were respited by their Excellencies, till their Pleasure concerning them be further made known . And John Thrift , their Excellencies were pleased to respite for fourteen Days .
1, 2. Andrew Carey , and Job Savage , were indicted, for that they, on the King's Highway, on Richard Goldington , did make an Assault, putting him in bodily Fear, and Danger of his Life, seven Guineas and seven Shillings in Money numbered, against the Will of the said Richard, did steal, take, and carry away, April 16 .
3, 4. Thomas Lewis , and Thomas May , were indicted, for that they, on the King's Highway, on John Matthews did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, two Gold Rings, Value 12 s. one Penknife, Value 6 d. and 2 s. 3 d. in Money numbered, from his Person did steal, take, and carry away, March 22 .
5. Thomas Lewis, and Thomas May, were a second Time indicted, with Benjamin Campbel Hamilton , for that they, in a certain Field, or open Place, near the King's Highway, upon William Blacketer did make an Assault, putting him in bodily Fear, and Danger of his Life, and taking from him one Handkerchief, Value 11 d. and 5 d. in Halfpence, March 22 . Lewis a second Time, and Hamilton, were acquitted ; May found guilty a second Time.
Thomas Lewis, and Thomas May, were a third Time indicted, with Benjamin Campbel Hamilton a second Time, for that they, on the King's Highway, on John Mason did make an Assault, putting him in bodily Fear, and Danger of his Life, and taking one Gold Watch, Value 40 s. from the Person of the said John, March 21 . All three found guilty.
Thomas Lewis, and Thomas May, a fourth Time, with Benjamin Campel Hamilton, a third Time, were indicted, for that they, in a certain Field and open Place near the King's Highway, on John Matevae did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, one Guinea, and 10 s. in Money number'd, from his Person did steal, take, and carry away , March 21. Lewis a fourth, and Hamilton a third Time, found guilty; May acquitted .
7. William Archer , was indicted for that he, with a certain Gun loaded with Powder and Shot, feloniously, and of Malice and Forethought, did shoot at Anthony Higgins , with Intent the said Anthony to kill or murder, March 3 .
8, 9. John Giddis , and Henry Smith , were indicted, for that they, in a certain Field or open Place, near the King's Highway, on William Huddy did make an Assault, putting him in Fear, and Danger of his Life, Two-pence Halfpenny, in Money numbered, from his Person did steal, take, and carry away, April the 11th .
10. James Nicholson , was indicted, for that he, on the King's Highway, upon Elizabeth Brady , Spinster , did make a felonious Assault, one Velvet Cloak, Value 10 s. from her Person did steal, take, and carry away, March 28 .
12. Walter Vaughan was indicted, for that he, on the King's Highway, upon Thomas Pain did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, 14 s. in Money numbered, from his Person did steal, take, and carry away, April 17 .
13. John Groves , was indicted, for robbing Hannah, Wife of Thomas Jones , in St. James's Park, of one Cloth Cloak, Value 5 s. one Holland Apron, Value 5 s. one Silk Handkerchief, Value 2 s. the Goods of the said Thomas, against the Will of the said Hannah, from her Person , &c. March 22.
14. John Clarke , was indicted for assaulting on the King's Highway Barbara, the Wife of John Harrison , and taking from her one Gold Ring, Value 5 s. the Property of the said John, against the Will of the said Barbara, from her Person, April 11 .
2. JOB SAVAGE , aged 24, was born at Reading in Berkshire, of Parents whose Circumstances were very slender, and could afford him no Education. When he was about thirteen Years of Age, they made a Cabin-Boy of him, and afterwards he was Apprentice to a Master of a West-India Trader ; and he says, he served seven Years faithfully, and to the Satisfaction of his Master. The Sea he has followed ever since, being scarce ever Ashore, from the Time of his being bound out Apprentice, above a Fortnight together, but constantly kept himself in Employ.
About a Twelvemonth ago, he says, he received Prize-Money, which having thrown away, as Sailor s generally do, in drinking, and Company with lewd Women, he got a Voyage to the West-Indies again, and was out about eight Months. Since his Return, it seems, he has worked as a Labourer , near Shadwell, with Ropemakers and Coopers, where he fell in Company with Carey, and one
Mulliner, not yet taken. These two, he says, he understood since had been old Thieves; and one Day as they were idling away their Time, and drinking from House to House, they proposed to Savage to go along with them, in order to break open a certain House they then told him of, but he has now forgot whose and where particularly. He says, he returned for Answer, that he would have nothing to do with them, nor their wicked Designs, but as long as he could work to earn a Penny, to buy a Bit of Bread, he was determined to get an honest Livelihood.
However, it so fell out about a Fortnight after, being all three again got out upon the Loose, they kept themselves warm with Gin for two or three Days together, having always a Quart Bottle along with them, which they did not suffer to be long empty nor full. Then Savage was as ripe for Mischief a the worst of them; and on Sunday, the 15th of April, they rambled all Day towards Whetstone and Barnet, with Intent to rob, or do any Mischief that fell in their Way; but no Opportunity presented, and they lay down at Night in the Hedges: But on Monday Morning early, the 16th, they were up, and looking out sharp, met with Richard Goldington, for robbing whom they were convicted.
He protested, as a dying Man, that he was never out upon such wicked Practices before this Time, when they robbed one Man of 4 s. and another of 1 s. before they met Goldington, and this was all he ever was concerned in.
3. ANDREW CAREY , aged 32, was born in the Kingdom of Ireland, and bred a Papist ; he was a Seaman for several Years, and when Ashore, worked by Day in Ropewalks , and at Night, idle, loose, and disorderly Houses were his Resort, either with his wonted Companions in Wickedness, or seeking young, ignorant, idle Lads, to lead astray, and draw in to his wicked Purposes. This is said to be too well known of him in the Neighbourhood of Stepney, Whitechapel, and Shadwell, which are infested with too many idle vagabond Fellows. He once said indeed that he had been a very wicked Man, and had committed divers Robberies with different People, and at different Places; but farther added not, only with Respect to this particular Robbery, for which he was convicted with Savage, which he could not but own, that he took two Guineas, and Savage five Guineas.
As soon as they had committed the Robbery, they took to the Woods, but soon came out again into the high Road, and ask'd the Way to London. People coming along, and being told by the Prosecutor that he had been robb'd, went after them, and presently took them. When they were brought to the Prosecutor's House at Hendon, Savage's Pistol and five Guineas were discovered, three in his Pocket, and two in a Chew of Tobacco in his Mouth; and, being put into a Coach and four, they were genteely escorted to Justice Fielding's, who committed them to Newgate. Savage said, he never should have thought of such Things, but for his two Accomplices; was verry sorry, and seemed heartily to repent, that he suffered himself to be concerned with them in their wicked Purposes,to the Dishonour of God, and his own Ruin. He was a young Fellow, very ignorant, and therefore the more easily led aside, and deserving Christian Pity. Carey died a Papist .
4. WILLIAM GIDDIS , aged 26, was born in St. Martin's Lane, Westminster, and was left to the wide World very young, without Education or Trade. His Mother died, he says, when about seven, and his Father left him, or turn'd him out of Doors, when about nine Years old. The first Business he got into, was to tend Horses , and ride Postilion , and passed his Time a Year or two in this Employ. Then he was Servant to a Gentleman, with whom he went and liv'd in Scotland six Months; and when that Time was expired, he left that Service, not meeting such Treatment as he hoped, and was promised; and having made a previous Bargain with his Master to return him again to London in case he did not approve of the Service after six Months Trial, he was sent back to Berwick, and there was half a Guinea paid for his Passage by Sea to London, where he shortly arrived.
The Business he entered into upon his Return was a Coach-driver , having hired himself out to be a yearly Servant with a Person that keeps Hackney Coaches near St. James's Church , Westminster, with whom he lived honestly three or four Years, and drove some worthy Gentlemen, from whom he received then good Encouragement, and Assistance now under his unhappy Confinement: Then he removed to Chick-Lane, so to Cold-Bath-Fields, and Hatton-Garden-Wall, in which three last Services, he says, he began to learn naughty Tricks, those Places being too well known to be common Haunts of Thieves and Pick-pockets. At last he went to live with one in Marlborough-Street, with whom he lived some Time, and among his Companions, and Brethren of the Whip, got the Nickname of Marlborough Jack.
He might have lived very well and comfortable by his Business, but his natural Disposition being changed, and corrupted by the evil Company he had lately been too conversant with, he run himself headlong into the Acquaintance of young Thieves and Gamblers, and became as bad as any, and from one Wickedness to another, has work'd his own Ruin. He says, 'twas about five or six Weeks ago since he took to these Ways, or committed any Robbery, and no longer, and in that Space of Time he has had a Share in about eight or ten different Robberies, all done at or near the Long Field behind Montague-House . Lewis, May and Hamilton were his Companions most of the Time, and Gin, he says, was the Liquor that gave them Spirits and Courage to be so audacious. Scarce any of them, one would think, were sit to rob a Hen-roost, and yet such little Urchins as these were a Terror to honest Men following their lawful Callings. He was a young Fellow naturally of a gentle and good Disposition, behaved becoming his unhappy Circumstances, and died penitent, and sorry for what he had done, and prayed to be forgiven by God for Christ's Sake, in whom he trusted, and had Hope.
5. HENRY SMITH , aged 27, was born in Northamptonshire, and his Parents dying when he was very young, he came up to London when about nine Years of Age. Being come to Town, he lived with an Uncle who let out Coaches, and kept an Alehouse, who brought him up to what Business he had for him to do, viz. to draw Beer , and drive a Coach. With him, he says, he constantly lived for about twelve Years, having his Board for his Labour, Meat, Drink, Washing, and Lodging, but no Wages; and being a loose, unlucky Youth, his Uncle wanted to get rid of him the first Opportunity that presented. He had the good Luck to hear of a Lady at West Drayton in Middlesex that wanted a Coachman, and the Uncle got Smith recommended to her. He was taken into her Service in Capacity of Coachman , and lived with her about two Years, till she thought fit to lay down the Equipage, and then he returned to London.
Upon his Return, he followed the Business of a Hackney Coachman again, and served different Masters. He says he kept close to Business, and got an honest Livelihood, till April the 9th last past; that Evening Giddis came to him in the Stable where he lived, and when he came, Smith says he was lying upon a Bundle of Hay, to sleep off the Effects of the Day's Drinking, having been that Day hard at it. Giddis, he says, told him what he was going about, and asked him, why he would be idle, when so much Money was to be got? And so they presently agreed to go together; and they continued together from Monday Evening, the 9th of April, till Wednesday Night, the 11th, when they were both taken, having in that Time committed only three Robberies, in and about the Long Field behind Montague House . The Fact for which they were convicted both Giddis and Smith did own, but said, the Prosecutor did not do right in being so favourable to Beesley, who was tried with them for the same Fact, and so severe against them; for that Beesley both stopt him first, and took away what was taken from him, which was but three Halfpence, and he swore to Two-pence Halfpenny. Being advised that the Matter was not what they took, but the Design they were upon, they were content to own their Sentence and Fate were deservedly due, and their own seeking. Smith behaved very well, appeared very penitent, and hoped that God would be merciful unto him for Christ's Sake.
6. JAMES NICHOLSON , aged 25, was born in the Parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, of very honest and creditable Parents, who died when he was young. His real Name was Sherman, but he called himself Nicholson, after the Name of the Person that married his Mother, who dying, left him to his Care, a Person not inferior in Honesty and Credit to his own Parents; and who, with a Heart full of Love and Tenderness to him, endeavoured to bring him up in all Godliness and Honesty. He put him to School, and at proper Years bound him Apprentice to a Periwig-Maker , with whom he served five Years; but having committed some Misdemeanor, his Master was resolved to put him away, and did so. He was afterwards with a Baker , and then with a Brewer , and none of these Things quite
hit his Temper. This Friend of his gave him the best Advice in his Power, and was willing to try every Thing to fix him to an honest Way of getting his Bread, but all in vain; in order to which, he had procured the Favour of a Gentleman to take him for his Servant, and a Day was appointed for the Gentleman to have a Sight of the young Man, and to talk with him; but before the Day came he eloped, and his Friend never saw him after, till he received a Message from him in the Cells in Newgate. He was so unhappy as never to conform to the Advice of his real and true Friends, he would give them the Hearing, but never shew any Willingness to comply with their Directions for his Good. Being out of all Business, he fell into bad Company, and since Christmas last has followed such wicked Ways, as have brought him to this unhappy End. He has committed about five Robberies, and for that he was convicted for, he acknowledges he deserves to die. He was quite resigned to the Will of God, and the Law; and some Endeavours of saving his Life having been made, though too late, of which when he was informed, he answered, he was glad to die now, least he might in Time to come do the same, or worse. He professed to die in Peace with his Prosecutrix, and with all the World, and desired to commit his Soul into the Hands of his Saviour Jesus Christ.
7. JOHN GROVES , aged 35, was born in Dorsetshire, where he lived with his Parents till he was about twenty Years of Age, at which Time he listed in the second Regiment of Guards, and has been a common Soldier ever since. His Behaviour was always well, and he was Abroad some Years during the late War. He much lamented his Case that he had not rather died in the Bed of Honour, having survived all those Dangers, to come to such an ignominious Fate.
He was very weak after Conviction, and desired to die rather than live, but said the Prosecutrix had sworn very hard against him, as well as the other Evidences, for that he neither did, nor intended a Robbery. The Case as he set forth, and he always said the same to me to the last, was as follows, viz. That he had been that Day abroad with the Prosecutrix and some others, Men and Women, that they had drank pretty freely, and that he had gone so far towards treating the Women, as to pawn his Shirt, which he wanted the next Day to go upon Guard with. When he considered this, he would fain have redeemed his Shirt, but as none of the Company had any Money, he made free and took her Cloak, and said he would pledge that to get his Shirt, and leave it in Pawn till he could redeem it.
However, he went to his Quarters that Night, with the Cloak in his Possession, and thought no more about it, till the Evidences had cooked up the Affair, and made a Robbery of it. He said also, that what he confessed to the Justice, was only the taking the Cloak, but he had no Thoughts of doing it in the Way of Robbery, but that the Woman should have her Cloak, and no Harm he thought had been done. As it had pleased God to suffer him to fall under this Calamity, he was very well content and resigned, andbegged of God to forgive him, as he did all the World. He knew not but it might be an Affliction from the Lord, for the Offences of his past Life, as he had been a wicked young Man; and said, he hop'd to make such Use of his Punishment now, as that his Soul might be happy hereafter.
8. THOMAS PERRY , aged 30, was born in Flintshire in Wales, and was bound Apprentice to a Shoemaker , with whom he served seven Years, he says, duly and truly; but when his Time was out, not liking that Business, he went to Sea, and has been in the King's and Privateers Service during the late Wars, having both Wages and Prize-Money due, but forfeited by his Conviction. He says, he has not been in Wales since he first left that Country, nor in England above twice or three Times, for this ten Years past, and that but for a short Space at a Time. The greatest Offence he could charge himself with, and had to answer for, he said, was Drunkenness, to which he had been much addicted both at Sea and Ashore; but that he never wronged Man, Woman, or Child, to his Remembrance, of any Thing.
As to the Ticket, for forging of which he was convicted, as he said at first, so he continued to declare to the last; that if it was a forged Ticket, it was none of his doing, but that it was the very same he had of the Captain's Clerk. He wanted to go from the Ship, but was refus'd, unless he could get another Man, which he said he contrived to do; and then being about to be discharged, he applied for a Ticket, which was given him by the Captain's Clerk, who asked him to sell it, and told him he must loose 3 s. and 6 d. in the Pound for prompt Payment. Perry said, he refused to sell it, and purposed to take a Voyage to the Banks of Newfoundland, thinking that by the Time he returned, the Ticket might be payable, and then he should receive the Whole, and he pretended to choose to stay till his Return; upon which, says he, the Captain's Clerk bid me take it, and go about my Business, and be d - n'd. The Account he gave of himself was, that he could neither write, nor read Writing, and knew not but that it was a good Ticket, till he heard it was refused at the Office. When I told him, that the Captain's Clerk swore in his Evidence, that he neither gave him, nor any one else that Ticket, he was accused for, he said, he had no other from him, nor could he be imposed upon by any one else, for it was never out of his Hand, till he sent it to Elizabeth Stockwell, in order to pay her Debt. This is all the Account he wou'd give of himself, and this Affair, nor would he by any Means or Persuasions own that Fact in any other Light. He appeared very Penitent, and professed himself very willing to die, hoping that Jesus Christ would receive him to Mercy.
9. WILLIAM ARCHER , aged 42, was born in Hertfordshire, and bred a Butcher , which Trade he followed in White-Cross-Street for many Years, till the Time of his being taken up for the Fact he was afterwards convicted for. He was a Man of a most surly and morose Temper, and of a malicious Heart and Intention; and by his whole
Behaviour in Life, before this wicked Act was done by him, (as his Neighbours can testify) and all along to his Death, as appeared to every one that saw him under Confinement. He valued not what Mischief he did to revenge himself on any one that should do any Thing he did not like with respect to him, tho' never so lawful.
And the Cause of this barbarous Treatment of his Neighbour appears to be a Resentment he had taken up at him, for that he being a Man of more Conscience, and greater Regard to the Laws, than Archer was, had laid an Information against him, which was followed by an Indictment for vending his Goods on the Sabbath, as was his constant Practice, to the Nusance of the whole Neighbourhood. Upon this Account Archer vow'd Revenge, and was heard by several the Day the Fact was done to say, that he would be revenged on Higgins before Night. Accordingly what does he do, but watched an Opportunity, and from his one Pair of Stairs Window maliciously levelled a Gun at him, as he was sitting in his own Shop minding his Business, and little suspecting the Mischief intended him; as the poor Man sat with his Back towards him, he fired his Gun and shot him in the Back of the Head, and in his Neck, and in a most dangerous and desperate Manner, insomuch that a 100 Shot were taken out of those Parts. When he had done, he rejoiced at his Wickedness, bragg'd of being a good Marksman, and with bitter Curses said, he seldom miss'd his Mark, nor was he sorry for what he had done.
He would never say any Thing as to the Fact himself, nor scarce tell his Name, but said, he was to lose his Life for what he had done, and what had any one to do with what he had done. His Behaviour at the Time of Conviction, and since to his Death, was very insolent and daring, and surprized every one that saw him. A Night or two before Execution, there was a great outcry of Murder in his Cell, occasioned by his drawing a Knife at one of his Fellow Sufferers, that lay with him, and swearing bitterly that he would kill him, only because he would not leave off Reading, and listen to his Nonsence, and wicked Conversation. And the Night immediately before his Execution, being left in the Cell by himself, it not being safe to leave any Body with him, his Bed was set on Fire, as was greatly believed, with Design, having been heard to say, he would not be hanged; but the Smoke discovered it, and Assistance coming, it was put out, and he was left without Candle. He continued obstinate to the End, and could scarce be prevailed on to do any Thing towards making an Atonement for the Sins of his past Life, tho' they were many and great, this not being the first Time he has seen the inside Walls of Newgate. A more obstinate, hardened Wretch I never saw, and every one that beheld him, was surprized to see that a Man could, by his brutish Behaviour, so near degrade himself to the Beast.
Parents, who brought him up in the Roman Catholick Persuasion, and took Care of his Education, by sending him to proper Schools, to be educated in Reading, Writing, and Accounts, till he was of Age to be put Apprentice , when they bound him to a sort of Ivory Turner and Inlayer , whom he served some Years; but getting acquainted with a Set of young Men in his own Neighbourhood, who lov'd Drinking, Whoring, and other Vices, much better than Work, he frequently left his Master's Business to associate with them, which occasioning a Quarrel between him and his Master, as well as his Parents, he abruptly left them, and came for London; how he has behaveed, or in what Manner he has lived since he came to this City, he will not declare, is altogether silent on that Head, only says he sometimes work'd for the Jewellers ; but being questioned how and in what Manner, his Answer was, 'twas no Matter to any Body, he only was to give an Account for his good or bad Deeds, and would not therefore acquaint any Body about his Circumstances. In Regard to the Fact for which he suffered, it was so plainly proved, that he could not even make any Evasion relating thereto, it being suggested to him, that as it did not appear he had any regular Occupation to pursue, and that he must have followed that Trade a long Time. He again replied, as before, it was no Matter to any Body, he should not give any Account of it. So that, upon the Whole, it appears natural to conclude, that he must for many Years past have followed that, or some other wicked Business, for a Support, rather than by honest Industry gain a Livelihood. However, he seemed to behave penitent for one under his Circumstances, own'd the Justness of his Sentence, and said, he died in Peace with all Mankind.
11. JOHN CLARKE , aged 29, said at first he was born in Lancashire, but at length confessed he was born in the Kingdom of Ireland, of reputable Parents, but as they knew nothing of his Misfortunes, he was determined to conceal their particular Place of Abode, in order still to keep it a Secret from them. He says, they gave him a pretty good Education, and would have put him to any Trade he would have made Choice of; but being a wild Youth, and of a roving Mind, nothing would serve him but the Sea, and accordingly he ran away from his Parents, about 16. Years ago, and served on Board several Merchant-Ships , as well as King's Ships, and after the Commencement of the War, served at different Times on Board several Privateers, from some of which, he said, he was entitled to Prize-Money. After the War was over, he went to Liverpool, where had a Wife, with whom he lived till all his ready Cash was spent, and he then determined to come to London, in Hopes to receive more, on Account of Prizes taken by the Privateers he had been on Board of. But being disappointed when he came here, Necessity drove him to the wicked Practice of robbing, in which he was at last overtaken, and justly brought to his End. It was very remarkable, that he several Times mentioned his having done some wicked Thing about five Years ago, which he said was not a Robbery, nor a Murder, but something that he had been
ever since sorry for, and that he believed all his Misfortunes were owing to that; for though he had at all Times strove hard to get an honest Livelihood, he never could, nothing having prospered with him ever since. His Breast laboured with the Secret, which he sometimes seemed inclineable to reveal; but notwithstanding I several Times urged him to it, he never would, but carried it with him to his Grave.
12. THOMAS MAY , aged 24, was born in the Parish of St. Giles's, and lived with his Father, who was in good Credit and Reputation, and kept a Timber-Yard in Great Wild-Street. He was a very indulgent Parent to him, though he was always a wild and unlucky Youth, and scarce to be kept under any Restraint. About nine Years ago he left his Father, who is since dead, and went to live with a Gentleman, whose Stables were in the Neighbourhood. The Gentleman took a Fancy to him, seeing him a brisk, active Youth, and he liking the Terms of the Service, lived with him in Capacity of a Coachman , and to look after the Horses.
For four Years past, he said, he had been an Hackney Coachman , but always had an Itch to loose and disorderly Company, and has been acquainted with Lewis for some Time, had committed Robberies and other Disorders with him before he was first apprehended, and went to see him for old Acquaintance Sake when in Clerkenwell New-Prison , and there agreed to return to their old Works as soon as he got his Discharge. They met accordingly, and left not one another's Company till they fled to Cover to hide themselves from their Pursuers, but were in a short Time overtaken. Lewis being taken in Newtoner's Lane, they went after May, and took him too in St Giles's, at a House of ill Fame, the Crown and Anchor, with the Prosecutor's Rings about him.
He was a young Fellow of an undaunted, surly Disposition, and not to be prevailed on by any Means, gentle or rough, to do any Thing but what he thought proper. He said, if he had lived longer, he was sure he should be much worse, and sink deeper in the Gulf of Wickedness; so that he was not very sorry for being overtaken now by Justice; what he had done he was to suffer for, and no one had any Thing to do with it further in this World. He denied not being guilty of the four several Robberies he was indicted for last Sessions, hoped to be forgiven of God, and professed to die in Charity with all the World.
13. THOMAS LEWIS , aged 22, was born in the Parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, of Parents in a very bad Station of Life, who died when he was young, and he had nobody to assist him in bringing him into the World to get an honest Livelihood. When very young he committed some Wickedness, for Fear of Punishment for which he was glad to get off the Ground, and went to Sea. He says, he has been 7 Years at Sea in the King's and Merchant's Service , and came Home last March was Twelvemonth; when not having any Friends nor Parents to go to, and being out of all Business, he was at a Loss what to do with his Time.
With little Money to spend, which burnt in his Pocket, he fell into bad Company, and has been himself a bad and dangerous Man for a long Time.
A great Number of Robberies he had been concerned in, of some of which we have an Account, but not near the Number he has had a Hand in committing. He was in Custody before February Sessions, and admitted then an Evidence against several others of his Accomplices, viz. Stanton, who had his Sentence changed to Transportation, and Oldfield, Bushy, and Russel, who were executed in March last. Having been the Means of convicting them, he was by Law entituled to it, and accordingly set at Liberty. Also
In February Sessions there was one Pendergrass indicted for a Highway Robbery, and the Prosecutor swore very positively to him. When he was put upon his Defence, he desired Lewis might be called, who came into the Court, and swore that himself, Stanton, and others, committed the same Robbery, and that Pendergrast was not in the Company, upon which he was acquitted. The World not being very well satisfied as to this Matter, I was desired to enquire particularly of Lewis before his Death about it, which I did several Times by myself, and in the Hearing of others, and he always declared, as he was a dying Man, that the Case was as above. He was no sooner set at Liberty, but he returned to the old Trade, as the Sow to her Wallowing in the Mire, and committed Robberies that very Night, and so continued to do till in a short Time after he was taken again, and committed to Newgate. He was a young Fellow of an undaunted Spirit, though when some of his old Acquaintance came to take Leave of him, when he got into the Cart at Newgate, he wept heartily, seemed penitent, and died resigned.
14. BENJAMIN CAMPBEL HAMILTON , aged 17, was born, as he said, in the Parish of St. Andrew's, Holbourn; by this Name he was called, and indicted, but it is generally said, and believed, that he was the Son of Jones, alias Harpur, who was executed in March for picking the Pocket of General St. Clair of a Gold Watch. He never said any Thing particular of his Parents, not so much as whether dead or alive; but if it was as generally believed, he was, we are sure, thorough bred; Jones, alias Harpur, having been a noted Pickpocket and Gambler before he was born or begotten.
Neither did he deny being concerned in the four several Robberies for which there were Indictments found last Sessions against him, and his Accomplices, but was silent as to any Thing else. After Conviction he pretended to be ill, and confined himself to his Cell till the Warrant came down; since which he came to Chapel, and seemed to have Regard to Prayer; and whether it was owing to the Levity of his youthful Blood, or what else, I will not pretend to determine, at all other Times, even to his Death, he shewed most remarkable Signs of Hardiness and Unconcern; nor did it seem at all to be forc'd, but he talked to the Mob, and to his Fellow-Sufferers in the Cart, with as much Ease and Unconcern as a Man would do that was going to a Jubilee, and continued so till within a few Minutes of his Death.
An exact Account of the Robberies committed by Thomas Lewis and the rest of his Companions; particularly the Manner of their committing the Robberies on the Lord Bury, and the Countess of Albemarle; that on Mr. Beard; on the Dean of Peterborough, and many others.
LEWIS began very early to accustom himself to picking Pockets, in which he was very expert, though about four Months ago he was caught by a Gentleman whose Pocket he had picked in Fleet-street; who directly seized him, and forced him into a Shop, but notwithstanding all the Care possible was taken by sending for proper Officers, &c. he was rescued by his Companions, and carried off triumphantly. Though this narrow Escape gave him a Disgust for the present, against the Trade of picking Pockets, yet it did not eradicate from his Heart the Spirit of Thieving; for a very few Nights after, he and three more of his Companions set out on their villainous Expeditions, and the first Object that presented to their View, was a Man at the Bottom of Featherstone's Buildings in Holbourn, whom they commanded to stand and deliver; he appeared a little in Liquor, notwithstanding which he endeavoured to act on the defensive, and drew a Knife; but they tripped up his Heels, and presenting a Pistol to his Head, he remained peacable, and they took from him a Silver Watch, Eighteen-pence, and some Halfpence.
They proceeded from thence up Holbourn, and turning down Drury-lane, they perceived a Chair, which they determined to attack; accordingly one of them stopt the foremost Man, and presenting a Pistol, commanded him to set down, to put out his Lanthorn, and hold his Hat before his Eyes, which he did; another went to the Man behind, ordering him to hold his Hat before his Face, while the other two commanded the Gentleman in the Chair (who proved to be Mr. Beard, belonging to the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane) to deliver his Watch and Money; accordingly Mr. Beard gave them about four Shillings and his Silver Watch, and they ordered the Chairmen to go on: This was between one and two in the Morning.
After they had robbed Mr. Beard they proceeded up Drury-lane again, and so on to Great-Russel-street in Bloomsbury, till they came over against Montagu House, where they stopt two Women, whom they robbed of about four Shillings each, and some Halfpence, and a Handkerchief with a Mince Pye tied in it, which they directly eat; they then turned down a Street facing Montagu House, where they stopt two Men, and presenting their Pistols, commanded them to stand and deliver; from one they took Eighteen-pence, and his Hat and Wig; the other, who appeared like a Journeyman Carpenter, pulled out a Gimblet, and swore that was all he had in the World; on which they let them pass, and they proceeded on, and stopt a Coach near Bloomsbury Church , in which was only a Lady; on their presenting a Pistol to her she screamed out violently, on which one of them immediately stopt her Mouth with a Handkerchief, threatening instantly to blow out her Brains, if she did not quietly deliver; she immediately put her Hand into her Pocket, and gave them about four or five Shillings, saying 'twas all she had, and they bid the Coachman drive on. This was the last Robbery they committed that Night.
The next Night they met again, and going down the Fleet-Market, they attacked two Men, to whom they presented their Pistols, and with a Volley of Oaths commanded them to stand and deliver; from one of'em they took 5 Guineasand an Half in Gold, some Silver, and two Silver Groats; from the other they took a middle-siz'd Silver Watch, with a scollop'd Dial-plate, and about 30 s. in Silver; as they were taking his Money they perceived the Watchman coming, on which they tore out Pocket and all; while they were committing this Robbery, a Fellow came up and asked what they were about, on which one of them presenting his Pistol, bid him walk off, or he was a dead Man, which he very prudently did.
The same Night they stopt a Chair in Knaves-Acre, wherein was a Gentleman whom they supposed was a Foreigner; they took from him a Purse with about twenty Guineas, and a Gold Watch, finely chased, with the Story of Mars and Venus, and a China Dial Plate, and then ordered the Chairmen to go on. From thence they went to Monmouth-street, at the Top of which they stopt another Chair, and from a Gentleman therein took four Guineas, while four Watchmen stood at the same Time staring at them; three of them went up to the Watchmen, with their Pistols in their Hands, threatning to blow out their Brains if they did not immediately go about their Business, which they very quietly did.
The same Night they stopped a Coach near the End of Great-Russel-street, Bloomsbury, in which was Lord Bury, the Countess of Albemarle, and another Lady. There were still five of them in Company, two of them went into the Coach, while the others guarded the Coachman and Footman; they presented their Pistols, and demanded their Watches and Money, when Lord Bury desired they would take away their Pistols and not frighten the Lady, and they would give them what they had; and accordingly they did, and they gave them a Gold chased dumb repeating Watch, two Rings, some Gold and Silver, and they suffered the Coach to pass on.
A little while after they stopt a Chair in Kingsgate-street, near Red-lyon-Square, in which was the Dean of Peterborough; they demanded his Watch, Money, Rings, &c. he gave them some Silver, and his plain Gold Watch, with a Gold Chain and three Gold Seals to it, one of which had lost the Stone; in the Robbery one of their Pistols loaden with a Ball, went off by Accident, so near the Gentleman's Head as to set fire to his Wig: This terribly alarmed them, and they immediately made off, believing they had absolutely killed him.
They were so much affrighted at this Accident that they attempted no more robbing that Night, but came directly to Cheapside, where they took Coach to Houndsditch, and went from thence to the House of a Jew of their Acquaintance, where they staid till Seven in the Morning, drinking Gin, Chocolate, &c. when they agreed to sell to the Jew the three Gold Watches, the Pinchbeck Watch, and all their Appurtenances, for 21 Guineas; he not having Money himself, was obliged to go to his Brother, whom he brought with him in about an Hour, who paid the Money, which they divided, as well as the Money they had got besides, and parted.
The Sunday Evening after, the same five went out again, all armed with Pistols, and coming into the Long Fields they ranged themselves a-breast in a most daring audacious Manner, with their Pistols in their Hands, determining to let none escape that came that Way whom they could manage: Their first Prey was four Gentlemen, to whom they gave the Word of Command, and took from one of them a Silver single chased Watch, and from them all some Silver, and let them pass. They next stopt a Gentleman and two Ladies, from the Gentleman and one of the Ladies they took some Silver, and from the other Lady a green Purse with 18 d. in it. A little farther they met three more Gentlemen, from one they took a Silver Watch, and from them all some Silver and some Halfpence. A little farther they stopt three more Men, one of whom cried very much, and beg'd for God's Sake to take away their Pistols; after searching him, they found no more than three Halfpence, which they flung at him again, and one of them in a Passion seiz'd hold of him, andswore bitterly, if he did not immediately cease his sniveling, he would sling him into a Ditch.
N.B. For this Robbery one Pendergrast was tried, and justly acquitted, as he was not present when the Robbery was done.
Sometime after Lewis and three more of his Companions stopt 'Squire Harvey in a Chair, in St. Anne's Court near Berwick-street, Soho, from whom they took a fine Gold repeating Watch, the outside Case Egyptian Pebble, set in Gold.
One Evening about five o'Clock, five of them in Company met a Person in Tottenham-Court Road (who, as appeared afterward, was one Mr. B - y a Fishmonger) whom they commanded to stand and deliver; they took from him a small Pinchbeck Watch, with a white Dial-plate, a Case of Instruments, Half a Guinea, some Silver, a Pair of loaded Pistols, and about a dozen Bullets; on taking the Pistols and Bullets they were surprized, thinking they had been robbing a Brother Trade (tho' Mr. B - y carried them about him only by Way of Security, having been attacked before) they therefore told him their Thoughts, and said, if he was a Brother Scamp * he might as well own it, and they would give him his Things again; but he shook his Head at them, did not understand them, and they parted, and wished him a good Night.
* Scamp is the Cant Word for a Thief or Robber.
Neither Lewis, May, nor Hamilton would particularize any Robbery except what is here set down; but in the following they were all concerned, and Sharers, as themselves did own, And these and several others were committed by these three unhappy Wretches.
The next Day, between the Half-way House and Pancras- Church , Lewis and May met with John Matthews, whom they used in the same wicked Manner; one clapt a Pistol to his Mouth, and hit him with it in his Teeth, while the other held his Pistol to his Ear, and swore they would blow his Brains out if he did not keep his Hat over his Eyes, that he might not take particular Notice of them. They robbed him of two Gold Rings, a Penknife, and 2 s. and 3 d. in Money. Hamilton was in Sight at a Distance, and shared Part of the Booty: And,
At the PLACE of EXECUTION.
ON Wednesday the 16th Instant, between 8 and 9 o'Clock in the Morning, Wm. Archer , Job Savage , and Wm. Carey in one; Thomas Lewis , Benjamin Campbel Hamilton , and Thomas May in another; Michael Nunnan , in a Sledge or Hurdle; Wm. Giddis , Henry Smith , and Thomas Perry in a third; and James Nicholson , John Clarke , and John Groves in a 4th Cart, went to the Place of Execution. Hamilton's Behaviour was intolerably indecent there, talking and laughing almost all the while the Executioner was tying them up, and using such Expressions as are better stifled than reported. May called aloud to a Fellow to take his Hat and Wig. Of the rest, not one of them said any Thing; but after Prayers, when the Caps were pulled down over their Faces, the Cart drew from under them, and most of them seem'd to have hard Conflicts with Death.
Being cut down, their Bodies were chiefly taken care of by their Friends; but one or two having no Friends, were left under the Gallows, and are said to have been carried away for the Purpose and Use of Anatomy.