THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, of the TWELVE MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On Wednesday the 3d of OCTOBER, 1750.
NUMBER VI. 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 JOHN BLACHFORD , Esq ; Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Right Honourable Lord Chief Justice WILLES, and 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 12th, Thursday the 13th, Friday the 14th, Saturday the 15th, Monday the 17th, Tuesday the 18th, Wednesday the 19th of September, in the twenty-fourth Year of his Majesty's Reign, WILLIAM SMITH, RICHARD WRIGHT, HUGH BURRELL, JAMES MACLEAN, HENRY JAMES SAUNDERS, JOHN GRIFFITHS, - WATSON, FRANCIS KEY, JOHN DEWICK, WILLIAM TYLER, ANTHONY WHITTLE, THOMAS SHEHAN, WILLIAM RILEY, GEORGE TAYLOR, GEORGE LLOYD, and MOSES WRIGHT, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
These unhappy Persons have most of them constantly attended the Chapel every Day, and, in the general, behaved with great Decency, and serious Devotion, as Men ought to be affected with, whose Folly and Vice, have justly rendered them obnoxious to the Punishment due to gross Offenders, against the Laws of God, and their Country: Only Dewick, being prevented by great Illness most part of the Time; and Whittle, and Taylor, sometimes, by Illness, being obliged to stay away, were visited in their Cells. Shehan being born and bred in the Romish Persuasion, never attended, but was visited by a Roman-Catholic Priest.
On Thursday the 27th of September, Mr. Recorder made the Report to the Lords Justices, assembled in Council, of the fifteen Malefactors, when they were pleased to Order William Smith, Richard Wright, James Macklean, Henry James Saunders, John Griffiths, George Taylor, John Dewick, William Tyler, Anthony Whittle, Thomas Shehan, George Lloyd, and William Wright, for Execution, on Wednesday the 3d Instant.
2. Richard Wright , was indicted, for that he, with two other Persons not yet taken, on the King's Highway, upon Charles Coleman did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, one Hat, Val. 2 s. one Periwig, Val. 1 s. and one Shilling in Money numbered, from his Person, against his Will, did steal, take, and carry away, Sept. 1 .
3. James Maclean , was indicted, for that he, on the King's Highway, on Josiah Higden did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, one Cloth Coat, Val. 20 s. one Pair of Cloth Breeches, Val. 10 s. one Periwig, Val. 30 s. one Pair of Pumps, Val. 4 s. five Holland Shirts, Val. 40 s. three Linen Stocks, Val. 3 s. one Pair of Silk Stockings, Val. 6 s. one Pair of worsted Stockings, Val. 3 s. one Pair of Gloves, Val. 6 d. one Pair of Silver Spurs, Val. 15 s. one Pair of Silver Shoe Buckles, Val. 18 s. one Pair of Knee-Buckles, one half Pound Weight of Tea, and other Things, and two Guineas from his Person, against his Will, June 26 .
4. Henry James Saunders , was indicted, for that he, together with Charles Campbell , on the King's Highway, on John Curson did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, one Metal Watch gilt, Val. 5 l. the Property of John Curson, did steal, take, and carry away, July 22 .
5, 6, 7. George Taylor , George Lloyd , and William, otherwise Moses Wright , were indicted for breaking and entering the Dwelling House of Brian Bird , and stealing 6 Shifts, 5 Shirts, 2 Pair of Pillow Cases, 2 Frocks, 1 Petticoat, 3 Pair of Stockings, 3 Damask Table-Cloths, 5 Aprons, and 1 Table-Cloth, in the Dwelling-House of the said Brian Bird, May 27 .
10. Anthony Whittle , was indicted, for that he, with two other Persons, on the 25th of November, 1749, about the Hour of 4 in the Morning, the Dwelling-house of James Hawkins did break, thirty Dozen of worsted Hose, Value 20 l. and twenty Yards of Bayes Value 20 s. the Goods of James Hawkins, did steal, take, and carry away .
11. Thomas Shehan , was indicted for stealing one silk Purse, Value 6 d. twenty-two Guineas, Four thirty-six Shilling Pieces, One three Pound twelve Shilling Piece, the Goods of Brice Macdaniel , June 25 .
12. John Griffith , was indicted, for that he, on the King's Highway, on James Cockram , did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, one Linen Handkerchief, Value 12 d. one Scarlet Cloth Coat, Value 1 l. 6 s. the Property of Henry Cockram , from the Person of the said James, did steal, take, and carry away, July 29 .
Highwayman, and in his Dress and Equipage very much affected the fine Gentleman, yet to a Man acquainted with good Breeding, that can distinguish it from Impudence and Affectation, there was very little in his Address or Behaviour, that could entitle him to that Character.
It is true, he is descended by the Father's Side from a very honourable Family in the Highlands of Scotland, whose particular Distinction it would be cruel to mention on this scandalous Occasion. His Father, a younger Son of this Family, was bred up a Divine of the Church of Scotland, and going over to Ireland, became Preacher to a dissenting Congregation at Monahan, in the northern Part of that Kingdom; by whom, and the whole Neighbourhood, he was esteemed a Gentleman of singular Probity, Piety and Humanity. He married into a reputable Family in these Parts and left only two Sons; one of them an Honour to his Memory, and Profession, he bred up a Divine, and is now Pastor of a Protestant Congregation at the Hague. The other the unhappy Sufferer, whose behaviour has afforded so much Matter of Speculation to the World. To him he gave a decent Education, designing him for some mercantile Employment, so soon as he should be of Age proper to be put into a Compting-House ; but unhappily for him, his Father died before he could find an Opportunity of settling him as he intended, and his Share of the little Effects he left behind him falling into his Hands and Management before he was quite Eighteen, it was no Wonder it was soon squandered, without Reflection upon a future Settlement in Life.
Mr. Maclean's Patrimony gone before he was much turned of 20, his Mother's Friends who were the only Relations he had in Ireland, quarrelled with him for his Extravagance, and refused him either Advice, Shelter or Subsistence, his Brother was then in Holland, and he was too far removed, and too little acquainted with any of his Family in Scotland, to acquaint them with his Wants, or receive any Assistance from them.
After various Attempts to prevail on his Mother's Relations to fit him cut for the Sea, or some other Business that might insure his future Subsistence, proving unsuccessful, he had no other Recourse lest, but for Bread, to become menial Servant to Mr. Howard, then on his Way to England, with whom he staid some Time; but the low Station he was in exposing him to the Conversation of the lowest Class of his Countrymen, his Morals was not much improved by his Travels in England, and he quarrelled with his Master, and return'd again to his own Country, once more to solicit his Friends to do something for him suitable to his Birth, and the natural Expectations of his earlier Years.
But either they saw something in his Manner and Principles that did not promise them much Credit from their Kinsman, or his Demands were ill-timed and unsuitable to their Circumstances, for they refused either to see him, or afford him any Countenance.
On this Disappointment he gave over all Thoughts of any of his Relations, except his Brother at the Hague, from whom he frequently received Remittances and Advice that might have been of greater Service to him than all the Money on Earth, but the Cash was to him much more acceptable, he spent it as fast as he could, and never remembred the prudent Council that accompanied it longer than he was reading the Letter: However, it could not be expected that the Appointments of a Dutch Minister could spare Support for an idle Gentleman. These Favours frequent, and larger than could be expected, every Thing considered, were not sufficient to depend on for Subsistence, and Mr. Maclean was obliged once more to look out for some Gentleman's Service, where he might be free from the Dread of meer Want of the Necessaries of Life.
As he had left Mr. Howard's Service without a Character, it was more difficult for him now to get a Place without it, than if he had never been in Service before, as the Want of it laid him under a kind of Suspicion,which all his Pretensions to Gentility could not wipe off.
He was some Months before he got over this Difficulty; but at last Providence, always indulgent to Designs that have Industry and Honesty for their Motive, cast him accidentally into Company with a good-natur'd Officer of the Army, who had some Knowledge of his Father's Family, and was perfectly acquainted with that honest Man's real Worth and Character, and on that Account ventured to recommend him to Col. R - d F - n, of D - n - le near Cork, where he lived some Years as Butler , but at last was guilty of some little Pilfering and Embezzlement in his Trust, and was dismissed the Service without a Character, which deprived him of all Hopes of Service in the Country.
He remained some Time out of Place, and had some Thoughts of going over to serve in the Irish Brigade in the French Service, but on communicating his Design to a Gentleman who had the Charge of enlisting Men for that Service, he was told, that his Encouragement there would be but small, unless he would conform to the Popish Religion; and though his After conduct shewed that he was very little influenced by the Doctrines and Principles of any Religion, yet the early Tincture he had received from the pious Care of his Parents of the Protestant Faith, supported him under the Temptation of embracing the Errors of the Church of Rome, though prompted by a View of Interest, and the most pressing present Wants; he rejected the Proposal, and gave over all Thoughts of the Irish Brigade.
Fortune seem'd to reward his Constancy, for about this Time he came to understand, that his old Master, Col. T - n, intended shortly to set out for England. Mr. Maclean entertained some Hopes, that if he could find Means to come into England, he might there find a better Chance for some Sort of Living than where he was. Presuming on the Colonel's known Humanity, he represented to him, in as pathetick Terms as he could devise, the Necessity of his Circumstances, which so far wrought on this charitable Gentleman's good Nature, that he not only defray'd the Charge of his Passage to England, which was all he had the Confidence to ask, but generously entertained him as one of his Domesticks, sending him with his Baggage to London, and allowing him Twelve-pence a Day for Subsistence. He remained for some small Time in this humble Situation, but prepossessed with the Perfections of his Person, which he had the Vanity to think might induce some of the compassionate and Merit-decerning Fair, to raise him from his present Obscurity, provided he could find Means to set off his personal Talent to proper Advantage by the Help of a genteel Dress, to procure which Money was necessary, and for that Purpose he set all his Wits to work to raise the necessary Funds for supplying his Wardrobe. He had experienced the Colonel's good Nature on several Occassions, and had the Assurance to propose to him to send him a Sum of Money to be employed in Purchase of a Pair of C lours; though if he really had succeeded in his impudent Request, he intended only to have equipped himself for a Fortune-hunting Campaign. He was justly disappointed in his Suit, and at last was in downright Earnest, for the Sake of Bread, willing to enlist in Lord Albemarle's Troop of Horse-Guards: But even this could not be effected without Money, and though but ten Guineas was only wanting, he could not, without the Help of his Patron, raise this small Sum.
The Colonel at his Importunity was prevailed on to agree to lodge the Money in the Hands of an Officer belonging to the Troop, with which Mr. Maclean seemed satisfied, but after his Pass and other necessary Credentials for joining the Troop then in Flanders, were made out, his Inclination to a Military Life evapored, and he once more enlisted himself in the Service of the Fair, by whose Interest he procured the charitable Contribution of fifty-Pounds, under pretence of shipping himself for the West-Indies. But being once possessed of the Cash, he changed his Mind as totravelling, laid it out in fine Cloaths, and made Suit to the Daughter of Mr. Macglogno, a Dealer in Horses, with whom he was so lucky as to succeed, and with her received about five hundred Pounds, as her Marriage Portion.
With this Sum, he set up a Grocer and Chandler's Shop , in Wellbeck-Street, near Cavendish-Square. While his Wife lived he kept even with the World, and maintained his Family in Decency, though with much Difficulty; for he was more the Man of Pleasure than Business. Those who knew him at that Time generally say he was a harmless inoffensive Man; but being surpriz'd at his Way of Life, were apt to suggest strange Things of him, but no one could lay any thing that was wicked and notorious to his charge, while he lived in that Neighbourhood. His Wife died about 3 Years after their Marriage, leaving him two Daughters, of whom on her Death, her Mother took Charge, as she does still of the one that is so unhappy as to survive him.
Deprived of his Wife, who had managed all the Affairs of his Shop and Business, he was too much addicted to Idleness and Pleasure, to confine himself to the Occupation of a Grocer, he sold off his Goods, and with the Remains of his Effects, which he had not augmented, but greatly diminished by Trade, he commenced Gentleman and Fortune-Hunter.
He was scarce six Months embark'd in this fallacious Project, before he had in Folly and Extravagance exhausted all he had left of his late Wife's Portion, and was at a Loss how to raise any more to supply present Necessity much less to support the Figure he made. It went to his Soul to descend again from the fine Gentleman to the menial Servant, and he soon grew melancholy on the (to him) dreadful Prospect of being oblig'd to dispose of his Cloaths and Equipage for mere Bread. He was in this Disposition when he was visited by a Countryman of his, one Plunket, bred a Surgeon or Apothecary. His Friend in a famlliar Way ask'd the Cause of his Melancholy, on which the other open'd his real Circumstances, to which he was not before a Stranger. Honey, says Plunket, I thought, Maclean, thou hadst Spirit and Resolution, with some Knowledge of the World. A brave Man cannot want; he has a Right to live, and need not want the Conveniencies of Life, while the dull, plodding, busy Knaves carry Cash in their Pockets. We must draw upon them to supply our Wants, there need only Impudence, and getting the better of a few silly Scruples; there is scarce Courage necessary, all we have to deal with are such mere Poltroons. This Discourse was soon understood by the unhappy Maclean, who tho' at first shock'd with the bare Mention of it, yet the Necessity of his Pride and Indolence suggested so strong, that he yielded to the Temptation, and from that Time, which might be about eight Months after his Wife's Death, enter'd into a particular Intimacy with Plunket, agreed to run all Risques together, and, present or absent at any Enterprize, to share all Profits, of which, till the fatal Discovery, they kept a fair and regular Account.
Tho' Maclean believ'd himself possessed of, and it is not improbable really was possessed of as much natural Courage as any Man, yet on his first Attempt (nor could even long Practice harden him) he felt every Symptom of Fear and Cowardice, aggravated by the Stings of Conscience, which Vice could not harden. However, the Success of this first Enterprize, was (on a Grazier's coming from Smithfield Market, from whom, on Hounslow Heath, they took above sixty Pounds) encourag'd him to stifle the Checks of Conscience, and to persevere in a Way, which though to him it appear'd wicked, yet was found so lucrative. In this Transaction he was no more than passive, stood by without speaking a Word, or so much as drawing his Pistol, and inwardly in greater Agony than the Man that was robbed; so that if any Resistance had been made, he had certainly taken the first Hint of taking to his Heels. However, the Man parted peaceably with hisMoney, and they had Time to divide it, and squander it without Suspicion or Molestation.
The next Robbery they committed was on a Coach in the Road from St. Alban's. By Agreement he was to stop the Coachman, and present his Pistol at one Side, while Plunket did the same on the other. But though he rode frequently up with Intention to give the Word, yet his Heart fail'd him, and Plunket, lest they should miss the Booty, did it himself, and it was with some faultering Maclean demanded their Money after the Coach was stopt, and no Danger seem'd near. However, he grew more resolute, and to redeem his Credit with Plunket, who began to rally him with some Freedom, on his Pusilanimity, he robb'd once in Hyde-Park by himself, a Gentleman on Horseback, of his Watch and Money, and was the acting Man in the Robbery of Horatio Walpole ; the Circumstance of which Robbery is too well known to the Publick to require being taken any more Notice of, than that he own'd it, and declar'd the firing the Pistol accidental.
He reign'd long and successfully, and was never but once afraid of a Discovery; at that Time he went over to Holland till the Storm was blown over, and pretended a friendly Visit to his Brother, to whom he gave some sham Account of the Manner of his Living, and was by him introduced to some very polite Assemblies of Dancing, &c. where it is said some Purses and Gold Watches were missed; and since Maclean's Commitment, the Suspicion seems to be fixed upon him, though at that Time no such Thing occurred. After he had staid some Time in Holland, he again return'd to his Trade.
With these Collections from the Publick, he lived in Splendor, but to avoid impertinent Questions, often shifted his Lodgings; though he appeared in the greatest Splendor in all publick Places, and kept Company not only with the most noted Ladies of the Town, but some Women of Fortune and Reputation were unguarded enough to admit him into their Company, without any other Recommendation than his appearing at all public Places with great Impudence, and a Variety of rich Cloaths. He had the good Fortune, even to make some Progress in the Affections of a Lady who really deserved a better Fate, but his Character was blown by a Gentleman, who knew him too well to think himself obliged to accept of a Challenge sent him on that Account by Maclean, and the Lady saved from total Ruin.
By this Means he supply'd all the Extravagance of his Disposition; yet he never once thought of his Daughter, or seldom visited his Mother-in-Law, who took Care of her; and least he should be plagued with her Importunities, or that she might take the Liberty of a Person so nearly concern'd in him, to ask about the Means of his gay Appearance, he made his Visits short and seldom, and always conceal'd from her his Abode.
He thought this Course would never have an End, but he was mistaken; Justice, tho' slow, at last took hold of him, and even made himself, chiefly, instrumental in doing Justice to the Laws of his Country, he had so long violated with Impunity; for it is to be observed, and he often made the Remark himself, that if a particular Fate had not directed him to dispose of the Goods in the Manner he did it, and to strengthen the Suspicion by a judicial Confession, there were, as yet, no Man but Plunket his Accomplice, that could hurt him. But whom God will punish he first makes mad; so it happen'd with Maclean in the Robbery for which he was condemn'd. For after he had, on the 26th of June, robb'd the Salisbury Stage-Coach of their Money, and two Port-manteaus; and the same Morning, by an Artifice, robb'd Lord Eglinton who was so good-natur'd as not to appear against him, they divided the Spoil at Mr. Maclean's Lodgings, who was so infatuated, tho' the Cloaths were advertised and described in the public Papers, to offer the Lace strip'd off Mr. Higden's Waistcoat, to the very Laceman from whom it had been bought; and to desire a Salesman to come to his Lodgings to purchase the Cloaths, who
bought them, and by whose Means Mr. Higden was brought to view them, knew his Property, and had Mr. Macklean immediately taken up by a Warrant, and carried before Justice Lediard, before whom, he at first deny'd the Fact, but afterwards sent for that Gentleman to the Gate-house, and acquainted him, that he intended to make a Confession. The Justice told him candidly, that if he could impeach but one, his Confession would be of little Use to him, and recommended him to take an Hour to consider of it. He came to him again at the Expiration of that Time, and he still insisted that he had no Accomplice but Plunket. On the 1st of August he was brought to his second Examination, before Mr. Justice Lediard, at which Time, he delivered his Confession in Writing, but not sign'd, which the Justice did not desire him to do, and then left the Papers in his Hands, without asking them from him. He shew'd a mean dastardly Spirit before the Justice, shed many Tears, which enduced the female Part of his Audience to accompany him, and some to present him with a Purse of Money, which, with other compassionate Contributions from the same weak Quarters, he lived at the Gatehouse with as much Ease as a tortured Conscience, and natural Dread of Death could permit him. The Notice taken of him by some Persons of female Distinction, perhaps, gave him some Hopes of Life, which never left him 'till he left Newgate, and, in a great Measure, disturb'd his Preparation for Eternity.
He had formerly confess'd the Fact, yet, on his Trial, he thought proper to plead not Guilty, and read his Defence, which is as follows.
My Lord, I am persuaded, from the candour and indulgence shewn me in the course of my trial, that your Lordship will hear me with patience, and make allowance for the confusion I may shew before an awful assembly, upon so solemn an occasion.
Your Lordship will not construe it vanity in me, at this time, to say, that I am the son of a divine of the kingdom of Ireland, well known for his zeal and affection to the present royal family, and happy government; who bestowed an education upon me becoming his character, of which I have in my hand a certificate from a noble lord, four members of parliament, and several justices of peace for the county where I was born, and received my education.
About the beginning of the late French war, my Lord, I came to London, with a design to enter into the military service to my king and country; but unexpected disappointments oblig'd me to change my resolution; and having married the daughter of a reputable tradesman, to her fortune I added what little I had of my own, and entered into trade in the grocery way, and remained therein till my wife died. I very quickly after her death found a decay in trade, arising from an unavoidable trust reposed in servants; and fearing the consequence, I candidly consulted some friends, and, by their advice, sold off my stock, and in the first place, honestly discharged my debts, and proposed to apply the residue of my fortune in the purchase of some military employment, agreeable to my first design.
During my application to my trade, my Lord, I unhappily became acquainted with one Plunket, an apothecary, who, by his account of himself, induced me to believe he had travelled abroad, and was possessed of cloaths, and other things suitable thereto, and prevailed on me to employ him in attending on my family, and to lend him money, to the amount of 100 l. and upwards.
When I left off trade, I pressed Plunket for payment, and, after receiving, by degrees, several sums, he proposed, on my earnestly insisting that I must call in all debts owing to me, to pay me part in goods and part in money.
These very cloaths, with which I am now charged, my Lord, were cloaths he brought to me to make sale of, towards payment of my debt, and accordingly, my Lord, I did sell them, very unfortunately, as it now appears; little thinking they were come by in the manner Mr. Higden hath been pleased to express, whose word and honour are too well known to doubt the truth.
My Lord, as the contracting this debt between Plunket and myself was of a private nature, so was the payment of it; and therefore, it is impossible for me to have the testimony of any one single witness to these facts, which (as it is an unavoidable misfortune) I hope, anddoubt not, my Lord, that your Lordship and the gentlemen of the Jury will duly weigh.
My Lord, I cannot avoid observing to your Lordship, is it probable, nay, is it possible, that, if I had come by those cloaths by dishonest means, I should be so imprudent as to bring a man to my lodgings at noon-day to buy them, and give him my name and place of residence, and even write that name and residence myself in the saleman's book? It seems to me, and I think must to every man, a madness, that no one, with the least share of sense, could be capable of.
My Lord, I have observed in the course of Mr. Higden's evidence, he hath declared, he could not be positive either to my face or person; the defect of which, I humbly presume, leaves a doubt of the certainty of my being one of the two persons.
My Lord, it is very true, when I was first apprehended, the surprize confounded me, and gave me the most extraordinary shock; it caused a delirium and confusion in my brain, which rendered me incapable of being myself, or knowing what I said or did; I talked of robberies, as another man would do in talking of stories; but, my Lord, after my friends had visited me in the Gatehouse, and had given me some new spirits; and, when I came to be reexamined before justice Lediard, and then asked, if I could make any discovery of the robbery, I then alledged that I had recovered my surprize, that what I had talked of before concerning robberies was false and wrong, and intirely owing to a confused head and brain.
This, my Lord, being my unhappy fate; but, unhappy as it is, as your Lordship is my judge and presumptive council, I submit it, whether there is any other evidence against me than circumstantial.
First, the selling of the lace and cloaths, which I agree I did; for which I account.
Second, the verbal confession of a confused brain; for which I account.
All this evidence I humbly apprehend is but circumstantial evidence.
It might be said, my Lord, that I ought to shew where I was at this Time.
To which, my Lord, I answer, that I never heard the time, nor the day of the month, that Mr. Higden was robbed; and, my Lord, it is impossible for me, at this juncture, to recollect where I was, and much less to bring any testimony of it.
My Lord, in cases where a prisoner lies under these impossibilities of proof, it is hard, nay, it is very hard, if presumption and intendment may not have some weight on the side of the prisoner. I humbly hope, and doubt not, but that doctrine will not escape your Lordship's memory to the jury.
My Lord, I have lived in credit, and have had dealings with mankind, and therefore humbly beg leave, my Lord, to call about a score to my character, or more, if your Lordship pleases; and then, my Lord, if in your Lordship's opinion, the evidence against me should be by law only circumstantial, and the character given of me by my witnesses should be so far satisfactory, as to have equal weight, I shall most readily and willingly submit to the jury's verdict.
The Evidence being plain, the jury brought him in Guilty without going out of court; at the time of receiving sentence he attempted to read a paper, but was so much disordered by grief, dread, or guilt, that he could not proceed; the paper is as follows.
My Lord, I shall not presume to trouble your lordship with many professions of sorrow and penitence; such from men in my unhappy condition, are too often considered to proceed more from fear and shame, than a heart justly touched with a deep sense and abhorrence of my past inexcusable conduct. - Were the sentiments of my soul this moment disclosed to the world in their true light, I should have no occasion to use any expressions to move compassion. - For the best of men are the readiest to pity the anguish of their fellow-creatures not hardened in guilt. - I might, perhaps, collect some circumstances to mitigate the execution of a sentence I am now going to receive, - but, as I am sensible that nothing of that sort on my trial escaped the penetration of the court. So I am equally assured, that if there is room for mercy, it will be recommended.
My Lord, it is for my offences against heaven and the publick; it is for my family disgraced, for a helpless infant daughter, that my heart is weighed down with contrite anguish, and dares not with confidence apply to the great and good. - And yet, my Lord, permit me to implore so much mercy as will for ever remove me from being a disgrace to those who once knew me worthy of a better fate, and will enable me topass the remainder of my days in penitence and sorrowful obscurity.
The reader may observe mention here made of his brother, whose Letter hinted at on the trial, has so much christian charity, honesty, and humanity in it. that I can not deny it a place here, though it would have done Mr. Maclean no hurt if it had been kept more private.
Utrecht, Aug. 17, N.S. 1750.
I Received your melancholy letter, but the dismal news it contained had reached me here before it arrived, as I have been happily absent from the Hague some time.
I never thought any belonging to me would have loaded me with such heart-breaking affection, as the infamous crimes of him whom I will call brother no more, have brought upon me; how often, and how solemnly have I admonished him, of the miserable consequences of an idle life, and, alas! to no purpose!
However that be, I have made all the application possible for his life, filled with shame and confusion, that I have been obliged to make demands so contrary to justice, and hardly knowing with what face to do it, in the character I bear as a minister of truth and righteousness.
"It is the interest of some friends, I have
"made here, that can only save his life: They
"have lost no time in applying, and I hope their
"endeavours will be successful; but I still hope
"more, that if providence should so order events,
"as that he escapes the utmost rigour of the
"law, and has that life prolonged, he does not deserve
"to enjoy any longer, I hope, or rather
"with, that in such a case he may have a
"proper sense and feeling of his enormous crimes,
"which lay ample foundation for drawing out
"the wretched remainder of his days in sorrow
"With respect to me, it would give me consolation,
"if I could hope that this would be the
"issue of his trials; it would comfort me on
"his account, as he is a man, because I will
"never acknowledge him in any nearer relation;
"and because, except such good offices as former
"ties, and present humanity demands from
"me in his behalf, I am never to have any further
"correspondence with him during this mortal
"I have given orders to look towards his
"confidence, and what is necessary for it.
"I am obliged to you. Sir for your attention
"in communicating to me this dismal
"news, and shall willingly embrance any Opportunity
"of shewing myself,
Sir, Your most, &c.
"If you see this my unhappy brother,
"let him know my compassion for his misery,
"as well as my indignation against his crimes,
"and also that I shall omit nothing in my
"power to have his sufferings mitigated; - he
"has. I fear, broken my heart, and will make
"me draw on the rest of my days in sorrow."
He was soon disabused as to the Hopes of Life raised by this Letter, but not so soon of his Interest with his fair Friends; however, that did not intirely lay aside his Thoughts of Eternity, though it might distract his Thoughts and abate the Fervour of his Devotion, which ought to make every Man cautious how he gives Encouragement to such dangerous Expectations, without having it in his Power or Inclination to perform them, they my be a real Injury, where they mean only Mercy and Humanity.
Mr. Maclean attended constantly at Chapel, and shewed a very pious and resigned Deportment, he was assisted, being a Protestant Dissenter, in the the more particular Duty of Religion, by a Gentleman of that Persuasion. In the whole of his Department in Newgate, he shewed a very decent Behaviour, a Resignation to the Will of God, a quick Sense of the Wickedness of his past Life, and fortified by the Merit of out blessed Redeemer, looked upon Death as deprived of its Terror, yet could not divest himself of that Horror natural to a Man at the Thoughts of a last and final Dissolution. In short, he was not arrogant enough to brave Death, nor so much wedded to Life, as to dread it like a Coward.
2. WILLIAM SMITH , aged 30, indicted for Forgery, was Son of the Reverend John Smith , Rector of Killmare, in the Diocess of Meath, in the Kingdom of Ireland. He might be about five Feet eight Inches high, had a good manly Countenance, and was well proportioned in his Limbs; he had a liberal Education, studied some Years at the University of Dublin, and was then articled to an Attorney of Reputation in that City; with whom he did not live his full Time; for his Father being dead, and wanting that Check upon his Conduct, which the Dread of offending him produced, he fell into idle and expensive Courses, and to supply his Extravagance was tempted to rob his Master, who had been but too indulgent to him. The Robbery being discovered, Mr. Smith was obliged to abscond, for Fear of falling into the Hands of Justice, and perhaps his Master, out of Regard to his Father's Memory, was willing to connive at his Escape, and made but slight Search after him.
Smith, now lost to his Friends and his native Country, went to Sea, and as he was an able Pen-man, got to be Captain's Clerk on Board of - Captain Webb Commander; where, it is more than probable, he learned the Art of forging Sea-men's Tickets, which was the Means of Subsistence he depended chiefly upon after he left the Service, which he was obliged to quit upon the Captain's discovering some Practices, that betrayed mean and dishonest Principles. There were no less than five of these Forgeries produced against him in Court, and recorded; and it is said many more might have been added. These were printed and dispersed into several Hands, a Copy of which Paper we think proper to insert in this Place.
THE first Charge against this William Smith, alias George Sands, (for at the Time of his attempting this villainous Design he went by the Name of George Sands) was, for endeavouring, by an extraordinary Fraud and Contrivance, in Conjunction with one Walter Patterson , a principal Agent in an infamous Prosecution against the Honourable EDWARD WALPOLE , Esq ; to fix the horrid Crime of Forgery on the said Gentleman; for which Fraud and Contrivance, the said William Smith, alias George Sands, was committed to Reading Goal , on or about the sixth Day of last June, 1750, in order to be tryed for the said capital Offence, at the then next ensuing Assizes, to be held at Abington.
At the Instance of Mr, Thomas Weekes , the said Smith, alias Sands, was brought up from Reading Goal to Newgate (by Virtue of a Writ or Habeas Corpus) and charged by that Gentleman with the having forged, his Name to a Bill of Exchange, for forty-five Pounds, drawn in his Favour by Mr. Thomas Bousfield , a Merchant in Cork, on his Correspondents, Mr. Jonathan Gurnell and Co. Merchants , in London.
A Bill of Indictment was found against the said Smith, at Hicks's-Hall, and he was arraigned at the Old Bailey last July Sessions, and pleaded Not Guilty; but upon the said Smith's Affidavit, that the Time was too short for the bringing some Witnesses necessary to his Defence, the Lord Chief Baron PARKER indulged him so far, as to order his Trial to be deferred till the following Sessions.
On Wednesday the twelfth of this Instant September, the said William Smith, being brought from Newgate to the Old Bailey, and called to the Bar, waved his former Plea of Not Guilty, and confessed the Fact; making at the same Time a very pathetick Speech, which was as follows.
" My Lord, I am unhappy enough to
"stand here indicted for a Fact, which I perceive
"my Prosecutor is ready to prove
"against me; therefore, from a Consciousness
"of it, and to prevent giving the Court
"any unnecessary Trouble, I do confess my
"Guilt and submissively rely on the Favour
"of the Court to intercede for my Life. -
"My Lord, I have thus much to say in
"Alleviation of my Crime, that this is the
"first Time I ever appeared before a Court
"of Justice in an ignominious Manner;
"that a Case of Necessity urged me to commit
"the Fact I am charged with; and that
"my Heart is full of Sorrow and Contrition
"for it. If therefore, your Lordship, or
"Mr. Recorder, will be pleased to report me
"in this favourable Light to his Majesty,
"or the Lords in Power, it will, I hope,
"be the happy Means of inducing them to
"extend their Clemency towards me. But
"if I am so unfortunate as not to be thought
"an Object worthy their Compassion, I trust
"that the Lord of Heaven and Earth will
"have Mercy on me."
"My Lord, To what I said on the Day
"of my Trial, I have only on this melancholly
"Occasion to add, That my humble
"Confession then, proceeded from a sincere
"Compunction of Heart in Abhorrence of
"my Crime. I therefore now servently
"pray, that the Almighty, who is the bright
"Fountain of Mercy, will inspire his
"Majesty's Royal Breast with Sentiments of
"Compassion towards me, and that, in
"Consideration of my unseigned Sorrow and
"Penitence, he will be most graciously
"pleased to restore me my forfeited Life; a
"Life sought only to atone for the Erross of
"the past, and to pray for my Preservers."
Immediately after this Speech, a Motion was made by Mr. Davy, that William Smith, alias Sands, alias Dawson, be detained in Custody, on a Charge of Forgery, and Publication of Forgery, in order to be removed by Habeas Carpus, to be try'd at next Events Assizes: The Case is as follows:
Capt . JAMES WEBB , at that Time, Commander of his Majesty's Ship the Surprize, having received an Order from the LORDS of the Admiralty to discharge three Men, he delivered three Navy Tickets to his Clerk William Dawson , to be filled up with the Names of the Seamen that were discharged; but, instead of complying with his Captain's Orders, he made out the three Tickets in his own Name, and signed them with the Captain's and the other Officers Names, all forged by the said Dawson, and sold them for more than one Hundred Pounds Sterling.
These Informations being laid before the honourable the Commissioners of his Majesty's Navy, they were pleased to give Directions to their Sollicitor to prosecute she said William Dawson for the before-mentioned Forgeries.
Mr. Bull being called into the Country on Business, this William Smith his Clerk , takeing Advantage of his Absence, forged a Letter in his Master's Name, directed to Messrs. Swift and Co. Bankers in Dublin, desiring those Gentlemen to pay the said Smith one hundred and thirty Pounds, or thereabouts, which they did in two fifty Pound Notes, payable to William Bull or Bearer, and the remainder in Money; as soon as Smith had these Bills in his Possession, he made all the Haste he could to London, and negotiated them with Messrs. Albert and Arnold Nesbit , Bankers , in Coleman-street, and those Gentlemen paid him the Money for them on the sixteenth Day of July, 1745.
When this Affair came to be discovered, an Account of the Forgery was printed in the publick Papers in Dublin, and a Description given of the Age, Stature, &c. of this William Smith, and a Reward offered for the apprehending him; and at the same Time strict Search was made after him in London, by the Order and Direction of Messrs. Swift and Co. but the Deliquent sculking about from Place to Place, and at last shipping himself on Board his Majesty's ship the Surprize, under the Name of William Dawson, eluded all Inquiries after him at that Time.
We come now to a fifth Forgery; which the Warrant of the Lord Chief Justice of his Majesty's King's Bench, in Ireland, and the Certificate of the Clerk of the Crown, of the same Court, will fully set forth.
WHereas it appears by Certificate, under the Hand of THOMAS TISDALL , Esq ; Clerk of the Crown of his Majesty's Court of King's-Bench, in Ireland, that William Smith stands indicted as of Michaelmas-Term, 1746, for falsely, fraudulently and feloniously, forging and counterfeiting an Indorsement of a certain Bill of Exchange, drawn by Justin Mc. Carthy, on James Swift and Co. for the Sum of one hundred and seventy-four Pounds, nineteen Shillings and three Pence, payable to Mr. William Bull, or Order, with Intention to defraud then said James Swift, Agmondesham Vasey , Arthur Dawson , George Cuppaidge , and Thomas Gladowe , his Partners, and did falsely and feloniously forge and counterfeit the Name of the said William Bull, on the Back of the said Bill of Exchange, and did falsely and feloniously utter and publish the same, as true, knowing the same to be forged and counterfeited.
These are therefore in his Majesty's Name, strictly to charge and command you, and every of you, to apprehend the Body of the said William Smith, (if to be found in the Kingdom of Ireland) and him, so apprehended, to bring before me, or some other of the Judges of his Majesty's said Court of King's-Bench, to be dealt with according to Law, and for so doing, this shall be your sufficient Warrant; sealed and dated this twenty-seventh Day of June, 1750.
To all Mayors, Sheriffs, High and Petty Constables, in and throughout the Kingdom of Ireland.
Messrs. Swift and Co. being informed, that in the Month of June last, 1750, William Smith was committed to Reading Jail , in order to be tried, on an Indictment of Forgery, at the then next ensuing Assizes, to be held at Abington, for the County of Berks took all the proper Measures, for applying to the Government in England, (in Case the Delinquent should be acquitted of the Forgery charged upon him in Reading Jail) to have had him delivered up, and sent for Ireland. In order to be tried in that Kingdom, for the two notorious Forgeries, charged upon him by Messrs. Swift and Co.
N. B. Let those Gentlemen, who so strenuously sollicit the Transportation of this Felony judge when they have read and considered the Nature of these five heavy Charges of Forgery against him, whether he is that deserving Object of the Government's Clemency they would fain represent him to be.
Mr Smith had Talents, and a Genius that might not only secure him from the Temptations of Want, but that if properly applied and accompanied with Industry, Honesty and Application, might have rendered him anuseful Member of Society, and enabled him to live in Affluence. His Capacity may be easily gathered from his Writings, published in the Daily Papers, on the unhappy Occasion of his Condemnation, all which were penn'd by himself. But unhappily for him, his Abilities only served to aggravate his Guilt, and gave him Opportunities of doing Mischief, and entering into wicked Plots and Contrivances, that a Man of less Genius could not think of When he had got Money by the most iniquitous Ways, it was soon squandered in Riot and Excess; OEconomy was a Virtue he had an utter Abhorrence to, tho' no Man dreaded and hated Want more than he did, yet he never could prevail on himself to take honest Means to prevent his Necessities, and would often spend twice as much Time in contriving and executing a fraudulent Design, as might, if industriously employed, have brought him in more Profit in an honest Way.
He was perfectly Master of the Art of Dissimulation, and had a peculiar Talent in engaging People to commiserate and relieve his almost constant. Necessities he lived in. When in Company of any but his Associates in Iniquity, he might be mistaken for the most upright and honest Man alive, which induced several to be his Dupes, till a little further Dealings with him discovered the Villain, without one Grain of Honesty or Gratitude; there is one Instance amongst many, that shews both his Talent of stealing upon People's Passions, by a mournful Tale, and the base, ungrateful Spirit he had for the most obliging Favours. The Instance is this;
Some Time ago Smith, who made a very mean Appearance both in Body and Apparel, was met in the Streets by a Friend of his, who was surprized to find him in such a Garb, and expressed his Surprize by telling him at the same Time, that surely a Man with his Capacity need never appear so wretched; Smith excused himself by telling him, a Disorder of Body, which he had for some Time been under, render'd him incapable to think of doing any Thing, and at the same Time was ashamed, on account of his Dress, to appear before his Friends, from whom he might expect Relief. The Gentleman, his Friend, taking Compassion on his Distress, desired him to come to him next Morning, which he did, and was cloathed from Head to Feet in a decent Manner, and had also from his Friend a Letter of Recommendation to one of the most eminent Physicians, to whom he apply'd, and by whose Skill, as he knew the Gentleman who recommended him, he was made whole; after which neither the Physician nor his Friend saw him again for some Time, 'till his Friend, to his very great Surprize, met him one Day in the Streets in the same mean Garb as before. Astonish'd at the Sight, he demanded the Reason; Smith, with much seeming Grief, told him a lamentable Story of his being so much in Debt for Lodging, Board, &c. that he was obliged to sell those Cloaths he had so kindly given him to satisfy Creditors, and furnish bare Necessaries of Life; adding withal, that as the Doctor of Physick had, with so much Kindness and Humanity, made him well, he could not help owning his Ingratitude in not waiting on him to return him Thanks, which he was ashamed to do in such mean Appearance. In short, this Gentleman, Smith's Friend, had the good Nature to cloath him from Head to Foot again. When Smith was thus equipped, away he marches to the Doctor's, was admitted into his Study, where he told him he was the Person he had lately been so good as to cure, by the Recommendation of * * * * *; the Doctor then remembred him again, wish'd him Joy of his Health, and kindly enquired after the Health of his Friend. And now mark the Gratitude flowing from the honest Heart of this Villain! He instantly pull'd out a Pistol, and holding it to the Doctor's Head, told him he was an unfortunate Gentleman, and wanted Money, and threatned to blow out his Brains if he did not instantly furnish him with fiveGuineas; the Doctor, with a good deal of Calmness, told him he might act as he pleased with his Pistol, but he was sure he durst not fire it off, for if he did, and kill'd him, it was a Matter of Indifference to him, who had already (as he told him) one Foot in the Grave, and he was sure of being taken by his Servants, and as sure of being hang'd for it; he therefore told him his belt Way was to walk off, and be glad he was permitted so to do, but as to the five Guineas he demanded he should not give it him. On this, Smith immediately; reflecting on his ticklish Situation, and fearing he should be taken, knew not how to behave, but fell down upon his Knees, and had Recourse to that dissembling, deceitful Member his Tongue, which he knew so well how to employ, that he, by his melancholy, doleful Tale, so touched the Heart of the Doctor, that, moved by his Distress, he put his Hand in his Pocket and gave him three Guineas, advised him to follow better Courses, and suffered him to go away unmolested.
After a Circumstance of this kind, the Reader can be at no Loss to form a Character of what this Man once was, nor at all surprised that such Principles at last led him to a violent and shameful Death.
He was ungrateful to all, and willing to defraud every Man he could; but he put his Tricks oftenest upon his Friends and Acquaintance, as was the Case of the Fact for which he was tried and condemned.
He was at the Time of hatching this black Design in one of his necessitous Fits, and so reduced that he knew not where to raise a Shilling, except by Application to some kind of Business, a Thing he hated, very near, as much as Want. In this Exigence, he happened to meet accidentally in the Street with Mr. Thomas Weeks , an old Acquaintance, whose good Nature he had often experienc'd, and passing along with him, before they parted, unluckily for all Parties, saw Mr. Weeks receive a Letter with a Bill of Exchange in it, for 45 l. which he left with a Friend till he should call for it, and received 10 l.
They parted for that Time, but the Sight of the Money put several strange Notions and Wishes into the indigent Smith's Head He wanted much, he had the strong Plea of Necessity no Gratitude nor Honesty to crush the vislainous Thought; in short, he was determined to have by some Means or other, tho' the direct Manner was not yet formed into Project.
In the Interim Mr. Weeks fell indisposed and was confined to his Room for some Days. This was an Opportunity not to be lost, Mr. Smith pretends likewise to be sick, and to keep his Room, but took Care to lay in Wait, and intercepted Mr. Weeks' second Letter of Advice, with a second Bill of Exchange, as is usual, left the former should miscarry, and made Use of it with Mr. Weeks's Receipt forged, to receive the Remainder, which was 35 l. as his own Account of the Matter, and the Money was instantly paid. Smith now out of his Pinch, immediately sets out for Holland, not doubting but a few Days would discover the Fraud, as it actually did; for Mr. Weeks going in a few Days for his Money, or some other Affair, to the Friend with whom he left the first Bill, he was surprized with a Receipt for 45 l. in his Name, but he soon knew the Hand, and went in Search of Smith, but Smith was eloped, and no-where to be heard of.
But this unhappy young Man had run has Length of Wickedness, the Hand of Justice must strike some Time, and then most severely when longest delayed. Smith, it would appear, was strongly connected with Paterson in that infamous Plot upon an honourable Gentleman, and though they had missed their Aim, their Malice was not abated; for there is great Grounds to believe, that a Project, relating to this Affair, brought Smith once more over into England from Holland, where he had taken Shelter for the last mentioned Forgery.
With this View, or some very bad View, he came over in the Packet, and took Post Chaise to Fragmore, where the honourable Gentleman then was, to whom he sent in Word that he desired to speak with him on some earnest Business. The Gentleman would have excused seeing him without sending in his Name, but was at last prevailed on to come down to him.
Smith addressed him in a formal Manner, asking him if he knew one Paterson, and told him, that he had a Bond of Paterson's in his Hands for 150 l. which he would give up for any small Matter Mr. W - should think proper, which Bond Smith since de clared was absolutely and entirely a Forgery of his own, but that indeed he and Paterson had before been concerned in extorting Money from a Gentleman after the same Manner, which they did effect.
Whether Smith had betrayed any Sign of Guilt in his Address to the Gentleman, or that his Talent of Persuation had here deserted him, I know not, but Mr. W - suspecting a Cheat, laid hold of Smith by the Collar, and calling his Servants, had him recured and immediately carried before a Justice of the Peace for Examination.
When he came to be examined, he protested the Honesty of his Intentions, kept his Tale pretty well connected; and though he was examined three or four Days following by different Justices, there was nothing to be made of him, but only he said his Name was Sandys, and that he was the Son of a Man of Note at Andover; but his Manner of Speech laving him under strong Suspicion of being an Irishman, he was confined in Reading Jail , and Mr. W - immediately sent to Town for Mr. M -, by whom he was discovered to be William Smith, having known him at School when a Boy in Ireland. This Concealment of his true Name added to the Suspicion about his Design upon Mr. W -, and continued him in Reading Jail till Mr. W -, his Prosecutor, had an Opportunity of seeing and knowing him, on whose Information for the Forgery he was removed to Newgate, where he took his Trial, and pleaded guilty in their Terms;
Mr. Lord, I am unhappy enough to stand here indicted for a Fact, which I perceive my Prosecutor is ready to prove against me; therefore, from a Consciousness of it, and to prevent giving the Court any unnecessary Trouble. I do confess my Guilt, and submissively rely on the Favour of the Court to intercede for my Life. - My Lord, I have thus much to say in Alleviation of my Crime, that this is the first Time I ever appeared before a Court of Justice in an ignominious Manner; that a Case of Necessity urged me to commit the Fact I am charged with; and that my Heart is full of Sorrow and Contrition for it. If, therefore, your Lordship, or Mr. Recorder, will be pleased to report me in this favourable Light to his Majesty, or the Lords in Power, it will, I hope, be the happy Means of inducing them to extend their Clemency towards me: But if I am so unfortunate as not to be thought an Object worthy their Compassion, I trust that the Lord of Heaven and Earth will have Mercy on me. - His Prosecutor begged Mercy for him of the Court.
And at the Time of receiving Sentence, he deliver'd himself in a very moving and pathetic Speech, which is as follows.
My Lord, to what I said on the Day of my Trial, I have only on this melancholy Occasion to add, that my humble Confession then, proceeded from a sincere Compunction of Heart, in Abhorrence of my Crime. I therefore now servently pray, that the Almighty, who is the bright Fountain of Mercy, will inspire his Majesty's Royal Breast with Sentiments of Compassion towards me, and that, in Consideration of my unfeigned Sorrow and Penitence, he will be most graciously pleased to restore me my forfeited Life; a Life only sought to atone for the Errors of the past, and to pray for my Preservers.
From the Time of his coming to Newgate, he seem'd to change the whole Man. His Heart seem'd to be effectually touch'd, and express'd the greatest and most unseigned Horror, Shame, and Compunction for the Wickedness of his past Life, and did not neglect any Circumstance that could aggravate his Sense of Guilt, and augment his Contrition. He wish'd for Life rather to employ it in Repentance, than for the Sake of Enjoyment, in which he never could have any Relish. But though he wish'd, and the Tenderness of his Prosecutor, who had recommended him to the Mercy of the Court, gave him some glimmering Hope, yet as he had no Friend to intercede for him with the Regency, he built very little on it, but prepar'd seriously for Eternity. However, not to be wanting to himself, and that he might do all to preserve his Life that Prudence could dictate, he form'd that warm and melancholy Petition, which he had no other Way to introduce to the Hands of Men in Power, but by publishing it in the News-Papers. It had some Effect, but not the Effect he wish'd; its pathetic Style oblig'd many to compassionate his Miseries, aad even some to endeavour to serve him with Men in Power. But Providence had set Limits to his Life, and he was not deem'd a fit Object of Mercy.
In the first Transports of his Agonies, on finding himself in the Dead Warrant, and for some Time after, he inveigh'd bitterly against an honourable Gentleman already hinted at, blaming him as the sole Cause of his being excluded from Royal Mercy; but being exhorted to a contrary Way of thinking, was persuaded, and when he came to recollect himself, his Passion subsided, and he was less severe in his Reflections; and when his Fetters were knock'd off, on the Question being ask'd, if he still blamed him, he said, he did not, and freely forgave him.
His Irons were no sooner off, than he kneeled down in the Press-Yard, and addressed his Maker in an extempore Prayer, full of Penitence and Resignation, and delivered it with such a moving Sort of Voice, and such Justness of Action, that all that heard him were exceedingly mov'd. He did the same when he went into the Cart, and at the Conclusion all the By-standers said Amen to his pious Petitions for Peace, Mercy, and Grace. In a Word, the Whole of his Conduct, from his coming into Newgate, was conformable to what could be expected from a great Sinner under a just Sense of the Wickedness of his Ways, relying only for Mercy on the Merits of our blessed Saviour.
As he had no Friends to look after his Funeral, he petition'd the Publick for Charity on that Score, in a Petition publish'd in the London Gazetteer; and is as follows.
In vain has Mercy been intreated, the Vengeance of Heaven has overtaken me; I bow myself unrepining to the fatal Stroke. Thanks to my all gracious Creator, Thanks to my most merciful Saviour, I go prepared to launch into the irremeable Gulph of Eternity.
Oh! my poor Soul, how strongly dost thou hope for the Completion of eternal Felicity? Almighty Jehovah, I am all Resignation to thy blessed Will; Immaculate Jesus, oh! send some ministring Angel to conduct me to the bright Mansion of celestial Happiness. As to my corporeal Frame, I know it is unworthy of material Notice; but, for the Sake of that reputable Family from whence I am descended, I cannot refrain from Anxiety, when I think how easily this poor Body, in my friendless and necessitous Condition, may fail into the Possession of the Surgeons, and perpetuate my Disgrace beyond the Severity of the Law; so great an Impoverishment has my long Confinement brought upon me, that I have not a Shilling left for Subsistence, much less for procuring the Decency of an Interment Therefore, most servently do I intreat the generously humane and charitably compossionate, to afford me such a Contribution is may be sufficient to protect my dead Body from Indecency, and to give me Consolation of being assured, that my poor Ashes shall be decently deposited within the Limits of a consecrated Ground. The Deprivation of Life is a sufficient Punishment for my Crimes, even in the rigorous Eyes of offended Justice; after Death, the Law has permitted my Remains to pass without further Ignomicy Then why should Inhumanity lay her butchering Hands on an inoffensive Carcase? Ah! give me the Satisfactionof thinking I shall return to my Parent Dust, within the Confines of a Grave. Those who compassionate my deplorable Situation, are humbly desired to send their humane Contributions to Mrs. Browning's, next Door to the Golden Acorn in Little Wild-Street; and that Heaven may reward their charitable Dispositions, is the dying Prayer of the lost and unhappy
This had its desired Effect; more was collected than was necessary, as appears by Mrs. Browning's Advertisement of Yesterday. And the Day before his Execution a Gentleman came to Newgate, and offer'd him a Crown for the Purposes of his Funeral, but he refused accepting of it, telling him, he had already received enough.
3. GEORGE LLOYD , aged 20, was born in Cold Bath Fields, near the London-Spaw, of Parents who gave him but moderate Education; he was bound an Apprentice to the Coal-Trade , to one Mr. Robert Lawrence of Sunderland, with whom he staid about three Years, and behaved pretty well, but after those three Years Servitude, getting into bad Company, he committed several little Thieveries, which entirely lost his Reputation, and he was obliged to abscond from his Master, and skulking for some Time about the Country, from whence he came to London, where (according to his own Account) he received but very little good Advice from those whose Duty it was to have warned him of his evil Ways, and to endeavour to inculcate in his Mind what was just and right, and therefore having, as is said above, lost his Reputation in the Country, and having no Method either proposed to him, or that he could think of himself, to gain an honest Livelihood, he soon turned his Hand to the vile Method of Robbery and Plunder, to support himself, and from that Time began to live totally by pilfering and thieving, though at the same Time he says he was never easy in his Mind, always dreading the Consequence of his vile Actions, but having No-body to give him better Counsel, he was obliged to proceed till it brought him to this untimely End.
In order therefore to make what Reparation remains in his Power, of clearing the Innocent, and arraigning the Guilty, he here gives an Account of what Robberies he has been concern'd in, from Time to Time, as they occur to his Memory.
He says, about five Years ago, he and one Thomas Watty (who has been since transported) and Samuel Cook (executed last Sessions) broke open a House at Islington, and stole thereout a large Quantity of Linen, some Silver Spoons, and other Plate, which they sold for fifteen Pounds, to Cordosa the Jew, who went with the last Transports.
George Taylor, William Wright, and he, broke open a House in Hatton Garden, from whence they stole two Guineas and an half, some Tea-Spoons, two large Butter-Boats, and a large Silver Spoon, but being disturb'd, they narrowly escaped being taken. From this Time, he, and George Taylor, and William Wright, became sworn Companions in their Iniquities, and generally robbed together, except now and then they admitted other Companions.
They likewise broke open the Rochuck and French Horn, about ten Months ago, where they got a Silver Tankard, and other Things, which they sold to Cordosa the Jew for seven Pounds; and for this Robbery two of them were taken up, viz. Lloyd and one Blunt,who were tried for this Robbery, but happen'd to be acquitted.
Two of them, Lloyd and another, being out one Evening, and not finding a proper Opportunity of breaking open any House, which had hitherto been their chiefest Lay, they attack'd a Man in Islington Fields, whom they used very ill, robb'd him of one Shilling, bound him, and flung him into a Ditch.
Some time after this, three of them broke open a Washer-woman's House on the other Side of the Water, near St. George's Fields, from whence they stole a large Quantity of Linen, which they sold to Cordosa for fourteen Guineas.
On the same Side of the Water, after they had riotously squander'd away the above fourteen Guineas, Lloyd and Wright agreed to go out on the old Lay, and accordingly they broke open a Linen-Draper's Shop, facing the New Gaol in Southwark, from whence they stole a Piece of Cheque, a large Roll of printed Linen, and seven Dozen of Silk Handkerchiefs, all which they also sold to Cordosa for eleven Guineas.
This Money lasted them but a small time, for last Christmas-Day, in the Morning, they got into a House by New-Prison, Clerkenwell, where they stole a large Parcel of Aprons, ruffled Shirts and Shifts.
In May last, Taylor, Lloyd, and Wright, stole out of the Dwelling-House of Brian Bird, a Baker in Cold-Bath-Fields, 6 Shifts, 5 Shirts, 2 Pair of Pillow Cases, 2 Frocks, a Petticoat, 3 Pair of Stockings, 3 Damask Napkins, 5 Aprons, and a Table-Cloth, which was the Robbery they were convicted of, and which they acknowledge they committed, only with this immaterial Difference, that they did not make the Hole in the Wall, as mentioned on their Trial, but found the Hole ready made.
Though the above Robbery was that on which they were convicted, yet it was not the last they committed, for a short time, after they got into a Summer-House by Mile-End, and stole thereout a Spinner, which they sold to Cordosa the Jew for one Guinea.
4. GEORGE TAYLOR , aged 18, was born in the Parish of Clerkenwell, and was bred for some Time in St. Andrew's, a very unlucky Boy, much given to play the Truant, he was put Apprentice to a Hatter in Bloomsbury, near the Hole in the Wall, facing the Market, and says, he served four Years to a very good Master and Mistress; but his Mistress dying, somewhat afterwards happened upon Account of which he could stay no longer. He went away several Times for two or three Days, or a Week, came Home again, but at last took himself away, resolved never more to return to his Service, which was upon last Shrove-Tuesday. His Mother being a poor Woman out at Service, could not help him much, what she could she did for him; but that would not suffice him. In a little Time, he met with his Accomplices, Lloyd, and Wright, and told them his Case; one of them said, come along with us upon the Sneak, we will get Money I'll warrant you. To this Proposal he quickly agreed, he says, being young and ignorant, he did not know what to do, after leaving his Master; and he did not care what he did. Their general Practice was to get into People's Yards by Night, and steal Linen or any Thing that laid in their Way; and that Cordosa, transported since last Sessions for a Theft, and one Minns were always the Receivers of their stolen Goods. He was concerned in some Robberies with Lloyd, and Wright, as before-mentioned. The Fact for which he was convicted he owned, and
said after they had made a Hole by the Side of the Door of Brian Bird's House, big enough for him to get through, he went into the House, and brought the Goods mentioned in the Indictment to his Accomplices. He was almost stupified thro' Illness, besides being very young and ignorant, but at Times shewed Signs of Repentance by weeping, &c. and said, he hoped God would forgive him.
5. JOHN DEWICK , aged 52, was born in Northamptonshire, and bred up to Husbandry all his Days, a common Day Labourer. About twelve Years ago, he says, he came to London, and lived in different Parts of the Town, and in the Neighbouring Villages and Towns, wherever he could get Work, but last in Shoreditch, where he has left behind him a Wife and four Children, as he reported. He was greatly afflicted with Illness during the whole Time of his being under Conviction, but was sometimes brought into the Press-Yard for a little Air; so that several People saw him, and enquiring into his Case, he with piteous Lamentations denyed the Fact for which he suffered; as he did to me to the last, after all Admonition and Advice. And he added moreover, that had he been at Liberty a Week longer, he was sure he should find the Man of whom he bought the Gelding, he was indicted for stealing, having often had Conversation with him, though he knew not his Name. He declared to die resigned to the Will of God, and recommending his Family to Almighty Protection, said, he hoped he should be happy in the World to come.
6. RICHARD WRIGHT , aged 25, was born in Grub street, in the Parish of St. Giles's Cripplegate; he was put to School, and taught to read, and afterwards learnt the Business of a Shoe-maker with his Father, who is of the same Trade. He has worked as Journeyman in Chiswell street, and in Smithfield, and other Parts of the Town, and says, he was always a hard Worker. However he found Time to spend in loose an idle Company, which proved bad for him in the End, and brought him to this untimely End. He had been suspected long of being no better than he should be, as the Saving is; for though he was very artful in what he did to prevent Discovery, yet Moorfields was his general Place of Rendezvous by Day and by Night; and what Sort of idle wicked People frequent those Fields, scarce any one but knows, that knows the Place.
The Fact for which he suffered he would neither own or deny, but obstinately refused to say any more, than that he knew what he had done, and hoped to make his Peace with God.
7. WILLIAM TYLER , aged 41, was born at Hendon, in Middlesex, and was bred to Husbandry , and such other Business as a Country Farm requires, viz. to look after Horses, and drive Carts, and Waggons, living in an honest Way, and in some Repute for a labouring Man for several Years. About 17 Years since it is, that he came to London, and took upon him the Business of a Hackney-Coach Driver , having been in Employ at the Bell-Savage Inn, on Ludgate-Hill, in Smithfield, and in St. John's-Street. He was bred one of the People call'd Quakers, but taught to read and write, and had some Estate in Houses, which among the rest he has lavish'd away, and left a Wife, and two young Boys in a destitute Condition. Within some Years past, he has stole as many Horses, as perhaps ever any Man did in the Time, or in his whole Life. His Method was this of late, since one of his Sons has been big enough to set on Horseback, though now not above 12 or 13 Years old. Himself stole the Horse, and the Boy being generally with him, was put on the Back of the Horse, and order'd to ride on to such a Place, where the Father came to him, and then took the Horse, and dispos'd of him, as he could, at his Leisure. The Day before his Execution he had a great Desire to see his two Sons, and they were brought to him accordingly, when he burst immediately into
a Flood of Tears, cryed bitterly over them, and exhorting them to take Care never to meddle with that which was another Man's, charged them to labour with their own Hands to get an honest Livelihood; and said, that a Penny honestly come by, would do them more Service, and go much further than Sixpence gotten by dishonest Ways, and stealing. And, commending his Children to divine Protection, bid them be of good Heart, for that God had promised to be a Father to the Fatherless, and a Husband to the Widow.
'Tis about 13 Years ago, he says, that he begun to be a Horse Stealer, and from a Conviction in his own Mind, that unless he gave a full and true Account of all his several Robberies, he could not expect Forgiveness of them at the Hand of God, he gave me, in his own Writing, the following Catalogue.
He has appeared very penitent, ever since he was convicted, and with Tears and bitterCries, proceeding from a Consciousness of his wicked Life, has been very earnest in seeking Forgiveness at God's Hand. He often repeated it, that he had no Hopes of Salvation, but thro' the Merits of Jesus Christ, and therefore earnestly desired to be brought into a State of Salvation by Baptism, and prosesses to die with earnest Hopes, and Expectation, from the Merits of the Blessed Jesus.
8. THOMAS SHEHAN , aged 20, was born at Waterford in the Kingdom of Ireland, never put to School, nor bred to any Business; he has been at Sea about 9 Years, and discharged from the Service two Years, during which Time, he says, he has been employed upon the Quays, and in loading and unloading Ships in the River Thames. He acknowledged the Fact for which he suffered, appear'd very penitent, and died a Roman Catholick .
9. HENRY JAMES SAUNDERS , aged 23, was born not far from Harlow in Hertfordshire, of honest Parents, who were willing to give him such Education as was necessary for the Purpose he was intended, and was kept several Years to School, but to no End. For, as he owned himself, he was from a Child very unlucky, and the foremost in every unlucky Prank that Boys may be guilty of; so that from one Degree of Wickedness to another, he has gone on, tho' so young, to a very great Pitch of Villainy. When about 14 Years of Age, he was put Apprentice to a Butcher but continued to play his roguish Tricks, and committing several Thefts during his short Stay with his Master was after some Time obliged to quit his Service, for fear of that Chastisement, he was sensible, he had so richly deserved.
'Tis but some few Years since he was apprehended for a Robbery, and committed to Stafford Goal , and from thence, by Habeas Corpus, to Worcester to take his Trial; but he evaded that, by contriving an Escape. He was afterwards retaken, and transported from Worcester, and returning before his Time was expired, has since continued to follow this wicked and profligate Way of Life. He by all Accounts had been very notorious, and concerned in divers Robberies, and Thefts, but was obstinate, and but very little while before Execution, shewed any Concern for the Consequence of his Villanies. He would by no Means be perswaded to own any one except stealing of the Cow from Woodford, for which Burrel, the Butcher , was convicted; and two others, which he stole and sold the same Week, the one from Lowlayton the other from Ilford. Burrel's Affair was as follows: On Tuesday the 13th of March last, Saunders came to his House in Brick-Lane, Whitechapel, (together with one Richard Whitaker) dressed like a Country Farmer, with Boots and Spurs, as if just come to Town, and told him, he had some Cattle to sell. They made no Bargain this Day, but parted, and met again on Thursday, when Burrel bought of Saunders a lean Cow with Calf for twenty-two Shillings, and a Shoulder of Mutton, Saunders telling him, that it would not have been sold so cheap, but that he had no Certificate for it, nor was it fit for a Market. This Cow Burrel sold again to another on Saturday, and on Sunday came to him the Man that keeps the Mulberry-Gardens in Whitechapel, and told him, that he had heard one of the Neighbourhood had bought two Cows of Saunders that were stolen. Burrel replied, without Disguise, that then he feared, he had bought one too that was stolen. having bought one of the same Person. Upon this Burrel, on Monday, took out a Search Warrant for Saunders, and sought him daily for a Fortnight without Success; though he has since heard, he was robbing upon the Roads, about Town, every Day: Not finding Saunders, he got another Warrant for Whitaker, who came with Saunders to sell him the Cow, and took him, but he was rescued from him at the Bull Alehouse in Petticoat-Lane. Some Time after this, Burrel was apprehended, and charged with stealing the Cow, was committed to Clerkenwell:
But was, after three Weeks Imprisonment, admitted to Bail. However, by some Contrivance, about three Weeks, or a Month ago, he was again taken into Custody, and was try'd for stealing the Cow, at the Old-Bailey. And the Circumstance of buying it at 12 o'Clock at Night, and not producing the Person he bought it of, &c. occasioned him to be found guilty. But Saunders, upon hearing of Burrel's Conviction, was pricked to the Heart, and owned the stealing and selling of the Cow to him. Upon which Circumstances, 'tis presumed, the Regency were pleased to look upon him, when Report was made, as an innocent Man, and gave him a free Pardon. Yet still, 'tis a great Misfortune upon Burrel, for his Wife has been obliged, since his Confinement, to sell all they had, Beds, &c. for his Support, and that of herself, and two Children, and he must be turned out again into the World pennyless.
Added to all the rest of Saunder's Wickedness, is, that he married about three Months since a young Woman, whose Parents lived well in Essex, having seduced her, and brought her near to Ruin, to their great Grief.
Saunders, while in Worcester Goal , the first Time, had been so wicked, as to lay an Information against one Thomas Saunders , for being concerned with him in a Highway Robbery, on Finchley Common, for which the poor Man was apprehended, and in Custody for some Time in Newgate, and at last discharged for want of Prosecution. The poor Man, thinking himself injured in his Character, desired to see him, that himself, and the World might be satisfied, as to that Matter. They met Face to Face, but the Accuser surlily replied to the injured Man, that he knew him not, nor had any thing to say to him. However, having been very urgent with him on this Head, he at length acknowledged the Injury he had done the poor Man, and hoped he would forgive him. A little before his Execution, he owned, he had been a very wicked Youth, for which he was heartily sorry, and had no other Hopes of Salvation, but thro' the Merits of Christ. By Means of which, he at last came to say, he hoped; that all his Offences might be forgiven, together with that for which he was justly convicted, and died.
10. ANTHONY WHITTLE , aged 28, says, he was born in New-England, and bred to the Sea , which he had followed most Part of his Life Time. He sailed from several Parts in different Services to New-England, Jamaica, and other Parts of the West-Indies, to Newfoundland, &c. and behaved well. Particularly when he was in the Service of a Gentleman at Bristol, and sailed in a Privateer of his fitting out, he behaved so well, stuck so close to the Interest of his Owners, upon all Emergencies, that they look'd upon him, as a trustworthy Fellow, and advanced his Wages above the common Price, which others upon the same Footing with him received. He was a very good Hand, with Respect to the Management of the Ship, as to the Navigating Part, and shewed much true Courage, and brave British Spirit in an Engagement; which was the Privateer's Lot to fall into several times during the late War. About two Years ago, he left off going to Sea, and meeting with one Bowen, (who is now confined in Newgate, upon Account of breaking open the Gatehouse, and rescuing Jones, alias Harpur and had once been his Shipmate,) after other common Greetings and Chat, Whittle asked him, how he lived? To which Bowen replied, very well, and very easy, I get Money enough. After further Enquiry into the Matter, and finding how the Case stood, and being destitute of Money and Employ, he consented to go along with him, and was concern'd with them in several Robberies and House-breakings, which, however, he did not chuse to particularize.
As to the Robbery for which he was convicted, he owns the Fact, and says the Proposal to rob Mr. Hawkins was his own, and the Method of doing it, as declared by his Accomplice Ecklin, described at large in theSessions Paper, p. 139, is true to the best of his Remembrance. There was another Indictment against Whittle and Thomas Pendergrass, for robbing David Woodman on the King's Highway, May the 24th, to which the said John Ecklin deposed the Persons mentioned therein, and himself committed the Fact. Whittle pleaded guilty, and owns the Fact, but says Pendergrass was not in Company, and continued to say so to the last; and as there was only the Testimony of an Accomplice against him, the Jury thought proper to acquit Pendergrass. Whittle behaved well after Conviction to the last, prayed fervently in Private as well as at Chapel when he was there, and humbly hoped for Forgiveness of all, through the Merits of Christ.
11. WILL. alias MOSES WRIGHT , aged 18, was born in Cripplegate Parish, of poor, but honest Parents, who got him into the Free-School in Aldersgate-street for a little Education, and after that into Cripplegate Work-House , from whence he was turned out by the Officers of the Parish, and sent to Work with a Silver Spinner . After this he was put Apprentice to a Gold and Silver Wire-Drawer , in Lambs Chapel Court, by Hart-street, and served three Years faithfully; but in the fourth Year having got Acquaintance with some other idle Boys, he began to take to running away, and following such Wickedness as is generally the Consequence. He says, he thought of returning to his Master, but hearing that he was in an Information of an Accomplice for House-breaking, about this Time Twelve-month, was obliged to play at hide and seek for some Time; 'till being at last taken, was committed, and tried at the Old Bailey for House-breaking, with one Emanuel Nicolls , which he owns, they were guilty of, but escaped for this Time, for want of sufficient Evidences. Nicolls was however just after transported for another Felony.
Wright forgetting the first Escape, went on in the same wicked Course, and scarce twenty-four Hours past since, in which he had not done somewhat to deserve at least Transportaion, if not the Gallows. But, as the Pitcher seldom goes so often to the Well, but it comes Home broke at last; so after continued and repeated Thefts, and Robberies, he came to the End he had so long been labouring for. Many he did not remember, others not worth repeating. But amongst the rest, he was concerned in breaking open a House near Battle-Bridge, and stealing a Quantity of wet Linnen, which was sold for 19 s. by one Elizabeth Pinchin , who he said, had been a wicked Woman to him, and others, desiring her to remember his Fate, and to take warning thereby.
He was also one of them that met a Gentleman, near Turn-stile Holborn, from whom the Rogues took some Hair, &c. and used him barbarously. Many and various little Thieveries he repeated, getting into Yards, and stealing Linen, &c. and said, he and his Accomplices were well known about Cold Bath Fields. He has been concerned with Taylor six Months, with Lloyd Years. He died in Charity, and hoped Forgiveness for Christ's Sake.
12. JOHN GRIFFITH , aged 20, was born in Bishopgate-street, of Parents that took care to put him to School, but being from his Childhood naughty, was always playing at Truant, so received no Benefit from there Care, and good Intention; and lived afterwards in Aldersgate street. When about 10 Years of Age, he was bound Apprentice to a Fisherman of Barking, whom he served faithfully as to the labour Part, but not a little unlucky in other Respects; so that he did not brag much of his Honesty. For about 3 or 4 Years past he has been used to go to Sea in the Hudson's Bay Company Ships , and left his Master's Service entirely about February last was 12 Months. Since which he has lived a wicked and profligate Life, and committed several little petty Larcenies, not worth repeating. He said he never was guilty of a Street Robbery before, and that he was put upon this Exploit by 4 others, who had been drinking Gin together. After which at Night, they walked up Fleet-street in search of Prey, and returning, set upon James Cockham, a Lad of about 14 Years of Age, to take away
his Bundle, as described in the Sessions Paper (p.125) His Companions run away, and left him to be taken. At first the Inadvertency and Ignorance of his Youth suffered him not to see his Condition after Conviction; but being made in some Measure sensible of his Offences, he lamented his former Sins, and appeared very penitent.
At the PLACE of EXECUTION.
ON Wednesday the 3d Instant, between 8 and 9 o'Clock in the Morning, John Griffith , William Tyler , and John Dewick in one Cart, Richard Wright , Anthony Whittle , and Thomas Shehan in a second, George Taylor , George Lloyd , and William Wright in a third, James Saunders , James Maclean , and William Smith in a fourth, were conveyed to the Place of Execution, through a vast Concourse of People, as great as perhaps has at any Time been known upon such a melancholy Occasion.
When they came there, they were all put into one Cart, severally lamenting their Case, and praying fervently, while the Executioner was tying them up. Little otherwise remarkable happened among them, only Maclean, when he got out of the Cart he was brought in, into that from whence he was to be turned off, in a very devout Manner, with uplifted Hands and Eyes expressed himself, saying,
"O God, forgive my Enemies,
"bless my Friends, and receive my
"Soul." Smith did not, as was expected make any Speech to the spectators, being better advised. And after some time spent in Prayer, the Cart drew away under them, every Thing having been comvicted with great Decency.
N. B. As we are determin'd never to further the Public by making two Parts of our Dying Speech, and it being next to impossible to insert to thin the Compass of One, the whole of so Remarkable a Life as that of Maclean's, We shall, to satisfy the Curiosity of the Public, publish in a few Days be Whole by itself; in which will be included several Curious Original Letters, wrote to and from Maclean; and as a Frontispiece, will be press'd, a very neat Picture of Him taken from the Life, while under Sentence, Drawn, and Engrav'd by Mr. Boitard.