THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the TEN MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the 11th of FEBRUARY, 1751.
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 Jail-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable FRANCIS COKAYNE , Esq ; Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Lord Chief Baron PARKER, Sir MICHAEL FORSTER , Knt. Sir THOMAS BIRCH , Knt. RICHARD ADAMS , Esq ; Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of OYER and TERMINER, for the City of London, and Justices of Jail-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City, and County of Middlesex, at Justice Hall, in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 16th, Thursday the 17th, Friday the 18th, Saturday the 19th, Monday the 21th, of January, in the Twenty-fourth Year of his Majesty's Reign, HUGH DUNN, JAMES SULLIVAN, THOMAS APPLEGATE, MICHAEL SOSS, JAMES FARRIS, WILLIAM VINCENT, DANIEL DAVIS, ANTONY WESTLEY, THOMAS CLEMENTS, EDWARD SMITH, JAMES FIELD, RICHARD PARSONS, JOHN HUGHES, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
These unhappy Wretches have behaved with all Decency, and Quietness, and attended divine Service regularly. Field, Dunn, and Sullivan, had a Gentleman of the Romish Persuasion to attend them, being Irish, and bred up in that Way, and of Course never came to Chapel.
On Tuesday the 5th Instant, the Report of 13 Malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder to his Majesty, when he was pleased to order the 10 following for Execution, on Monday the 11th Instant,viz. James Sullivan, Thomas Applegate, Michael Soss, William Vincent, Daniel Davis, Antony Westly, Thomas Clements, Edward Smith, James Field, and Richard Parsons.
1. James Field , was indicted, for that he, together with Anthony Whittle , Charles Campbell , and Thomas Pendegraft , on the King's Highway, on David Woodman , did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, 1 pair of Spectacles, Value 2 d. and 13 s. in Money numbered, did steal, take, and carry away, May 24 .
2. Thomas Clements , and Antony Westley , were indicted for breaking, and entering in the Night, the Dwelling-house of John Wilson , and stealing 36 Pair of Shoes, Value 5 l. the Property of the Parish of St. Luke's, 1 Child's Stay and Frock, &c. the Goods of the said John Wilson, July 24 .
4. William Vincent , was indicted, for that he, in Company with Richard Peate , not yet taken, in an open Place, near the King's Highway, on Charles Radford , did make an Assault, and steal from his Person, one Pair of Silver Knee-Buckles, Value 3 s. Nov. 11 .
6. Jeremiah Sullivan , was indicted for making a false, forged, and counterfeit Letter of Attorney, in the Name of Arthur Murphy , to Sarah Brown , and for publishing the same, with intent to defraud. Sep. 11 .
7, 8. Thomas Applegate , and Michael Soss , were indicted, for that they, in a certain Alley near the King's Highway, on James Spurling , Esq ; did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, and stealing from his Person, 1 Gold Watch, Value 20 l. two Gold Seals, Value 30 s. 1 Gold Chain, Value 40 s. the Goods of the said James Spurling. Nov. 17 .
9. Daniel Davis , was indicted, for that he on the King's Highway, on Thomas Linter , did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear, and Danger of his Life, 1 Hat, and 1 Perriwig, Val. 1 s. 6 d. and a Piece of Cloth, called the Cuff of a Coat, did steal, take, and carry away. Jan. 2 .
10. Edward Smith , was indicted, for that he, April 8th, about the Hour of 2 in the Morning, the Dwelling-house of George Pearson , did break, and enter, and steal out thence, 9 Dozen Pair of Woollen Stockings, the Goods of the said George Pearson .
1. WILL. VINCENT , aged 16, was born in the Parish of St. Olaves, in the Borough of Southwark, of Parents who put him to School to learn to read; but through a foolish Indulgence of his Mother, he was too frequently prompted to play the Truant, and the little he then go, has since, for want of Use, been lost, so that he may as well be said to
have had no Education. He lived with his Parents, till about 13 Years of Age, but the Neighbours looked upon him as a promising Boy, when he was bound Apprentice to a Fisherman at Horsly-down; the Boy did not like his present Situation, and complaining to his Father, was by joint Consent of him and his Master, suffered to return Home again. Afterwards he was employed about rigging of Ships in the Yard at Deptford; which Work he continued at for about the Space of six Months. His Father then got him another Master, and sent him to Sea , in which Employ he remained for about a Twelvemonth longer; during which Time his Father died. About a Year since it was that he was discharged from that Service, and his Master paying what little Wages he had due, to his Mother, at her Request the Lad consented to go Home with her. After a short Space of Time the Money was spent, and she removeing Lodgings, would not suffer him to go along with her, and though, he says, she was in Business, and might have lived tolerably well, she soon after left the Neighbourhood, and being unprovided with either Friends, or Business to get an honest Livelihood by, and he never could see, or hear of her, since, which is above six Months past. About this Time he became acquainted with David Brown , the Evidence against him, who, he says, has been long conversant in the Arts of a Pick-pocket, Street-robber, and House breaker, and betrayed him, and several other unhappy, and unwary Youths, into this wicked and abandoned way of Life, and brought them to Ruin.
Many Robberies of diverse Kinds have been committed by him, and in Company with David Brown, but he would not mention more than as follows, viz. Nov. 11th, they met a Gentleman in Tooley street, being Sunday Night, and would have robbed him, but Brown the Evidence fired the Pistol, and shot him in the Side, which alarmed the Watch near at Hand, and they made down to the Water Side, and crossed over to the City. They rambled there some Time, and at last met with the Prosecutor in Catherine-Wheel-Alley, and robbed him, as the Indictment upon which he was convicted sets forth.
The Friday after, Vincent, and David Brown and another, met another Gentleman in Tooley-street, and after Menaces and Threats, of blowing his Brains out, and the like, robbed him of 3 s. and 6 d. but some-body looking out of Window frighted the Robbers, and though the Person robbed called out stop Thief, and Murder, they got off, and went to their Lodgings in Rag-Fair.
A little while after this, Vincent was walking along somewhere near Rag-Fair, and was met by a Set of Thief-catchers, as they are called, who laid hold of him, and for that Day and Night, kept him in an Alehouse, and the next Day, without going before a Justice, carried him to Clerkenwell- Bridewell , where he was kept for some Time, till the Keeper turned him out; however, the Thief-catchers did not think proper to let him go off so, and before he was got far from the Prison, they took him again, being resolved to make something of him; accordingly they took him then before a certain Justice of Peace, who, without any particular Charge laid against him, committed him to Clerkenwell- Bridewell , for further Examination.
'Twas not long after this, but David Brown was brought into the same Prison, who was so much in Favour, as to be taken before the Justice, in order to be made an Evidence; which being done, he made Information against Vincent, for the Robbery which he suffered for, and answered the End of his being admitted an Evidence; not so much perhaps for the Sake of publick Justice, as for the Sake of the Price of his Life. He was a Youth of a good Disposition naturally, but by Evil Communications his a Manners were corrupted; had he had a Friend to look to his Ways, and to take any Care of him, he might have made a useful Member of Society in Time. But alas! he is no more; and for the Want of proper Care of his being trained up, it may (in this Case more particularly)
he said, that his so soon coming to so fatal, and ignominious an End, was entirely owing. He behaved as well as a poor illiterate Boy could be expected to do, and left this Life in Hopes of a better.
2. THOMAS CLEMENTS , aged 20, was born in White-cross-Street, in the Parish of St. Gile's Cripplegate, and lived with his Parents, who taught him to read, till he was about 11 Years old; then he went out to work about a Fortnight, and got his 18 d. a Week. After this he went to School again, and continued till he was bound Apprentice to a Glazier , in St. John's Street, whom he served about a Year and a Half, when he says, having but an indifferent Service, and himself inclining to Uluckiness, and Roguery, his Father thought proper to put him to Sea ; accordingly, having got his Son a Master, he bound him over, and the poor Lad went several Voyages up the Straits, and to Lisbon, and other Places, which took up the Space of about three Years; when he came Home the last Voyage, which was from Holland, upon his Arrival about 12 Months since, he found his Father upon his Sick Bed, who in a short Time after died. The unfortunate Son staying to see the Event of his Father's Illness, lost his Voyage for that Time, or else he might have continued, he says, still going to Sea; but, as it has pleased God to suffer Things to be otherwise ordered for him, he says; he resigns to the Will of Providence, and acknowledges the Justice of suffering for his Crimes.
After the Death of his Father, he made his Residence at Home with his Mother, and went out of Days to work for one in Devonshire Square, at Watch Spring-making ; which Art he had learnt of his own Accord, by seeing others working at that Business, and continued so to do for about three Months; when upon some Disgust, Clements, and the Evidence Bisben, agreed to get their own Livelihood no longer by their Hands honestly, and immediately they turned out upon the Lay. And now whatever they laid their Hands on by Day or Night was their own; and though they never got much by the Bargain, yet when once they had begun, could not leave off, till the Law overtook them; and new Clements pays dear for it with his Life, and Bisben will perhaps soon follow in the same Track, being taken again in a Robbery a Night or two after he had given Evidence at the Old Bailey, and was discharged from Clerkenwell Bridewell. And yet all this gives no Warning, seems to have no Manner of Effect, as to Example.
Many Robberies he has been concerned in, but no Particulars are mentioned, and though he had Assurance enough to commit, yet was ashamed to own any more than what he could not hide. The Robbery he was convicted for was done by him, Westley, and Bisben the Evidence; they had been walking in Old Street, some Time before, being idle, and having nothing to do, when they saw as they past by, the Shoes in the Window, and came to a Resolution to have them, which they affected, as he said, by this Means; himself threw up a Sash, and went into the Room, where they lay, and handed them out to Bisben and Westley, who waited with a Cloth, which they had stole in their Walks the same Night, wrapped up the Shoes in it, and went off for the present undiscovered. And what was honestly worth 5 l. they afterwards sold to Cordosa a Jew, a noted Receiver of stolen Goods for 1 l. 13 s.
A few Days before Clements, &c. got into a Man's House, and stole away undiscovered, a Glass Sconce, a Gilt Frame, and 30 Towels, which he sold also to the same Receiver for a Trifle; for this Purpose too he got in at a Window, and handed them out to his Accomplices, Bisben, and others.
In September last, Clements and others broke into a House in the Night, and stole Linnen and Stockings, to a considerable Value, which they immediately the next Day sold to the same Receiver of stolen Goods, Cordosa.
He seemed to be a Youth of a gentle Disposition, and acknowledged the Justice of his Sentence, saying, 'twas no more than hehad deserved for a long Time, and hoped Forgiveness through the All sufficient Merits of Christ.
3. ANTHONY WESTLEY , aged 15, was born in St. John's Street, of poor Parents, though honest and industrious, who would have kept him from wicked Ways, would be have been governed, and taken their Directions; he was put to School, and learned to read, but was a very unlucky Boy, and the Seeds of Wickedness were rooted in, and grew up with him from his Cradle. Nothing that he could lay Hands on, but he made his own, and there was no Mischief done in the Neighbourhood, but he was the Doer of it, or had a great Share in it. About his 11th Year, his Father procured him to be bound an Apprentice to a Shoe-maker , but this would not do, for he could hold out no longer than about a Twelvemonth, and in that short Time he had played such Pranks, that his Master was glad to return him back again to his Father, who being a Carpenter by Trade, would now have kept his Son at Home with him, that he might teach him his Trade, and see his Behaviour. The Lad says he did Work with his Father sometimes, but at idle Hours, (as he made too many) he got into Black-guard Company, and among the rest was one Hussey, an old expert Thief, who let him into the Secret of picking of Pockets, and other such Tricks, as belongs to these Wretches, so that now he began to like this Way of Life better than any other, and very rarely it was that he saw his Father, and Work he determined should no longer employ his Hours. Westley and Hussey kept together, and committed various little petty Thefts, till Hussey being removed by Transportation, he became acquainted with the Evidence Bisben, who is also a pretty old Stager, and has had the training of many a Youth to his Ruin.
Westley, though so young, owns he has been two Years and upwards concerned this Way, and has committed many a Theft. The stealing wet Linnen, and other Things left in Yards, was his Business for the first Part of his Time; but he would recollect only one, that they got any thing by, and that was, the Evidence Bisben and he, stole a considerable Parcel of Linnen, out of a Yard belonging to the Red Cow in White Chappel, which they sold in Rag Fair, or thereabouts, for much less than its Value. He was as wicked a Youth of his Ears as perhaps ever suffered, and no Admonitions had any Effect upon him, unless while founding in his Ears, and then sometimes a Tear might be strained from his Eyes, but as soon as out of Sight was as unlucky as ever, even to the last; and scarce any Signs of Remorse and Contrition appeared in him, for which his tender Years and Ignorance may with us be pleaded an Excuse; but how hereafter this may be respected, we must leave to the Disposer of all Things.
Wesley was one of the Lodgers at a noted Lodging-house in Kingsland Road; he was an Acquaintance and Accomplice with some of those Boys that were executed in December last, and had been Lodgers there too. He said, it was a House where all those little petty Thieves resorted and carried their Plunder, which the House took off their Hands, allowing them just what they thought proper for their Pains in fetching, carrying, and running the Risque of their lives. He was concerned in divers Thefts and Robberies, and in two of those with Clements before taken Notice of, 'Twas Pity such a little Wretch should come to a Halter, tho' he richly deserved it, he was much fitter for a Rod, which held over him would have made him tremble. His Want of Sense entitled him to no Fears of Danger at a Distance, nor was the Gallows a Terror to him, till he had it before his Eves.
4. THOMAS APPLEGARTH , aged 29, was born at Chatham, and lived with his Parents till about 14 Years of Age, his Father then thought it was Time to turn him out into the World to learn to get a Livelihood, but after trying several, no Trade would please him but that of his Father's, who was a Baker .
His Father had him bound Apprentice to himself, and did all he could to perswade him to mind his Business, but even this would not please him long; but after about 12 Months Time he grew tired, and left his Father; this was about 10 Years ago. After this he went a Voyage or two to Dunkirk, and other short Trips, till he was press'd on Board a Man of War , and sent up the Straits, where he continued for 7 Years. At the Conclusion of the War he was discharged from the Service, and lived, he says, with his Mother, till his Money he had got in the Service was spent, and then he got into loose and bad Company, and soon became as bad as any of them.
Multitudes of Robberies he has no Doubt been concerned in; but they escape his Memory, except such as others can remind him off. In April last he was apprehended, and made himself an Evidence against three different Persons concerned with him in Robberies, and receiving stolen Goods, and by that Means he then perhaps escaped the Fate he now was condemned to suffer.
The one Information was against Joseph Wickes , since transported, for being concerned with himself in robbing a Person of his Shoes Buckles, Hat, and two Handkerchiefs. Another against Benjamin Chamberlayne , since executed, for having been concerned with him in robbing Mr. Abraham Maddocks of a Watch, and other Things.
A surly, hardened, four Fellow he always appeared to be, and as resolute as wicked; so that the World by his Death has got rid of a dangerous Fellow. His Guilt, and Share in the Robbery; for which he suffered, he was very unwilling to acknowledge, that nobody could imagine him concerned, who stood at the Entrance of the Alley. But, on the contrary, this Post he chose for himself, favours rather of an old Offender than Innocence; because tis usual for the Knowing ones to put the young ones upon the most hazardous Post-and to place themselves where they may the more conveniently get off the Ground, provided any Surprize should happen. This was the Case, and no sooner had they done the Work, but he was at their Heels, and when the Watch was disposed of, ready to receive his Share of the Prize. Applegarth was taken the same Night that Soss was, and upon his Information to the Thief-takers. Soss and Applegarth had lived in one House for some Time, and were both Thieves themselves, and Receivers of stolen Goods, were accounted insolent and abusive Fellows, when they had got the Person, but mere Poltroons in their own Nature, and scarce able to face a Man.
He acknowledged he went out with Soss and Brown, with an intent to rob, and that he stood at the Entrance of the Alley, where the Gentleman was robb'd. And whether he suffered justly or no, I leave to any one to determine.
5. MICHAEL SOSS , aged 37, was born in the Parish of Stepney, and had his Abode there, with his Parents, till he was about fourteen Years of Age: Both Father and Mother died soon after, and he seemed to be left destitute, but God raised him up a Friend; for being a tolerable promising Boy, and bred to read and write, a Gentleman in the Neighbourhood where he was born, had him bound Apprentice to himself, here in London, and took him over with him to New England. Soss served seven or eight Years with him at the Rope-maker's Trade , and having pass'd away his Time with Fidelity and Industry, he had the good Respect, he says, of his Master, who, out of Favour to him, and that he might have Opportunity to get Money, sent him in his own Ships several Voyages, from New England to South Carolina. He got a very good Livelihood, he says, by this Means, and by his Labour in the Rope-walks as well in New England, when ashore, as when at Home.
In this Situation he might have lived happily, had not a fatal Curiosity of visiting his native Country seized him; and so shippinghimself on board a New England Vessel, he work'd his Passage to Old England.
I can't find that any Thing particular happened in this Voyage, and he remembers nothing remarkable to this Time, but the common Vicissitudes of Winds and Weathers.
When he came to England he work'd again in Rope-walks, and on Ship-board, and got a good Livelihood, wherewith he maintain'd a Wife, which he married about five Years ago, and a Child about four Years old. He persisted to the last in saying he was not accustomed to thieving, (which however remains a Doubt) and that the only grand Charge he had to bring against himself was the ill Treatment which his Wife had met with from him since their Marriage.
He owns he went out with Brown the Evidence, and Applegarth, with Intent to commit a Robbery on whomsoever might fall in their Way that Night, but had no Booty till they met with Mr. Spurling. Soss having some knowledge of that Gentleman, shew'd some Regret at rifling him, which Brown observing, he threatened to shoot Soss, and levelled his Pistol at him, if he did not rifle him instantly, which they did, and made off, carrying away his Watch and Money. Soss owned himself to be guilty of the Fact, but would not say that Applegarth was concerned. His Mind, he says, misgave him much, when he saw the Gentleman, and discovered his Person; but the Hopes of Money, and the Threats of Brown, pushed him on to what he did, tho' it was with Reluctance. When Soss was taken up, he owned the Fact, and would have been an Evidence, which he said was promised him if he would tell them where Applegarth might be met with; and upon his Direction they went and found him on the other Side of the Water.
DANIEL DAVIS , aged 21, was born in Golden-Lane, in the Parish of St. Giles's Cripplegate, of Parents who gave him what Education was in their Power, and as much as was necessary to that Station of Life, in which their Circumstances were likely so place him; and after he had learned to read and write, he was bound Apprentice to a Breeches-maker at Hampstead, whom he served, as far as I understand, faithfully the whole seven Years, and he was always look'd upon, in that Neighbourhood, to be a quiet and inoffensive Youth.
After this he came to London, and work'd Journey-work to the same Trade, in Goswell-street, and, as he says, never staid from Home after Night, for a considerable Time; but unfortunately at last he got into bad Company, and began to drink and keep Company with lewd Women. He declared always, and persisted in it to the last, that he never before committed any Robbery, nor was this done with his full Consent; his Heart, he said, was not engaged in it, tho' his Hands were; upon which Declaration I would have him explain himself, and he said had he not been drunk he had not done this Robbery, tho' he was sensible that was no Excuse for having so done.
The Account he gives of the Affair was this, viz. That having been angred and vexed by a Woman he kept Company with for about a Month, he sought the silly Revenge of debauching his Mind with Liquor, or else he had not had Resolution to do a bad Thing, and then he cared not what he did. He left Work, which he was used generally to follow closely, and went to drinking that infernal Stuff Gin, which, 'tis well known, is what is too much used, and does a deal of Mischief in this Country, unknown to any other. Meeting with two or three loose, disorderly People, in this Fit of Rage, he says, he drank all the Afternoon, and by the Time he committed the Robbery, was very drunk.
He owns the Fact, with all the Aggravations of using the Prosecutor ill, &c. and reflected upon himself for it, saying he was one of the vilest Sinners for having so done, only that it was not his natural Inclination, but the Force of Liquor and Anger that drove him to it.
After he had done the Robbery for which he suffered, he ran away, and in his Rage meeting with a Man having a Stick in his Hand, he would needs take it away from him, but the Person resisted and he could not: Then he would fight the Man whether he would or no. Some People coming towards them he ran away, and upon the Cry of stop Thief, he was pursued, and being taken, was carried to St. Sepulchre's Watch-house , and sent to the Compter for that Night, and being taken before an Alderman next Day, was committed to Newgate. He acknowledged, however, the Justice of his Sentence, and died in Charity with all Men, hoping Salvation, thro' the Merits of a Redeemer.
7. JEREMIAH SULLIVAN , aged 23, was born at Cork, in Ireland, of Parents that gave him no Education, but when he was about 10 Years of Age sent him to Sea, in the Merchants Service , from Cork, and he continued so about three Years; then, he says, he thought to get better Wages, by coming to London, and sailing from thence; accordingly he did so, and sailed with several Ships up the Mediterranean, and to the West-Indies. He had the Misfortune once to be cast away in the Streights, and after some Time got a Birth on board the George and William, then lying at Leghorn, and after about two Months, in her Voyage Home, he was pressed on board a 20 Gun Ship in the Downs: Arthur Murphy, in whose Name Sullivan forged the Letter of Attorney, was with him turned on board the Pembroke Man of War; in which Ship they sailed together about 15 Months, and being Countrymen, had great Intimacy with one another, but they were then parted, by Sullivan's leaving the Ship before she was ordered to the East-Indies, where she was unfortunately lost: Better, perhaps, had it been for him, had he too made there a watery Grave, than to have split upon the Rock which it was his Misfortune to do at last.
The Method he took to impose upon the Prosecutrix shews him to be a very artful Fellow, and a Genius fruitful in Invention; and had not she been guarded against his Contrivance, by her Knowledge of the right Claimant, no Doubt he might have imposed on her, and gained his Point: And notwithstanding his Letters, owning the Fact, which he sent from the Poultry Compter , yet would he endeavour to evade, and prevaricate upon the Question put whether he was the Forger, and deserving the Fate he met with?
He still continued to say, he went by the Name of Arthur Murphy, on board the Pembroke, and would by no Means speak of the Matter as he ought to have done. Whether or no it was, that being a Roman Catholick , he thought himself under no Necessity to answer my Question ingeniously, or that his Mind was still so depraved, as to be persuaded he had done no Harm, I can't pretend to determine; but this I am sure of, the Answers he made me when I spoke to him, shewed not the least Appearance of Contrition or Sorrow, for any Thing that he had done. And tho' this seems to be the most flagrant, and most plainly proved of any Prosecution of this Sort, among the many that have been prosecuted within these few Years, as I told him, he did not so much as pretend to say, he had a Sense of having done any Thing amiss; and so I thought proper to leave him to his own Way of thinking.
8. EDWARD SMITH , aged 26, was born in the Parish of St. Anne's, Westminster, of Parents from whose Want of Care he received no Education, tho' they were able to have afforded it, as he said; his Father was Groom to a Person of Distinction, since dead, who employ'd his Son's early Days in dangling after himself, and assisting in his Business. Soon after his Father's Death, he was bound Apprentice to a Sadler , and when he had served out his Time, so near as within a Week's Time, he says, his Master having met with Misfortunes, became a
Bankrupt. After this, being left to himself, he grew idle and unused to work; he soon lost all Taste for it, and Idleness and its Consequences took Place of his former Industry. However, advised by some of his Friends, lest somewhat worse should befall him, he took to the Sea s, and was Abroad, he says, in several Ships in the West-Indies, and up the Straits, for the Space of four or five Years. Farther, that he has been in England, since he left off going to Sea, about two Years, and has been used to work with a Plaisterer during this Time, somewhere in Shoreditch.
The Robbery for which he suffered, was committed about ten Months ago, in Company with Moses Wright , executed, and Charles Cross , transported, together with William Hatton , the Evidence against Smith; who being himself apprehended, made Friends to get to be an admitted Evidence, and having informed against Smith, among others, he had the Misfortune to be soon after taken by some People who make it their Business, commonly called Thief-Catchers.
Smith owned the Fact, and every Circumstance of it; but continued to the last to insist, that he never had before or since been concerned in a Robbery. How far this his Declaration is to be credited, I won't pretend to say; but tho' I told him, the Circumstance of the Stockings being brought to his House, and there lodged, till they could conveniently make Sale of them, seem'd to argue he was no Stranger to these Things, and gave Cause for Suspicion that he was not only a Thief, but a Receiver of stolen Goods; yet he still persisted to say the same. And moreover, he said, he would not have been concerned in this had it not been at a Time when he had been drunk, and continued so for some Time, and that every one who knew him in the Neighbourhood, respected him, as a civil, harmless Fellow. He behaved always after Conviction very quietly, and resigned, and shewed as much Appearance of Contrition as any of his Fellow-sufferers; and tho' he was illiterate, would ask several pertinent Questions, with Regard to Salvation and a future State.
9. WILLIAM PARSONS , which was the true Name of this unhappy Youth, not Richard, as he has been lately called by, was the Son of 3 very worthy Gentleman now living, Sir William Parsons, Baronet ; he was born in the Year 1717, in Red-Lion Square, London; from whence he was sent after a proper Time, to receive his first Education, to a Place called Pepperharrow, near Godalmin, in Surry, where he remained for about two Years and an Half, till he was fit for a higher Class, and was then removed to Eton College, near Windsor, where he continued about eight Years. Concerning his Improvements there we have no Authority to speak, he had not so much the Appearance of a Gentleman of Letters, as he had of the polite, fine Gentleman, which latter every one that saw him seemed to be taken with.
When he came from Eton School in the Year 1735, his Friends procured a Post for him in the Royal Navy, which was that of a Midshipman , on Board his Majesty's Sloop the Drake, Captain Fox, with whom he went to the West-Indies; his Stay there was not long, but when he returned his Friends were not willing he should be idle, and therefore immediately got him another Birth, on Board the Romney Man of War, Captain Medley, on the Newsoundland Station, with whom he continued several Months, and then returned to England.
Being now tired of rambling, and near 23 Years of Age, he began to think it Time to settle, and accordingly paid his Addresses to a young Gentlewoman of Family and Fortune, to whom he was married on the 11th of February, 1740; which, according to
his own Account of the Matter, was just 10 Years before, he made his unfortunate Exit at Tyburn. He acknowledged with a good deal of Sorrow and Repentance, that he did not use his Wife so kindly as she deserved, and prays God to forgive him.
Soon after he was married, he enter'd into the Army, and had the Honour of his Majesty's Commission as Ensign in the Regiment of Foot , commanded by Colonel Cholmondely, which Commission bore Date January 1741. He continued in the Army in that Station for above three Years, and he says, that his Behaviour was such, as that in March, 1744, he was promoted to the Rank of a Lieutenant . He might have lived very well, had it not been for that Itch of Gaming, which generally left him Pennyless; tho' sometimes he got Money, he could not be content and make good Use of it, but still continued to play till he could get no more Money.
And here it may not be improper to take some Notice of that abominable, tho' fashionable Vice, of high Gaming; to which too many of our Nobility and Gentry are so excessively and scandalously addicted, to the utter Ruin of many of both Sexes, both as to this World, and, it is to be feared, the next World too. This was the fatal Spring from whence the unhappy Mr. Parsons drew all his Misfortunes; this was the grand Source of all his Crimes, and the first Cause of his miserable and untimely End. What a shocking Thought is it, that a young Gentleman of his Birth, Education, and personal Accomplishments, should be thus unhappily, tho' most deservedly, cut off in the Flower of his Days? He who might have been an Honour to his Family, and the Delight of all his Acquaintance! And all thro' his unfortunate Inclination for Gaming; a Vice which has perhaps brought more young Men of gay Dispositions, and slender Fortunes, to the Gallows, than any other of those fashionable Methods, which idle and thoughtless People take to kill Time, that can be mention'd. This polite Diversion, or rather this wicked and foolish Practice of gaming High, so as to hurt ones own, or another Man's Fortune, embarrasses ones Circumstances, or destroy ones Peace of Mind; this is a Vice of such a peculiar Nature, that it seems to deprave and corrupt the Heart more than any other. It is a Kind of declaring War against all Mankind: The Gamester looks upon every Man that plays with him, as his Enemy, over whom he makes it his Business to take every Advantage; and if he ruins him, and leaves him without a Shilling in the World, this is look'd upon as nothing. The Gamester has no Bowels of Compassion; his Heart feels no Tenderness for any Man; Friends or Foes are all alike to him; he builds his Success upon their Misfortunes; his Avarice or Extravagancies must be supplied; and to these every Thing, every tender or friendly Connexion, every social Tie, every virtuous and honourable Sentiment, must be sacrificed. - Of the Truth of this Observation, the Life of Mr. Parsons has been but one continued Evidence. As no Man was ever more fitly qualified by Nature to impose upon, deceive, and abuse Mankind, than he was; so perhaps, among the numerous Tribe of gaming Miscreants that he has left behind him (till their Hour too shall come) none ever shewed more Instances of a Heart steel'd and harden'd against the Checks of Conscience and common Humanity than this young Man. For what but the blackest Ingratitude could be capable of using poor Mr. St. J - in the base Manner that he did? His Behaviour towards this Gentleman deserves particular Notice here, among many other Instances which might be mentioned, if Room could be afforded in this Paper. The Story of Mr. St. J - then in few Words, is this:
During the late Rebellion, Parsons, who was a Lieutenant in one of his Majesty's Regiments of Foot, having involved himself, by his Extravagancies, in great Streights, and his usual Resource, the Gaming-table, failing him, he applied himself to Mr. St.J -, a half-pay Officer: After acquainting this Gentleman with the bad State of his Circumstances, he added, that he knew no other Remedy than to go down into the Country, and join himself with the Rebels. His Friend, like an honest and prudent Man, advised him by all Means not to embark in such a desperate Scheme; and in short, kindly and generously lent him forty Guineas (as our Information says) as a present Supply. - Soon after this, he went again to this same Gentleman, and acquainted him that some urgent Business, which he particularly mention'd (but whether real or pretended is uncertain) absolutely required his going down into the Country. Whereupon this good-natur'd Friend freely profer'd him the Use of his Horse, to save Parsons the Expence of hiring one. Accordingly, this ungrateful Wretch received the Horse, and directly went to Smithfield and sold him.
Having committed this base and ungenerous Action, how could he ever think of again looking his Friend in the Face? Not that he wanted Assurance enough, but it was not safe - He could not expect that this Usage would be tamely put up with; how then to avoid the Consequences was the Question, which this most ungrateful Man at last determined thus. To be beforehand with the just Resentment of Mr. S. J -, and to put it out of that Gentleman's Power to call him to any Account, he had Recourse to the meanest, as well as the wickedest Expedient, that any Man, except a Gamester, or Sharper (which certainly is the lowest and vilest Class of Thieves in the World, let their Appearance or Rank be what it will) could have thought of. In short, he gave in a false Information against his Friend and Benefactor, accusing him of a Design of going to join the Rebels; upon which poor Mr. St. J - was taken into Custody, and was a Prisoner for many Months; nor did he at last regain his Liberty without the Loss of his Half pay, which, on this Occasion, was taken from him.
Parsons himself too was taken into Custody about this Time, but on what Account we have not been able to procure an exact Information, tho' 'tis generally believ'd, it was a Contrivance of his to screen himself from Arrest by his Creditors.
He was a long Time in Confinement at the House of a Messenger, at the Corner of St. Martin's Church-yard , in St. Martin's-Lane, where he was treated with great Indulgence, and liv'd in perfect Ease and Security from his Creditors, one of whom, Mr. L - h, a noted Taylor, he took in, as the Phrase is, in the following extraordinary Manner.
Sometime before his Confinement at the Messenger's, Mr. Parsons being in Company with a certain Officer, who had on a new Suit of Cloaths, made in an elegant Taste; Parsons, who understood Dress as well any Man, and was usually himself as well dress'd as any Person of his own, or greater Rank, took Occasion to ask the Officer who his Taylor was? observing that his Cloaths were so exceeding well made, that he should like to employ the same Person himself. The Officer hereupon told him that L - h was the Person who made those Cloaths; adding, that he was a very honest Man, and would use him well.
Hereupon Parsons takes the first Opportunity to go to Mr. L - h, telling him he was recommended to him by such a Gentleman (naming the Officer, whose Cloaths he had so much admired.) He added, that his Name was Brown, that he was at present an Officer in such a Regiment, but that a Commission was then, at that very Time, making out for him, by which he was to be made a Captain in the Guards; that he should, on Occasion of this Promotion, want some new Cloaths, and that Mr. L - h must use him well, as he was one that always paid ready Money.
A Customer with these Professions could not fail of being welcome to any Tradesman, and accordingly Mr. L - h made up, for this pretended Captain Brown, Cloaths to a very considerable Value; and when he sent themHome according to the Directions given him, and came himself with a Bill; the pretended Captain had an Excuse ready for not paying him the Money immediately, and so put him off for the present. Mr. L - h, however, now began to entertain some Suspicion of his Customer; and therefore went to the Office to enquire about this Mr. Brown, and whether there was any Truth in the Story of the Commission. Accordingly he found that there really was such a Person as Mr. Brown, (whose Name Parsons knew, and made use of) and that he actually had, or was certainly to have, a Captain's Commission in the Guards; this satisfied Mr. L - h for the present, as he made no Manner of doubt but that Parsons was the Man, the very Mr. Brown whom he was enquiring after. But it was not long e'er, upon further Application for his Money, Mr. L - h was undeceived, and it is no Wonder that he was most highly provoked at such a Fraud; accordingly he determined to take what Satisfaction the Law would afford in such a Case, but unluckily Mr. L - h, laying his Action in the Name of Brown, he was non-suited, and Parsons, getting into the Messenger's House, now set him at Defiance.
It is no Wonder that a Man capable of a Cheat of this Nature, should also be capable of the Forgery, for which he was tried and condemned at Rochester. But the Injury he did to Mr. L - h, is attended with less aggravating Circumstances than the Fraud he put upon a Widow, whose Business was that of a Hatter. Some Time before he lost his Lieutenant's Commission, he applied to this Woman, pretending that he had Orders to buy Hats for his Regiment, then in Flanders, and that if she would use him well, he would give her the Preference, and lay out the Money with her. Accordingly he contracted with her for Hats, to the Amount of about seventy Pounds; but instead of paying her for them, he went to another Person in the same Trade, to whom he pretended that he had bought such a Quantity of Hats, of such a Sort, but that he found they would not do for the Regiment, and that therefore he was willing to sell them again to some Loss, rather than let them lie upon his Hands; and in short, though he did not meet with Success at first, in his Attempts to dispose of these Hats, he at last found a Person who bought them of him for fifty Pounds; but we do not find that the poor Widow ever got a Farthing from him.
The scandalous Manner in which Mr. Parsons used Mr. D - n, a Gentleman of considerable Fortune in Ireland, and another Gentleman of the same Name and Family, (by Profession a Surgeon) by causing them both to be taken into Custody, by Warrants from the Secretary of State, upon his own false Information, is too notorious to need any further Mention.
An Artifice of his, which is a very true Story, was when the Disturbance was in the North, in the Year 1745, he counterfeited a Draught on one of the Collectors of Excise for 500 l. as from his R - H -. The Collector was surprized at so large a Demand, not having near so large a Sum in his Custody. However, he got 50 l. from the Gentleman, with which Parsons marched off the Ground. Diverse other Tricks has he put upon People, which would take up too much Room to be inserted in this Paper. The above are sufficient to shew what Sort of a Man he was, and what an ungrateful Return he has made for all the Advantages of Family, Education, and Fortune.
The Fact for which he was convicted at Rochester, was the uttering of a Counterfeit Note of 20 l. which Forgery, and uttering, he was so ingenious as to own under his own Hand Writing, the Sunday before Execution; besides, three other Indictments then against him were found at that Time; and a great deal of Time and Pains it cost his unhappy Father, and other Friends, to get him respited then for Transportation for Life. In August last was a Twelvemonth he went on Board a Ship, in order for Transportation, and after a tedious Passage, and long Time, he arrived in a Country, which not being suited to theGaiety of his Temper, where there is no Gaming, Balls, Masquerades, &c. he could not think of staying in the Country long, though every Thing was so ordered by Sir William, and his Friends, that he might have lived handsomely enough, and more so than he deserved. He arrived in Virginia about the Middle of Winter, and returned here about Midsummer following. As soon as he landed at Whitehaven, in his Return for Transportation, to impose upon a Person there, he produced Letters to shew his Father's Death, and said, that thereby a considerable Fortune must come to him. He succeeded so well, as to get 60 or 70 l. upon a Draught he made upon a Banker in London, and left the Lender to recover his Money as he could.
In the Beginning of September following, he was again taken up for returning from Transportation, the Circumstances of which are as follows, as near I can remember the Relation of the Affair, as one of the Gentlemen that had him secured, himself told it.
One Day, in the Beginning of September, as Mr. Fuller and Mr. Best were going a Journey, Parsons overtook them on Turnham-Green; as soon as they saw his Face they knew him, having seen him at Rochester upon the former Affair. They did not at first Sight take any particular Notice of him, but when he came up to them with a sneer-laughing Countenance, and kept hovering about them, they bid him keep his Distance, for they did not like him. And his Appearance naturally occasioned some Reflections on the ill Use made of the Lenity and Mercy of the Government. Parsons rode on thro' Brentford, and they followed, going on their Journey: After they had pass'd Brentford, and were come to the broad Way before you come to Hounslow Town, Parsons loiter'd till they came up with him, and he pass'd by them on Mr. Fuller's Side of the Chair, looking at him with a very malignant Aspect; and so he dogg'd them sometimes before, and sometimes behind them, or on one Side, which was enough to raise some Thoughts of Danger in the Gentlemen's Minds, especially as they knew the Man. And the last Time he stopp'd to let them come up with him, a Person on Horseback appeared in the Road, which might prevent perhaps, his Attempts, if he had any Design, as his Behaviour gave Room to suspect he had.
When they had drove up into the Middle of the Town, and saw Parsons, Mr. Best first jump'd down from the Chaise, as did Mr. Fuller soon after, both insisting upon his surrendering immediately, or they would raise the Town upon him. Upon which Parsons alighted from his Horse, and in a submissive, supplicating Manner, begg'd Mercy, and to speak with them in Private. They then took him into a Room, and he delivered up his Pistol, loaded and primed, to each one, in a very complaisant Manner. Mr. Day, the Master of the Rose and Crown, at Hounslow, observ'd that Parsons in every Respect answered the Description of a Person that robb'd on that Road, at that Time, almost every Night. Upon which the Gentlemen agreed, 'twas not proper to let him go for the Sake of the Publick, and sent for a Constable, who came, and upon searching his Pockets, found a Horn of Gunpowder and some Balls: Nor can the most prejudiced in his Favour do otherwise but commend the Resolution that prevented such a Man from being at Liberty, left more Mischiefs should be done by him.
He was accordingly carried before a Justice of Peace, where after being baulk'd in the Attempt he made to snatch the Pistols out of the Person's Hand, who had the Care of them before the Justice, he begg'd very hard for Mercy, and pleaded his Family, &c. as he did in all Cases of Danger; but the Justice thought proper to commit him to Newgate, and he was brought up in a Coach. His Behaviour since in Newgate is not to be spoken well of in all Respects; but his general Behaviour would engage any one to think favourably of him, till such Time asthey thoroughly knew him. The Gentlemen that took him, out of Regard to the Family, did not chuse to be hasty in the Prosecution of him; but as publick Justice requir'd it, they have now done it to the general Satisfaction of the World. Had he lived ever so long, he had been the same Man, always deceiving himself with Thoughts of deceiving the whole World.
Parsons acknowledg'd that he has been guilty of many thousand Extravagances; tho' like frail, weak Man, he is not willing to take the Blame entirely to himself, but would shift off Part of the Weight of his Crimes, by endeavouring to lay some of the Blame on others. And therefore says, in a Paper he himself wrote,
"That he pleads
"it not as an Excuse, but what is
"absolutely Fact, that Necessity and the Neglect
"of his Relations (tho' to be sure, he
"says, he has deserved their Frowns) obliged
"him to commit almost every ill Act
"of his Life, contrary to his natural Inclinations;
"for I ever had, says he, the utmost
"Remorse and Shock on me when doing
"Ill: But starve I could not, to beg I
"was ashamed. He goes on in the same
"Paper to say, that his Sentiments were, and
"are to this Moment, just and honourable;
"but Gaming has been chiefly his fatal
"Ruin." Now how far the Publick will rely on this Declaration in Regard to his Sentiments, I must leave entirely to them to judge.
N. B. If a certain independent Teacher, or any one else intends to print a Life of Parsons write by himself, take Care left he has imposed upon your Credulity, as he has done to all that had any Thing to do with him.
Copy of Two LETTERS sent to his Father and Wife, before he was transported, taken upon him when retaken at Hounslow.
'AFter so prostigate and infamous a Life as
'I have led, I hardly dare to put Pen
'to Paper to intercede with you for Forgiveness;
'but by being sincerely penitent of my
'many and enormous Crimes, which I am,
'from the Bottom of my Heart, I hope to
'obtain Pardon of my Heavenly Father in
'the World to come; so by the same Repentance
'here on Earth, I hope to obtain Forgiveness
'of my terrestrial Parent (and my
'much injured Wife.) Certain it is, I am
'undeserving of the minutest Charity from
'any of my Relations, and in a more especial
'Manner from you, whom I have so greatly
'and so oft offended. Notwithstanding my
'past mispent Life, your Goodness is so manifest
'to me in the Letter and Support you
'sent me by M. B -, that, during the
'short Time the Law allows me in this
'World, (through a long and severe Imprisonment)
'I shall, in the most grateful and
'humblest Manner, be truly thankful for
'your Tenderness and Compassion towards
'me. I am,
'P. S. I beg Forgiveness of my much injured
'Wife and Brother, and humbly beg
'their Prayers to obtain Pardon for me in
'the World to come.'
To my much injured Wife.
'HAD I but heretofore been as thoroughly
'sensible of my profligate and mispent
'Life as now, I need not have dated a
'Letter to you from this dismal Place. The
'Reflections which I now make on my past
'Crimes make me in a Manner distracted,
'and none disturbs my Peace of Mind more' than the Barbarities and unspeakable Injuries
'you have undeservedly met with from
'me; I am, believe me, as sincerely penitent
'for my ill Usage towards you, and for
'all my many and enormous Crimes, as it is
'possible for mortal Man to be; by which
'Repentance I hope to obtain Mercy in the
'World to come, and Forgiveness on Earth
'from you. I was once esteemed by you as
'a sincerely affectionate Husband, and now
'beg you will look on me, during the short
'Time I have to live, to be, as I subscribe
'P. S. I beg you will mention me to my
'Father and Brother, and I most earnestly beg
'your and their Prayers to obtain Forgivenness
'for me in the World to come. I hope
'you will be happy when I am no more.'
10. JAMES FIELD , aged 37, was a Native of Dublin, the Metropolis of the Kingdom of Ireland; he was bred to no particular Business, and his younger Days, the Time of training up Youth, was passed away in little more than idle Employments: He was always esteemed a Youth of a robust and forward Temper, nor was any great Persuasion necessary to get him to engage in Affairs of a mischievous Nature. He was remarkable, it seems, for a daring Fellow, and would fight upon the least Provocation, before he left his native Country; what Success he met with there we know not, but in his bruising Capacity here in England, (so much in Vogue now-a-Days, and followed by all Ranks) we don't find there is much to be said to his Praise.
After he left his native Country, he came to London, and lived in the obscure Parts of the Town, where People generally resort' whose Way of Life is not proper to be known to every Body. It was some Time before he became a noted Boxer , and one of the Heroes, to whose Management is too often left the Power of disposing, by their Prowess, of the Fortunes and Money of Men, who would do well to find some other Use for it, and employ it for their own and the publick Good, as various Ways might be found for that Purpose: Field sought many Battles, and was frequently beat, if not generally, tho' a stout and resolute Fellow.
He had not left Ireland many Years before England began to be too warm for him, and he betook himself to the Seas. He sailed Board a Man of War , and afterwards in several Privateer s, and got both Wages and Prize-Money, which he did not want Companions to assist him in squandering away, as soon as he came on Shore.
He has been acquainted with most of the top Thieves, and particularly those who haunted Covent-Garden and Drury-Lane; where (at the Fox) was his chief Residence, and where he was taken; since which, 'tis said, that House is not so much the Resort of those People, as it was, while they had him for their Guard, in Case of an Attempt to beset the House; but being concerned in the Rescue of Jones, alias Harpur, from the Gate-house, tho' not put into the Information, he thought proper to take himself away to Ireland once more, thinking all old Stories were forgot, and blown over; but he could not help playing his old Tricks over again, or others as bad, and so Ireland became once more too hot to hold him.
Upon his Return to London again, he became a Chief among his old Comrades, and Partners in Iniquity; and various are the Robberies in which he has been concerned, by the Confessions of Accomplices, tho', according to the Advertisement he published soon after he was apprehended, he never would own a Fact, left he should destroy that Innocence he then pretended to: But notwithstanding all his Pretensions, there isno Doubt, but Feild's Days have been chiefly spent among Thieves, Gamblers, and lewd Women, which has brought him at last to the Gallows.
The Fact for which he suffered was committed in May last, with Anthony Whittle, executed already, and Thomas Pendergrass, now in Custody, having appeared several Times already, at the Bar of the Old-Bailey; and others, whose Names are up in the World, but not for their good Deeds. This is not the only one 'tis plain, for Saunders, executed, had put Field into an Information, which he made before his Trial at the Old-Bailey.
Several Warrants were Abroad for apprehending Field a long while before he was taken, but the Officers were afraid of him, and it they met him in the Street, they pass'd by him without Notice; and at last, perhaps, he would not have been taken, but being surprized, and off his Guard, was overpowered by Numbers, his old Acquaintance and Friends being Abroad.
Upon his Trial he used base Means, by suborning others as bad as himself, to swear to the Truth of what himself must know to be false, After Conviction he behaved very quietly to the last, nor gave any fresh Offence to any Body; what he had done, he said, was enough for him to answer for, but nothing wou'd he particularize further.
A Gentleman was robbed some Time ago in Red-Lion Square, Holborn; of a Gold Watch, &c. Value 30 l. besides other Things, was informed by one that is now in Custody, that Field was concerning in the Robbery. This Fellow told the Gentleman all the Circumstances of the Fact so plainly, (which he was before but too well acquainted with) that the Gentleman thought proper to ask Field about it; he did do so, but Field's Answers were evasive, and prevaricating, and the Truth of the Matter we could not come at from him. He owned somewhat of a Watch, taken from a Gentleman in Lincoln's Inn Square, but prevaricated in declaring what became of it; so that had it been the Watch enquired for, he would not have had from his Answers any Hopes to recover it again. However, he died a Roman Catholick , scare without a previous Absolution.
At the PLACE of EXECUTION.
ON Monday the 11th Instant, about 9 o'Clock in the Morning, William Vincent , Anthony Westley , and Thomas Clements , in one; Daniel Davis , and Edward Smith , in another; Thomas Applegarth , and Michael Soss , in a third; James Sullivan , James Field , and William Parsons , in a fourth Cart, went to the Place of Execution. When there, some Time was spent in Prayer, and they were turned off the Cart, calling for Mercy on their Souls. The Whole was carried on with what Decency the Nature of such Affairs will admit, without much Hurry; and there was no Disturbance, or Tumult among the Populace.
(This Day is Publish'd, the Second Edition, Price 1 s.)
Who was Executed at TYBURN, on Wednesday, October 3, 1750, for a Robbery on the Highway. Containing the Particulars of his LIFE, from his BIRTH to his DEATH. In which is included, an Account of the Robberies committed by his Companion PLUNKET. And a Series of LETTERS, that pass'd between him and PLUNKET; as well during the Time he was in Holland, as in England; in which are open'd some extraordinary Scenes. Also, the Particulars of their Fortune-hunting Schemes; in which MACLEAN generally pass'd for a Gentleman of Worth, and PLUNKET personated his Footman. Likewise a Number of Original LETTERS sent to MACLEAN by different LADIES, some of which contain Narratives of Facts so exceeding tender, as must raise Pity and Compassion in the Breast of every Reader. The Whole adorn'd with a very neat Picture of MACLEAN, taken from the Life, while under Sentence. Drawn and Engrav'd by Mr. BOITARD.
Printed for C. CORBETT, at Addison's-Head, against St. Dunstan's-Church, Fleet-street.
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