THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the FIVE MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the 27th of APRIL, 1752.
NUMBER IV. for the said YEAR.
Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and C. CORBETT, over-against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street, 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 Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable THOMAS WINTERBOTTOM, Esq ; Lord Mayor of the City of London , the Lord Chief Justice LEE, Sir THOMAS BURNET, Knt . Mr. Baron CLIVE, RICHARD ADAMS, Esq ; Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer, and Justices of Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday the 8th, Thursday the 9th, Friday the 10th, Saturday the 11th, Monday the 13th, and Tuesday the 14th of April, in the 25th Year of his Majesty's Reign.
Their Behaviour has been very quiet, and their Attendance at Chapel constant, only Stevens and Basset were sometimes hindered by Reason of Sickness. At Prayers they appeared devout and serious, and no Sort of Disturbance or Outrage has been committed by them since Conviction. Whether this extraordinary good Deportment proceeded from a Sense of their unhappy Condition, which Charity would engage tothink, or from a Remembrance of that justly deserved Severity, which was the Consequence of the bad Behaviour of the late rebellious spirited Convicts, we won't pretend to determine, God only knows the Secrets of the Heart: But whatsoever it is owing to, it is happy that any Means may be provided to bring these unfortunate Wretches to be serious, as their Fate approaches, that they may not go out of the World as if they had no Sense of a State hereafter.
On Thursday the 23d Instant, the Report of seven Malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder to the Lords of the Regency, when they were pleased to order Robert Lake, John Stevens, George Hall, George Basset, and Turner, for Execution on Monday the 27th Instant, and John Salisbury, on Wednesday the 29th, as near Smallberry Green Turnpike as conveniently might be, where he is afterwards to be hung up in Chains.
1. John Salisbury was indicted, for that he in a certain House, called the Turnpike-house, near Smallberry Green , on Joseph Thompson did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, 12 l. in Money numbered, did steal, &c. Feb. 21.
2. John Stevens was indicted, for that he on the King's Highway, on Elizabeth, Wife of William Humphreys, did make an Assault, putting her in corporal Fear, and Danger of her Life, and taking from her Person 3 s. 4 d. in Money numbered, the Money of the said William, March 28.
3. Robert Lake was indicted, for that he on the King's Highway, on William Noble; Clerk , did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, one Metal Watch, val. 40 s. one half Guinea, and 9 s. in Money numbered, from his Person did steal, take, &c. March 10.
4, 5. George Hall and George Basset were indicted, for that they on the 6th of April, between the Hours of one and two in the Night, the Dwelling-House of Samuel Sumpshon did break and enter, and 46 Handkerchiefs, val. 7 l. did steal, &c. April 6.
1. John Turner, aged 23, was born in the Hundred of Broxham in Cheshire ; was bred to Husbandry with his Father, who rented a small Farm in that Part of the Country; and, for several Years, continued with his Parents; and as he had been taught both to read and write, he was useful among the Farmers in keeping their Accounts , and was pretty well maintained, between what he got by that Means, and his Father's House.
At length he wanted to see more of the World, and took it into his Headto go into Lancashire; but, not having wherewithal to support him long from home, and being a a Stranger abroad, without any Recommendation to get him into Business, he was hard put to it to get Bread to satisfy his Hunger, till his wicked Mind suggested to him the unlawful and wicked Methods he afterwards took upon him to pursue.
The first Thing he did, having resolved to be wicked, he says, was this. As he was going over a large Common one Day, he observed some lean Cattle at some Distance from any House, and thought within himself to drive off some of them. But being Pennyless, and fearing lest he should starve, or faint by the Way, as he drove them to a convenient Distance in order for Sale, he went into a neighbouring Village, and took up the Trade of begging ; and meeting with some charitable People, after a Day or two, he had got near two Shillings. Upon this Success he refreshed himself, and going to the Common the third Night, he drove off two lean Cattle.
He went on with them for some Days, till he came into his own Country. The Cattle he let feed now and then upon a waste Ground, and little Refreshment served himself, till he got into his own Neighbourhood. There he told the People he had been abroad to buy them for his Father, and was going to put them into some Meadows he rented about three Miles from his House. Accordingly he did so, and then went home to his Father, telling him he had got into Service in Lancashire, and was only come home just to get some Necessaries, which as soon as he was supplied with, he should return again. His Father, poor Man, was glad to find him provided with a Service, which the Son spoke of as a very good one, and being furnished with what Money his Father could spare (never speaking a Word of the Cattle) in three or four Days he took his Leave, and went off.
By this Time he was pretty well refreshed, and his Cattle had filled their Bellies, and all were fit for a March. He had well tim'd the Matter too; for it happened there was a Fair for Cattle not far off, and there he drove them. As the Neighbours knew his Father kept a little Farm, and now and then sold Cattle, he was not suspected, and sold his Bargain at a good Rate, as Part of his Father's Stock.
As soon as he had done this, he went up and down the Country in an idle Manner, drinking and rioting, like a Prodigal Son, till he had consumed all he had. He then stole a Horse , which, in few Days after he had it, he sold to a Farmer, and had in Lieu of it, under Pretence of stocking his Father's Ground some Sheep, which he had no sooner in his Possession, than he sold them at a Market, and as soon as he could, spent the Money.
Whenever his Extravagancies had brought him to Pinching, he had Recourse to Theft ; was often suspected, but never brought to Trial. Once before this, he was taken up for stealing Sheep ; but as he had disposed of them, and no Proof could be found, he was let go from Confinement.
Various are the Robberies of this Sort, which he has committed up and down the Countries where-ever he came; so many, that himself could not recount them all. For five Years past, he says, this has been his Way of Life, which at last he ended in a most miserable Manner; not only as to the Death he suffered, which he confessed he had long deserved; but Providence was pleased sorely to afflict him here with Diseases, while living, so that he was but just alive when he went to suffer Death. He all along, after Conviction, appeared very penitent, and seemed to die so.
2. John Stevens, aged 24, was born at Goossy, in Berkshire, of honest Parents, though not in Circumstances to give him any Education. At the Age of 12 Years he was bound Apprentice to a Butcher at Wanstead, whom he served seven Years, he says, and afterwards lived Journeyman with the same Master. From thence he removed to Goossy again, where he staid some Time, but not in the greatest Esteem among his Neighbours; his Behaviour being somewhat untoward in those early Days, brought him under Disreputation of the Parish. And after having broke the House of a Farmer in the Neighbourhood, and robbed him, he was obliged to leave his native Place. He had then merited the Fate he has now met with, and must have had it before, but that Tenderness was used towards him, and no Prosecution did ensue.
Upon leaving his native County, he came to London, and lived an idle Life , not being able to get into Business for Want of a Character and Recommendation, which he knew he could not apply for at home. After some Time, however, he got in with a Butcher in Cow-Cross, and lived with him three Years; when he dying, Stevens says, he lost his whole Wages, and was left again destitute.
After this, having been for a while out of Business , he was taken in to be Hostler at the Red-Lyon Inn in St. John's Street, where he staid not long before he went to the White-Hart in the same Station, and there was Hostler at the Time the Fact was committed for which he suffered. The Crime was using a poor Woman ill, and not content with that, robbing her, which certainly deserved to be severely punished.
Of this John Stevens was convicted upon full Evidence; such as, I believe, convinced every one that was present at the Trial, that he was the Man; besides that, he could call no one to prove the contrary, tho' he attempted to prove an Alibi, that he was at home at the Time the Fact was done; but those whom he called, were more conscientious than even to attempt to assist him in Support of such a Proof. After Conviction, he behaved very quietly, but when interrogated, he denied the Fact, and every Part of it. It surprized me, I must needs say, at first, but considering he might think his owning the Fact might put a Stop to all Hopes of getting off, after giving him all the Reasons I could, to shew, that the World was satisfied with the Verdict, I desisted for the present.
Soon after it pleased God to afflict him sorely with Sickness, which almost took away his Senses, and he lay in a deplorable Condition. In this sad Plight he continued till three or four Days before he suffered, and it was to no Purpose to speak to him; for if he understood what was said, the Violence of his Sickness was such, that he could not return an Answer. When he became somewhat better, I asked him again of this Matter, and repeated it every Day; but he always denied the Fact, as upon his Defence he did, and said he never saw the Woman before she came to the White-Hart Inn. The same he continued to say the Evening before, in Presence of an Acquaintance of his, who was with me in his Cell, and so on the very Morning of Execution. But, as the Evidence, upon which he was convicted, was so connected, 'tis to be feared he stifled the Truth, and died a hardened Wretch, though scarce alive when he came to suffer. For,
First, The poor Woman, notwithstanding his base Treatment of her, was so long with him as to be able to describe Stephens's Face and Dress exactly, which she did to her Husband before she went to the Inn. The Husband traced him from the Queen's Head at Holloway Home to the Inn; upon his Information she went to the Inn, and found Stephens there. The Woman of the Queen's Head swore he drank there a Quarter before Eight in the Evening of the 28th of March, and about Eight the Fact is alledged to have been done. And as the Distance from the Queen's Head, to the Place where the Fact was done; is very trifling, and the Circumstances of the whole Evidence so connected, who can dispute the Justness of his Suffering, notwithstanding his Obstinacy in denying of the Fact to the last? The Mercies of God are indeed infinite; we can set no Bounds to them: But if any Thing can be a Bar to Hopes of Forgiveness, certainly such Behaviour must! Christian Charity engages to wish well to all; but yet, if to the contrite, and the obstinate Sinner, the Case is the same, what becomes of the Difference between Virtue and Vice?
3. Robert Lake, aged 32, was born in Chick-lane, in the Parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn, of Parents who have lived between 30 and 40 Years in that Parish with Reputation, very well respected by their Neighbours, and much pitied, upon Account of the great Grievance this unhappy Youth has always been to them; but more because of that Excess of Sorrow they are now under, for that his Wickedness has brought him to such an ignominious Fate, which may in all Likelihood bring their grey Hairs with Sorrow to the Grave.
They gave him such Education as they thought necessary against the Time he might come into Business in the World, and at the Age of 14, put him out an Apprentice to a Butcher in Bishopsgate-street. He served out his Apprenticeship, and worked as a Journeyman some while after, but not liking the Business; he left it, and went home to live with his Parents.
To every one that is so, there is a Time when they begin to be vile and profligate. If he had not been so before,he now began to grow loose, and keep such Company as has brought him to Ruin. He had begun, and gone on some Time in the Road to Destruction, before his Parents knew any Thing of the Matter, because before them he was so well acquainted with Policy, as to behave decently before them, and they gave him Encouragement accordingly. In the Neighbourhood too, he was for some Time respected, while he behaved like a sober, honest Man.
But he was now engaged in such Practices, as could not long be hid. His Parents hearing bad Report of him, took him to Task, and gave him such Lectures and Admonitions to dissuade him from pursuing evil Courses, as were in the Reach of their Understanding. He gave them the Hearing, and promised fair, but as surely broke thro' his Engagements to them. What should they do? Their Hearts had daily Achings for him, but all they could say or do to him, was to no Purpose. He had now joined himself to a vile Set of Robbers , some of which were executed in January 1746. With these Men he daily conforted, and was led in to have a Share in every evil Thing which such a Company of Men can be supposed to be addicted to; Robbery and House-breaking , Gaming and Extravagance, Debauchery, and the Stews, &c.
At length it came about, that Lake was taken up, and tried at the Old-Bailey, in the Year 1746, together with others, who were afterwards executed. But he was for that Time, by some Means or other (not upon his Merits) acquitted, and set at Liberty; for he did acknowledge he was guilty with them of those Indictments from which he escaped, and of many another Robbery in their Company.
His Parents, glad of this happy Deliverance of their Son, thought to have preserved him from all such Danger again, by sending him abroad. Accordingly they provided for his going to the Indies , and he was gone between two and three Years. But though in this Way of Life he might have done very well, yet he could not be contented, resolving, as soon as he arrived in England, never to go to Sea again. So as soon as he came home, he acquainted his Parents with his Dislike to a Sea-faring Life, and promised to be very good, if he might live in the House with them. To this they consented, and he lived with them very quietly and orderly for a while. But, as he had married without their Knowledge or Consent (which he had better have let alone) and wanting to have his Wife with him, he was uneasy till he had opened that Part of his Story to them, and resolved to do it. Upon being acquainted with it, they even complied that he might bring her home, being particularly indulgent to him, and so it was. But they had not been long together, before the Parents found it necessary to part, which they did about a Year and a half ago.
Then this unhappy young Man took to a Publick House in the Parish of St. Giles's in the Fields, which he made a Lodging-house for the Reception ofall bad Men and Women; in which many a one (since hanged or transported) has been by proper Officers of the Peace apprehended, and brought to Justice for their unlawful, and wicked Ways of Life.
Lake got Money enough in this unlawful Calling to have supported him without Thieving, but being an extravagant Gamester , had he got as much more, it would scarce have been sufficient for his Purposes: So that Wantonness, more than Want, was the Motive of his going upon the Highway . For he could not deny but that he had been guilty of other Robberies , besides that which he was justly convicted for, though he would not be particular as to any other. Nor would he have ever owned being concerned in this, he told me, had not his poor Mother laid her Commands on him to own the Truth, whom (after all his Wickedness) he was however more dutiful than to disobey.
He was certainly a very audacious Youth, as appeared in almost every Scene since he was taken. At Justice Fielding's he appeared as insolent as he was high. When the Jury found their Verdict, guilty, he insolently turned about, and put on his Hat, uttering some taunting, and opprobrious Words. But,
After he had a while been locked up alone in a Cell, and left to himself to reflect, he appeared daily at Prayers as serious as he could, and seemingly prayed devoutly. Thus he continued under a Sort of Mask, till all Hopes of saving Life were over, and then he thought he must appear with his own Face, audacious and impudent to the last Degree, and to the last Moment.
4. George Basset, aged 21, was born in the Parish of St. James's Clerkenwell, of industrious poor Parents; and he had his Education in the School upon Clerkenwell-Green, commonly called the Welch School. And, though he was somewhat unlucky, yet he was a pretty good Proficient in any Exercise he was to go through, and left the School with Reputation. He was a Youth of good natural Parts, and might have done very well, if the Bent of his Inclination had not been towards that which is evil.
At the usual Time of doing those Things, the Youth was bound Apprentice to a Needle-maker in St. Martin's le Grand, with whom he served his Time, and lived till last Easter-Eve. During this Servitude, he was too remiss in his Duty, both to God and Man; and as it is too much the Case in this loose and ungoverned Age, instead of seeking to know, and understand his Duty, he run counter to it in all Shapes; and being young and heedless, gave himself up to his own Inventions. He was a very wicked Youth, Swearing, Profaneness, and Sabbath-breaking, being Vices he was too early, and too much addicted to.
It is plain he was too early initiated into bad Company; Tares were sown, and grew apace in the Inclosure of his Heart; and he was not so well acquainted with good Husbandry, as to know when it was Time to pull them up. He was a Pick-pocket almost from his
Cradle, and never expected any other Fate, but to be hanged. Though he never was before detected, yet he had often industriously deserv'd Punishment, and could not but own the Justice of his Sentence.
He says, he had always an Itch at Thieving , and tho' he never went any further than picking a Pocket, or some little low Piece of Thievery, he confessed he had been a very wicked Youth. He met with Hall in Easter Week, who after communicating some of his evil Conversation to him, persuaded him to go a Step further, and he became a House-breaker . From the Time he left his Master, to the Time he committed the Robbery for which he was convicted, was not above ten Days.
He says, he happened to meet with Hall accidentally in the Easter Holidays, and, as the Custom is, they drank together. After a While, they came acquainted, and found that they had both been Thieves: So Hall being the most experienced, brought him to that Part of Villainy called House-breaking. He told Basset he knew such and such Houses, where they must get Money, if they could enter them. And as the Lucre of Gain is a very prevailing Principle now-a-days, whether by right or wrong Measures, he was easily prevailed on, his Inclinations being already bent the wrong Way.
So he accompanied Hall in several Acts of Thievery for a few Days, and got nothing but a Halter by it. He says, he broke open a House in Company with Hall, in White-chapel, and another in Chiswell-street, for which he was convicted.
5. George Hall says he is about 23 Years old, was born at Lambeth, of Parents who were poor labouring People, that gave him no Education, and at the Years of 14 put him Apprentice to a Fisherman at Horslydown. He was always looked upon as an untoward Youth, head-strong, and inflexible; always deserving Correction, but never the better for it.
After a Year or two, not satisfied with what his Parents had done for him, in placing him out to the best Advantage they could think of for him, he left his Master, and returned Home. At this Time he lived an idle, vagabond Life, as he has done ever since, though he did afterwards attempt to go to work at a Potter 's, near Lambeth Marsh. There he was not long contented; for while he was to work, he thought himself always uneasy, not considering what in the End would be the Consequence of Idleness. Work, however, was his utmost Aversion, and long he could not stay any where, if he must do his Days Work for Wages. So Idleness brought him into bad Company, and bad Company to the Gallows.
For these 4 or 5 Years he has been a common Thief and Pickpocket ; tho' one Time, having committed a Robbery , for which he expected every Day to be taken, he attempted to go to Sea , and entered on Board a Ship at Portsmouth, where he staid not long. But one Day, going on Shore upon an Errand for the Captain of the Vessel, he met with a Woman he had formerly been acquainted with, who persuaded him to come with her to Town, and he again returned to his old Way of
Thievery . He was a silly, insensible Fellow; easily led on to any Wickedness; and no Undertaking was so bad, but what he was unthinkingly prompted to do.
Many are the Robberies he has committed of one Sort or other, with divers Persons, some executed, and some transported. He was concerned with William Hatton, executed in June last, in many Robberies; particularly that for which he suffered.
Hall, in Company with Hatton and David Jones, did break and enter the Dwelling-house of David Paul, and stole sundry Goods. Against Hatton he was admitted an Evidence, and so escaped for that Time; but this was no Warning to him; for he returned to the same Way of Life, as soon as he was at Liberty.
He had the good Luck to be again admitted an Evidence against Russel Parnel, who was executed in January last, and was concerned with him in robbing Joseph Charles Lyre on the Highway, of a Pinchbeck Metal Watch, &c.
Nor was this Warning to him, but he continued still to deserve every Day to die as he did. He lately committed a Burglary in St. John's-street, in Company with Basset, and another in Chiswell-street, for which he was tried, and deservedly convicted. He behaved pretty decently while under Sentence of Death; and tho' an ignorant, insensible Wretch, seemed rather to want Grace, than Knowledge of the different Effects of Good and Evil.
6. John Salisbury, aged 27, was born in the Parish of Childry, in Berkshire, was put to School to learn to read in that Neighbourhood, and then his Father took him Home, to work with him at Labours of the Field . As he grew older, his Father being but a Labourer himself, the Son went Abroad to work for other People, according as he could meet with Employ; and so went on for some Time, till he came Home again to his Father's House; and there, he says, was the Place of his Abode at the Time he perpetrated that horrid Murder upon Farmer Aldworth of Childry, in April, 1747. An Account of which is as follows:
The Farmer was at Wantage Market, and received some Money of a Malster for Barley, and particularly a Nine Shilling Piece; and after he had done his Business, he went to Chalow, which is in the direct Road to Childry, and there stopp'd at a private House, and paid several Women for Work done in the Field, and then walked on for Childry. About two Furlongs on this Side a House joining to Childry, in the open Field, he was found dead , having his Throat cut from Ear to Ear, and the Wind-pipe wholly divided to the Bone.'Tis certain, that he did not pay away the Nine Shilling Piece to any Person there, and all the Women swore that he did not pay it to any of them; and likewise said that he had such a Piece among his Money. He also bought a Shoulder of Mutton at Wantage, and the Butcher saw a Nine Shilling Piece among his Money; he likewisepaid for a Pair of Shoes, but did not pay this Piece of Money. Several Persons were taken up on Suspicion for committing this Robbery, and Murder. The Vicar of Wantage was desired by all the principal Inhabitants of his Parish to join with them, in order to discover the Person that did it; and they agreed to go to Childry, and give the Coroner and Jury all the Assistance in their Power. Great Numbers of People from Wantage, and all the neighbouring Places, went to Childry to view the Body; and all the People of Childry saw the poor dead Man, except Salisbury's Family. This Circumstance was recollected after the Man was buried. Some Persons had some Snspicions of the Farmer's Son, as he was to inherit the Estate. But his Innocence appeared very clearly to all present, after a most diligent Inquiry; and the Verdict on the Inquest was, that Farmer Aldworth was robbed and wilfully murdered by some Person or Persons unknown.
The Farmer was murdered in the Evening a little before Seven o'Clock, on Saturday the fourth or fifth of April, 1747. Salisbury's Conduct was as follows, viz.
He was seen at Wantage Market that Day, and afterwards he was seen loitering near a Gentleman's Park Pales in the Road between that Town and Chalow; after that, he was again seen near that Town. Between seven and eight o'Clock in the Evening he came to an Alehouse in that Town, in a very great Heat and Sweating, and drank a Mug of Ale. After that he went to another Alehouse at the End of the Town, directly the Reverse to the Road that leads to Childry, and there he drank two Mugs of Ale, and eat some Cakes. Presently after he went to a Taylor and bargained for a Russia Duck Frock, and put down a Nine Shilling Piece, without saying what Piece of Money it was, and the Taylor gave him the Change, after paying himself for the Frock. About ten or after he was seen going by a Person's House at Childry, who was looking out of his Chamber Window, and ask'd who it was; and Salisbury answered, 'Tis I. The Reader must observe, that the Farmer was carried Home the same Evening, and all agree that Salisbury was neither at the House, nor in the Company of them that carried the Farmer to his House: Yet, next Morning about five o'Clock Salisbury was seen going thro' Letcomb (a Village about three Quarters of a Mile from Childry) by a Person who had been a Fellow-Servant with Salisbury; Salisbury seeing him looking out at a Chamber-Window, ask'd the Man whether he had heard the News at Childry? And, upon his saying, what News? Salisbury tells him that Farmer Aldworth was found murdered, his Troaht cut from Ear to Ear, near Mr. Piggot's little Nursery in the Field; and told him that he was one of the first that found him, and helped to carry him Home, and that he had been at the Farmer's House all Night. Afterwards Salisbury call'd at Farnborough-Inn, and drank a Mug or two of Beer, and told the same Story. Farnborough is about three Miles and an half off Letcomb. From thence he took the Road towards
Newbury, and about a Mile from Farnborough call'd at an Alehouse, and drank again, and told much the same Story; and from thence (as appeared after) he went to London. The Inhabitants of Childry not seeing Salisbury as usual, began to make Enquiry about him, and then the Circumstance of his not having been near the dead Body was recollected; and then they traced him thro' the Villages above-mentioned. The Farmer's Son sent Messengers round the Country after Salisbury; and a Person (who had been in the Army) was sent to London, and there had Salisbury advertised; and this Messenger went to the Park, and other publick Places, but could not find him. About a Fortnight after he was taken up at a Publick House near Newbury, and carried before Mr. Justice Hippesley, of Lamborn, who, after a particular Examination, sent him to Reading Gaol. When the Villain was before the Justice, he was search'd, and he had then about six and twenty Shillings in his Pocket; and on examining his Knife and Sheath, it appeared that the Inside of the Sheath was bloody, and a little dried Blood was at the Bottom of the Sheath. The Justice asked him how the Inside of the Sheath became so bloody? He answered, that he had lent it his Father to kill his Hog. The Father was then called in, and the Son turned out; and being examined about his Manner of getting his Livelihood, was asked whether he fatted a Hog, and who killed the Hog? Replied, that he did every Year kill a Hog, and he always killed the Hog himself, and denied the borrowing a Knife; and said the Blacksmith, of whom he rented his House, gave him a Knife for that Purpose, and he never made use of any other. When he came to Gaol, and the Turnkey had fetter'd him, and was locking him up, he cried, and owned that he was guilty of the Fact for which he was committed. Soon after he sent a Letter to his Father by a Man of Wantage, who was discharged out of Prison for Debt; which Letter was intercepted and copied before it went to the Father. In that Letter Salisbury desired the Father to procure a Friend to swear where he had the Nine Shilling Piece, and to take Care to keep the Cloaths in the Coffer out of Sight. A Warrant was obtained, and the Father's House was searched, in which the Cloaths were found; but they had been wash'd, tho' there were some Stains in several Places, as of Blood. A Message was then sent to Mr. Wiseman, the Keeper of Reading Gaol, to desire him to search every Parcel which should be directed to the Prisoner Salisbury. In a few Days after Mr. Wiseman search'd a little Bag, sent by the Father, with a Piece of Bacon, and some Flower and Sewet, and found a Letter in it, in which the Father tells him, 'twould not be possible to procure a Friend to swear about the Nine Shilling Piece, and desired him to endeavour to make his Peace with God.
The Assizes were at Abingdon; and the Prosecutor, young Aldworth, carried over a Waggon full of Witnesses, and two eminent Counsel were retained. At the Trial, two Farmers were subpoena'd to prove that Salisbury left both their Services without any Wages.From one he had stole a great many Dozen of Peaches; the Farmer went for a Warrant, and in the mean Time Salisbury ran away. From the other Master he stole a new Pair of Shoes; and on the Farmer's threatning him in case he could discover the Theft, Salisbury left his Service . Then he came home to his Father's, and stayed about six Weeks, and was not employed by any Farmer in the Parish; so that it was not to be supposed that he could have any Money. It was proved by the Maltster, that he paid Aldworth a Nineshilling Piece, and that he did not pay it away, but had it among his Money when he paid the Women at Chalow. It was proved that Salisbury was at Wantage Market, and that he was loitering on the Road after that, backward and forward, as before mentioned, and that he came to the Alehouse very hot, and in a great Sweat, about eight of the Clock in the Evening; and it was proved by the Taylor that he paid him for the Frock with a Nine-shilling Piece. His going thro' Letcomb next Morning, and what he said to the Man, about his helping to carry the Farmer home, was proved by that Man. The Men that carried the Body home, proved that Salisbury had no Hand in carrying him, and that Salisbury was neither at the Place when they carried home the Body, nor at the House after it was brought home. And the Man of the Alehouse, in the Newbury Road, proved, that he told him the same Story. The Knife and Sheath were produced in Court, and the Contradiction of the Father's borrowing the Knife of the Son, proved likewise. The Turnkey proved that Salisbury acknowledged himself guilty of the Fact for which he was committed. The Debtor discharged out of Prison, proved that he had the Letter from Salisbury to the Father, about procuring a Friend to swear, where he had the Nine-shilling Piece, and to hide the Cloaths in the Coffer, Mr. Wiseman proved the Letter from the Father to Salisbury, concealed in the Bag of Flower; and notwithstanding all these strong Circumstances, the Verdict was, Not guilty, to the great Surprize and Astonishment of the whole Country. After having thus escaped the Gallows, he went to Hounslow, where he lived, he says, near 12 Months. But, as Farmer Aldworth was almost uppermost in all his Thoughts, while he lived there, he could not be easy, but hoped, by removing farther off, to forget him. So he came up to London, and listed for a Soldier in Colonel Backland's Regiment of Foot, and was sent to Aberdeen in Scotland to the Regiment, where he found himself still equally uneasy, and that what Horace says, was true, Coelum, non animum mutant quitrans mare currunt.
About Christmas last, having obtained Leave to go home on a Furlow, he returned again to Childry, where, he says, he staid about three Weeks (during which Time the Farmers of that Place went home from Wantage Market in a Body, being greatly afraid, from whence he removed to Hounslow Town, where having married , or taken to him a Wife, he staid about five Weeks. On the 21st of February last, he set
out from thence, and having stole a Horse out of a Field on one Side of the Town, he rode to Smallberry Green Turnpike. He called for it to be opened to pass through; but when the Man came to open the Gate, he was got off the Horse's Back, and went in to the House to warm himself. He sat there a While, he says, and talked with the Man that had the Care of the Gate. Then, he says, the Devil put it into his Head (it is his own Words) to behave in the vile Manner he did: And he gave no other Reason for such his Behaviour, than that it came into his Head of a sudden, and he was in Liquor at that Time. He was taken at HydePark-Corner, and committed by Justice Fielding.
When they heard the Account of his robbing Mr. Thompson, and attempting to murder him, they were glad to find that he had not compleated his Villainy, and that he was apprehended. In a few Days after he was committed, he sent a Letter to his Father, wherein (to use his own Words) he tells him,
"That he was confined in the Gatehouse,
"and that he should never be
"released, and that he should be sentenced
"to be hanged: And he desired
"his Father and Mother not to
"grieve about it, and not to come
"up; for it was what pleased God.
This Letter was opened and copied, and then sent to the Father, who is generally esteemed a bad Man; for that on the Trial, he swore quite contrary about the borrowing his Son's Knife, to what he did before the Justice.
Upon his Trial he made no Defence, being convicted in his own Mind, as appears by a Letter he sent his Father, after he was committed for the Fact as above. Since Conviction he has behaved well, as became him, and appeared penitent, and heartily sorry for his great Load of Offences.
Soon after Conviction, having had Information of the Murder of Farmer Aldworth of Childry, before some People I asked him to declare the Truth with respect to that Affair, and he declared he did commit Murder upon him. His Confession he did sign, and is as follows:
"Robbery on the Highway ; and
"whereas about four Years ago I was
"tried at Abbingdon Assizes for the
"Notwithstanding which, as I am a
"dying Man, I hereby solemnly declare
"and acknowledge myself to be guilty
"of the Murder of the late Mr. Aldworth
"aforesaid: As Witness my
"Hand, this sixteenth Day of April,
He behaved generally very well, as far as his Understanding would give him Leave; acknowledged his base Treatment of Mr. Thompson, for which alone he thought he deserved to die: Besides, (Oh! terrible but to think on) what Guilt he had incurred for the Murder of Farmer Aldworth. The Circumstance of which he related as follows, viz.
He walked with Aldworth from Wantage Market. By the Way he told Salisbury he had received 14 or 15 l. that Day. He was tempted at hearing this,and resolved upon having the Money; but fearing Discovery, as the Farmer well knew him, he found he must kill him, or not rob him. And (Oh, dreadfull) as he was walking by his Side, without a Word spoken on either Side, he took a Knife out of his Pocket, and cut his Throat: Upon which he fell directly; and Salisbury says, he afterwards robbed him of about 50 s. in which was included the Nine Shilling Piece. And he declared, he took no more, to the best of his Remembrance. After this monstrous Act committed, he was, however, artful enough to return to Wantage, and came Home to his Father's about two Hours after the Murder.
The next Morning he left the Parish, as related above, and went to Newbury. The Circumstance of his Non-appearance was recollected upon his going off, and occasioned his being taken up at Newbury, and tried at Abingdon; where be for that Time escaped the Vengeance of the Law, by what Means is not necessary to say. But, as Horace says,
Raro ante cedentem scelestum Deseruit paena pede claudo.
The Law he escaped, but himself remained, from whom he could not run away. Wickedness was some how or other deeply rivetted in his Breast; and he could not shake it off, till it had brought forth its Consequences, severe Punishment.
He begun with Murder notorious, and ended with an Attempt to do what Providence hath not permitted. And the latter seems to have been attempted, that the former might be brought to Light, and punished by Way of Example, that other Men may remember; - It rarely happens, that a Man who will dare to be wicked, does escape, tho' Punishment may not immediately tread upon his Heels. He suffered very deservedly, and to the Satisfaction of all to whom his Wickedness is known.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
On Monday, the 27th Instant, between Eight and Nine o'Clock in the Morning, Robert Lake, George Hall, and George Basset, in one Cart; John Stevens and John Turner in another, were carried to the Place of Execution; where, having recommended their Souls to the Almighty's Protection, they departed this Life by the Hands of the common Hangman.
Lake behaved audaciously to the last, which surprized every Beholder. Every one pitied his Appearance, and was sorry to see a Creature capable of Thought, and who pretended to be a Christian, seem so little affected at his approaching Fate, most ignominious and scandalous in this World, and it is be feared to be attended with worse Consequences in that which is to come. The rest behaved tolerably well, and seemed somewhat more affected. And,
On Wednesday, the 29th Instant, about Six in the Morning, John Salisbury was carried from Newgate to the Place of Execution on Smallberry Green; where having recommended his departing Soul to God, he mounted the Ladder, and was turned off, suffering the just Reward of his wicked Deeds. There he owned the Murder of Farmer Aldworth. He was afterwards hung up in Chains, just at the Entrance upon Hounslow-Heath.