THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE SIX MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the Sixteenth of APRIL, 1753.
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 Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir Crisp Gascoyne , Knt . Lord Mayor of the City of London; Mr. Justice Wright, Mr. Justice Gundry, Mr. Baron Adams, William Moreton Esq ; Recorder , and others of His Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer of the City of London, and Justices of Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall, in the Old Baily, on Wednesday the Twenty-first, Thursday the Twenty-second, Friday the Twenty-third, Saturday the Twenty-fourth, and Monday the Twenty-sixth of February, in the Twenty-sixth Year of His Majesty's Reign, John Jetter, Charles Sickamore, Mary Squires, Edward McManning, Grace Weedon, Isabella Roe, and John Higgons, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
Their Behaviour since Conviction was quiet, and their Appearance at Prayer and Chapel, such as in general become Persons sensible of their approaching End, and McManning being a Roman Catholick , a Gentleman of that Communion attended him.
On Wednesday the Tenth Instant the Report of seven Malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder, to His Majesty in Council, when he was pleas'd to order John Jetter, Charles Sickamore, Grace Weedon, Isabella Roe, John Higgons, and Edward McManning, for Execution on Monday the 16th Instant.
1. Edward McManning, otherwise Howard, otherwise James Farrol , was indicted for that he, on the 8th of February, about the Hour of Eight in the Night, the Dwelling-house of John Showers , Esq ; did break and enter, one Velvet Coat, Value 8 l. one Pair of Velvet Breeches, one Cloth Coat with Gold Lace, one other Coat with Metal Buttons, gilt with Gold, one Coat, one Surtout Coat, one Frock, one Waistcoat, one Cloth Frock, one Gold Brocaded Waistcoat, one Silk Waistcoat, one Worsted Waistcoat, one Cloth Waistcoat, two Pair of Silk Breeches, two Pair of Worsted Breeches, two Pair of Leather Breeches, two Pair of Silk Hose, three Pair of Worsted Hose, two Pair of Thread ditto, ten Linen Shirts, five Muslin Neckcloths, work'd with Needle-work, thirty Ells of Linen Cloth, one Pair of Sheets, one Pillowbier, two Linen Table-Cloths, three Napkins, one Gold Laced Hat, three other Hats, one Pair of Boots, one Pair of Shoes, three other Pair of Shoes, one Sword with a gilded Hilt, one Gold Ring set with a Chrystal Stone, and two Diamond Sparks, one Silver Tobacco-Box, two Silver Table Spoons, four Silver Tea-Tongs, the Goods of John Showers, Esq ; did steal, take, and carry away .
3. Mary Squires , was indicted, for that she, on the 2d of January, in the Dwelling-House of Susannah Wells , Widow , on Elizabeth Canning , Spinster , did make an Assault, putting her in Corporal Fear, and Danger of her Life, one Pair of Stays, Value 10 s. the Property of the said Elizabeth, from her Person, in the said Dwelling-house, did steal, take, and carry away .
4. Charles Sickamore , was indicted, for that he, together with Joseph Hall , and Jonathan Ward , not yet taken, on the first of December, about the Hour of Seven in the Night, the Dwelling-House of William Grubb did break and enter, one Cloth Coat, Value 2 s. one Flannel Waistcoat, Value 6 d. one Pair of Leather Breeches, two Linen Shifts, one Stuff Gown, two Quilted Petticoats, and one Perriwig, the Goods of the said William, did steal, &c ,
5. John Higgons , was indicted, for that he, together with Thomas Hayes , not yet taken, and others, on the 30th of December, about One in the Night, the Dwelling-House of Edward Blake did break and enter, and steal out thence fifteen Pewter Dishes, thirty-six Pewter Plates, twenty-three Quart Pots, three Pewter Quart Tankards, seventeen Pewter Plates, one Table-Cloth, three Blankets, and several other Goods of the said Edward .
6, 7. Grace Weedon , and Isabella Roe , Spinster s, were indicted, for that they, on the King's Highway, on Jane King did make an Assault, putting her in Corporal Fear, and Danger of her Life, and stealing one Ticken Pocket,
Value 1 d. one Iron Key, Value 2 d. one Penknife, Value 1 d. one Brass Thimble, Value one Half-penny, from her Person, January the 29th .
1. Edward McManning , was about 30 Years of Age, born in Ireland, and I think, when I had the Liberty of speaking to him, he said he was born in the City of Dublin. He was the Offspring of Parents, who were Irish Catholicks , and was bred such himself, as far as I can understand. He was initiated into the World in Capacity of a Gentleman's Servant , and was so to the last Days of his being at large, before he was detected for the Fact for which he suffered; in all Probability very deservedly too, since the Verdict of Conviction was quite agreeable to the Evidence produced in Court against him.
As to his Method of Life, I cannot be expected to give any farther Account of it, than the Nature of the Evidence against him will admit of: I would wish to give no other than what the appearing Truth, and my Observation of him would bear me out in. And, as I must give some Account, tho' he was under the Care of one, from whom I could expect no Particulars, what I do here say of him is no more than is agreeable to the Nature of the Evidence, and what induced the Jury of the Country to bring him in guilty upon their impartial Enquiry.
When I had the Honour of speaking to him about a Day or two after Conviction, he denied the whole Charge against him; and insinuated, that others committed the Robbery, and laid the Fault upon him. What he has said since, is best known to the Gentleman that attended him, to prepare him for his approaching Fate; he is the best acquainted, whether the Sufferer owned the Justice of his Sentence, or no. By his outward Deportment, both at his Trial, and to the End of his Days, he seemed to be an unworthy and audacious Son of Hibernia, of a bold and undaunted Spirit. His Guilt appearing so plain as it did before the Court, where he was tried, could be no Cause of undaunted Resolution; but rather, I should think, of Humility and Dejection; tho' he left the World with all the seeming Composure of a Person who had not deserved such an ignominious End.
When I had the Honour of speaking to him, upon asking him generally Questions, which, in my humble Opinion, I thought would not give any Offence, he behaved with such uncommon Insolence, as I never before met with; God knows, I wish him as well as it he behaved otherwise; but whether this arose from his natural untoward Disposition of Mind, or from Instructions he received before Conviction, I take not upon me to determine.
However, for the Fact laid in the Indictment, committed on the 8th of February last, he was had before a Justice on the 9th. When, being ask'd what he had to say for himself; he replied, that a Woman robb'd Mr. Showers's Lodgings, and gave the Goods to him to sell. Being ask'd what Woman, he made no Answer; but applying himself to Captain Showers, desired, that as he had recovered most of his Things again, he would not send him to Jail. This was sufficient Argument
of Guilt, no doubt, to procure his Commitment; for Captain Showers, by the Direction of Persons, whom M'Manning had employed to carry off the Goods, did recover most of them, and they were partly stolen by him. He had the Key of the Door intrusted with him, and had he been honest, he would not have sent away the Woman, who was hired to clean the House; but his Intent being to rob it, and betray the Trust reposed in him, he would not let her stay that Day to do it, but insinuated, the next Day would be more convenient. He got rid of her, that he might have the better Opportunity to put his wicked Design in Practice.
And, tho' before the Justice, he pretends a Woman robbed the House, and employed him to sell the Goods, yet, upon his Trial, his Memory fail'd him, and he would have laid the Blame on a Soldier, who was the Means of detecting him. This is frequently the Case of such unhappy Persons, who have a bad Cause to manage. To-day they endeavour to shew their Innocence by one Argument and Pretence; but being called upon a few Days after, the Story being false, and not fix'd in the Mind, as Truth always is, they fly for Refuge to another Sort of Attempt to cloak their Guilt, and they betray their own Cause: And this not designedly, for Truth, being what must come to Light, it some how breaks forth, either by voluntary or involuntary Behaviour or Discourse.
M'Manning's surly Disposition was discovered by most who saw his Exit, and he died an Irish Catholick .
2. Isabella Roe , aged 20, was born at Stafford, and having no Education, was bred a Servant . She lived with her Parents till within a Year or two, and since she came to Town, says, she liv'd in two or three reputable Families. She says, she never did any Thing amiss in her Services, tho' she did not stay long in a Place. Of late, she owns, she has been loose and disorderly, and has been a Night-walker with Weedon, &c. She seemed to be one of a mild Disposition, however Liquor and Resentment had prevailed on her to assault Jane King on that unhappy Night they met together, which laid a Plan for her Destruction in this World. Roe says, she had known Weedon about six Weeks, tho' they had no great Intimacy; but it appears they had too much, for either of their own Advantages. And she tells her Story as follows: Viz. That they all three met together in Russel-street, and that the Prosecutrix struck her first, and she struck her again, and repeated her Blows; but says, she had not the least Thought of robbing her, or any Body else, but they were walking to see if they could meet with any one, whom to pick-up, and persuade to enentertain them. She says, she never saw the Pocket, till Weedon sent it to the Round-house. When the Watch came up, she says, she charg'd the Prosecutrix, and the Prosecutrix charg'd her, and being both taken together, the Prosecutrix had a Mind to make it up; but some Whispers pass'd between her and the Watch, which she says, together with some provoking Words Weedon spoke to her, incensed her to swear the Robbery against her.
When they were brought to the Justice's House, Roe says, some People who stood by, said to the Prosecutrix, Don't go to take away the Lives of two such young Creatures. She then said, says Roe, she did not charge me with any Thing but striking her; but while I had sent for Bail, as directed, Weedon said somewhat to her which she did not like, with Regard to her Way of Life, and then she was resolved to swear a Robbery against us both, saying, Weedon robbed her of her Pocket, and Roe stood by and beat her. Accordingly she did swear it, and they were committed.
Both Roe and Weedon behaved well during the Time between Conviction and Execution; and tho' both were unhappily ignorant, yet, by a daily Exercise of Prayer, and other Methods, their Understanding was so far enlarged as to see, that, for their wicked Lives, it pleased God to suffer them to be thus afflicted; and they wept, and prayed heartily to God for his Grace, and the Assistance of his Holy Spirit, to enable them to repent truly of their former Sins.
The Character of these two poor Girls was undoubtedly bad, and that appeared upon the Evidence, from being walking the Streets between One and Two o'Clock in the Morning, as the Prosecutrix herself related the Matter. The poor Girls frequently mentioned the Prosecutrix in a bad Light; but however that be, one would wish her Character sufficient to defeat any Supposition of her prosecuting rather for the Sake of a Reward, than for the Sake of Justice; because it is by her Means the Law has deprived the two Girls of Life.
3. Grace Weedon , aged 29, was born at Hendon in Middlesex, of poor honest Parents, as she says, whose Circumstances were not sufficient to give her any Education. Her Mother died when all the Children were young, and the Father not being quite so careful after her Death as their Wants required, she was provided for some Time by the Parish, till such Time as she grew big enough to work for herself, to get a Livelihood. It seems she was always looked upon as of an untoward and ill-disposed Mind, unlucky and graceless, before she left her own Home, where she was born; but unhappily proved much worse after she came to London; her Residence here having always been in or near Drury-Lane, and her Course of Life wicked and debauched, as she herself acknowledged, adding these Words; that had she taken the Advice of her Brother, and other poor Relations, she never should have come to such an untimely and sorrowful End.
Tho' she acknowledged herself bad, and her Ways have been so, yet she denied to the last her being guilty of the Robbery for which she suffered; and represented the Affair as arising only from some Words which passed between her and the Prosecutrix. Weedon says she was drinking in her Company for some Time, about a Month before this Matter happened, which she has paid so dear for.
She says, that the Time the Prosecutrix charged her with the Robbery, shedid meet her, and asked her to give her a Dram. The Prosecutrix refused to give her any; upon which Words arose between them, which came to hard Names, and at last to Blows. Weedon damned her, and told Roe of it; upon which, says she, Roe said, Won't she? Then I'll box her; and accordingly gave her a Blow or two, and the Prosecutrix returned it to Roe.
The Watch being called, two of them came up, and Roe was taken, and, together with the Prosecutrix, who charged each other for an Assault, was taken to the Round-house. There the Prosecutrix declared she had been robb'd of her Pocket by a Woman, who took it off from her Side, but pretended not to know her. She described her by a Cast in her Eye, and Roe said it was Grace; and she was sent to for the Pocket, which she sent, and was afterwards fetched herself.
They were almost come to an Agreement to make it up, before they left the Round-house, and when carried to the Justice's House, they seemed so inclined to do; but while their Friends were gone for, Weedon happened to say something to the Prosecutrix, concerning their former Acquaintance, and with Respect to her Life and Manners; upon which she flew in a Passion, says Weedon, and said she would swear a Robbery against us both.
She says Minutes were taken of her Deposition against them, and being laid before the Justice, and she sworn to them, they were committed to Gaol.
To the last she denied tearing the Pocket from the Prosecutrix's Side, and gave no other Account how she came by it, but, as she did upon her Defence, she said she kicked it before her, and took it up.
4. Charles Sickamore , was a Youth of about nineteen Years of Age, likely, tall, and strait, and of a healthy Complection and Aspect. He was born in the Town of Cambridge, in St. Michael's Parish , and was bred a Brick and Tile-maker with his Father. He says he was Servant to a Gentleman of Trinity-College in that University; and tho' he was a little wild and unlucky, yet the Gentleman thought proper to keep him three Years, till he died; and the unhappy Youth was then out of Business: And the Trade he was bred to being scarce, he got his Father acquainted with it, who, at that Time, worked at Brick and Tile-making, at a Place called the Brill, in the Way to Pancras; so his Father sent for him out of the Country, to come up to him; which he did, he says, about Michaelmas last was Twelvemonth.
About six Months ago his Father went back to Cambridge, and left him in Business; and so, by what I can find of him, he continued till about a Fortnight before he was taken up. He was known to Hall, executed, and Ward, not taken; and he knew them about six Weeks, but no Intimacy was between him and them, he says, till about five or six Days before this Robbery was committed for which he died. Hall and he had worked together, and Ward used to come to Hall; and at last, Work not being to brisk as it had been, Sickamore had a little idle Time, and going into the Fields with them, was, by theirPersuasion; induced to engage with them in their Wickedness. He says he was concerned with them in stealing Lead from several Houses about Islington; and that, while he was concerned with them, they lost no Time.
He says he never was concerned with them, or any Body else, in robbing on the Highway, nor ever attempted a House before. He owns he went out with them that Day the Indictment mentions, and after having spent all their Money, they resolved to rob on the Highway, or commit any other Robbery that should offer; but that they met Nobody whom they thought worth while, or whom they dared attack. At last, he says, as they were all three sauntering up and down the Fields, they came in their Walks by the Prosecutrix's House. He declares they had no particular Design upon that House, but were accidentally induced to rob it. For, says he, just as we came by the House, a Parish-Boy came from an Alehouse over the Way, where the Prosecutrix then was, to tell her two Daughters to go over to her. They three were at the Door when the Daughters came out, and hearing one of them say to the other, How shall we fasten the Door? and the other reply, Pull it after you, there is no Danger; set their Wits immediately to work, who were come out with a Design to rob. He acknowledges that they took the Goods out of the House, as the Indictment sets forth, and every of them for aught he knows. He acknowledges therefore the Justice of his Suffering, behaved well, and seemed frequently to weep, and lament sorely. He had been tried with Hall, and no doubt, executed with him, but at that Sessions happened to be extremely ill, and could not be brought to take his Trial.
He appeared all along to be of a gentle Disposition, and but for the falling into such bad Company as he did, he had never thus engaged to his Destruction. He said, he was pleased with Work, nor had his Mind suggested any Thoughts of Thievery, till he became engaged with them by Means of their Solicitations to it.
He all along declared himself guilty of the Robbery in general, and that he was one of those who did it; but still to the last declared, there was no Lock, nor Latch to the Door, and only a Bar to fasten it; so that when all the People were out of the House, there was no such Thing as shutting the Door to make it fast.
He says Hall brought out most of the Goods, and he and Ward assisted in carrying away, and selling them. Hall, an old Offender, told where Sickamore might be taken, and he was found in Fleet-street. Being brought before the Justice, he own'd the Fact, and wanted to be admitted an Evidence; but not being able to make large Discoveries, it was not worth while to get him admitted, but he was committed. He was betrayed by him he said, who first persuaded him to steal. When he found all Hopes of saving Life was lost, he wept grievously, and said with seeming Sincerity and Heartiness, if it pleased God he might live longer, he should be glad, but since he must die, he was comforted, for that he had no greater Burden of such Kind to bear. He expressedhimself sorry for what he had done amiss; and seeing what Wretchedness and Danger he had brought himself into, by transgressing the Laws of God, he owned the Justice of his Sentence, and died resigned to the Will of Providence, trusting in his Mercies, through Christ.
5. John Jetter , was about 50 Years of Age, was born of Parents to whom he was the Occasion of great Grief, and was thought to have been a Means of hastening his Father's Death, having been known to use him very ill even from his Childhood. He was born, or brought very young into the Parish of Christ-Church, Surry, where his Father kept the Three Tuns and Leg Alehouse, on the Broad Wall, with whom he liv'd in Idleness, minding nothing but Gaming, and Tricking those he could take in. And it is currently reported, that he has been seen, when young, to beat his Father, because he would not supply him with more Money, to support his Gaming and idle Expences.
He began his Tricks very young; for when he was about Eight or Nine Years old, he stole a Hen, and the whole Brood of Chickens, Nest and all, from a Neighbour, which were never return'd again.
When he was about Thirteen, he stole some Cloth out of a Scotch Pedlar's Pack, while his Back was turned, at his Father's own House, where the Man came to rest himself, and drink a Draught of Beer.
When he was grown up to Manhood, he took an Alehouse, now the Windmill, in Palace-Garden-Lane, in the same Parish, where he played Tricks, and did many wicked Exploits. He was always very diligent in finding out the Young and Unwary, whom he might practise upon; and one Day he laid hold of a Neighbour's Apprentice, who was just returned from Sea with some Money. Jetter happened to meet with him as he landed at the Stairs, got him into his House, and being dextrous at the Game called Cribbidge, became possessed of all the Sailor's Money before his Master saw him.
From this House Jetter removed to another in the same Parish, where his Wife turned Washerwoman. Of this her new Trade he was cunning enough to make an Advantage; and in order to carry on his Tricks, and raise Money, he was used to go to Rag-Fair, and buy as many cast-off ruffled Shirts as he could pick up; then his Wife must wash, iron, and set them off to the best Advantage: Which done, he would carry them to pawn, and sometimes for more Money than they cost; because he would not suffer them to be examined, and said, that as they were made fit for Gentlemen's Wear, they must not be tumbled; and his Wife would call before the Week was out, to redeem them, in order to carry them Home to her Masters, Gentlemen that lived in the City; and that she was gone there to raise Money to redeem them. And thus he went on for some Time, till he became too well known to all the Pawnbrokers on Surry Side of the Water.
There was one Wm. W-g-ff, who lived on the Bank-side, that had a Horse, and no convenient Place to keep him in. Jetter & he were acquainted; and he toldhim one Day, that he was welcome to put him into his Ground, where his Wife dried her Cloaths, there being good Grass in it. The Man thanked him, and accordingly brought his Horse. This gave Jetter an Opportunity frequently to ride out, and sometimes he was missing for Days. When the Man came to take away his Horse, Jetter told him he must pay for the Oats and Beans he had eaten; and brought in so large a pretended Bill, that the Owner thought it the cheapest Way to let him have the Horse, rather than pay for his keeping.
Jetter's Landlord, who lived in the same Parish, could neither get the Rent, nor his House quitted; so that at last he was provoked to make a Seizure, and put a Man in Possession. Upon this, Jetter went over the Water, and returning in the Evening, thro' the Window shewed the Man a Handful of Counters at a Distance, bidding him call his Master, and he would pay him off. While the Man went to fetch the Landlord Jetter got in, fastened the Door, and took Possession of the House; and the Landlord was obliged to let him live there as long as he pleased.
Sometimes he has passed for a Merchant , and has bought Quantities of Goods, such as Shoes for Sea, Watches, and divers other Things, where either his Word or Note would pass. Having invented Schemes to get into Possession of the Goods, he was not to be found; but his Wife, who was a suitable Helpmate to him, had cheap Pennyworths to dispose of.
Once upon a Time as he was setting in a Coffee-House, he observed two Cheesemongers in Discourse about where they bought their Goods. One said, he had lately had a Parcel of such a wholesale Dealer in Thames-street, which did not answer so well as he expected. The other desired he would try him again, saying he was a very just Trader, &c. Jetter having picked up the Names, and Places of Abode, wrote a Letter to the wholesale Trader in the Nam of one of those he had sat in the Coffee-House with, for another Parcel, and sent it by one C - nn - n a Waterman, who could not read. The Order was answered, and the Cheese put into the Waterman's Boat, who carried them to Hungerford Stairs, near to the Place where the Cheesemonger hv'd. Jetter being there ready to receive the Cheese, secured it to his own Use. And at another Time be play'd a Trick of the same Sort, and had a Parcel from another wholesale Dealer, by such another Stratagem, which were brought by Thomas G - t - r a Waterman, and landed at Queenhithe. The Watermen are looked upon to be honest Men, not in the Secret, and imposed upon by Jetter, who was not then so well known.
And now altho' he had a Wife and three Children by her, he ventured to court a Widow at the Crown Alehouse in Broad-street, and by passing for a great Whitster in Christ-Church Parish, he obtained her Consent, and they were married accordingly. He soon after began to remove the Effects off the Premises. When the Woman once perceived how her Affairs were circumstantiated, she was not long before she was too fully convinced of her being villainously deluded.
The Artifice he made Use of to gain her Consent was this; he took her over the Water with him, and shew'd her a large Whitster's Ground, which he, with all the Assurance imaginable, asserted was all his own; the too credulous Woman, not mistrusting the Deception, imagined that she had made an advantageous Alliance, but soon found, to her Cost, that she had been most shamefully deluded.
Upon this, his first Wife went to Westminster, and on a Trial there, swearing that she was never married to him, he gain'd his Cause, and thereupon he returned Home with his new Consort, in Triumph, and liv'd with her till he had totally accomplish'd her Ruin.
After this Scene of Villainy was over, he went away, and cohabited with his first perjur'd Wife, who was one after his own Heart. It was not long however, before he abandon'd her likewise; and finding herself unexpectedly distrest, went with Resentment, before a Justice, and swore, without the least Reserve, that she was his true and lawful Wife; upon which voluntary Affidavit, the Parish of Christ-Church, on whom she had been a Burden for some Time, acquitted themselves of a chargeable Member: For upon Jetter's having taken a House in Leaden-hall-street, they sent her away with a Pass to that Parish, and in the Work-house belonging thereto she soon after ended her Days.
Upon his taking Possession of the Publick-House just mentioned, he gave a Note for all the Effects and Furniture thereof, payable three Days after Date; during which Interval, he sold off every Thing upon the Premises, by Auction, and secreted himself before his Note became due.
Before this notorious Fraud was committed, he had been for some Time a Waiter at a Tavern in Ironmonger-lane, which put him upon forming the above Project, and even that he quitted with Disgrace; for he was violently suspected of having clandestinely carried off a Silver Cup, and of which it is highly probable he was guilty, tho' he denied it.
But he had no sooner found Means to get into Newgate, than he began to lay a Scheme how he should get out again. His Sons had Access to him among the Common Side Felons, and one Sunday his elder Son was with him, who had on a great Coat. Jetter improved this Opportunity, and when the Doors were opened to let the Prisoners go up to Chappel from their several Parts of the Jail, he put on his Son's red great Coat, and going down into the Common Side Debtors Apartments, passed out at the Gate where the Begging-Box hangs; for the Debtors Turnkey little thinking of a Felon coming that Way, took him for a Stranger, and let him pass. He was wanting some Time, and skulked about from Place to Place, till he got down to Wapping, where he was known by a Waterman and stopped, while Word was sent to Mr. Akerman, who went down and brought him Home.
In October Sessions following, 1746, he was tried for robbing one Morgan of a Guinea; and being convicted received Sentence of Transportation for seven Years.
And here we cannot help taking notice of a Scheme Jetter even then invented to save himself from going Abroad. After Sentence of Transportation was passed on him he made an Information against two Persons, in which he charged them with robbing the Mail. The Persons were taken up, but when Examination was, had the Post-Boy knew neither of them; and Jetter having laid in his Information, that himself held theHorses behind a Hedge near a Gate: The Post-boy deposed there was neither Hedge nor Gate near the Place were he was robbed; so the two Persons were discharged with Honour. This Robbery afterwards appeared to be that for which Gabriel Tomkins was committed to Newgate, and being removed to Bedford, was there executed for the same. So that all this Story was only in Hopes to get the King's Pardon by being admitted an Evidence; nor cared he who was hanged, so he escaped.
One of the first Pranks he played after his Return, was the following Bite. Being at an Alehouse in Abchurch-lane, in Company with his Son John, he called for a Tankard of Porter; but as it was Summer Time, and a sultry hot Day, they thought proper to sit at the Door, for the Benefit (as they pretended) of the Air. As soon as the Tankard was out they called to pay; and when the Waiter attended them, the former, with his wonted Assurance, gave him a Counter instead of a Guinea, to be exchanged: The Waiter having no Mistrust, went into the Bar to his Master for Change; but in the Interim both of them vanished on a sudden, and very dextrously carried off the Tankard.
Soon after this lucky Exploit he took Boat, in order to cross the Water, and perceiving the Man who plied him look with an Air of Dejection; 'Prithee, Friend, said he, what
'makes you look so disconsolate To-day?'
'Why, Sir, replied he, to tell you the
'Truth, I owe my Landlord a little Money
'for Rent, and as I am very sensible I am
'not able to raise the Sum he insists upon,
'I expect to have my Goods seized Tomorrow.'
'Upon that Jetter enquired who his hard-hearted Landlord was.
'M -, Sir, replied the Waterman, a
'Coal-Merchant, at Lambeth.'
'then, said Jetter, you seem to be a very
'honest Fellow tho' you're poor, and since
'your Case is so urgent, I'll go with you
'to him, and for once stand your Friend,
'tho' a Stranger.'
Accordingly, as soon as they landed, they went together to the Landlord's House, where Jetter very courteously discharged the Waterman's Debt, and tho' neither of them knew each other, very charitably ordered Mr. M - to lay the poor honest Man in a Score of Coals, for which he would promise to be his Pay-master; and told him, at the same Time, that the Man might probably sell great Part of them amongst his Neighbours, and be thereby enabled to become a better Tenant for the Time to come.
Mr. -, not in the least suspecting Jetter, very readily agreed to send in the Coals pursuant to his Order. Our Sharper had nothing more to do but to send Carts to take them away, which were sent in a Day or two accordingly. When he got them once in his Possession, he could afford to send them to as cheap a Market as any Trader whomsoever upon the River.
Not long after this successful Imposition, another Occurrence offered, which our Sharper very readily embraced. A Clergyman at some Distance from the City of London, had a Son who was an Invalid, and advertised that he wanted, for that Reason, a small Estate for his Maintenance and Support, in Case of his own Decease. Jetter, without the least Hesitation, pitch'd upon a forg'd Name, of a very substantial Esquire, in the West, who was possessed of an Estate, in or near London, that would answer, in every Respect, the End proposed.
Soon after our Sharper went down to the Village where the Clergyman lived, and put up at the best Inn in the Place, with his Son John, who personated his Valet.
As Jetter frequented Church very punctually, was soon taken Notice of by the Parson, who invited him to his House, and inform'd him that he wanted to buy a small Estate forhis Son. Jetter told him, he had one to dispose of that would come very near the Sum which he proposed to advance; and gave him Directions where to send a Line, or two, to London, about it.
He sent several Letters accordingly, and received very satisfactory Answer that there was an Esquire of the Name mention'd, that had such an Estate in his Hands, and was inclin'd to part with it; which was in Reality true, tho' Jetter was the fictitious Esquire.
Jetter pretended he was going a long Journey; but was oblig'd to postone it till he should see a Merchant, who was to meet him there before he could proceed; but that he had just receiv'd a Letter from him, wherein he gave an Account that he was under an absolute necessity of absenting himself from him longer than he intended, on Account of some Letters he expected from some of his foreign Correspondents, and that they would be of great Importance and would require immediate Answers. Whereupon Jetter pretended that he had not Money sufficient about him to defray the Expences of his intended Journey, and therefore should be oblig'd to him, if he would advance him 40 Guineas, that he might not be delay'd any longer; and that the Loan might be settled and adjusted when they met to treat about the Estate. The Clergyman readily complied with his Request, but the Affair remains unsettled to this Day.
Thus he went on till the End of the Summer 1750, and in September following was apprehended and committed to the Gatehouse, from whence he was brought to Newgate, and there for Security confined in one of the Cells. And he brought a load of Detainers along with him.
He was committed to the Gatehouse by the Name of John Clark , otherwise John Hill , otherwise William Kinsman , otherwise William Butler , on Oath of John Mattam , for publishing a forged and counterfeit promissory Note to the said Mattam, under the Name of John Haywood , for the Sum of 8 l. 8 s.
The Manner in which he defrauded those Victuallers and Publicans, who brought the abovemention'd Detainers against him, was as follows, and one Account, to avoid prolixity, may serve for all.
He would take care to go to some Public-house, where Nobody knew him, and desire the Landlord to shew him a private Room, pretending that he had Abundance of Business to transact, for several Days, at that End of the Town; charging the Landlord, at the same Time, if any Body came, and enquired for Capt. Clarke, Hill, Kinsman, Butler, Hayward, or whatever other Name he thought proper to assume for that Day, not only to shew him the Room, but to come with him. He would soon spread a Table with Books, Papers, a Purse of Counters, &c. Soon after this, by Appointment, comes in his Son John, and asks for Capt. -, who was ushered into the Room in the Habit of a Sailor; and asking the Captain for his Wages, was immediately paid off, out of his pretended Bag of Gold. When he was dismissed, the next that came was his Son Tom, drest in the same Manner, and waited on the Captain upon the same Errand.
After him came a Person drest like a Shopman, or Book-keeper, with a Note of Hand, drawn on the Captain, for perhaps 10 Guineas, or any other Sum. The Captain pays it off, and takes up his Note, with all the Complaisance imaginable. The last that came was his own Spouse, covered with an old ragged Cloak, who understood perfectly well the Art of shamming the Cripple, and falling at Pleasure into a Flood of Tears. Well! and what are your Wants pray, good Dame, says he? She replies, If his Honour pleas'd, she wanted some of her Husband's Wages; for he died either the Night before, or a Day or two ago at farthest, and she had not a single Penny to buy him a Coffin. The Captain asks her, in a very courteous Manner, Pray Dame! What was your Husband's Name? John - says she, wiping her blubbered Eyes with her Sleeve. The Captain, seemingly in a Surprize, cries out, blessing himself, and lifting up his Eyes and Hands to Heaven: What! Is poor Jack dead? Then there is the best Sailor gone that ever went before the Mast? How many Children, Dame, may Jack and you have had between you A numerous Family, cries she; more, God knows, than I am able to keep. Then the Sum which appears due to the Deceased, by comparing a dirty Paper which she pulls out of her Bosom, with his own Accounts, amounts to more Money than is remaining in his Bag; upon which he seems a little disconcerted; and as the Landlord was present, and heard the whole Discourse between them, Jetter recovers himself, and accosts him with a seeming Concern for the poor unfortunate Widow, in the following Manner: Landlord, I must beg the Favour of you, since it is highly requisite that the good Woman should carry Home Money enough to bury the Dead; and since my Bag is exhausted, be so good as to lend me ten Guineas, to answer her present Occasions, and I'll repay you, with Thanks, To-morrow. With all my Heart, Captain, cries the credulous Landlord: The Money is deposited, and a Note given in an Instant, payable the next Day. The Sniveling Widow drops a low Courtesy to the Captain, and, with a God bless your Honour, moves slily off with the Money. The next Day our Sharper, instead of repaying the Debtcontracted, moves off to another Quarter o the Town, and plays the same Game over again.
Being now, as observed before, in the Cells of Newgate, he had Time to reflect, being kept by himself. He knew how the Case stood with him, and being grieved at coming again to his old Lodgings, he would neither eat nor drink, and, thro' fasting, was so emaciated, that his Appearance was, as tho' hard at Death's Door. But, all this while he was ruminating another Escape, which he affected within two or three Days after, upon a particular Occasion, he had been seen by several People, who pitied him. For, there happened a Rumour of Fire in the Cells one Night, and he was brought down into the Press-yard, Bed and all, comforted with a Glass of warm Wine, and taken a great deal of Care of, as he appeared very ill. But, 'twas all a Trick.
His younger Son in two or three Days after came to see him, and had a great Coat on. Jetter being supposed to be very ill in his Cell, his Son was admitted to see him. He again made use of this Opportunity, and throwing aside all Sickness, put on his Son's great Coat, and stooping his Knees, and as it were doubling himself together, so that he appeared less than he really was, he came to the Gate, with some one else, who was going, and was let thro' the Gate unsuspected. The Son came out soon after, before 'twas discovered the Father was gone, and they both got off; the Father being not missed 'till locking up at Night. The Day after he was seen in Newgate-street, in a full Suit of Black, a Bag-wig, and a Sword; and on the second Day was seen again by the same Person going through Newgate, with a black Velvet Cap on, a green Coat, and Waistcoat trimmed with Gold, Boots, and a Whip under his Arm.
Diligent Search was made after him all thro' the Parish of Christ-Church and Lambeth, &c. but all to no Purpose. Notwithstanding he was for a long Time in, and about that Neighbourhood after this second Escape, to the Terror of all the People thereabouts, as they all very well know, and even now own; scarce any one at that Time daring to stir out of Doors after Night.
He and his Sons knowing Search was made frequently after them, began to be afraid that they might be surprized, if they staid too long; so they came to an Agreement to go for the Country. In Hertfordshire they laid a Scheme, he appearing under the Character of a Captain, and a Merchant, and his Sons, as his Servants, to take in a poor Farmer for 140 l. with which they went on the Country for Yorkshire. Not far from York City they stopt, and continued there some Days, where they lived gaily, and no doubt thought to be too cunning even for that Part of England; but they were mistaken: For, being Strangers, flush of Money, and throwing it away idly, they were suspected, taken into Custody, and confined, while they were three Times advertised in the Papers, as supposed Smugglers. They lived well during Confinement, but their Stock was so exhausted that they scarce knew which Way to turn after they were let loose from their Confinement, as no body appeared against them.
However, they afterwards got over to France; but seeing no Manner of Encouragement there, they soon bethought themselves of returning to England. They did so as soon as conveniently might be, and came to London, which Jetter knew was the most proper Place to exercise his cheating Faculties in.
Many were the little Arts and Contrivancies the Father and two Sons under his Direction have play'd to support themselves, having no visible Way of getting Bread: So many, that Jetter himself could not recollect the whole. But that is the most remarkable for which his eldest Son now lies for Transportion, and an Indictment lying against the youngest, he is in Hopes to go abroad with his Brother. The Father personated Captain Morriss, and the Sons his Servants, anddefrauded Mr. Bearnfather of two Suits of Cloaths, which, as it is so recent a Fact, is in the Mind of every one, and needs no Repetition.
After Jetter's eldest Son John was in Custody for that Fact, he was in great Poverty, after all. And now how to provide for his Son in Jail, himself, and his other Son in Danger every Day of being taken, was his greatest Concern. At last he fell upon an Expedient, which happened as follows. In his Rambles he stroled to Islington, where he found Means to insinuate himself into the House of a poor Woman, with whom he lodged; and one Day he came to her in a great Hurry, and told her he had Twenty Pounds to pay to a Gentleman who lived a great Way off, and was come on Purpose to receive it. Upon which, he shew'd her a forged Note of 20 Pounds, pretending it to be a Bank-note, but said the Gentleman wanted immediately the Money, and pray'd her to lend him Twenty Pounds, and she should have the Note for Security. The Woman said she had not so much Money, but she would borrow it, and so she did, and and let him have it, leaving the Note in her Hands. Some Days after, he took the Woman with him to Town, under Pretence of going to the Bank, but he had chosen a Holiday to go on, when he knew no Business was done; so they returned Re infecta. Jetter pretended to be very sorry for the Disappointment, and said they would come again To-morrow or next Day.
As they were coming from the Bank, a Thought of the old Sort started into his Head. He told the Woman, he had some Business to do e'er he went back to Islington with her. He bid her make the best of her way Home, and he'd return in the Evening. But the poor Woman never saw him, nor Money any more, by which means she is ruined and undone.
'Twas not long after this, but he was beset by somebody whom he had defrauded, and taken up, and was committed again to Newgate. He was so well known there, that 'twas thought highly necessary to take the utmost care of him now, to prevent any Intention of Escape. So he was chained down to the Floor in a Cell, as soon as he made his Entrance, and continued so till he went out for the last Time, only when he went to take his Tryal, and to receive Sentence of Death.
After Conviction he made great Expressions of Repentance, and said he return'd from Sin to God, but his Behaviour was not quite answerable. Some 2 or 3 days before Execution, he had taken it into his Head to turn Roman Catholic , but as I had attended him from the Time he last came in, every Day in his Cell till then, I thought proper so to do still; and before he dyed he was very well reconciled to continue as he was.
He says he was baptized in Newgate, while he first lay under Sentence of Transportation, about 6 Years ago, and was so unhappy as to take his last Departure from thence to dye at Tyburn, after having been in and out several Times.
He seemed much to lament the having trained up his Children in his own evil Ways, and said that gave him the greatest Anxiety. And, moreover said, he hoped that the fatal Consequence of his mispent Life might be a Warning to them and all others to take Care of themselves for the future.
6. John Higgins , aged 40, says he was born in the Parish of St. George's Bloomsbury; having no Education was bred a Chimney-Sweeper . He was a robust, strong made Man, of a morose and surly Disposition: He served his Apprenticeship, and was a Journeyman several Years, well known in St. Giles's, tho' he has held it a long while. He was very sly in his Doings, and seldom concerned but with his own Family; so that he was in no Danger of being betrayed by Comrades.
After he left off Chimney-sweeping he took to the Hod of Mortar, and was a Bricklayer's Labourer by Day, as Occasion offered: But having done somewhat that
brought him in Danger, he betook himself to the Sea . He says he was backwards and forwards, tumbling on the Ocean before the Mast, for about the Space of eight Years, and that he has been married to the Woman that was tried with him by the same Name about fifteen Years.
After the Fit of going to Sea was over, he became again the Bricklayer's Labourer by Day, and by Night could not help following the Deeds of Darkness, such as won't bear the Light. He owned this was not the first House he had broke open, but was dumb as to Particulars of any other. He owned, also, he had Assistants in breaking Blake's House, but would tell no Names.
He behaved with the same apparent Undauntedness almost to the last, as he did at his Trial; tho' it must be allowed he behaved very quietly ever after Conviction; and seemed to pray with us heartily, and to make his Repetitions distinctly, tho' ignorant of Letters, and said he had, thro' Christ, Hope of Forgiveness before he went out of the World.
I was informed that his Wife had made Declaration of his having been guilty of Murder, and that he could not be easy till he had confessed it to me: But when I pressed it to him, he said he knew not that he had, unless it was in War; and that it was a false Aspersion if it was meant in any other Way. But upon the Whole, I observed at Prayers he frequently wrong his Hands, which seemed to signify some great Remorse.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON Monday the 16th Instant, about Nine o'Clock, John Jetter , Charles Sickamore , and John Higgins in one Cart, Edward. M'Manning , Grace Weedon , and Isabella Roe , in another, were conveyed to the Place of Execution. Jetter and Sickamore wept at getting into the Cart, and even to the last. M'Manning appeared audacious, and with a contracted Brow, and when haltered in the Press-yard, said he suffered falsly, because his Name was not M'Manning, but Farrol; the two Women and Higgins seem'd shocked, tho' no Tears were shed. When they came to the fatal Place Jetter continued calling out on the Lord Jesus to have Mercy on Jetter, a miserable Sinner, and the rest seemed to join with him. When they were all tied up we went to Prayers for some Time, recommending their Souls to God, and they frequently calling on the Lord Jesus to receive them. Their Caps being put over their Faces, the Cart drew away, and all was done with Decency and Order. Their Bodies were taken Care of by their Friends.