THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE THREE MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN On Monday the Twenty-eighth of MAY, 1753.
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. M.DCC.LIII.
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; the Lord Chief Justice Lee, Mr. Justice Clive, Mr. Baron Legge, William Moreton , Esq ; Recorder , and others of His Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer of the City of London, and Justices of Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall, in the Old Baily, on Wednesday the 2d, Thursday the 3d, Friday the 4th, Saturday the 5th, and Monday the 7th of May, in the Twenty-sixth Year of His Majesty's Reign, Charles Neal, George Robertson, Daniel Tagg, David Berkley, Thomas Morriss, Thomas Jones, Nicholas Laurence, and John Fish, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.
Neal, Tagg, Berkley, Laurence, and Fish, behaved very orderly since Conviction, and attended Chapel constantly, when not prevented by Illness, which most of them have been afflicted with at Times, more or less. Robertson and Morriss being of the Roman Catholick Persuasion, were visited, as usual; and Jones,because he could not have the Liberty of the Press-yard, as he had when before confined there for several Frauds, quarrelled with Protestantism, and would needs die a Catholick.
On Monday the 21st Instant the Report of eight Malefactors was made to his Majesty, by Mr. Recorder Moreton; when he was pleased to order George Robinson, Thomas Morriss, David Berkley, Thomas Jones, Nicholas Laurence, and John Fish, for Execution the 28th Instant. Charles Neal and Daniel Tagg were ordered to be respited till his Majesty's Pleasure concerning them should be further known .
At the same the Case of Mary Squires , considered by Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General, was represented to his Majesty, when, convinced of her Innocence, he was pleased to grant her an absolute Pardon .
1. George Robertson , was indicted, for that he, together with John Bryant , on the King's Highway, on James Holland did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, one Hat, Value 2 s. one Peruke, Value 20 s. from his Person did steal, &c. December 31 .
2. David Berkley , was indicted for stealing one Cloth Coat, Value 1 s. a Cloth Waistcoat, Value 1 s. a Pair of Buckskin Breeches, one Holland Waistcoat, seven Shirts, three Pair of Worsted Stockings, two Guineas, and 3 s. 6 d. in Monies numbered, the Goods of John Connolly , in the Dwelling-House of William Crookshanks , March 15 .
4. Nicholas Laurence , was indicted, for that he, on the King's Highway, on John Field did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, 3 s. and 10 d. in Money, from his Person, and against his Will, did steal, take, &c. April 13 .
6. John Fish , was indicted, for that he, on the King's Highway, on Thomas Lumley did make an Assault, putting him in corporal Fear and Danger of his Life, one Clasp Knife, Value 6 d. one 36 s. Piece, and 5 s. and 9 d. in Monies numbered, from his Person did steal, take, &c. April 3 .
1. Nicholas Lawrence , was about 38 Years of Age, born upon the Island of Guernsey, of poor Parents, who died before he was six Years old, when a Gentleman of that Island took care to get him a good Master, and sent him to Sea as a Cabbin-boy ; since which Time, he says, the general Part of his Life was spent at Sea, and he has been to most of the known Parts of the Globe. Tho' he could never read a Word in a Book, he has been so much Abroad as to be able to speak French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, &c. He was a poor ragged Wretch, having scarce a whole Piece in his Coat, Waistcoat, or Breeches; and after Conviction the Man appeared disordered in his Senses; insomuch, that tho' he would sometimes seem attentive when at Prayers, and would say he loved to hear the Word of God, yet there was scarce any such Thing as making him sensible of his miserable State, any farther than as he felt the Pressures of Hunger and Nakedness. This poor unhappy Wretch was very deservedly convicted of the Fact the Indictment was laid against him for; and another might have been proved by the same Evidence. But as he was found guilty of the first, the second was not try'd. He had just Sense enough to own both the Robberies, and said he robbed for Want. He died in a most miserable Condition, and could scarce be said to be in his Senses for some Days before he died. The Coroner sat upon his Body, and granted a Warrant for his Burial.
This was the famous Robber, who, it is generally believed, gave Rise to a certain pompous Advertisement, concerning an imaginary Robbery in the Neighbourhood of Enfield; which, as it is recent in most Peoples Minds, we have no Occasion to particularize.
2. Thomas Jones, otherwise Ruffle Jones, was about 30 Years of Age, and says he was born in Monmouthshire in Wales. He was brought up in his younger Days very well, and had some Pains taken in his Education; but his natural Disposition prevailed over all Endeavours his Parents used to make him a good Man, and even in his Infancy he was a great Plague to those who deserved better Things at his Hands; and instead of learning to do well, it seems to have been his Study thro' Life to do
all the Mischief and Wrong that the Devil could instigate him to.
At the Age of 14, or thereabout, he was bound Apprentice to a Taylor in Monmouth, whom he left before he had served three Years of his Time. His evil Genius began to work, and a roving Disposition having taken Possession of him, Idleness gave it Room to exercise and display itself.
He is said to have been a very good Workman, tho' he never loved Work; if he had he would never have played such Tricks as he has done, but would have followed the Employment his Parents had thought proper to breed him to, as it is known to afford a good Livelihood to the Diligent and Industrious. His natural Temper seemed such as was resolved to do nothing which he ought to do, and he was known at Newgate long enough before this last unhappy Time, to give every one to see what must be his Fate in the End; nor is any one that knew him thro' his whole Life, surprized at it, it was what every one seemed to say they expected would one Day be the Case.
Soon after he left Wales he came to Bristol, where he, after a while, got into Acquaintance; being an insinuating Sort of a Fellow, he got into the good Graces of some of the Trade, and was taken into Employ. Where he served out the rest of his Time is not certain, but he lived at Bristol three or four Years, when he began to make an Appearance, and to put on the Gentleman: His Business afforded a pretty Livelihood, but his Extravagancies People were at a Loss to account for. Thus he went on for some Time, till at last he was taken notice of by most People in the City of Bristol, and Enquiry began to be made what and who he was.
It was found that he had been Journeyman to several Master-Taylors in & about the City, and had got good Wages; yet this did not account for his Dress and Appearance. After some Time it was rumoured that Jones worked with a Master-Taylor who was not a Freeman, and that Jones also was a Foreigner. This, agreeable to the Usage of all Companies, occasioned a Summons, to shew Cause why he did not make himself free of the City of Bristol, as he reaped the Advantages of that Body. Jones's Master was averse to it; which Jones being acquainted with, in order to support his Master's Quarrel, he contrived this most iniquitous Scheme; viz. he swore large Debts, of 500 l. each, against the two Persons who caused the Summons to be served upon his Master, and had them arrested; in consequence of which, their other Creditors came upon them, and they were cast into Prison, where one
died soon with Grief, and the other continued in Confinement for a long Time.
And now he became known to be of a very bad Life, and the City began to be too hot to hold him; so he left Bristol, and came to Bath, and so on towards London; and scarce was there a City or Town that he came to, which he did not sell at a dear Rate. Now he is dead and gone, his cheating Tricks are to be heard of from every Quarter. For many Years after he left his own Country, go where he would, his Appearance was always very gay. This, he says, was about twelve Years ago, and he has been remarkable almost all that Time for a Cheat and Impostor.
About six Years ago he resided at Stratford, where he did all the Mischief he could, but I can hear of no good Thing that ever he was suspected to be guilty of. He had a Quarrel with a Gentleman in that Neighbourhood, whom he endeavoured to ruin by all the wicked and detestable Arts of Perjury, &c. tho' at length the Gentleman got the better of his Attempts by a fair Trial at Law, and with great Difficulty at last washed his Hands of Jones, greatly rejoiced to have got rid of such a Pest of Society.
Soon after Jones came to London he married a Woman with whom he might have lived very happily, but she was not of that Stamp which was fit for his Purpose, and he soon forsook her, leaving her to shift for herself, after he had destroyed and squandered away all that she had brought him. Since that Time he has had 15 or 20 Wives, just as he could pick them up, who were fit to favour him in his Designs, whom he kept, or turned off, just as it appeared to him most convenient. But, as a profligate and abandoned Way of Life seldom lasts long; for either a Man sees his Error, and returns from the Evil of his Ways, or else he is so hurried on that Ruin comes on apace; so happened it with Jones: It pleased God, that in the Beginning of the Year 1752 he was overtaken by the Hand of Justice, and he was punished as the Nature of his Crime would admit, according to the Laws of this Kingdom. In the Month of March, in the Year aforesaid, he was taken up, and charged with several Offences, which proved Misdemeanors, to which our Laws affix certain Punishments.
The first Time he was brought before the Court he was ordered to find Bail before the Lord Mayor, or lay in Newgate till next Sessions. He was accordingly taken one Day to Guild-Hall, with what has been found a proper Guard before and since, in order to propose his Bail; but while they were waiting in the Hall Jones meditated an Escape, and
effected it for that Time: While his Guard was employed in talking to People that were gathered together, he gave him the Slip, and got clear off.
He was missing about a Fortnight or three Weeks; but being so notorious a Person, he could not long lay hid in Town; he was frequently heard off, but seldom staying long in a Place, he was not so soon taken. After some Time however there was a dead Set of him (as he was not much beloved in the World) by some of his former Acquaintance, and he was surprized and taken at the Lion in the Wood, in Salisbury-Court, Fleet-Street, and brought back to his former old Lodgings.
At the May Sessions, in the Year aforesaid, he was tried upon two Indictments for Misdemeanors. The first was, he came to a Mercer's Shop, and there took upon himself to be Servant to Joseph Eccles , a Taylor, who was then a Customer to the Mercer, pretending he was sent by his Master for nine Yards and an Half of Cloth-coloured single Allapeen, and six Yards of White Allapeen, whereby the Servant of the Mercer delivered to him the aforesaid Goods, Value 29 s. and upwards, the Goods and Chattels of his Master the Mercer, August 30, 1751.
On that Day Jones came to the Shop, and very artfully, as if he feared to be mistaken, he looked up at the Sign, and said, loud enough for the People there to hear, he believed he was right. He asked if his pretended Master did not deal at that Shop, and was answered in the Affirmative: Upon which he pulled out a Pattern of Cloth, and asked for a single Allapeen to match it. The Servant shewed him some Patterns the nearest they had, and Jones, (resolved to have a Booty,) said, that he had tried at the other End of the Town, and could not match it; so he resolved to take one that was produced, observing that Allapeens were not to be expected to match as well as Shalloons.
He carried the Affair on so artfully, that the Servant did not suspect a Cheat; and tho' he asked Jones what was become of the Foreman that used to come to their Shop, from his present pretended Master, he answered so warily, that the Man was persuaded he came from the same Person that dealt at their Shop. He asked him his Name, and Jones took upon him the Name of James Derrick , and said, he had been Foreman in the Place of the other about a Fortnight.
When he had thus far made himself known he thought he was safe, and so might take up more Goods without Danger. Then he asked for a Piece of white Allapeen; which being shewn, he very artfully said, that his Master talked to him first ofa whole Piece, but at last bid him bring only six Yards; so the Man delivered Jones the Goods for the Use of his Master, who was ready with a Wrapper under his Arm to receive them. The Servant of the Shop seem'd satisfied of the Validity of the Order, and immediately entered the Goods down in his Book, as bought of his Master, for the Use of Jones's Master.
The next Day came the real Foreman, and his Appearance surpriz'd the Shopman. He told him about the Allapeen the Day before, fetch'd for the Use of his Master; but he being sensible none was brought that Day, if there had he must have known it, the Fraud appeared; and Jones being taken up, the Shopman swore positively to him, and he was found guilty. The real Foreman being upon the Trial, was asked by Jones what was his Character; and gave for Answer, that his general Character among the Trade was that of a Cheat.
He was a second Time indicted at the same Sessions, for that he came to a Shop in St. Paul's Church-yard, pretending he came from a Gentleman, for three Yards of the same Cloth that his Brother had bought before at the same Shop, Value 51 Shillings, Sept. 1, 1750. He came to the Shop, and asked for the Cloth; and being asked by the Servant in the Shop if he lived with the Gentleman's Taylor, he answered No, but he was to make those Cloaths himself. He then called himself Price, and said he lived in Red-Lion Square; and the Servant delivered him the three Yards of Cloth, after asking him whether he should send it Home, and Jones saying No, took it away himself.
Some Time after the Gentleman came to the Shop, and being told of the three Yards of Cloth deliver'd to such a Person, he declared he never sent for it. Upon which, Enquiry was made, and Jones being in the Gatehouse, and having been a long Time suspected of these Cheats, the Servant was sent to see him. When he came there he saw Jones, and knew him again, and positively swore that he was the Man, who, under this Pretence, cheated him of the three Yards of Cloth: And he was again found guilty.
He was a third Time indicted at the same Sessions, for a Crime of the same Nature, coming to a Woollen-Draper's, and pretending to be a Taylor's Foreman, got more Cloth, Nov. 8, 1750; but no Prosecutor appearing, he was acquitted of that Charge; not that he was innocent, but as he was already convicted of two such Frauds, it was only taking up the the Time of the Court in vain, and to no Purpose; because if he had been proved guilty of twenty such Cheats, his Punishment would
have been no other than it was, the Law punishing such Offences in a certain Manner. There were several other Charges, if not Indictments against him at that Time, and all of the same Nature.
Upon Jones being found guilty of the two Indictments as above, the Court ordered him to be whipp'd, and stand on the Pillory, at the upper End of Cheapside, and to be imprisoned for six Months in Newgate.
All this had no Manner of Effect on his Mind, he rather grew worse than better under Chastisement, and, as he would not be reformed, it pleased God to let him fill up the great Measure of his Iniquities, and run upon his own Destruction: For even while he was confined in Newgate, he learned the Means of doing the Thing for which he suffered Death.
It is not more than six Months since he escaped with his Liberty, after he had undergone the Punishment of his former Transgressions. All this while, how could he live? He had no Fortune, no Business; for who would employ him? And he must have been very diligent to support himself, &c. even for six Months; and, it is plain that he has done it by his old Tricks, and frequent Repetitions of them.
On the 9th of March last, he was again committed to his old Lodgings, the Gatehouse, for cheating, and defrauding, by a certain false Token; and, for Want of Sureties, he was detained on the Oath of several Persons, for defrauding a Woollen Draper of four Yards of superfine Cloth, five Yards of white Shalloon, and three Yards and a Quarter of Drab Cloth, under false Tokens and Pretences, March 15, 1753.
He was also detained on the Oath of others, for publishing as true, a false Order, in another Person's Name, purporting to be an Order for the Delivery of some Cloth, with an Intent to defraud, March 23.
His old Trick of personating a Taylor's Foreman would do no longer; he made too much Use of that, and had now discovered a new Method of carrying on his Designs. This last Method he has not practis'd so long as he had the former. He was timely detected, or he might have carried on his Cheats by this Method, as he had done by others, almost innumerable.
Being removed from the Gatehouse to Newgate, there were three Indictments against him the last Sessions, for Crimes of the same Nature with his former Offences. But he was only tried upon that, as beforementioned, for forging, and publishing as true, a certain Order for the Delivery of Goods, with an Intent to defraud.
He had done some Work for the Person in whose Name he forged the Order, during his being confinedin the Press-yard in Newgate, for his former Offences; and, by this Means, he had come at the Knowledge of the Draper he bought his Cloth of. Accordingly, he very artfully writes a Letter, or Order for Cloth, and particularly desires, it may be somewhat better than the last blue Cloth he had, meaning, the Person in whose Name the Letter was wrote.
And so artfully had he contrived the Diction of the Letter, though the Forgery was too plain, that the Draper's Servant says, had not that Particular been Part of the Order, viz. desiring to have better blue Cloth than the last, he should not have delivered the Goods. That Instance made him believe the Order came from his Customer, and though he knew it was not his Hand-writing, yet did he not suspect it to be the Forgery of a Cheat. However, upon fair Trial, the Indictment was proved to the Satisfaction of the Jury, and they brought him in guilty; nor had he any Thing to say in his own Defence, but audaciously to deny the whole Matter laid to his Charge, and to call in Question the Character of the Evidence, by whom he sent the Letters for the Cloth.
And the Grounds upon which he took upon him to impeach the Character of the Evidence, were founded on a wicked Scheme of his own. Jones had by some Means procured an Indictment to be preferred against him at Hick's Hall, and a Bill being found, it had taken Wind, so that the Intention of destroying his Evidence was defeated. Even Jones's own Evidence upon his Trial, whom he called in his own Behalf, being ask'd what they knew of the Witness's Character; to his great Disappointment declared they knew no Ill of him. Jones, tho' convicted, and knowing his Character would admit of no Hopes of Mercy, in an impious and blasphemous Manner declared, he would not be hang'd. What he meant by it, appeared chiefly from his future Behaviour. In the first Place, he took it into his Head, that he would be a Roman Catholick , because his Father was so, tho' his Mother was a Protestant. Indeed, he said, he had very little Knowledge of either, with Regard to their Essentials, or what caused the Difference, but at all Events his Resolution was fixed, and so he detertermined to dye.
And, what was the Consequence? why while he should have employed his Time in searching his Heart, and repenting of the Multitude of his Sins, his Thoughts were chiefly taken up in meditating an Escape. He kept his Cell, and seldom came out of it; but on Saturday last an Attempt was to have been made, not without Bloodshed, had their Design taken Place. His Irons wereboth saw'd thro'. Upon Enquiry, he said they were the same as when put on, but upon Search the contrary appeared. Being double-ironed again, he remain'd safe till Monday Morning; and when they were then knocked off, he was willing to persuade those about him that he was a very innocent Person, and that his Life was wrongfully sworn away. He went out from Newgate professing himself a Roman Catholic , and said that the Design of the intended Escape was set afoot by Morriss.
Had Jones had any Sense of his Guilt, or reflected on the various Passages of his most notorious ill-spent Days, he must have employed his Time better than in meditating Revenge on People who were doing nothing but their Duty in keeping him safe for the Stroke of Justice.
3. Thomas Morriss , was about thirty Years of Age, born near Birmingham in Warwickshire, and bred a Shoemaker , as he told me, in that Town. He too must be a Roman Catholic , pretty much for the same Reason Jones gave, having been both taught their Lesson before Conviction. Morriss told me indeed he had been bred a Roman Catholic, but I am thoroughly convinced since he was not; scarce any Thing he said to me having proved true. He said the Fact for which he suffered was the first, but it appears not to have been so by many Instances. He was a Youth of a most impudent daring Assurance, and did not regard what Mischief he did, so he could but gain his Point, whatever it was; and many a desperate Set of People has he been wickedly engaged with. About six Years ago he was convicted of Felony, and transported, according to his Sentence, to America; where he did not stay twelve Months, before he returned again, to do more Mischief in England. Nor was long come to London, before he appeared again at the Old Bailey; and, at the September Sessions, 1749, he was indicted for stealing one Silver Quart Mug, Value seven Pounds, June the 12th. When one Witness deposed that he lived at the Dolphin in Honey-Lane-Market, and that Morriss had been drinking some Time out of the Tankard, with others, and that the rest paid, and were gone, when a Woman came into the House, and drank out of it with Morriss, and the Tankard was missing in about a Quarter of an Hour after they were gone, Another, the Drawer of the House, said the same. But for want of better Evidence he escaped this Time, and was acquitted.
At the same Sessions he was a second Time indicted for stealing one Silver Quart Tankard, Value eight Pounds, July the 10th.
On that Day he was said to be at a House in Shoreditch, where he came at eight or nine o'Clock, and asked for a Pint of Beer. While the Lad was going down the Cellar-stairs, he called out, and bid him make it a Tankard, because he had one coming to him. There was a remarkable Tankard brought him, with a Queen Anne's Crown-piece on the Lid, and set before him; and the House being pretty full, by-and-bye both the Man and the Tankard were missing. The Boy describing the Man to a Neighbour, with whom, Morriss had said in the House he had latelybeen drinking, was told he lately had Lodgings at Islington; and he was found there, and taken. He denied that he was ever at the House, or saw the Tankard; and no stronger Evidence appearing, he had the good Luck a second Time to be acquitted.
All these Things moved him not from his wicked Ways, but still he went on, and stuck at nothing: For in September Sessions, 1752, several Persons were indicted together, for stealing, in Company with Thomas Morriss, not then taken, divers Things, the Goods of George Glover , July 24. Two of them were found guilty of the Fact, one of which was Ruth Morriss , Wife of this Thomas Morriss. This Robbery was committed near Finchley-Common, by Morriss, and others his Accomplices, about Ten o'Clock at Night, when it was so dark as not to discern the Milestones. The Gang had laid wait for the Pack-horses as they went out of Town, on a Friday, as they usually do for Preston in Lancashire; and while the Driver stopt to drink, which was not above five Minutes, they had unloaded one, and carried off the whole Pack.
At this Time Thomas Morriss lived in Wood's-Close, and kept a Public-house , to which was known to resort divers disorderly People; and upon the Goods being advertised, a Neighbour appeared to the Advertisement, who having seen large Bundles lately carried into Morriss's House, gave Information to the People robbed. They got a Search-warrant, and going to the House, found divers Goods, which were sworn to be Part of that Pack, which was, as before-mentioned, taken off the Horse's Back.
There was found in Morriss's House some Callico Wrappers, made into Sheets, on two Beds. Another particular Piece of Callico was found in Possession of a Woman in Morriss's House, besides some Hessian Wrappers, mark'd for one at Preston, wrote with Ink, but cut, and the Goods taken out. Others were found in a Shed in the back Part of the House, in a Tub of Water; and the Owner of the Pack-horse's own Pack-sheet, which covered the whole Pack, was found put down the Vault.
Morriss's Wife was pursued to Deptford, where she was found with a new Callimanco Drab-coloured Gown, a Pair of black everlasting Shoes, and a green Sattin Ribbon on her Head. Being ask'd whether she knew any Thing of the Goods, she took the People to an adjacent Place in her Mother's House, and there was found two Pieces of brown Callimanco, another Piece of dark Callimanco, some red, a Remnant of which her Gown was made of; some Muslin Wrappers also were found, and Callico Wrappers, black Gloves, white Gloves, Womens green Shoes, &c. all which being produced in Court, were sworn to be a Part of one of the Packs which the Horses carried that Night they were robbed. All these Things found in Morriss's House, and in his Wife's Possession, let any one judge whether he was concerned or no in this Robbery. Besides that, his Wife's own Defence upon her Trial accused him of bringing the Things Home.
There is scarce any Sort of Robbery which this unhappy Wretch has not been engaged in, and as to the Fact forwhich he suffered, there's no Room to doubt but he deserved the Verdict, and Sentence pass'd on him. He is sworn to be the Man that took away the Horse he was indicted for; and when in St. Albans's Gaol , on Suspicion of robbing the Derby Waggon of a Box, he sent a Note to deliver the Horse to the Constable for the Owner, which Horse several heard him to offer to sell. The Descriptions of the Horse stolen, offer'd to Sale, and deliver'd as above by Morriss's Direction, all agree: Where's the Doubt then of this being the Horse he stole.
A harden'd audacious Fellow he has always appeared since Conviction, to the last. On Saturday last his Irons were found saw'd off, and the Scheme he said was Jones's. He was double iron'd again, and on Sunday Night last his Irons were saw'd off again, notwithstanding their Cells were searched very diligently. Then he was Hand-cuffed, and kept safe till Monday Morning, when he went to be hanged with as much Assurance, and as little Concern as if he had never done amiss:
4. George Robinson , was about 24 Years of Age, born in the Kingdom of Ireland, and brought up a Roman Catholick. He says he was bred to the Sea from his Youth up, and his natural Disposition seemed not a little to partake of the disagreeable Roughness of that Element, with a most sullen Aspect, as any one would wish to behold.
As he was bred to the Sea, he followed it several Years, during the Time of the late War; and when he was discharged the Service, he spent the little he had as fast as he could, in Riot and Debauchery; and when all was gone, having contracted bad Habits with bad Company, he became a dissolute Fellow, and turned Robber. Being much addicted to lewd Women, and all Uncleanness, his Lodging was at a Bawdy-house, when the Robbery for which he suffered was committed by him and his Accomplices.
As Robertson too was a Roman Catholic , his Lesson was taught him before he was convicted; for (among other Reasons I might give) when I spake to him soon after in his Cell, he would scarce give me any Answer; and with Difficulty I discovered so much as I relate of him.
There had been several Robberies before this committed in that Neighbourhood, attended with cruel Usage to People that fell under their Hands, for which he and his Companions were suspected; and the Robbery of Holland gave an Opportunity to detect the whole Gang except one.
Barber was taken before he was out of Sight, and being admitted an Evidence, impeached Bryant, who was executed the 12th of February last; and this Robertson, who was not taken till the 1st of March last; when being charged, on Oath of Barber, for being concerned with him and others in robbing one James Holland of a Hat and Wig, and several other Felonies and Robberies, he was committed to Clerkenwell- Bridewell on the second of March last.
Robertson was as forward as the rest in the Robbery, and presenting a Pistol to the Prosecutor's Head, bid him deliver. When he was had beforethe Justice he owned the Fact, and Barber swore they had been in four or five Robberies together; and that one of them was that for which he was then charged. Upon which Robertson said he did not care what became of him, for he was weary of being in the World; and upon his Trial he said he was taken at a Glass-House, when he was so ill with the soul Disease, as not to be able to walk, and wished himself dead, because he had no Money or Friend to put him in the Hospital.
Tho' he pretended to be so much tired of Life, yet he was either wicked or weak enough to think of saving it by coming into the same idle Scheme of making an Escape; and he also had his Irons sawed off both Saturday and Sunday before Execution. Tho' he was fresh ironed on Saturday, and searched, he had concealed a Saw between his Foot and Stocking, which he made Use of on Sunday, and cut off his Irons again. Then he was also hand-cuffed that Night, and kept safe till Monday Morning, when he went out of the Press-Yard to Execution, with as little seeming Concern as the other two that were his Fellow-Sufferers.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON Monday, the 28th Instant, between Eight and Nine o'Clock, George Robertson , Thomas Morriss , and Thomas Jones , were carried from Newgate to the Place of Execution in one Cart. What was done there I can give no Account of, because as they all three died Roman Catholicks , I did not choose to attend, to give them the Opportunity of turning their Backs upon me, as a Protestant Minister, which I knew they must do if I did.