THE ORDINARY of NEWG. ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the TWELVE MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN, On MONDAY the 4February1754, BEING THE Third EXECUTION in the Mayoralty OF THE Right Hon. Thomas Rawlinson, Esq. LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, Etc.
BY virtue of the King's commission of the peace, Oyer and Terminer, and jail-delivery of Newgate, held before the right honourable Thomas Rawlinson, esq ; lord-mayor of the city of London, Lord chief justice Willes, Sir Thomas Dennison, knt. Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, knt. William Moreton, esq ; recorder , and others of His Majesty's justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the said city and county of Middlesex, held at Justice-hall in the Old- Bailey, on Wednesday the 5th, Thursday the 6th, Friday the 7th, Saturday the 8th, and Monday the 10th of December, John Smith, Richard Hutton, Dennis Neal, John Mason, John Welch, Robert Keys, Grace Grannet, and Stephen Barnes, were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death accordingly. And,
By virtue of the King's commission, Etc. held before the right honourable Thomas Rawlinson, esq ; lord-mayor of the city of London, lord chief baron Parker, Sir Michael Foster, knt . Sir Thomas Birch, knt. William Moreton, esq ; recorder , Etc. on Wednesday the 16th, Thursday the 17th, Friday the 18th, Saturday the 19th, and Monday the 21st of January, in the 27th year of His Majesty's reign, William Ford, Edward Allen, Daniel Wood, William James, William Irons, Benjamin Hickman, Joshua Kidden, Thomas Barnard, otherwise Barnett, and Samuel Witham, were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death accordingly.
The behaviour of all these unhappy people, as far as I saw, has been quiet, and those who were protestants attended prayers daily, when not hindered by sickness. Neal, Mason and Welch, being Roman catholicks , were visited by one who attends for that purpose.
On Tuesday the 29January, the report of seventeen malefactors was made to His Majesty in council, by Mr. Recorder, when He was pleased to order John Smith, Richard Hutton, Dennis Neal, John Mason, John Welch, Robert Keys, Grace Grannet, William Ford, Daniel Wood, William James, Josoua Kidden, and Thomas Bernard for Execution, on Monday the 4th of February; and, at the same time, the sentence of execution upon Stephen Barnes, Edward Allen, William Irons, Benjamin Hickman, and Samuel Witham, was respited, till His Majesty's pleasure touching them should be farther known.
1. a Robert Keys, and Grace Grannet, Spinster , were indicted, for that they, in a certain field or open place, near the King's highway, on William Wash did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear, and danger of his life, and stealing from his person two half guineas, and 7s. 6d. in monies numbered, 10November.
4, 5. John Mason, and John Welch the elder , were indicted, for that they, together with John Welch the younger, not yet taken, in a certain field, or open place, near the King's highway, on John Humphrys did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear, and danger of his life; one silver watch, value 4l. one dead pig, one guinea, one halfpenny, and one farthing, his property, 22Sept.
6. Dennis Neal, otherwise John Clerk, was indicted, for that he, together with Job Horniblow, in a certain field, or open place, near the king's highway, on Joseph Rixton did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear, and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one steel tobacco-box, value 6d. one clasp knife, one iron key, and 4s. 6d. in monies numbered, 17 Sept.
10. Thomas Barnard, otherwise Barnet, was indicted, for that he, together with one other person unknown, on the 4th of January, about the hour of two of the same day, the dwelling-house of Boyce Tree did break and enter, with intent the goods, chattels, and monies of the said Boyce Tree to steal, take, and carry away.
12. Joshua Kidden, was indicted, for that he, on the king's highway, on Mary Jones, widow , did make an assault putting her in corporal fear, and danger of her life, and stealing from her person one guinea, and 4s. 6d. in monies numbered, 7Jan.
1. Robert Keys, was 22 years of age, and was born at Barnes, in Surry. His parents were poor, industrious people, not able to give him any education. He was apprentice to a fisherman at Chiswick, and served out the greater part of his apprenticeship; but being seized with a rambling inclination, came to London, where he thought to be a great man presently, and not work so hard, as he called it, But, unfortunately for him, he fell into an intimacy, in the parish of St. Giles in the Fields, with a woman, who inticed him to marry her, and afterwards used him so ill; as to drive him from her; so he left her, and went to seek for new adventures, and the next place he stumbled into was Grays'-inn-lane. And, after a while, he got to be employed at brick-making , and says he followed his work close, till he became acquainted with his fellow-sufferer, Grace Grannet, which was not more than a fortnight before the robbery was committed by them, for which they suffered. He became acquainted with her first, he says, at the King's-Arms in Gray's-inn-lane, and made a bargain to live together, as the fashionable way is too much now-a-days, not only with such low-life creatures, but with their betters too frequently; they took each others word, and lived together to a very fine purpose. Their fondness for one another now kept them together, and each had share of the others gettings, to their own cost at last; for the persuaded him to rob, and he was fool enough to do as she bid him.
2. Grace Grannet, aged 18, says she was born in London, but knows not where, or in what parish. Whatever her parents were, they gave her no education, and she was bred to no business. But when, upon the loss of her parents, she found herself left to the wide world, and had the liberty to choose for herself, how she would make her way through it, she applied
herself to sifting of Cinders for employment, which afforded a scanty livelihood, wherewith she was for some time content; but, becoming acquainted in the neighbourhood where she set up trade for herself, she began to grow loose, and when once she had given way to bad company, there were not wanting those who would continue her in it; and she became what is frequently called a woman of the town , tho' in the most abject degree. Among the rest Keys became one of her companions, and their mistaken friendship proved ruin to them both. She had been used to frequent publick-houses in that neighbourhood, and leaving her honest employ, became idle, and subjected herself to all the inconveniencies that attend that unhappy turn of mind; tho', indeed, she seems to deserve to be compassionated for the unhappiness of her exit, having never had the advice of parents, nor any other instructions, that might prevent her falling into those snares, which the want of education, and true friendly counsel, might have guarded her against. She seemed to be of a tender mould, so that good impressions might have been made, had they been offered before evil ones surprized her.
The two unhappy subjects of the few foregoing lines, by each other's declaration, had not been long acquainted, before the robbery committed on William Nash, by them, in the Spaw-fields; the manner of which, they say, was as follows: viz.
On the tenth of November, in the evening, Keys and Grannet (as their custom was, since acquainted) were got to a publick-house, which was the Red-Lion, in Warner-Street, Cold-Bathfields. They had scarce money to pay for a pot of beer before, but this man coming in, they met with a recruit, tho' they paid very dear for it. They both say they drank with him, and afterwards he desired they would shew him where he wanted to go. They agreed to it, but afterwards went out and consulted their scheme, having seen him pull out his money in a boasting way, and the temptation seized their minds so strongly, that they resolved to have it at all events.
They all three went out together, and Keys and Grannet, in order to effect their design, instead of taking him to the left-hand, which led to Mount-Pleasant, where he wanted to go, took him to the right-hand, towards Sir John Oldcastle's, and so into the Spaw-field. Keys says that Grannet persuaded him to it all the way, by frequently whispering, Now, now. At last her whispers prevailed, and when they came into the Spaw-field, Keys first attacked him, and they both fell upon William Nash, and robbed him, as the indictment sets forth.
They both behaved well and quietly under sentence, and appeared to die resigned and penitent, owning no other facts of this fort.
as to have no education, nor was he ever brought up to any trade. He lived most part of his life-time in the country, and was bred to husbandry work . He has sometimes been a vagabond , and did a day's work, now and then, when, and where, he could get it.
He seemed to be a fellow of a wicked inclination, though very ignorant. He said, he had been unfortunately idle, and scarce ever went to a church in his life. He was much addicted to cursing, swearing, and drinking, which brought him to a disrelish of work and labour, which now he thought' twas better he had taken more delight in.
He said, he had stolen several horses in his time, but believed the right owners had received them again. He lived with the prosecutor, Robert Scoley, at Grays in Essex, he says, at that time he stole the horse for which he suffered. He says, he had, thro' the instigation of Devil, waited an opportunity to take away that and another, which he effected on the 26October last. One he sold the week before he was taken up; the other he set up at the Black Horse, in Bartholomew-Close; where, upon suspicion of stealing, he was taken into custody, and committed to Woodstreet Compter.
The owner of the horse missing him and the horse, made enquiry after him, and found him there. The consequence of which was, he was prosecuted, and convicted, and he owned the justice of his suffering.
4. Joshua Kidden, was twenty-six years of age, being born of reputable parents in the city of London. He had a very good education, and was put out apprentice at a proper time, with no small sum of money, to the genteel profession of an apothecary ; but, unhappily for him, his mind was not inclined that way, but after a while he was desirous of going to sea , which was indulged him, and, I think, he is said to have been seven years in that way of life.
When he came home, his parents laid out some money to qualify him in the art of navigation, that he might in time have hopes of rising in the station of a seaman. But, neither did this suit his genius; but rather than attend the instruction intended him, he went about idling his time away with company he had better been without
Finding himself neglected by his friends, upon account of this his foolish way of life, he found there was no hope of support from that quarter any longer, so he condescended to betake himself to labour as a porter , and he attended the Fleet-market, and Holborn-bridge for that purpose, in order to get bread. He might have gone to sea again, which would have been better perhaps; but being taken prisoner during the last war, and carried into France, gave him such a dislike to that way of life, that he would rather undergo any hardship, than return to that employment.
There he got an acquaintance with a man, while he drank some beer, who laid a scheme to rob him of his life. Kidden was complaining how poor he was, and how glad he should be to be employed; upon which his new acquaintance told him, he would give him a day's work, and provided him a lodging in one of the bad alleys in that neighbourhood, where he was, backwards and forwards, from the Friday night till the Monday morning following. On that unfortunate morning, January the seventh, his new acquaintance called him up very early in the morning, in order to go upon this jobb he had promised poor Kidden; and a sad jobb it proved to him. When the whole of the affair, as represented by the poor youth himself, and declared by him to the last moment of his life, to be the truth of the matter, is set forth, his fate will extort the pity and compassion of every humane breast; which I shall here give the reader, as deliver'd to me, by him, a short time before execution.
I By chance got acquainted with a person, at the Castle, in Chick-lane, the bottom of Saffron-hill, and being just come out of the country, from my relations, near Lambourne, in Berkshire, I was complaining for want of business. I was bred to the seas , and was willing to do any servile business, as a porter Etc. This person I got acquainted with, told me he had got a jobb to do at Tottenham, to remove some goods for a gentleman, who was afraid they would be seized on for rent: Accordingly we went on the appointed day, and going from one alehouse to another, till evening came on, was at last told by my companion, who pretended to see for the gentleman, that he had seen him, and it was too late to remove tonight, but he had given me eighteen-pence for my trouble, and that we must come on another day, Etc. Going home we met with a chaise with a man and woman in it, at a place called the Seven Sisters, on this side Tottenham, where the woman was set down from the chaise, and walked up the road, and I, as I past by her, said, Are you a going to London? It was now about seven o'clock at night, she answered yes, and I passed on. This companion of mine, unknown by name, behind. called, What do you walk so fast for? My answer was, To get to London; but turning about, saw him robbing the woman. He then ran after me, and said, Here, I have got some money, and would have forced half a crown into my hand; but I refused it. Then he said, Josh, don't leave me; I must step into the ditch, and ease myself. And walking gently on, to wait for my companion, up starts one Mac Donald, thief-catcher, and collars me, and said, You are my prisoner. He carried me directly to a justice, before whom the woman swore, that I, with a person unknown, robbed her of five and
twenty shillings and six pence. So I was committed to jail, and tried on the woman's swearing that I, with the unknown person, robbed her, and threatened her life. The person's name that was in the chaise is Berry, the woman's name. Jones; the man well known to be thief-catcher, the woman of as bad a character as need be.
His friends, as soon as they found what a scrape he had got into, being alarmed by his sending to acquaint them of his being committed, resolved to see him, that they might know whether his calamity deserved their assistance, or no. They went to him, and received the account, as above, from which he never varied from first to last. The account he give of the matter encouraged them to enquire further into it, that they might find whether his story was true, or not, before they applied to seek any interest to save his life. They went to enquire for the prosecutrix, but she was not to be found, tho' they enquired at the house where she lived, in Brooker's-alley, in Drury-lane, as she said upon the trial; nor could Kidden's friends meet with any one in her neighbourhood, that had heard of her being robbed at all.
Upon their second enquiry they found out where she lived, and then the people of the house had heard something of a robbery committed on her, but she was not to be seen. Her character being enquired into was reported such, as (I shall only say what they told me) encouraged them to believe the young fellow's story true, and then they did endeavour to save his life, but their application had not the desired effect. However, their enquiry was sufficient to satisfy them in their own minds, that his declaring himself innocent of the crime laid to his charge, did not proceed from a wicked design to conceal the truth, but was truth itself. They are satisfied with the justice of the conviction, and sentence, and own, they should have done as was done, had they been to have given their opinion upon such evidence as appeared to the court against Kidden; but as various circumstances convinced them, that his new friend had trepanned him, and laid a scheme to take away his life, they did all they could to save him, but could not, for want of that knowledge of the matter they got at when it was too late, and could not come at sooner, because some people were not so readily to be met with. Kidden declared to the last, that he knew not of any intent to rob, and went only on the errand of the expected jobb, that he never touched her cloaths, nor her hand, though she swore he held up her arms, while the other robbed her; he declared to the last, as a dying man, that he was 30 yards distant at least, when he looked back, and saw the other man about robbing the woman, if any robbery there was. He declar'd, his innocence to the last, and died resigned to the will of the Almighty, who only can turn his sorrow into joy. As this affair was transacted on the road to Stamford-hill, some persons
living in the neighbourhood apply'd to have Kidden asked, whether he was not one of the three, who some years ago robbed the Irishman going to London, near Stamford, also several higglers early in the morning? Whether of late he was not one of the two, who robbed, and beat several persons, on, or about Stamford-hill, in the evening, and only two in company? What What may be become of the 3d person? was the name of his late accomplice? To all which queries he declares himself to be a stranger, that he knew neither where Stamford-hill was, nor was upon that road to his knowledge, till the unfortunate time his new companion took him out upon the intended jobb. And, this was true, he said, as he hoped for forgiveness from God. And he positively deny'd this fact, for which he lost his life, with his last breath.
A serious letter of advice, the author of which was an ancestor of this unfortunate youth's, having upon this melancholy occasion been put into my hands, and appearing to merit' the reading and regard of all youth of this and future ages, I could not consent to stifle it, presuming it will not be ungrateful to the perusal of young or old. As to the usefulness of it, it seems to deserve to be wrote in letters of gold. Accept it, if you please, as follows, viz.
HAving receiv'd an account of your being apprenticed, and consequently of your entrance on a new state of life, hitherto altogether unknown to you, I thought it would be no ways improper to give you some short advice, which, during your apprenticeship, may reasonably be supposed to stand you in some stead; and I hope you will be the more careful to take it, when you consider it comes from a father, who would heartily have you do well, and has also a great tenderness and affection for you.
The first thing I recommend to you, and which I press upon you very earnestly, is a constant attendance on the worship of God, which is now used and practised in the church of England; for you may assure yourself whatever some unreasonably prejudiced, or misguided people may say to the contrary, it is the best reformed church under heaven, and that salvation may be had in that as well as in any other church or communion whatsoever. I desire therefore, nay, I charge you on my blessing, to keep yourself from all meetings, or separate congregations whatsoever. I would not on any account have you guilty of that thing, which, if any thing, will make me very uneasy, and be the readiest way of forcing me to that which I would not willingly do, the lessening of my love and affection to you.
And as I would above all things have you a true son of the church of England, so also I strictly charge and command you to be a faithful servant to your master and mistress; study to get a perfect knowledge of their temper and dispositions, and adapt and suit yourself to them: be sure to soften and calm their displeasure by an obliging answer, and a respectful be-
haviour; ever bearing in mind the saying of the wise man; a soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger. Whatsoever they command, do it willingly and chearfully, that so they may see you take a singular delight in their service, and are never better pleased than when you are executing their just and lawful commands. Above all things abominate the name and character of an eye-servant, and that ever to be condemned habit of staying out much, or late, out of your master's house; to prevent which, keep yourself close to your business. Hate all extravagancies and excesses whatsoever in meat or drink, and all soppishness in apparel. Be neither wasteful of your master's greater, nor your own lesser stock: be free and generous, but not lavish and prodigal; sparing and srugal, but not greedy or covetous; neat and handsome, but not starch or proud; and ever remember to be sober, diligent, and honest, and that beggary and shame are the constant companions of dishonesty and idleness. In a word, endeavour to answer all those promises and engagements you have made to your master in your indentures of apprenticeship; which being voluntarily subscribed with your own hand, is now safely laid up, and will readily be produced upon the default of your duty, as a swift and incontestable witness against you. Therefore let your serious application of yourself to your business give an undeniable proof, that your great desire is to be an industrious and faithful apprentice; and that you have no other aim in view, but the advancement of your master's interest, and the improvement of your trade. By such a discreet and well-ordered conduct, you cannot but engage your master and mistress to love you, and to have a more than common kindness for you, and you will soon find the happy effects thereof in your apprenticeship; for your service will seem easy and pleasant, your life sweet and comfortable, and the joy of your parents great and unspeakable.
And I advise you farther, that to all your superiors you be obliging and respectful; to all your equals affable and familiar; and to those in a lower station kind and courteous; and to no one surly or morose. Court the society of the good and virtuous, and shun all idle and loose companions, backbiters, and slanderers, especially all such whom you have any reason to suspect are any ways disassed to your master. Keep no company with those who shall attempt to wheedle you into an ill opinion of, or disrespect for him; who shall openly or privately soment, or widen any differences between him and you: Be sure to stop your ears to all idle and malicious stories, which may any ways tend to his defamation, prejudice, or disadvantage. And that you may be the more effectually enabled to follow the good advice of your father, I charge and enjoin you to send up your prayers to your better Father in heaven, for His Holy Spirit, to direct and assist you in all things for God's glory, your master's good, your parent's joy, and your own comfort.
These, my dear child, are the short and seasonable instructions, which, at this time, I thought fit to give you; the exact observation of them, as it will certainly entail God's blessing on all your proceedings, so, you may assure yourself, it will mightily endear you to your master and mistress, to your parents and relations, and to all other true friends. I have no more to add, but with our blessing to recommend you to God's most holy keeping, and am, with all sincerity.
Your very affectionate Father.
5. William Ford, says he was 24 years of age, and was born at Keynsham, near Bristol, in Somersetshire; had the common education a country village afforded, by learning to read. After he left his own parish, where he was bred to husbandry , he says, he had several masters, for whom he worked in several counties, and lived, some time after he left home, in an honest exercise and labour. But, about five years ago, he began to play his pranks, and has every now and then made an execution, to steal a horse and sell it; and having lived upon the money some time, till he got into a place of honest employ, he then again took to labour and industry; so that the five last years of his life, he owns, have been chequered with industry and labour, idleness and thievery; a great part of which he has, in a vagabond manner, passed away, struggling from one country to another, living upon his wits, and stealing horses in different parts of the country.
The first theft of this kind he was guilty of, he says, was stealing a colt, after he had broke him for a master he lived with; which he stole, and sold, and then left his said master. But passing by his door, and not calling in, nor taking any notice of the house, he caused a suspicion, and was taken hold off, and charged with the theft.
He had not the assurance to deny it, but would not discover where the horse was, till the right owner promised to make the matter up. It was consented, and he told where he sold it; which being recovered, he was let go without any farther notice taken for that time; only being reproached for it, and advised not to do so any more, left next time he might meet with more severe usage.
This was, however, no warning to him; he seemed to resolve to push on to his ruin, and acknowledges to have stolen several other horses, tho', as to particulars, he was silent, and did not choose to say any more, but that he believed most of them had been found out, and recovered by the owners, tho' he had escaped thus far as the stealer.
But at length his fate overtook him, and to make sure, he stole two horses, one from Hounslow, and the other from Twickenham, and left that country, travelling towards the West. He arrived as far as Reading, and intended for his own country, but being detected once more in his roguers, was apprehended there, and not being able to make appear how he came by the mares, which were
sworn to by their owners, he was committed to Reading jail, and brought, by habeas corpus, to Newgate. He was tried for stealing one, and convicted, so not tried on the other. He acknowledged the stealing both, and the justice of his fate, and says, the man who was suspected of being concerned with him was not.
6. Daniel Wood, aged 24, was born in Buckinghamshire, of honest and reputable parents, who brought him up in a tolerable good way, and gave him what education was necessary to fit him for a trade; which, added to his own capacity, was very sufficient to the purpose of the business it was his lot to fall into. He was bred a butcher , and came up to London to serve his time, and to learn that trade. He says he served his time in St. James's, and Clare-market, and was journeyman in the Fleet-market, where be afterwards set up for himself in the trade, and married the daughter of a man of reputation, of the same trade, about two years ago.
Whatever he had been before, I am afraid he was not truly industrious after he went into business for himself. There was some demur about the marriage, and not the best behaviour, or honour, shewn on his part; which made the parent of his unfortunate wife dissatisfied, and put off the match for some time. But Wood afterwards found means to marry the girl without consent of her father, to the now great uneasiness of both.
He, for some time past, has lived at Hesson, near Acton, and carried on trade. By some of that neighbourhood he was looked upon as an honest man, by others the contrary was suggested; and when these sheep, Etc. were missed by the owner, he was the first person suspected; and, upon proper enquiry, was found to be the unfortunate man who had stolen sheep, Etc. being pitched upon by reason of the indifferent character he bore among some in the neighbourhood. He owned the fact as soon as charged with it, his conscience not being yet so hardened as to deny the truth; tho' he did attempt to charge two people, by name Chapman But he has since acknowledged to a gentleman, who came from Hesson, on purpose to know the truth of the matter, that they were not concerned with him in this robbery of Mr Marsh.
The sheep, Etc. were found in his own possession, in a stable belonging to him, and he says, he drove them there himself. If he had minded his business in an honest way, he need not to have feared getting a livelihood, but his mind was too much given to pleasure. And though he was not in great trade, he might have carried on business enough for his present purpose, and in time it would have grown better. For, had he been honest, he would not have wanted the countenance of some in the neighbourhood, who wished him well, and might in time have been able, as they were willing to serve him; He was very ill after conviction , behaved well, and repenting of the evil of his doings, he died resigned to his fate, acknowledging the justice of his suffering.
7. Thomas Barnard, otherwise Barnett, aged 27, says, he was born in Old-street, in the parish of St. Luke's, Middlesex. He had a good education, and was better instructed than his practice has been. He was brought up at a publick school in town, but did not leave it with the greatest honour and applause. He went afterwards to live with his father, who is a carman , somewhere near Bread-Street, and he was bred up to the same occupation, and might have done very well. He was so well in the world, as to be master of 3 or 4 carts himself, but extravagance and an evil mind laid him in the way of being seduced to practices, which seldom fail to meet with deserved punishment.
He says, he had got acquainted with one Peters, accomplice with him in the fact for which he suffered, who led him into that and several other burglaries.
The first fact Barnard committed was a robbery on the highway. But he did not like that lay. thinking it too dangerous exposing his person, and be rather chose the secret cover of the night, the most wicked of the two evils, and ungenerous practice. It is a practice, which we see the government seldom. If ever shews mercy to, as it is surprizing people in their unguarded hours.
About 4 months ago it is, he says, since he begun these practices, and several burglaries have he, and Peters, mentioned in the trial, been guilty of.
They robbed Mr Coap and Company's compting-house of near 70l. also the compting-house of others, wholesale whale-bone sellers, of 8 or 9l. in money, both in Thames-Street.Mr. Carter's compting-house in the same neighbourhood, and a house in Milk-street. Broke open a house in Aldermanbury, in a court going through to St. Laurance's church. From another gentleman's compting-house they stole 6l. worth of half-pence: besides many other burglaries, most of them known to the persons robbed, were committed by Barnard and Peters, within this four months past, in the neighbourhood of Bread-Street, and Thames-Street. But, Providence seemed to determine Mr. Tree's to be the last Barnard should be concerned in. Being disturbed the first night, gave opportunity to watch them the next, and so a stop was put to his career. He seemed to die sensible of his wickedness.
8. William James, says he is 52 years of age, and was born in the parish of St. Ann's near Aldersgate. he had a good education, could read and write well, and was put apprentice to a vintner . He served his time, he says, at the Antworp behind the Royal-exchange, and was waiter , or journeyman, several years at different taverns about town. How it came about that he did not follow his trade, he did not choose to declare freely, but pretending several reasons, made it suspicious, he would not give the true one.
and staid there about ten years, a soldier in the company's service; where he lived very well, and saved money. Coming to England about two years ago, he married soon after, he says, a very honest and sober woman. They lived together very well, while his stock lasted, which was not a long time; and then neither of them having any employment to follow, they became very necessitous.
He took up, he says, this time twelve-month, with a watchman 's post behind the Royal-exchange; and during the last summer was an occasional watchman upon the road to Vaux-hall; and, in the general, he has been employed of late as a porter . He was a stout, hearty man, capable, almost, of any labour, tho' too much given to idleness, which reduced him to such poverty, as, he said, drove him to the committing the fact for which he suffered. He had great hopes of saving his life, as he was recommended to mercy, when found guilty; but I can't say I observed much difference in his behaviour, after he found himself included in the warrant. He appeared, before and after, even to the last, with a very steady and composed countenance.
This, he persisted to say, was the first fact of the kind he ever committed; which he could not but own was a very bold and impudent attempt. He says he waited near the shop some time, before he could find the opportunity; but, at length, seeing the two persons engaged, and busy in the shop, he went, and stooping under the bulk, got the bundle of stockings upon his head, and was marching off with them. He says, he thought himself safe, and that no one saw him remove them, but he was mistaken; for he had not gone far with them, before he was apprehended, and brought back to the shop.
He seemed penitent, prayed very heartily, and went to suffer with his wonted composure of face: He hoped for forgiveness through Christ, and begged no-body would reflect on his wife, for that she was a stranger to his misdeeds.
9. Richard Hutton, aged 24, says he was born in Barnaby-Street. in the parish of Bermondsey, in Surry, and brought up very well; had a good education for a person intended, as he was, for a trade; and his father meeting with an opportunity, bound him apprentice to a fine-drawer ,on St. Peter's-hill. His master, he says, died too soon for his good, who was careful of him, and respected him very well.
His mistress, after his death, retired to her country-house, and leaving the business to a journeyman, under whom Hutton was now also left, he had not that management he had before been used to. He not regarding now what he did, began to keep company, and lie out of nights, of which the journeyman took no notice, nor had be any reproof for it; so that he got into all manner of idle and debauched company, by the time he was about fifteen years old.
He frankly owned, that it was 9 years ago since he first began to be a thief. He was detected, and taken up for some theft soon after began, but it was made up, and he escaped for that time. This, he says, was several times the case, before his apprenticeship was our, upon his repeated promise of being a good boy. which promise however, it is plain, he never intended to make good.
Various are the robberies he has been concerned in, and, he says, he always sought his way by violence if opposed; but he declared he never committed murder, which, had he committed, he should not have died without acknowledging it, nor thought it safe so to do.
He did not always escape, tho' generally he did, without discovery in his robberies; for in December sessions,1749, he was tried, with one William Smith, for stealing a handkerchief but of a person's pocket in, Cheapside; Smith was transported for it, but Hutton, was acquitted. Again, in September sessions, 1750, Hutton was tried, with Thomas Rowland, and the famous Ben the Coalheaver, since executed, for a robbery on the highway, on William Harsel, and was also acquitted. But, at the November sessions, 1752, he was once more tried, with John Wright, for breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Edward Salmon, in Chancery-lane; and being found guilty, received sentence of transportation for seven years.
He was accordingly transported, but did not stay away long before he returned to England. He acknowledges the justice of his suffering, and owns he had long deserved it. And he seemed to leave this world in a penitent and resigned manner, and said he hoped, that though he had been a most vile offender, the merits of Christ might save him from eternal misery, being sensible of the enormity of his ill-spent life.
10, 11. John Mason, aged 25, and John Welch, aged 35, were both Roman catholicks , and I having not proper admittance to them, can give no account of their birth, or education, or what they were bred to.
With regard to Welch, he seemed, by the evidence's account of him, to have been a long time used to the thieving trade. He was very active in this robbery, and was the man that struck the prosecutor first with a hanger, and then with a stick.
Mason, Welch, and two more, the evidence Kirby, and Welch, jun. met at the Blue Anchor, in Bunhill-row, it seems, in order to fix their rendezvous, and from thence set out with an intent to rob any one that came in their way. They met with the prosecutor, and used him very ill. Mason gave notice of his coming, and Welch received him, and betwixt them the man was robbed, and cruelly beaten; and but for the assistance of some people passing by, who
helped him to his home, he might have lain where they left him, and perished.
12. Dennis Neal, aged 25, was born at Kildare in Ireland, and as he reports of himself, brought up to no trade. In his younger days he took to selling hard-wares , and linen in his own county, for about two years; but being given to company-keeping, he spent more than he got; and leaving Ireland, he came to London to seek his fortune.
When he arrived, his first employment was hay-making , as is every year the case of some from those parts. Thus the summer passed on, and the winter was spent in going to work as a scavenger . Then he got employ'd by a gardner at Chelsea, and so went through different scenes as he could get business. He went on till he married, and having some money with a wife, he set up as a cheesemonger ; but soon got himself thrown into Chelmsford jail for debt, from whence he found means to escape, and then took to the highway. He was taken once in Surry, and was witness against two accomplices, whom his evidence hanged, and he was set at liberty. But having no other method of living, and by nature wickedly inclined, he returned to his old courses, and met Horniblow and Randolph, with whom he committed a robbery, near the Foundling-hospital, for which Horniblow was hanged, and Randolph was evidence against both. Neal was taken near Winchester, and brought to Newgate, by habeas corpus. He died a Roman catholick , and confessed the murder of Weeden the carrier, upon the Edgware road, to the high constable, who asked him about it, at the place of execution. As he has given a more particular account, written by himself, and which is advertised by Mr. Griffiths, in St. Paul's Church-yard; I refer the reader to that pamphlet, for further satisfaction, concerning this active and daring offender; whom the publick has happy riddance, as he seemed capable of the most desperate undertakings.
At the Place of EXECUTION
ON Monday, the fourth instant, about nine o'clock in the morning, Thomas Barnard, Richard Hutton, and William Ford, in the first cart; John Smith, William James, and Daniel Wood, in the second; Dennis Neale, John Mason, and John Welch, in a third; and Robert Keys, Grace Grannet, and Joshua Kidden, in the fourth cart; were carried from Newgate, to the place of execution, through 2 prodiglous crowd of spectators; who, far from being properly affected with so sad a spectacle, behaved like a rude, brutish mob; pelting one another with snow-balls, Etc. especially, at the place of execution; as if they had been rather at a bear-barting, than a solemn execution of the laws.
When they arrived at Tyburn, these twelve victims to their own evil conduct, were all put into one cart, and, the halters being fixed about their necks, they were tied to the fatal tree. They all appeared very serious, and duly affected with their unhappy situation. Barnard read aloud, and very audibly, from the Common-prayer-book, to the eight protestants; not ceasing to read, from the time of his arrival at the place of execution, till the last office, recommending their souls to the divine protection, was performed. Neale likewise read, with great earnestness, and incessantly, in a Manual of devotion, which he carried with him: his two Roman catholick fellow sufferers attending to him. They all joined in frequent cries to Jesus Christ to receive their sinful souls. Barnard made a very decent appearance, as also did Neale; but neither of them were observed to shed a single tear; which is, however, no proof of their want of penitence, but, perhaps, of the contrary; for tears are often indications only of passion, while true sorrow is chiefly felt at the heart; and is rather the parent of silence, than of tumultuous exclamations and wailings.
When the dismal scene was concluded, their bodies were delivered to the care of their friends, without any interruption or disturbance; but I observed a child, a fine boy to all appearance, was brought to be stroaked, (for the evil, as I suppose) and Grace Grannett's hand was plentifully applied by the parents, or friends of the child; who stroaked him therewith for several minutes, without intermission.