THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the SEVEN MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN, On MONDAY the9December1754, BEING THE First EXECUTION in the Mayoralty OF THE Right Hon. S. Theodore Janssen, 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, Sir Martin Wright, Knt. Sir Richard Adams, 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 27th, Thursday the 28th February, Friday the 1st, Saturday the 2d, Monday the 4th, Tuesday the 5th, and Wednesday the 6th day of March, in the 27th year of His Majesty's Reign, Eleanor Connor, was capitally convicted, and received sentence of death accordingly. But, a Jury of Matrons being called, upon her pleading pregnancy, they brought her in quick with child, and so execution of sentence was stayed, as usual in such cases.
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, Sir Richard Adams, Knight , Mr. justice Bathurst, 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-Baily, on Wednesday the 11th, Thursday the 12th, Friday the 13th, and Saturday the 14th of September, in the 28th year of His Majesty's Reign, Robert Hoggard, Edward Brocket, and William Hambleton, were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death accordingly. And,
By virtue of the King's commission of the peace, Oyer and Terminer, and jail-delivery of Newgate, Thomas Rawlinson, esq; lord-mayor of the city of London, the lord chief justice Ryder, Mr. justice Bathurst, William Moreton, esq; recorder , and others 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 23rd, Thursday the 24th, Friday the 25th, Saturday the 26th, and Monday the 28th day of October, in the 28th year of His Majesty's Reign, Thomas James, Charles Fleming, William Cottum, John Massey, Lionel Reculas, and Thomas Rolph, were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death accordingly.
The Behaviour of these unhappy persons was very regular, and becoming their situation, (except one, who was not so innocent as he pretended, with respect to a certain conspiracy and attempt) of which more by and by.
Their attendance at chapel was constant, nor were any of them, who suffered, hindered by sickness. Connor being an Irish Roman Catholic , had one to attend her as usual.
On Thursday the 5th Inst. the report of 11 Melefactors was laid before His Majesty in council by the recorder of London; when he was pleased to order, Eleanor Connor, John Hayes, Robert Haggard, Edward Brocket, Charles Fleming, and John Massey for execution on monday the 9th Inst.
At the same time James Young, William Hambleton, Thomas James and Lionel Reculas, were respited, 'till his Majesty's pleasure touching them should be farther made known; and His Majesty was pleased to grant an absolute Pardon to Thomas Rolfe.
poral fear, and danger of her life, and one silk purse, value 2s. with 8 guineas, the property of the said John, from the person of the said Deodat, did steal, take, and carry away.
3. Edward Brocket was indicted, for that he, together with William Clements, not yet taken, did steal one Gelding, of a black Colour, val. 10l. and one of a brown colour, value 12l. the property of Joseph Bell.
5. Charles Fleming was indicted, for that he, on the King's highway, on Isaac Matthews, esq; did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear, and danger of his life; and stealing from his person, one gold watch, value 20l. the property of the said Isaac.
6. John Massey was indicted, for that he on the 8th of July, about the hour of 2 in the night, the dwelling house of Susannah Nobbs, widow , did break, and enter, and stole out thence one promissory note of Agathy Child, and company, then bankers, and partners, for 31l. 10s. being then due, and unpaid; 40 guineas, 10 half guineas, ten 36s. pieces, the goods and money of Susannah Nobbs and Thomas Nobbs; one other note, payable to the governor, and company of the bank of England, for 60l. payable to a person unknown to the jury, being then unsatisfied for; and 20 guineas the property of George Holland; six gold rings value 3l. one other gold ring, one 5 guinea piece, one 2 guinea piece, one luisdore value 15s. one piece of antique gold coin, called a 25s. piece, 3 silver medals, 6 silver table spoons, value 50s. 1 silver strainer, 1 pair of silver sugar tongs, 1 other silver spoon, the goods of Ann Mallery, widow , in the said dwelling house.
By virtue of the King's commission of the peace, Oyer and Terminer, and jail delivery of Newgate, held before the right honourable Stephen Theodore Janssen, esq; lord mayor of London, Sir Thomas Dennison, Knt. Mr. Baron Smythe, William Moreton, esq ; recorder , and others his Majesty's justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the said city and county of Middlesex, held at Justice-ball in the Old-Bailey, on Friday the 6th day of December, in the 28th year of his Majesty's reign, Henry Mansell was capitally convicted, and immediately had sentence of death passed on him by Mr. Recorder to be executed the 9th inst. and his body to be deliver'd at Surgeon's-hall in order for dissection, pursuant to the last act against murder.
Eleanor Connor, otherwise Tobin, otherwise Woods, was about 35 years, of age; and being born in the Kingdom of Ireland, was bred a Roman Catholic , and so she died. How, or to what she was brought up, we have no authority to say; so that no other account can be given of her, than what
her behaviour has afforded, since she has been in England. And, we find, that most of her time, since she left her own country, has been taken up in the pursuit of every evil imagination which her own heart might suggest to her; and in every evil practice, which her own devices or the insinuation of bad company, could by any means induce her to.
Soon after her coming to town, she was remarkable, as one of the most noted pickpockets about it. The theatres, and Covent Garden, were the places where she chiefly practised; nor were any public places without her attendance, as she seldom missed an opportunity that offered, convenient for carrying on such practices.
In the year 1748, she was committed to Newgate in the city of Bristol, for a robbery, and being brought upon tryal, at the ensuing affizes held there in the spring of the year, she was capitally convicted, and received sentence of death. In August following, when the affizes were held there, she had the royal mercy extended to her, upon condition of transportation. She accepted the conditions, and the court pronounced the sentence of transportation upon her for fourteen years.
In pursuance of which, after having remained in jail near 2 years, she was put on board a ship, which was to carry her to his Majesty's plantations. But, as she was so famous a hand among pickpockets, and others of that day, they did not choose to part with her, and in order to keep her with them, the following scheme was formed, and had the intended effect.
While the ship was under sail, not far from the port she took her departure from, Connor was suffered to be upon deck, whether by accident, or thro' design, the consequence seems to delare for itself; for, she was no sooner upon deck, than two boats were ready to receive her, one of which took her up, and carried her clear off to shore, where it was most convenient: there is scarce any doubt by whom the boats were manned, her old companions, who were then in that part of the country, procured attendance for that purpose. And it is reported, that when one of the ship's crew declared a woman was overboard, 'twas was replied with an oath, "She is not worth taking up; it blows a brisk gale, and I'll not run a risque of losing my voyage to save her life." The ship belong'd to Mr. Bensor of Biddeford.
After this, she was no more to be seen, unless by her old companions, with whom she continued going up and down the country. We have an account of her in the discoveries of Poulter, alias Baxter, executed in the beginning of last March, at Ivelchester in Somersetshire.
The latter end of the year 1751, Poulter, alias Baxter, relates in his discoveries, that Thomas Tobin and his wife, (the woman we are talking of, who had several husbands, as it suited her purposes) whom he calls two of the most noted pickpockets in England, came to Dublin, and found him out, and came to his house. He says of them, that tho' he desired they would
not being any persons with them; yet they filled his house, with thieves, and thief-catchers, and laid a scheme to effect his ruin there, which was effected. For which reason it was, no doubt, that he was provoked to fill up, and supply a part of his discoveries, with this incident relative to them.
After this in return from Ireland, she came to Liverpool, and there settled for a while. And in order to cover her other intreagues, and wicked practices, she set up a sort of a chandler's shop in that town. But, on market-days, and other times, when there was any gathering together of the people, upon any public occasion, she dressed very gaily, and went out upon her old trade of picking pockets. One day in the market-place at Liverpool, she picked the pocket of a Gentlewoman, but happened to be unluckily observed by a girl, who told the people about her, that the woman in a velvet cloak (as Connor was then dreft) had picked a gentlewoman's pocket, whom she also pointed to. The people observed my gentlewoman in black-velvet, and observed her attempting to dive a second time. Upon which the person, before robbed, was asked whether she had lost any thing, and upon search discovered, she had lost. The girl pointed out Connor for the robber, the people were surprized to see a woman so well dreft, accused of such a fact. But, Connor being taken before a magistrate, the girl swore, she saw her do the fact; upon which being search'd, the goods were found upon Connor, and owned by the gentlewoman who had been robbed; and so Connor was committed to Liverpool jail, to take her trial at the next affizes.
Having been there confined some time, it so happened, that three or four persons came to see the jail, who had formerly been of her acquaintance; they knew her, and resolved among themselves to rescue her. For which purpose they came one evening, at the time of year when 'tis then almost dark, and while the turnkey was opening the door for them to go in, as they pretended their intention was, they fell foul of him, and others coming to his assistance a scuffle ensued. Connor was ready to take the advantage of this, and while they were all closely engaged, and the prison door open, she jumped over some of them, and passed by others, and so made her escape. The rescuers also got clear off, and one of them afterwards came to London with her, after having secreted themselves in fields, hedges, and windmills, till a proper opportunity offered for their marching off, which they did as soon as might be.
At their first arrival at London they pitched their tent in Gray's-inn-lane, where they refreshed themselves, and her companion would have had her remain there; but she was over-eager to see some of her old acquaintance about the purlieus of Covent-garden and Drury-lane. Accordingly they both went together, but had not been long in those parts of the town before they were known. A person came up to him, and seized her companion, telling him he was his prisoner in the
King's name, and directing others that flood by to take her into custody also, there being a reward offered for apprehending either, or both persons. Accordingly they were both secured, and being carried before justice Fielding were committed to Newgate.
The magistracy of Bristol hearing of her being thus apprehended, resolved not to be wanting in helping such a notorious woman to that justice, which she had so long, and so richly deserved. Accordingly, when she came upon her trial for returning from transportation, at the direction and expence of the magistracy of Bristol, the clerk to the town-clerk of that city was sent up to London, with a copy of the record of her conviction there; the purport of which was, that Eleanor Connor, on the4th of April 1748, was, in due course of law, tried for a capital felony, at the jail-delivery of the city of Bristol, and convicted, and received sentence of death; and after that it appeared she received His Majesty's royal mercy, upon condition of transportation for 14 years, which she accepted upon that condition, and that the court did award the same at the Assizes held at the said city, on the 29th of August following.
The same gentleman, upon oath, declared, that he attended the court at the same time, and believed Connor to be the very person.
A person, who belonged to the jail at Bristol, swore he had the custody of her, that she was the woman so capitally convicted, and ordered to be transported, and put on board a vessel, or ship, for that purpose, naming the captain and owner of the vessel.
A third person, who was constable at the time, swore, he saw her tried, about five years ago, for picking a farmer's pocket; he saw her when she received sentence of death, and after; was present, when on her knees she desired His Majesty's pardon, and saw her receive sentence of transportation for 14 years. This was the person who saw her in Bridges-street, in December last, at large, apprehended her, and took her before justice Fielding, when, upon his oath, she was committed to Newgate.
She made no other defence but pretending not to be the woman. She said, captain Lancey (then under sentence of death in Newgate) had seen her, and said she was not the person named Eleanor Connor, for that she was drowned. This was an artifice of her own, (captain Lancey after declaring he never had said any such thing) occasioned by her remembrance of having jumped over board, as before related, and that Lancey had (to his great misfortune) been in Mr. Benson's service.
Finding this pretence could gain no credit, but was totally rejected, her dernier resort was to plead pregnancy, in order to gain time for further contrivances. She knew there were several ready to appear, when a jury of matrons was called, who, at all events, would bring in such a verdict as she wanted, and others, thro' ten-
derness, might be brought over to do the same, viz. Quick with child.
Her execution was hereupon respited, and she remain'd, without farther enquiry after her, till September sessions; when 'twas judged, that if the matron's verdict in February had been right, she must have been delivered by that time. She was then called down to be asked what reason she could give, why sentence should be retarded any longer? To which her reply was, that she was not yet delivered; and pretended that her time was not yet out, for that she quickened in 12 weeks; so she was remanded back, to be called upon again at another sessions. Between September and October sessions she had a pretended lying in, the less notice of which taken 'tis the better.
However, being called upon again in October, she was not yet without some excuse, she pretended to be very weak after labour, and begged the court would take it into consideration, (a common expression, without any real meaning, among these unhappy wretches) and transport her for life; but she was ordered now to her former sentence.
2. Charles Fleming, said he was 22 years of age, not only to me, but to several others; he might have added about eight years more, and then he might have been near the mark. He also said that he was born in the north of England; named no town or county, being shocked to think he had brought such disgrace into a family that had brought him up well, and done their best to introduce him into life; which indulgence and goodness of theirs he had trade a bad use of, and therefore would not declare their dwelling place, left scanded might be brought upon it; so that his words intimated his shame for his past actions, and such was his sense of his misapplied time, that he scarce dared to own any one part of the whole.
Whatever his education intended him for, 'tis certain he came to London in capacity of a menial servant , or footman ; not that he was the worse man for that, had he kept with in his proper sphere. 'Tis no new. thing indeed, for many of these sort of gentlemen have of late years started up in the world. Charity engages to wish he had not so far presumed, and tho' he was not the first example of this sort, it were to be wished he might prove the last.
Let his example take place, and deter other from such mistaken pursuits. He prospered only for a while, and rose too high, that his fall might be so much the greater. He soon forgot his own character, (how it came about the Lord knows) and when he aimed at what he was never intended for, he lost himself, being unequal to the talk; and every action he engaged in brought him nearer his ruin. How long he continued himself is not so certain as the time she played a part which did not become him. He said he had not been in London above six years, five of which,
those who have had opportunity of knowing him say, have been spent in using himself, and others, who have happened to fall in his way, in a very bad manner. Gaming at some of the most expensive tables, and intriguing in the common brothels of the town, are said to have employed the greatest part of his time, without having any visible means of supporting those extravagancies, which such places of resort, from the very nature of them, most necessarily be attended with. In these choices of mistaken pleasures, if his example never should be followed, fewer instances would help to fill these papers; not so many complaints of parents, unfortunate and unhappy in their children, would, in different parts of this country, be so frequently heard of. Let children learn to put a proper value upon the care and solicitude, as well as the expence their parents are too frequently labouring under, to introduce them properly into the world, and they must, after such reflections, be diverted of all sense of duty, and of humanity itself, who shall dare, by their mischievous and wilful wickedness, to draw down the utmost shame upon themselves, and bring their parents grey hairs with sorrow to the grave.
As to what might induce Fleming to leave his country, and his father's house, or what prospect he had in coming to London, he pretended they were no small hopes of making his fortune, but he hesitated, and gave different accounts how he came not to succeed. But, by marrying as he did, he gave reason for conjecture, that his expectations had never been great, or, if they had, an end had been put to them somehow or other. Be that as it will, his behaviour, while in Newgate, declared him to be of an arrogant, presuming, and insolent disposition; and whatever gave him the character of a gentleman while at liberty, no remains of that character shewed themselves in him, while under confinement. He would have had every thing his own way, even to making an escape; but those about him knew how to manage him, who knew not how to behave well himself.
Since his marriage is mentioned, 'tis but right to observe, that perhaps the wife had the worst of it. Tho' he complained very greatly against her, and her father, to several persons, as if they had been privy to his being taken. His resentment against them was, not that he did not deserve to be apprehended, but that, as he conceived, they knew it three days before it happened, and did not give him notice of it; so that if this were true, his anger at them seems rather to give room to suspect his guilt, than to condemn their want of affection towards him; since their affinity by marriage, nay, even humanity, should have prevailed upon them to protect him (if they thought him innocent) from that anger, which justice is always armed with against offenders, whenever their crimes, are in danger
of being detected, and laid open to the censure of the laws.
Fleming acknowledged in the general that he had done many things deserving the utmost rigour of the law, but would not own the fact for which he suffered. And, he had gone on so long in such practises, as laid him open to great suspicions, appearing sometimes flush of money, and sometimes quite destitute.
The grand cause of suspicion of his going upon the highway was this, viz. he lived in Swallow-Street in a garret, seemingly very private, and did not choose that his wife should converse with any one. He was used frequently to ride out, and seldom hired one horse twice, but he always made particular enquiry of the owner, whether the horse would stand fire. And the reason he gave for it was, because he generally carried a pretty large sum of money with him; and therefore rode with fire arms, and as he would not be robbed, he did not choose to trust a horse that would not stand fire, left, if he should be attacked, he might be obliged to fire, and he did not choose to run the risque of the horse's taking fright, and throwing him. This he thought a plausible excuse for this enquiry; which turned out at last the cause of suspicion, that he had other motives, and pursued other courses, which this pretence was only designed to be a cover for.
The first foundation for suspicion was about two years ago, when Fleming having rode out one day, was brought home about 12 o' clock that same night by two men; the next news gave account of a gentleman's having been attacked by a single highwayman, who had no sooner made the attack, but he fired at him, and that he had hit him in the shoulder. Fleming answered the description, as to person, and horse, and 'twas immediately after known that he had a ball extracted out of his groin; during which time, till he recovered, several persons resorted to him, appearing of some fashion by their dress, and he was cured of that wound. At this time he took up the travelling name of Captain, and was enquired for by his visitors by the title of captain Fleming, and 'tis likely he was supplied with necessaries from them, as before he was known to be without money.
When he went abroad again, he appeared very gay, and 'twas given out he had a place in the stamp-office by his wife, from the people where he lodged. And, in order that it might appear somewhat plausible, he contrived matters so, as to go out constantly in a morning at 9o' clock, and return at 2, which it seems are the office hours. But, upon enquiry, he neither had any place in that office, nor any income at all; so that suspicions began every day more and more to be conceived against him. The next cause of suspicion (a very fatal one) proceeded from his riding out on horseback one day, and answereing a description of a highwayman, which an advertisement soon after set forth. Upon which, application being made to John Fielding, esq; he gave orders for
his being taken: and those orders were effected in the manner following.
A scheme was laid, that a person should go to Fleming's lodgings, with a pretended letter from a lady, which was to be delivered into his own hands. Accordingly a person went to his lodgings one evening, and enquiring for Fleming, was answered, he was not at home. The messenger said, he had a letter for him from a lady, which he could deliver to no one but himself. The person enquired of, said with a sneer, 'twas strange a lady should send a letter to Fleming, who was known to be a married man; the plot was suspected, and this bait did not take.
Upon which a proper warrant was granted, which early in the morning of the next day seized Fleming in his lodgings, before he was out of bed; and being examined before John Fielding, esq ; was committed to New Prison, Clerkenwell. Against September sessions, he was brought to Newgate, and being tried for a highway robbery on Mrs. Elizabeth Hughes, he was acquitted, but ordered to remain.
Between September and October sessions, Fleming had engaged more or less, there's no doubt, in a conspiracy to make an attempt to escape out of the press-yard; 'twas indeed but an ignis fatuus, there could be no hope of their succeeding; mischief might have been done, but no good could have accrued to the conspirators. A fellow, who was one of the last transported, being then confined in the cells by way of punishment for misbehaviour in the jail, set the conspiracy on foot. But Fleming was charged with a share in the plot by those who discover'd it, and that it was by his means, that instruments of death were procured. As the discovery of this, he apprehended, prevented the interest made for saving his life, from meeting with success, his resentment was great against those, who prevented the mischief intended, and saved themselves from being injured. But in this he was mistaken greatly, (as he was indeed in almost every thing he said, or did) for had it not been for this, his character was too well known to admit of any Hopes; but it's no new thing, for a man in his situation to flatter himself, that his dark deeds are not yet come to light.
In October sessions, he was tried again for the robbery of Isaac Matthews, esq; upon the Harrow road, and upon very full evidence was convicted. Mr. Matthews swore to the watch he was robbed of April 15th last, was that which Mr. Lane, who kept the Grey-bound in Drury-lane, swore he had of Fleming, for 5 guineas, who there went by the name of Dr. Johnson.
As to what he pretended, when he received sentence, about being pointed out to the coachman, there's no truth in it; if ten people's words may be depended on, who were unprejudiced, and who declare quite the contrary, rather than one, whose life is at stake. He declared also then, that he was innocent of the fact for which he was to suffer, as he did indeed to the last. But what sort of innocence did he plead? The watch he did not deny pledging to Mr. Lane, which Mr. Matthews swore he
was robbed of, how then does the matter stand? why he says, he did not rob Mr. Matthews of the watch, but had it of one Prestwood, or Prescote, in Bow-Street, who is since gone off the ground: here's great room for suspicion, but I don't say they were accomplices, here seems to be much prevarication on his part; but be it as it will, the jury, doubtless, were justifiable in their verdict; and however he pretended innocence in this case, yet he did own, that for Mr. Hughs's robbery, and several others (of which he would not speak particularly) he had deserved the utmost rigour of the law.
He could not help entertaining hopes of getting off from that death which stared him in the face, and was so terrible to his thoughts, and apprehensions, till the warrant came down; and then he seemed to say, that as five were saved out of eleven, 'twas matter of surprize to him, that he was not one, and ever after had the strongest appearances of horror upon him, and continued so to the last. As he was far from being ingenuous in any matter he had been concerned in, I cannot say I pressed him so close, as otherwise might have been done, because I would not urge him to repeated declarations of what he knew to be false. If he had any good qualities to recommend him to the company he has formerly been used to, he was very much to be pitied, that this late course of life had so darkened the path-way, as that the least trace of any such was to be found in him. I cannot help mentioning before we have done an incident lately come to my knowledge, viz. A person, of whom Fleming was used to hire horses, went to see him executed, and rode a horse these, which had formerly been rode by Fleming. This person was heard to say, that since Fleming's being used to ride him, the horse, whenever upon the road he saw a coach, or chariot, turn up a lane, or by-road, would immediately turn after it upon full speed.
3. John Massey, aged 25, was born in Buckinghamshire, from whence his parents removed to London, when he was young, and with whom he lived till his father dyed, when he was about 12 years of age: his father being dead, he says, he soon after went out to get his livelihood in what service he could be admitted to, having been bred to no particular trade or business.
He lived in several places, where nothing extraordinary happened; he did what he undertook with ease and content, and gave satisfaction where he went. He had several persons to give him a character at his tryal, some of which he had heretofore lived with, and they had nothing to say to the contrary, but that he behaved well with them; and himself declared he never had done a dishonest thing. till he came into the best place, and service, he had ever been in, viz. about the year 1750, he was taken into service, by the late Mr. Fancourt, an oilman of known reputation, near Temple Bar, with whom he lived about 12 months, and then left his service. He was absent from this place about 3 quarters
of a year, and then came again, and desired to be received into his former berth, viz as porter to the shop .
Having behaved well before, as an industrious and laborious youth, Mr. Fancourt took him again; and as only the caprice and unsteadiness of youthfulness had been the cause of his going away before, Mr. Fancourt supposed he had suffered by leaving his service, and was willing to take him again, looking upon him as an honest lad, and very well suited to the business of a porter to the shop, which was was what he undertook. But,
Some time after, Mr. Fancourt died, and Massey not behaving as he ought to have done to his mistress, he did not stay long, in all about four months. He was sent with goods, which were to be delivered that evening, and were not by him delivered till next day-noon; and tho' enquiry was made why the goods were not sent home overnight, he backed his neglect with a lie, and persisted in it, that they were delivered overnight, tho' at last he could not but own his neglect. Such neglect endangering the loss of custom, and suspicion of little pilfering tricks, made his mistress as willing to part with him as he was to go away; and away he went.
It seems, he was out of place during the major part of twelve months afterwards: he says, he applied for employ, but could get none. At length he applied to Mr. Nobbs, who took him into his Service ; he lived there some time, and all seemed to go on very well with him. And, about a month before this robbery, for which he suffered, was committed, he gave Mr. Nobbs warning, and left his service, under pretence that he was going into the excise in the country. And, to carry on the farce, he invited several of his acquaintance to go with him to Hampstead, where he gave them a parting glass, as if he was really going into the country, in the excise, as he pretended. He gave them a treat, and parted with them there; and not caring to come to town that night, for fear of being seen, nor to proceed on this pretended journey, walked the fields that night, and came to town to his aunt's, in Gray's Inn Passage, next morning, where his mother lived.
The next thing he had to do, was to meditate how he should put the intended scheme he had formed, in practice. He had it seems robbed an uncle of his own, and then Mrs. Fancourt, while he lived with Mr. Nobbs; 'twas now his design to rob also Mr. Nobbs, which he effected in a manner as will be by and by related, and carried away a considerable value, as in the indictment is set forth. Having so done, he sent his cargo into Buckinghamshire, where he was born, and went himself to Newport Pagnel, where he cut a figure, and lived for some time, as if he had been a man of consequence. But, tired of being in a character he was not equal to, he return'd again to London, and left directions for his portmanteau to be sent after him to his mother's, who lived at his aunt's, in Gray's Inn Passage.
Enquiry had been made by Mr.
Nobbs, about his being employed in the excise, as he pretended, before he left his service; and no foundation was found for such pretence. This, added to the circumstances under which the robbery was committed, enhanced Mr. Nobbs's suspicion of Massey, being the last who lived in his house, and had left it. Upon which, Mr. Nobbs advertised the goods stolen, and Massey's person, with a reward of 20 guineas for taking him. And, in a day or two after he was come to London, from Newport Pagnel, he was taken by one who knew him; and being brought before John Fielding, Esq; Mr. Nobbs was sent for, and Massey owned the whole affair before several persons present. But, as the nature of the robbery was so extraordinary as scarce to admit of a thought that it was done by a single hand, being interrogated, he first gave the following information, and said, "That himself did commit the robbery of Mr. Nobbs's house." And being asked, What was become of the notes, rings, Etc.? to add to his roguery, he pretended, he had sent them down to Kings-thorp, in Northamptonshire; and gave particulars where to find them. Mr. Nobbs was at the expence of sending down a messenger to enquire; when, lo, no intelligence could be had of any such goods sent there; no such person there as he described; nor, in short, was there any such house, as he said they were sent to. So the messenger returned errandless; and Mr. Nobbs had the unnecessary expence of a long journey. added to the loss of what Massey had before robbed him of. This information proved all false; and, to mend the matter, so wicked was he as to form another, in one part of it equally false. In this, indeed, he owned the truth of the facts, which he had wickedly contrived himself to commit; but at the same time accused a person, not only as an accomplice, but as he who first persuaded Massey to begin, and go on upon such unlawful enterprizes. This information was as follows; viz. "About two years ago, Massey says, he lived at Mrs. Fancourt's, and being about to quit that place, he, by accident, saw one James Dove or Love, of whom he enquired for a place. The said Dove, he says, then lived with a grocer in Cannon-Street, near London-Stone; which place he quitted, and went into the country. And then he came to town again, and lived with a tinman in Crooked-lane, Cannon-Street; at which time, Massey says, he renewed his acquaintance with him, and that this was at Christmas last. He says, moreover, that the said Dove put him upon robbing Mrs. Fancourt's house, which they did about 12 o'clock at night. He says, he lived with Mr. Nobbs at this time; that he took the key, and let himself out about 11 o'clock; and, returning home about 3 o'clock in the morning, let himself in, and went to bed undiscovered by the family. He says, the booty this night was but small; the house being dark, they could not discover any valuable things, and took away only
one silver spoon, and about 7s. in copper. He says this robbery was done in April last.
He says, that about a week before this robbery, Dove and himself contrived to rob Massey's uncle; which they did, by breaking into the backpart of his house, and took from thence a parcel of linnen, 3s. in silver, and about 5s. in halfpence, besides a silver watch, which Massey lost in play with a gambler.
Massey says further, that Dove advised him to leave Mr. Nobbs a month before he did leave him; and this with intent to rob him, as they had done Mrs. Fancourt and his uncle. The said Massey says, that his going to Hampstead was with design to render himself unsuspected; for he returned on Monday morning to town, after leaving his friends he had laid with in the fields all night.
Massey says, that Dove appointed a public-house, next door to the White-horse Inn, a corner house at Fleet-ditch, where they met, and appointed to meet again in Smithfield, at the Sheep-pens; which they did, and went to an old iron shop, coming up to Hatton-garden. Massey bought there an iron pickaxe, found in Mr. Nobbs's cellar, and then went to the London-Spaw, to see a dancing. From whence they went into the fields, and loitered till 11 o'clock. He says, by 12 o'clock they got into the house, by the cellar, and continued there full an hour without any interruption from the watch, and took out all the goods contained in the indictment. He says, that Dove had the notes, and all the cash, except 20 guineas; that they went into the fields, and going to divide the booty, were interrupted by three men, which obliged them to remove, and they went to a house at Holborn-bridge about 3 o'clock, where Dove gave him the slip, and he has never seen him since.
He says, his reason for not being explicit in his former examination, in respect of Dove, arose from an oath he had taken, not to discover him."
All this pompous information, at last, proved to be the invention of his own wicked genius; for he, at last, declared, upon the word of a dying man, that the whole, relating to Dove, was a gross lye; that the three robberies were all done by himself; that Dove neither had any hand nor concern in any of them, nor knew any thing of the matter. As we heard Dove had suffered by the report of this information given by Massey, we could not choose but publish (in justice to the poor man, whose bread depends upon his character and labour) this last declaration of Massey's, in respect to the innocency of Dove.
Massey being committed, as before-mentioned, was tried in October sessions last; and, upon full evidence, convicted; nor had he any thing to say in his defence.
A few days afterwards, a person came to town from Newport-Pagnel, who had been applied to, to write the direction for sending back Massey's late ill-gotten treasure from thence. The person went to Newgate, and saw
him the same person who had been at Newport-Pagnell, under the circumstances before-mentioned. Upon which he made known to proper persons, where the goods were sent; who procuring a search-warrant, went to Massey's mother's lodgings, in Gray's-Inn Passage, and found the greatest part of the goods Mr. Nobbs had been robbed of. The mother and sister denied there were any such goods in their lodgings; but, upon search, the goods were presently discovered; and it was thought necessary to commit the mother and sister, as receivers of stolen goods. For which they were tried at this last sessions; and being deservedly found guilty, are to be transported for 14 years. Massey appeared with a fullen dejectedness after conviction, till the warrant came down; when he began to be more open and unreserved; freely owned the truth of what is related above, and acknowledged the justice of his suffering. He had an earnest desire to receive the sacrament, which, he had a good hope, would be the means of conveyance of those benefits to his immortal soul, which Christ died on the cross to purchase for the truly contrite and penitent sinner, having a lively faith in the merits of the sacrifice of the death of Christ.
4. John Haynes, aged 33, says, he was born in the parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, of reputable parents, who brought him up very well, and gave him such education as was necessary to fit him for the way of life he was designed. He says, his right name is Savage, and much regrets that he had brought disgrace into his family, and, by his misconduct rendered himself a blot in their escotcheon. After having been kept to school, and learned to read, write, and cast accounts, he says, he was bound out apprentice to a cooper in Coleman-Street, whom he served faithfully seven years, and worked as a journeyman some time after. Then, he says, he married, and kept business himself, in a shop near St. James's church, Westminster; that he lived very comfortably, had good business, and might have done very well; but being given to drink too much sometimes, it caused him to be, in appearance, as a madman, and exposed him to inconveniencies. It happened some time ago, that Haynes was charged with having committed a rape; for which he was confined in New Prison, Clerkenwell. While it was his misfortune to be there, he found one Dennis Neale a fellow-prisoner, executed in February last; with whom he became very conversant, so as to fix an acquaintance between them. Haynes got discharged from this accusation without prosecution, and went home again to his house, to look after his family and business.
Not long after Dennis Neal also got his liberty, and having learned from Haynes, while in prison together, where he lived, Neal soon after payed him a visit. They kept together several days, Haynes neglecting his shop, while Neal intended to take
him in a snare. Liquor had got the better of him, Haynes says, and Neal soon prevailed on him to go with him on the highway, telling him 'twas a much easier way of getting money, than by coopering; what pleasure they should have, and what mighty things he would bring him to. Haynes says he shuddered awhile at the thoughts of it, but Neal told him there was no danger, as most people would rather deliver their money, than run the risque of having their brains blowed out.
Haynes's disposition not being at this time of temptation, over-nice, or averse to that which is wrong, and assisted by the mischievous effects of large portions of gin, Etc. which they had swallowed down for some days past, began to listen to Neal's allurements, and out they went together, having hired a brace of geldings.
They had no great success the first day, and he began, he says, to think of going home again, before any mischief was done; but when he talked of returning, Neal took occasion to ply him with drink, and they continued together for some time.
Neal's place of rendezvous, and where his robberies were committed, during the time of Haynes's being concerned with him, was about Putney, Fulham, and Barnes common. Haynes says they committed about seven or eight robberies near the territories of the afore-mentioned parishes, in about a fortnight or three weeks time; when Neal finding there was much looking out after him, retired farther into the country, and Haynes returned home.
His long absence had made some disturbance in his family, and he met with a reception he did not like; but such as his behaviour, in absenting so long, might expect. He was an offender against the laws of his country, and afraid of his shadow. He knew he was in danger of a halter, and not able to bear these reflections, he continued to endeavour to drown all such intruding thoughts upon his peace of mind, by large portions of liquor, which at times disturbed him, so as to deprive him of his senses. He had no peace at home, since his breaking forth into all excesses after his acquaintance with Neal; his own wife and family became disagreeable to him, and abroad his fears always suggested to him danger.
He says he served his majesty in the late war , on board a King's ship, eight years, three months, and three days, and was paid off in the Norwich, a fifty gun ship, at Chatham, and was in trade for himself since, when Neal renewed his acquaintance with him.
He says he has been confined in a madhouse at Hoxton five times, and was out but 10 days, when this robbery, for which he suffered, was committed. But his madness chiefly proceeded from drink; after drunkenness a sort of madness ensued, and his friends and relations confined him as above, to keep him from getting into whose confinement, which, at last, fatally happened to be his case.
He says, when he committed this robbery on Mrs. Quane, he was set
out from town with design to go to Reading in Berkshire to look for business, as he could not safely set to work in London; and his necessities were such, as he could not support himself and family; but did not deny his intention of supplying his wants on the road, by the use of the pistol he had with him when he robbed Mr. Quane. He declared this to be the only robbery he had committed since his acquaintance Neal left him, but does not know what he might have done, had he not been taken in this.
He made some excuses upon trial, and at receiving sentence of death, but afterwards acknowledged the fact, and the justice of his suffering. He behaved very well ever since conviction, and appeared very serious, devout, and penitent.
He lamented the day he became acquainted with Neal, and said, if his insinuations, and the effects of liquor, had not prevailed, his own inclinations had never suggested to him any such thing.
A day or two before his death his wife came to Newgate to see him; and having asked her forgiveness for former abuses, he expressed himself to me in very movingterms, and said, that as he was heartily sorry, and repented seriously of what he had done amiss to her, and all others, he hoped forgiveness from God for Christ's sake, and to be happy in the world to come.
5. Edward Brocket, was about 36 years of age, says he was born at Hitchen in Hertfordshire, and bred to husbandry labour . About 6 years ago, he says, he came to London, and worked in Old street ever since as a sawyer's labourer . He says, about 16 years ago he was married to the sister of William Clements, who was with him, when he was taken for the fact for which he suffered; but tho' he had known him so long, and married his sister, he never had much conversation or company with him.
Soon after Brocket's conviction, some farmers of Hertfordshire came to him to enquire after horses stolen. He would have so much money promised to be given, if the horses were found before he would speak a word about them, at first he put them upon a wrong scent, but afterwards, I think by his directions 3 several horses were found in the island of Shepey, that had been stolen out of Hertfordshire.
Brocket was of a surly, morose disposition, and very ignorant. He went up and down as occasion required, but was seldom seen to speak to any one after conviction. He denied stealing the horses, or knowing them to be so. He said, as he had done at his trial, that he was going down to Barnet to see for a man to work with him, and by the way met Clements on horse back with two other horses. That he mounted one, and they rode together towards Highgate; about half a mile before they came to the turnpike, Clements left him, and when he came to the turnpike, he was stopped.
He says, he knew Clements was used to horses, and said before to him, that
he lived with a dealer in the borough of Southwark. So he thought himself safe, and was greatly surprized when he found upon coming to the turnpike, Clements had left him, and he, and the horses were stopt. Says the way he came to know of the horses found on Shepey island, was, from what Clements told him, as they rode together, that he had sold them. And to the last, would not own stealing the horses, or knowing they were stolen.
Notwithstanding these declarations, there is too much reason to believe, he was partner in stealing, or else he would scarce have been so well acquainted with the Shepey horses being disposed of, and where to find them. He was insensible to all arguments upon this head, would by no means be persuaded to own the stealing, and said, 'twas his misfortune, that Clements got off, for he would soon have cleared him. However he seemed to die penitent and resigned to his fate.
6. Robert Haggard, otherwise Hogger, was 45 years of age, being born near Bury St. Edmonds in Suffolk. He was bred to husbandry by his father, who dying, when he was very young, he became a rider , as they call it among the smugglers, when he was about 15 or 16 years old; but says, he never carried fire-arms in his life, nor ever hurt knowingly man, woman, or child.
July the 9th 1751 an information was made against him before Henry Fielding, esq; that Haggard, and eight other persons, (whose names were mentioned) in company with others, to the number of 30 and upwards, were unlawfully assembled, being armed with fire-arms, and other offensive weapons, at Horsham, in the county of Norfolk, the 8th of Feb. 1746, in order to be aiding and assisting in landing of and running uncustomed goods, Etc.
He says, he never was at the place called Horsham, to his knowledge; and, if he ever was there, he knew not the place by name. And, tho' he never carried fire-arms himself, he owns he has been in company where fire-arms were carried, with William Baker, who was his master , and employed him to ride for him. He says, he knew nothing of the proclamation being against him published, and stuck up at North-Walsham and Great-Yarmouth, till after the 40 days were expired; for that he lived, at that time, at Hadley, 35 miles distant from the places where that proclamation against him was read, and stuck up at the respective market crosses. He left off smuggling, he says, for many years, but lately took to it again, and went over to Bologne; from whence he brought a small cargo; which as he was carrying home, an officer met him, and procured him and his goods to be seized. Upon which he was committed to Norfolk jail; and being afterwards discovered to be an outlawed smuggler, was sent up to London, to be tried for the out-lawry.
In September sessions, the issues between the king and Haggard were tri
ed; when the requisites being proved before the court, the jury gave verdict for the king; and he received sentence of death.
After conviction, he behaved very quietly, and seriously; and died resigned to his fate.
7. Henry Mansel, aged 30, was born at Acton, in the county of Middlesex, and bound apprentice to a blacksmith at Hammersmith. He says, 10 years ago he listed for a soldier , before he was well out of his time; has been in the army ever since, and belonged to the first regiment of guards at the time he committed the murder, for which he suffered; but was then immediately discharged.
He was one of a party, he says, going with a serjeant from the Savoy, to guard some deserters from thence to Northampton. And, being quartered at Barnet that night the unhappy murder was done, he fell into company, which after having drank pretty freely, they joked him, he says, at first, but afterwards words arising, about paying the reckoning, he thought himself ill-used; and began to make a stir among them, which much disturbed the house. He says, he was in liquor; but pleads not this as any excuse for what he had done. He acknowledged the barbarity of the murder of Isaac Emerton; and being told, that he had destroyed an industrious good neighbour, he immediately expressed great sorrow for having deprived the community of so worthy a member. He was apprehended immediately, and brought to London next day.
After conviction he acknowledged his unworthiness, upon account of this most heinous offence, added to others of his life, which; he said, was a very heavy load. But, though this crime was so great, yet if his repentance were sincere, as he declared, we doubt not, but mercy may be in store for him with God, upon the score of Christ's merits.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON Monday the 9th instant, between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning, Charles Fleming, John Massey, and John Haynes, in one cart; Eleanor Connor, Robert Haggard, and Edward Broket, in another; and Henry Mansel, in a third cart, were carried from Newgate to the place of execution, through crowds of spectators. When we had prayed with and for them some convenient time, they were turned off, calling on God to receive their souls.
None of them said any thing, except Fleming, who was very earnest with the populace, to clear himself of what he was never accused. Particularly, he said, he had not two pistols found on him, at the time when the conspiracy was reported, as before observed, of an intended escape. Who charged him with it? Nobody ever said there was any more than a little knife taken from him, when he was searched.
This is all the Account given by me,
Ordinary of Newgate .