THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words. Of the EIGHT MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN, On MONDAY the 17th of March, 1755,
NUMBER II. for the said YEAR.
Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and R. GRIFFITHS, at the Dunciad, in Pater-noster Row, the only authorised Printers of the ORDINARY'S Account.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.
BY virtue of the King's commission of the peace, Oyer and Terminer, and jail-delivery of Newgate, held before the right honourable Stephen Theodore Janssen , esq ; lord-mayor of the city of London, 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 city of London, and justices of jail-delivery of Newgate, holden for the said city, and county of Middlesex, at Justice-hall in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 4th, Thursday the 5th, Friday the 6th, and Saturday the 7th of December, in the 28th year of His Majesty's reign, Richard Preston, and John Dyson, 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, held before the right honourable Stephen Theodore Janssen , esq ; lord-mayor of the city of London, lord chief baron Parker, Sir Michael Foster , Sir Thomas Birch , William Moreton , esq ; recorder , and others of His Majesty's justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the city of London, and jail-delivery of Newgate, for the county of Middlesex, holden at Justice hall in the Old-Bailey, on Thursday the 16th, Friday the 17th, Saturday the 18th, Monday the 20th, and Tuesday the 21st of January, in the 28th year of His Majesty's reign, Joseph Gill, Edward Murril, alias Delarand, Joseph Lovel, Thomas Trevis, John Moody, Isaiah Robins, John Armstrong, Thomas Welch, Wright Wankford,
By virtue of the King's commission of the peace, Oyer and Terminer, and jail-delivery of Newgate, held before the right hon. Stephen Theodore Janssen , esq ; lord-mayor of the city of London , Mr. baron Adams, Mr. justice Wilmott, William Moreton , esq ; recorder , and others of His Majesty's justices of Oyer and Terminer, for the city of London, and jail-delivery of Newgate, for the county of Middlesex, holden at Justice-hall in the Old-Bailey, on Wednesday the 26th, Thursday the 27th, and Friday the 28th of February, Saturday the 1st, Monday the 3d, and Tuesday the 4th of March, in the 28th year of His Majesty's reign, John Burton, Thomas King, Edward Haynes, alias Hales, and William Burk, were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death accordingly.
These several unhappy people have behaved as 'tis usual with most in their situation. Welch was a Roman Catholic , Burk and King became so. The rest attended at prayers daily, and when in chapel appeared serious and devout.
On Thursday the 13th instant, the report of the malefactors under sentence of death in Newgate, was made to His Majesty, by the recorder of London, when he was pleased to order Richard Preston, John Dyson, Joseph Gill, Edward Merrill, alias Delarand, Thomas Trevis, John Moody, William Burk, John Burton, and Edward Haynes, for execution on Monday the 17th instant.
Wright Wankford died February the 3d, about seven o'clock at night . John Armstrong died the next morning about four o'clock . Joseph Lovely , John, alias Thomas Welch , Sarah Todd , and Thomas King , had execution respited at the same time, till His Majesty's pleasure touching them should further be made known . And, Isaiah Robins 's execution is respited for three weeks .
1. 2. Richard Preston , and John Dyson , were indicted, for that they on the 9th of October, about the hour of one in the night of the same day, the dwelling-house of Benjamin Huffman , esq ; did break, and enter, and one gold watch, value ten pounds, one gold seal, one silver snuff-box, two pair of silver shoe-buckles, one pair of silver knee-buckles, one silver stock-buckle, two silver spoons, one pair of silver spurs, in the dwelling-house of the said John, did steal . See Sess. Paper, Part II, Numb. 16, 17.
3. Joseph Gill was indicted for that he, together with William Burk , on the king's highway, on John Manby did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one topaz ring, set with two brilliant diamonds, value forty-two shillings, two gold rings, one guinea, and two shillings and six-pence in money numbered, his property, December the 28th .
danger of his life; and taking from his person one pair of silver shoe-buckles, value ten shillings, one pair of knee-buckles, one linen neckcloth, one half guinea, and two shillings in money numbered, his property, December the 29th .
6. John Moody was indicted, for that he, with a certain pistol, loaded with a leaden bullet, did wilfully and maliciously shoot at Rose Moody , his wife , in the dwelling-house of Constantine Phipps , esq ; with intent the said Rose to kill and murder, January the 2d .
8. Thomas Trevis was indicted, for that he, on the 27th of December, about the hour of two in the morning of the same day, the dwelling-house of John Dederick Pope did break, and enter, and stealing out thence one gown, two cloth cloaks, three pair of worsted stockings, one pair of leather pumps, one silk damask waistcoat, one quarter of a pound of thread, the property of the said John Dederick Pope .
10, 11. John Armstrong , and John, alias Tho. Welch were indicted, for that they on the king's highway, on Francis Hall did make an assault, putting film in corporal fear and danger of his life and taking from him three shillings in money numbered. December the 10th .
12. Edward Merril, alias Delarand , was indicted, for that he on the king's highway, on Collin Smith , esq ; did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one metal watch, value three pounds, one pair of silver shoe-buckles, value twelve shillings, one guinea and seven shillings in money numbered, his property, December the 9th .
13. Edward Haynes, alias Hales , was indicted, for stealing one piece of shalloon, containing two hundred and twenty-four yards, value twelve pounds, two pieces of bays, containing seventy-four yards, value three pounds, and thirty yards of cloth, called everlasting, value thirty-eight shillings, the goods of Joseph Royds and company, in their ware-house, January the 22d .
15. John Barton was indicted, for that he, on the 23d of December last, about the hour of one in the night of the same day, the dwelling-house of John Hall did break, enter, and one lid to a tankard, value thirty shillings, one silver spoon, one silk handkerchief, and two shillings and six-pence in money numbered, the property of Elizabeth Bullis , spinster , one silk handkerchief, four yards of linen-cloth, the property of Robert Chaddock , did steal in the dwelling-house of the said John Hall .
16. Wm. Burk was indicted for that he, on the King's highway, on John Manby , esq ; did make an assault, putting him in bodily fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one topaz ring, &c. Dec. 28 .
1. Richard Preston , aged 20, was born at Chipping-Norton in Glocestershire, of poor parents, who could afford him no education, and brought him up to husbandry labour , till he came to London about four years ago. When first he came he used to run of errands for the other servants; but Mr. Huffham, he says, observing him, and taking him to be a promising lad, told him, if he would be a good boy, he would take him into his service, and teach him to wait at table, &c. to fit him for a footman . He was accordingly taken into Mr. Huffham's service, and lived with him some time. He went away for a while, and returning, Mr. Huffham took him again; but he had a second time left Mr. Huffham when he committed this robbery.
2. John Dyson , aged 17, was born also at Chipping-Norton in Glocestershire, of poor parents, who neither could give him any education. He says he was put apprentice to an uncle in Chipping-Norton, who was a peruke maker : he dying, his aunt married another man of the same business, who lived at Richmond, and poor John was sent for, to come and serve his time out with his new uncle. Preston and he were children together, and play-fellows, in the country, and soon after his coming up to Richmond, they renewed their acquaintance. Dyson says, that for a month or six weeks before the robbery was done, Preston never ceased, day after day, to persuade him to be accomplice with him in the robbing Mr. Huffham's house, saying, he knew the house well; that they should get money enough; and that there was no danger of being taken in the fact: to which, at length, he consented.
Accordingly on Wednesday, the 9th of October, about twelve or one o'clock in the morning, having for two or three days before been idling away their time in walking the fields together, and drinking till they had not a farthing left between them, they set about the breaking open of Mr. Huffham's house at Ealing. They got in at the cellar-window, which Preston opened, and went up the cellar stairs to get into the house. They drank several bottles of liquor in the cellar, and eat bread and cheese; and then Preston unlocked the cellar door with a key he had provided himself with while he lived in the family; and through a hole he had also made before, he pushed back the bolt of the door, and so got into the house.
Having thus got into the house, Preston went directly to Mr. Huffham's bed-chamber, and Dyson followed to the head of the stairs, where he stood, while Preston went into the room, and took Mr. Huffham's gold watch from his bed's head, where it hung, and his snuff-box out of his pocket. Preston then came out to Dyson with the gold watch, &c. and they went togetherinto the parlour, where Preston opened a desk with a stick, he says, and took out several things, as mentioned in the indictment. After all this was done, they went again down into the cellar, and drank another bottle or two, and so made the best of their way, meeting with no manner of interruption (tho' they had provided a broomstick to defend themselves if any body should stir); yet they thought themselves very safe from danger, and the next thing they had to consult was how to dispose of their prize.
In order thereto, after consultation, they thought it would be the best way to go at a distance in the country, that they might not be detected, little thinking how near they were to betraying their own scheme. So the next morning they set out for Windsor, and as soon as they came there, very tager to raise money, they sold all the buckles, &c. they had taken out of Mr. Huffham's bureau in the parlour to a barber in Thames-Street, for nine shillings.
The next day they went to Wallingford, where offering Mr. Huffham's watch and seal to sale for a value which shewed they were not used to such things, they were suspected of having stolen the watch, and taken up on suspicion. Before the mayor, and other justices at Wallingford, Dyson confessed the whole matter of robbing Mr. Huffham's house, and signed his mark to his confession; which was in substance answerable to what is before reported concerning their breaking, entering, and robbing the house, as both owned all along. Dyson said, Preston proposed it to him, or he should never have thought of it; and Preston says, Dyson was soon persuaded to come into the scheme; though he did observe to him upon the first solicitations, that, if discovered, it was a hanging matter, as he termed it. However, after examination had before the justices of Wallingford, they were committed to Reading gaol . There Preston practised his art of opening locks; for, says he, we used to sleep eight or nine of us prisoners together in one room, with a chain run through all our irons; but if I could but get a nail, the lock that held us all was presently picked, and before morning we were all separated.
The robbery they committed the 9th of October, and being taken some few days after, they were kept in Reading gaol till removed by Habeas Corpus to Newgate, to take their trials at the Old Bailey in the sessions of December last; when Mr. Huffham swearing to the watch, & c. as laid in the indictment, produced by persons, who swore they had them from Preston and Dyson; and Dyson's confession appearing, the jury soon gave a verdict against them, guilty of the indictment.
Being both very young in years, and very ignorant, they however behaved quiet and decently, till the next sessions brought others to the same unhappy situation they were in; some of whom being more versed than they in acts of robbery, and further advanced in daring repetitions of such crimes, made Preston and Dyson more bold by their hardened behaviour and evil counsel: inasmuch as Dyson said to me one day, speaking to him of the alteration I had observed in his behaviour and manners for the worse,
"Had I suffered before
"the others came, I believe it had
"been better for me;" or words to that effect.
Dyson continued very hearty and strong to the last. His years were so tender, and his thoughts so vague, that though, when talking to him, you might find him affected with a sense of his lost condition, expressed by his tears; yet no sooner was he out of hearing and sight, but the little levities of childhood, as it were, attacked him again, and the motion of a straw would cause him to laugh, and look as pleasant as if nothing had been the matter with him; as if under no calamity.
Preston put on the appearance of a penitent, and behaved as one would expect a person under his unhappy circumstances. He was well and hearty till within about a fortnight before he suffered; and then he took to his cell, and pretended he could not stand upon his legs: but, the Saturday night before he suffered, he made an attempt to escape, and worked such a breach in his cell, as was scarce to be thought of, and surprized every one that saw it. It was indeed a vain attempt; for if he had worked for a month without interruption, he could never have effected an escape.
Dyson before attempted the like, but had not gone so far as Preston did. Though very young, their inclinations to mischief were as strong as others of larger experience and years; for I scarce ever saw an attempt before to break out of the cells. All their attempts were in the night, when they thought every thing was quiet, and out of hearing their works; but there were not wanting, in the many attempts made by these unhappy people, some to discover and frustrate their plots and contrivances, which, tho' they were mean and ineffectual, shewed their earnest desire to escape from that fate, which they owned themselves sensible they had legally merited.
The propensities of nature strove hard to get off from it, but proper care preserved them for their destined fate. They both suffered, declaring a dependance and trust in the mercies of God, and promises through Christ's, merits; and to those mercies we must leave them. If their juvenile years were such, as no lasting impressions were to be made upon their minds, who but God, through Christ, can procure a salve for their sores!
3. Thomas Trevis , aged 21, was born in the parish of St. Paul Shadwell, of poor parents, who could give him no education, whose poor mother, he says, is now in the workhouse. He was bred to no trade, he says; but
when his parents could provide for him no longer, he got into business now and then upon the river Thames, and worked at rigging, and assisting to fit out ships , with whom, and wherever he could get employment.
He confesses he has now and then also committed little pilfering tricks among the shipping, as too frequent has been the practice it is very well known; but, he says, he never got more than a shilling or eighteen-pence at a time by any of those thieveries, in which he has often been concerned with many other boys in that neighbourhood.
He says, about two years ago, he took upon him to go to Newcastle, &c. in a coal-vessel trading from London, that his wages were small, and that what little money he got by the voyage was soon squandered away, after the discharging of the ship, among his wonted companions, to whom he resorted as soon as he got on shore, and they never left him till all was gone; and then, to get farther supplies, he went out with others of his companions to picking pockets, or breaking houses, as they found opportunities.
At first he denied having ever been guilty of house-breaking, but in this instance, for which he was convicted; but, before we parted, he confessed, he and his companions had been guilty of a great many, though in this no one was with him, he declared to the last.
Having no settled place of habitation, but being used to frequent night-houses, and all receptions of thieves and idle persons, he was used to travel the streets in the night with his companions; and when they saw a little house, fit for their purpose, were used to break and enter, and make what advantage they could. Whatever they got, if they could but bear it off undiscovered, they were sure to dispose of it in Rosemary-lane.
When the press for seamen begun, he says, he thought of going to sea, and was agreed to go in a day or two; but committing this robbery, and being taken in it, unhappily prevented his design.
When the warrant for execution was intimated to him, he was very uneasy, till he had acknowledged that many times he had combined with others in house-breaking, but was not capable of giving a particular account of such as he had been concerned in. He said he hoped his fate might be a warning to his companions; and, if they did but know what sorrow he had for what he had done, they would leave off before his fate overtook them.
The burglary he was convicted for was committed in St. George's in the East parish, near to where he was born, in Shadwell. He had taken notice of the yard as he had passed by the house, and, he says, that he thought it was easy to get into, and the devil prompted him to resolve upon it. He acknowledges he did break the house by himself, in pursuance of this suggestion of the devil, and did steal the goods, as in the indictment.
He was taken in carrying away the goods by the watch of St. George's, and others, who, seeing a bundle withhim at two o'clock in the morning, suspected him; and not giving a good account of himself upon enquiry, was taken upon suspicion. A pair of shoes, among other things, betrayed him, which; having the maker's name on them, and being brought to him, he said he made them for the prosecutor's daughter, who being robbed of them, another pair was bespoke to supply the place of them.
Trevis made the common defence, that he found the goods as he was going home; but owned the fact, when he found no excuse could prevail to save life. Idleness, he said, had been his great enemy, and paved the way to his sad and shameful death, which he seemed, and declared to meet resigned to the will of God, and penitent, having been well all the while under sentence of death.
4. John Burton , aged 22, was born near Newport Pagnel in Buckinghamshire, and was bred to husbandry labour , after being kept at school to learn reading and writing in that town. His parents were poor, so that he was obliged to work for his living, as they did; but, as he grew up, he became more idle and unlucky, and work began to be out of favour with him, when he took to rambling about the country to all wakes and fairs, &c. that ever he could hear of. He was always of a pilfering disposition, and scarce any one cared to employ him; so that finding himself neglected by his neighbours, in one of his frolicks and rambles, being drunk, he met with a party beating up for soldier s, and listed himself among them. This was about four years ago, he says, when the regiment he listed in was first sent to Scotland, and afterwards to Minorca, where he remained till last spring. He says the regiment was ordered home, and he came along with it, but had not been long in England before he deserted.
While he was in Minorca, he was taken ill, he says, and lay six weeks, expecting death almost every day; but, upon his recovery, soon after he got abroad, he broke into the house where provisions are kept for the garrison, and stole bread, meat, and wine, of which robbery he was detected, and would have been severely punished; but in consideration of his long illness, which had rendered him very weak, and his pleading hunger and thirst in excuse for the fact, all punishment was for that time remitted.
After his arrival in England, and having deserted, he went down into his own country, and from thence into Oxfordshire, where he engaged with a farmer to be at harvest-work with him for the season; but, before he left him, he made bold to break open a trunk or chest of his master's, and stole out of it, to the best of his remembrance, about ten pounds; which having done, he moved off the ground, and made the best of his way to London to hide himself, where he has been since about Michaelmas last.
After he had foolishly lavished away this ill-gotten booty among all sorts of bad company of both sexes, he went to live with a person, he says, near the Foundling Hospital, with whomhe continued some time as a labouring man . He was very ill ever since in Jail, upon account of which his trial was deferred from January to February sessions, and that illness had very much hurt him, even almost to the impairing of his senses, though sometimes he was better than other, was sometimes quite stupid, and at other times he was but just capable of knowing what he said, or what was said to him. However, thus much, at several times, he confessed and owned, and that he was destitute, and out of business, when he broke open the Oxford Arms in Warwick-lane, and stole the goods, as the indictment charges, and for which he suffered. He had entertained great hope that he should not be hanged, but finding himself included in the warrant, for a while he was as one mad; but coming to himself, he was brought to resignation to the will of God, to own the justice of his suffering, leaving this life, in which his folly and wickedness had kept him in almost one continued scene of trouble, in hope of a better.
5. Edward Haynes , aged 36, was born in Shropshire, of creditable parents, who gave him such education as was usual in the part of the country where he was born, and he was taught to read and write, at a little parish school in the neighbourhood. His parents dying, he left his own country, and went to live at Stourbridge in Worcestershire, in capacity of a servant out of livery . Having lived some years, his mind gave way to changing; and tho' his master would have persuaded him to stay, no arguments could prevail, but go away he would. And finding his resolution fixed, he had however behaved so well, that his first master recommended him to a second, I think he says in the same county.
He went to this second master, and lived very comfortably and well, his behaviour meeting with respect, answerable to the satisfaction it gave his master. But somehow, there was an unsettledness in his mind; he wanted somewhat yet to make him happy and easy, but he knew not what. Having got some money in his service, he resolved to go into the world for himself, as he called it, and acquainted his master with his design. As the master liked the servant, he also endeavoured, to dissuade him from it, but in vain. Haynes left that service, got him a wife, and took a public house , not doubting to get a fortune soon; but to his great disappointment, he found he grew worse and worse in circumstances, instead of better; and after having continued that way of life for two or three years, he thought proper to leave that country, business, wife and children, and came to London, about two years ago, to get his own livelihood again by service.
His first place in town, he says, was at a grocer's, where he lived many months honestly, doing his business regularly as he received directions, and left this service with reputation, and was recommended to Mr. Royds, with whom he lived in the house, and upon whom he committed the robbery for which he suffered. Haynes and one Cowley were countrymen, and had beenformerly acquainted. Upon Haynes's coming to town, their acquaintance was renewed, to the great detriment of both; for, upon Haynes's capital conviction, Cowley being tried with him, for receiving the goods, knowing them to be stolen, the jury being of opinion that he knew them to be stolen, from many circumstances appearing in course of evidence, found him guilty also, and Cowley received the judgment of the court to be transported for fourteen years.
Haynes, tempted by hopes of getting money faster than the nature of his place would admit, observing the large stock of goods in the house, was prompted by the devil, he says, to set his mind upon robbing his master; supposing that out of such large quantities, a piece now and then was not to be missed. The next thing was, what should he do with his stolen goods? It came into his head, that his old acquaintance Cowley, being a taylor, might help him off, and accordingly he put it to the trial. Sundry goods at times, Haynes says, he stole from his master, and carried to Cowley; and that Cowley came to his master's house, and fetched away the other goods himself, which Haynes delivered to him. He says, he was allowed 1 s. per yard, for the goods which Cowley sold for two; so that the value of the goods was equally divided between them. Haynes alwas declared, no body put him upon this; 'twas his own thought, and would by no means charge any body else with being concerned with him, except Cowley. Haynes behaved like a true penitent, heartily sorry for what he had done in this, and all respects amiss against God, and all law; and owned the justice of his conviction. And, being soon after conviction, taken very ill, continued so till he suffered; which he did with all patience and resignation, hoping that God would be merciful to him hereafter, as he saw his contrition earnest and sincere, and having his faith fixed on the merits of Christ's blood.
6. Edward Merril, alias Delarant , says, he was about 22 years of age, being born in Exeter-street in the Strand. His father was very well known to be a very worthy and industrious man in his way of business, but some how had not the happiness to succeed so well in trade, as 'twas by all that knew him thought he might have done. He left behind him this unhappy youth, who has not proved so well as was in his father's life-time hoped, and believed he had then the appearance of doing. He was in person a likely young fellow, had the blessing of a good understanding given him from above, which he has unhappily since most grosly abused, as well as that education which was bestowed on him by his father.
When he was about 12 or 13 years of age, he says, his father died, and as he proved a forward youth, preparations were made for sending him abroad, that he might see the world a little, and improve his knowledge of it to a better purpose, than as it has proved in the event, to his great misfortune, he chose to do. In pursuanceof the good intentions of his friends, he says, he did go abroad, and was on a voyage to the East-Indies, out and at home, about 22 months. The truth of which depends upon his own words, as this was his own declaration. He said further, that he might have staid there; and believes he should not have come home so soon, but that he expected a good fortune to come to, when he arrived in England. But when he came home, being disappointed as to that expectation, and having already entertained notions of a gay life, he could not forbear pursuing it, though he knew he had not wherewithal long to support it. However, he continued it till all he had was exhausted; all places of public diversion being his daily resort; besides that, he was too prone to the allurements of the stews, and disorderly-houses of the town, and had an itching after all gaming tables he could get admittance to.
Indulgence from some quarter kept his imagination fixed in a security which push'd him forward to his ruin, that no end should be to his gaiety. But, finding the means of encouragement fail, at least not so flush as formerly, he began to think of shifting for himself, and of cutting out a way to provide for his extravagances at all events. He was too much indulged to be bred to any business, to which he might turn his hand to get an honest livelihood, and therefore his invention must be employed to supply the place of that industry, which 'twas pity he had not been put in the way of. If ever he was designed for business, he was not not kept to it; but, he says, he was bred to no particular trade, which he pretended to lay any claim to the knowledge of. Unhappy youth! what should he do? No employment to turn his hand to live honestly, and so he became a professed debauchee, gambler, and highwayman, tho' very artfully, and private in his doings. His deeds were deeds of darkness, and therefore he was rarely to be seen, but in the night.
He acknowledges to have been a very bad liver, in all sorts of debauched and evil conversation, but for private reasons he had to himself, though he could not but own the justice of his fate, he would not suffer his deeds to be expos'd to light here, except such as were too publick for him to conceal.
Of which number, are his having some years since been in the hands of justice among others; but out of compassion to his family, he was dismissed before any particular person appeared to lay any thing to his charge. - This being at Chelmsford, for a robbery in Essex. - And, the share he had in the misfortune of a young fellow, a particular acquaintance of his, who was executed at Tyburn, within the space of two years past, whose name we forbear to mention; because we would not refresh the memory, and run the risque of creating fresh sorrows in the minds of his friends and relations. Delarant had then lodgings in Salisbury-court, Fleet-street, and his visits were frequent to him in Newgate, while under sentence of death; and he had a considerable part of that money from him, which he was executed for taking on the highway.
This was declared by him, before the person suffered; nor had the unhappy Delarant so feared and hardened a conscience, as to deny it, nor the before-mentioned facts. However, even though he had strong assurances from his friends, that they had interest enough to save his life, and though he was recommended to mercy by the jury that tried him, yet he behaved extremely well from the time of his conviction. Indeed, expecting from such motives to have life saved, his disappointment was greater, when he found himself included in the warrant for execution. But he soon recovered from this disappointment, by fixing his hopes and expectations where no such thing can happen to those, who endeavour to gain a reprieve from the jaws of death eternal, by flying to those conditions of the gospel of Christ, to which are promised life eternal.
The fact for which he suffered, was a robbery on the highway, near Whetstone turnpike . The prosecutor had no sooner told the court the manner in which he was robbed, and said, he could not swear to him, though he believed him to be the man, than Delarant (through the conviction of his own mind) was so infatuated as to own the fact, at the same time he thought he was clearing himself, by asking him, whether he had any thing about his head or face? Had no other evidence charged him home, this was enough to satisfy all that heard him of his guilt; but he was taken the next day, with the things he had taken from the prosecutor upon him, and a pistol in his pocket, but not loaded, as his horse was shoeing at the blacksmith's shop. He was suspected to be highwayman, and being apprehended upon the suspicion, to his cost proved to be so. The horse he rode on was ordered, by the court, to the captor, upon his conviction, pursuant to the act of the 4th and 5th of William the third, which gives the horse, money, arms, and furniture, to the captor, taken on a robber, except the same be feloniously taken away before the robbery. By this statute, the person who lends or lets a horse to a highwayman, forfeits the same upon conviction.
Delarant owned the justice of his suffering, as also his general immoral life, and died resigned to the will of God, whose promises through Christ he sought in an humble and contrite heart.
The following letters were sent me on Tuesday night, inclosed in one signed H.F. desiring they might be published by the desire of Delarant's mother, said to be received from his own hand, and are as follows, viz.
Newgate Cells, Feb. 27, 1755.
IF you had been in my distress; I am sure that my friendship should never have left you; no, not when I was sure you wanted succour: so far from it, that I should have flew anywhere to assist you; for I always took a pleasure in serving you to the utmostof my abilities; so that I can't help letting you know, that you have behaved like a base villain to me, in refusing to send me what was my own; when my mother and sister so often intreated you only to let them know where them things of mine was; and you was so base as to deny them that small favour. It is not out of spite that I send you this, for I freely forgive you from my very soul; though the money and things you have had of me is the very cause of my unhappy sentence. If you had tasted of both those evils, as you called them, it would have been the better for me; for I should have had money in my pocket, and have been a great part of my intended voyage. As my time is short for this world, I once more forgive you. If ever you loved me, think on what you have done, and never be a villain again: for, if I had served my God as well as I have served you, I should not have been the unhappy and wretched
TO-MORROW I launch into eternity, and ask forgiveness in all where I have offended; and do sincerely forgive you from my soul. Farewel; repent, and be happy. I remain now composed, and hope to be happy by this time to-morrow.
7. Jos. Gill , says he was 22 years of age, being born in Dublin. His parents lived in pretty good reputation, and their unhappy son being first taught to read and write (though for want of use he had almost forgot both) was put apprentice to a brass founder . He had not patience to serve out his time; but, after a year or two playing unlucky tricks (to which, he says, he was always too much addicted) he left Dublin, and came to London. Though very young when he came, according to the account of his age at death, he soon got into loose and disorderly company, and, being an adept in vice, soon vied with the worst of them. However, he says, he married a woman with some money, and they lived grand while it lasted, which was not above a year and an half. What to do he knew not, at first, to live. Work he did not like, so he resolved to go out upon the lay. He begun a pickpocket, and at last proved a highwayman.
When he was about 17 years of age, London was too hot to hold him: so he, and an associate of his, one Hayward, went to Ireland, where they lived the same wicked lives, till his companion was apprehended, and hanged for a highway robbery there; but Gill, having the luck to escape for that time, returned again to London.
Gill had got some money from his friends in Dublin before this, which he brought up to town; and here he lived for some time with his wife, every now and then taking a turn upon the highway; and he seldom came back without scamping some one orother, as he termed it in the cant phrase. He had been out so often, that he had run in debt 24 l. for horse-hire, for which he was put into the Marshalsea, where he had not been long before he found means to break out, and made his escape.
He went to live with his wife at Knightsbridge, and got himself employed as a porter . For some time, in this station, he lived pretty honestly, and did his business as he ought to do. The only thing complained of, during this time, was a restless, quarrelsome spirit, that always raged within him whenever any thing opposed his inclination, and shewed itself to be in him almost to the last.
However, after some time, the spirit of the devil tempted him again to go upon the highway: He did so, and committed several robberies upon the western roads, till his name was up, and he found himself in danger of being apprehended. What should he do now? To stay in town was hazardous, for he now was pretty well known; so he took himself away to Portsmouth, where, meeting with a recruiting serjeant, he listed for a soldier , by way of disguise for the present, not intending to remain so long; but the regiment he had listed in being soon after sent to Scotland, altered the intended measures of the new recruit, and baulked his design, which was even then to have run the risk now and then of taking a purse; so finding no way to get off his bargain with the regiment, he went to Scotland. He had not been long there before new schemes were formed, and taking an opportunity to desert, he got on board a ship, bound for the coast of Guinea, he says, and there he went.
From Guinea he sailed to Barbadoes, where he lived with a woman, who kept a publick house, till he had behaved so, that there was no safety for him to stay any longer there; so he privately got on board a vessel, ready to sail for Philadelphia, where, soon after he arrived, he met with Burk. They soon became acquainted, and, though Burk's intention was to have come home to England in the vessel, to which he belonged, Gill persuaded him to leave the ship; and not long after they agreed to travel through Pensilvania to Maryland, to see some of their old acquaintance, who had been transported thither from England.
8. William Burk , aged 30, was born in Monmouth-street, and says he was the son of William Burk , who was coachman to a nobleman of the kingdom of Ireland, from whose service being discharged, he went coachman to a gentleman in Jamaica, where he died. Burk was then about six years old, and being destitute, a person at Epping took care of him, till he was about eleven years old, as a waiting boy , and would have taught him to read and write, but he was wicked, and did not chuse it. He run away from him, and falling in with fortune-tellers, went round the country with them till he was fifteen years of age; in which time, he remembers, he stole a silver stock-buckle from Mr. Thomas Collins, of Eppingbury; and, while he was with Mr. Arnold, (the person that took
him under his protection at first) he stole a pocket-glass, a plain gold, and a mourning ring, which belonged to Mrs Arnold's mother; and not knowing how to dispose of them, threw them into the river at Waltham. This gives him great uneasiness, he says, because other people were blamed.
He left this gang, and came back to Epping, and by Mr. Conyers, of that place, he was put on board the Royal Sovereign, as boy to the admiral , in 1740, at Chatham. He remained there two months, and then leaving the ship, went to Sheerness, and entered on board the Bridgewater as cook's boy , where he staid about ten months. The cook his master in the time falling sick, was sent to Deal hospital, and left the keeping of his trunk with Burk, who stole all, and sold the trunk, &c. for about eleven pounds, to people on board the ship, who even knew he had stolen them, and then went away to Plymouth.
In about a month after he went to Antigua as cabbin-boy , and was beat pretty much by the captain; but that put no stop to his tricks, for he stole cloaths out of the ship, and sold them to the negroes. When he returned to England, he run away from this ship, and embarked on board another, bound for Guinea. She put into Holland, when Burk rowing the captain to Dort, run away, and carried off many things with him, and sold them.
After many transactions, and changing from ship to ship, where nothing remarkable happened, Burk was taken prisoner by two French men of war, in 1742, on board the duke of Argyle, of Bristol, and carried to Brest, where he was nine months a prisoner in the castle, and being sick, was carried to the hospital. When he recovered, one captain Obrian, of the Irish brigades, came to him, and, with fair speeches, induced him to list in the regiment of Clare . He then was ordered to join the regiment at Dunkirk, to which place he set out, on the road stealing fowls, and what else he could get, to keep his hand in.
After joining the regiment, and remaining three months, they set out for the siege of Tournay, where they lay fourteen days. He says, upon hearing the English forces were coming, Marshal Saxe ordered particular regiments to attack them, of which Clare's was one, and all the other Irish brigades. It was on a Sunday, he says, and they marched from three in the morning till twelve, and then drew up in line, in a field of wheat, to attack the English forces. Burk had a scheme in his head, and asked to go a foraging, and enganed two others, who were Irish deserters, to go with him.
When they were clear of the French, Burk proposes to them, he says, to go to the English army. They were afraid at first, being deserters, but he prevailed, and together they went thro' the woods, and came to the English army. Burk was first received, and afterwards the other two, having been examined apart, and found in the same story, with respect to the then situation of the French army, were taken into protection.
Burk soon deserted, and took another man with him, when they came to Dort, and sold their regimentals: from whence they came to Rotterdam, and engaged as seamen on board a Dutch man of war, receiving five months pay, he says, advance, and one month's more, encouragement given to all English. From Helvoet-sluys, in four days, they sailed to Dungeness, when Burk and eight more cut the boat off, with tea, &c. and landed at Folkstone. He then went to Gravesend, and, after disposing of what he had, shipped himself for Virginia, but the ship putting into Portland-road he left her; and then, for two guineas, went on board a small privateer belonging to Exmouth, in which, after fourteen days cruize, he was taken prisoner by a French privateer, and carried to Port Louis in Bretagne: from thence was ordered to Morlaix, and upon the road stole every thing he could lay his hands on, being stripped of all before. After being there twelve days a cartel ship came, and he, with the other prisoners, arrived at Plymouth. From Plymouth he went to Bristol, having prize-money to receive, and a woman put him in Newgate there, for forty-nine shillings which he never owed her. After about six weeks he broke out, and going towards Portsmouth engaged to go on board the Fareham, bound to Jamaica.
While the ship was lying at anchor he gamed with the men, being used to it, he says; and winning their cloaths, &c. left that ship, cutting off a boat, and steering towards Southampton, he then walked to Pool, where he entered on board a small privateer, out of which that very day he took a pair of pistols. Having received one guinea advance, he decoyed a companion, and went towards Weymouth, with full intention to rob on the road, but without success. At Weymouth they stole goods of value, and whatever they could lay hands on, and went to Bristol. Burk there engaged to go to Turkey, and received 5 l. 5 s. advance, and then sailed to Falmouth to take in pilchards for Leghorn; where he run away, and went and enlisted in the army with captain Gregor, where he remained twenty weeks, and was honourably discharged at Tregony in Cornwall. From thence he went to Plymouth, and engaged for Gibraltar; after three weeks departure he was taken in the Streights by five Spanish privateers, in which engagement he lost his left eye, and was carried into Ceuta, where he remained six weeks; and after his recovery he was sent to Gibraltar, where he remained five days, stealing all he could get. He there engaged for S. Carolina, where, when he arrived, he was pressed on board the Tartar Pink. In five weeks they arrived in the Thames, when Burk was turned over to the Royal Sovereign, the first ship he had ever been in; he was on board her six weeks, stealing cloaths, and all he could get; and being taken ill was sent to Chatham hospital .
While Burk was at Chatham hospital , (only a fortnight) he, and some others, stole from the storehouse,where the cloaths of those that died were kept, to the value of 5 l. He then came to London, after robbing his mate of his hat and wig, &c. and was pressed again on board the Royal Sovereign, and turned over to the Oxford, where he remained 15 months by the name of William Bougy : she sailed to Antigua, and there remained six months; during which time Burk and another robbed captain Terryl of a gold watch, money, &c. and run away.
Having been about seven months in Antigua, he was pressed on board the Pool man of war, and came to Portsmouth, staying at Gosport till paid off, bilked his landlord, &c. and run away. Burk then went to Bristol, rioting; and coming to London found his mother, never having remembered her, about five years ago, with whom he stayed a month; then Burk went to Chatham, and engaged on board the Yarmouth. While he was there he stole a silver tankard from one Mr. Cole, at the sign of the Globe; it was found upon him, and he was committed to Maidstone jail ; at the assizes he was ordered for seven years transportation, and was transported to Maryland, in May, 1750. When Burk arrived there, he says, he stole a boat in the river Potomac, sail'd with her 25 hours, and sold her to one Garnet, upon Kapahanak, in Virginia river, near Mulberry island, for 30 s. He then entered on board the Duchess of Queensbury in York river, for nine guineas the voyage to London, and in nine weeks arrived at Portsmouth. Having stole many things in the voyage he durst not stay to ask for his wages, but came for London, and assigned his ticket to a man that lived at that time at the sign of the Duke, in West-lane, Rotherhithe, and for his nine guinea ticket he received 20 s. then going to see his old acquaintance at Epping, he asked charity on the road.
He could not stay in England long, for fear of being discovered; and having seen such of his old friends as he thought proper, he engaged in a voyage to Philadelphia, where Gill and Burk met together, as before observed in August last.
Gill persuaded Burk to leave the ship he belonged to there; and they travelled through Pensylvania, and soon by land to Maryland, where they saw several of their old companions in iniquity, and returned again to England. Had there not been a scarcity of hands, they would not so easily have got a passage; for they were known to be very bad men, and that they might not corrupt the whole ship's crew, or play any of their old tricks, a strict hand was kept over them.
When they came to England, Gill and Burk soon squandered away their little wages in riot and debauchery, and then they agreed to go on the highway. Their tempers agreed; what one proposed pleased the other. Their common haunts were about Drury-lane, at one part of the town; and in Rosemary-lane, at the other. When they had tired the town, and their frequent robberies brought themin danger, they fled to the country; and they took to robbing on the Essex road, which they continued for some time. They had not been in England more than two months when they were taken.
On Saturday the 21st of December, Gill and Burk, robbed several persons on Epping-Forest, near the 4 mile stone. And on the 26th, they were advertised and described, having robb'd a farmer among the rest of several things, and a bay mare. The mare was kept up stairs in Keen's house, who was tried with Gill, for receiving stolen goods, but acquitted, till sold to put into a hackney-coach; in which the owner happened to see the mare, challenged her, and after some trouble recovered her again. They went on this way, till December the 28th, when they robbed John Manby, esq ; upon Tower hill in a coach, about one in the morning. They had been drinking, and rioting all the day before at Wapping, and were coming to Keen's house that night. Upon this robbery, being represented to him, and the persons described; Mr. Fielding's people got intelligence of it, and pursued them in their haunts to apprehend them.
They were taken soon after. Burk was terribly wounded, having fought desperately, and given Hind, one of the people that took him, a wound, which caused his arm to be cut off, in consequence of which he died.
On the 7th of January, we have this account of their being taken, in one of the daily papers. Information being given, that the mother of Burk, lodged at Hyde-Park-corner, and sold old-cloaths, Mr. Gee, a constable, and Mr. Pentelour, keeper of New-prison, were sent to make enquiry, on which a plan might be formed to take Gill and Burk. They accordingly went to an ale-house, called the York-Minster, next door to the mother's, where as chance would have it, they saw them drinking together in a back room, and resolved to attack them. As soon as they perceived they were taken notice off, they paid their reckoning hastily, and attempted to make off. The constable seized one by the collar, on which Gill fired a pistol, in the very face of the constable, which luckily did him no injury, though 'twas loaded with balls and shot, which grazed his cheek. The constable quitted Burk, to pursue Gill, who fired at him; this gave Burk an opportunity to draw his pistol, which he presented to the head of Mr. Pentelour; who in an instant rushed in upon him; disarmed him, and by endeavouring to secure him, they both fell over a water-tub, by which means Burk disengaged himself, and they both made their escape in the dark. But the mother being taken, an account of their lodging in Shadwell was obtained, and a strong party set out next morning by break of day, to surprise them in their beds. But they being alarmed, by one of their whores, retired to the Strand for safety, where three of Mr. Fielding's people, just returned from a private expedition, had intelligence of them, and resolved to attack them. And rushing into a room, where they were, with drawn hangers, desired them to surrender. Upon which they started up, drew
their pistols, and declared they would not be taken alive. But they were soon disarmed, and Gill after receiving a wound or two, submitted; but Burk, though his hand that held the pistol was almost cut off, and had received many wounds in his face and head, would not surrender till he was totally overpowered, and the vast loss of blood rendered him incapable of farther resistance. How valuable such a resolution, had it been employed in a good cause! but how to be dreaded in the hands of robbers! two of Mr. Fielding's people having paid dear; one having received a terrible wound in his arm, and another had his knee put out, several bruises, and one desperate wound in his hand.
Gill behaved with uncommon assurance before the magistrate; and, to compleat his impudence, when he went into the coach to be conveyed to Newgate, he said, that, if he well was mounted, and had a brace of good pistols, upon Hounslow-Heath, he would not care two-pence for justice; constables, thief-takers, or guards.
Gill was committed to Newgate; but Burk was so dangerously wounded, that it was thought proper to keep him in Covent-Garden round-house , to be taken care of; where his left arm was cut off, a cut cross his left eye and nose sewed up, and his right arm was preserved by the care of the surgeon.
Gill was convicted in January, Burk in February sessions. Gill laid several schemes to escape, but all in vain. Burk behaved all along with resignation; and they both died under a proper sense of their former unworthiness, as to all appearance, depending on his merits who is the Saviour of the world.
At the Place of EXECUTION.
ON Monday morning, the 17th instant, about nine o'clock, the several malefactors ordered for execution, were brought out of the press-yard, and being put into three carts, Gill and Delarant , in one; Trevis , Haynes and Burton , in a second; Burk , Preston and Dyson , in a third, were carried to the place of execution, about ten o'clock. When they were tied up to the fatal tree, some time was passed in recommending their souls to divine mercy; and they were very intent to prayers, in the name of Christ and his church, offered up to the throne of grace in their behalf; and prayed as heartily in others, which they repeated for themselves, acknowledging their unworthiness, and dependance only on Christ's merits.
Dyson, at getting into the cart at Newgate, as also when he was in the cart from which he was executed at Tyburn, shewed such extraordinary marks of senselesness of his condition, as surprised every beholder. But where's the wonder, when we consider him as scarce past childhood; having never been exercised, but in puerile amusements; having had no education; and scarce ever having heard there was a God and a future state, till under sentence of death. Notwithstanding, as horrible a dread overwhelmed him, as did, perhaps, any of the rest, who behaved as became people in their last moments.
Only Burk died a Roman catholick ; who declared, as Gill did to the last, that the robbery, for which Isaiah Robbins, now under respite for three weeks, was convicted, was by them committed near Whitechapel- mount , upon Mr. Richardson. Execution was done upon them without any disturbance, tho' a vast multitude were gathered together on the occasion. Their bodies were delivered to their friends.