THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, of the TWELVE MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN, On WEDNESDAY the 5th of October, 1757, BEING THE Third EXECUTION in the Mayoralty OF THE Right Honourable MARSHE DICKINSON, Esq ;
NUMBER III. PART I. 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, M.DCC.LVII.
- Facilis descensus averni:
Noctes atque dies patet atri janua Ditis;
Sed revocare gradum, superasq; evadere ad auras,
Hoc opus, hic labor est.
The gates of hell are open night and day:
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the chearful skies;
In this the task, and mighty labour lies.
IT is no idle station to be posted at the gloomy avenue of death, there to receive the unwilling traveller, and conduct him in a path, the reverse of what he had chosen to tread, through the course of his former life: to meet the reluctant passenger on the brink of eternity's boundless ocean, and there open and point out, (if not secure) to him a passage to the land of everlasting life, who had before wilfully plunged himself into the attractive whirlpool of misery's abyss; to draw him thence as a drowning man; to revive the worse than senseless mass, to a moral sense and spiritual life; all this is no light task; it demands not only human endeavours, but divine assistance; it demands not only the zeal and diligence, the skill and vigilance of a faithful servant, but bespeaks the favourable wishes and aids, shall I add, the fervent prayers of all who wish prosperity to so necessary and valuable a work. If an ox or an ass fallen into a pit, be an object of care and compassion, how much more is a man, indued with an immortal soul, when in danger of sinking into the pit of everlasting destruction.
To this design, there are many requisites rather to be wished and hoped for, than suddenly obtained: Such as, that the time and means were more adequate to the end and purpose *, to make success more probable, evil habits should be rooted out, and * To this the excellent plan of a new prison, or rather workhouse, wherein labour, industry, and virtue might be practised, and idleness, vice and profaneness, more effectually prevented and suppressed, would, if executed, greatly conduce: a design, the weight of which, it should seem unreasonable to lay on the metropolis only, as it ought to be borne in some due proportion by the body of the nation. May I venture to advance, that this is a common concern, and fit to be imitated by every county or district.
the contrary good habits planted in succession. Idleness and the love of vicious pleasures, at least the temptations and opportunities to them, being removed, should be succeded by useful and wholesome labour, and the practice of temperance, soberness, and chastity; impious oaths and curses, and filthy conversation, the transgression and contempt of laws divine and human, should be changed for a course of sound instruction, the duties of piety, and a due observance and high respect for those laws and commandments which are the bonds and barriers of human society, and the means of human felicity.
But how can all, or any of these good purposes, be attempted or hoped for in the time and place that unhappy malefactors and convicts are confined to, during the little interval between their commital and trial, or between sentence and execution.
For however some empirics in theology may boast of instantaneous conversions, and sadden changes in moral characters, let me not envy them, but heartily wish them more sincere and frequent than they are; yet, is it much to be doubted whether this method of dealing with men be agreeable to the course of divine providence in the works of nature, or dispensations of grace. I grant, indeed, the seeds of virtue, and a spiritual life may be sown in an instant; but their taking root, their growth and production of fruit must have time; and therefore, in the common course of things, it seems necessary to allow time and means, rational human means, for any real changes, and hopeful preparations for eternity.
The best use to be made of these considerations for the present, is, that all persons be warned from thence, to be doubly on their guard against such company and courses as may betray them into these desperate and deplorable circumstances of meeting death, disarmed against its terrors, and unprepared for its consequences.
The readers of taste, who may deign to look into this account, it is hoped, will not be offended at its plain narrative stile, as being given in the words of the person treated of, as near as may be, and the descriptions of their behaviour taken from the life, in order to give a natural and striking picture of them. And the public in general is requested to excuse the delay of publishing, on account of the number of sufferers to be spoken of; the important uses to be made of so shocking a calamity, to recompence, in some measure, the loss of her members to the society; and the strict regard to truth and decency, with which all have a right to be treated by the writer.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, &c.
BY virtue of the king's commission of the peace, and Oyer and Terminer for the city of London, and at the general sessions of gaol-delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London, and county of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, before the right hon. Marshe Dickinson, esq ; lord-mayor of the said city; my lord chief baron Parker, mr. justice Clive, sir William Moreton, knt . recorder , and others his majesty's justices of gaol-delivery for the said city and county, on Wednesday the 13th, Thursday the 14th, Friday the 15th, and Saturday the 16th of July, in the 31st year of his majesty's reign, William Hadley, Stephen Harding, James Wales, John Pritchard, and Eleanor Eddowes were capitally convicted for the several crimes in their indictments set forth. And,
By virtue of the king's commission, &c. held before the right hon. Marshe Dickinson, esq; lord-mayor, Sir Thomas Dennison, knt . one of the justices of the King's-Bench , sir Richard Adams, knt . one of the barons of the Exchequer , sir William Moreton, knt . recorder , and others his majesty's justices of gaol-delivery for the said city and county, on Wednesday the 14th, Thursday the 15th, Friday the 16th, Saturday the 17th, and Monday the 19th of September, in the 31st year of his majesty's reign, John Bradbury, otherwise Bradley,
Bartholomew Godfield, John Long, Brent Coleman, John Roberts, Richard Gregory, Thomas Price, Philip Reily, and Andrew Scott, were capitally convicted for the several crimes in their indictments set forth.
On Friday Sept. 30. the report of the above fourteen malefactors, and two others convicted at a former sessions, viz. John Ferguson, for returning from transportation, and Edward Stubberfield for sheep-stealing, in all 16, was made to his majesty by mr. recorder, when he was pleased to order 12 for execution, viz. William Hadley, Stephen Harding, John Pritchard, Eleanor Eddowes, John Bradbury, Bartholomew Godfield, John Long, Brent Coleman, John Roberts, Richard Gregory, Thomas Price, and Andrew Scott; and sentence against four to be respited, viz. John Ferguson, Edward Stubberfield, James Wales, and Philip Reily, till his majesty's pleasure concerning them be further known.
These unhappy people, after their conviction did, when capable, duly and regularly attend divine service in the chapel, and behaved themselves with attention, humility, and devotion at it; happy for them if this had been the rule and method of their former life, probably they had never fallen under this condemnation !
It must be owned, some of them being illiterate, void of any thoughts of any religion, and ignorant of its first principles, cost the minister much time and pains, frequent admonitions and instructions to bring them to any sense of their true condition and their duty. But he humbly hopes his labour was not bestowed in vain, even on such as these. And he begs leave to take this first public opportunity to return his humble thanks to the right honourable the lord-mayor, and the right worshipful, and worshipful members of the court of aldermen for their generous and unmerited favour of an unanimous election conferred on him, and giving him this inestimable occasion of doing good to those that are ready to perish; nor can he forget to offer the same humble thanks to a right worshipful member of the same court (whose name he dare not mention without his permission) for his pious care in visiting the chapel, and pointing out some repairs necessary for the decency of divine service, and the health and convenience of those who frequent it, and for his present of the Prisoner's Director: To another worshipful member of the same court for his present of six common-prayer books to the chapel for the use of the prisoners: To the venerable society for promoting Christian knowledge for their seasonable present of twelve compassionate addresses to prisoners for crimes; and for twelve affectionate addresses to prisoners for debt, sent to the ordinary for the use of the prison; which were distributed in part, among the prisoners according to his best discretion, and which he observed many of them making good use of to their last moments; and lastly he returns his thanks to the reverend the secretary
of the society, for his kind overtures of farther assistance in that way.
The public, it is hoped, will excuse the mention of these favours on this occasion, as they were an immediate benefit to the convicts now under consideration; and must prove so to the future. To some further particulars relating to the former, I now proproceed.
1. 2. William Hadley, and Stephen Harding were indicted, for that they, on the 12th of May in the night of the same, did feloniously break and enter the dwelling-house of Robert Loveless in Dean-street, Fetter-Lane, and steal from thence certain window and bed curtains, one pier looking-glass, some blankets, sheets, napkins, towels, and other goods, to a considerable value.
The witnesses who appeared against them on their trial, were, Robert Loveless, owner of the goods, and Elizabeth his wife, who swore to the property of the goods, and how, where, and on whom found; William Boswell, a party concerned in the robbery, who being admitted an evidence, fix'd the fact on his accomplices aforesaid, with the circumstances of committing, and the manner of dividing, concealing, and disposing of the goods; the other witnesses were Martha Smith, William Ward, and John Spenely, on the united evidence of whom they were found guilty, and sentenced to die: Two other indictments against them for crimes of the same nature, being waved as unnecessary.
1. William Hadley, gave the following account of himself, That he is about 60 years of age, born in Staffordshire; his parents labourers in husbandry work: That he served his apprenticeship to a blacksmith near Wolverhampton, who made locks, stovegrates, &c. That he can read or write but little: That about the year 1721 or 1722, he was inlisted in lord Cadogan's, being the second regiment of guards; that he never was in any battle, but encamped in the year 1722. Acknowledges that he was given to drinking, but not much to swearing or lewd women, and lived as other soldier s generally do; whose lives, it is earnestly to be wished, were better regulated, and more conformable to the rules of religion and morality, both for their own happiness and the public safety.
At the time of committing this fact, he was a pensioner of Chelsea , out of which he had been draughted as an invalid to keep guard at Portsmouth; whence, he says, he came up to see his wife some little time before this fact, for which he was cast; the matter of which (as it appears on the trial) he did not persist to deny he was concerned in, with the said accomplices Boswell and Harding, as, indeed, it was too plainly proved to be denied; but utterly refused to acknowledge or give account of any other, in which it is strongly pre
sumed he had a share; and, as he did not make confession, nor explain any other particulars of his life, within a few days after his conviction, so he afterwards appeared incapable; behaving himself as a frantic person, both in his words and actions; insomuch, that he was generally kept chained down to the floor, and no more thought fit to be brought or admitted to the chapel; and whenever he was asked, he refused to go, with raving language.
The smith may be tempted by his skill, in locks, bars and bolts, to be too busy in acts of burglary, especially by night, where the cover of darkness, a family asleep, or an empty house, may promise them concealment; but, whenever they are tempted by such circumstances, let them recollect there is an all-seeing eye to which the darkness is no darkness, but clear as the light; an eye which neither slumbers nor sleeps; the guardian of innocence and the avenger of guilt: and this example is a fresh proof added to innumerable oothers that the divine justice and truth is concerned to shew, that though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished.
Let the wicked also learn from hence to make haste and not delay their repentance and amendment, lest a frenzy or hardness of heart seize them in their guilt, leaving them no power, nor grace, nor hope to repent before their final doom. However, on the day before execution, this unhappy criminal appearing more composed, on my application to him, he attended divine service in the chapel, and behaved himself with decency and seeming attention.
2. Stephen Harding, indicted and convicted for the same crime with William Hadley, son of a baker of the same name of Mile-End Old Town in the parish of Stepney, where, he said, he was baptized and registered, but brought up by his grandfather a quaker, by whom he was kept strictly; and about the age of seven years sent to school in the Minories, and afterwards at the New-Inn in Whitechapel, where he learned to read and write; and then was bound apprentice to one Taylor a barber and peruke-maker in Cheapside; whence, after his time was expired, he removed to a shop in Golden-Lane, near Old-street, and lived there in good business for about two years; but being driven thence by sickness and poverty, he worked piece-work in Gray's-Inn Lane. About this time he came acquainted with William Boswell his accomplice, or rather principal, on whose evidence he was convicted; this person finding him in want of money, told him he could help him to some; being asked how, he said, come along with me; he took him to play at skittles, where
having made him drunk, or at least sufficiently inflamed for his purpose, he told him, he knew where he could get 50 l. in a minute. He conducted him that night at a proper hour, to a house in London-street, near Fenchurch-street, which he had set, or marked out, (the family being out of town) whence they took pewter, copper, brass, and other furniture, to a considerable value. Notwithstanding this success, he was seized with horror, at his cool moments of reflection for what he had done; he dreaded the sight or company of his associate, shunned him, and when haunted and teazed perpetually by him to go on new adventures, he determined to move his habitation in the most secret manner he could, where he hoped to be undiscovered by his seducer. He did so, but in vain. He was found out and roundly threatened to this purpose. " Harding, I see what you " are about; you mean to impeach " and turn evidence, but, if you " don't come along with me, as usual, I will be beforehand, and do " for you." He judged there was no extricating himself from this net. They went together, and they committed several house robberies, in some of which Hadley was an accomplice, with whom Harding said he came acquainted at a publick house in Gray's Inn-Lane about three months before their conviction; when enquiring for a smith to fix a boiler with bars, &c. in order to set up his wife in a cook's shop; Hadley happening to be there, offered to do it cheap. Whatever became of this project, their casual meeting quickly engaged them in worse purposes, which brought them under the fatal sentence. During the respite of long vacation, Harding flattered himself that his friends could save him, which though he was often warned against as a most dangerous delusion, yet it prevailed so far over him, as to make him less intent on a real preparation for death, and more reserved in his confession. He often promised indeed that in case his life was spared he would write a particular account of it, and the facts he had been concerned in, for the warning of others and the publick safety. This he proposed as a kind of commutation or recompence for his life, which he kept in reserve for that purpose; but when he found his name in the death warrant how was he struck with sorrow, confusion and disappointment! The load of his guilt and the fears of death and judgment, came upon him at once, an horrible dread overwhelmed him, he quaked violently, as one in an ague, and his teeth chattered, he spent his sleepless nights in wailing, and shedding floods of tears, insomuch that he could neither read nor pray, this I learned not only from himself and my own observation, but from John Long his companion in the cell, who being so ignorant that he could not repeat the Lord's Prayer or the Belief, and quite illiterate, I had entreated Harding to assist me in teaching
him those and other necessary things of the Catechism during their being locked up together. But alas, he could little avail himself, or his companion, of their retirement.
When I re-examined Long, hoping to find he had learned something necessary to his salvation, he told me, Harding could not speak to him, nor pray with him, for crying and sobbing the whole night. O consider this ye that forget God! seek ye the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, the first moment he is called, especially when called by the chastising hand of God, lest in the great waterfloods of sudden fear and extreme calamity, they be not suffered to come nigh him: However, I endeavoured to compose, comfort, and restore this bruised reed all I could; and I hope with some success; for it was not till now that he told me of the first robbery he had committed with Boswell, and how he was in a drunken frolick drawn in, and irrecoverably intangled in the snare, as above related. Thus these vile seducers into villainy, like the arch-fiend their master, whose work they do, and whose wages they will receive, first tempt, and then betray.
Out of this snare it was my task to recover him, he had long since professed to me, that he did all he could to repent; that he resolved to live a godly, righteous, and sober life, and hoped he should be a better christian than ever he had been were his life spared.
4. John Pritchard was indicted for returning from transportation before his time. He was convicted at Hereford assizes, March 24, 1756, for stealing eight dozen bottles of cyder, one drinking-glass, &c. the goods of John Morgan, Jan. 10, 1756. He confessed also, that he was convicted for stealing out of a certain dairyhouse by night, 2 pieces of beef, one piece of pork, a pan of butter, and a cheese, for all which being sentenced to be transported for seven years. He had broke out of Hereford gaol by the help of a fellow-prisoner, who having been a workman concerned in building the said gaol, knew where and how to make his way out, and having caused Pritchard to swear secrecy while he was working at it, got him out also. On the Saturday before sessions, in July last, George Penner took the prisoner in Grosvenor-street, upon an information from the gaoler at Hereford; Penner swore he was at large when he saw him; and Richard Allen, who had been evidence against him at Hereford, swore to his conviction and sentence as before; on all which evidence he was now found guilty, and received sentence of death.
Criminals should learn from this and the like examples, to submit patiently, and even thankfully, to their sentence, whatever it be, since it is given not merely by human, but ulti
mately and really by divine authority. We all know, it is in the divine name, and power, and on his holy word, that oaths are taken, and justice administered; and we are assured, that it is by divine wisdom kings reign, and princes decree justice. Men should submit therefore not only for fear, but for conscience sake, and then it will turn to their benefit, and work together for their good; on condition they make good use of the time allowed them, for repentance, amendment, and preparation for eternity, lest a worse thing should befall them, by a vain and wicked resistance, or abuse of their precious moments: Of this the unhappy offender was mude truly sensible, after his second conviction; and it is hoped too, of his abuse of an oath, and profaning the holy name of God, by swearing secresy to an unlawful deed; for which you see the divine threat overtook him, he was not held guiltless. How often did he wish with tears, that he had quietly submitted to the lenity of the law in allowing him transportation? for what is that? especially to a seaman, as he was. It is but throwing a duck into water; restoring him to his own element: Sensible of this, in his defence, he begged to be sent to sea again; but alas too late! he now in vain ask'd for that, as a grace, which he before fled from as a punishment. During his confinement he behaved himself quietly, with penitence and devotion, and gave this brief account of himself; that he was born at Ighne Mills, within a quarter of a mile of Hereford; his father a miller; he was baptized and bred up in the establish'd church, and being taught to read and write, he served his apprenticeship to Mr. Edward Bullock, a pastry-cook in Hereford, during which service, he deserved, and had the regard and good word of his master: That about 22 years since, he came to London, and followed his trade; 'till in the beginning of the last French war, in the year 1744, he entered into his majesty's service by sea , and sailed on board the York to the East-Indies, being appointed with the Exeter and Eltham to convoy five Indiamen. In a slight engagement with the French off the Cape of Good Hope, he received two shots in his head; we may perhaps judge, he had been happy, had these proved mortal, and he had died honourably in his king and country's cause; but we are incompetent judges of the ways of Providence; he might then have fallen less prepared for death and judgment; themes which seamen and soldiers too little think of, and oh! monstrous folly and absurdity! they, whose chief business and calling is to learn to die bravely, are too generally unskilled how to die well, and like, what they profess to be, christian soldiers; for then they could not fail to fight manfully, and die heroically.
He mentioned nothing else remarkable in his life; but pleaded in excuse for the thefts, that they were committed thro' want and necessity: But surely,
this is a very weak and groundless pretence, while there is so great a call, and so much encouragement for his majesty's service. His surviving family he chose to draw a veil over; and, it is earnestly hoped, they will strictly follow honest and industrious ways of life in the fear of God, and keep in view the sad and sure punishment of all wickedness. This will guard them from evil, and surely recommend them to the divine favour; and, it is to be wished also, to the care and compassion of the public.
5. Eleanor Eddowes, spinster , was indicted for feloniously forging a paper writing, purporting to be a bond to Anna Maria Edwards in the penalty of 2000 l. for the payment of 1000 l. and publishing the same with intent to defraud Robert Bridge.
Said she was born in Cheshire, her father Richard Eddowes died about the 13th year of her age, and her mother Eleanor about her 9th year: That she was educated at a boarding school at Shrewsbury, where her father lived; and she came to London about the year 1720, but did not care to explain how she lived; thought herself upwards of 50 years old.
Instead of perplexing the reader with the various accounts given by herself of the bonds and notes in question, which could never be reduced by me to any connection or consistence, and which were proved to the satisfaction of the court and jury to be published by her, knowing them to be forged. Permit me to make an abstract of the evidence, and then add an original letter of her own, giving the result of all she had to say, and denying her guilt in such manner and terms, as that the reader will judge whether it doth not seem sufficiently to confute itself.
On the trial it is asserted, that she lived a servant with sir Richard Grosvenor between 30 and 40 years ago; the late mr. Bridge (by whom the pretended bond is supposed to be signed) then acting as steward to sir Richard; that mr. Bridge was instrumental so early as that time, in detecting and bringing her to justice for some practices of the same kind; for which being committed to Newgate, she lay there about 15 months: All this she does not deny in her defence. After this she kept a bagnio in St. James's-street. (This she acknowledged) but in the year 1739, was sent to the fleet for several debts, where she lay till the year 1748, when she was discharged by the Insolvent Act. During this time, she is charged with some unfair practices of this kind against Ann Mulder, which in her defence, she neither denies nor disproves. It is also asserted, though she had no demand on mr. Ralph Bridge during his lifetime, who died in March 1747, yet, in July following, she made a demand on the present Mr. Robert Bridge, his representative, for 750 l. on a bond said to be given her by the late mr. Bridge.
Besides the many suspicious circumstances of forgery which appeared in this bond, as to the pretended creditor and witnesses, and convinced mr. Bridge this must be a forgery; it came out on examination of witnesses, that she had dated that bond at a time when mr. Bridge happened not to be in town, but at the Litchfield election: though she had unluckily set forth in her answers in Chancery, that he signed it at the Fleet prison, at that very time when he was proved to be at Litchfield. When she found this, and that it would be wrong to stand a trial at law, she did not try the cause; but when it came back again in the court of Chancery, the issue was taken (pro confesso) for granted, and it was agreed, that that bond should be delivered up and cancelled.
But she did not rest here, she set up a new demand on the same gentleman, 1st, of abond of 1000 l. pretended to be given by the said late mr. Bridge to one Anna Maria Edwards now dead, but who is pretended to have bequeathed this bond, &c. to John Eddowes her brother, who died in Newgate on her account, to whom Eleanor Eddowes was administratix; 2dly, of three promissory notes of 100 l. 200 l. and 300 l.
She produced another bond, whereby it appeared, that mr. Bridge had given this bond as a security for this 1000 l. said to be put into his hands by Edwards at 5 l. per Cent. This she insisted was filled up by mr. Bridge himself, executed by him, and witnessed by two women, one an old woman Ann Mulder, the other Jane Knight. Mrs. Ann Mulder is made a witness to this bond of mr. Bridge, and mr. Bridge is made a witness to the other bond of Ann Mulder, and both these bonds are said to be executed March 9, 1740.
Besides some inconsistencies in these supposed securities, and her several answers in Chancery relating to them; many witnesses being examined on both sides, it appeared she did not examine a single witness to prove the existence of this Anna Maria Edwards; and though she had said she was a woman of consequence in trade, and died worth 3000 l. yet in another, she said she was worth nothing, her effects not being equal to her debts. And notwithstanding all her precaution, she was also unlucky in the date of this bond; for a letter was found by mr. Curgee, goldsmith in Fleetstreet, where the late mr. Bridge had lodged for fourteen years. This letter was dated the 9th of March, at Burford in Oxfordshire, 70 miles from London, being the very day of the date of the two bonds aforesaid.
To obviate this inconsistency, Eddowes had recourse to another most extraordinary piece of forgery, viz. of six or seven letters, of a supposed correspondence kept up between this Anna Maria Edwards at Brussels in Flanders, and mr. Bridge: these letters had no post-marks on them; the whole appeared upon inspection not to be his hand-writing, nor like it; and
from the spelling and manner of expression, no man could hesitate a moment.
Issues being directed by my lordchancellor, the whole matter was tried before my lord Mansfield last May, by a special jury of gentlemen in Westminster-hall; and after a full hearing by witnesses, the jury brought in a verdict against the bond, and notes, and letters. She was committed by lord Mansfield, and mr. Bridge bound over to prosecute.
On the prosecution and trial, it appeared, that she published the bond by producing it to her attorney to make a demand, and bring an action; that in her answers in Chancery, she avowed it to be a good bond; left it in court for the inspection of the plaintiff, and at last attended at the trial, where it was read as evidence for her. This was proved on the evidence of mr. Hanley and mr. Mould of the Six Clerks Office, mr. Powel the attorney, mr. Guy, one of the examining clerks in Chancery, and mr. Collison, record keeper to mr. Zinks, one of the six clerks.
It was also proved, that this bond was not executed by mr. Bridge, nor was it his hand-writing, by several gentlemen of character and credit, who very well knew his hand-writing, and positively declared, this was not his hand-writing to the best of their knowledge. Mr. Ellisle, who had intercourse with him in the way of business, declared on oath, he did not believe it to be his hand-writing, and very little, if any thing like it. A letter was produced by the prisoner, asking this witness, if that were mr. Bridge's hand-writing; he answer'd, that was more like it, but he did not think that to be his hand-writing.
Mr. Atkinson, clerk to mr. Hoare the banker, where mr. Bridge kept cash many years; knew him 15 years, often saw him write, and knew his hand-writing, produced his name in his book, and to a receipt which he saw him write, and comparing these with the name, and filling up of the bond, verily believed, neither of these latter were his hand-writing, nor yet the letter produced by the prisoner, to the former witness: all which on this occasion, the jury compared together.
Mr. Baldwin gave the like evidence: mr. Romans, clerk to mr. Burroughs, one of the masters in Chancery, produced four letters put into his hands by mr. Robert Bridge in this cause, which mr. Atkinson knew, and declared to be mr. Bridge's hand-writing, and which the jury compared with the bond.
Thus the court and jury had full evidence, and sufficient means of judging whether the bond, &c. were a forgery or not.
The next point proved was, that mr. Bridge had no occasion to borrow this money; and it appeared on the evidence of mr. Atkinson, that he had kept cash at mr. Hoare's many years: that from 1743, to March 1747;
when he died, he had 9400 l. there, beside East-India bonds: that they always looked on him to be a man of fortune, &c.
It also appeared on the evidence of Mary Davis, that this Anna Maria Edwards was seen only in the character of a servant at the bagnio in St. James's-street, when kept by Eddowes, and did not appear to be worth 10 l. in the world: that Ann Mulder, another pretended bond debtor to Anna Maria Edwards, was in good circumstances, had two or three houses, never ran in debt, and received several hundred pounds, while she lodged in the prisoner Eddowes's house.
And because the prisoner claimed as executor to her brother John Eddowes, whom she set forth in her answer, as executor to Anna Maria Edwards, it appeared on the evidence of John Osgood, that he knew John Eddowes before the year 1746, to be follower to one Hunt a bailiff, and went by the nick-name of Cheshire: also, that he work'd for Osgood in his garden at Eason-Green, on and off, from Aug. 1746, to Nov. 1748; and that this witness was told he died in Newgate, on an attachment for non-payment of 40 s.
That in October 1747, on a report coming to Osgood's ears, that John Eddowes had money left him, he offered his service, went with him to his sister then in the Fleet prison: that nothing appeared then but a bond of 500 l. upon one Ann Mulder; and this was all that was then claimed by John Eddowes, as executor to Anna Maria Edwards, (who she was did not appear) and that he would have gladly sold this for ten guineas: that he then asked the prisoner, how is it consistent with reason, that a woman abroad should make such a silly fellow as John Eddowes executor; and that he told the prisoner, it appeared she only wanted to make her brother a cat's-paw.
To all this charge the prisoner made no defence; but by some assertions without proof, as that there was a combination against her, and they misled the court and the jury, &c.
After conviction in the gaol, she took advantage of the brief manner in which the jury's verdict is expressed in the printed trial, Guilty of publishing it: to say she was not found guilty of forgery, nor was the bond found to be forged, nor herself guilty of publishing it knowing it to be forged; and therefore she died unjustly, and against the law. It was in vain to reason with her, or persuade her to a confession of her guilt: she obstinately adhered to these assertions to her last moment, as will more fully appear from the following letter of her's on this subject.
To the Reverant Mr. Row.
' As to the securittys now in ' question that you have so often asked me about and I have so often ' Told you the Truth and do now ' hereby furthere and sollomly and
' most sinsirely Declaire as I am a dieing woman that I do now and allways ' did and allways shall to the day of my ' death veryly belive that the securittys ' ear all honest legall just and true and ' given for a valluable Considerations ' nor have they to my knowledge ' ever bin justly proved to the ' Conterary Ither In Law or Equitty ' I was Troyed for forgerry and Honnorabley aquited by the jurry both ' of the forgerry or the knowledge ' thereof, and as so many witness has ' bin Examined In Law and Equitt ' and yett noe forgerry proved In the ' name of God how Can I be Gilty of ' publishing things that I blive to be ' honest and Just nor did I ever Indors or fine over any of thees securittye Ither to rass money or otherwise furthere then defend my selfe ' in Chanesor against there bill as I ' was abliged to as an Aminatrix under ' which right I had a Triffile to sue for ' my Testatorixs affects as I though as ' to the Differans In my 2 answers to ' mr. Bridges Bill was owing to a large ' Demand a french man made upon ' mrs Edwards Estate that ad It bin ' paid woud haue followed up the ' whole and more but the Gentellman ' went over to Scottland and I hard ' no more of him so I then put in my ' sacond ansawer as to mrs Edwards ' Circumstancs to the Best of my ' knowlege to which ansawer pleadings and Exhibbit and what I have ' before told you I refer my hard case ' of my life being Lost for want of ' being prepared for Tryall
' I am Sir your Servt
' Haueing here given you all the ' sattisfaction I can and all I know of ' the matter must beg you will ask ' me no more about It for I haue ' busness woud Imploy an age and ' but a small time to do It in Mary ' Davis is intirly purjured for shee ' never saw mrs Edwards in her life ' to know her I verryly belive.
' As to Marry Davis's Evidanse is ' Intirely false consarnning mrs Edwards who never was a sarvant in ' her life'
The reader will make his own judgment and reflections on the comparison of this letter with the abstract of the trial: that she knew it to be a forgery is proved and inferred from the general nature of the transaction, from the facts and circumstances arising from it, from the many inconsistencies in her answers in Chancery; from producing the bond, without making any demand on the notes from those six or seven letters, produced by her to suppor the bond, appearing to be so gross and palpable a forgery, &c. these left no doubt, but that she knew this bond, and notes were not drawn by mr. Bridge.
But it is a known observation that some
N. B. The Remainder will be published in a few Days.