THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Of the NINE MALEFACTORS, Who were executed at TYBURN, On WEDNESDAY the 23November1757; and on FRIDAY the 31March1758, BEING THE First and Second EXECUTIONS in the Mayoralty OF THE Rt. Hon. Sir CHARLES ASGIL, Knt. LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, Etc.
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, the right hon. lord Mansfield, lord chief justice of the court of king's bench, mr. justice Clive, one of the justices of the court of common pleas, the hon. mr. baron Legge, 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 26th, and Thursday the 27th of October, in the 31st year of his majesty's reign, Henry Clark was capitally convicted for a robbery on the highway, as in his indictment laid, and on the trial proved. And,
By virtue of the king's commission, Etc. held before the right hon. Sir Charles Asgill, knt. lord-mayor , sir Michael Foster, knt. one of the justices of the King's-Bench , sir Sidney Stafford Smyth, 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 7th, Thursday the 8th, and Friday the 9th December 1757, in the 31st year of his majesty's reign, William Green,
By virtue of the king's commission, Etc. before the right hon. sir Charles Asgill, knt. lord mayor , sir Thomas Parker, knt. lord chief baron of his majesty's court of exchequer , sir Eardley Wilmot, knt . one of the justices of the court of king's bench , sir William Moreton knt. recorder , and others his majesty's justices of gaol delivery for the said city and county. On Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th, Monday the 16th, and Tuesday the 17th of January 1758, in the 31st year of his majesty's reign.
Elizabeth Tomkinson, Joseph Wheeley, Elizabeth Allen, Margaret Larney, Alice Davis, Samuel Ong, John Davis, and John Allen received sentence of death, for the several crimes in their indictments laid. And,
By virtue of the kings commission, Etc. before sir Charles Asgill, knt. lord mayor , sir Thomas Dennison, knt. one of the justies of his majesty's court of King's Bench , sir Richard Adams, knt. one of the barons of the Exchequer , the hon. William Noel, one of the justices of the court of Common Pleas , sir William Moreton, knt. recorder , and other his majesty's justices of gaol delivery for the said city and county on Wensday the 22d, Thursday the 23d, Friday the 24th, and Saturday the 25th of February 1753, in the 31th year of his majesty's reign Edward Humphrys was capitally convicted for a burglary.
On Thursday November 17th 1757, the report of Henry Clark was made to his majesty, by Mr. Recorder, when he was pleased to order him for execution on Wenesday the 23d following, which was done accordingly. And.
On Thursday, March 23, the report of 11 other malefactors was made to his majesty, when eight were ordered for execution on Friday 31st of March, viz. William Green, Jeremiah Bailey, Joseph Wood, Joseph Wheely, Alice Davis, Samuel Ong, John Davis, John Allen, who were executed according to their sentence. Richard Benham for sheep steeling, Elizabeth Allen for a felony, and Edward Humphrys for a burglary were respited, and also Elizabeth Tomkinson and Margaret Larney being found pregnant by a jury of matrons, on the day of sentence being past.
1. Henry Clark was indicted for that he on the king's highway, on Thomas Parker, did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person one silver watch value 3l. one half guinea and 5 shillings in money, the property of the said Thomas Parker, September 19th this was proved on the evidence of three witnesses.
1st, Thomas Parker one of his majesty's messengers deposed, that on September 19th going to Thorp in a postchaise, and a very dark night about twelve o'clock, near Turnham Green he was stopt, and robb'd of his watch, and the sum laid in the indictment;
but he could not distinguish the person or his horse; that he saw something like metal shine in his hand, which he took to be a pistol; he also swore to the property of the watch produced in court, and stopt by the
2d Witness, Mr. Thomas Bishop, saleman in Holbourn, September 20, between 12 and 1 at noon from the prisoner at the bar at his own shop, being offer'd him to sale; when the prisoner finding an enquiry made, and himself detected in a falsehood about the makers name; walk'd off without his prize; and mr. Bishop by means of the maker, Jason Cox, of Long-Acre, came to the knowledge of the owner mr. Parker, who thus got his watch again; the person who brought the watch being in some respect remarkable, was by mr. Bishop described, and being advertised, was apprehended in a few days, in the manner to be explained presently. The
3d Witness, William Edward, hostler to Mr. Beckford, gave evidence to the hiring of a horse to the prisoner at the bar in the afternoon, and his rideing out on him at six the same evening that mr. Parker was robb'd, and returning with the horse at two next morning. On all which evidence laid together he was convicted, making no sufficient defence, nor calling any witnesses thereto, nor to his character.
When sentence was about to be pronounced on him, and it was demanded, in the usual manner, if he had any thing to offer why it should not pass, he pleaded his youth, and that he should die innocent: But the court told him, that after a fair and even favourable trial he was found guilty, that it was with great reluctance this part of duty to the public was discharged; but it was necessary that examples should be made, of all who sell into this crime of high-way robberies, already too prevailing; he was cautioned not to suffer himself to be deluded with false hopes of life, and thereby diverted from preparing for eternity, to which he must suddenly pass.
On the 28October, being visited, he attended prayers, and a proper exhortation, with devotion and seriousness, and being farther spoken to in private, he wept bitterly.
After this, on proper occasions he gradually open'd himself to the following effect: That he had lived in several services for eight or nine years past as a foot-boy , Etc. since he was eleven years of age; and had left his last place about eleven months since; but not being quickly recommended to another cheifly (as he said) because he had lost an eye, by the stroke of a careless lamp-lighter's ladder, he was advised to go to sea , which he did, entering himself in the Boscawen privateer, wherein he cruised about three months; but the sea and the ships company not proving agreeable to him, he with several others quitted it, and so forfeited what little prize money was due to him. In these circumstances he pleaded necessity for those facts, he now owned he had been guilty of, which were in all about seven robberies, commited on horseback, chiefly on the Hounslow road, viz.
of fix four wheel'd post.chaises, and one stage Bath machine; from all which he had taken nothing but money, except the prosecutor's watch who had it again. The sum of 14 or 15l. was the most he had taken at once; this was soon spent. in a bad way.
In answer to his pleading of necessity, it was urged to him, that there are many demands for honest industry; at this time in particular, the service of his king and country, which he might have complied with, instead of so prostigate a course, which is always taken up to seed vices, and not to answer necessities of nature; few honest, industrious, sober people, if any, perish for want; and that the righteous will never be wholly forsaken. That his first and greatest crime was falling from God, and distrusting his providence, that if he had truly trusted in him, who gave him that life, and that body which he was so anxiously careful to support, he could never have fallen into so grievous a crime.
He now began to see and acknowledge, that the pamper'd and vicious life of a servant, with the general neglect of family instruction, or devotion, public or private, had betray'd him into this fatal distrust of God's providence, and he earnestly wished even with tears, that he had betaken himself to some honest course, instead of trusting in wrong and robbery. He now began to search his own heart, and there to find the source of his error, he remember'd the first principles of his profession, and lamented how greatly he had fallen from them; however, in some services, he said, he had been obliged to attend his duty to God, and then he always kept a good character, and was sure of a recommendation from such families, whenever he wanted. Nor was he conscious, that he had ever wronged his masters, or wasted their goods; for which he was thankful, He said he used sometimes to pray in private, and read his bible and prayer book, but often neglected it. That he first began to commit robbery in order to sit himself out for the sea, and after the last he committed, had resolved in himself, as he sat on horse-back, never to commit another; but it was matter of joy to him, that left he should relapse, he was cut short, and was now convinced, that they who seek to save life, by transgressing God's law, will find certain death.
After he had thus opened himself, and freely confess'd his crimes and errors, he became daily more light, easy, and resigned.
He was apprehended in the Strand by two soldiers, one of whom, had accidentally seen him at a beer-house in shug-lane, to whom he had given part of a pot of beer; he supposes that being advertised and described by mr. Bishop, and being remarkable for the loss of any eye, he was the more easily discover'd. He was carried before justice Fielding, and commited to New Prison, and advertised; on which mr. Bishop and several others, came at the day appointed for his re-examination; mr. Parker among others knew the watch,
by help of which, he was discovered, and convicted.
On the 18November the warrant for his execution came, which did not greatly move him, as he had endeavoured to prepare himself for it. He now desired the favour, that one might be permitted to be in the cell with him, the few nights he had to live, to assist him in reading and prayer, when his fight should fail him, which was granted. The remaining nights, he spent chiefly in prayer, reading, and meditation in the word of God, and being ask'd each morning, how he had spent the night, he answered, very well, much to his comfort and satisfaction, that he had slept a little with quiet and composure, and when he awaked, betook himself to his devout exercises again. His companion in the cell, who assisted him in reading and prayer, gave a very good account of his calm and composed spirit, of his patience under the hand of God, and resignation to his sentence.
On Tuesday the 22November, he received the holy communion very devoutly, with a fixt attention to every part of that sacred, and solemn service, together with three other prisoners who being invited, willingly joined with us. On Wenesday, 23November, the morning of execution, having communicated the day before, he was the better prepared to receive it again with comfort, which indeed he did, to the strengthening and refreshing of his soul, to enable him to meet the terrors of death with true courage, and to sustain its agonies with patience. After receiving, he was exhorted to meditate on the articles of his faith, and offer up the several petitions of the Lord's Prayer, in his way to the place of execution, with those other devotions fitted for his use, in the address to prioners, all which, he thankfully promised to do. He also returned hearty thanks for what had been done for him, in preparing him for death, and a happy change; said he felt comfort and strength, and a lively well grounded hope in his breast. When sk'd, he often repeated his trust and belief that his sins were pardon'd, on his repentance, through the merits of our blessed Saviour.
He went down from chapel calm and resigned, and about half an hour after nine, was carried from prison to the place of execution, where having arrived, he joined in prayer about half an hour, and being saint and weak, he desired to be excused speaking to the people as he had intended, but beg'd they might be warned in his name, to the same purpose he had often expressed himself, which was to the following effect:
"He hoped the people were not come together out of an idle curiosity, but to join with him in his earnest prayers, and to take warning by his suffering; particularly his fellow servants and brother sailors, he wish'd to avoid transgressing the commands of God, and falling away from him in any temptation; his fellow servants he warned to be regular, and constant in
doing their duty to God first, and then to their masters, not purloining, but shewing all diligence and fidelity; to avoid rude words and answers, to order themselves lowly and reverently to all their betters, to pray constantly for grace, to abstain from all evil, and to do all the good they can, that if through any real, or imaginary offence given their masters, they should lose their place, they may have a sure refuge, putting their whole trust in the good providence of God, in all time of necessity, or distress, by some honest industry; and not turn aside to wicked ways to relieve themselves, which instead of saving their lives, must destroy them; of which truth he stood there a sad example.
Masters and mistresses he said were often thought whimsical and capricious, and servants wayward, rude and undutiful, on both which accounts, places must be very uncertain, insomuch that in the space of eleven months, he saw eleven servants discharged out of one family; in all such cases the blame is thrown from one to the other. But as it is the undoubted interest of all families to have good servants, there can be little doubt, that while servants are diligent and dutiful, they will be acceptable and keep their places. He therefore intreated all servants, to learn and practise their duty as christians, and then he was sure, from what he had learned in the prison, they must be good servants, and it is no less their master's duty and interest to begin, and promote this good purpose, to set and know that their servants be true and faithful servants of God, of this, he himself was a witness and a proof. One good lady he lived with some years, took care that he went duly to church, and if absent at any time, was sure to be call'd to an account for it; by these means he behaved himself well, and had her favour and good word, both while he served her, and after he left her, and should never have wanted a recommendation to a place while she was in the way, but unhappily for him, she was out of town in his time of need. This obliged him to go to sea, where after taking two prizes he quitted the ship, and so lost his shares; he took occasion from hence, to advise all his brother sailors to be stedfast and resolute in their honest undertaking; whatever service they entered into, let it be first with due consideration, looking up to heaven for direction, that they may make a good choice, and then for success and a happy issue; but whether they meet with prosperity or adversity, let honesty, and a firm trust in God be the fixt star by which they steer all their course.s
Let them carefully distinguish between fighting lawfully against the enemies of their king and country, and robbing their own countrymen and fellow subjects; for want of making this plain distinction, and keeping to it, he this day fell a sacrifice to the laws of God and man, which he had transgressed he acknowledged he died justly, and pray'd for pity and compassion on his poor soul; he added with a loud voice,
Lord Jesus receive my spirit. Then was launched into eternity.
2. William Green was indicted for that he, together with Thomas Green, on Thomas Manners, clerk , on the king's highway, did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and stealing from his person two guineas and ten shillings, in money number'd, his property, November 11.
This was proved on the evidence of mr. Manners, who deposed that, on the 11th of November, he went from London in a one-horse chaise, a lady being with him, and a servant before, that near the turnpike on the other side Southwell, seven or eight miles out of twon, two men on horseback met him, and bid him stop, one held his postol, viz. the prisoner, while the other held his hat to take the money. This was be tween twelve and two at noon-day.
William Parsons a servant of mr. Fieldings, being sent in pursuit of him, took him at a place call'd Hockley in Dunstable, being in his way to Ireland, as he confess'd afterwards, with his wife and children. A watch and ring were found upon him, the ring was sworn to by mr. Manners, and that it was taken from the lady in the chaise, by Green.
His defence, that he was in Oxford shire at the time of this robbery, being not proved, did not prevent his conviction. After which, his behaviour in the prison was humble, orderly and penitent, and as he freely acknowledged his crimes, he was regular and constant in all the duties of the chapel, bearing his unhappy lot with a chearful resignation, very different from the sullen hardness of those who were so fond of their crimes, that they kept them close in their own bosom.
He was born at Chargrove, but brought very young to Wattleton in Oxfordshire, where he was put to school by his father, a shoemaker, taught to read and write, and say his catechism, and then learn'd the baker's trade, from the age of twelve to nineteen. About this time, he told his master his wages were too low, and he chose to go to London, where he lived three years with mr. Palmer in Russel Street, Covent-Garden; then with mr. Chatterton in Lond-Acre; afterwards with mr. Prust in Bloomsbury, as a journey-man baker . While he lived with his master Palmer, he and his wife were taken notice of as good examples for duly frequenting his parish church, and that he lived a temperate, sober, and honest life; he often said he little thought of his present misery, two months before. But disagreeing with his master, and they having some words, he left him, and was out of work, but quickly expected another place; mean time having three young children to provide for, and his rent unpaid, it was proposed to him by some comrade in an idle walk, and an unguarded hour to take this fatal course for his relief, which turned to his shame and his ruin. He acknowledged but three facts on the highway, one in the Oxford road, near Southwell the same (it may be presumed) for which he was convicted; another in the Chelmsford-road, Essex; and a third in the
Windsor road, near Coln brook. The most he got at any of these, did not exceed three or four guineas, which was divided with his accomplices; by some of whom being betrayed and his matters blown, he was pursued and taken in his fight, as beforementioned, with some of those spoils which helped to convict him. Sad purchase indeed I life and character, body, and soul for a little present gain. And 'tis strange they never think, that as sure as these unwary creatures trust one another, so surely are they betrayed. An unanswerable proof that they go upon false ground, which sinks under them.
He express'd great anxiety left his wife shoud be blamed by his relations for having drawn him into this wicked course; but he decleared her intirely innocent of it, and ignorant of all the steps he took in that way.
But as to his companions, he earnestly wished them to be warned by his sufferings, to for sake their wicked ways before the like just vengeance over take them.
One of these, he heard, while in prison, being sent by his master with some sword hilts, and ordered to receive the money, made off with it, pretending by sham messages sent to his lodging, that he had broke his leg, and was carried to St. Bartholomew's hospital, but when enquired for, no such person was these.
He further confess'd, he was concerned with the person now hinted at, in stealing some fowls (more than once) at Isleworth, and warned, and warned him to abstain from all such practices for the future, for if he persist, his name is known to those who will. detect, and prosecute him. For himself, he earnestly beg'd pardon of all whom he has injured, and on his humble confession, and sincere repentance, hoped for the remission of all his sins.
3. Jeremiah Bailey was indicted for that he, on the king's highway, on Ann Roystan widow , did make an assault, putting her in corporal sear and danger of her life, and taking from her person, one serge gown, value five shillings, six linnen aprons, five linen-caps, value two-shillings, one ivory comb, two ribbands, two ounces of worsted, two pair of worsted stockings, two pounds weight of sugar, one quarter of a pound of tea, one half pound of butter, two linen handkerchiefs, one half guinea, and eight shillings in money number'd, her property, 18November.
On the trial the fact was proved very strong against him, so far as the evidence of Ann Royston can go; confirmed by the circumstance of William Weaver coming up to her immediately after the fact, on hearing a woman's voice, and finding her stamping and crying; and that she told him the matter, as deposed in court, describing the man, but naming no name: Confirmed also by the evidence of Thomas Stanley, who gave the prosecutrix a good character, she being nurse to his wife, and had left his house that evening with the money and goods of which she was robb'd; that he has known the prisoner about ten years, that within two months past,
his character was not so good as it has been.
Thomas Newland, the headborugh that apprehended him, deposed, that the moment the prosecutrix saw him, she said, that is the man that robb'd me. The prisoner said, he was at the Bull at Tanner's End; he took him there, the people said he came there about seven o'clock that night, and staid 'till ten. That is, almost a mile's distance from the place, where the robbery was committed at six.
Before the justice, he said he was at Tottenham in the dusk of the evening; that is about three quarters of a mile from the Bull, on the other side. The justice order'd him to be taken there, and inquiry made, and then to be brought before him, or some other justice; when taken there, the people said, he was there about five o'clock, and that they lighted the first candle, to give him change by. After that Newland enquired about all he cou'd to hear where he was about six o'clock, but cou'd get no account of that. He was commited by justice Gallard, but own'd nothing.
In his defence, he only asserted that he never saw the woman, before she came and search'd his house on that occasion, but brought no witnesses to his character, or to prove him to be elsewhere at six that evening.
Notwithstanding his weak and unsupported defence, after conviction he wept, and complained bitterly in the prison, that he was condemn'd innocent, that his witnesses happen'd to be absent at the hour of his trial, though they had waited all the day before at the court, and could wait no longer, being poor labourers, who could not live without their work. He now asserted that he was at home at the hour of six, eating his supper with his children; that a poor woman who took care of his children would swear it; that he had never been before a justice in his life before, and knew not how to make a defence. All this it must be owned, rais'd a compassion, (perhaps a mistaken one) in his favour; he was advis'd to get the affidavits of his witnesses, and lay them before proper authority. Two of these affidavits were made and sent; but they did not at all relate to the point in question, which could only serve his pupose; viz. to prove where he was at six in the evening, when the robbery was committed. That of his children's nurse and another woman, to this effect, he so often promised, never were procured. And farther, it should be remember'd that if any such affidavits in his defence, could have been made, they ought to have been made before either of the two justices, in his own neighbourhood, who examined him, and gave him a full and fair opportunity to make that, or any other defence that could be proved, by sending him with the headborough to every place where he affirmed he was; and among those places, it is remarkable he never mentioned that he was at home at the time of the robbery, either before a justice, or at his trial, nor till after his conviction; which seems to infer that this defence was then first devised, and fet up after his two other assertions had failed him.
It is acknowledged his denial of the fact, and persisting to assert his innocence, with a face of great simplicity, raised a doubtful compassion about he case, and then the favourable side of saving life (and only transporting him) seemed the more eligible. But this was not on a supposition of his innocence, but matter of mere favour. And if you suppose him guilty, which you must do, until the contrary be proved, it was certainly an aggravation of his crime, to persist in denying it to the last. It is certain the honourable and very merciful court, was not only strongly inclined, but endeavoured to save his life, even after conviction, if any thing clear, and satisfactory, could have been offer'd in his favour; but in above two months time after all possible enquiry, no such thing appear'd to their satisfaction.
During his confinement in the cell, his companion and he endeavour'd to make a breach through the wall, but were discovered, and punished with a weeks close confinement; during which time, I visited him, and he denied having any hand even in this last fact, though his companion asserted most solemnly he was equally concerned with himself; such a habit had Bailey of denying facts.
He could not be innocent of concealing this fact, and the strong presumption is, that he was active in it, though he denied it.
Another account he gave me, lessen'd my opinion of his veracity and sincerity. viz: Of his being at church with his children, the afternoon of the Sunday,before he was apprehended. But his mother-in-law, whom I saw soon after, he dined with her that day at Winchmore-Hill, and then they, with her husband, went to an alehouse. These falsehoods he was taxed with, and earnestly pressed to a sincere and open confession, but to no purpose; he answer'd, would you have me confess what I am not guilty of? 'Tis said the people of Edmonton, after many meetings and consultations about him. do generally believe him, guilty.
He confess'd in general that he had been a sinner, but denied, or excused every particular laid to his charge, and not without some plausible appearance. So that his character on the whole, must be refer'd to the great tribunal.
He was born at Ashwell in Hertfordshire; but has lived about Edmonton for twelve years past: he lived partly by labouring work , and partly by higling , was wholly illiterate, and being deafish it was no easy matter to instruct him, and bring him to a right disposition.
A person, whose house he formerly rented at Edmonton, used to visit and relieve him, in Newgate; and at my request went to Edmonton about the 14December last, to get what evidence he cou'd collect in hisbehalf. This person returned the same evening, with an account in his own hand-writing of all he could collect, relating to the fact, he was convicted of; the truth of which charge, on the whole he express'd himself so far convinced of, that he visited him no more, nor would meddle any
farther with it. In particular he learn'd that Sarah Dixon, the woman who look'd after his children , saw him come home near upon six a clock the evening of the robbery, that he gave his children some bread and butter, and eat of the same himself, but did not tarry at home a quarter of an hour; but return'd between nine and ten, and lock'd the street door, which he was never accustomed to do.
Mr. Turner, at the Bull at Tanners End, said that Bailey came into his house about seven, the evening of the 18November, and call'd for a penny worth of beer, but was in such disorder and confusion, or extasy of mind, as he express'd it, that he could hardly drink his beer; that George Parker and Philip Ruskin, who drank with him, took notice of the same, and were surprized at it.
Mr. Bishop, a farmer, said he had ask'd Jerry Bailey how he liv'd with out work? and was answered by himself that he dealt in poultry. Mr. Bishop had lately lost all his, mr. Reyner, a nother reputable farmer, said, he had often caught the prisoner in petty larceny such as loading three or four trusses of straw above the usual number and selling them at market for his own use.
Joseph Monk and Thomas Cooper, saw him going to Hedge-lane the very place where the prosecutrix deposed she was robbed, after five o'clock the same evening; and others met him near the same place, and saw him leaning over a gate there; and, to conclude this person's account, mr. Stephen Brett, an eminent farmer at Edmonton, said he saw Bailey the next day, being Saturday, with a bundle on his head going to London. This he was charged with by mr. Brett, when apprehended, and could not deny it.
4th Joseph Wood, otherwise James Colling, carpenter , and Jemima Wilcox single woman , were indicted, for that they feloniously, and traiterously, with certain files, and other instruments, one piece of good and lawful money, of the current coin of this kingdom: call'd a guinea, did unlawfully file and diminish, against the statute in that case made and provided, 1October.
It appear'd that they got gold coin through their hands, by paying in sums to the banker, and taking up bank notes for it, and then going to the bank of England, and there receiving cash for them. This was proved in several instances, and being observed by it's frequency was the occasion of dodgeing Wilcox to their house in Charles s-Square, Hoxton, where they were apprehended by mr. Fretwell, a teller in the bank of England, and mr. Kemp porter of the mint, on warrants from mr. Fielding, assisted with his officers. Besides the house they lived in, they were informed by their maid servant, of a garden at the end of Haberdasher's almshouses whether they used to go, and in which were some secret places, which the carpenter told her no body could find out but himself, They were apprehended in one chamber to gether and some gold found in each of their pockets, five guineas and a half
on Wilcox, which were returned her, and five guineas on Wood, of which two guineas were returned him; but two guineas and two half guineas, wanting one shilling and eight-pence, or one shilling and nine-pence each were detained, and produced in court, and appear'd fresh clip'd, or fil'd.
In their chest of drawers were found two pair of shears, and a three-corner'd file, which were produced in court. And in other' drawers, two-three corner'd files, a pair of seales, some clipping and filings of gold, some shears and money, some weight and some light. The pieces being weighed, there were found eight guineas and two half guineas, wanting from 13 to 6 graines. Some clippings produced were supposed to be of guineas, and half guineas, which appeared from the diagonal slope and the comb turned circular, and being view'd through a glass, appear'd larger, and confirmed the belief, that they were of a guinea. Files with gold on them were found, and four light guineas, one fresh field. In the summer-house were found numberless incontestable proofs of the same practice, a fire-place with a closet for a work shop on each side for two; a fash-window done up so high, that no body could overlook them. Concealed drawers in which were more files and gold-meltings, a piece of an ingot and gold mixt with borax. Over a cockloft was found some gold, nine crucibles, a moveable-vice, weights, seales, chissel, gold silings, a piece of an ingot and two pair of shears.
It appear'd also, that White being Wood's agent, when he was a carpenter and builder, had raised sums for his exigencies of mr. Lambley to the value of about 400l. and not being able to repay it, had recourse to this criminal practice of filing ports (first) to pay their debts and recover themselves. This was begun and carried on about two years before the discovery.
In Wood's letters to Dixon, which is another name for White, is this fatal prognostick of his sad destiny; about two years before it happen'd: "You will at last load me with ignominy and the gallows." He says, in one letter: "I have got about 4l. this week." And in another, "I have made this week 7l. 10s. and have receiv'd 150 guineas this week: So judge what you may do."
In one of Wood's letters to White, he sayes, " I have remitted to you to last Saturday 2179l. 1s. 0d. Gold Etc. 102l. 10s. 3d. This post 108l."
In another, "I have made about 5l. 10s. 0d. day myself; so I hope I shall have a large cargo for you; be sure be industrious."
In another, "Mine was ten ounces, one half; and your's but nine ounces three quarters; and I have been half my time on. I have sent 20 ounces and 11 penny weight, which at 3l. 14s. 0d. comes to 76l."
Again, "It is strange to me, you have but 27l. in a month; as you said you had 12l. the first week."and again, "Desire them to give you guineas for it; perhaps you may make some advantage of the guineas, and then change some of them."
In about six weeks time, viz. from the 28th of December, to the 12th of Feburary following, there were 3000l. circulated in this manner. From these and other like articles proved against him, under his own hand, an estimate may be made in gross of the great damage done to the publick, by the diminution of the current coin, in the compass of two years and upwards; not withstanding which, in his confession, and apology given under his own hand, (to be in serted in its proper place) he endeavours to deny and extenuate this charge.
His true name was James Colling, was born at Birmingham, and brought up to his father's business of a carpenter and builder , which he carried on there with and for his father, in an extensive way, 'till partly by losses, and partly by overtrading, his capital, which is said to be about 300l. he failed, and then being drawn into this criminal dealing, he changed his name in order to carry it on with secrecy. He appeared to be about 40 years of age, yet was but 30.
Wood offered himself to be a communicant before his trial, but as it cou'd not be expected that he would freely open himself concerning the crimes he was charged with, and being questioned, he desired to be excused, he was refused admittance, 'till after his trial and conviction, when he did not persist to deny his crime, and also made acknowledgement, and gave some satisfaction concerning another very bad affair laid to his charge concerning his deserting his wife and children, and living with this Jemina Wilcox in adultery. As to this latter part they both expressed their hearty sorrow and repentance for it, and utter for saking it for the future; and, as to the former part, he asserted he had ever taken care to support his wife and children notwithstanding his other crimes; in proof of which, and of his repentance, his wife was now daily with him instead of Wilcox, and they all usually frequented divine service in the chapel, with apparent seriousness and devotion, 'till three days before his execution when he was consined to his bed.
One day when strangers were pressing into the chapel, he sent me a message, that unless they were kept out he did not chuse to go to be made a gazing-stock to the idle curiosity of the spectators.For answer, he was told it was to no purpose to endeavour to avoid it; that I was sorry to find his thoughts taken up on such trifles, while he had the concerns of eternal salvation to attend to; that the ought to be more humbled, and submit to his circumstances, Etc. After this he attended duly, without farther objection.
Here follows the confession which, for the quiet of his conscience, and the fain-faction of the public he was prevailed on to commit to paper.
' I Do hereby confess myself Guilty of ' the fact for which my Life is ' Forfeited to the Laws of my Country, tho' not ' after that Extensive and aggravated ' manner, which was represented at my Trayal, ' and as Forfeited I am content to pay it: ' Which I hope will be thought by every ' part of the prejudic'd World a sufficient ' satisfaction for the Injustice I have done ' the publick.And I hope my ' melancholy and untimely Exit, will be a ' sufficient and fatal Warning; to prevent all ' others from Engaging in Schemes tho' ' ever so Interested, were the Laws of a ' Nation may subject them to such a ' Miserable and Ignominious period.
' And tho' I was led even Inevitable, to ' this Base and fatal practice, by a person ' from whom I have been most ' Unpardonably Injured, and by that person who ' was the only evidence against me (whose ' Testimony was in many parts very ' unjust) and by whose swearing to my hand ' writing, in the fatal Misconstruction of ' a Letter, perfectly opposite to its ' meaning: which Letter gave the final ' Countinance to my Unhappy Verdict: but ' even that person tho' engadged me and ' was concern'd in it; could not give ' Evidence of his knowing, my ever ' commiting a single fact for which I am now so ' shortly to suffer.
' But who, with all others that have ' Injured me, I do now as sincerely forgive ' them, as I hope Forgiveness for all ' Injuries and Wrongs I have done; and as ' I have done; and as I hope for pardon ' of Allmightly God, for all the Manifold
' Sins and Offences of my past Life, thro' ' the Merits of our Blessed Saviour and ' Redeemer Jesus Christ.
On delivering me this confession in his own hand-writing, I had much discourse and some trouble to convince him that his crime was an offence against God and his laws, who being the guardian and protector of human society, forbids all injury a gainst our neighbours, this in particular being included in the eighth commandment; that it was also a treasonable of sence against the king, whose image and superscription his coin bears, and against his subjects, who are desrauded, and often put to great difficulties in commerce and dealing by light money, Etc. By such arguments he has prevailed on to erase and alter one expression, viz. 'That no single ' individual can complain of being ' injured; so partial and false a notion had he of the heinousness of his guilt.
He declared farther, that as to the letter of his, read in court, which the evidence, Lambley, swore to be his hand, expressing to mr. Wight that he had got 7l. 10s. in one week, and had received 150 guineas, was misunderstood by the court as if he confessed the diminishing those guineas to get 7l. 10s. whereas he did not diminish those guineas, nor had he ever thought of diminishing any guineas at the time. That the injury done by him, in that way, was but trisling.
And, whereas mr. Lambley deposed, that bills to the value of 40,000l. were negotiated for the single purpose of diminishing the coin, he declared that no part of that sum was negotiated for that, but for other purposes, and that not more than 5000l. was negotiated after this bad practice was begun by him, and not more than about 1000l. diminished. For the truth of which he refers to the true meaning o his letters seized, and in the hands of th solicitor of the Mint.
5 Joseph Weeley was indicted for stealing seventeen yards of satten brocade, value 8l. forty yards of silk call'd lutestring, value 8l. and thirty five yards of silk, value 6l. the property of William Neal, in the dwelling house of the said William, December 23.
As the fact was not denied by the prisoner, but only the intention; there is no occasion to sum up the proofs of it: But only observe that this matter was chosen to be prosecuted, rather then two other known charges against him, viz. that of being concerned in robbing the Liverpool bag, and that of forgery, or uttering bills knowing them to be forged; because the first was more open to a clear and full proof.
As Wheeley was master of dissimulation, on my first applying to him, he quickly thought he had superseded my labours, by affecting greater degrees of sanctity than I could raise him to; he said, he had been a long time at Oxford under the care of a learned, and very pious divine there, whom he named; and to gain credit to his affections, produced a zealous and affectionate letter written to him in his present situation, by that gentleman whom he called his uncle. He readily confered, at my request, to road to the more ignorant prisoners, and endeavour to prepare them for the holy communion, and for death
But it was not long, before this disguise began to vanish; it was told me by one, who knew that he had been a barber's servant there; that possibly he might have shaved that gentleman, and was shrewdly suspected to have robb'd his chambers, for which, another was blamed: But however, that he had robb'd his master, the barber, and so quitted Oxford But the prize was not of such value, as would bear the expence of pursuit and prosecution, and so he escaped.
It was earnestly pressed to bring him to
confession of the facts, espcially the first. To these charges, when tenderly opened to him, he answered with indignation, that he had never been a barber; but that it was his brother, who was dead, or transported: And indeavoured to fix the other robbery, on the person, whom it was charged on.
But these denials were only to evade the odium of these charges and gratify that pride of heart, of which he had a deep tincture; for I learned from good authority that he was bred a barber , and lived at Oxford as a journey-man to that trade.
His own account of his parentage and education had a different aspect; that his father was a considerable wooll-stapler in Warwickshire atnear Coventry, that he was bred up in the choir at Litchfield, was deem'd to have a fine treble voice while a boy, which was now mellow'd into a good tenor and basse: that he was a good proficient in music, and particularly on the harpsihord; and here it dropt casually from him, that he used sometimes to play the organ in a romish chappel belonging to one of the foreign embassadors, and well kenw the romish priest, who visited two of the convicts, Etc.
He affected sometimes the air of a scholar, and sometimes a person who had kept the best of company, had hunted with the duke ofwho signed his petition for a reprieve.That he knew how things were carried at court, and was assured of the best introduction for his petition.
Thus did he buoy himself up, and amuse his faithul monitors, with the false hopes of a reprieve, when he should have been heartily set on the great work of salvation, to which he was often and earnestly press'd.
He seem'd to lament and apologize for one artful and wicked contrivance which he had consented to practice since his confinement; viz: to accuse an innocent man of credit, as a principal in selling the Liverpool bag, for which, he took a bribe of 50 guineas.As to this, he said, he was advised by a fellow prisoner, onea very great villain, to take the robbery of that bag on himself, and then impeach another, in order to be admitted an evidence against that person, and so save his own neck. Being again asked, at the place of execution whether that person were really concern'd, he answered, he was quite innocent, and that he had acquitted him before justice Fielding.
But the truth is, as it has since come to me, he had shamefully confuted himself, before justice Fielding. For after that person was impeached, he was of course sent for, and brought to confront Wheeley, who being order'd to point him out as he sat in the room, where he was re-examined; instead of him he laid his hand on one of mr. Fielding's Useful people, to the astonishment of the spectators, and his own confusion. For as one observ'd, who was present; how many deaths did that man deserve, who could thus accuse, and involve in such terrors an innocent person? Wheeley pleaded for himself that he was ensnared into this mistake by an artifice, for that person was dress'd up, and seated like a justice of peace at mr. Fielding's right hand.
The last, and most probable account that we could get from him, about the loss of the Liverpool bag, is contain'd in one of those letters, of which the extracts follow: and need not be here anticipated.
Instead of depending on the account which he drew up of himself, consisting, as he said, of five sheets; which it may reasonably be presumed was calculated to raise pity and recommend his petition, a gentleman has permitted me to oblige the public with extracts of two of his letters, which will give a better idea of his characters, than could be had from his own mouth. They were written by him in Newgate, when believed to be mad. Accept of them genuine as they flowed from his pen, with all their mistakes of spelling, and more important errors of judgment and morals.
' MY unhappy Circumstances, you are ' too well acquainted withbut ' I will tell you all; when first I was taken ' I knew that the Fact would be proved ' two plain against me, therefore it was ' my Business, to make use of what I ' thought would the most Efectually serve ' my purpose, to which End acted the ' Madman which you your self saw, and ' I do ashure you that I was so artful that I ' passed it upon all the Docters and ' Keepers of the Goale for realle, and when ' my Tryal was to have come on, I sarved the court Just the same, reasing pitty in every beholder, but alas, I am I fear ' betrayed by one of the wretches what look'd ' after me, but would have sworn as many ' Oaths as there is Stars in the Firmiment ' to have sarved me, such things as these ' will Money do, but if one Guinea woud ' have bought the Gloube, I coud not reas ' it without discovering myself.'
He had so well deceived this friend to whom he wrote; that he thus answers: " You cannot guess at my surprize on " receiving your letter, for I knew it was " yours, before I opened it, not having " the least suspicion of your being in your " senses.Since I received yours, I have " had one from London, which says, you " are in the same way now, so find you " are not discovered b the man as you " thought."
Extract of another Letter to the same.
Newgate, 27th Dec 1757.
' YOUR good natured and friendly ' Sentiments, wherein you say you could ' say a great deal more confarning my past ' Conduct, Etc. (together with a thorough ' knowledge of my own Miserableness) hath ' almost made me realy what I pretended, ' but a Reflection can be of no sort of ' sarvice to me in my unhappy Situation, ' will make my Self as contented as my ' Affairs will admit, and will, nay I must ' wait the awful Event, but perhaps with ' more Fortitude than can be expected ' from one in my Surcomstance.Oh ' did you but know what I have suffered ' since you saw me, you would think it ' impossible that One who had ever enjoy;d ' the Indulgencies of Life, as I have, could ' ever have survived it.You will shrink ' with the horror of my Tale, when I unfold ' it, which as it will take more Paper ' than I am worth, must desire it till you ' have the disagreable Sight of one so 'increadibally fallen. You want me in your ' Letter to tell you weather I had an ' accompliss, or not, * which is well known, ' nay you your self saw him in the Castle ' yard, the very Day I left Birmingham to ' go to Shrewshury, and when you saw him, ' you saw the greatest Villain that ever ' existed: to him it is I owe thanks for ' all I now suffer, for it was not me that ' forged Bland's Bill of Three hundred ' pounds, neither had I any hand in the ' Liverpool Bag, I being fifty Miles from
' His friend writes thus: 'If you thought proper, should be glad to know if you had any ' accomplice, for mr. Fielding and mr. Neale both expect you have, for they say, that on the ' Sunday you had the three hundred pounds then received of Wimpey and Com. and when you was taken up, had none'.
' the Place where he had it delivered to ' him by the Post Boy, in consideration of ' which, he gave the boy five Guineas nor ' did I publish the Bill of Exchange at ' Chester, for it was he, tho' I confess I ' was at Chester along with him, but as ' to all other Surcomstances, I am quite ' innocent: but we were bound in a ' Sollom Oath to assist each other, as far as ' possible to reas two thousand Pounds, ' and perchance either of us should be ' deteckted, the other should assist him in ' every thing that lay in his Power, and ' never no discovery should be made by ' either. All this I preformed to a Tittle, ' and have suffer'd all I have, e'er I would ' make any discovery, that might Ingur ' him, and would you believe it, I have ' neither heard of him nor seen him since ' the Sunday before, I was taken up, ' therefore I think he is gone to Holland' But now to the purposedesarted as I ' am by every one unless you, I have some ' hopes of getting over this doubtful Tryal, ' if I can reas the ready, for here you ' may have Men who for the Sake of Four ' Guineas, will sware white is black, not ' that I want such Witnesses for my self, ' but it's highly nesesary that the Villain ' which you saw with me as one of my ' keepers, should be indicted the next ' Sessions for Felony which will seouthe affidavit which he hath taken at ' Fielding's * werein he hath swore that I am as much in my sencies when there is no ' stranger by, as himself, and hath also ' sworn that during my Confinement in that Room were you saw me, that I ' wrote several sensible Letters; and ' according to his direction Fielding applied ' to the Man I wrote them to, and hath ' got the Letters, and hath taken the Man ' up, and sent him to New Prison as a ' Party consarned, because that I had ' pawned some of my Master's Goods with him, ' he knowing me to be a sarvant, but all ' that will be of none Effect as there was ' no date to my Letters.Thus am I ' imbarresed with a thousand troubles, but ' have a tollerable good harte, and hope ' that it will not be quite so bad as one ' woud Emadigen, for the Jury never will ' bring in their Vardit if I don't appear to ' be in my real sencies, which they shall ' have hard Work to do.'
He told me and two others he was in London at that time.
He told me, in presence of two others, he had discovered his real name to Dr.of Oxford.
I you see by this second letter the unhappy criminal is surpriz'd to find himself deceived and deserted by a person whom he consided in! But how vain and idle is it for men to trust one another in matters and designs which destroy the very principles of mutual saith and trust, that is to say, you have destroyed the foundation and yet you expect the building will stand, and are disappointed and wretched to see it tumble down in ruins about your head. Again, you take a " Sollom Oath (as he words it) to assist each other as far as possible, to raise " two thousand pounds," doubtless by hook or crook, by what immediately follows, " and perchance either of us should be detected, the other should assist him. Etc." Now, what less is this, than to call the God of truth and justice to be witness and party to a false, unjust and wicked undertaking? and will not he punish such an insult as this? That the honour of his justice and truth is concerned to vindicate itself in such cases, a new proof appears, in the fall and exile of these two offenders.
* This is of a piece with impeaching mr. Hanberry for selling or being concern'd in the Liverpool bag.
What idea he had of restitution you may learn by one of his expressions in the same letter: " If I had robbed all the world, and suffer'd the law, the money is all mine before I am cast."
About the year 1754, Wheeley came to live in London, being recommended by his father as a shopman to mess. Sowbridge, and Barnston wooll-staplers in Milk-street: next he lived with Wood and Middleton in Chandois-street, and from thence went to mr. Neale; and during the time he liv'd with him, he made his addresses to a young lady of good character, who, not sufficiently appriz'd of his, gave him more encouragement than he deserv'd; so far, that he said, a day was set for the wedding; and a house agreed for at Birmingham, where he was to set up business: There he met his accomplice some few days before he was apprehended, and from thence they went together to Chester; where a forged bill of ness. Bland and son for 300l. was past to mr. Marsden, who paid one or other of them 50l. in cash, and 25l. in bills to be paid by mess. Wimpey and co. in Newgate-street, which on their very sudden return to London were presented, and press'd for ready payment; but put off for three days as usual, and for want of advicer; mean time the forgery came out, and Wheeley, who had presented them, was apprehended in a drapers shop near Covent-Garden; as he was buying clothes, for an uniform, to go a volunteer on board the Norfolk privateer.
In that ship he had agreed for two shares, and paid 50l. earnest a day or two before, at which time being agitated, and much disturbed in mind, doubtless by the conscious guilty practices he was engaged in, and the dangers impending, he enquired very earnestly, if he might not have a commission on board the Norfolk, but being answer'd they were all fill'd he determined to go a volunteer, as mention'd, for which he was preparing when apprehended. At his lodging were found in his trunk, a number of letters taken out of the Liverpool bag, that had been lost, but never could be accounted for any other way, than that it was sold to his accomplice, whom he expressed by the seigned name of Fletcher; that a guinea was given as earnest, and four guineas when delivered between Margate street and Redborne near St. Albans, he call'd the postboy Jesscot.
To this accomplice, he imputed his ruin. But the confederacy enter'd into, by that abominable oath mention'd in his letters, shews Wheeley as forward and ready for villainy as the other, he said that by means of a 20l. note of Bland's, for which Fletcher paid cash, they had got a plate graved like his, which they could fill up for any sum they thought proper. Being urged by all reasonable motives to make what discovery he could in this affair, for the satisfaction and security of those who had suffer'd, or might suffer; he answer'd, he had given all proper cautions to the bankers for that purpose, that his accomplice had been clark to a banker, and then a runner to the bank of England, that some little time before he was taken, up, his accomplice saw himself described in the public papers, and in hand bills for some of his male-practices, and this put him upon taking his flight to Holland; whence he said he receiv'd letters from him while in Newgate, full of the horrors of guilt, It was this accomplice who, he said, received 38l. 5s. at mess. Gines in Lombard street on a bill taken out of the Liverpool bag about September last; that he own'd if he had been expeditious on that occasion, he might have made 2000l. but did not get quite 500l. by that bag. The letters, on the flight of his companion, fell into his hands, so that he was taken in his stead, and suffer'd for him. This is all the part he would confess to have had in the Liverpool bag, and this he persisted in, at his last moment, that he stood in Fletcher's shoes. Being frequently urged to discover the real name, he excused himself on account of his oath, but quickly betray'd himself, by saying he had told it to Dr.
He was so throughly known, to be addicted to the vice of lying, in a very barefaced and impudent manner, and confirmed with oaths, that his late master discharged him for that practice, and express'd his opinion and fear that he would die with a lie in his mouth.
He had told justice Fielding, that he found the Liverpool bag under his bed at the posthouse at St. Albans, that he put the letters in his pocket intending to deliver them at the post-office, but on second thoughts hoped to make something of them.
While he was in New Prison, a taylor, who had been with him there about two hours, was apprehended by order of justice Fielding; there was found on him a draught of Wheeley's on a gentleman at Westminster for 350l. this appeared to be intended as a bribe for his escape.
A little before he was carried out to execution, he told the spectators he was innocent of all that he was charged with, and it was ail a Humbug. Being confronted with his own confession, he pested to say it was all a Humbug.
6.7.8. Samuel Ong, John Davis, and John Allen, were indicted for that they, on the king's high way, on Luke Rashbatch, did make an assault putting him in corporal fear, and danger of hislife, and stealing from his person one 3l.12s. piece of gold, three 36s. pieces, one half guinea, and 14s. in money, his property, and against his will, January 11.
This was proved on the testimony of Luke Rashbatch the prosecutor, William Price a soldier , one of the principals in the fact, John Cartwright, and John Noaks two constables, who apprehended the prisoners.
It seems Luke Rashbatch, a simple country fellow, an entire stranger to the town, had got 10l. and upwards in his pocket, when Price first met with him at the King's head n St. James's-street, in company with some women, from thence he inveigled him under pretence of being his country man Shropshire man to go to drink with him at another house, the Castlet in Cabbage-lane, where the three prisoners were, and one William Smith a drummer ; there they stay'd from noon till seven in the evening, gambling, drinking, quarrelling, till the prosecutor resolving to go to his lodging, at the Black-horse, in Petty-france, Price under pretence of conducting misled him, above a mile to wards Tothil-fields, and then by agreement among the five, they or some of them, robb'd him of all his money, refusing to restore him even three half-pence on his earnest request; and because he said, may be I may live to see some of you hang'd, they damn'd him, and said he shou'd be drown'd first, pushing him into a pool of water up to his neck, and rest him; where as he said, to be sure God Almighty assisted him, or he must be drown'd.
Price was apprehended next morning on the St. James's Guard, and admitted an evidence by justice Wright, Allen was taken the same day at the Saves, and Davis next morning as he was passing along by the justice's door, Allen seeing him said, that is one man that was concern'd along with us. Ong was brought prisoner from Chelsea by another constable. After the robbery they had gone to Drury-lane, spent part of the money, and shared 16s. a piece.
The three prisoners had good characters given them by several witnesses, at their trial. and nothing laid to their charge before this fact, except that Davis was a little suspected for keeping late hours.
Each of them declared, after conviction, they were never concerned in any such fact before, and were surprized into this by liquor, that they had constant work, which supplied them with money when off duty.
In their present sad condition, they behaved themselves humbly, orderly, and devoutly; duly frequented divine service, with decency and composure, they had good
books given them by their serjeant also, and seem'd to make good use of them: Allen read to Ong, and Davis in their cells alternately.
It was matter of real grief, to see three such stout young fellows cut down in the prime of life, by a drunken frolic, when off their guard, and incapable of keeping a watch on their designs, and actions.
Learn from hence my dear fellow soliders, that watchfulness is the life of a soldier, in a spiritual and moral, as well as a military sense.
They were now deeply sensible of their guilt, in the intended murder, as well as the robbery; and that the more severely they judged themselves, the more surely they should escape the judgment of God.
Samuel Ong was born in Suffolk, about eleven miles beyond Bury St. Edmonds, his father was a farmer who rented 60 or 70l. a year, his mother had 23 children, of whom nine are yet living, one of them a soldier in colonel Bragge's regiment, himself a private man in colonel Seabright's company, of the first regiment of guards, and about 23 years of age, was quarter'd at Chelsea, and work'd there now and then for mr. Simpson a dealer in coals, declared if he had any share in the money taken by this robbery, it must be given him when drunk, and they had it a gain, or spent it: For next morning when told by his landlord to run away, on account of the rumour and cry that was against him, he refused, and deliver'd himself to a constable, who on the trial was call'd, and could not be found. He express'd his hearty for row for those sins which drew him into this snare; has wrote to his brother William Ong to avoid drinking and bad company, and hopes his brother soldiers, and all, will take the same warning.
John Davis was born at Cherbury, in Shrotshire, where his father lived, and was a gardener, but has not heard from him these three years, his mother is dead, he had three brothers, and one sister living about half a year ago, is illiterate being never put to school. When 13 or 14 years of age he was bound apprentice to Griffith Edwards, a weaver , at a village call'd Redy Grois, in Forden's parish, Shropshire; who being idle and drunken, his looms were seized after two years service, and then Davis served one year more with his surety, who instead of putting him to the loom, employed him in errands, fetching wood, and other labour; complaint of which being made, he was taken from him by a parish officer. He then lived with Mary Morris, a widow , in Shropshire, working partly at the loom and partly at husbandry , four or five years, when he left her, and lived with Edward Owen, a farmer , at Ponsberry, about two months; and thence went and enlisted last Christmas was three years: he is about 24 years of age. He asserts the three prisoners were in liquor when Price the evidence, and Smith robb'd the man, that they were invited to share it in liquor and cash, and had each 16s. that none of these three but Ong went over the ditch when the fact was done. But Ong said that Allen went over the ditch, which agrees with what Price deposed, "That John Allen came to them, and gave him his knife, to cut the man's pooket off." Davis adds, that Price and Smith the drummer, had 3l. 12s. which they concealed; he acknowledges with shame and remorse, that he seldom went to church, or attended divine service; and now and then but rarely pray'd in private; when he used the Lord's Prayer and the Belief; he says further, that they never had an opportunity of prayers or instruction from the chaplain in their battalion: desires to warn his brother soliders against profaneness, and neglect of their duty to Dod; as also against tipling and drunkenness, which betray'd these three to this shameful end.
was taught to read and write 'till 10 or 12 years of age, then helped his father in husbandry till 14, and after this went apprentice to a breeches-maker at Bedford, one William King, who called himself a methodist or Moravian; however he did not seduce his apprentice into that way, nor give him due instruction in any religious principles: he wrought daily for his master for 3 or 4 years, and then was inlisted in the first regiment of foot guards, and in Col. Seabright's company; confessed he was given to drink now and then when apprentice. but never followed lewd women: his master and he quarrelled frequently, and at last he ran away to London and entered for a soldier . He desires to warn his brother soldiers and the world against drunkenness, swearing, lewdness, and those other vices to which they are too much enslaved, and that his warning might make the more lasting impression, he committed it to writing in his own simple and artless stile.
March the 29 1758 ' DEAR felow Sinners and Especialy ' My Brother Soldiers O my Dear ' Brethren that this My Death May ' Be an Efectual Instrument of sincere and ' True Repentance of all your Sin and ' Wickedness wich hath been the cause of My Death Beware of Cursing and ' swaring and Lude Women and Drunkeness ' and Breaken of the Sabbath and wich is ' too Brief among you upon the Perrel of ' your Souls think of Gods ' Commandments. Look back and consider how ' you have Led your lives in Breaking of ' them and Do not Neglect your ' Repentance no Longer least Death Come and ' Saize you in this Condition then what ' will become Become of your Precious ' Souls Consider how wrath the Lord is ' when you Go on so wickedly O Lord ' God let my Death be of some Shock to ' all the Spectaters that see it and that It ' may be a warning to all men Especially ' my Old Companians wich I have spent so ' many ours in Sin and pardon them and ' me if it be thy Blessed Will I Believe there ' is some of you that scarce care wether ' there is Eather God or Hell wich I have ' Been very wild and wicked in ' Drunkenness Especially and Drunkeness is the worll ' of all Wickedness for when a man is ' Drunk he Committeth Generally all ' manner of Wickedness So my Dear frends beg ' of God to turn your hearts that you would ' search the Schriptures and then you would ' find though you are Sinners God says he ' Doth not Delight in the Death of a ' sinner But Rather that he Repent and live ' O Repent Repent My Dear frends and ' Let not Iniquity Be your Ruin Consider ' what Christ faith Come Says Our Blessed ' Lord who Dyed for us unworthy Sinners ' he says Come to me all ye that are weary ' and I will Give you Rett: Wich God ' Grant that they all May O Lord let the ' words of My Mouth and the Meditations ' of my heart be always acceptable in thy ' Sight my Lord and my Redeemer both ' now and Evermore Amen I Pray Jesus ' and also keep from gaming for twas that ' brought us to this End.'
Allen said he was bred a dissenter but now declared he willingly and heartily conformed to the church of England, and had a lively hope of salvation in the communion of it.
He delivered this paper of his own accord after he had received the holy sacrament, on the day before execution.
On the fall of these three men in the flower of their age, and other examples of the like kind, too frequent among the soldiery, it is obvious to remarx, what loss and reproach arise to his majesty's service, the nation and the army, from the neglect of good habits and strict discipline, in other respects beside the military exercise. It is therefore humbly proposed, and with submission recommended to the commanding
officers, and their chaplains to make an experiment of the due and frequent exercise of the duties of true religion and virtue, whether they will not produce a corps of better soldiers and better subjects, who will not fall in this unmanly way, a sacrifice to wickedness and vice.
9. Alice, wife of John Davis, stocking-seller , was indicted, for that she feloniously and traitorously, with certain files and other instruments, one piece of good and lawful money, of the current coin of this kingdom, called a guinea, did unlawfully file and diminish, against the statute in that case made and provided. December 16.
The evidence of William Diamond, a soldier , and his wife, who deposed they had often seen her she guinean; melt and fell the filings, and put off light guineas, as they had done for her; confirmed by mr. Alexander, a pawnbroker, from whom she used to get guineas for silver; and by Benjamin Collier and John Mackay, servants in the shop of mr. Robey, ironmonger and braster, who swore to her frequent buying or small files, small crucibles and melting pots; all these put together proved strong enough to convict her, tho' she denied she had ever seen the two last mentioned witnesses; and Diamond and his wife expresly contradicted each other, being examined apart at the prisoner's request; for he said he had never seen his wife with her when she was siling guineas, and she said, " My husband and I were frequently " present when she did file guineas."
At the time of conviction she pleaded pregnancy, but was not found quick by the jury of matrons. Her behaviour after it was regular and resigned, tho' she was of the church of Rome , she sometimes joined with us in the chapel with proper respect and decency. Being ask'd, why she would not continue stedfast and entire with us, for we should not mistead not. bring her into any danger of her salvation; she answered, tho' her father was a protestant, her mother was a roman catholic, and brought her up so, that the hoped she should die in charity with all. Being again warned against the errors and superstitions of popery, such as praying to saints and angels, image worship, trusting to more mediators than one, expecting a purgatory hereafter, Etc. all which are contrary to that faith and obedience and trust due to God and his word, and highly dangerous to our salvation. She said she would not hold them, but that she believed a real presence in the holy sacrament, and that we hold it only as a memorial of the death of Christ; from which I took occasion to shew her mistake, and explain the true scriptural doctrine of our church in this article as taught in our Catechism and Communion service, equally distant from the two opposite extremes, viz. the errors of the Socinians and Romanists, and to shew the unreasonableness and absurdity of the doctrine of the church of Rome, on this head, as unscriptural and subversive of all evidence both from sense, reason and scripture. But as she did not often attend the chapel, nor give ear to these instructions, they were probably of little effect to her; for it might easily be perceived, that by the frequent admission and visits of certain persons, to her, she was more and more withdrawn from us, and averse to our instructions, being filled with bigotry and a bitter zeal, contrary to that moderation and charity which at first she promised and professed.
She said she was born in the county of Westmeath, in Ireland, brought up chiefly in Dublin, where she lived, was married and kept a shop in Church-street, selling leather breeches and gloves by wholesale and retail: but lived of late in Thomas's-street, Drury lane, made diaper caps and holland spatter dashes for gentleman, which her husband Davis (who is the second she has been married to) sold at coffee-houses,
Etc. She declared that Diamond, the evidence, and his wife, had sworn falsely a gainst her; she was advised and warned to give all the satisfaction in her power to the publick, by a true confession of her guilt; and not to go out of the world with a lie in her mouth, which she promised she would not: being at some distance from me at the stake, the place of her execution, her words could not reach my ears, being also otherwise engaged; but was told she persisted in much the same general declaration without making any particular confession.
In the account of Jeremiah Bailey, it was omitted to be mentioned, that after evening service on Easter-day he desired to speak with me, and said, he had endeavoured to make his peace with God to the best of his power, and forgave all the world, as he hoped on be forgiven; (particularly his prosecutrix, which he found very difficult, and could not do before) but declared solemnly, as he was a dying man, he was innocent of the fact for which he was to suffer; and begged earnestly that all juries might be warned against rashly finding persons guilty who may be innocent: he repeated the same request to mr. Akerman before he was carried out to execution, and begged the caution should be given to courts and juries. He had often been told that great caution was used by them in taking evidence and detecting false witnesses, that the ought to have produced his witnesses in his defence, Etc. And being again pressed to a confession, if guilty; he answered do you think I could stand out in a lie after all the good words I have heard? He was resigned, and expressed a lively hope of his salvation.
On the Morning of EXECUTION. March 31, 1758.
GOING into the Press-yard it was told me that Wood was a dying, which was the more probable, as he was unable to get out of his cell or bed the day before, and had received the holy communion there with his wife, and one of the prisoners; at which time, being asked by me the cause of his illness, he imputed it to his consinement in the cell, and a charcoal fire, which he said he had kindled there to warm himself, which he perceived very suddenly to overcome him; and that he had not been able to stand since; this I mention because of the suspicion, and rumour that obtained this morning, in the jail and elsewhere, that he had taken some thing to finish himself. Be that as it may, he was in the agonies of death, speechless, and insensible, when I went up and pray'd for him: After which, on going up to the chapel, Wheeley was missing, and with all the search that could be made for half an hour, not to be found, nor his disappearing accounted for, to the astonishment of all that were concerned; at length, (O ridiculous instance of human weakness, and vanity!) this intriped hero who had boasted so much of his prepared temper and resignation, nay, his preference of death to life, in his present circumstances, was found quoiled up in the hollow top of the pulpit's founding board; being discovered to the great joy of the scarchers, down he came, double bolted as he went up, by the chequer'd bars dividing the chaple; and with proper reproofs and exhortations, was recover'd to a more resigned temper, so that we did not exclude him on his humble acknowledgement and submission, from joining in this last opportunity of receiving the blessed sacrament, as he had done the preceding day. The other five prisoners behaved themselves with
composure, decency and devotion, to their last moments.
The hurry and surprize, occasion'd by Wood's death (for he died about 8 o'clock) and Wheely's hiding himself, delay'd their setting out 'till half an hour past the appointed time, which was 9 o'clock, when they were carried out: Six in two carts, viz. William Green; Jeremiah Bailey and Joseph Wheeley in the first; in the second, Samuel Ong, John Davis, and John Allen; and on the sledge Alice Davis, and the body of Joseph Wood.
At the place of execution, they were again ask'd singly, if they had any thing particular to say, or farther confession to make Bailey still asserted his entire innocence of the fact for which he died, as he had done ever since his sentence, he repeated his request, that jurries might be warned from him, to be very careful. what evidence they believed. for as he often said, " Other poor men may be in my case." After they had joined in prayers for near half an hour, and made a public confession of their faith, by repeating aloud the Apostles Creed; Wheeley made a speech to the multitude, expressing his concern, that those to whom he cheifly address'd himself, were too distant to hear him; he warned all young persons, to live in the fear of God, and within the bounds of his laws, to have a strict regard to his word, and then it was five thousand to one, if they came to this accursed death. that he had long indulged himself, and gone on in a course of successful pursuits, and O, shameful for him to utter! all his pursuits were just. As to the fact he died for, he said it was not committed with an intent to defraud his master, which he beg'd might be told him, but yet the rigour of the law had made it capital to him; however, he own'd he had lived without the fear of God ; and that he believed divine providence had used this as the last means to recal him after he had rejected all other calls of his word and his heralds, Etc. After thus speaking, he prayed very properly for some minutes for himself and his fellow sufferers with seeming devotion, yet his speech and prayer were accompanied with some theatrical gestures; and then he sung part of the 84th Psalm, ver. 1st to the 4th inclusive, in which at his request William Green joined with him, and they both went on as if not unpractised in this exercise.
After this, poor Bailey, made his, last request, that as he was friendless the Ordinary would take care to have him buried, which by help of a small contribution made for that purpose by the humane and compassionate beholders, was carefully performed. During their last devotions the great multitude of Spectators in general behaved themselves with great decency and attention, indeed with devotion and humanity; and thus closed this aweful and striking scence of a real tragedy.
This appeared very strange to some who knew him constantly to frequent Covent-garden church on Sundays; but it is hard to reconcile so mixt and variable a character to itself: take another instance of this; a little before he was carried out to execution he begged leave to go to his cell and put on a pair of clean stockings, the keeper going quickly after him. caughtld of his arm with a razor in his hand, just going to cut his throat; he asked him, What are you going to do? he said, Only to shave himself; but at that instant he fell on his knees and prayed.
This is all the Account given by me,
Ordinary of Newgate .