THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words OF FIVE MALEFACTORS, VIZ.
Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday May 27, 1761.
LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
NUMBER III. for the said YEAR.
Printed and sold by J. DIXWELL, in St. Martin's-Lane, near Charing-Cross, for the AUTHOR:
Also Sold by M. COOPER, in Pater-noster-Row.
THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, &c.
BY Virtue of the King's commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and gaol delivery, 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-Bailey, before the Right Honourable Sir Matthew Blakiston, Knt. Lord-Mayor ; the Right Honourable Lord Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's-Bench; the Honourable Sir Edward Clive, one of the Judges of his Majesty's Court of Common-Pleas ; Sir William Moreton, Knt. Recorder ; and others his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer for the said city and county; on Wednesday the 1st, Thursday the 2d, and Friday the 3d of April, in the first year of the Reign of his Majesty King George the Third, Cicely Vere, for Shoplifting, and Thomas Davis, for Forgery, were capitally convicted; and on Tuesday April the 14th, the report of the said Malefactors having been made to his Majesty by Mr. Recorder, Cicely Vere was respited until his Majesty's pleasure, touching her, be further known; and Thomas Davis, was order'd for execution on Monday the 20th of April following.
1. THOMAS DAVIS, was indicted for forging a certain order for the payment of money with the name J. Stocker subscribed thereto, purporting to be subscribed by James Stocker, requiring Joshua Mauger, to pay four guineas to the bearer, meaning the said Thomas Davis, with intent to defraud the said Joshua Mauger.
He was a second time indicted, for forging another counterfeit warrant for the payment of five guineas, directed to Jonathan Mauger, by the description of Captain Mauger, and publishing the same with intent to defraud; and also for forging the name J. Stocker, to a receipt for the payment of nine pounds, with intent to defraud Joshua Mauger.
It may seem proper to recapitulate what was proved on his trial, because he made pretences to deny and evade the guilt of this crime to the last.
It was proved that the prisoner, Thomas Davis, had deliver'd the two orders, and received the two several sums of four and five guineas from the prosecutor, Mauger, and his clerk; pretending he had these orders from James Stocker, Master at Arms to his Majesty's ship Boreas , and
that the said Stocker was sick, and could not come himself; that the prisoner gave receipts for these sums, and brought another receipt signed J. Stocker, for nine guineas: that neither the signing of the said orders, or receipt, were the handwriting of Stocker, neither was the prisoner his ship-mate, or known to him. However, in his defence, and after conviction, he pretended that he was employ'd and sent on these messages by one John Jourdan, who, as he said, had been ship-mate to Stocker, and lodged in the same house with the prisoner, but absconded on his being apprehended.
After conviction, he was visited and invited to attend prayers and instruction, but never came, professing himself of the church of Rome; and being attended by a person of that perswasion, he usually kept out of the way at the time of my going into the prison, unless purposely sent for.
He said he was born in the Province of Leinster, in Ireland, and was bred up to the sea, being now in the 33d year of his age; had served in the navy for seven years last Christmas, partly before the mast, and partly as a petty officer, Cockswain, &c. and intended speedily to go to sea again, if not prevented by this affair.
He had hoped to put off his trial by pleading that some material evidence of his was absent, which could prove that the person who sent him with these orders has since attempted to send two others on the like message, but they would not go: but no affidavit of this being made, his trial was not put off.
On the news of his death-warrant being brought to him, he was again visited, had some proper advice and instructions given him, especially as to the duty of confessing his guilt, and giving all possible satisfaction to the injured, with a tender of farther service in the way of my duty, adding several reasons which might induce him to comply and accept of it: but he still persisted to decline accepting of my assistance, saying, he was bred up in another way, and had no time now to consider the difference of his own and the protestant religion. He was then reminded, that as he had been in his Majesty's service for several years, he was accountable for the opportunity he then enjoyed of being better instructed and satisfied about that difference, having then but one way of worship, to divert or seduce his attention. That those of the church of Rome in these kingdoms, where the true light of the Gospel shines, were less excuseable than in countries entirely subject to the see of Rome, wherein, according to that remarkable expression of the Prophet, A bridle is put into the jaws of the people, causing them to err. That every man had given to him sufficient understanding, and a right to hear the word of God, and search the Scriptures; for the use of which he is accountable, and that none should forbid or discourage him; that there is but one universal Bishop, and Shepherd of our Souls, and That, I am convinced from the Holy Scriptures, is not the Bishop of Rome, but our Lord Jesus Christ. To this he answered, that he trusted in God Almighty alone: I asked him, did he not believe Jesus Christ to be God? He owned he did. At this instant some officious person called him away, and our conversation was interrupted for that time.
April 19th. The evening before execution he was again visited, and an offer made to attend him at the place of execution, but he did not chuse it; saying, he hoped he should be prepared before he went.
Being asked if he were guilty of the facts he was convicted of, he answered indirectly, and generally with, " Lord " have mercy upon me." At the same time he said that one under the name of James Stoker, or Stocker, by the instigation of John Jourdan, employed him to receive the money, for which he was to suffer; that he deliver'd it to this Stocker, which is a false name, and was by him offered half a crown for his trouble, which he refused. He farther said, that Jourdan recommended the pretended Stocker to him as Master at Arms on board the Boreas; that he went two such messages for them, and at the third was detain'd and apprehended, when his [supposed] employers were sent for, and search'd after, but had escaped, suspecting the prisoner was detected. His friends, he added, had been in search after them ever since, but could never find them. He declared he had no knowledge of this being the wrong person, nor that the papers were forgeries; for had he known it, he would not have gone thrice to the same house, with a known forgery. Notwithstanding this plausible apology to induce a belief that this unhappy sufferer was imposed upon, and made a Cat's-Paw, it is strongly surmised, by those who should know, that he belonged to a dangerous gang, who carried on this trade of forgery in concert, and that his true name is not yet known to us.
Be that as it may, he was told, that though he would not attend our prayers, we had constantly pray'd for him in the chapel, and should continue to do so to his last hour.
By virtue of the King's commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and gaol delivery of Newgate, held for the city of London, and county of Middlesex, at Justice-hall in the Old-Bailey, before the Right Honourable Sir Matthew Blakiston, Knt. Lord-Mayor of the city of London ; the Honourable Sir Richard Adams, Knt. one of the Barons of the Exchequer; Sir William Moreton, Knt. Recorder ; James Eyre, Esq; Deputy-Recorder ; and others of his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer of the said city and county; on Wednesday the 6th, Thursday the 7th, and Friday the 8th of May, in the first year of his Majesty's Reign; the following seven were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death, for the crimes in their several indictments laid; to wit, Thomas Andrews, William Glascow, Charles Spruce, John Brett, David Morgan, William Dupuy, and Joseph Walley.
And on Thursday the 21st of May, the report of the said malefactors was made to his Majesty by Mr. Recorder, when five were ordered for execution on Wednesday the 27th of May, namely, Charles Spruce, John Brett, David Morgan, William Dupuy, and Joseph Walley; and two were respited, namely, Thomas Andrews and William Glascow. And on Wednesday at the place of execution David Morgan was also respited till his Majesty's pleasure be farther known.
2. DAVID MORGAN and WILLIAM DUPUY, were indicted for that they on Ralph Dobinson on the King's highway did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one silver watch gilt, value 40 s. and one 36 s. piece of gold, the property of the said Ralph, against his will, April 8th.
This fact being one out of several committed by the two prisoners, and a third accomplice, is fully proved by the concurring and very circumstantial evidence of the prosecutor, and that very accom
plice, as may be seen by the proceedings on their trial. The accomplice being admitted an evidence, and so rescued for this time from the deserved punishment of his crime, was yet very near losing that forfeited life by the unprovoked fury of a virago, a prisoner in the press-yard side of Newgate, who stabbed him in the side with a table-fork, in so violent and desperate a manner, that his life was for some time after doubtful. This happened during the sessions, soon after the prisoners had been conducted through the pressyard to the court, in order to be arraigned and tried; when she came up to him, cursing him and saying, You are an evidence, take that. This youth, being now in a fair way of recovery, 'tis hoped will ever remember that he has in this case, visibly and remarkably escaped a double death, both of them violent and untimely, in the flower of his age, being under 18 years; and that he will truly devote the remainder of that life, to Him whose gift it is; the renewed gift of the tender forbearance, and patient longsuffering of Heaven; notwithstanding some very provoking and aggravated circumstances of this crime, at their out setting, as may be collected from his own account of it in his evidence; wherein after he has said, " We had not money " enough to buy pistols, Dupuy pawn'd " my coat to a pawn-broker," he adds, I sold a bible in Fleet-Street, &c. which made 12 s. out of which they bought two pistols at 5 s. each. Let him, let both the survivors reflect, deeply and seriously reflect, whether this was not selling the charter of life, both a present and future life, to purchase the instrument and means of death, both temporal and eternal death; let them think again whether this was not to act like, nay, far worse than, prophane Esau, to sell the Christian's birth-right? and therefore should they not pray earnestly for a repentance, more prevailing and successful than his? Should they not seek and beg for grace to trust in God, in every difficulty and distress, and learn to know that man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. If these two survivors, snatch'd like brands out of the fire, do not thus endeavour to exercise a true and earnest repentance for this fact in particular, let them consider whether the words of that book will not rise up against them, when it is the time of justice, when the season of mercy, and the day of grace is spent, when the dreadful threats denounced against the despisers of that word, are come to the point of being executed by long-suffering power, unerring wisdom, and irresistible justice. In the mean time, should they not heartily thank the divine mercy for giving them a fresh warning to repent, by their being thus suddenly overtaken and corrected for this crime, and thereby prevented, it is to be hoped, from ever returning to their folly.
This warning is doubtless, equally applicable to him who in the criminal fact, defied the muzzle of a blunderbuss, which while it flashed against him in the pan, was providentially and most mercifully arrested from cutting him off quick in his guilt: and again a second time rescued from the jaws of death, when respited under the fatal tree, by the distinguishing mercy of a Sovereign whose glory it is to imitate his Heavenly King.
The behaviour of Dupuy, who has paid the debt of justice to the laws of his country, was rather careless and inconsiderate for a person in his sad situation, both before his trial, and after his conviction, till a few days before he suffered; when he seemed heartily affected on several occasions.
Before his trial, about April the 29th, Dupuy was sent for to chapel; he came up when prayers were ended, and without asking him any questions which could embarrass him, he was reminded seriously to reflect and repent of those courses of folly and vice, which had misled and betrayed him into his present danger, which to all appearance must soon terminate in a final farewel to this world, and an entrance on eternity; that he had often been call'd and warn'd by chastisements, but had hitherto been deaf to them all, particularly by being apprehended, confined, and brought to trial at Kingston, for a robbery committed in Surry. He heard this with silence, and as serious an air as he could put on, for he appeared giddy, trifling, and boyish. A proper book was lent to him, with a charge to read it, and lend it to Morgan, who was then said to be confined to his bed by illness. Dupuy being desired, promised to come up to prayers daily, but I heard no more of him on the like occasion, till after conviction, when he was brought up loaded with double irons, and the sentence of death. At this time, a proper exhortation was used to him, and the other six convicts, with psalms and lessons applied to them, to which they all seemed seriously to give heed; and to employ and assist them in their cells, bibles, prayer-books, and other tracts, were put into their hands, with directions to the portions of scripture proper for their condition.
Notwithstanding all which, and the daily instructions closely applied to their case, Dupuy when call'd to acknowledge the justice of his sentence, and confess his several crimes, for the satisfaction of the injured, the clearing of the innocent, the peace of his own conscience, and the warning of others; he rejected all this, and would hear no reasons for it; said, in the common cant, he would confess his sins to God, and would have no account of him in a halfpenny paper: this was about the 21st of May.
A day or two after, when more humbled and softened by finding himself included in the death-warrant, an opportunity was taken to reason with him, and shew him that he was quite mistaken in supposing that (by suppressing his confession, and so essentially hurting himself, or by any other means) he could prevent the publishing those false and spurious halfpenny accounts, or other catch-penny inventions, and piracies of a better price, equally injurious to him and me; which yet usually attended the unhappy lot he had brought on himself. That the design of my account when publish'd, was to obviate such lies and slanders, to shew, if it could be done with truth, that the sufferer was a true penitent, that the reproach of his crime and punishment already recorded, might be blotted out by the account of his repentance. By such discourse his mistakes began to give way. He had before told me, that he was a native of Hampshire, but of a French descent, as he believed; was under 24 years of age; that his father was a gentleman; but both his parents were dead. He was enter'd a volunteer on board the Fougueux man-of-war, when eight years of age, at 17s. 6d. a month, and walk'd the quarterdeck; he was afterwards midshipman aboard the Bristol, three years; then in the Antigua sloop, two years and upwards; then in the Nassau, six months; in which he returned from the West-Indies, and was paid off at Chatham. It appears on the trial, from his own witness, William Steward, that he was purser of a man-of-war , though he never mentioned this to me.
As to the confession of his crimes, he still seemed averse; said they were all discovered to the magistrate by the witnesses against him; that he never went out on the highway till February last; and but three times in the whole, (this confession was partial) one of which he was alone, and was taken by some light horse-men; but when the prosecutors came to see him in the New-gaol, Southwark, not knowing him, they did not appear against him at his trial, and he was discharged; though he told the prosecutors, as he says, that he was the man who stopt them on the road; this was in Surry.
The Sunday morning before he suffered, on talking with, and examining him, observing he was still too insensible, I could not forbear telling him, I had more compassion for him than for most of the rest, because he seemed to have less feeling of his own sad case; this sensibly touched him; he changed colour, and drooped his head. The same day he declared that it was Vayne, who first persuaded him to steal the pistols of his old uncle (since dead) for this bad purpose. Yet that he heartily forgave Vayne, and could embrace him if he met him; intreated me several times to obtain leave to see him, and assure him of his forgiveness, and wept heartily because it could not be permitted. He also assured me that the extract of a letter signed Ralph Vayne, dated May 12, 1761, and printed in the Gazetteer of May 20th is genuine, and that he had two other letters from the same hand, and in the like stile; by which it plainly appears that Vayne was no voluntary evidence against him; nor did he look on Dupuy as his seducer, or one who compelled him by threats to commence or continue in those wicked courses; for he professes the strictest friendship and regard for him, in preference to their other accomplice, assuring him of his assistance to the last, Dupuy desired to come to the Holy Communion next day the 25th, with some others, and was admitted; they all having been exhorted, warned, instructed, and prepared duly for that ordinance during a fortnight before.
3. CHARLES SPRUCE, was indicted for stealing 2 linen shirts value 20s. 12 yards of drab-colour'd camblet, value 10s. 15 yards of silk, called a-la-mode, value 40s. 4 yards of grey-colour'd stuff tammy, value 15s. 2 pieces of board, value 1d. 2 wooden rollers, value 1d. 2 yards of brown linen, called hessians, value 12d. 2 pair of cotton hose, value 12d. 70 yards of blossom-colour'd corded tabby silk, value 3l. 12 yards of green silk, called ducape, value 3l. 12 yards of blue silk, called ducape, value 3l. 10 yards of blue sattin, value 3l. 10s. 13 yards of striped silk, called lutestring, value 3l. 10s. 13 yards of white damask silk, value 5l. 10s. 9 yards of pink colour'd persian silk, value 17s. 30 yards of blue persian silk, value 50s. 71 yards of rubycolour'd persian silk, value 6l. 10s. 25 yards of green tabby silk, value 10l. 13 yards of plain-colour'd tabby silk, value 5l. 8s. 36 yards of yellow silk, called tammy, value 9l. 9 yards of white sattin, value 50s. 30 yards and three quarters of black velvet, value 3l. 15s. 16 yards of blue silk, called corded tabby, value 7l. 4s. 70 yards of pink-colour'd sattin, value 3l. 10s. 46 yards of blue silk, called tobine, value 18l. 30 yards of blue silk, called ducape, value 8l. 10s. 20 yards of blue tabby silk, value 6l. 8 yards of black pelong sattin, value 37s. 70 yards of pink colour'd tabby silk, value 42s. 10 yards of green silk pelong, value 15s. 6 yards of white stuff, called tammy, value 3s. 10 yards of camblet, value 9s. 1 yard of black sattin, value 3s. 2 yards of black
It appears on the trial from the evidence of Mr. Rooke and his sister, to whom this criminal was a servant , that he was detected, by having put on a ruffled shirt or two of his master's, observed by the prosecutor's sister, which occasioned farther suspicion; and then a search after goods missed out of the shop, which were partly discovered and found upon him, or traced out by his confession, and received by his accomplices and others; three of which, Issabella Daffey, Andrew Miller, and Elizabeth Clay, were tried, cast, and sentenced for transportation for the same.
It may seem somewhat unaccountable why he did not flee and escape, when he found himself detected, and threatened with a warrant; unless his own hardened stupidity, and the ill placed lenity, and indulgence he had formerly experienced from his master, may in some measure account for it.
He was about 19 years of age, born at Whitney, in Oxfordshire; his father a collar-maker, in that town, wrought journey-work with his uncle, his father's brother; this poor ignorant lad, had no footsteps of schooling or education in the principles of religion, received either from parents or master; but used to be hired out to drive a plow or cart for the farmers wherever he was wanted, in the neighbouring country 4 or 5 miles round. His father died about 4 or 5 years ago, and left five other sons all elder than this, and employed in farming work. He first came to London at the request of Mr. Rooke, after the death of his father, and lived with him to open and shut his shop, go on errands, &c. till he was discharged last summer, for going out without leave on a Sunday, and spending money in coach-hire, which it was suspected he could not get honestly; though he declared to me, he had never wronged his master at that time; but that his fellow-servant Isabella Daffey, was the first that seduced him to rob his master.
In the interval of his absence from his master Rooke's service, he said he had been at Woolwich, and used to be employed by the captain of a ship of war , which lay there, to go on his errands from thence to London; he now wished he had continued, and gone to sea with him, as he might have done. But about a quarter of a year since, he was again taken into the prosecutor's service, detected and prosecuted.
After his conviction, he was applied to and instructed with the other convicts, on every opportunity, and in the cell was read to, and taught by his fellow-prisoner Glascow, who as he told me, spent the best part of their time both days and nights in reading and praying: Although this poor soul, seemed to make very little progress in learning even the Lord's-Prayer and the Belief; being of a slow heavy capacity.
In making his confession to me, he varied at different times, saying, at first he had been but three months at this trick of robbing the shop; another time he owned to having been 12 months at this trade; said he used to get the goods out between the time of shutting the shop, and his master's going to bed about eleven, who then locked up the last shutter and took the key. That he used to take or cut off the quantity of a suit, or 8 or 10
yards at a time, which being received by Daffey or Miller, were pledged by them, and they generally kept the whole money, and put him off by pretending the goods were seized or stopt, and though he confessed he had been the means of wronging his master to the value of 475l. he believed he never had more than 7l. out of it. They used to take up watches or other goods and trinkets for the silk. His wife Elizabeth Clay, another accomplice, was a laundress to the gentlemen of New-Inn, Wych-Street, where she lived. He said the last piece of silk he stole, cost his master 19 guineas, was pledged for 3l. and being traced out was the means of his discovery.
When sentence was pronounced upon him, being told that the executioner would shed tears when he tied him up, he was so obdurate, that instead of having a sense of his own misery, he audaciously said, "He would spit in his face if he cried." This he was tax'd with a day or two before he suffered; he owned it to be true, and said he was heartily sorry for that, and all other his wickednesses. How short is the triumph! How wretched the reward of the wicked!
All possible means, and the plainest instructions were used, to give him a right understanding of himself, and his condition, to awaken him to a sense of his guilt and danger, to bring him to repentance, and to be a communicant before he departed. He was suffered to be present, and he regarded with serious attention the first administration of it to the convicts on Monday May 25th, without being admitted: But the next day being carefully examined, and earnestly desirous to partake, he received the Holy Communion, to his great and unspeakable comfort, as he declared to me afterwards; and accordingly he appeared easy in his mind, was calm and resigned to the last; though this was effected with great difficulty, and little hope for a considerable time, and till towards his last hours, " For he made light of death, and said he " never would confess."
On this sad occasion one can scarce avoid observing, the great loss and unhappy consequences of being neglected in infancy and youth, to be trained up in the way we should go; for if such ignorant creatures fall, as 'tis great odds they will, there is scarce any hold by which to recover them: Whereas the well-train'd child, has a never-failing resource in all cases. One cannot but see that 'tis the general interest, as well as duty, that the several branches of families, both children and servants, be well instructed and well governed by parents and masters. The present licentious prevailing customs of unhallowing and mispending the Lord's-Day, both at home and abroad, at country houses, unseasonable excursions, and parties of pleasure, have driven the wise rules, laws, and orders, of our pious ancestors, out of fashion and date; and they are succeeded by profane disputing clubs, antinomian meetings, promiscuous compotations of brain-sick atheists and infidels, uttering their crude harangues and frothy lectures, among ignorant, unwary, and unprincipled hearers, with impunity, though I cannot say, with much applause; while the deluded hearers greedily suck in, and wash down, these no principles, till they are ready to betray and rob within or without doors, without fear of laws human or divine.
4. JOSEPH WALLEY, was indicted for that he, on the King's-highway, on David Supino, feloniously did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one gold watch, value 7l. one gold
watch chain, value 21s. one gold seal, value 10s. and ten guineas in gold, the property of the said David, and against his will December 24.
It appears on the trial that it was about four months after the robbery, that the prisoner was charged with it, by means of the two watches taken from the prosecutors, being traced up to his hand, and he could not produce that Daniel Carr, or rather Carrol, from whom he pretends in his defence, to have received them. We shall find in the course of this account, that this was a mere pretence. He was born at Chester, and bred up there to his father's business, a slater and bricklayer ; his age seemed to be between 30 and 40 years; in following his business he became a master-builder , of considerable credit at Chester, where he built several small houses on his own account, which he sold, and then bought a sloop, and came master of her to London; (for this he was qualified, by having served his Majesty at sea during the late war) at London he courted and married a second wife, his first still living, with two children, at Chester; he is said to have got 700 or 800l. with this second wife, (he confessed to me, she had 20l. a year, though incumbered) of which he took up 400l. and returned with it in his sloop to Chester, whither this second wife followed him. He took her into the same house with his other, promising he would provide in the best manner he could for them both. But it is to be presumed, this way of life did not, could not, hold long. He went to sea again, entering into partnership, but still with bad success, for which he greatly blamed his partner, having lost one vessel, and sold another or two, between the years 1757 and 1759. He failed in that trade, and was reduced to work as a journeyman at his first business, and live with his second wife in Westminster.
About two years since, he also inlisted into the guards, to serve for three years, or to the end of the war. But he deserted once, and then wrote a penitent letter of submission to his officer, with an apology for his crime; what the success was don't appear; but he was visited by two of his brother soldiers of colonel Blaney's company; a few days before he suffered one of them he earnestly desired to be admitted to him, because, as he said, he was a pious good man, and would advise, pray with, and comfort him.
While he lived at Westminster, with his second wife, they agreed so ill together of late, that he was put out of one creditable lodging, least murder should ensue on their quarrels, and his cruel and inhuman treatment of her. In the mean time, the other poor wife and children at Chester, were naked and famishing, and in this distress perpetually crying to him, by letters from different hands, for relief and support. In this sad condition, his own conscience accusing him of having brought two women and his children to want and wretchedness, 'tis no wonder if his actions and behaviour sometimes spoke the man distracted and forsaken of God, as they, who best knew him, report.
After he had reduced this second wife to penury and want, and she had nothing left but one feather-bed, of which she was very fond, he cut that to pieces, and threw the feathers out of the window. Another night when she had brought home a pair of new shoes, which she had bought out of her own earnings at chairing, and hard labour, he took a sudden freak, and chopped the shoes to pieces, saying, "He had a spirit above such poor doings."
A letter was received about three months ago, at his former lodgings, from his first wife at Chester, which when he
heard of, he would not release, but cursed the wife and letter too; when opened it was a piercing and bitter complaint, that she herself, with her and his children were in extreme want, and begging for some subsistence: and as to the London wife, it is added, from different hands, that he used to cut her handkerchiefs and clothes to pieces; and has been known to strip her of her stays and shoes, even in St. James's-Park, in order to pledge them.
And yet this poor unhappy man did not seem to be ill-natured in himself, rather the contrary: but by having fallen from his duty, violated the most solemn vows, and given way to the unbridled passions of lust, avarice, and anger, he was hurried from one wickedness to another. After conviction, he seemed penitent, and behaved tolerably well, though still expecting a respite, therefore would confess nothing, but that he had discovered all he knew to a magistrate, by whose intercession he hoped to have his sentence changed for transportation.
It is asserted that gentleman did faithfully acquit himself, in endeavouring to save his life, though it could not be granted. When he found himself included in the death-warrant, nothing can express the surprize of grief and anguish that seized him; he complained he had been put off his preparation for eternity, by false hopes; he could neither eat nor sleep, scarce could he read or pray for crying, and lamenting his lot; he wept and sighed his very soul away in bitter and fruitless complaints; all that could be said to him, by his more patient fellow-sufferers, or the minister, could scarce pacify or compose him; at length he began to apply himself with more submissive composure, to the means of preparation for death.
He was admitted in due time after the necessary instruction and examination, to the Holy Communion; taking his general acknowledgement of the justice of his sentence, (instead of a present confession of the particulars) with a promise that he would deliver me a paper of them at the place of execution; and intreating he might not be farther urged. He confessed indeed that he had been a great transgressor as to women, which effectually brought him to ruin, and this death; (though he is said to have paid his debts well as long as he was able) for it has been declared since he suffered, that having quited this second wife, he went to live with a third woman; this with the ill treatment of her, by cutting her clothes when she taxed him with it, provoked the second to go and impeach him for crimes she was privy to; and when the proper officers were sent to apprehend him, it is reported, he readily came down from the scaffold where he was at work, and said, I am the man you look for. When taken before the justice, he accused and named two men as his accomplices, viz. William Butterfield and Daniel Carrol; this he particularly confessed to me, as a matter that lay heavy on his mind, a day or two before he suffered, which he desired to retract and set right, declaring it was done in his confusion, and that both those persons were innocent; this confession he signed his name to; at the same time he farther declared that his wife, who betrayed him, stole two horses, on one of which he rode when he committed the fact he was to die for; and that she used to put on his clothes and ride out with him on the like designs. This explained in some degree what he had before declared, that she had first seduced, and then betrayed him. But how much credit is to be given to this report, uttered per
haps in resentment, after mutual treachery and ill treatment, is not easy to determine. It proves however, that the guilty ought to take warning, repent, renounce, and forsake all their wicked ways, left vengeance suddenly overtake them: it shews farther, that there is no trust, confidence, or security in a wicked confederacy.
Before the account of these sufferers for the highway be closed, it may be proper to mention here that a message was received from proper authority, with a request to ask the prisoners, Dupuy, Morgan, and Walley, whether any, or either of them, were the persons that stopt and shot at Pentlow and Darvel, near Holloway, in February last? This was sent on the day before they suffered, when one might expect a true and sincere answer, if ever. In consequence of this, they were each questioned severally, solemnly, and closely; in answer to which, Morgan declared he had never gone out on the highway (with an evil design) till April last; nor (as he believes) had never so much as thought of, or intended it at that time, viz. in February. And this, I must add, is consistent with what he had before confessed to me, that the fact of April 8th laid in his indictment, and for which he was convicted, was his first fact; it is farther observable, that this is the man whom Mr. Pentlow, thought to be most like the person who stopt them.
Walley for his part, declared he was not the man; adding, that he remembered very particularly that he lay that night with (his second wife) that woman, pointing to her as she stood in the pressyard; and received the first account he heard of the affair of Pentlow and Darvel, in the News-Paper of the day.
Dupuy also absolutely denied it; and gave for proof of his veracity, that he was then a prisoner in the Borough. It is hoped they all spoke the truth.
5. JOHN BRETT, gentleman, was indicted for feloniously forging a bill of exchange, with the name Richard Horton thereunto subscribed, purporting to bear date the 13th of March, 1761. Drawn upon Messrs. Frazier, Wharton, and Mullison, merchants, for the payment of 50l. payable to William Huggins, and for publishing it, with intent to defraud the said Frazier, Wharton, and Mullison. It was laid also for publishing the same, with intent to defraud Walter Pringle.
On the opening of the indictment, and on the trial, it appears this crime was attended with several aggravations; such as a form'd plan of travelling through the West-Indies, to learn the connexions of some principal inhabitants there, with merchants in London; and when apprehended and taken before a Justice, he falsely charged two persons, Mr. Horton, and his own servant James Sunmore, whom he afterwards declared and confessed to be innocent.
When his trial came on, he desired to plead Guilty. But it was objected that he had pleaded Not Guilty at his arraignment, and must abide by that plea, as there was no precedent produced for altering it.
The affair was first suspected by several untoward circumstances attending the letter of credit from Walter Pringle, of St. Christopers, in favour of Richard Horton, purser of a man-of-war, for 1000l. such as that the letter was not written with Mr. Pringle's own hand as usual: that the person in whose favour it was, did not deliver it himself; but it came by post; besides there was no packet then arrived from the West-Indies, nor no ship, by which this letter might come; and being found to be delivered into the Post-Office on the Saturday before, it was
suspected to be a forgery, and determined to answer no bills in consequence of it.
Mr. Huggins having a bill drawn on the prosecutors for 50l. passed to him by the prisoner, in order to pay for twelve pair of silk hose bought of him, and receive the rest in cash, was the occasion of stopping the prisoner, and bringing him to justice.
After his trial had been put off the preceding sessions, in the interval he first fell under my notice, by being introduced from the other side of the gaol, into our side of the chapel, in order there to converse with a young female convict C - y V - re; which, as it was managed (however well meant it might be, as they said, and harmless in itself) might give offence; and therefore was with some difficulty on my part, and a visible resentment on their side, after some days put a stop to; after which the said convict never again appeared at the chapel, proving plainly, that it was for the aforesaid purpose only she came thither; and he came no more, so as to be seen by me, till after his conviction.
It is much to be wished, that the infamy which the perverse custom of the world, too often throws promiscuously on the guilty, and the innocent who are related or allied to the guilty, could be obliterated and buried in oblivion, in favour of a reputable family.
But so much as the offender spoke in court, to excite and implore the mercy and favourable report of his Judges, and after the death-warrant appeared, published the same in order to intreat and intitle himself to the compassion and prayers of the publick, may fairly be extracted, and delivered here, without offence to his most partial friends.
John Brett, was the only son of a Protestant Minister in Ireland, of some valuable preferments; has been a lieutenant and adjutant since the year 1753, in the 49th regiment of foot; served in America against the French, and was at Ticonderoga when lord Howe was killed there; was just turned of 25 years of age, has left a wife not 20 years old, and two children in Jamaica.
When it was mentioned to him, that his good education and principles imbibed from his father, might be expected to have restrained him from such a crime; he answered, " Alas! I have not seen " my father since the age of eleven years; " having been then sent over to Jamaica " to my uncle, a brother of his, since " dead, who undertook to provide for " me as his own." It seems he had not behaved himself abroad to the approbation and hopes of his father, yet when known to be involved in this distress, the parental bowels and compassions of a father strongly pleaded and exerted themselves in his favour, while under this black cloud, but could not open a way for the beams of royal mercy to shine on this most insidious and dangerous crime, so pernicious to credit, the life of commerce.
The father also wrote to his son in this depth of misery, expressing the most natural tenderness for him, but tempered with the most just, manly, and christian sentiments, and conveying to him the most serious and important advice suited to his calamity.
His behaviour after conviction, was in the general; penitent, pious, and exemplary to the other prisoners. He seemed first to shew a sense of his crime, when he pleaded guilty, and became daily more so; lamented that he was straitened in time, to settle both his family and spiritual affairs.
After he had for several days attended to the prayers and instructions, proper for the case of convicts, he came to me of his own accord, and desired to be questioned and examined, whether he was duly prepared for the Lord's Table, and for death.
He professed, on enquiry made, to believe firmly the Holy Scriptures to be the word of God, and all the Articles of the Christian Faith founded thereon; that he had carefully examined himself by his
vow made in baptism, and repented most heartily of all his violations of it; declared he did not fear the pains of death, but the consequences of it; earnestly wished for another trial in life, to serve his King and Country, and face their enemies in Germany, or any where but in America; because he could not bear the thought of returning thither as a soldier, where he had always appeared as an officer. He was advised not to concern himself about such improbable, and indeed trifling matters, at present.
He expressed a strong desire to receive the Holy Communion three or four days before he suffered; this was considered as a good symptom, that he hungered and thirsted for this Heavenly Feast, and he was assured he should not be neglected in that, or any other good office in my power.
He acknowledged he had committed the crimes he is charged with, not for want, but wantonness; and appeared truly mortified for his guilt, promised that the 50l. he had received by these bad means, he would request and intreat his father to repay; and also that it should be his last request to his wife, to come to his father from Jamaica to Ireland, hoping he would embrace and take care of her, and his two children, as his own.
His request to receive the Holy Sacrament, on each of the three last days of his life, was complied with; and it is humbly hoped it was to his great and endless comfort; it was also attended with the like opportunity; and we charitably presume, the like benefit to his fellowsufferers, for each of whom, he shewed a very brotherly concern and tender affection, to the last.
On the Morning of Execution.
THOUGH I went in to visit them between six and seven, yet was I obliged to wait near an hour before they were brought down from their cells, and got ready to attend the chapel: this cut short the time for conversing with them. Walley had told me, the evening before, on asking him how he was, that, " He thank'd God he was well both in " body and spirit." The other four also, though slow and reluctant, seemed composed and resigned.
After they had joined in some proper prayers, with the Litany and Communion Service, and received the Holy Sacrament, they were directed to be stedfast in looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our Faith, and not regard the circumstances of terror and disturbance in their way; to keep in their hearts the petitions of the Lord's-Prayer, and the most comfortable Articles of our Faith. This they promised to do.
Mr. Brett was particularly inquisitive after a form of benediction, which he had heard me pronounce, and which I pointed out to him, and he wrote down in the form of a prayer, wherewith to close what he intended to say to the multitude, at the place of execution; " The Lord bless-us and keep us; the Lord " make his face to shine upon us, and be " gracious unto us; the Lord lift up his " countenance upon us, and give us peace both " now and evermore."
However, poor Souls! they still appeared heavy and sorrowful; loth to leave the chapel, bewailed and lamented themselves and each other, with many tears: And, surely, it was a most affecting sight, a most piercing thought, to behold and think of five young men, the eldest in the prime of life, ready to be cut down like flowers, by the scythe of an unmanly and shameful death! Young men, who if they had kept in the right path, were capable of being of service and credit to themselves and their friends, their country and their king.
While they still continued in tears, I pointed out to them some parts of Ps. 42, 43, and 139, to repeat and think on in the way, promising to meet, and pray with
them at the place, which they were very desirous of.
In going down from the chapel, Morgan seeing Dupuy standing before him pinion'd, and his hands bound, turned to Brett, who followed him, and said; Ah! dear Brett! see how they have tied poor Dupuy, it is our turn next. Regard it not, answered Brett, but remember how our dear Lord and Saviour was bound for us Sinners! His behaviour after this was submissive, penitent, and pious; accompanied with acts of benevolence and kindness to his fellow-prisoners. What less than a Christian education, could inspire such sentiments, and a suitable behaviour in these trying circumstances?
When he came among the people, both within and without the prison, he said, "Good people pray for us." Repeating it on every side with an earnest address.
They were carried out about nine in two carts; Dupuy, Spruce and Walley, in the first; Brett and Morgan, in the second, agreeable to Brett's earnest and repeated request, to be with Morgan. The first three were tied up as soon as brought to the tree, and met the eyes of the other two, as they approached; a striking dreadful sight! Morgan seeing this, and imagining by the straitness of their ropes, the ghastly look and open mouth of one in particular, viz. Spruce, that he was already in the agonies of death, apprehended that they were immediately to suffer, without being allowed the benefit of prayers; turned his face toward the coach where I sat waiting for the proper time, when they should be all together tied up, as the manner is, and with a look and gesture of inexpressible desire, his eyes and hands lifted toward Heaven, made a signal for me to go and pray with them. This I understood to be a motion of thanksgiving to Heaven for his deliverance; for at that instant the news of it was carried to him; when the respite was delivered to the Vice-Sheriff, he went to the cart, and asked for Morgan; who expecting he was to be tied up next, answered, my name is Morgan; he heard a bustle with the words loose him, take him away; and finding himself loosed, he said to Brett, " My " reprieve is come, fare you well." Brett answered; " I give you joy; pray for " me, God bless you; kiss me my brother." After which he kept intent on prayer, and did not so much as look after him, so far as he could observe; while he saw poor Dupuy in agonies of grief, following him with his looks, and neck extended, so far as his rope would permit.
It must be owned, that the welcome messenger of this respite had the preceding day communicated it to me, and we had consulted to have conveyed the benefit, to the object of it, without disturbing the other sufferers; and so as to answer the wise and good design of this Royal Grant, thus given, to the end that the malefactor should undergo every thing but death, and be effectually terrified from his crimes, and reformed, by the nearest view of an eternal state. But our method was superseded.
The reason assigned for this Kingly Act of distinguishing mercy, is perhaps yet more to the honour of the blessed hand it came from, viz. because the offender, in the heat of opposition and resentment, had spared the life of the man who had aimed at his, in the manner described on the trial; for that Morgan's pistol was ready loaded, cock'd, and prim'd. I was assured by Dupuy, before the respite, and by Morgan after it; who thus related the fact: when Mr. Dobinson, before he would submit to be robbed, snapped a blunderbuss at him, it only flashed in the pan. Mr. Dobinson then begged his life; Morgan replied, " God forbid I should " take your life, you know what I want; " I am in necessity." Mr. Aukland said, " All that you can desire of a gentleman " is to ask pardon." Morgan replied, " I do not desire even that."
When Morgan was ordered to be untied, being respited, he says he was almost insensible and dead at the terror of
the prospect; so that the joy could not reach his heart till about the time he was brought back to the prison; when it began to overcome him.
As soon as Morgan was hurried away in a coach, the other prisoners were prayed for, the usual time and manner, in which they joined and made responses; after which Dupuy being asked if he had any thing to add, owned he had done some few other facts beside what he had confessed, but they were small matters, and he knew not the persons: further declared, that V - n first proposed to him to go on the highway; and that he was as ready to comply as the other to propose. Spruce added nothing, but his desire to give his duty to his master and mistress.
Mr. Brett spoke, or read, from a written paper; the design of which was, to desire the prayers and excite the compassion of the spectators, for himself and his four (now three) fellow-sufferers; and to warn all against such evil courses and crimes as brought them to this shameful and untimely end; lamenting his unhappy lot, to hang between two worlds, and be permitted to die in neither; [an expression which should certainly have been corrected had any person of undisturbed sense and judgment seen it] acknowledging that course of sin, and that crime, which brought this fate upon him: - but asserting that his sins, great and numerous as they had been, were not so many and great as misrepresented by the world. He was particularly thankful he had never been guilty of murder, intentionally at least, though he had reason to fear this his fate would bring down the grey hairs of his father to the grave; yet he expressed his hope, that no person of sense would reflect on any branch of his family on account of his crime and punishment, the memory of both which he wished and prayed might die with him. He finally expressed his trust and hope for pardon and mercy, in a better state, thro' the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, without which he believed no sinner could be entitled to and obtain mercy of God.
He concluded with committing themselves to the divine mercy, in the words of that final blessing which I had pointed out to him that morning, The Lord bless us, &c.
If justice be not done to this his last speech, either in matter or order, the blame should be laid at the door of that person who received it from his hand, with his desire that a copy of it should be given to me, as Brett had before promised me; but which last request of his dying friend, that person, Mr. A - t has refused to comply with, upon assertions or pretences, the truth of which he best knows; but which, if true, must reflect on the singleness of intention, and sincerity of his dying friend.
When Mr. Brett had ended, Walley, in a low voice and confused manner, read the following words; and then delivered them to me, as written by himself in a very incorrect manner. " This is to let the world know, that what I die for is my just desert, and hope that the world will not blame me for letting it be known: the reason is, to let every one know that no-body ever was concerned with me, but my wife; so that I humbly beg the prayers of every good Christian, and hope they will join with me in prayers; and them that I have wronged, I hope they will forgive me, as I hope God will forgive me, through the merits of his only son, Jesus Christ, in whom I put my trust."
After which, having taken leave of such of their friends as were near, they were again earnestly recommended in prayer to the divine mercy and protection; to whose blessed and sacred name they were finally consigned.
This is all the account given by
Ordinary of Newgate.