THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words OF THREE MALEFACTORS, VIZ.
LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
NUMBER IV. for the said YEAR.
Printed and sold by J. DIXWELL, in St. Martin's-Lane, near Charing-Cross, for the AUTHOR:
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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 of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex, at Justice-hall in the Old Bailey, before the Right Honourable Sir Samuel Fludyer, Bart. Lord Mayor ; Sir William Moreton, Recorder ; James Eyre, Esq; deputy Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer of the city of London, and Justices of gaol delivery of Newgate, holden for the said city and county of Middlesex on Wednesday the 15th, Thursday the 16th, Friday the 17th, and Saturday the 18th of September, 1762, in the second year of his Majesty's reign, three prisoners were capitally convicted and received sentence of death.
I. JAMES COLLINS and JAMES WHEM, were indicted for that they together with JOHN SUTHERLAND, not taken, in a certain field and open place near the King's highway, on Sarah West, spinster , did make an assault, putting her in corporal fear and danger of her life, and taking from her one iron key, value one penny, and two shillings in money, numbered, her property, and against her will. August the third.
It appears from the evidence on this trial that this robbery was perpetrated with two others, and attended with circumstances of savage cruelty, and bloodshed. Sarah West was knocked down by COLLINS with his fist while he held a drawn sword in the other hand, with which he threatened her life if she made a noise; mean time another of them robbed Mr Sykes, and a third robbed Mr. Halm, of their money and watches; the former being knocked down, was dangerously wounded with a sword, in the forehead, and the latter was also knocked down.
Complaint had been laid before Justice Welch, with an account of divers robberies in and about Pancrass fields before this: and very providentially the High-constable of that division, Mr. Clay, with a party of near thirty men subdivided into three companies, were out that night with a search warrant, from the vigilant magistrate aforesaid, to apprehend and suppress the detestable authors of such violence and injuries. By an immediate alarm and pursuit, the two prisoners were taken out of a ditch of water and mud, covered with brambles, into which they had flung themselves for concealment. SUTHERLAND escaped. The evidence arising from the circumstances as well as the witnesses, are full of conviction. The goods taken from the prosecutors were found upon them; and they betrayed themselves by claiming a hat and stick dropt in the scuffle and hurty of flight; and also by COLLINS wanting to be admitted an evidence. Their behaviour at their trial was hardy and resolute, but they made no other defence, than that they were in liquor, knew nothing of this matter, and were innocent as the child born yesterday. Neither of them had any witnesses to their character, for which Whem made an apology that their people were on guard that day. When they came to receive sentence, they both begged transportation for life in his Majesty's service. Quickly after their awful doom was pronounced, on the day the sessions ended, they were visited in their cells for the first time; (the chapel not being as yet put in order since the late dreadful fire) a few words proper for their sad case were applied to them; Collins lamented that he could not read; Whem said he was a presbyterian; we had some conversation on the principles common to christians, to which he agreed; after which he never refused to join with us, but came constantly to chapel, which was made ready in some sort by next day, where by the help of some directions and daily instructions, each of them behaved tollerably well. Collins, a tall likely young soldier , belonging to the foot guards, told me, he was born in Gloucester city, being now about twenty years of age, but bred up mostly in Kent. His Father belongs to the army, as also a brother of twenty-six years of age, and most of his family. When asked, are you now convinced you had better have lived in the fear of God, and honestly served your King and country? he shook his head, and wished he had, for it had been far better, but he acknowledged he had been brought up in great ignorance, and neglect of his duty, with few or no good examples before him. He imputed his crime (which he no longer denied) to a drunken frolick after they came off guard, on that very day, and pretended this was his first attempt; he with the others was daily instructed in the means of true repentance, both in private and in the chapel. Tho' both these said they used to frequent the church, they seemed strangers to the decent behaviour, manner of worship, and conformity thereto, which the house of prayer requires; the method therefore and reasons of our liturgy were opened to them, in a plain and familiar way; and when negligent or unattentive in their parts in the service, they had them pointed out, and were reminded to perform them; Whem expressed his readiness to join with us, and usually read his alternate verse of the Psalms for his own and his companion's
benefit. When questioned and seriously examined, he did not deny his guilt nor the justice of his sentence; but would not acknowledge any other facts of the same kind; or that he knew any others engaged in the same course, except John Sutherland, named in the indictment as concerned in this fact, but not yet taken; and that he was advertised as a deserter from the third regiment of foot-guards ; with five guineas over and above the usual reward offered for apprehending him, by Lord Adam Gordon to whose company he belonged.
Whem reported himself to be about thirty-three years of age, born in the shire of Ayr; bred to no trade or business but only common labour, belonged to the guards about thirteen years, has left a poor unhappy wife big with child and one or two small children, the eldest scarce three years of age, who with the mother used to visit the father, and has been seen piteously to cry when she could not follow him into the cells. Collins had also a wife big with child, who came to visit him as often as she could be admitted, The distresses, tears and cries of these widows and orphans, increased the horrors of this scene of guilt and its consequences, and excited some kind and charitable visitants to contribute occasionally to their present relief. The soldiers not insensible to these acts of christian compassion, were more attentive to the instructions given them, and more diligent in their preparation for death. Nothing farther happened remarkable till the death-warrant came down, which as it included all three, may be taken notice of in the following account.
3. JOHN KELLO was indicted for that he did forge and counterfeit, and cause and procure to be counterfeited, and willingly acted in the same, a certain order for the payment of money, with the name of William Partridge thereunto subscribed, directed to George Amyand and Co. bankers and partners, for the payment of 1000l. and for publishing the same with intent to defraud the said George Amyand and Co. And it was laid also for publishing the same with intent to defraud Joseph Cotton, August 28th.
Mr. Kello's behaviour on his trial was that of a man calmly determined to stand out in the denial of his guilt, and make the best defence he could to the last, for this purpose he placed himself in an uncommon attitude of keen attention and observation, leaning on his arm over the bar, with his neck shrunk between his shoulders and his face looking between his arms, and in this posture, which he rarely varied, he heard the evidence against him, and cross examined the witnesses when he thought proper, with remarkable composure; one of his questions, intended to confute his brother's assertion, that he had supported him for a year and a half past, seemed to cut with two edges; whether he had not given him a purse, about three months ago with thirty-four guineas in it? The prisoner added, how I came by it is not the question at present; if any body can prove I did not come honestly by it, let them prove it. His brother did not deny the receipt, but seemed to account for the application of it for their common use, in a way that did not appear contradictory and inconsistent with his assertion of having contributed to his brother's support. This question gave rise to several speculations and surmises how he did really come by it? especially as his late way of life was not known
to be turned to business and industry: and as several suspicious implements, as pistols and balls, were said to be found in his possession. Kello had few opportunities of falling under my notice before his trial; having been committed about a day before the fire at Newgate, by which the chapel in common with the rest of the prison being thrown into disorder, and become less secure, there was no meeting him there had he been disposed to come: nor did he distinguish himself, if present, among the croud of prisoners when visited in their common hall. After conviction, when he was applied to, as he lay in bed in his cell, with some words of condolence and exhortation, he answered coldly: " Your advice is very good, " and becoming your office to give, " but I have some particular opinions " of my own" to which it was replied, you will I hope attend the chapel, and give me an opportunity of conferring with you on those opinions, perhaps we may be able to remove and change them for the better: he answered, with an air of superior knowledge and resolution, that " his opinions were not to " be changed." But if they have misled you into your present sad situation, is not this a proof of the unsoundness of them; and that it is high time to quit and renounce them, and take up such as may relieve and support you in this hour of distress and anguish? For such am I sent to propose to you: he answered, " he never should quit his " present sentiments either in this life " or after it." But how if they prove contrary to the received and well-tried opinions of wise and good men? this he denied they were. Being asked if he would permit me to pray with him and the other convicts in his cell, he desired to be excused. He was again asked whether he would come to chapel when called upon at any time hereafter? this he also refused and kept to his resolution next morning and so forward, till a message from Mr. A - n (without any application of mine) by some of the runners made him think proper to attend. Before this visit ended, it was added, I came to offer you the best assistance in my power, if you refuse it, the blame and consequence will fall on your own head. He answered in some slighting manner, as if he set light by this and all such threats, as a mere bugbear, and engine of my office.
In a word, his behaviour and language was that of a stranger to the oracles of God, and a despiser of them - of a diligent dabler in those dear-bought books which scatter the seeds of scepticism and immorality, of doubt and misbelief, in those weed-bearing soils that are prepared for, and most susceptible of them; which God in his anger suffers to take root and grow in the soul of the sluggard, who is indisposed either to seek, to find, or to follow the ways of found wisdom and instruction. This reminded me of an observation and precept of a celebrated poet.
A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the pierian spring.
For shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
But drinking deeply sobers us again.
Mr. Kello was now about twenty-six years of age, some say twenty-nine. His father is said to have been a mercer in Hounds-ditch, who dying, left him an orphan. He was sent to Ludlow by his friends for his education, where he is reported to have become a good clas
sic scholar, and then served the greatest part of an apprenticeship to a good trade by which he might have been well supported, and probably join'd with or succeeded his kind master in a good house, had he been steady to the business; but his wavering and aspiring temper prompting him to new adventures in the mercantile way, he gathered up his little fortune of about 300l. and turning it into effects for the Virginia trade shipped himself off for that province, where having resided some time and formed a connection in partnership, he returned to London about three years ago; where his turn to the scenes of amusement and pleasure, rather than to useful business, has given his friends no little anxiety for the event, till their worst fears were confirmed in the discovery and proof of this fine-spun cobweb, which he has so artfully and so long, as the best part of a year, been weaving for his own destruction: For that he was the chief, tho' secret agent in this scheme, his brother's evidence, strengthened by the other witnesses, and the circumstances, do prove beyond all rational doubt; however, he continued to deny his guilt and prevaricate to the last.
And whereas he has asserted, in one of his petitions to his Majesty, wherein he pleads innocence, that he was convicted on the single evidence of his Brother, who confessed his own guilt, and impeached him because he was told it was the only method to save himself; the contrary is evident from a few remarks on the trial, By the evidence of John Bleaden, belonging to the Antigallican coffee-house, the prisoner, to the best of his knowledge, is the person who came to that coffee-house the 28th. of August about 10 at night, call'd for pen, ink, and paper, and ask'd him to go with a message to Aldermanbury; but because he could not go, wanted a coachman, chairman or porter; but went out himself; and in about 4 or 5 minutes returned, said his name was Rous. Do not these particulars exactly agree with the name, to whom the Bank-bill for 1000l. was to be directed and deliver'd, and the other transactions deposed to both by Mr. Cotton and Joseph Kello? and do they not mutually support and confirm each other? Farther, his brother Joseph deposes, that he (John) was the person who went into the coffee-house, viz. Sam's, and received the Letter, inclosing the said bank-bill, directed for Mr. Rous; that Joseph stay'd in the alley while John went in and fetched it out; that they went together into the fields by Sadler's Wells, open'd the letter, and it contained a bank note for 1000l. that his Brother John kept the note. In their difficulties about getting it changed, (Difficulties which the innocent are not embarrassed with) John proposed to go to Bristol to get it changed, but wanted cash to bear his charges; for which Mr. Duffel, John's Landlord, was applied to, but did not lend it; and Joseph borrowed ten guineas of another. The consequent transactions of John's changing the 1000l. bank note at Bridgewater, for cash and bills, which cash and identical bills were found upon John, deposed to by Joseph Partridge, clerk to Mr. Baker, the receiver General of Somerset; by Phebe Lankford, and by William Neate; all these, together with Thomas Duffel, confirm this material part of the evidence of Joseph against his brother John: so that his plea of innocence must fall, and can only send to prove him obdurate in his guilt.
And this character is the more fixt upon him, as I received it from undoubted authority, that he confessed his share in the guilt, and pleaded that he was drawn in by his brother, in the real Petition presented and read to his Majesty in council.
Monday Sept. 20th. John Kello consented to come up to chapel, and by way of apology for his past behaviour, said he was bred a dissenter. A Dissenter in deed! But don't you believe the Bible to be of divine authority? to this he would give no answer, but pretended to be acquainted with all Religions, as well if he had studied the dictionary on that subject; and yet when asked a few questions, seemed quite ignorant of the first principles both of natural and revealed religion. His notions of the obligations to truth and justice, were so imperfect and loose, that he still boldly declared himself innocent of the crime he stood convicted of, and that if he were to die this day he was prepared to answer before his great judge, to whom he referred himself for the truth of his plea. He denied any command in scripture to make a public profession of his faith as a Christian, or to confess his sins; adding, these were no protestant doctrines, and no better then that of auricular confession; on which subjects several express texts were repeated to him, to convince him of his gross ignorance: Such as, with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation; For Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. [Rom. x. chap. 10. 11. v.] And that of St. Mark. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [St. Mark. xvi. 16.] On hearing this he asked, (as he was all the while on the catch, and the cavil) believeth, what? I answer'd, believeth in him who spake these words, that is, in Jesus Christ, and his Gospel, His word and his works. He stood silent, as if answered. At other opportunites, whenever he attended, occasion was taken from the scriptures of the day to throw light upon his mind, relating to the truth and certainty of the scriptures, and their power unto salvation.
For the present, concerning the duty of confession of sins; to whom? and in what cases to be made, the introductory sentences of holy writ prefixed to the daily service of the church, with the confession and absolution founded thereon, were explained to him; together with a general scheme of the tenour, meaning and rationality of the other parts of the service of the church England. These he was warned not to come to hear, as a spy or a scoffer, but rather, as best befitted his circumstances, as an humble penitent. Notwithstanding this, he rather heard the service, than joined in it, for he refused to make responses, or kneel, being in his opinion a matter of indifference, and no reason or authority could convince him to the contrary. This was the less excuseable in him, as he boasted himself free from the errors of education. When after prayers I offered him the use of some good tracts, among which was that excellent, clear and rational view of the sum and substance of Christian faith and practice, the late Bishop of Sodor and Man's Instruction for the Indians, he first objected to it, as being merely practical; he then said he had met with it abroad in Virginia, and had seen that subject treated in a more masterly manner. He was answered, that the clearness,
ease, and condescension of the stile to every capacity, as well as the practical manner in which it is handled, are proofs of the masterly performance. He then said he was a sufficient guide to himself, from what he had within him, and would accept of none of my books.
The next day he told the runners, who went to call him to chapel, that he would go there no more; for that he was a dissenter. Mr. A - k - n being acquainted with this message before it came to me, sent him word, it could do him no hurt to go to chapel, tho' he called himself a dissenter, and therefore insisted on his attendance there, unless he chose a dissenting minister, which he might have to attend him; for that he would not trust him alone in the cells, while the other prisoners and their keepers were at chapel. About this time he had prepared a petition to his majesty; which was now said, and afterwards seen by me, to be full of false and scandalous reflections on the court and his prosecutors. This alone, as one observed, would go nigh to hang him, if there were not so much against him. Thus did this man of boasted sense and self-sufficiency display his talents in insuring his own utter ruin, and rejecting every proffered means to prevent it.
In the course of our conversation, he urged it to me as a presumptive proof of his conscious innocence, that tho' he had seen the bank note for 1000l. advertised in the Public Ledger, at Bristol, the very day he had changed it at Bridgewater, yet he came up to London and offered the injured parties restitution. More probably, he trusted to his own, and his brothers hardy denial of the fact, and the want of proof to convict them.
He still went on daily to assert his innocence of this fact, and therefore that he had nothing to repent of in this matter, and that as an honest man he was always prepared to die. When pressed with the clearness of the proofs against him on the trial, he still insisted that his brother alone, or in conjunction with Mr. C - tt - n, might have transacted the forgery, and lend him the bank bill: though it is well known he pretended, in his examination before Sir John Fielding, that he found this bill.
When the death warrant came, on Wednesday, October 6th, they were visited soon after; Kello refused to come to chapel, but Whem and Collins both came, and were particularly instructed in the method of examining and preparing themselves for the holy communion, and proper notice given them of the intended celebration of it. Being asked how they were prepared to bear this shock? they answered, they were but slenderly prepared for it, yet they were both willing to be directed and assisted; they joined in proper prayers, and heard some seasonable exhortations. Kello came up next morning, and made an apology for yesterday's absence, by saying he was indisposed, and unfit to come to chapel. They all appeared much dejected and emaciated. The proper lessons read and explained to them on this day were Isa 1. and Rom. 1. The next day, Oct. 8th, some questions were put to him, concerning facts proved on the trial, to induce him to acknowledge his guilt, and give the best satisfaction he could to the injured. In answer, he told me that soon after his conviction, his prosecutor, Mr. A - m - d, called and left word for him, that if he
wanted any thing, he would supply him; on which generous and compassionate tender, he wrote to thank him, and expressed his concern that he was made in any degree accessary to do him an injury, being desirous to make him all the reparation in his power. But to me he still denied any guilt in the transaction for which he is to suffer, insisting that he was merely instrumental but not privy to it; and to amuse me into this opinion, he put into my hand a letter to a friend, inclosing his case at large, with remarks on his trial, intended to make good the assertions of his innocence in the petition to his majesty above referred to. This being read, was returned to him, reminding him that his attempt to deceive now was not only vain but highly wicked, considering with whom he had to do; that he seemed to forget his trial in this life was past, and that God and his own conscience (to which I referred him for the evidence of his guilt) would witness against him at the next and last awful tribunal, for which he should think much more seriously than he had yet done, how to prepare, not by denying his guilt and charging it on others, in which he could gain no credit, even with men, but by sincerity and truth. All this did not put him out of his plea of innocence; as he knew great application and interest was making to save his life. He added, that when Mr. A - m - d, his prosecutor, was applied to, to sign the petition for mercy, he refused, though he wished his life could be saved; adding, but there is such a clamour against it in Lombard street, that, it seems (said Kello) I must be murdered to quiet the authors of it. In this strain he talked, as if he were not convicted by fair evidence, and as if the laws of his country had been trampled on to come at his life.
To reprove him for this, several proper lessons were daily chosen and applied to him, as Jerem. viii. v. 4 - 13. Moreover thou shalt say unto them, thus saith the Lord, shall they fall and not arise? Shall He turn away, and not return? Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back, by a perpetual back sliding? Is not this the meaning? If God is able and desirous to raise up them that fall, and to return to them from whom he turned away, Why then is this people turned back by a perpetual backsliding? q. d. Am I ready to raise up and return to them, and will they never strive to rise, recover, and return to me their God? Why is this? The reasons follow: They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, what have I done? every one turneth to his course as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times, and the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow observe the time of their coming, but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.
What a severe rebuke is this to men of reason and religion? that the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field act with more prudence and order than they? When the three prisoners were asked, whether they believed this judgment or affliction came to them from God? the two soldiers confessed they believed it to be so, but Mr. Kello evaded giving a direct answer. To set him right, he was instructed in the clear declarations concerning a particular, perpetual and over-ruling providence.
When he was told one day that his hardness and insensibility gave me great concern, that I felt more for him than he appeared to feel for himself; the hard rock seemed to be smote, and the tears sprung up in his eyes: yet even then he seemed angry, and asked why I thought him so insensible? I answered, because he neither confessed his faith as a christian, nor his guilt as a criminal, nor performed his part in the worship of God, in which as a man of education, he should instruct and set a good example to his fellow-convicts: he replied as he had done before, that he saw no necessity for any confession of either, and that he did perform his part in matters essential, but used his liberty in matters of indifference. On another occasion, when I lamented to him that I stood so low in his esteem, that it disabled me to do him such service as I wished, he was pleased to say, I stood very high in his esteem, but as to the prejudices of education, which I had mentioned as the causes of his neglect and disesteem of my assistance, he had long since got the better of prejudice, and cast it off in all religious opinions. But how if that which you reject as the effect of the prejudice of education should prove true, and be the result of well grounded principles, connected with the present and future interests of mankind? are they the worse for being well tried, and handed down to us through many generations? No, replied he, but most people give no better reason for following this or that sect of religion, but the example of their parents. Answered, that is their own and their parents fault who refuse or neglect to retain God and his laws in their knowledge or practice, though commanded to be ever ready to give a reason of the hope that is in them.
In the close of this conversation, he told me, his father was a churchman, but his mother a dissenter. Your case of too long disregarding both professions, shews the mischief of religious divisions in a family, or a nation.
On Saturday the 9th of October, after he had attended duly for some days, he was asked whether he was now preparing for the reception of the holy sacrament? His answer was, that he must consider of it. He was told it was high time he should be resolved. He then began to talk strangely of inquisition and tortures, which he hoped should not be inflicted on him, if he did not receive it. These insinuations, as he must know better, were scarce thought worth any answer.
On the 10th, Sunday morning, Kello refused to come up to chapel, as he had used to do on this morning; but Collins and Whem attended with serious devotion. In the afternoon they all three came up, when Kello made some slight excuse that he was not ready in the morning. The lessons chosen for for them were Isa. 53. and 1 Thes. 4. The first being a clear prophetical description of the sufferings of Christ for the sins of men; the second, an exhortation to purity and holiness, from a view of the resurrection and a future judgment. Occasion was taken from these portions of Scripture, and the Psalms, to shew a clear and necessary connection between the Christian faith and morality; as also on the other hand between infidelity, apostacy, and a total corruption of manners. vid. Ps. 53. But still Kello seemed to care for none of those things; he had repeatedly told me and others, that he was prepared to die; that he should meet death like a man; that he had no sin to repent of;
and when a compassionate friend offered him the visits of a minister of his own (supposed) persuasion, (naming the person) he gave him to understand he could be of no service to him. By the same friend he had a Bible and a [zealous] call to the unconverted put into his hands; but he was seldom known to use them. A short prayer and some directions to proper portions of Scripture were lent him by me to peruse and copy; but when after a few days he returned them, he gave me little satisfaction that they proved of any use to him.
On monday Oct. 11th. they all attended prayers, and an instruction for the holy communion. The proper lessons were Daniel 9th. and Colossians, ch. 3d. After prayers and some conversation with Mr. Kello, he was told, that as he was unprepared, and gave no satisfaction to the questions put to him, I should not expect him to communicate, unless so prepared.
On Tuesday the 12th, administred the communion to the two soldiers and some others, but Kello withdrew; and when visited in the afternoon, seemed to complain that he was not admitted but upon terms, which I told him could not be dispensed with.
Morning of EXECUTION.
GOING in to visit the convicts, I was informed by the men who watched, that Whem and Collins had been very earnest in their devotions, for the greatest part of the night, and were now preparing, in their cells, to come to chapel. Mr. Kello was in bed, and was said to be asleep, when called to his duty; but was now hastening to rise and dress himself; after which he desired to write a few lines (unseasonably, sure! when he should have been intent on the matters now before him.) - He was prevailed on, the evening before, to take with him to his cell The Introduction to the Lord's Supper, the subject of which had been explained to them for a week before; when after some delay, he followed us up to chapel, he was asked, whether he had made good use of that book? he said, he had been reading it, but had left it in his cell, expecting one of the runners to bring it up, who had also neglected it; so that it was with difficulty that, on sending to look for it, after some time, we recovered it, hoping he might now be better disposed to join with us in the use of it: but on farther questioning and conversing with him, I found myself still mortified with a disappointment, as he still persisted to deny his guilt, (with this reserve, " in the manner I am " charged") adding, he knew nothing of the forgery till it was too late to prevent it. - This he explained no farther. - But repeated it, that he had made an acknowledgment to the injured parties as far as he thought necessary; he meant in a letter to Mr. A - m - d.
As he had hitherto denyed any obligation, to make an outward profession of the articles of the christian faith, and had never joined in repeating them in the chapel, so far as I could hear or observe, nor ever made any responses, nor kneeled to his prayers, he was now again reminded of these just grounds of objection: he attempted to defend himself from scripture, without seeming to understand the subject. We
therefore cut short this dispute. On the whole, he did not refuse to receive the holy sacrament kneeling, provided he might be admitted to it on his own terms, and to receive it in the best sense he could understand it. But as he did not explain what that sense was, and for the reason abovementioned, I could not think myself free to admit him.
To clear him, however, of some imputations of infidelity, and set him in the best light I could, he was asked, whether he renounced the errors of deism? He answered, that he did. - Whether he believed the articles of the Christian faith? he said he never disbelieved them; he went on to extenuate, and excuse, and, in part, to deny several particulars of his behaviour and expressions, which seemed to signify an indifference to religion; but was not very ardent in his desires to be admitted to the sacrament. I therefore contented myself with advising him at least to join in the Litany and other prayers, and to be present at the administration; to this he complied, and behaved himself with attention (and perhaps mental devotion also) while the other prisoners prayed and communicated with some other serious persons who joined with us. The soldiers had been asked this morning whether they had any thing to add to their confession, which might relieve their own mind, or be of use to others; adding, that if they were partial and insincere, they could not expect the benefits of the sacred ordinances. They acknowledged the truth of this; but added, they had nothing more to confess. Some questions were also put relative to their temper, resignation, and hope of a happy change; to which they gave satisfactory answers.
They were all three carried out in one cart about nine, and brought to the place of execution about ten; where a numerous mixt multitude were met to see them suffer. Being tied up they were again applied to, to declare if they had any thing to confess. Mr. Kello now at last declared his sorrow for all his offences against God: he was reminded to add, for every injury done to his neighbour, which he assented to. The two others continued to say they had nothing more to confess; nor did any of them think proper to speak a word of warning to others, against the fatal steps which brought them to this sad lot; but they desired the people to join in prayers for them, which they did. At a proper pause, Kello was asked whether he would join in confessing and repeating the creed? to this he agreed; but as he did not speak out, either in this or in the prayers, his joining could only be internal. He was further asked whether he was not grieved for not being admitted to the holy communion? he answered, that he had joined with us in his heart, and spirit, as far as he could. This gave me good hope of some better dispositions within him, now at last, than we could hitherto discover by his outward behaviour. He was again desired to declare he forgave his brother; he answered, that his brother knew his sentiments in that respect, by his behaviour and conduct towards him, refering to some secrets between themselves. He added, "As far as humanity can, I forgive him;" to which I subjoined, ' may the grace of God help all your human infirmities;" he thanked me for this, and other offices of the like kind. About this time, finding his hands loose,
he called to the executioner to tie them; but first he took out of his pocket four small letters folded but not sealed, which he humbly desired I would forward, giving me a direction to one gentleman to whom three of them were to be inclosed and sent by the pennypost. As these letters were a deposit, and have no connection with the crime for which he suffered, nor can give any satisfaction as to his guilt or repentance, the publick, it is hoped, will not desire nor expect to see them.
But in deference to the publick, this much may be said, That they speak the language and thoughts of a man anxious in his last hours to do particular acts of justice and good offices, where due, to the utmost of his power; and that expressed in a stile and turn of sentiments, such as would make one heartily wish the writer had deserved a better fate.
Collins having a small book of devotions in his hand desired it to be given to one of his brother Soldiers, whom he call'd by name out of the croud, and who came and received it: a considerable number of the foot-guards being present, behaved decently, were much affected, and some wept. May these examples of justice be a warning to them all to avoid every act and degree of violence to his Majesty's subjects, whom it is their duty to protect and defend against injuries of every kind. May they ever remember that they are paid and maintained for that purpose; and therefore, that injuries offer'd by their hands are highly aggravated, and can rarely, if ever, hope for, or admit of mercy from the sovereign protector of his people.
The convicts being humbly and earnestly recommended to the divine mercy and protection, took leave of each other very affectionately, by joining of hands, as well as their cords would permit, they behaved with an intrepid and calm resignation; and about a quarter before Eleven were turned off. May they now be partakers and witnesses of the power of divine mercy unto Salvation.
This is all the Account given by me,
Ordinary of Newgate.