THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF TEN MALEFACTORS, VIZ.
Executed Saturday October 23, 1763.
LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.
NUMBER V. for the said Year.
Printed and sold by M. LEWIS, at the Bible and Dove, in Paternoster-row, near Cheapside, for the AUTHOR.
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 goal-delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex, at Justice-hall in the Old-Baily, before the Right Honourable William Beckford, Esq. Lord-Mayor of the city of London ; Sir Henry Gould, Knt. one of the Judges of his Majesty's court of Common-Pleas ; the Honourable Mr. Baron Perrott; James Eyre, Esq. Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer, &c. holden for the said city and county, on Wednesday the 14th, Thursday the 15th, Friday the 16th, Saturday the 17th, Monday the 19th, and Tuesday the 20th of September, in the third year of his Majesty's reign, thirteen persons were capitally convicted and received sentence of death, for the several crimes in their indictments set forth, namely,
Esther Levingstone, Conelius Donnolly, Philip Tobin, Daniel Shields, Sebastian Hogan, John Hunt, Dennis Buckley, William Higgins, Thomas Madge, Francis Smith, William Barlow, James Brown, and Elizabeth Jones.
The issue of this trial was, that the woman was found guilty of wilful murder, and her husband of manslaughter only. She received sentence the same day, being Friday the 16th of September, to be executed on Monday following; and was executed accordingly.
Esther was the wife of Archibald Leving-stone, a coal-heaver , living in Eles's-yard, in the Minories. On the 20th of August, about eleven at night, Mr. Lemond the constable was sent for to come and secure her for assaulting and wounding in the head, one of her neighbours, Mrs. Ashby or Ashly, who lived in the same house with her; and also for threatening to set on fire the house and burn the neighbourhood. He brought this Peter Dove a watch-man with several others to his assistance: but instead of being admitted into their room, they were threatened with death both by the husband and wife to the first that should dare to enter: notwithstanding this, they still persisting to demand or attempt an entry, the door was on a sudden opened in part, a hand pushed out, and a stab given to Dove, so that his bowels soon appeared coming out: he was next day moved to the London-Hospital, being Sunday, and on Tuesday the 23d died of the said wound, which was on the left side of his belly, a little above the groin. From the evidence of Mrs. Ashby it appeared that she also had been shamefully and cruelly treated by this convict, having the very same night broke open her place, hauled her into the street, turned her clothes over her head, and whipped her like a child, and then stabbing her in the temple with a penknife, left her for dead, exposed half-naked in the street; threatening to burn all the b - s in one bone-fire.
This witness acknowledged that Levingstone the husband rescued her from the rage of his wife, and probably saved her life. The part
charged against him in the murder of the deceased was, that he held the door in one hand partly opened and a poker in the other, while his wife made a push under his arm: though it was favourably presumed, that they being in the dark, he might not know his wife had got a knife or any like dangerous weapon in her hand.
When first visited after conviction, she was full of resentment against Mrs. Ashby, (or Ashley, as she called her) saying she never could forgive her. The account she gave of the occasion of this unhappy event was to this purpose, that Mrs. Ashley, lodging in the same house with her, a widow, was freely admitted to several conveniences in her room, as the use of her fire, boiling water, and the like; then on some misbehaviour and disgust being excluded from these benefits, she became spightful to her and her children, picked quarrels with them, and abused them from day to day, so that they had taken out warrants against each other. On Saturday evening, August 20, the prisoner going to market in Rosemary-Lane to sell shoes , (her usual occupation) was insulted and vexed by an unlucky boy in the street with a mock-warrant. Returning home at night, she found herself bolted out of the house by this Mrs. Ashley, and calling for one of her children to unbolt the street-door, the child was beat and hurt by the said Mrs. Ashley before she could get at the door to unbolt it: this incensed the mother; and when she got in at the door, meeting Mrs. Ashley, who, she says, was in liquor, Ashley fell upon her with both hands, while Levingstone giving way, she sell over the threshold on the stones, and cut herself in the head: this gave occasion to her swearing against Levingstone, that she wounded her in the head with a knife: but Levingstone denied this, and declared as a dying woman, she had no knife; in like manner she solemnly denied that she ever threatened to set fire to the house, and burn the neighbours.
She said she was born in Lincolnshire but bred up in Yorkshire, was a mantua-maker by trade; but took up the business of making and repairing shoes , in order to sell them in Rag-Fair. She lately had three children, the eldest about twelve years of age; but one of them, as she pleaded on her trial, was killed by the stroke of a brick-bat thrown into their window in the riot, this she asserted to be done before the mortal wound was given; but the witnesses on the trial proved it could not be done, nor any violence used, till after the murder of Dove, when the mob grew outrageous. Being questioned about the weapon with which she stabbed the deceased, she declared she knew not whether she had a knife or no, because of the passion she was in, on account of her door being broke open; which she said was done, to the bigness of a small pannel before the stroke was given. But this is also disproved by the evidence on trial.
At this first visit she was earnestly exhorted to a sincere and humble confession of her crime, and an hearty repentance for this and all her other sins, as ever she hoped for mercy. Proper prayers were used with her and pointed out to her to be constantly and fervently used in the cell; together with the reading of some psalms and portions of scripture, for her direction and comfort; for I found she could read, professed herself a Protestant of the established church, and was not void of a good understanding and strong affections for her husband and children, though clouded with violent passions.
On the second visit, some few hours after, and also on the next day, she was much more calm, humble, and resigned; and farther, to my great satisfaction, declared she would die in charity with all the world, and particularly with her prosecutors, and that she hoped and prayed for that penitent and contrite heart which should not be rejected and despised.
The proper psalms read on this occasion for her, and some few more of the convicts, who were now ready to attend, were, the 51st, 86th, 88th, and 90th; the first lesson Gen. 9. the second lesson Matt. 18. from each of which some portions were selected, explained, and applied to them. And surely your blood of your lives will I require. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man, Gen. 9. 5, 6. Who else beside the Maker and Judge of all men, could with truth and authority declare this? and to whom can a sinner fly for propitiating mercy and pardon, but to the same creator of all things, and judge of all men. Wash me throughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my faults: and my sin is ever before me. Turn thy face from
my sins; and put out all my misdeeds. Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God! Ps. li. Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. The Son of man is come to save that which was lost, Matt. xviii. 3. 11. His Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. All this she heard with deep attention and humiliation. Another female convict being present, was so affected, that she fell down in a fainting fit more than once during the service. This latter being now respited, 'tis hoped she never will forget the anguish of conviction, and a spirit wounded with guilt, nor relapse into any bad course for the future.
On Sunday morning, Sept. 18, they were instructed in the nature, institution, and benefits of the holy communion, and a due preparation for it. Then followed the morning service, with select psalms, lessons, and a sermon; the psalms were vi, xxxii and xxxviii. first lesson Ezek. ii. second lesson Matt. xxv. In the evening service Ps. xxv. cii. cxlii. cxliii. first lesson Isa. liii. second lesson 1 Pet. ii.
By this time Levingstone seemed greatly changed for the better, and there was a great calm in her soul. She was permitted to see her husband in the chapel after divine service; and after she returned down into the press-yard, her two children, the one about thirteen, the other about nine, were admitted to take leave of her there; they stayed not a quarter of an hour; they were all in tears: it was a very affecting scene. She could eat little or nothing this day, and yet was well supported in the chapel at her duty; behaving herself with firmness and composure. While she was going down from the chapel, she said, she was not so violent in her temper as reported, but had great provocation from the ungrateful behaviour of her neighbour, the widow Ashly, to whom she had been very kind and obliging for several weeks. She prayed for her forgiveness, promised to prepare for the holy sacrament, and begged she might have a candle all night, because she knew she could not sleep.
The Morning of Execution.
I Was at the prison twenty minutes before seven, and admitted at seven, when the prisoner was brought down from her cell in a very calm and resigned temper, in which they told me she had continued ever since I left her. She said, though she had no candle to read by after nine last night, (according to a late necessary regulation) yet she had prayed in her heart. When she went up to chapel, she said, she had nothing farther to confess, but joined in some proper prayers for the pardon of her crime, and in the litany; and then being questioned, expressed her preparedness and desire to receive the holy sacrament. This morning she wept and sobb'd most of the time of prayers; then being more composed, she devoutly received the holy comunion: after which a good book was put into her hands, to employ her in the way; reminding her to cherish that blessing which she had now received. She asked, if she was to have any more prayers, to which it was answered, that I should meet her at the place; she seemed pleased. She was taken down from the chapel soon after eight. But the cart not being yet come, she continued very calm in the press-yard, making good use of her book, both here and in the way. She was carried out before nine, when several of her acquaintance met her at the outer door, to see her, and take their last farewel; which they did with tears and lamentation, while she spoke to them with remarkable composure, and comforted them, saying, she was easy, resigned, and willing to die. I found her in the same temper at the place of execution, a little before ten; and while the executioner prepared to tie her up, she looked about, and desired to be prayed for again by the minister. This was complied with, the people joining in prayer at her request. She desired to warn all people to live in love and peace with their neighbours, and to avoid strife and contention. She declared, she had no malice against the deceased, for she had never seen him before to her knowledge, nor could be sure what weapon she had in her hand, because of the confusion they were in, by being disturbed, and called out of bed.
She joined in prayers of charity, expressing her reconciliation to, and forgiveness of her pro
secutors, and all who had provoked her. She added at last, she hoped the world would not reflect on her honest husband, and the poor children. Having given her a final blessing, we parted; and she suffered about half an hour after ten.
On Friday October the 7th, the report of twelve other malefactors was made to his Majesty by Mr. Recorder, when four of them, namely, Daniel Shields, and Sebastian Hogan, for robbing Joseph Alston of a hat; Elizabeth Jones, for shop-lifting; and John Hunt, for the robbery of Sarah Chambers, were respited: And Cornelius Donnolly, Philip Tobin, Dennis Buckley, William Higgins, Thomas Madge, Francis Smith, William Barlow, and James Brown, were ordered for execution, on Wednesday October the 12th.
The prosecutor, a poor labouring man, who works at the victualling-office , was met in Lemon-Street, Goodman's-Fields, after twelve at night, by the two prisoners and another who escaped: they seized him, took from him the sum laid in the indictment; and because he had no more money, ripped up his breeches, threatening to chip him down. These two were quickly taken, by help of the constable and some watchmen. These two convicts, being both of the church of Rome , afforded few opportunities of asking them proper questions or giving any account of their crimes. Donnolly said he was born in the county of Longford in Ireland, being now about 40 years of age; he sailed out of Dublin about 14 years ago, and has served in his Majesty's navy almost ever since; he declared he was not guilty of this or any other fact of the kind, but always worked hard for his bread; for that after his discharge from the navy, he bought part of a boat, in which he earned his living at Portsmouth. Tobin seemed to be of the same nation, and was also a seaman for much the same time; he did not expresly own nor deny his guilt, but frowned on Donnolly with a look of rebuke while he talked of his innocence in this affair. They both attended our chapel several times, and behaved decently, as I was informed they did also in their own persuasion, to the last.
The prosecutor, a master sawyer of Rotherhithe, going home between eleven and twelve at night, near the turnpike at St. George's in the East, was accosted by a street-walker, who held him in talk while Higgins came up and challenged him with a curse for medling with his wife; and having a stick and a knife open in his hand, threatened his life if he spoke; while Buckley (and one Smith, not taken) joined and seized his watch. The cry of murder being raised by the prosecutor, Mr. Iverson, under whose window this was done, ran out in his shirt to help: they secured Higgins, by whose information Buckly was taken five days after; he confessed the fact, and the watch was recovered by his direction where he had pawned it.
William Higgins said he was born at Okingham in Berkshire, being now about 30 years of age, bred up to the sea : when questioned farther, he did not deny his guilt, but excused answering any more questions, by saying he was a Roman Catholic . His behaviour in that character was becoming his unhappy circumstances. He now and then came up to our chappel, and seemed attentive to the prayers and instruction. His associate Dennis Buckley, about 24 years of age, was born in Ireland, within ten miles of Kinsale; he was bound apprentice to captain Ogleby, when only ten years old, with whom he sailed to the West-Indies, and was in that trade two years; from thence they came to London; afterwards he was cast away on the coast of Ireland, and being taken up by a man of war, has since been in the king's service about five years; but did not chuse to enter into particulars. He was hardy enough to attempt to deny the fact he was cast for, but very inconsistently. When confronted with his own confession before trial, and that the watch was found by his direction, he gave the same answer as in his defence, that it was given him by one Brown, a shipmate, to be pawned for him. He professed himself of the church of Rome , therefore no
farther satisfaction was to be expected, though he also sometimes attended our service.
From the first inlet to this robbery, men who walk the streets by night should be warned not to be lured into conversation with bad women.
This convict fell into the snare with little probability of success or escaping. Nicholas Shaw, whom he personated, had received 4l. prize-money on the first payment, June 3, 1761, was steward's-mate to the Harwich, and had signed his name to the receipt. On Madge's demanding this second payment, which was 20s. (on the recal at the King's-Arms, Tower-Hill) the first payment being turned to, Madge was asked if he could write? answering no; he was suspected, examined, detected, and brought to a confession that he was not the man. His pretence that he was met by a tall man that lives somewhere by Deptford-Green, made drunk the day before, and set on to receive this in order to share it between them, seems weak and groundless, as he knew not his name, or where they were to meet; and yet after conviction he repeated this foolish excuse for his crime, with a little variation, saying, he was set on by an Irish-man, who made him drunk.
He appeared very sickly, illiterate, and naked, though small sums were given him at different times, with which he might have purchased some necessary cloathing, yet he neglected it. He was born at Exeter, where his father lives and is a maltster; this unlucky lad was bred a plumber till he was 19 years old, and then quitting his master, he went to sea , where he has served the king about 9 years, being now 28; he was taken on board the Harwich at Jamaica, and was at the taking of Senegal. His behaviour, since conviction, was quiet, submissive, and patient; but it was no easy matter to bring him to a sense of his duty, as he could not read himself, and rarely had any one to read to him in his cell; so that it required the more time and pains to instruct him in the chapel.
It was but a year last April that this prisoner was tried at the Old-Baily capitally, for stealing a silver watch, &c. privately from the person of Thomas Pattison, and met with favour, in being found guilty of stealing but not privately, for which he was only transported; but before 12 months came round, he was seen at large in London, particularly on the 18th of April last, being a day of great crouding on account of a public entry, he was plying diligently at his old occupation from Tower-Hill through Cheapside to the Strand. These matters were proved not only by the court records, but by different witnesses, who well knew him to be of the Coventry gang, from whence he was moved by habeas to be tried. He was too well known to put his defence on a denial that he was the same person. He pleaded therefore that he was impressed at New-York town, in Virginia, in August 1762, for his Majesty's ship Jason; on which, he said, he was put on board first, and then lent with another hand to a brig, captain Watson, in the convoy, which wanted hands; that he got in her to London about April the first, from whence he went to Coventry where he was taken: as he had no proof of this, he produced a (supposed) certificate of the captain of the Jason, which he said was intended to bear him harmless; but being delivered in to the court, on inspection and farther inquiry, was not found to be genuine: so far was it from being the captain's hand that his name was not spelled right: nor was the prisoner's name ever to be found in that ship's books, though carefully enquired into under this and other names he had assumed. He insisted that he was pressed by lieutenant Okely, and entered in the purser's books only, by the name of Alexander Brown, and was not above seven or eight days on board the Jason. At Coventry he went by the name of Sherwood; there, he said, he was taken up on suspicion of being concerned in the robbery of the house of one Mr. Bailey at Coventry, to the value of 250 l. of this he made a plausible complaint that he was felling his goods in the fair when they seized him, took his goods from
him, and even the money out of his pocket; kept him in prison for eleven weeks, and when they could prove nothing against him in this affair, they endeavoured to fix a robbery committed in Surry upon him; but this also failing, they had him removed hither and tried for returning from transportation. After his conviction he behaved with a reserved firmness, seemed little affected with his situation, though he daily attended the chapel and was decently attentive. Hints were given that he was well known here as a former inmate; in fact he seemed quite at home, in no want of supplies, master of his wits, with a ready answer or excuse for every emergency.
Between sentence and the death-warrant, a letter was brought to me from Coventry, in order to bring him to confess what part he had in the forementioned robbery; whether he held Mr. Bailey while the two other robbers (a man, one Duplex, and a woman) escaped; that as Duplex was executed and himself under sentence, it was expected he should now tell the the truth: he made light of this enquiry, as if weak and unreasonable to expect that he should confess while he had the least hope of life; asserting that he had no part in that robbery; that he was in prison before those convicted for it, and that he never had seen them elsewhere but in prison. When exhorted, as he frequently was, to confess and give all possible satisfaction in this or any other wrong which he was conscious of, he declared he never wronged any one since his return home; and as to the watch for which he was transported, he was innocent of that also: he was earnestly and solemnly warned against this dangerous self-deceit, yet he talked on in the same strain after he found himself included in the death-warrant, only adding that " he confessed his " sins to God, and made his peace with him," little considering or less regarding what God declares, that there is no peace to the wicked. And are not they in that number and character, who, though publicly and notoriously convicted by the judgment of God and their country, persist in an obdurate denial of their guilt, incapable of being persuaded or convinced that they are obliged to give any sort of satisfaction for their private or public wrongs and offences, by an humble, sincere and particular confession of injuries, and begging pardon of the injured? how small the satisfaction! which is all they generally have in their power, and therefore that little is all that can be now required; and yet that little, through pride or stubbornness or false shame, they will not give: this surely is a fatal error! which though frequently refuted and fully exposed to these dying criminals and in these papers, yet too many will persist to rush blindfold upon it into eternity; and their survivors praise their proceeding, pursue their example, and bolster themselves up in the same opinion. But alas! how vain even as to this world? their misdeeds are generally known and brought to light, in a way not to the aid or advantage of their penitence and peace, but to the indelible shame and reproach of their hardness and impenitence! This criminal being thus plainly and earnestly warned, was left to go on in his own way; refusing him no means of grace, as he took all consequences on himself.
He told me his true name was Isaac Hawes, that he was born in Red-Lion-Street, Holborn: his father was a clog-maker , to whose business he was brought up to the age of fifteen or sixteen, when, as he said, he went to sea , and has ever since followed that occupation; chiefly in a man of war or privateer, for fourteen years, being now about twenty-nine years old. But by other authentic accounts he began to intermix another kind of industry with this, in the early part of his life. He is known to have been transported from Newgate about ten or eleven years since; and having served out his seven years, returned home, and soon fell under the like sentence a second time, about three or four years since; but being war time and a great demand for men, he was inlisted in the 49th regiment, to be sent to Jamaica; for this purpose being moved to the Savoy he broke out thence, and returned to his old practices again; and when apprehended, he made his escape with the hand-cuffs on him, but was soon taken and brought to Newgate, whence he was again delivered, by an order of the lord-mayor, to the regulating captain who had inlisted him, sent aboard ship, and carried as far as the Nore; where on searching the ship for seamen, as usual when they are much wanted in war, he was known to be and taken
for a good hand; but soon after, by reason of sickness or the appearance of it, was sent into an hospital or sick quarters, from whence he once more slipt off and returned to his favourite schemes and company; among whom a watch being picked out of some person's pocket, and found upon him, or dropt near him by reason of quick discovery, he was taken, tried, cast and sentenced for transportation, as beforementioned, in April 1762: but in the short interval between these mishaps he gave signal proofs of an enterprizing genius; for having heard of one of the gang's being in custody of two officers going to New-Prison, he challenged two of their companions to join and rescue him; but on their refusal, he boldly undertook it alone. With this view he got behind the coach which conveyed them: as they drove through Hockly-in-the-hole, cut the hinder braces and let it overset, and then under pretence of helping the distressed, got off with his comrogue and escaped.
Before this, he once came up from Portsmouth to London in company with one of the captors of the Hermione, who had then received some considerable prize-money: Hawes, in the guise of a brother-tar, well rigg'd and flush of money, as he usually was, to serve a turn, made himself agreeable and fell into close connection with the other, told him his mother kept the George-Inn in Gray's-Inn-Lane, where he hoped to see him. The other desired a previous meeting at the Crown in Holborn. Twice they missed, but met the third time: from thence they agreed to take a walk to the Queen's-Arms, at Islington; where Hawes had prepared two of his companions to meet them by accident: there they all four met, one richly dressed in gold-laced cloaths and ruffles, which Hawes pretended to see accidentally, said to the intended dupe of the Hermione, I saw that gentleman bett here the other night a hundred guineas a time, that no one in company should cut above five in a clean pack of cards. Ay! said the sailor; I should take him up with pleasure. On this Hawes made a low bow to the pretended gentleman, and asked him how he came off t'other night? he answered, he lost a hundred and fifty pound, but did not value that: this brought on conversation: the sailor offered to bett twenty pound. I'll take you at no less than two hundred. Hawes said, (clapping him on the shoulder) come, I'll go your halves; pulled out his purse and threw it on the table. The sailor did the like; they knowing he had about half that sum with him. The sailor cut, looked and saw a tray: he dropt down in a swoon. The gang under pretence of carrying him out for air, lifted him over the garden-wall, dropt him, and went off together. The person to whom he related this exploit in his cell, a day or two before he suffered, observed to him this was a great thing! a brave booty! He replied, " I " have often touched two or three hundred at " a time. I once did one over for seven hundred pound."
It was observed of him he was not given to liquor, always sober whether in gaol or out, capable of outwitting his prey. He had often practised on the farmers at Coventry. His apparent business was to sell handkerchiefs, chintz, cambricks, and the like; for which purpose he had three horses to carry about his goods, and was licensed.
He also said, he was receiver and fence to the gang; that he sometimes gave eighty-pound for an India-bond of an hundred, and that he once burnt one of that value.
As he could not read himself, he had a prisoner (one of the fines as they are called) to read to him in the cell, for some hours in each day before he suffered: this being done at his own request, was a symptom of his desire to be improved by any means, for he did also daily attend the chapel. On enquiring into his temper and behaviour in the cell, I was told he was desirous of hearing the New-Testament read, and particularly those parts to which I directed them, and also joined in prayers; that he now consented to forgive his prosecutors, particularly Mr. B - n the baker, against whom he was at first most strongly prejudiced; that he wished he had known so much of religion before as he now did, and where he to live over again, he would be quite another man; but it was now too late: however he had strong presumptive hopes of his salvation, though intractable and headstrong, and would take his own measures to obtain it.
in the king's high-way, on Ralph Hodson 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 pair of silver shoe-buckles, one pair of metal buckles, and one pair of sleeve-buttons; the property of the said Ralph, July 30.
The scheme of this most dangerous and detestable kind of criminal appears in the evidence given on his trial, in its proper colours; such as it is scarce possible to read or review without indignation and abhorrence of the crime; and an honest satisfaction in the detection, conviction, and punishment of it. A crime consisting in a continued course of aggravated robberies, perpetrated under the terror of an accusation more shocking to an honest mind than bludgeon, knife, or pistol; an accusation however which one would think an honest mind, consciously brave and fortified with its own integrity would not give way to, but defy; daring to meet and unmask the black infernal calumny: such one would resolve should be their own conduct in such a conflict, and heartily recommend it to all honest men, to the confusion of the false accuser: as on the one hand a caution against the manner of proceeding of these lurking miscreants cannot be too public; so neither on the other can sufficient care be employed to detect and punish by proper persons and legal means, that real offence which more than once has drawn down the signal vengeance of heaven on cities and regions stained with so detestable a sin, against nature and the all-wise and most powerful Author of nature, who will by no means acquit the guilty.
When the criminals were visited after conviction, October 18, Brown made himself known to me with great anguish and many tears, as one who had been formerly under my care in the same situation. It was some time before I could recollect or recover the least remembrance of him. He bewailed and bitterly lamented his lot, expressing a kind of despair of escaping death at best, but that he should be content and patiently submit to that, if he might find mercy for his soul. On enquiring into his charge, and finding it of the same horrid nature with that for which he was to die before, I could not but express my astonishment mixt with deep concern to see him taken in the same snare a second time: demanding of him how he could relapse after so great a deliverance, and such professions as he made? he again burst into tears, and said, (with what truth he best knew) that he had taken care to the best of his power to live honestly, had a general good character in the army , in which he had been raised from a private man to a serjeant, and was but lately returned to London, where he unhappily was betrayed into this temptation. He then went up to chapel, heard the exhortation to condemned criminals once more with deep concern, and seemed to repeat his prayers, to read the Psalms, and make his responses with zeal and devotion; and in the several instructions and applications of scripture daily set before them, when any matter was mentioned which nearly concerned him, he wept. When asked, he said he was about 25 years of age, born at Pinxton in Derbyshire, had served in the army for several years, and was discharged last April in Ireland, from the regiment of colonel Scott, which was broke, in which he was pay-serjeant . From thence he went to visit his friends in Derbyshire for six or seven weeks, and then returned to London. Being questioned how he had spent his time since his respite in the year 1759, he replied that after six months or thereabouts he was pardoned, on condition of being inlisted in the 74th regiment, then in Jamaica, and tho' some say he soon after escaped out of the Savoy, he now told me he got away from the transport ship in the Downs to Deal-side, near Sandown-Castle, taking a little boat which lay by the ship side, with two more men in the same circumstances, one of which was a sailor and rowed the boat: he then came up to London and inlisted in the Oxford-blues, which he explained to be the M - ss of Gr - y's royal regiment of horse-guards , at 15d. a day, a very genteel corps, wherein no swearing or drinking or bad-company is allowed. Being cautious enough to hint to the quarter-master there were people in London whom he did not care to see, he was sent to Maidstone in Kent for seven or eight weeks, till he was wrote for to meet the corps and embark at Gravesend. in the mean time he had got two recruits for the re
giment. In Germany he was wounded in the leg, at the battle of Werburg: then he was in the battle of Hanover-Hausen, when they marched all round the French camp by night; afterwards at another skirmish, at a place near the Rhine, the name of which he forgot, and at another near Ham, with a party of the French light-horse. He once applied to the chief commander, the M - ss of G. to be made a grenadier , who took his name and gave him a ducat: but when he had been in this regiment in Germany about a year, he was taken notice of and known by some of the foot-guards, who talked of his former misconduct, till it came to his officers ears, and then he was discharged by lieutenaut-colonel Kellit: thence he inlisted into Bocklands, the 11th regiment of foot: he was afterwards taken ill of the rheumatism, discharged and sent home to be put into Chelsea; but on his return, recovering tolerably well, and being in some fear of making application, lest he should be detected as a deserter, he went and inlisted in the grenadier-guards , at Knights-Bridge; but a woman assisted by her mother, with whom he had been formerly connected, went to his serjeant and then to his officer, exposing his character with some truth intermixed with some slanders, to such a degree that he was confined for some days in the dark hole, and then dismissed with infamy. He said, she maliciously informed them that he had been under sentence of death for the high-way; and then a deserter from the Oxford-blues; which he denied: and all this because he would not live with her as formerly. On this and other like occasions, he was reminded that he had better have patiently and faithfully complied with the terms of his pardon and gone to Jamaica: but this he did not so well relish, and urged that he had behaved so well in Germany for three years, that on his return home he was recommended for a free pardon to his Majesty, and obtained it.
Another anecdote he opened; that while he was in the army in Ireland he had married a second wife, the first whom he had here before his conviction being still living; which he had done on this nice distinction, (being a curious casuist in matters of conscience) that being condemned to die, since he had been married to her, he was (as to her) dead in law, and that his friends whom he consulted told him he was no longer her husband: this was probably one of those sins that pursued and found him out, and the evil genius that haunted and helped to hunt him down; with the sense of which and the like offences he was often touched to the quick, bitterly lamenting his manifold transgressions, with respect to women, and praying for pardon.
It does not clearly appear whether it was after this dismission from the grenadier-guards that he inlisted in the 108th or 109th regiment, wherein he was first made a recruiting-serjeant by captain Skene, and then pay-serjeant in Ireland, where he married the daughter of a substantial clothier at Dublin: but he said he continued in that regiment till it was broke, after the peace.
By these accounts he would give us to understand that he tried every method to get his bread honestly, but was disappointed and thrown into distress, and the way of temptation by this hard treatment he met with; insomuch that he usually told his story in a most piteous manner, with many tears, like a child under correction; expressing his fears that there was no mercy for him in this world, and praying for the forgiveness of his sins; for which he constantly frequented the chappel, and had proper books lent him to be used in his cell. But now towards the end of the first week after his conviction he began to flatter himself with some faint hopes that his life might be saved, by means of the only friend he could think of capable of interposing for him, the M - ss of G - y; he intreated that a petition might be signed in his behalf; in answer to which, when reminded how greatly and how justly incensed all that knew his case were against him, and that his plan was most dangerons and detestable to every honest man, he endeavoured to alleviate his case, by saying, that he never accused any but such as first offered indecencies to him: that the prosecutor had not only done so but sworn falsely that he robbed him of his buckles, whereas he carried them home in his shoes;
when I assured him with a proper resentment, that no mortal would believe one word of this, he insisted on the truth of both these assertions as a dying man; adding, that he well knew the consequence if he should now be false and insincere; and though this point of insisting on so base a calumny was laboured with him from first to last by every argument that could be urged from hopes and fears, from the aggravation of his guilt, and binding it on his soul for ever; by the assistance of prudent and pious friends who went with me to visit him, yet he never gave it up; so that we were obliged to leave him in possession of this millstone about his neck, if indeed it were a falsehood, and to prove it so, he was often reminded that every proof and every probability was against him in the two cases he was convicted for. On his part he asserted that his only crime consisted in compounding the matter with persons of this cast, and not bringing them to justice. He owned he had made a practice of this, which was taught him by some of his old fellow-soldiers whom he named, with whom he haunted the places and times which that sort of people call the market; and as he appealed to the highest tribunal for the truth of what he said, to that we must refer him.
In other respects he behaved more hopefully, confessing with tears the Sunday before he suffered, an act of theft he was privy to, viz. the stealing of some clothes out of a box in an apartment where he lodged, and having a part of the money they were sold for.
The same morning when at my first entrance he was asked as usual, How are you? He answered: Very well in health; that he was easy and resigned in his mind, willing to die, and persuaded he should be a rich man and very happy on Wednesday next. This was his expression. When warned again to look well that he was on a sure foundation of truth and sincerity, which we and the world in general were very doubtful and much afraid of, he answered, the more he suffered and the worse he was treated here, the better he hoped to fare hereafter. He appeared very anxious to be forgiven by all others whom he had injured; particularly his two wives, who, he said, had visited him, and forgiven him a day or two before he suffered.
9. William Barlow and Jane Durant, were indicted for forging a letter of attorney, purporting to be executed by William Smith, in order to recieve prize-money due to him, as a seaman on board his Majesty's ship the Lively, and published with intention to defraud Hutchinson Mure, May 12.
After a long and accurate trial, Durant was acquitted, and Barlow found guilty; of whom it is remarked in the sessions-paper, that he and Richardson had been witnesses (on a trial) against Mr. Goswell, for a [like] crime of their own, about the first sessions of the present mayoralty: this must be deemed a proof of Barlow's obduracy, that no warning could deter him from this practice, in which it is believed he has been for some years too deeply concerned.
In his behaviour after conviction, he was cautious and artful to evade any confession; in other respects he seemed to apply himself to a serious preparation for his approaching change, as well as his very bad state of health in this situation would permit; he had daily instruction and assistance, which he was capable of making good use of; having been well educated at a good foundation school.
As Barlow had desired to be admitted an evidence, when secured in the compter, saying, he could open a large scene of facts of this kind, it was frequently recommended to him, now as a dying penitent to regard the public good, and the cause of truth and justice, for the sake of a better life than this, by giving all the satisfaction he could to the injured, as an essential part of true repentance. He seemed to regard this as good and wholsome advice, while there remained any hope of saving his life by it, making frequent and fair promises that he would write what he had to discover on this subject. But whether weakness and ill health, or disappointment of his hope of a respite, prevented the performance is uncertain; he only left me the following brief account of himself, in his own writing.
” I was born about twelve miles from the “ city of Winchester, and had my education at “ Winton, was bound apprentice to Philip-Matthew Brohier, a merchant , at Southampton; where I remained out the major part of “ my clerkship ; and my master happening to “ fail through misfortunes in trade, I went to “ Winchester, and was a clerk to mess. Pyott “ and co. merchants there, several years: Afterwards I came to London, and was clerk
“ to several eminent merchants; and afterwards was in a considerable way, in the sale “ of fine beer, and the commission way of business ; but through losses, and not taking “ the necessary care, I failed myself, and was “ reduced to low circumstances, which unhappily brought me acquainted with a bad set of “ people; and who knowing then that I was “ clerk to an attorney , frequently used to apply to me to fill up instruments in their way, “ which have brought me to this untimely end. “ I have been acquainted with them but a short “ time; but am credibly informed that they “ have followed this illicit practice about fourteen years, and have made it their study to “ draw in unwary persons. I am truly sensible “ that I filled the body of the power."
It must be allowed that so far this is a tolerably open confession, to which may be added a few particulars proved on the trial; that he signed the name of Thomas Coleby, clerk of the cheque, without which no such power is valid, that he was lately concerned in two other forged powers, and had been three or four times a prisoner at the compters for affairs of the same sort last year. He gave me the preceding confession the day he suffered, when he received the sacrament. He was about forty years of age, and said he was acquainted with the gang mentioned in his trial, about three years. He named them, and gave some particular account of them; which is not here published, in hopes they will be warned to reform and quit their had practices, not only by his fate, but by their own imminent dangers, which they have hitherto escaped, lest a worse lot befal them; as they have now fresh and repeated proofs that frauds, forgeries, and perjuries are crying sins, which sooner or later will provoke justice to avenge them.
Reviewing and seriously reflecting on the cases of several criminals in the present execution, one can scarce avoid seeing the adorable rectitude of the divine judgments; with astonishment at the depth of them! the forbearance and long-suffering of almighty Power and goodness, intermixed with examples in this present life sufficient to ascertain the full and final completion of his word, his threats and promises, in the future. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty. He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. In the same net which they hid privily is their own foot taken. As for such as turn back unto their own wickedness, the Lord shall lead them forth with the evil-doers: - But peace shall be upon Israel.
On the Morning of Execution,
THE convicts seemed tolerably composed. Isaac Hawes or Francis Smith was told I wished he had been more open and sincere in his confession, he persisted to say he had the certificate sent him by the captain. Each of them was asked before the communion was administered whether he had any thing more to open? to which they answered in the negative: after which I was well informed by one to whom Smith had owned it, that this same certificate was written for him by Barlow before his trial; this person would have Smith to confess it to the minister now at the last, and when he could not prevail, blamed him for his obstinacy. The service in the chapel being ended, as they returned down into the Press-Yard, Thomas Madge, the most simple and ignorant, was attempted to be taken aside and spoken to by the attending priest of the church of Rome , till being observed by one or two worthy clergymen they were interrupted and separated.
At the place of execution, Hawes was again asked in a tender manner whether he was not sorry that he had given me a false account of the certificate; he answered sternly and hardily, that he had told me nothing but truth; and that he had confessed his sins to God, and made his peace. I only replied, this is no time to dispute or disturb you or myself. He had acknowledged to the same to whom he confessed this imposture, that he had been very wicked from his early days, guilty of every crime except murder.
Brown was very fervent in prayers, Smith seemed and affected to be unmoved and undaunted, scarce changing his countenance, except that when he was tied up he
seemed to turn pale, but soon recovered. It was told me that during the few minutes he was in his cell to shift himself, between his leaving the chapel and having his irons knocked off, he acted over the last moments of his execution with much unconcern, pulling his cap down over his face, saying, " thus will it be in less than two hours hence, then it will be quickly over with me; after which I shall take an airing in a hearse," &c. Such was his dreadful amusement, instead of private and mental prayer for a happy change and safe deliverance in the last decisive moment. Hardness is too oft the parent of presumption. We could scarce keep his attention fixed to prayers even at the place; but he would observe what passed among the surrounding croud.
Barlow seemed languid and dejected, having been very sickly in the cell; he said little, except " that he hoped all good people would take warning by him, and avoid bad company and connections."
Madge was very quiet and attentive during prayer, and had wept much when brought to be tied up.
The other four of the church of Rome minded their own prayers: Brown handed down a letter to a friend, who stood near to take charge of his body; and in hopes it might be a warning to unwarry youth, has indulged the public with the annexed copy of it.
After the final blessing, they seemed thankful for the good offices done them. We parted. They continued fervent in prayer till the cart was driven from under them, about a quarter past eleven.
I take this opetunity of ackuainting you of my grat misfortin which has misfall me since you saw me last; which beg all the young men that hears of this, to take a deal of caer how they desobey their parents, if they have any living; for if I had been so happy as to had my mother alive, I never should a gon a stray any more when I was at home the last time, for my inclination was to settle and turn a new man; for I was fully bent to work for my bred and leave off all my former life: so I beg all young people will tak caer how they lose their carecter, for when that is gon all the world dus reflect on you, whether you are gilty or no, and will; so that he shall not stay here, for he was so and so, in jal, and there is many to speak against him, but few of his side. I beg that you will shew this letter to John Cl - k, and I beg that he will freely forgive me the dat as it is not in my pour to pay it; and to all that I have owed any thing or engered in any shape whatsoever; and I freely forgive all that have engered me, as I hope forgiveness of the Almighty.
Give my kind love to my ant S -, &c. So no more at present for ever misfortnet relation and frend and acquaintance James Brown. Condamned to die October 12, 1763. and the Lord have mercy on his sole. Aged 25 years. Sarved the king 11 years since ever he was abel.
10. Richard Cinderbury, Cordwainer , of the parish of St. Margarets Westminster, was indicted for the wilful murder of Thomas New, by giving him one stab in the breast, two inches wide and nine inches deep, October 14, of which he languished till the 16th, and then died.
In proof of this, the first witness, Adam Robinson, being a friend and countryman to the prisoner, deposed that he came to visit him and had dined or supped with him this day at a late hour on some rabbits, one of which was laid by for the wife, against her return from selling her milk; soon after which she quarrelled with her husband, used him ill, strnck him, and was much in fault: while they were quarrelling in the passage, or soon after, Thomas New came in and struck the prisoner more than once. This witness asked New why he would strike a man in his own house? he answered, if he don't like that he shall have more: but on some farther expostulation and discourse New sat down and drank with them, and talked somewhat to the prisoner's wife. This witness did not see the prisoner again till he came up to the deceased as he sat in a chair and stabbed him, and then went out again. The time between the deceased striking the prisoner and the stabbing was five or six minutes. The deceased got out, alarmed the neighbours that he was stabbed by Cinderbury, who, after
some resistance was taken, and the knife found bloody. The deceased was carried up to his mother's room bleeding, reported that he only went for a halfpenny-worth of milk, and said to the deceased, why are you always quarrelling with your wife? This was confirmed as to the material part by several witnesses. It happened between eight and nine at night. The surgeon proved the wound was mortal, given by a violent stroke which made an impression on two of his ribs, passed through part of the lungs and the pericardium. The wonder was, that the wounded man did not drop down dead, which the surgeon endeavoured to account for.
The prisoner in his defence, asserted he never saw the deceased before, till he followed his wife into his house, and struck him twice or thrice very hard. He asked him, why he did so? and in struggling to get him out, the deceased was wounded, but whether by him or the deceased himself he cannot tell. He also insisted on his right of defending himself in his own house. The question was: Whether this fact could be deemed any thing less than murder, or be brought in manslaughter? But the time between the provocation and the fact, added to the mortal weapon, turned the scale, and the jury brought in their verdict guilty.
Quickly after, when asked by the court, what can you say why sentence should not be pronounced upon you according to law? He answered vehemently, It was neither law nor justice. And to the concluding words of the sentence, may God almighty have mercy on your soul! He replied with great emotion, " I hope he will, and that I shall " come better off than those fellows," pointing to the witnesses; and speaking and looking with great resentment against them.
This behaviour shewed a very unpromising prospect of bringing this convict to a degree of repentance proportioned to his crime: however, when visited, he was more calm and complying, hearkened to good advice, and joined in fervent prayer for pardon of this and all his sins. He was assisted also with books; and a prisoner kindly read to him in his cell. He would still tell the story of the provocation to this fact, in a manner different from the evidence, saying, his wife went to look for a lodging for his friend Adam Robinson, and coming in again, the deceased followed close at her heels and struck him twice, and then threatened him with more; so that he feared some farther mischief. His wife confirmed this part of his story, adding, that the deceased threatened to call the watch. These, with some late broils in his family, had inflamed the man's spirit and imbittered his temper; for he had been imprisoned for a week in the Gate-house, by means of quarrels with his wife, and had not been at liberty but about ten days; from which time he told me, he had determined, though she should abuse or strike him ever so, he would make no return. He had also been absent from her of late for a year together in the country, on account of their living ill together, and their frequent quarrels; so that his friends often dissuaded him from ever seeing her again: and yet, each spoke well of the other separately, as to their natural temper, and when like themselves; but each charged the other with being adicted to liquor, and of a hasty temper.
He was now 43 Years of age, born at Newnham in Gloucestershire, and was bred a Shoe-maker , to which he served about a year there; when thinking himself not well used, he ran away to Glamorganshire, learned out his trade, and then returned to his friends, who made up matters with his first master. About the age of 24 he married this wife at Westbury parish, within a mile of Newnham; and about a year after he inlisted, in the time of the rebellion, 1745, in lord Berkeley's regiment, in a drunken frolic, at Gloucester. After some time, he was taken into the second regiment of guards , and at this time was a pensioner of Chelsea . He has left three daughters, the youngest about 11 years of age; and earnestly prayed, that the survivors may take warning by him, and avoid that sin and shame, to which excess of drinking, in one of the family has exposed them.
Oo the Morning of Execution,
October 22, being questioned, he was found penitent, humble, and resigned, said he had called to mind all his past sins, and prayed for pardon and mercy to the best of his capacity all night, in the dark; for he had no candle from six in the evening till this morning half hour past six.
When he went up to chapel, he declared, as a dying man, that this fact was sudden and without previous malice; for that he had never seen the deceased before the night it was done, when he came in and struck him in his own house, at a time he was quiet and not quarrelling with his wife, for that was over.
He joined in proper prayers, the litany, and the holy communion. In all which some pious and charitable neighbours did also assist and join with us. He seemed greatly comforted and well composed.
Having thus tasted the benefit of these sacred and divine ordinances; he acknowledged with grief, that the neglect of them, and especially of prayer, public and private, was his ruin. Being asked if he remembred the articles of the belief?
he tried, and repeated them, with a remarkable deliberation, and seriousness.
After the reception of the holy communion, he was exhorted to fix his heart and look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, &c. and as it was difficult for him to read in the way, being at best but a bad reader, to meditate on that precious faith, and the petitions of the Lord's Prayer.
He was carried out of the goal about nine. His wife went up into the cart trembling and fainting to take her last leave of him. He arrived at the place soon after ten; and having offered up some proper prayers, in which the people joined at his request, he spoke a few words by way of warning to all, to " take heed and beware of drunkenness and excess, " for that was the inlet to most of the crimes " he had been guilty of." He expressed his sorrow for all his sins, and specially that for which he suffered, desired their prayers for his pardon to the last.
Being asked whether he was sorry for his misbehaviour and rash words in the court after conviction? After some pause he answered, he was sorry for it, and prayed for pardon: whether he found hope and comfort within him? he answered, that he did.
After a final blessing he added, " I pray God bless you and all mankind!" which he again repeated while I parted from him. After which he quickly suffered with great calmness about half an hour past ten. The people around continuing to pray for him.
This is all the account given by me,
Ordinary of Newgate.
ERR. In the title for October 23, read 22.