Particularly relating to the Tryals of
Frances Watson, alias Riggs.
Robert William and Margaret Dine
Mary Hicks, &c.
AS ALSO REFLECTIONS and OBSERVATIONS on several Passages.
Set forth for a Publick warning to all that read it by JF. IM. Gent.
With Allowance. Ro. L'Estrange.
London: Printed for D. M. 1677.
THough this Collection was intended only for one year past before this present Aug. 1677, and thence (if encouraged by General Acceptance) to be annually continued, yet we shall reflect a little further, and begin with.
An account of the sessions before Easter-Term 1676, beginning April the 5th.
There were then no fewer than Fifteen men and One woman Convicted (per Patriam) upon fair Tryals for their respective Crimes, who received sentence of Death; of whom Eight of the least notorious, by mercy of Authority, upon consideration of Circumstances, mediation of Friends, and solemn Engagements of future Amendment, obtained the gracious favour of Reprieves: the other Eight were executed April the 19th, their Names and Crimes as follows:
Michael Jones and Charles Potter , for a Burglary and Robbery in Dukes-place , taking away several bags of Money, Plate, Cloaths, &c. Jones at Tyburn made a very penitent Speech, declaring how Idleness, Disobedience to his Parents, Ill Company, and lewd Women, first brought him into bad Courses, and consequently to this untimely Death .
John Maxfield , for robbing a Brick-maker in Frog-lane , whom he and his Crew barbarously stript naked . He was about a fortnight afterwards taken by the Watch, (or rather by their Dogs, for had it not been for them he had escaped) being, 'tis probable, going again on the like Designe.
Robert Scott for Felony and Burglary : He had been indicted and acquitted one Sessions, convicted and burnt in the hand next Sessions, condemned and repriev'd last Sessions, and now, though a Prisoner, found to contrive and abet Rogueries abroad , and thereupon hang'd out of the way.
Elizabeth Longman , an old and impudent Offender, having been above Twelve times in Newgate, she had been lately transported; but returning, stole a great quantity of Silks; for which she was Convicted last Sessions, and employ'd Edward Wall and Edward Russel to engage a Gentleman of Quality to solicite a Reprieve for one of her Companions. In this Gentleman's Lodgings they observ'd abundance of Plate, and speaking of it, this Bess Longman cries, And did you onely see it? you dull Fools, go take it into possession: Which, at her instigation they effected ; but being young Thieves, were soon discovered; pleaded guilty to the Indictment, and now suffer'd with her .
At a Sessions the 28th of June 1676.
Three men and Two women received sentence of Death , but onely Four suffered, viz. Alexander After and Thomas Fowler , for Robbery on the Highway, being Rogues of the Foot-pad that used to pillage Market-women , &c.
The fourth was famous Frances Watson , otherwise called Mrs. Riggs the younger. Thieving had been her Trade from her infancy; her Mother often Condemn'd, and then under Transportation; one or two of her Brothers, and several pretended Husbands or Gallants hang'd; to which she brought her self now by her own simplicity: For, lying for Transportation, she sent for several people she had robb'd to get money of them, under pretence of helping them to their Goods again; not doubting but she was safe now from being indicted for them : but therein her Newgate-Counsel fail'd her; for her pardon extended onely to remit the Crime for which she was convicted: So that she was now arraigned afresh, and found guilty upon her own Confession, and so followed the fate of her Family.
At the Sessions Aug. 23, &c. 1676.
Sixteen Condemn'd, onely Eight suffered, viz. Tho. Moore , and James Parker Convicted of a Felony, which appeared to the Court to be a Burglary at Cue in Surry ; and so excluding benefit of Clergy, one of them refusing to plead till he was put into the Press, and so bruised, that without further Execution, 'tis thought he would not have surviv'd.Islington ; a Crime rarely attempted by that Sex: she had four times before been tryed for several Offences, but now could not obtain further indulgence.
At the Sessions 11th of October 1676.
Sixteen in all received sentence of Death, but onely Five Executed. The most remarkable business was the Tryal of Henry Graves for murdering one William Parker a Ditcher at Islington. The Prisoner and his Brother (not then taken) fell upon him without cause, swore they would beat out his brains, and with a stake did at last kill him; yet the Jury, for I know not what reasons, found it only Manslaughter: but Providence not suffering Murder so to escape, when he came to his Book, though a pretty good Scholar, and well tutor'd before, yet he could not read a word, and thereupon was deservedly hang'd.
There were Two Condemned, a woman of above Forty years of age for murdering her Bastard-childe, who was Executed, and a man for Personating another man as Bail before a Judge, who at the Gallows received a gracious Reprieve. At this time was that blasphemous Impostor Lodowick Muggleton tryed, and sentenced to stand three days in the Pillory, his Books to be burnt before his face, to pay Five hundred pounds fine, and give Bail (not of his own Party or Gang) for his good behaviour.
At the Sessions 7th of March 1676/7.William Johnson , for a Burglary in the house of the Lord High Chancellor of England, and stealing the Mace and two Purses. Sadler as he had lived impudently, so he died pitifully, and with little generosity of Spirit; but Johnson, with a becoming resolution and staid temper that at once shew'd his sense of his-sins, and faith in his Saviour, made a very repentant and pithy-Discourse at the place of Execution, endeavouring to warn all others by his Example, &c. At the same time there suffered Francis Webb, Matthew Gammond , and Anthony Richoake, for several Burglaries: There being in all Fifteen Condemned, the rest obtained Reprieves.
The Sessions 25th of April 1677.
Was famous for the Tryal, Condemnation, and Execution of Robert, William, and Margaret Dine , two own brothers and a sister, for disfiguring, and in a barbarous manner mangling the Nose and Face of one Jane King , contrary to the late Act of Parliament in that behalf. They all absolutely persisted to deny the doing this cruel fact, and asserted their innocency to the last gasp, and died very much pitied by many people that knew them. At the same time suffered one Margaret Spicer for murdering her Bastard-childe: As also David Hackley , Jeremiah Dawson and Mary Brown , all notorious Offenders, and formerly burnt in the hand, now convicted of several Felonies.
The Sessions the first of June 1677.
There were then Condemned Mr. Nicholas Throckmorton , for robbing two Ministers on the road three miles on this side Uxbridge; taken by the most commendable courage of one of the Ministers men, who alone fought with the Prisoner and his Companion for above half an hour; and at last with the help of his Master, moved (though without a Weapon) by his servant's brave defence, to assist him what he could, made one of the Thieves ride away, and took the other. He suffered very penitently on the 13th of June: At which time was likewise Executed William Dennis for murdering a poor Tub-man, who being in a furious passion against his Wife, and having beat her
The last Sessions in July 1677.
Was sufficiently crouded to hear the Tryal of that Monster rather than woman, Mary Hicks , who suffer'd her self to be Buggered by a Mungril. This detestable Villany was sufficiently proved by Three witnesses; and for the same, the vil wretch was executed on the 18th of July, the Dog being carried along with her in the Cart, and hang'd upon a Tree neer the Gallows before her face.
One of the Evidence being great with Childe, there has been a scandalous Report spread abroad, that the same day this woman suffer'd, she should fall in Labour, and not being able to be delivered, confess that she had herein forsworn her self out of malice; which Report; and others to the same effect, are utterly false and groundless; the said Witness continuing in perfect health, and well satisfi'd in the integrity of her Testimony.