Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 01 July 2016), Ordinary of Newgate's Account, May 1706 (OA17060515).

Ordinary's Account, 15th May 1706.

The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confession; and Dying Speech of Thomas Betts, who was Executed at Tyburn on Wednesday the 15th of May, 1706.

AT the Sessions held at Justice Hall in the Old Baily, on Wednesday the 8th, and Thursday the 9th instant, 5 Persons receiv'd Sentence of Death, viz. 2 Men and 3 Women, 4 whereof are repriev'd, namely 2 of the Women for being found pregnant, and the other Woman, and one of the Men by her Majesty's Mercy: So that there is but one now order'd for Execution; who is the first under this Mayoralty, that has come to such an untimely End.

On Whitsunday, being the first Lords Day after their Condemnation, I Preach'd in the Chappel of Newgate both Morning and Afternoon, upon these Words, Hebr. 10. 23. Let us hold fast the Profession of our Faith without wavering.

From which Words, first open'd and explain'd in general, I discours'd upon these following Particulars; viz.

I. What the Christian Faith is.

II. What Obligation it lays upon the Professors of it.

III. What great Motives we that profess to believe in Christ have to live Christian Lives, i. e. to obey the Precepts of the Gospel in departing from Evil, and doing that which is good: To adorn the Doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ in all things.

IV. What are the blessed Effects of Faith, viz.

1. Regeneration and Victory over Sin and the Author of it.

2. A joyful Prospect here, and a blissful Enjoyment hereafter of that Eternal Happiness and Glory, which God will give to all those that hold fast the Professiion of their Faith without wavering.

Then in my Application and Exhortation to the Condemn'd, I endeavour'd to make them sensible of the great necessity they lay under of praying earnestly to God for the gift of Faith; that so they truly believing all the Promises and Threatnings contain'd in the Word of God, might sincerely repent of all their Sins; shewing them, that Faith and Repentance, which in the Gospel are joyn'd together, as the Cause and Effect, are the two main Conditions upon which Salvation is promis'd. Believe, and Repent, and thou shalt be Sav'd, is the Tenor of the Gospel.

While these Persons lay under Condemnation, I visited them twice every Day; and with Prayers and the best Instructions I could give them, I endeavour'd, by the Doctrine of Faith and Repentance, to dispose them for Eternal Life and Salvation. And this I must in justice say of them, that they all appear'd to me to be very desirous of Instruction, and sensible of the Misery which Sin and Ignorance had brought upon them, and they seem'd now resolv'd against their former ill Practices. God grant that those of them who are respited from Execution, may make a right improvement of that Mercy, and keep their Promises of Amendment and Reformation.

Thomas Betts, the only Person in the Dead Warrant, of whom I am particularly to give here an account, was Condemn'd for breaking and robbing the Houses of the Lord Gorges in Covent Garden, and of Mr Corbonel near Crutched Fryars, above 2 years ago. He confess'd himself guilty of both those Facts, and of many others, which he said he had committed about that time, and within a Twelve-month of it: And he further told me, that about one year ago he robb'd a Dean's House near the new Chappel in the Fields, within the Parish of St Andrews. Holborn, and took thence a quantity of old Gold Pieces, two Diamond-Rings, and several other Goods; and that much about the same time he broke another House in St Johns, out of which he took a great deal of Plate, &c. But he declar'd, that in these and all other Robberies he committed, none of the Servants belonging to those respective Houses were in the least concern'd, so as to be in any wise assisting or privy thereto: He confess'd he had been guilty of all Crimes but Murther, and he much lamented that he had done so much Evil, and that it was not in his power to make any restitution or satisfaction to the Persons he had wrong'd. He heartily begg'd God's Pardon, and theirs. He said, as to his Education, that he was well brought up by his Parents, who are very honest People; and that he serv'd his Apprenticeship to the Craft of Smithery , with his Father, at Wenslow in Buckinghamshire, where he was born; That about 13 years ago, when he was 21 years old, he came

up to London, and there work'd as a Journey-man with a Smith for 5 years together, and then return'd to his own Town, where he set up for himself; but he not liking to live in the Country, about 3 years after came up to London again, where his Father then was, with whom he liv'd, and work'd at his Occupation very honestly (as he said) for some few months. But getting acquainted with one John Webb, who was executed at Chelmsford in Essex about 2 years since, and one Francis Stephens, (lately deceas'd in Newgate) and some other wicked Persons, he fell upon the business of House-breaking; in which, by means of his Art of Smithery, he was more expert than the rest of his Companions. Yet, he says, it had always before now been his Fortune to come off clear at the Bar, for want of positive Evidence against him; which gave him a great assurance to go on in his wicked Courses. This further account he gave me of himself, that he had for a time serv'd in Her Majesty's Foot Guard , under Colonel Wortley; and that being commanded into Germany, he was there taken Prisoner by the French, and carry'd to Lewk, but made his escape, and came to Fern in Sweden, where being listed into that King's Service to go into Poland, he ran away; and coming into Holland enter'd himself on board a Dutch Man of War that was to Convoy the Muscovy and Greenland Fleets: In which Service having been about 5 months, he was at the end of them discharg'd and paid off. Upon this he came into England again, where his wicked Companions and Vices stuck so close to him, that they would not leave him till they had brought him to the Gallows. There I left him this day, after I had by Exhortations and Prayers, and singing of Psalms, endeavoured for the last time to dispose his Soul towards God. I wish other Offenders may so take warning by his untimely Death, as to become Wiser and Honester, and so prevent their own Ruin.

His last Words at the Tree were to this purpose, That his Neglect of Gods Service, breaking of the Sabbath, and keeping ill Company, were the things that had first brought him to a wicked Course of Life, and now to his shameful and untimely Death, And therefore he desired that all those of his Acquaintance, and others, who have led an ill Life, would take warning by him, and serve God, and avoid the Company of vicious and wicked people. Here he publickly owned that he was justly Condemn'd; but then upon the Word of a Dying Man, who (as he hop'd) had made his Peace with God, and should be this day with Christ in Paradise, he declared, That Elizabeth Lane was not concerned in those Facts for which he dy'd. He said, he was in Charity with all Mankind; he forgave all the World, and desired all the World to forgive him, and the Standers-by to pray for his Soul. He was himself very fervent in his Prayers to God for the Pardon of his Sins; and he told me, that he was now more desirous to die than to live, and that he felt great Satisfaction and Comfort in dying.

After I was retir'd from him, he had some further time allow'd him for his private Devotion. Then the Cart drew away, whilst he was calling upon God in these and the like Ejaculatory Expressions. Lord, have mercy upon me a miserable Sinner! Have mercy upon my poor Soul! Lord receive me. I come, Lord, I come! Oh, Open me the Gates of Paradise, and let me enter in! Lord Jesu receive my Spirit!

This is all the Account here to be given of this Dying Person, by



Wednesday, May 15, 1706.


BOOKS Set forth by Paul Lorrain, Ordinary of Negate, viz.

† † † The Last Words of the Lady Margaret de la Musse; and the Dying Man's Assistant. Both Printed for J. Lawrence, at the Angel in the Poultry. A Preparation for the Sacrament; and Moral and Divine Maxims. Printed for B. Aylmer at the 3 Pidgeons in Cornhil. And A Guide to Salvation. Sold at the Star in St Pauls Church yard, London.

RObert Whitledge, Book-binder at the Bible in Creedlane within Ludgate, can furnish all Booksellers, and others, with the Welsh Bble, Welsh Common-Prayer, and Welsh Almanack; and with all sorts of other Bibles and Common-Prayers, large and small, with Cuts or without, Rul'd or Unrul'd; Bound in Turky-Leather, or otherwise; extraordinary or plain, or unbound. Also the Statutes at large, and the Articles and Canons of the Church of England. Tate and Brady's new Version of the Singing Psalms. The Common-Prayer In French. The new Book of Rates compleat. With all other Books neatly Bound.

THe Incomparble Plaister for the Stomack, which infalliby cures all sort of Agues in 24 hours time, that was remov'd from Mr. Montgomery's to Mr Best's at Will's Coffee-house in Cornhill, is now again remov'd and sold for the Author only at Mr. Bell's a Bookseller, at the Cross Keys and Bible in Cornhill near Stocks Market, at 2 s. the Gally-Pot, with Directions, Note this Wonderful Plaister has miraculously cured several thousands of of the worst sort of Agues without any other Physick, after all other means had been used in vain, not one failing. It Cures so soon, and with such Safety, Certainty and Ease, that one would almost think it was done by Enchantment.

AT the Golden Acorn in White Fryars, coming down by the Green Dragon-Tavern in Fleerstreet, are to be sold all sorts of Acts of Parliament, Proclamations, Declarations, &c. With great variety of scarce Stitch'd Books and Pamphlers, according to the method of William Miller late of London, Stationer .

London, Printed by Dryden Leach, in Dogwel Court, White Fryars.