Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 31 October 2014), Ordinary of Newgate's Account, May 1748 (OA17480511).

Ordinary's Account, 11th May 1748.

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, & Dying Words Of the TWO SMUGGLERS Who were executed at TYBURN On Wednesday the 11th of MAY, 1748.

BEING THE Fourth EXECUTION in the MAYORALTY OF THE Right Honble Sir Robert Ladbroke, Knt . LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON .

NUMBER IV. For the said YEAR.

LONDON:

Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and C. CORBETT over-against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street, the only authorised Printers of the Dying Speeches.

M.DCC.XLVIII.

[Price Six-pence.]

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.

BY Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir ROBERT LADBROKE , Knight , Lord-Mayor of the City of London ; the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Justice LEE, the Honourable Mr. Baron CLARKE, the Honourable Mr. Justice BIRCH; JOHN STRACEY , Esq ; Recorder , and others of his Majesty's Justices of OYER and TERMINER, for the City of London, and Justices of Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 20th, Thursday the 21st, Friday the 22d, Saturday the 23d, of April in the 21st Year of his Majesty's Reign;

The four following Persons were Capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly; viz.

I. JUDITH BUTLER, otherwise Ogden of St. Paul's Covent-Garden, was indicted for Stealing twenty-eight Pounds in Money, the Property of William Finch in his Dwelling-House, March 26 . It appeared on her Trial that the Prosecutor who kept a Public-house ; hired her for a Servant , and that she took an Opportunity frequently to rob him of several Sums of Money. She confess'd to a Person in New-Prison that she had robb'd her Master at different Times of twenty-eight Pounds: which Confession being prov'd, she was by the Jury found Guilty. Nevertheless,the Jury recommended her to the Court, as there was no Evidence against her but her own Confession. But she pleaded her Belly, and a Jury of Matrons being impannell'd, they were all sworn, and after some little Time being out, they came into Court, and brought in their Verdict, with quick Child .

II. JOHN TAYLOR was indicted for assaulting MARY FOSTER Spinster , on the King's Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her one Gold Watch set with Diamonds and Rubies, Value one hundred Pounds, one Gold Watch-Chain set with Diamonds and Rubies, Value twenty Pounds; one Gold Watch-Key set with red Stones, Value three Pounds; two Pieces of Gold, Value forty Shillings, and three Pieces of Gold Coin of the proper Coin of this Realm, called Guineas, Value three Pounds three Shillings, the Property of the said Mary Foster, Jan. 14 . When the Prisoner was brought to the Bar to take his Tryal, he immediately pleaded Guilty, telling the Court in a moving Manner, he would not give them any Trouble. Mrs. Barham, and Mrs. Foster the Prosecutrix, likewise earnestly recommended him to the Court to intercede with his Majesty for Mercy, and accordingly when the Report came to be made, his Majesty extended his Royal Clemency, and chang'd his Sentence of Death into that of Banishment or Transportation for Life . He was a young Gentleman of a Family reputable, who gave him a good Education, and brought him up to the Profession of the Law . The above Robbery made a good deal of Noise in the World, and as the Manner of his being detected was somewhat extraordinary, we think it not amiss for the Satisfaction of our Readers to insert it here.

Tuesday the 26th of January, in the Morning, he came very genteely dress'd to the Shop of Mr. Stafford Briscoe in Cheapside, and offered some loose Diamonds to Sale; the Servant of the Shop, after carefully surveying the Diamonds as well as the Man, suspected they were not honestly come by, and therefore ventured to secure him; and he was carried before the Lord Mayor, to whom, (in hopes of being made an Evidence) he confess'd that they belong'd to the Watch of one of the three Ladies lately robb'd in South-Audley-Street, and impeach'd two People as Accomplices. Being ask'd where he lodg'd, he own'd in Cold-Bath-Fields, which some Persons were directly dispatch'd to examine, where they found a Pair of Pistols, one of them loaded, several empty Purses, and in his Escrutore, the Watch above mentioned, all but the outside Case. A Ruby was also found upon him at the Time of his Examination, and he was immediately committed.

III. IV. ARTHUR GRAY , and WILLIAM ROWLAND two Smuggler s were capitally convicted; Gray received Sentence, but Rowland could not receive Sentence from that Court, he being attainted upon the Act of the 19th of his present Majesty, the Order for his Execution must come down from the King, and accordingly on Thursday the 5th of this Instant May,the Report was made by Mr. Recorder to his Majesty, and he was pleased to order Arthur Gray and William Rowland for Execution.

As to the Behaviour of these two unhappy Men, they have not indeed shewn any Levity of Behaviour since their Conviction, but a certain Sullenness, and Reluctance at their Fate seemed always to attend them. At Chapel their Attendance was not so regular as might be, being hindered, as they pretended, now and then, by some slight Indisposition. However, when there, they in all Appearance paid such Regard to the Worship, and Service of God, as becomes Men in every Circumstance and Degree of Life to do; and which they were particularly persuaded was their Duty and Interest, through the Sense they entertained of the Wretchedness of their Condition.

ARTHUR GRAY , late of Hawkhurst in the County of Kent, Labourer , was indicted, for that he, together with divers other Malefactors, Disturbers of the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, to wit, to the Number of seven Persons, whose Names are unknown, after the 24th of June, in the 19th Year of his Majesty's Reign, to wit, on the 13th Day of August 1746, at the Parish of Lid in the County of Kent, did, with Fire-Arms, and other offensive Weapons, riotously, unlawfully, and feloniously assemble themselves together, in order to be Aiding and Assisting in the running, landing, and carrying away uncustomed Goods, and Goods liable to pay Duties, which had not been paid, or secured, in Defiance and Contempt of the King, and his Laws, to the evil Example of all others; against the Peace of the King, his Crown, and Dignity; and against the Form of the Statute in that Case made and provided .

WILLIAM ROWLAND, otherwise ROWLIN, otherwise ROWLING , was indicted upon a Suggestion that he the said William Rowland, after the 24th Day of June 1746, to wit, on the 13th Day of July 1747, at the Parish of St. Paul, Common-Garden, in the County of Middlesex, was in due Manner charged before Thomas Burdus , Esq ; one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the said County, upon the Information of William Sealy , a credible Person, upon Oath, that the said William Rowland, with diverse other Persons to the Number of three or more, after the 24th Day of June 1746, to wit, on the 20th Day of May 1747, did assemble together at Benacre in the County of Suffolk, armed with Fire-Arms, and other offensive Weapons, in order to be Aiding and Assisting in the running, landing, and carrying uncustomed Goods, &c.

ARTHUR GRAY , aged 34, was born at Hawkhurst, and put Apprentice to a Butcher at Malden near Maidstone, to whom he served seven Years; after which he returned to Hawkhurst, and there carried on his Trade for about three Years; in which Time, he says, Smuggler s were constantly and daily calling upon him, and taking him from his Business; by which Means he had almost spent and destroyed what Monies he had got by and kept in Trade. And being so frequently in their Company, and seeing their Methods of going on, he was captivated with the Hopes of the Profits arising from such Practices; which being backed by Persuasions, he was induced to take on with that notorious and wicked Set of People.'Tis very probable, by all Accounts of him, from such as are acquainted with the Country, and have had frequent Opportunities not only of seeing these Gangs of notorious Men, but of hearing their monstrous and unjustifiable Practices, that this Man had advanced to a great Degree of unlawful Behaviour, and been extremely famous in this Way. The Hawkhurst Gang, the most vile hitherto of all, being a Terror to their Neighbours, and to all that came in their Road, he has been for some Time a principal Person concerned in. Yet, as has been too frequently the Case with such as have been so unhappy as to suffer before him for these Offences, no Arguments or Persuasions can prevail with him to own the Fact sworn positively against him by several Witnesses; but he obstinately denies having been guilty of Smuggling for some Years past. And all this he does affirm, notwithstanding he has been acquainted with several Facts of that Kind laid to his Charge, besides other Practices, which undoubtedly, if true, have merited the utmost Censure and Rigour of the Law.

What Credit may be given to his Denial of these Facts, there is scarce any one but will easily determine. He owns to have been greatly concern'd in running uncustomed Goods to a considerable Value; and yet will suffer no one particular Fact to be fixed upon him, if he might have Things his own Way. But as he has given so much Room for the Laws to take hold of him, I am apt to believe, all Men that are unprejudiced in his Favour, will look upon this ignominious Suffering to be a just Punishment of his many and flagrant Offences.

It has been laid to his Charge, that not only to such as he looked upon as his Enemies, but his very Friends, those with whom he had great and many Years Intimacy, he has shewn the most unchristian-like and devilish Behaviour. In his Cups, which too frequently are attended with ill Consequences, especially by Men of his unhappy Turn of Temper, firing of Pistols has been his wonted Practice; even in such Company, and at such Persons, as he was thought to have the greatest Regard for. And, if any degree of social Virtue had been at any Time cherished in his Breast, he must have shewn it among his select Companions, or he cannot be supposed to have any Title to it. Far be it from me to endeavour to set off any Person in his unhappy Circumstances in a worse, or even so bad a Light as his general Character would bear. But as 'tis on all Hands agreed, that this unhappy Wretch has been most infamous: Neither would I by any Means endeavour to put a Gloss upon a bad Matter, such as will not bear the Light.

He seemed to have some Remorse for his ill-spent Life, and acknowledg'd in the general, that he had been a very dissolute and wicked Man; though he strenuously insisted on it, that he hadnever spilt any Man's Blood; that whatever other Mischief he had done, either to private Persons, or to the Community, he was very sorry for it, and hoping to be forgiven by those he had injured, he was content, being in Charity with all Men, to meet his Fate. He willingly gave up his Life, he said, a just Debt to the Laws of his Country, and resigned his Soul into the Hands of him that gave it, praying that in his last Moments it might be fitted for Mercy, and finally be saved in the Day of the Lord, through the alone Merits of Jesus Christ.

He was a Fellow of a bold, daring, enterprizing Spirit, feared nothing, would undertake any thing.'Twas but a few Years ago that he robb'd a poor Fellow who travelled the Countries, of a Parcel of Lace worth near 50 Pounds, the poor Man knew not what to do, dare not attempt any thing against him in a summary Way; he therefore found out a Friend of Arthur's, who went to him, and after interceding for some Time, he agreed to give the Man his Lace again for Ten Guineas, which the poor Fellow joyfully accepted. Sometime after this, Arthur's Friend, being drinking with him, brought up this Story, and told Arthur he ought to have been hanged for doing it; when he immediately drew his Knife, and made a Stroke at him, which cut him quite into the Jaw-bone; and swore, if ever he mentioned that Affair any more he would surely be his Death.

There are numerous Instances might be given of the Barbarity of Smugglers, but I shall confine myself to one or two very remarkable, in which Gray was principally concerned, in Decem. 1744. The Commissioners of the Customs being informed that two noted Smugglers, Chiefs of a Gang who infested the Coast, were skulking at a House in Shoreham in Sussex, they granted a Warrant to Messieurs Quaff, Bolton, Jones, and James, four of his Majesty's Officers of the Customs, to go in Search of them. The Officers found them according to the Information, seized them, and committed them to Goal. But the rest of the Gang, of which Gray was one, being informed of the Disaster of their Friends, convened in a Body the Monday following, and in open Day Light entered the Town with Hangers drawn, arm'd with Pistols and Blunderbusses; they fired several Shot to intimidate the Neighbourhood, and went to a House where the Officers were Drinking; dragg'd them out, tied three of them Neck and Heels (the fourth, named Quaff, making his Escape as they got out of the House) and carried them off in Triumph to Hawkhurst in Kent, treating them all the Way with the utmost Scurrility, and promising to broil them alive. However, upon a Council held among them, they let Mr. Jones go, after they had carried him about five Miles from Shoreham, telling him, they had nothing to object to him, but advised him not to be over busy in troubling them or their Brethren, left he might one Day meet the Fate reserved for his two Companions. They carried the unfortunate Mr. Bolton and James, to a Wood near Hawkhurst, stripped them naked, tyed them to two different Trees near one another, andwhipped them in the most barbarous Manner, till the unhappy Men begg'd they would knock them on the Head to put them out of their Miseries; but these barbarous Wretches told them, it was time enough to think of Death when they had gone through all their Exercise that they had for them to suffer before they would permit them to go to the D - l. They then kindled a Fire between the two Trees, which almost scorch'd them to Death, and continued them in this Agony for some Hours, till the Wretches were wearied with torturing them; they then releas'd them from the Trees, and carried them quite speechless and almost dead, on Board one of their Ships, from whence they never return'd.

Another remarkable Instance is the following. It seems they have a Method of training their Horses that by a Check of the Reins, or a Kick with the Heel, they will instantly fling out their Legs in a surprizing Manner; to the great Danger of any Person who should unfortunately be within their Reach, an Instance of this as related from a Smuggler's own Mouth, happen'd not long since: 'Twas after the Gang had deliver'd their Goods, and were returning on Horseback to their respective Habitations, that they came by a Field in which were a Company of Gipsie Women with their Children; they leaped their Horses over the Hedge, and, dismounting, attempted to be rude with the Women, who resisted them, and made terrible Outcries; the Alarm brought down the Gipsie Men who were at some Distance, and perceiving the Intent of the Smugglers, they came furiously on, Arming themselves all the Way with great Stones, the Smugglers observing their Number to be much Superior, desisted from their wicked Intent on the Women, and Mounting their Horses waited till the Men got near enough to them, then turned their trained Horses Tails, gave them the proper Check, and they began Kicking like so many Devils at every Creature they could reach, till they had maimed a great Number; they then releap'd the Hedge and rode off, leaving the poor Creatures in the utmost Agony and Misery.

He often had rencounters with the Officers of the Customs, and the Soldiers who assisted them, in many of which they beat and wounded the Officers and Soldiers in a terrible Manner. Cook, the Smuggler, who was executed in July last, lived with Gray as a Servant, and several Times prevented Murder; in particular he said his Master Gray one Time cut a Soldier so terriby with his Hanger, near Bourne in Sussex, that he must have died, if Cook had not interposed, and afterwards got proper Help to dress the poor Fellow's Wounds.

WILLIAM ROWLAND , aged 57, was born at Woodbridge, about 6 Miles, from Ipswich, in the County of Suffolk. He was bred a Butcher also; and having faithfully served 8 Years Apprenticeship there, he set up in Trade, and is said to have lived upwards of 40 Years in Ipswich, having a good Share of Business, and Reputation amongst his Neighbours. He confesses, that he has had Dealings in prohibited and uncustomed Goods, which he bought, or procured to be bought, for himself and his Friends Use; but says, had he ever thought that such would have been the Consequence of it, as he now to his Grief and Cost does experience, he would rather have subsisted all the Days of his Life on Bread and Water, than have been that Way concerned. However,

An Information being laid against him, to the late Thomas Burdus, Esq ; was taken by him, and conveyed thro' such Hands as he thought proper to the Government. In Consequence of which his Majesty in Council made an Order, requiring him to surrender himself within 40 Days after the Publication of this Order, in the London Gazette, to the Lord Chief-Justice, or to one other of the Justices of the Court of King's Bench, or to one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace.

And this Order being thus published in the two succeeding London Gazettes, and exposed likewise by the Sheriff of the County's Directions, in two Market-Towns near the Place where the Fact supposed in the Information was done; it presently came to Rowland's Ears; ill News being observed generally to fly apace. He says, it very much surprized him; insomuch that he could scarce determine, for some Time, what to do in the Case. But, asking the Advice of his Friends, he was persuaded by them (his own Opinion at that Time concurring with theirs) to surrender. However, he thought proper to apply to a Justice of Peace (not indeed immediately to surrender) but to know, if he should do so, what might be the Consequence of it. The Purport of what he was given to understand by this Application was, that there was no other Method to be taken, but immediately upon his Surrender to commit him to Goal. Considering the Matter then with his Friends, and not willing to subject himself to such a Favour, the next Piece of Advice he received, was to try what might be done by some Interest he could make. This he did not do till too late: But thinking himself innocent, as he protests he was free from any smuggling Practices which came within the Act, that made Smuggling, Aiding, and Assisting, or carrying Fire-Arms in Company with three or more, a capital Offence, he was in Hopes to make it appear, before he might be apprehended. For some Time, he says, he did not abscond, nor any ways hinder himself in his Butcher's Business, upon any Suspicion or Fear of being apprehended. He had, however, set aside all Thoughts of Surrendering, and determined to wait the Event: And he told me, and several others who had Converse with him since under Conviction, that were the Thing to do again he would not surrender, whatever the Consequence might be.

And, for the better Security of his Person, he thought proper, however, after some Time of his being proscribed, to retreat from publick Appearance, and went to dwell at a bye Place about 16 Miles from Ipswich, where he thought himself safe, and secure from Danger. Yet not considering that the Reward offered would make People look out sharp, he exposed himself too much to the View of the Neighbourhood;

and a Woman seeing him frequently, and finding how the Matter stood, and what brought him there, gave Notice where he was. Upon which a Party of Soldiers being sent, where he haunted, they watched him to his Lodging, and when he was gone to Bed came in and surprized him. From his Retirement he was again brought back to Ipswich, and being put on Board a Custom-house Smack, stationed there, commanded by Capt. Bagnall, he was bro't to London, and by the late Tho. Burdus, Esq ; committed to Newgate. When he came upon his Tryal, at the Old Bailey, the Case then to be laid before the Court and the Jury, was not whether he were guilty of Offences laid against him in the Information; but he was attainted, as not complying with the Order of his Majesty in Council. Certain Issues therefore contained in a Suggestion of Facts, necessary and consequent upon the Information, were examined into, and proved to have been carried on regularly, and as the Law required. And the Jury had nothing more to do, but to find for the Crown, and Execution was to be awarded in Consequence thereof.

In the Course of our Conversation, since Conviction, he would still insist upon it, that he was not guilty of what was laid to his Charge, as he did upon his Plea. Upon which I thought proper to endeavour to make him as sensible, as was in my Power to do, of the Regularity in the Proceedings of the Law against him; and that he had it once in his own Power to have prevented the ill Consequences which he does now, with so much Reason, lament. To this his Reply was (fetching a deep Sigh, and the Tears starting from his Eyes) Well! Since this is the Case, God's Will be done. I have forfeited my Life, I cannot now help it. I shall endeavour to part with it as patiently as I can; I resign myself to the Will of Providence, and the Laws of my Country. And though he could not help blaming Sealy, who laid the Information against him; yet he would frequently say, though he wrongfully accused me, I forgive him, and wish he may be found to receive the same at the Hands of God.

To the frequent Exhortations to that Chistian Duty of Repentance, e'er Salvation could be expected thro' the Merits of Christ, he always declared himself well inclined, and heartily sorry for all Offences of his Life; but expressed his Fears too, left his Heart might be so hardened as not sufficiently to repent. This frequently run in his Mind; which I looked upon as a sure Sign that the Grace of God was not withdrawn from him; and thought proper to give him to understand, that the Fears he had upon that Account, and the Sense he entertained of the supposed Hardness of his Heart, seemed to be rather Cause of Comfort to him than of Despair; for that when the Sinner hath the least Apprehensions of the Wrath of God, revealed against the Ungodliness, and Unrighteousness of Men, when he thinketh he standeth, then is his greatest Danger of falling.

I observed to him, As God requires no more of Man, in order to his Salvation, than remains in his Power to do, if their Endeavours are not wanting toreconcile him, i.e. to make their Peace with him; they have all imaginable Security for the Performance of his Promises made to Repentance and Faith. And if they make good Use of that Time and Opportunity permitted them, by having a sorrowful Sense of Sin, because 'tis so hateful to God, by making humble Confession to him of it, by an unfeigned Abhorrence, and forsaking of it, by turning to the Lord God heartily and sincerely, and by patient Continuance in well doing and thinking, so long as the Powers of Soul and Body are in Union; these are the Fruits meet for Repentance. And what a glorious Harvest shall we reap from them if we faint not.

That ever he took Occasion to be concerned in that Practice of Smuggling, he lamented to the last; and feared, as it had been the Cause of his untimely End, so it might be of ill Consequence to his Family; but was persuaded that no well-disposed and generous Mind would ever reflect on them, upon Account of his suffering so scandalous a Death; for that in common Life his Conduct, and Behaviour, had not been exceptionable to his Neighbours, but rather the Reverse, as I heard several testify of him.

Tho' his Time, he said, was short for Repentance, and turning to God, and Diffidence attended his Endeavours for some Time; yet at length appeared some glimmering Light of God's Grace breaking in upon his Mind; and he expressed his Hopes, that as it had pleased God not to suffer him to put off his Repentance, till the Night come in which no Man can work, his Endeavours might be accepted, and his Faith in a crucified Saviour prevail for the Reward of his Labour, tho' it were but for the eleventh Hour.

As the Outrages of Smugglers are every Day encreasing, and scarce a Month but brings one or more to Newgate, the Breast of every honest Subject and Friend to the Common Weal, must be touched with a just Abhorrence of their Crimes in the general; and it is not to be supposed, but every one wishes to see an End put to those Disturbances of the public Peace, which too frequently happen in different Parts of the Kingdom, by their daring Impudence.

At the PLACE of EXECUTION.

ABOUT Nine o'Clock on Wednesday last, Arthur Gray , and Wm. Rowland , were carried in a Cart from Newgate to the Place of Execution, attended by a Draught of about Sixty Men of the First and Third Regiments of Guards; and there having joined in Prayer to God, to have Mercy on them, and receive their Souls, their Sentence was finished. Gray's Body was afterwards taken to Stamford-Hill, to be hanged up in Chains. And,

Rowland's was delivered to his Friends, who had appointed a Hearse to attend for that Purpose, to carry him down to Ipswich, to be there interred.

This is all the Account given by me, JOHN TAYLOR, Ordinary of Newgate .