Ordinary's Account.
16th March 1677
Reference Number: OA16770316

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THE CONFESSION AND EXECUTION Of the Five Prisoners suffering at TYBURN On Fryday the16th of March 1676/7


Thomas Sadler and William Johnson For a Burglary in the house of the Right Honourable the Lord High Chancellor of England, and stealing the Mace and two Purses.


Francis Webb For a Burglary, and stealing of Clothes to a great Value.

Matthew Gammond and Anthony Richoake For a Burglary in Clarkenwel

Together with their penitent Behaviour in Newgate, since their Condemnation, and last Speeches at the place of Execution.

The CONFESSION and EXECUTION of the Five Prisoners that died at TYBURN.

AT the last Sessions of Oyer and Termineand Jayl delivery of Newgate, there were no less than Fifteen Mlefactors, that is to say, Nine men and Six women, Condemned to die; but by the gracious interposition of Royal mercie Ten of these miserable wretches were Reprieved; and is hoped they will spend the remainder of their lives, so unexpectedly restored to them after they had forfeited them by their own demerits, in repenting of their former evil Courles, and avoiding the same for the future, lest, returning like senseless Swine to their vomit, they bring themselves again into the same Pit of Destruction, and there be none to deliver them.

Of these that now suffered, some had made themselves so infamously famous, as well by the multitude and daringness of their Crimes, as by

their long continuance in them, and frequent escapes from Justice, thar some Account cannot but be expected abroad; how they behav'd themselves after Condemnation, and at the place of Execution, wherein we shall endeavour briefly to satisfie the Readers curiosity, as follows.

Sadler, though during the time of his several Tryals (for the was arraigned on Three distinct Indictments this Session, and found guilty on two of them, and had been 14 times before this in Newgate) he carried himself very insolently; yet when brought to the Bar and ask'd what he had to say for himself, why Sentence of Death should not pass against him according to Law, in a much more modest and serious manner declared, That he look'd upon himself as a dead man; and therefore had nothing to say, save only to beg convenient time of the Court for preparing himself for Death; which he hoped their Charity would not deny to so sinful a Soul, Etc.When Sentence of Death was pronounced on him, he seem'd to be in a strange kind of Agony with the terrours of his condition, flinging his Hat one way and his Perriwig another, and wringing his hands in a lamentable manner.

At the same rate he continued for some time in Prison, raging like a Wilde beast caught in a Trap, and vainly Shawing the greatness or stubboruness of his Spirit, rather than symptoms of Remorse or Contrition for his Offence. On the Lord's day, besides the public Exercises of Religion in the Chappel, he was visited by some Divines, whose Charity invited them to that trouble, and to take no small pains to convince him of the desperateness of his present estate, the wickedness of his past life, the shortness of his time, the necessity of speedy Repentance, the unspeakable and endless torments of Hall, Etc. which Christian Exhortation were prest home with such pious Zeal and holy Ardour, that 'tis well hoped, by the Co-operating Grace and Workings of that blessed Spirit which blows Where it listeth, and is pleased to call some even at the Eleventh hour, there was a deep sense and impression thereof made upon him Heart, to melt it down from that obdurateness to a more humble and penitent frame; so that he could not restrain the tears from over flowing his cheeks, and much bewailed his Condition, confessing what abundance of Robberies and Villanies he had been guilty of, never before discovered, Etc.

His Companion Johnson was by Trade a Coach harness maker , a fellow well educated, of good understanding, and great natural parts: He had lived some time time in Holland, and spake both the Dutch and French Tongues: For some years past he has followed a loose way of living, and frequented ill Company, yet never was in Newgate before. He obstinately denid his being concern'd in the Burglary, or breaking open of my Lord Chancellor's house; and when the Jury brought him in guilty, fell down at the Bar in a Swoon. After Condemnation no

man could be more penitent, spending almost all these few remaining moments of his life in Prayers and Tears. Before his Tryal, having an excellent fancie, and a hand no less happy at Limning, he had drawn most lively on the wall of his Chamber in Newgate, a pair of Scales, and in one balance the Mace, and in the other Tyburn; the last much over weighing the first: But since his Condemnation, he drew in one Scale the Gallows, in the other a Crucifix; the first mounted up by the greater weight of the last, and these lines under-written. as I have been informed.

My Precious Lord, from all Transgressions free, Was pleas'd, in tender pity unto me, To undergo the Ignominious Tree.

I Suffer justly; but his Sacrifice, I trust, shall make my groveling Spirit rise, And from the Gibbet mount the glorious Skies.

At the Sermons on Sunday he behav'd himself very reverently, save onely now and then, in the anguish of his Spirit, he was ready to interrupt the Preacher with the loudness of his sighs and groans.

The rest were for Burglaries, but had little remarkable to be observed in their behaviour.

On Munday, and the days following, several Ministers came to bestow their Christine offices of Instruction, Information, and Consolation to all the Condemned wretches. Some of them, taken more up with thoughts of getting Reprieves and Pardons in this World, than making their Peace with God, or securing an Interest of Bliss in that which is to come, seem'd strangely negligent and unregardful of any thing that then could be said to them for the welfare of their Souls; others, though affur'd of unavoidable Death, according to their Sentence, endeavoured several ways to lull themselves to sleep in a senseless stupidity, and put away all thoughts of that dreadful hour. 'I was a sad things to see these poor Creatures how amaz'd and terrified they appeared with the apprehensions of Death and a future state, which 'tis to be seared they had never before considered seriously of one hour in their Lives: Now their long Sleeping Consciences awake with terrour, and set the sad Bead-roll of their multiplied Offences and Crimes before their faces, remembring each particular instance, and every aggravating Circumstance: They now finde the treachery and deceitfulness of Sin; that the Pleasures of the world are, at best, but fading Trifles, or gaudy Snares, that whilst they kiss they betray, and under pretence of delighting destroy us.

The day appointed for their Execution was Fryday the 16March, they being, in Christian compassion, allow'd till that time to Fit and prepare themselves for the great work of their suffered. They spake very little at the place of Execution, but in general acknowledged the Justice of their Punishment, confessing what long and notorious Offenders, they had been; and desired all that were present at, or should hear of their shameful and untimely and, to avoid those wicked Course, and have a Care of Pride, Idleness, and Ill Company, which had been the great occasions that brought them to that destruction: And so after the usual Prayers and Offices customary on such sad occasions, suffered according to their Sentence.

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