Ordinary's Account.
15th March 1745
Reference Number: OA17450315

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words, OF THE MALEFACTORS Who were Executed at TYBURN. ON FRIDAY the15March1744. BEING THE Second EXECUTION in the MAYORALITY OF THE Right Honourable Henry Marshal, Esq . LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His Account of the Behaviour, Confession, Etc.

MARTHA STRACEY otherwise Tracey was indicted, for assaulting Will. Humphreys, on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him one Guinea, 23 Dec.

Martha Tracey, about eighteen or twenty Years of Age, of honest, mean Parents, in the Parish of St. James's Westminster: Her Father was a Chairman, but died and left the Mother a young Widow, who took care of Martha, but did very little to educate her in the Fear of the Lord, or good and virtuous Principles. When young, her Mother put her to School; but Martha minded no such things, and had quite forgot all, being a perverse, vicious, Girl, void of all good Dispositions, and wholly untractable and unadviseable, giving herself up to the vileft Company on Earth, both of Men and Women. When of Age, she was not put to any Business, but went to Service sometimes, though she lov'd not that Confinement, but always broke off, and went idling her Time away about the Streets with her helh wicked Companions, who indce'd her to commence Whore , upon which she turn'd a meer repro-

bate-Creature, not willing to keep any kind of Order; so that she became known to all the Constables, and inferior Officers of Justice in that End of the Town, whose Business it is to take up and bring to Justice such irregular Persons. Martha had frequent Warnings to reform, otherwise she must plunge herself into these Misfortunes, which she, being a young, foolish, unthinking Creature, most deservedly met with She, at last, turn'd common, and renounced every thing resembling Goodness or Virtue, turning acquainted with the Gangs of whores and Thieves, Housebreakers and Street-robbers, who hurried her to her fatal Catastrophe, the common Fate of these rbandoned Wretches. Martha Tracey afterwards confest, before being somewhat averse to tell any thing, her Father died when she was but two Years of Age, her Mother died leaving her about eight; and then the Parish of St. James, Westminster put her in the Parish Work-house, who look'd after her for sometime; and when of Age, they bound her an apprentice to a Market Woman , whom she serv'd for three Years, and was very well treated by her. She bought her Cloaths and sent her to School. This Mistress of her's leaving London, to meet with her Husband in the Country, she bound over Martha to another Markert-Woman, who was much given to drinking, sold the Girls Cloaths, and set her a very bad Example. Upon this Martha left her, and went to do Business for herself; but to her great and irreparable Misfortune was to fall into the basest Company in the World, to which, as she own'd, she was naturally inclined, and not over-persuaded by others, as some of them may or do alledge in Extenuation of their Guilt. Martha seldom wrought, but was always taken up in following after her disgraceful Companions, who hurried her apace to the fatal Tree.

Martha own'd the Fact she died for, that meeting a Man in the Street in the Evening, about Nine or Ten o'Clock, they spcedily came to speak of an Agreement about a certain Affair; and as they were adjusting Matters, Martha thought fit to examine the Gentlemen's Pockets, and amongst other Things, finding

a Guinea, she robb'd him of it, as he Swore against her, and upon this she was convicted of a Street-robbery, one of the greatest Crimes in the Eye of the Law. She did not well remember the Circumstances of this robbery, as being very Drunk, which all of them generally are, when attempting to perpetrate so soul and black Crimes in an audacious manner.

Martha owned her committing of several robberies of this Kind before, she being a constant Street-walker , but did not well remember the Circumstances of the Robbery, she died for, nor the others which were conceal'd, it being impossible to recollect them, for the was always dead Drunk when they were committed. She was very ignorant of Religion, and what Things pertained to the state of her Soul; I endeavoured to instruct her, as the Brevity of Time allow'd, but she was of a mean Capacity and slow of Understanding, and had been so accustomed to do Evil, that she could scarce do any Thing that was good. When I spake to her, she always wept bitterly, acknowledging tho' a young, yet she was a very obbur'd inflexible Sinner, and begg'd Pardon of God and Man for a most vicious and Scandalous Life. She did not well know her Age, but believed she was 18 as above, or about 20 Years old. Martha was ask'd, if she was a-kin to Mary and Katharine Tracey two Sisters, who, some Years ago, were burnt for High Treason in counterfeiting the current Coin of this Kingdom? She answer'd, that to her knowledge, she was not of kin to and had nothing of concern with them. She believed in Christ our only Saviour; repented of all her Sins, and was in Peace with all the World.

James Stansbury was indicted (together with Daniel Bayers, and Abraham Saunshus, not yet taken) for entering the Dwelling House of John White, in the Parish of St. Mary, White-Chappel, in the Night time, and stealing to Canisters, value 30s. 70 Pound Weight ofValue, 28l. a pair of Silver Kne-Buckles, value 5s. a Silver Stock-Buckle, value 1s. five Silver Tea-Spoons; value 5s. two Silver Spoons, value 15s. eight Holland Shirts

value, 4l. six Shifts, value 30s. five Aprons, value 5s. two Table Cloaths, value 5s. six Napkins, value 6s. six pair of Stockings, value 6s. a Yard and an half of Cambrick, value 10s. a Mob, value 2s. 6d. Etc. and 5 pounds in money.

The Goods and Money of John White.

James Stansbury, was a second Time indicted (together with Daniel Boyers, and Abraham Saunshus, not yet taken) for breaking and entering the Dwelling House of Jemima Hawker, in the parish of St. Mary White-Chappel, about the Hour of two in the Night, and stealing a considerable Quantity of China, some Linnen, a Hood, Scarf, and two Cloth Cloaks,4Oct.

He was a third Time indicted for stealing two pieces of Beaver-Coating, value 8l. the Goods of

Gray, Mary Foster, and Richard Foster, Nov. 23d.

There was another Indictment against him for a Burglary in London; but he was not tried upon either of these Indictments.

James Stansbury, 27 or 29 Years of Age, born in the outparts of London, of honest Parents who gave him good Education at School, to Read, Write and Arithmetick to fit him for Business, and when of Age, he serv'd his Time to a Watchmaker and Clockmaker , as he said, faithfully and honestly, and was afterwards in a good Way of getting his Bread in an industrious Way, by a very good Trade, he was pretty much Master of. James liv'd well by his Business, but was not very willing to apply himself to Work, being naturally inclin'd to Idleness and the worst of Company both of Men and Women, especially the latter, to whom he pretended to small Respect, being to much addicted to the Company of the most notorious, wicked Creatures, who led him into those preposterous Methods, which soon brought him to a shameful End. Eight or Nine years ago, James wanted a Wife, and courted one of his own Stamp, whose name was Margaret, they soon made up the Bargain and was married; James's Father and Mother were greatly displeased at this, yet the Thing being over for some Time, they took them both home

to their House; James soon wearied to be confin'd to Work. at his Father's Business of a Watchmaker and Clock-maker to which he was bred, he with his Wife Margaret soon left his Father's House, and took a House or Lodgings for themselves in Hanging-Sword-Alley in Fleetstreet, where they led a most lewd and profligate Life, as will be further seen in the Sequel of this Narrative.

What is written above is with other Things the Account I had from James himself, but what follows is a just Account of the material Steps of his Life, which we had from an old Man an intimate acquaintance of his Father and Mother, who knew him ever since he was born, and all his Family.

James Stansbury, about 29 Years of Age, was born in St. Andrew's Parish, Holbourn, of honest Parents, who educated him at School to Read, Write, and cast Accompts for Business, and had him instructed in the Christian faith and principles, which, to his Shame, he minded least of all. When of Age, he was not bound out Apprentice to a Trade, but his Father being a Clock-maker and Watch-maker , taught him the Business, without the Ceremony of binding him an Apprentice by Indentures and mutual Obligations: James was very acute in learning his Trade, and in a short Time turn'd an excellent Hand in that Way, and when he came to work for himself, which he did in a few Years, James was much esteemed by his Acquaintances and Companions in the Trade, so that his coming to poverty and disgrace was not owing to want of Business, but to his own brutish and hellish Inclinations averse to Virtue and prone to Vice. He followed his Trade very little, loving to loiter and idle away his Time, in a silly infignificant manner, especially in the Company of vile, lewd Women, when very, young and but a Boy: His Father was greatly displeas'd at this and for the same he often corrected him, and sometimes turn'd him out of Door; when this happen'd, James wander'd about the Streets, yet he return'd in the Night time, and at the dead of the night he used to break open his Father's Cellar-window,

and then went to Bed. Six or seven Years ago, his Father, for a Trial, sent him to Sea , but within less than a Twelve month he return'd, no less wicked and obstreperous than before, still following his vicious Courses.

About eight Years ago he married his Wife Margaret, lately transported for a most cruel and barbarous Robbery, for which she was a long Time under Sentence of Death, but her Life sav'd because with quick Child, which Child she bore in the Cells of Newgate, and some time after that Margaret was transported for fourteen Years, and is now in the Plantations, after she had first got the Child baptized in a neighbouring Church, to give it a Title to a Parish. His Father was highly displeased with the Marriage, Margaret being a Woman of a very bad Fame; yet in a short Time the old Man pitying his Son took them both home, where the Father and Son had very good Business in Clock-making and Watch-making; although James and Margaret were very well settled, yet hating Restraint, they took Lodgings in another Place, leaving the desolate old Father, who in Short time after died, probably of Grief and Sorrow for his reprobate Son.

James and Margaret his Wife liv'd upon the Sharp, and he allow'd her to turn common Whore and pick up Men; by which Means he by his Industry in robbing, and she by whoring were supported. At Last James took a House in Hanging-Sword Alley, and there they kept that noted Baudy-House , so fatal to People, call'd, The Blood Bowl House, which he left to the Management of his Wife. He had no more Children by her but the one she bore in the Cells of Newgate, which James promis'd to take care of, but did not keep his Word; for Margaret went abroad and left it one the World. While Margaret was under Sentence James went to the West Country, upon Pretence of raising Money among his Friends to carry her abroad; this he did not, but rais'd Contributions upon the Highway to spend them upon his Lusts. He us'd to dress like a Gentleman, refort to publick

Places, as the Play-houses, Operahouse and Masquerades, and there in Disguise of a Gentleman, he pick'd Pockets and went off unsuspected. He condol'd People upon their Misfortunes, and laugh'd and made merry at his Exploits. At other times he committed Burglaries, and sometimes for Diversion pick'd Pockets in the Streets, and by way of Recreation, at Night, he would snatch and run away with Wigs. By this industrious Way he said he gain'd a great deal of Money, though the End thereof was leading to the Chambers of Death. He thought it a poor Week if he did not make ten Pounds, yet was always a Beggar and had nothing, God in his Justice always blasting his villainous Endeavours He was in Favour with the Women, but those chiefly of the Town, who highly esteem'd him for Singing, which recommended him to Publick Houses, where People when they Drink often cheer their Liquor with a Song. He was grosly ignorant of religious Principles, which made him give Way to a Pt one Sh; but it's no ways strange to see so profane a Person desert Christ, and our most holy Faith, for Popish Trumperies, since they forsake and are forsaken of God, for despising God and not knowing any of his Ways. James was perverted to Popery seven or eight Years ago, it being a Religion best adapted to such a Creature as him, for they give out, that Ignorance is the Mother of Devotion, and admitting that Tenet, James was a very devout Man, none having a larger share of Ignorance than he; they tell their ignorant Perverts, that their Church is antientest, which may seem true allowing the false Christians, whom St. Paul calls Anti-christ, saying also that the mystery of Iniquity doth already Work, and that Antichrist was already in the World, even in his Days. They call the Pope, the Universal Bishop of the Church, and yet Gregory the Great in the Cafe of John of Constantinople, who called himself the Oecumenick-Bishop, said, whosoever calls himself Oecumenick or Universal Bishop of the Church of Christ is Anti-christ; Tho; Gregory's immediate Successor assumed the same Title,

which his Successors the Bishops of Rome do to this Day.

Stansbury was a most vicious profligate Fellow, capable of doing abundance of Mischief, and yet the good Prayer of the Hypocrite, and seem'd when one was speaking to him, to be an innocent, inoffensive Man, when at the same Time he had nothing in his mind but profound wickedness and evil Intentions. He knew nothing of Religion, yet was so in-doctrined by the Pt as to conceive great Hopes of his Salvation, tho' his morose and sullen Behaviour may make us much doubt of his Repentance, for as Salvation is to be had at an casy Rate in the Church of Rome, this suiting with his Inclinations, he complied with Baal Worship, and stupidly dy'd in the Profession of Idolatry. Stansbury's repentance, I say, is much to be doubted of, for the Prospect of Punishment had no Terrors upon him, but he continued in his evil Courses, tho' he had escaped the Infliction of the Law before, for the only way to reform him was the Gallows.

*He was tried with his Wife at the Old-Baily, in the Year 1743; she was capitally Convicted, and is since Transported, but he was acquitted.

At the Place of Execution.

THAT Morning I went up to Chapel betimes, and Martha Tracey came to Prayers, and was very attentive and serious; James Stansbury did not come up, being so prepossess'd by the Priests, that he lov'd none of our Communion, and did not chuse to speak to them. They were carried to the Place of Execution together in one Cart. As they came to the fatal Tree, both of them were very much surpriz'd. Stansbury had a Book of Prayers and Devotions to God, but all of them intermix'd with Suffrages to Angels or Saints. I was not willing to interrupt or in the least to disturb him in his last Moments. I did ask some Questions, but he made no Answers, and he was so obstinate, that he persisted praying to Angels and Saints, According to the Doctrines instill'd into his ignorant Palate by the Pts, who are inclin'd to worship the Creature more than the Creator, who is God blessed for evermore, and whom we are commanded only to worship. Martha Tracey behaved well, and was very serious at Prayers, and singing of Psalms, to the Praise and Glory of God. I advised them to go off the Stage, praying to God to have Mercy upon their Souls, and to receive them into his eternal Rest, and to say with the Protomartyr Stephen, Lord Jesus receive my Spirit.

This is all the Account given by me, JAMES GUTHRIE, Ordinary of Newgate,

View as XML