Ordinary's Account.
16th December 1678
Reference Number: OA16781216

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THE CONFESSION AND EXECUTION Of the Two Prisoners that suffered at TYBURN On Munday the16th of Decemb. 1678


Nathaniel Russel, a Bayley's Follower , for Murdering a young man in Whites-Alley.

And Steven Arrowsmith, for a Rape commited on a Girl between Eight and Nine years of age.


A true Account of their Behaviour after Condemnation; the substance of the Discourses that past between them and Mr. ORdinary in Newgate that morning before they went into the Cart; and their Speeches at the place of Execution.


LONDON: Printed for R.G. 1678.

The Confession and Execution of the Two Prisoners that suffered at Tyburn.

ON Thursday the 12th of this instant December, Six persons in all received sentence of Death: One for Murther, one for a Rape, one for Treason, one for Clipping of Money, one for stealing a Mare, and a woman and a man (old Offenders) for several Felonies. Of these, Four obtained his Majesties gracious Reprieve: The other Two, viz. Nathaniel Russel, for Murthering of a young man; and Steven Arrowsmith, for abusing and Ravishing a Girl between Eight and Nine years of age, were ordered for Execution on Munday the 16th of this instant Decemb.

Their Crimes were thus: A Bayley and his Follower in White's-Alley, by Vertue of a Marshals Writ; went up into a Chamber, having the Door open'd to them, to Arrest a young Gentleman; her Brother, a lad about Seventeen or Eighteen years of age, being with her, stood before her with a piece of a Curtainrod in his hand; the Bayley coming up to him, shov'd him down in a Chair, and presently the Follower. having his Sword drawn before he came into the Room, run him into the Body; so that he cryed oout, he was kill'd. as indeed it proved; for on the Thursday-night following he died, being run through the Liver and Midrif. It was proved by three Witnesses that the young man neither struck nor thrust at the Baylies, nor gave any provocation; and that

the Wound was given before any Arrest made: nor did they take away the young woman as Prisoner, but returned a Rescue upon the person dead. The Bayly alleadged his Warrant, justifying his coming there; but disown'd that he any way contributed to the Fact, and was acquitted. The Follower had little material to say for himself, onely alleadged, that the young man made at him with a Spit, which he took for a Sword, and thread-ned to kill him; contrary to Witnesses call'd even by themselves; And so was sound guilty of wilful Murther, as aforesaid.

The other being a Prentice to a Victualler in Barking parish, was indicted on the Statute, for having the carnal knowledge and abusing his Masters Daughter, a Childe between eight and nine of age. It appeared he had seduced her with Money, and abused her several Sundays as having then most opportunity, for many weeks together, till at last the Childe being much hurt, was scarce able to go, and then with much ado she discovered it. The several Circumstances, though they were necessary there to he proved, are too foul and unseemly here to be related. The Childe her self testified it fully, and another Girl about ten years old, gave Evidence what posture she once saw them in, and four or five women proved the wrong done to the Childe upon their view of her body and what a sad Disease was thereby contracted: so that the Evidence seem'd as home as could possibly be expected in a Crime of this kind; yet the Jury at first appeared dissatisfied, but on better advice, and more mature consideration, justly brought him in Guilty for which he now suffer'd. A sit Warning for all lascivious persons to deter them from the horrid practices of debauching and ruining poor Children of such tender years; it being Death by the Law to have Carnal knowledge of any Female childe under Ten years of age, even although with her Consent: which from those so young is reasonably presum'd to proceed from an innocent Indiscretion and Ignorance of what they are tempted to.

During the Short space between Sentence and Execution Mr. Ordinary took great pains with them, both in private Exhortations, and in his Sermons on the Lords day, and God was pleased to bless his good endeavours with such success, that they both at last, in the judgement of Charity appeared very penitent and sit to dye. On Munday morning about nine a clock, the said two Prisoners, and another young Man Condemned for Clipping, were brought into the Hall of Newgate, where Mr. Ordinary applied himself to them in a very pertinent and pressing discourse, suitable to their condition, and in the process thereof, speaking particularly to Russel, he askt him, what hopes he had of Salvation, and upon what grounds? to which, listing up his hands and eyes, he answered, that though he were a vile sinner, and his sins innumerable (repeating that word two or three times) yet he hoped and trusted to be saved by the infinite mercies of God in Christ Jesus, and that he had prayed earnestly for pardon, and had hopes that God would grant it him, and then of his own accord fell into Prayer with much affection, and words as apt as could be expected from a person of his Education. After that, Mr. Ordinary instructed him more fully in the nature of the terms on which pardon from God was to be obtained, that he must pray not only for a pardon, but to have his heart changed and sanctified by REgeneration; and then proceeded to inquire concerning the Fact for which he died, laying open the hainousness of the sin, to which the Prisoner replyed, that he did believe the

Man dyed by his Sword, but affirmed, he had no intention either to kill or wound him; and that he himself could not certainly tell how it happened, being in the Evening, and done suddenly in an hurrty, but denyed that the person deceased was pushed or held down by any body in a Chair. Mr. Ordinary told him, sure he formerly had been guilty of many grievous sins, that God should so give him up to such a Fact without any provocation, providence oft-times punishing great sins with greater; to this he answered, by confessing, that all his life he had run on in a course of wickedness and rebellion against God, and particularly bewailled with tears, his continual breach and neglect of the Sabbath and Religious Duties.

Then Mr Ordinary spake particularly to stephen Arrowsmith, who with many tears deplored his condition, yet blessed God that he had generally led a very civil life; never was guilty of Theft, nor a frequenter of idle naughty houses, but used to hear very good Ministers, and rarely neglected his duty on the Sabbarh, save only to visit his Parents, till Satan seduced him to this abominable wickedness, which he now very freely confest himself guilty of, and that he deserved to suffer for the same, which was great satisfaction to some present, to whom he before refused to acknowledge it. They both declared, that they were willing to dye, and dyed in the Protestant Religion, and expected Salvation not by any Righteousness or Works of their own, which were nothing but sin and vileness, but only and meerly by the passion and merits of the Lord Jesus. Russel had before exprest something to one of the other persons Condemned, as he informed against him, as if he did not believe, or doubted whether there were any Local Hell. But Mr Ordinary inquired of him his belief in that point, whereupon, he replyed, that he was well satisfied that there was a real place of Hell, and did trust God would deliver his Soul from it, and admit him into the Kingdome of Glory.

Then Mr. Ordinary prayed with, and for them, a considerable time very affectionately, and with great enlargement towards their particular Circumstances; they attending very reverently on their Knees. After which another Minister came in, and gave them some Exhortation, and likewise prayed with them; then declaring to them, that the onely service they could now do Godward, would be to warn others at the place of Execution to avoid Passion, Uncleanness, and all other sins themselves had possibly been guilty of, and which hath brought them to this untimely end: And desiring them to compose themselves, and keep their Hearts close to God, the Ministers for the present recommended them to God, and they were carried down to the Cart, desiring most heartily, as they went, all people to pray for them. When they were putting on the Halters in the Lodge, he that did it, after it was on, asked Russel if it hurt him?'Tis, saith he, somewhat streight; but (with a low voice, as to himself) nothing can hurt me but sin.

At the place of Execution, the Ordinary exhorted and prayed for them, as likewise they for themselves.

Then they did freely of themselves warn all Spectators to take heed by their fatal Example of all Sin in general, and that they would get and maintain the Fear of Good in their Hearts. Russel in particular desired them to beware of the great sin of Sabbath-profanation, as also of lewd Company, rash Passion, and Drunkenness. Arrowsmith acknowledged his Crime there again, and that he had often desired to resort to the publick Assembles of God's people, but was detained from them by a person who should rather have encouraged him to it. He also said, that though he never took to any vitious course, yet as to his Crime of Brutish Lust, for which he suffered the penalty of the Law, he was surprized by the violent temptation of Satan, for which he could never sufficiently repent.

Upon consideration of the whole, and more that might be said, it is charitably believed that they both died very penitent, and with greater hope of their happy state than most that suffer death at that ignominious place.

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