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10th May 1676
Reference Numbert16760510-1
VerdictGuilty > pleaded guilty
SentenceDeath

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Amongst which we must reckon the trial of that much talkt of person charged by common Fame with having Seventeen Wives, though to do him Right it must be acknowledged that he was Indicted only for four , and being Arraigned upon the first, knowing what punctual proof there was prepared both of the Ministers that performed the Ceremony and others, and that if he were found Guilty on that, he should be excluded from the benefit of his Clergy upon the rest that he should be Convicted of, therefore being well tutor'd in that Skill, which not a fresh man in that University is ignorant of, He very frankly at once pleaded Guilty to that and all other Indictments within the benefit of Clergy, and so prevented all farther disquisition of the circumstances, and we are sorry were are forced to fail the Readers expectations in a Relation which would certainly have been very rare and divertiseing; But not wholly to disappoint their curiosity we hope we may insert

what could gather from the most credible Reports concerning him, which is, that for about five years last past or more he has made it his business to ramble up and down most parts of England pretending himself a person of quality, and assuming the names of good families, and that he had a considerable Estate per Annum, though in Truth he was old sutor ultra Crepidam, a Knight of the Order of the famous Crispin, being originally by profession a Shomaker , and not many years since a Journyman; but on the pretensions aforesaid, where ever he came if he heard of any rich Maid, or wealthy widow at their own disposal, he would very formally make Love to them, wherein being of handsome taking presence, and Master of a voluble insinuating tongue, he commonly succeeded to engage their easie affections. And having inveigled them to marry him, and for some small time injoy'd their persons, and got possession of their more beloved Estates, he would march off in Triumph with what ready mony and other portable things of value he could get, to another strange place, and there lay a new plot for a second Adventure, but was at last discovered in the West, and apprehended, and at the great charge of the Prosecutor brought up by Habeas Corpus hither, but however subtilly he behaved himself heretofore, I conceive he fail'd in his politicks, when being brought to the Bar and demanded what he could say for himself why judgment should not pass upon him, whereas 'tis believed he might have had the benefit of the Clergy, he obstinately waived that, and insisted for Transportation, which being not thought convenient to be granted, because he stood charged in the Sheriffs custody with an Action of a thousand pounds, he thereupon received sentence with the rest to be hang'd .


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