Old Bailey Proceedings, 12th December 1674.
Reference Number: 16741212
Reference Number: f16741212-1

The Truest News From the SESSIONS

OR, An Exact Account of the TRYAL & CONDEMNATION OF Mr. William Burnet, a Romish Priest, Condemned to be Hang'd, Drawn, and Quartered.

Mrs. Ann Petty, to be burnt for Cliping of money.

As also of Joseph Foster, Robert Harrison, John Clarke, Henry Robertson, Edward Lancet, Elijah Arnold, and, Bartholomew Jennings.

Sentenced to be Hang'd for their several and respective Offences here in particularly specified.

At Justice Hall in the Old-Baily, the 12th of Decemb. 1674.

Being a more perfect Narrative published for general satisfaction.

Printed in the Year, 1674.

NEWS From the Sessions At the Old-Bayly, the 12th. of December, 1674.

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AT this Sessions of Oier and Terminer for the City of London, and County of Middlesex, holden at Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly, begun the Ninth, and continued till the 12th. of this Instant December, 1674. Several Bills being found by the Grand Jury, or In

quest. Amongst many others, two Indictments were exhibited against one William Burnet , by birth (as is said a Scotchman but educated at St. Omers, Dorway, or some other forraign Seminary) by the first he was charged to be a Romish Priest , having received orders beyond the Seas, and that contrary to the statute (in that case made and provided) he had presumed to come into England, and so incurred the Penalties of High Treason . By the second, he was indicted for perverting and seducing several of his Majesties good subjects, and reconciling them to the Church and See of Rome .

The prosecution being grounded upon several statutes, as those of the 23. Eliz Cap.I. 3. Jac. Cap. 4. &c. whereby it is enacted.

" That to absolve, persuade, or withdraw any subject

"from their obedience to the King, or to reconcile

"them to the Pope; or to draw them to the

"Popish Religion, or move them to promise obedience

"to any other state, or procure, Counsel, or aid them

"that do it, shall be connted and punished as High

"Treason. Vide. Lamb.220.226.4I2. and Dalt.232.

Upon the first of these Indictments no sufficient Evidence being produced, the Jury could not thereupon bring him in Guilty ; as the second there was full proof that he had often endeavoured to reconcile divers of his Majesties Protestant subjects to the Ro

mish Church, and had actually perverted several to embrace the Roman Catholique Religion, and assert and maintain the Popes supremacy in matters Ecclesiastical, &c.

To all which he had very little to object, only alleadged, that if it were a Crime so Capital him to persuade People to the Roman Catholique Religion, (which he was verily persuaded was the onely true one) then it must be the same offence in Quakers and other different persuasions, since they as well as he made it their endeavour to draw people from the Church of England to their particular party. But to this was easily answered, that the very Words of the Law had expressed the Roman Catholique religion or Popery, but no such thing of any other Faction, and that Recriminations were no excuse, much less Justification; Whereupon after a full hearing, Debating, and weighing of the matter, the Jury brought him in guilty of High Treason upon the last Indictment , and accordingly on Saturday he received sentence, To be Hang'd, Drawn, and Quartered ; which he received with a modest Generosity, saying these words, Gloria in Excelsisdeo. &c.

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The next Criminal we ought to mention for the likeness of their offence in its nature and punishment, though of Different sex and manner, was Mistris Ann Petty , Widdow , a person of above sixty years of age; she lived lately near Holbourn Conduit, but formerly in the Green-yard in Leaden-Hall, her Husband some Years since, in a very melancholy Discon

tented humour upon I know not what provocations went and hang'd himself, since whose decease this woman hath followed several indirect courses, but more especially for Clipping of money , for which purpose she held a Correspoddence with some wild Apprentices, Servants, or Casheirs to eminent Citizens, who it is said) brought her summs of large lawful money which she clipt and returned, allowing them five pound in the Hundred more or less, and yet got considerably her self for her own pains, as she then apprehended, though now she is like to pay dear enough for it: for she was here indicted, and Evidence came in that saw her at the Clipping trade, and others that had bought divers quantities of silver melted down of her, besides the violent suspition for that some of her tools were taken in the house, together with Fileings and Clippings to a good considerable value; upon which she was brought in guilty of high Treason, and sentenced to be Drawn on an Hurdle or Sled to Smithfield (the usual place for such Executions) and there to be burned to Death : A Youth her Son was also Indicted, but not being proved to be any way concerned in his Mothers ill practises was acquitted .

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Edward Lancet , Elijah Arnold , and Bartholomew Jennings were arraigned for Fellony and Burglary; For that they on the Lords Day had broken into a Merchant s house in Crutchet Fryers , when nobody was at home but a poor honest Maid-servani, whom they immediately took and bound and gagg'd her so

that she was not able to utter a word: they took away there in Plate and Money to the value of two hundred pounds or thereabouts ; but diligent information being given out and Enquiries made upon the sale or disposal of some of the things they were seized, and now Indicted, Convicted, and Condemned , (being old Malefactors) to be Hang'd for the same .

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Robert Harrison was arraigned, found guilty and condemned for killing a person in White-Cross-street , which he endeavoured to shew was done by misadventure or in his own defence, but the proof was Evident, and he for it condemned to be hang'd , as in such cases of Fellony and murder is accustomed.

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Joseph Foster was convicted for Burglary and Fellony, though he did not steal above the value of thirty shillings , yet being a notorioos offender that had often commenc'd in Newgate University, and but a Sessions or two ago got off by pleading a pardon, he now received sentence of Death .

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John Clark was likewise condemned for Burglary or House-breaking ; three more were concerned with him, but he only was as yet taken, though 'tis not doubted but we shall very shortly have an account of the rest.

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Henry Robertson a person often free of this Corporation was condemned for Jilting or stealing several peices of Plate , he had both been burnt in the hand, and transported (as it is said) before, but now it is thought must receive a Passport into another world, being with the rest condemned to dye .

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Besides these nine ordered to receive Capital punishment, there were nine others that got off by the benefit of the Clergy, and carryed away the Law in their own hands. Twelve that prayed and obtained the favour of Transportation, and four sentenced to Shove the Fumbler, or receive the correction of the gentle Lash for several crimes respectively no less tedious, than impertinent here to be recited.

There were likewise divers Romish Recusants Indicted for not repairing to their respective Parish Churches, and the Bills found against them according to the statutes in that case made and provided.

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