Ordinary's Account.
23rd May 1684
Reference Number: OA16840523

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A True ACCOUNT OF THE PRISONERS Executed at TYBURN. On Friday the 23d of May1684.

With their Behaviour in Newgate, since their receiving Sentence at the OLD-BAYLY. AND Dying Confessions At the place of EXECUTION.

AT the late Sessions of Goal-Delivery, which began at Justice Hall in the Old-Bayly, on Thursday the 15th of May, 1684.Five Persons received Sentence of Death, (viz.) Edward Jackson, a Merchant , or other considerable Dealer in London, for High-Treason; in Clipping the Currant Coin of this Kingdom. John Gower, a Coach-maker , for Murdering his Wife. John Smith, alias Ashburnham, a Notorious Highway-man, for the Murder of Andrew Page, a Headbourough of stoke-Newington; who with his Watchmen were in Pursuit of the said Smith and other Robbers. Edward Hubbard, for Robbery of a Girl as she was passing through Lumbard-street London: And Francis Robinson, for Robbery and Burglary.

As to their Behaviour in Newgate after Condemnation, that I might keep to my Title of giving you a true Account, take here the very Words of Mr. Ordinary, whose constant Attendance several Hours on each day, and painful Applications for the Eternal welfair of their Immortal Souls, gave him opportunity of knowing it best.

The Ordinary of Newgate being desired to prevent for the Future all false Intlligence concerning the Confessions and Dying eeches of Malefactors at

Tyburn; and considering the presumption of some in Issuing our publickly, pretended Confessions, hath been-prevailed with, to prevent for the Future what Inconveniency may be consequent upon such false Accounts.

Some Crimminals who have Dyed Penitentiary’s, have several times been Mis-represented to have been hardned in a State of Sinning, of whose Happiness after their Death, the ordinary hath had (in Charity) a fairer Prospect. Other Dying Criminals have been affirmed to be very Penitent, who have been very insensible of the particular Crimes for which they Suffer’d, and in a manner persisted in the Denyal of the Perpetration of them. So that it was very difficult for any Judge Poffitively, as some Pamphleteers did, of the truth of their Repentance; however by publishing false Accounts of that Nature, some possibly have been Induced to delay their Repentance to a Dying Hour, and to imagine that so serious a Work may soon be Effected.

Therefore, for the future it is desired, that the ordinary of Newgate would set his Hand to a Faithful Account of the Behaviour and Dying words of Melefactors Condemned at the old-Bayle, to be Executed at Tyburn. Which account will be Printed Authentically only by George Croom, the Printer hereof; that so the Buyers of such Intelligence, may not be imposed upon by any false Accounts.

Now, whereas it may be expected that the Ordinary should give some Satisfaction concerning the truth of the Behaviour of the present Condemned Prisoners in Newgate, during their Preparation by him for their Execution. He thus affirms, that on the last Lords-Day being Whitsunday, he Preached to them on that Day on this Text of Sacred Scripture, viz. On the 8th Verse of the 5th Chapter of St. Matthews Gospel. Blessed are the pure in Heart, for they shall see God. He observed the Condemned Prisoners Present at the Chappel, to be somewhat awakened from their Security in Sinning, whereupon they desired him to visit them often, that they might be the better fitted for their End, which accordingly he did: and in those times, the Prisoners Ashburnham, and Robinson, much bewiated their Ungodly Practices, and that they had misspent much Pretious Time in a pursuit of Vanity, which now they were Convinced, had turned to no better account than Bitterness, and Anguish of Spirit.

After much plain dealing with them, and enquiring what solid Hopes they had of a future happy State, they assured me, that they received by a divine Blessing, much Illumination, Conviction, deep Humiliation for Sin, and a great desire after the Happiness of an holy Frame of Heart.

It whould be too tedious to set down many Particular, wherein I was much satisfied concerning their Replies to what I Asked them.

As to Gower, who was Sentenced for Killing of his Wife, I solemnly charged him to deal clearly and sincerely in the Confession of it.

I could not procure his own Acknowledgment of that horrid Villany. He said, That he had been a great Sinner, and an evil Husband, in Marrying another Woman while his former Wife was Living. And therefore, after all my Labour with him, I must leave him to the Heart-searching God.

As for Mr. Jackson, I often visited him he confess’d that he had been a great Sinner. I hope that he was a true Penitentiary, as having sequestered himself from much Company, which he said were willing to give him Visits, because he would better dispose himself to Fasting, Prayer, and the stricter Examination of his Heart, and former Course of Living.

that in Charity, I hope my frequent Attendance, Counsel, and Pray with and for them, was some comfortable Settlement of them in a Pro of their Happy State, after their Exit our of the Land of the Living. stor.

I Subscribed this Narrative on the on the 22th of May1684. Samuel Smith Ordinary of Newgate.

dward Hubbard was Reprieved: But the other Four had notice Execution would be on Fryday the 23d. Day. Mr. Jackson being Room in the Press yard, Devoted himself to Prayer, and other aratiions for his Death; continuing all Thursday Night in Religious cises, much Bewailing his past Sinful Life, but denying the Fact for th he was Convicted: On the 23d. in the Morning a Reprieve for some Dayed was brought him: But the remaining three, viz Smith, Robin and Gower, being as usually brought into the Chappel, Mr. Ordinary Prayed very Affectionately with them, then applied to each particularly, mining what benefit they had gotten by his Indeavours, and what they to disburden teir Conscience of, beginning first with John Gower, discovered the greatest outward appearance of a Penitent Sinner, Say that since he received the Sacrament he found his Heart much softened, that he had felt the motions of Gods Holy Spirit striving with him, to h he had been obedient to his power, expressing himself in tears, yet ed any Confession that he had Murdered his Wife, making little or no er thereto when put to him.

hn Smith, &c. confess’d that he had been guilty of many Robberies on way, but denied that he had any hand in the Murder of ew Page y other Man; saying, he was satisfied with his Condition, and did not ion but in a few hours he should behappy; &c.

ancis Robin confess’d his Fact, and said he had made his Peace with and what was undone he hoped Jesus Christ would make up, and son ther words to that effect.

r. Ordinary then prayed a second time with them, and promising his st assistance at their last hour, left them between Nine and Ten in the ing. Soon after which a reprieve for some days came also for the said Smith alias Ashburnham, so that two only were Executed, viz. Fran Robinson and John Gower, who being drawn in one Cart, each of their ns with them, when they came at the place of Execution, Robinson irst tyed up and admonished to say something to the People to warn s to take heed of the like Crimes, &c. he refused it, saying, it would ie nothing, that not with standing the many Warnings were given in a by men that suffered, yet the like Crimes were again committed; That l end which now besell him might warn People as much as any thing uld say to them; That the Confession he had to make was to God ghty; He seemed to beat himself up with a kind of courage, neither ing Tears or appearing much dejected.

n Gower though also tyed up, did not own the Murther, but gave heed to Spiritual Advice; and Mr. Ordinary praying with them for a derable time; Gower shed many Tears, and to outward appearance attentively than the other joyned in that Duty; which Prayer being d, Mr. Ordinary was much concerned that he could work in him no ession, (the rather by reason he neither would deny nor confess it) g exceeding pains in admonishing him of the danger he run his Immortal

oul upon, by concealing his Sins, and going out of the World in such an bstinate Hamour; with many other proper Expressions for that occasion. t length Gower confess softly in his Ear, that he was the Contriver of , but would not explain it farther, than that he took the Guilt upon himlf, and was now to dye for it, and being many times press’d as well by the rdinary as also by another Minister who was in the Cart, they could get m to own on more than that he had been the Contriver of it. Yet he dered Mr.Ordinary to Pray against; which he did, directing his Petitions to God as the All-searcher of Hearts and Thoughts of Men, that he would work a him a Confession of his bloody Crime, and not suffer him to go our of the orld in an Impenitence State, &c. That Prayer being ended, the Sheriffs fficers were earnest to hasten the Execution more than once, and were reroved be the Ordinary for being so hasty, when so weighty a Work was oing, and the Prisoner splitting himself upon so dangerous a Rock.

The other Prisoner Robinson then desired they might Sing a Psalm, blaing Gower for not Confining the Murder, saying, He would ruine his wn Soul by it: in which Psalm, both the Prisoner, seemed to Sing with ffection.

At length, when about an Hour and half was spent in Prayers, and other ndeavours, no Probability appearing of obtaining more from Gower, the Ordinary took his leave; and being going our of the Cart, several of the ta called to Gower, that he would confess whither he did, or did o, M his Wife: and seeing himself upon the very Bring of Death, e discoed some Trouble upon his Spirit, and Mr. Ordinary returening, d pr it once more, he at last plainly confess’d, That he himself did h the Pistol, and was alone Guilty of the Murder, desiring t. Ordinary to pray with him once more which je did very assenately, and in Words suitable to the Alteration of the Circumstance.

The 3d Prayer ended, the poor Penitent melted into Tears, and became Ingenious as the little time be had left gave leave, blaming the Indulnce of his Master with whom he was Apprentice, that he suffered them misspend the Sabbath-days, which was his first Step to Ruine, and that ought him into those Snares.

He confess’d he had Marryed two Wives; but being ask’d if the Wife last marryed was not consenting to the Murder, or willing it should be ne, he wholly cleared her, taking it upon his Death, That she never ew his country-Wise was so much s come to Town, but that he conved and committed it all himself.

Just at last, Robinson told Mr. Ordinary, that Jenny Vos. (a notorious ck-pocket now in Newgate under Sentence of Death, but Reprieved up pleading to be with Child, &c.) was his Wife , desired him to rememr him to her, and to desire of her she would Reform her Life; and gged that he would give her good Council, and endeavour what lay in n, to reclaim her.

Both the Prisoners then earnestly desiring the Peoples Prayers for their opy Passage into Eternity, the Cart was drawn away, and by God’s ffing, upon the painful Endeavous before mentioned, they departed s World like Men truly sensible of their Condition; and, far as Man n guess, truly penitent.

LONDON, Printed by Geo. Crom, at the Sign of the Blew Ball over against Baynard's Castle in Thames-Street.1684.

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