Ordinary's Account.
28th May 1733
Reference Number: OA17330528

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 MONDAY the 28th of this Instant MAY, 1733.

BEING THE FOURTH EXECUTION in the MAYORALTY OF THE Rt. Hon The Lord Mayor for the Time Being.

Number IV. For the said YEAR.


Printed and Sold by JOHN APPLEBEE, in Bolt-Court, near the Leg-Tavern, Fleet-street. M.DCC.XXXIII.

[Price Three-Pence.]

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE, His ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, &c.

AT the King's Commission of Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable John Barber, Esq; Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Hon. Mr. Justice Probyn; the Honourable Mr. Baron Comyns; the Honourable Mr. Baron Thompson, Recorder of the City of London; the Worshipful Mr. Serjeant Urlin, Deputy Recorder of the City of London; and others his Majesty's Justices of Oyer and Terminer for the City of London; and Justices of Gaol-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City and County of Middlesex,) at Justice-Hall in the Old-Barley, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the 10th, 11th and 12th of May, 1733, in the Sixth Year of his Majesty's Reign.

Three Men, viz. Henry Hart, John Davis and John Jones were by the Jury found Guilty of capital Crimes, and receiv'd Sentence of Death.

While under Sentence, they were shown the great Necessity incumbent upon them, to make a serious Preparation for Death: from the great Difference betwixt a Life of Sin and Wickedness, and a Life of Piety and Virtue, which consists in this; that the former consults only our present Interest, but the latter provides for our future wellbeing, and lays a sure foundation for our everlasting Peace and Happiness. The greatest advantage of a sinful Course is to be diverted a little, and pleasantly entertain'd for a small Moment, which in comparison of the vegetable and

sensitive World is very short, but to be ballanced with Eternity is a meer nothing. Time itself has no proportion to Eternity, much less that span of it which makes up the Life of Man. Behold thou hast made my Days as a Span-long, and mine Age is as nothing in respect of thee, says the Psalmist. Psalm xxxix. 5. Although our whole Life were one continued Scene of Pleasure; 'twould be just nothing in respect of that part, which we are to act upon another Stage. This is all a sinful Life can pretend to, (for it can claim to nothing beyond the Grave but misery and destruction,) and when the little Span is measured out, all upon review we can say of it, will be to the Sense of that severe Remark of the Stoick, the Pleasure truly is past and gone, but the Evil remains, which is a most deplorable and afflicting Consideration.

But this we speak only upon supposition, for seldom the Sinner enjoys this much; his whole Life is but a little Speck between Time and Eternity, and yet it is not the thousand Part he enjoys. The more usual Way of Sin is, in the End of the Feast to present us with a Death's Head; to afflict us with a bitter and long Repentance. A bad Conscience is a Companion troublesome enough, like the Hand Writing upon the Wall, enough to disrelish all the Feast; but much more when the Sinner has nothing to do, but attend to its lashes and remorses. And this in spite of all Diversions, will sometime be the Sinner's Fate, when the Pleasure is over, at some time or other, he will be fill'd with uncomfortable Thoughts and black Reflections. So that the Sum of a Sinful Life is a little momentary Pleasure, at the Expence of a deal of succeeding Trouble and Self-condemnation. And there is this great Aggravation of a sinful Life, or rather of the extream Folly of Sin, that although some of its Pains are eternal, yet all its Pleasures are but for a Season.

But its quite otherways in the Practice of Religion and Vertue, which secures us to an eternal and never-fading Interest, even everlasting Happiness. She is pleasant in the Way, as well as in the End. Her Ways are Pleasantness, and all her Paths are Peace. Prov. iii. 17. But it is her distinguishing Glory, that she brings us true and solid Peace at the last, however an ill Combination of Accidents may defraud us of the other. For Vice

has its Pleasures as well as Virtue, but herein lies the Difference, that Virtue only ends well. And this, by a wise Observation, the Royal Psalmist confirms, I have seen the Ungodly in great Power, and flourishing like a green Bay Tree: There's the present Pomp and Pleasure of Sin. But I went by, and lo! He was gone; I sought him, but his Place could no where be found: There's the unhappy Close of the merry Comedy. Then it follows as a Practical Remark upon the Whole; Mark the perfect Man, and behold the Upright; for the End of that Man is Peace; or as it is otherways translated, Keep Innocency, and take heed to the Thing that is right, for that shall bring a Man Peace at the last, Psal. xxxvii. v. 37.

I also expos'd to them the great Evil of Theft and Robbery, and that they might know what was the proper Foundation of Right and Property, and consequently, of Honesty and upright Dealing in mutual Transactions between one another. I show'd them the Origine of Government, that it was of Divine Appointment, and therefore every Person is bound to submit to it. That it is necessary for maintaining good Order and decent Society among Men, upon which Account every body ought to Respect and Reverence it. I show'd them the great Evil arising from Theft and Robbery, because it is a Breach of the express Law of God, whereby we are discharg'd to rob or steal. God who is the best Judge of Humane Actions, and who best knows what is agreeable to right Reason, and the Nature of Things, hath establish'd this as one of those Laws, which are perpetually binding upon Mankind, that we should be just and honest in all our Dealings, by expresly discharging us to steal, i. e. we should no Ways be guilty of defrauding, cheating, robbing, or depriving our Neighbour, directly or indirectly; but on the contrary, we should be punctual in Performance of our Promises, to the utmost of our Power, by endeavouring to support, comfort and assist our Neighbour in his Wants, Necessities and Straits; yea, we ought not so much as to covet, or in our Hearts desire, the Estates or Goods of Others, which is the Origine or first Cause of Dishonesty, our coveting to acquire those Goods belonging to Others, to which we have not the least Pretence of any Claim or Property, in an unjust and unlawful Manner.

Then I show'd them, that Honesty is founded upon the Nature of Man, as a rational Creature. For upon reflecting, that Men plac'd in Society, must not live at Random, and upon the Catch, like Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Vultures, Eagles, and such like Beasts and Birds of Prey; but that constituted Lords of this World, representing and being made after the Image of God, they must live in a decent, regular and orderly Manner. We infer'd, that Honesty is ingrafted into the Nature of Man, and those who deviate from this first Rule and Principle, are unfit for Humane Society or Conversation, and as luxuriant and hurtful Branches, they ought to be cut off from the Trunk and Body of the Tree. And then I made it apparent to them, That Honesty in our Dealings, is one principal Duty, to the Observation whereof as Men and Christians we are bound and called, &c. Then I pointed out to them, the manifold Losses and Inconveniencies to which unjust Dealings and Practices are liable. Men of such a Character lose their good Name and Reputation, The Memory of the Just is blessed, but the Name of the Wicked shall rot, Prov. x. 7. a hard Case, if the Memory of a Man be not quite extinguish'd, yet it meets with a much worse Fate, his Memory rots, i. e. the very Thoughts and Sentiments which others have of him, imply nothing but Abhorrence and Detestation, which, in some Manner, may be called a double Death, both to sustain the Loss of their temporal Life, and also to be kill'd in their good Name and Character, in the Opinion and Judgment of all reasonable and good Men. And again, a Man who covets, steals and robs the Goods of his Neighbour, sets his Affections on Things below, and in Effect renounces the Christian Religion. And as Robbing and Stealing is in Contradiction to the eighth Commandment, Thou shalt not steal, so it is a direct Breach of the tenth Commandment, whereby we are discharg'd, to desire or covet after the Estates and Goods of our Neighbour. For this is the Root and Cause of those many monstrously wicked Actions, which Men afterwards commit, coveting greedily after the Goods of Others, as the Apostle St. James declareth, but every Man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own Lust, and enticed. Then when Lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth Sin, and Sin, when it is finished, bring

eth forth Death, Jam. i. 14, 15. Further, a Thief and Robber declares himself an avow'd Enemy to all Mankind, and he exposes himself to the Penalty of the Laws of all civilized Nations, as unworthy to breath any longer in the common Air; and which is yet worst of all, he is liable to eternal Death in another World, which infinitely exceeds all the Sufferings we can possibly endure in this Life: So that wherever atrocious Sinners are mentioned in Scripture, as having their Portion assign'd them with Hypocrites and Unbelievers, in that Lake which burneth with Fire and Brimstone for ever and ever, Thieves are listed up in the black Catalogue.

They seem'd averse to confess their Sins, as I exhorted them seriously to make a free Confession, from Jam. v. 16. confess your Faults one to another. I show'd them that it was always the Practice of the Church so to do. That in Case of notorious Offences, under the Old Testament, Confession was requir'd, as we find in the Instance of Achan the Troubler of Israel; and in the New Testament, it is the express Command of Jesus Christ to confess our Sins to the Church, as a special Means to die in Peace of the Church, and in Favour of God, &c.

I show'd them the Obligations they lay under, by their baptismal Vows, to serve God, and that they having been guilty of grievously transgressing these Vows, it was then their Duty to renue themselves by Repentance; and in Token thereof, to participate in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, in the Nature of which Divine and Heavenly Feast, I instructed them from those Words, And they continuing daily with one accord in the Temple, and breaking Bread from House to House, did eat their Meat with Gladness and Singleness of Heart, Acts ii. 46.

When they had these and many other Exhortations, they all behav'd decently and gravely in Chapel, made regular Responses, and were very attentive both to Prayers and Exhortations. Davis was very much sunk in Spirit, and seem'd a little Negligent; but when I admonish'd him, he was equally careful with the other two. He turn'd Sick, and kept the Cell for a Day or two; but when the dead Warrant came out, and his Irons were taken off, he came to Chapel again, though with Difficulty. Henry Hart was also Sick for some Days, but as soon as

he turn'd a little better, and he was eas'd of the Irons, he came close to Chapel, and behav'd very well both in Publick and Private.

Upon Wednesday the 23d of this Instant May, Report was made to His Majesty in Council, of the three Malefactors under Sentence of Death, lying in the Cells of Newgate-prison; when Henry Hart for assaulting (with William Morland and Robert Smith, not yet taken) Elizabeth Kelly, in a Field near the Highway, putting her in Fear, and taking from her a Blanket, Value 1 s. and 10 d. April the 5th, receiv'd His Majesty's most gracious Reprieve: The other two, viz. John Jones, and John Davis, were order'd for Execution.

John Davis, was indicted for assaulting John Sadgrove on the Highway, in the Parish of Twickenham, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a steel Buckle, Value 1 d. and 3 s. in Money, April the 30th.

He was a 2d Time indicted for assaulting Henry Mackrel, on the Highway, putting him in Fear, and taking from him a Bag, Value 1 d. and 5 s. and 6 d. in Money, April the 30th.

He was a 3d Time indicted for a Misdemeanor, in assaulting, beating and wounding Robert Hinton, on the Highway, with an Intent to steal his Money and Goods, April the 30th.

He was a 4th Time indicted, for assaulting, beating and wounding William Ludlow, on the Highway, with a Design to rob him.

And he was a 5th Time indicted, for assaulting, beating and wounding John Fulbrook, on the Highway, with an Intention to steal his Goods and Money.

1. John Davis, about 28 Years of Age, born in Pembrokeshire, of honest Parents, who gave him good Education at School, in Reading, Writing and Arithmetick, to prepare him for Business; and had him instructed in Christian Principles. When of Age, he was put to a Blacksmith and Horse-Farrier , and serv'd out his Time honestly, and with Approbation of his Master. He apply'd to his Trade for some Time, and then he came to Town, and did not want Employment, having been very diligent and careful in his Work, and indefatigable in plying thereto, both by Night and Day, or whensoever he was call'd to work: And this his Masters whom he serv'd, and his Companions, who knew him and his Conversation for some considerable Time, solemnly declar'd

upon Oath, when they appear'd as Evidence in his Favour. He wearied of his Business, either that it was too hard for him (as he pretended) or that he lov'd to be Idle and to pass an indolent Life, thinking, that by much less Labour, though expos'd to much greater danger of his Life at all Times, he might raise contributions on the High-way, and live much more easily and plentifully. He married a Wife, by whom he had some Children; and a little after his Marriage, he went a three years Voyage to the East-Indies, as Armourer of the Ship ; and (as he said) all this time he continued Honest, having never Stolen nor Robb'd any, either in his own Country nor about London; but that there was one Richard Cass, who came home in the Ship with him from the Indies, a vile Rogue, as he call'd him, who told him a great many fine Stories about going upon the High-way, and he being credulous, simple and void of the grace and fear of God, listned to his pernicious Counsels; and coming Home about a Year ago, or upwards, he serv'd as a Journeyman with Anchor-Smiths, and was very assiduous and industrious in his Labour; but the bad Counsel he had upon his Voyage imbib'd, still rolling in his Mind, and imagining to himself great things, and a much easier Purchase, though withal, much more dangerous and desperate, than to live in an honest, Industrious Way; he pretended to his Master and Fellow-Labourers, that he had not strength for such hard Work, but desir'd to go down into the Country to visit his Parents and Relations, and when he had recruited strength for his Business, he promised to return to his Master's Service.

Accordingly he went off, and all his acquaintances thought he was gone to Wales, but instead of steering his course that way, (meeting with his old Companion) he provided himself with proper Utensils for the Highway, such as Pistols, and other destructive Weapons, and having got the use of a Horse, he rode off to raise Contributions on the Road; though in this manner of life he prosper'd but a very short while; for having committed some Robberies with Success, as not being discover'd, he thought of nothing but continuing in that wicked way; till upon the 30th of April last seeking for his Prey about Hounslow-Heath, he met with the three Waggons mention'd in the Indictment, and attack'd and robb'd the Waggoners, after he had us'd some of their Company in a very barbarous Manner, for wa

of Money, in beating, abusing and wounding some of their Company, with firing a Pistol at them, so that if the goodness of God had not interpos'd, he had not only been guilty of commiting a Robbery, but Murther likewise. But Providence favouring the Innocent, would not suffer the Guilty to pass any longer Unpunish'd; for the same Night, immediately after the Robbery was committed, he was taken up at Kensington by the Watchmen, on Suspicion of his being one of the Highwaymen who robb'd the Newbery Coach; and as they were searching and asking him some Questions, the Waggoners came up and were positive that he was the Person who robb'd and abus'd them a little before, and afterwards carrying him before a Magistrate, he was committed to Newgate, and there kept to undergo his deserved Punishment.

Though in the preceeding part of his Life, he had been Honest in abstaining from Theft and Robbery, yet he own'd that he was vicious in several other respects, such as Drinking two often to excess, keeping of idle Company, Gaming, too great a lover of Ease and Idleness, an aversion to constant Business or Employment, Sabbath breaking, and not giving due regard to the advices and instructions of Parents and other Friends; all which and many more are vices commonly incident to these abandon'd and wicked People. He confess'd also, that he was guilty of some other Robberies and several wicked Actions, in consideration whereof, he suffer'd most justly according to Law. He appear'd very discontented, and did not perform religious Duties, with such freedom and cheerfulness, as he ought to have done. I intreated him to resign himself wholly to God, and to submit to the divine Pleasure. He said, it was the Will of Man, but he hop'd for better things from God. I told him that it was upon humane Laws he Suffer'd, yet there were none of these Dispensations happen'd to Men by Accident, but that all afflictions were brought upon them by the Divine appointment, for holy ends and purposes, to correct our vices, and to inspire us with virtuous dispositions, and so to fit and prepare us for glory; upon which Account we ought to kiss the Cross, and to welcome the most rigid dispensations, as intended for our special good and advantage, not in the least to repine, but to say with the holy Prophet, why should a living Man complain; a Man for the punishment of his Sins? Let us search and try our

ways, and turn out Feet unto God's testimonies. Having spoken to him to this purpose, he seem'd to rest satisfied, and Pray'd earnestly to God, to have Mercy upon him, acknowledging that the Punishment of his iniquity, was by far less than what he deserved, and therefore he willingly and with patience, submitted to his fatal Sentence. He was very unwilling to confess his Sins, but I convinc'd him with such strong arguments from Scripture and Reason, that with much difficulty, he at last promis'd to make a free Confession before he died. He declared that he believ'd in Christ as the Son of God, and the Saviour of Mankind; that he repented of all his Sins, and died in Peace with all the World.

The following is the Confession of John Davis as he himself gave to the Ordinary of Newgate the Night before he died, being Sunday the 27th of May, 1733.

I John Davis did agree with Richard Cass, as we came from the East-Indies in the Cadogan, to go upon the Highway with him; Cass sold his Wages before the Ship was clear'd off, which was six Weeks after her Arrival, and among other Things, bought a pair of Pistols with the Money. The same Evening we went on the Road together and met one Capt. Saunders riding a Horse-back at Peckham-gap, and took from him a Goldwatch, two Guineas, and five or six Shillings in silver; Cass shot the Gentleman in the Breast, and I did what I could to relieve him, and am heartily glad to hear that the Gentleman is well recover'd. Cass some Days after took the Goldwatch and sold it for six or eight Pounds, of which he gave me only thirty Shillings; This was done that Day the King took Shiping at Greenwich for Hanover. The same Night we stopt another Man, but took nothing from him; Cass was Blood-thursty, and would have kill'd him, but I prevented it, the Man being a Servant had no Money, so I let him go, in the mean Time Cass had almost broken my Arm with a staff he design'd to knock down the poor Man with.

Cass then persuaded me to go into the Country, alledging that plenty of Money was to be got there on the Road, and put it in my Head to tell all my Friends, I was going in the Country to see my Pa

rents and Relations. Then I bought a pair of Pistols, and went with him ten Miles beyond Marlborough, about three Miles East-side of Newberry, he spent all his Money; for which I quarrel'd and left him, but returning, found him there upon Tuesday following, having left him on Sunday before. I would go no further, so we return'd to London. Ten Miles this side of Newberry, about ten or eleven at Night there was a Man riding up, Cass run before, I pray'd him for God's sake not to shot, but immediately I heard a Pistol go off, but by good Providence the Man was not hurt. From this Man we took a half Crown and five Pence in Farthings. I said I would no more go with him, by reason he was too ready to fire. We came to Brentford, then he bid me go the Yorkshire Road, I left him and came to Rotherhithe the same Night being on Saturday, On the Monday Morning I went to work at my Business, Tuesday Cass came to me and desir'd me to go with him, which I would not do, but bid him go by himself, he promis'd to bring thirty Shillings more for the Watch, that's well says I, but go with you I will not, as for the thirty Shillings I never saw it.

The Saturday following he promis'd again to bring me the Money on Tuesday, but in stead of that he went into Yorkshire. This was in the middle of July, from which Time to the middle of March I never saw, nor heard of him. Then as I was a bed he came to me on a Sunday Morning betimes, I ask'd him where he had been; this he would not tell, till my Wife went out of the Room, then he told me he had been robbing in Yorkshire, but his Uncle there compounded a Robbery for him, and then sent him to Liverpool with a Letter of Credit, where he stay'd not long, but went to Gloucestershire, where within Ten Miles of Gloucester he rob'd a Man of thirty Pounds: For this he was taken upon Suspicion, and after four Months Imprisonment in the Castle of Gloucester, he was let go, since they could not swear to his Face, yet he was very well fetter'd with weighty Irons all that Time, as the red Marks and Strokes or Lines upon them show'd. Cass being dismiss'd on Tuesday from Gloucester Castle, came to London on Sunday Morning. He would have me to go upon the Road with him again, otherwise he would have me taken up upon his Evidence; partly by over persuasion, and partly out of fear, I went with him. We went about a Mile beyond New Cross, where we stopt a Gentleman's

sought the Whip, which I found, man's Servant, and took from him twelve Shillings and something more. I went home and my Wife knew nothing but that I had been a walking out a little. Two Days after he persuaded me to go out again, and upon the same Road we robb'd a Farmer of four Guineas, some silver, and some fine and coarse Sugar; we bound the Man's Hands and Feet in a Field, and left him. A Day or two after we rob'd a Gentleman's Servant of half a Guinea, whom we left in the same pickle with the Farmer before. Next beyond Elton two or three Miles we stopt an Exciseman, took from him six Shillings and six Pence, a Stock and a Silver Buckle. We bound him in the Wood, and about an Hour after we return'd and gave him his Horse and set him at Liberty. The Gentleman's Name was Atterley. From thence we went to Shooter's-Hill Road, where we met a Maltman, from whom we took thirteen Shillings, and to him I restor'd his Horse, which with Difficulty I catcht, he having run away. Sometime after we went to Gravesend, and from thence to Chatham a Foot, within a Mile of which we endeavour'd to stop a Gentleman riding full speed, and though we had the Horse by the Head, yet the Gentleman spur'd his Horse at such a rate, that the Bridle broke and he rode off. We went into the Wood, and in the Evening coming out we met a Man, a private Trader; whom we took into the Wood, and then rob'd him of his Horse, and three Pounds. That Night we came to London. The next Time we went out, one was a Horse-back, and the other on Foot to Craydon. In the Evening we came the London Road, and Cass mounted, stopt a Chariot and got not above ten Shillings, and the two Gentlewomen had no Watches, One of the two Gentlewomen handed me a Handkerchief, with a short black Cloke and Hood, a lac'd Handkerchief and a pair of Gloves; here Cass dismounted the Footman riding up after the Charriot, and gave me his Horse, Now we were both Horsemen. Toward Epping Forest we met a young Gentleman, whom we rob'd of Thirteen Shillings, and a Servant of Col. Raymond's, from whom we took four Shillings and a pair of Pumps, and chang'd the Gentleman's Horse for the one we got at Craydon. A little after we went upon the Kingstone Road and nigh Clapham, we stopt a Derbyshire Gentleman, from whom we took thirty Shillings, and a Silver Watch, here I dropting my Whip, I left the Gentleman with Cass, and

There I met with a Baker's Servant who was order'd to wait there for his Master, who as he told us, had 24 l. about him. I stopt the Baker, but his Man escaping over the Hedge, cry'd out Highwaymen, &c. upon which I was obliged to ride off without any Booty, otherways I had been taken; for a number of People pursued us. An Hour after we stopt two empty Coaches upon the same Road. In the last the Gentleman sate upon the Box with the Coachman, we commanded him to come down, and took from him his Silver Buttons, which we sold for twenty-eight Shillings. Then we took 1 l. from a Gentleman in the Kentish-street Road, and after that went Home. Cass went to an Inn and was told that his Wife did design'd to take us both up. I went to Toby and his Dog and sent for my Brother-in-Law John Bowen, he ask'd me where I had been, I told him, at which he was surpriz'd. I advis'd him to take Cass, he would not do that, unless I went along, or surrendered, this I would not do. I went however to shew him the House, but he was gone. We waited 'till next Morning, I offer'd to take him where Cass was. So I found him with his Wife in Lambeth-marsh, where the Wife having taken the Watch and Money, swore she would hang us both, Cass hearing her express herself after that manner, beat her very severely: Here I shewed Cass to my Brotherin-Law, and we went to the White Horse at the back of the Royal Exchange. John Bowen follow'd us, and coming in took Cass, who by Persuasion of a Thief and Robber, to save himself, was to swear against Bowen and his Brother; but the Justice would not take his Oath, and indeed I never rob'd with any other Person but Cass, for we always turn'd out always together. Next Day I went and stayed three or four Days at Bristol, when the Hue-and-cry was out for me, that made me come back to save two innocent Men. I sent for my Wife, who advis'd me to surrender and save myself, this I thought not proper to do, but slipt off, and after that was forced to go by my self, my Character being so blown, that I could no longer be seen in Town, and Warrants being out against me to take me up. The last Robbery I committed, except robbing the Waggons, was in King-street Road, where I rob'd a Gentleman of 1 l. a silver Watch and his Horse, upon which Horse I was taken. This is all, except the Waggons that Davis could think on, as he said.

John Jones, of Tottenham-Highcross, was indicted for assaulting William Vow, Gent, on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him seven Shillings, April 14.

He was a second Time indicted, for assulting James Collet, Esq; on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him five Shillings, April 14.

2. John Jones, about 23 years of Age, of honest respected Parents at Kiderminster in Worcester-shire, who educated him well at School, in Reading, Writing, Latin, Arithmetick and such things as are proper to fit one for Business; but his good Education he improv'd to no purpose, having been always a perverse, naughty, good for nothing Boy; though beside his School-learning, his Parents were careful to have him instructed in the knowledge of Christian Principles, and taught him the fear of the Lord, which was, what he least of all minded; for he was a despiser of God and Religion, and therefore God despised and rejected him, and left him to himself, to fall into those horrid Crimes, which were the cause of all those miserable Misfortunes he fell into, and the shameful ignominious Death, to which his vile abandon'd Life justly Subjected him. When of Age, his Father being a Farmer in the Country, did not put him to any particular Trade, but bred him to Husbandry , and kept him at Home with himself, in which Way, as he said, he might have done very well, had he been Careful, since his Father was in good Circumstances, and capable to set him up in a Farm, and to put him in good Business; he had also a near Relation a Drover, who employ'd him sometimes in his Way, to look after his Cattle , and so brought him two or three times along with him to Smithfield-Market. Before this last Time, when he came of his own accord, without advising of any Body, and brought himself speedily to the fatal Tree. When I spoke to him in private, he wept much, and lamented the profligate and naughty Life he had led, which was the sole Cause of all the Misfortunes he fell into. He own'd that he had a strong disposition to all manner of Vice, having been notoriously disobedient to his Parents, or disregardful of the good Advices, which either they, or his other Relations, who were anxious of his welfare, were always ready to give

him. He was also a Sabbath-breaker, seldom going to Church, and altogether unmindful of religious Duties: He lov'd idle Company, and was avers'd to follow any settled Business; he follow'd the conversation of wicked Women, and that was no small step to his future Misfortunes; he was notorious for Swearing and Blaspheming; a Vice, though it hath neither Profit nor Pleasure, which never fails to be the peculiar Badge of these wicked dispos'd People: In short, he fail'd in none of those Vices, which are the distinguishing Character of those abandon'd Wretches, who are liable to those fatal Misfortunes attended with a tragical Event; but the too common Vice, which was an inlet, and occasion of all his other Vices, was Drunkenness; for he said, that he was one of the most notorious Drunkards of any young Man alive, which was the occasion of his spending so much Money.

That he was ready to take the most unlawful Course whatsoever, to supply himself with Money, to live at a very extravagant Rate, in Company of the vilest People; and this Method of Life having disoblig'd his Parents and Friends so much, and he wanting Money to prosecute his Lusts, and defray those needless Charges, which his extream Folly and Wickedness expos'd him to, form'd a desperate Resolution in his own Mind, without communicating his Intention to any Person, to leave his Father's House privately, which Design he accordingly put in Execution, and in order thereto, he stole away one of his Father's Horses, and rode up-straight to London, where he was not a long Time, before his Money began to run short, and then not knowing what to do, and not willing to return to his Father, whom he had disgrac'd, and disoblig'd so far already, he form'd a second Resolution to commence Highway Robber, and being provided with a Horse, he went out upon the 14th Day of April last, upon his first and last Expedition of that Kind, and meeting on this Side Tottenham, with Mr. Vow and Mr. Collet, going to Enfield, he stopt their Chaise, and robb'd them to the Value of 12 s. Hitherto, as he himself acknowledged, he dissembled and told most notorious Lies, in several respects; but Sunday the 27th Instant, his Conscience checking him, as he said, being the Day before he died, he desir'd he might have a private Word or two with me, and begg'd Pardon for all the horrid Lies he

had made before, and for the Offence he had given to God and Man, and own'd, that for 3 or 4 Years he had gone upon the Highway, and particularly that for near three Years past, he had been Partner with William Gordon, the noted Highwayman, who was Executed the last Sessions at Tyburn; and particularly he desir'd me to take Notice, that he assisted Gordon in three Robberies lately committed, two of them upon the Road between Kensington and Tyburn, upon the Worcester and Glocester Stage-Coaches, from whom, beside other Things, they took a Trunk and Portmanteau; and that they came back, and went into the Fields on this Side the Turnpike, and hid the Portmanteau in a Brickkiln, and the Trunk in a Ditch, till a proper Time for taking them out of these Places; in which Robbery we shot one of the Horses. The third Robbery was on Enfield Chace, upon the York Stage-Coach, where they took about 10 l. in Money, and divided it 5 l. each, or little more: There were two Bills of 80 and 60 l. which they destroy'd, since they were of no Use to them. This he desir'd me to observe, because it was given out over the Town and Country, that a Woman, in Man's Apparel, was the Person who assisted Gordon in these three Robberies; and to discharge his own Conscience, and do common Justice to Mankind, he declared, as a dying Man, and who was immediately to answer at the great Tribunal of Almighty God, that there was no other Person in Company with Gordon, when the said three Robberies were committed, but himself, and as to that Woman, who is so much talk'd of, he said, he knew nothing of her, only he had often ask'd William Gordon, if she robbed along with him, which he always said, she never did; and Mr. Gordon, a Day or two before he died, made two or three Times, a solemn Declaration to me and Others, to the same Purpose; and that he verily believed, she never went Abroad to rob in Disguise or any other Manner of Way whatsoever. Jones own'd, That he had been a very wicked and profligate young Man, that from his Childhood, he had been a Thief and Robber, having committed a vast Number of Robberies, and most of them in Company with the late William Gordon, whose Partner he was, between two and three Years last past. Before, when I ask'd him, he deny'd that he knew William Gordon, or that he was

guilty of any Robberies, saving that for which he died; and for such Dissimulation and notorious Lies, he declar'd his hearty Repentance, and begg'd Pardon of God and Man. Friday before they died, the 25th Instant, a Gentleman came to Newgate, and ask'd Jones, If he was the Man who attack'd him and another Gentleman, in a Chariot by Kentish-Town, as they were going to Highgate lately, and shot a Pistol in the Face of the other Gentleman, which hurt him very much, but by Providence they were both sav'd? He and Davis solemnly declar'd, They knew nothing of that Attempt. He behav'd always well, wept much, declar'd, That he was very Penitent for all the Sins of his Life. That he believ'd in Christ his only Saviour, and died in Peace with all Mankind.

N. B. If there seem to be any Contradiction in the above Confessions, 'tis hop'd the candid Reader will not impute the same to the Writer hereof; but to the disingenuous and base Way of acting and speaking such vile and naughty People use.

At the Place of EXECUTION.

JOHN Jones had no more Confessions to make: Only he said he was Partner with William Gordon; and that the Worcester and Gloucester Stages-Coaches, betwixt Kensington and Tyburn, and the York Stage-Coach on Enfield-Chase were rob'd by Gordon and him, and that no other Person had any Hand therein. This he said in confirmation of his former Confessions. He said also, That the Account he gave of his Parents was true, that they were People of Credit and Reputation in the Country, and that he was a great Disgrace and Reproach to them.

John Davis had no more to add, but seem'd very Sick, as if he had been scarce able to Speak. This John Davis dissembl'd and play'd the Hypocrite egregiously, some days before his Death: he at sometimes lay in the Cell and would not come to Chappel; at other times he was carried up and down Stairs by one of the Runners, and when I went to visit and pray for him in the Cell, he affected the most pitiful looks and deadly Sickness imaginable; so that the Keepers pitying his Misery, knockt off his Irons several Days before his Execution, and when he came to Chappel, he was either carried upon a Man's Back, or supported by one or two Men, leaning on them with all his weight, being incapably as all Persons that saw him thoght he had not been able to move; and when he was in Chappel, he frequently retch'd and pretended to Vomit, so that every body thought him in a very dismal Condition, as to his Health; and he us'd to say, that he did not think he should live to the time of his Execution: The Morning of his Execution he was carried out on a Man's back, and two or three Men drag'd him into the Cart like a dead lump, and out of Compassion they did not tie his hands fast together, as is usually done. Under the Tree he was tyed up, but, as he pretended, not able to Stand, [he hung upon and was supported by two or three Men] he was loos'd and suffer'd to sit down upon the Cart in time of Prayers, which hath been often done before in such Cases: I observ'd two or three Men speaking to him through the Spokes of the Cart, for which I stopt a little, and reprov'd them sharply, for interrupting one in his devotions just as he was entering upon Eternity: The Prayers being over, they desir'd me to Sing some verses of a Psalm, and as I was beginning to Sing, at the 7th, verse of the 16th Psalm, he having a little before rais'd himself up, and Sitting upon the cross Tree of the Cart, put his Foot to the Side of the Cart, took hold

of a spoke with his Hand, and jumpt over among the crowd in the twinkling of an Eye. The Officers and Spectators were all of them surpriz'd and astonish'd, and some of the People favouring his Escape, he ran very fast till he got over a Field, But the Officers and some Assistants pursuing hard, overtook him, and brought him back, two or three Men holding and pshing him forward, with his Coat off, his Shirt and other cloaths all torn, nothing on his Head, and in this dismal condition they hurried him into the Cart. I desir'd they would allow me to Sing and conclude, with recommendary Prayers to God in their last Moment; But some of the Officers, particularly two of them, who have no regard to the Souls of Men, caus'd the Cart to drive off in a hurry, as soon as the Executioner could do his Duty: Although Jones intreated for God's Sake that I would Sing a little and conclude with a few short Prayers, which Desire they were so far from complying with, that one of them gave me Scurilous, unbecoming Language; and another not only gave ill Words, but threaten'd me with worse Treatment: But this way of doing of such unreasonable Men to abuse a Clergyman in the exercise of his Office, 'tis hop'd the Honourable Magistrates will prevent for the Future.

This all the Account, given By Me,

James Guthrie,

Ordinary of Newgate .


View as XML