Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 11 December 2023), Ordinary of Newgate's Account, December 1707 (OA17071217).

Ordinary's Account, 17th December 1707.

The ORDINARY of NEWGATE his Account of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Wednesday, Decemb. 17. 1707.

AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, being the 10th, 11th, 12th, & 13th Instant, there were Nine Persons convicted of Capital Crimes, and receiv'd Sentence of Death accordingly. Of these Nine, two obtain'd a Gracious Reprieve, (which, I hope, they will take care to improve to God's Glory) the other Seven were order'd for Execution. But the last of these Seven was Repriev'd at the Gallows.

On the last Lord's Day, the 14th Instant, I preach'd to them, both in the Morning and Afternoon, upon this Text, 2 Cor. 5. 10, 11. For we must all appear before the Judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his Body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the Terrour of the Lord, we perswade Men. From which words, first paraphrastically explain'd in general, I consider'd and discours'd upon these following Particulars, viz.

I. That all Men shall be call'd to Judgment, and must certainly appear before Christ.

II. What sort of Judgment that shall be, which Christ will then pass upon them. It will be a Judgment either of Eternal Condemnation of Absolution. Here I endeavour'd to represent to 'em the horrible Torments of Hell, and the surpassing Joys of Heaven.

III. By what means Condemnation might be avoided, and Absolution obtain'd, namely, by Faith and Repentance.

IV. And lastly, How these Graces, Faith and Repentance, might be wrought in us, viz. by the Spirit of God, which we ought earnestly to pray for.

Having enlarged upon these Particulars, I exhorted my Auditory, chiefly the Condemned, that they would seriously Consider and Examine themselves, and earnestly pray to God for his Divine Assistance, that they might stedfastly believe in Christ, and truly repent of all their Sins, both known and unknown, and through the Merits of our Blessed Redeemer, who has shed his most precious blood for all Repenting Sinners, obtain Mercy and Pardon at God's hands, and the Eternal Salvation of their Immortal Souls.

To all this they seem'd to give great attention; and I observ'd them all along to behave themselves with decency and Devotion; indeed much better (in my Judgment) than any one else in the Congregation, though very numerous. They continued in a very tractable temper, and desired to receive Christian Instruction, which they all very much wanted, as having lived the most part, if not the whole, of their time in Sin and Ignorance which they now acknowledged with trouble and grief of heart.

I. John Hall, Condemned for Felony and Burglary, viz. For Breaking the House of Captain John Guyon, of the Parish of Stepney, and taking thence a blue Cloath Wastecoat, and other things of a considerable value, &c. He said he was about 32 years of Age, Born in Bishops-Head-Court near Grays-Inn-Lane, in the Parish of St. Andrews-Holbourn; That he was in the Sea-Service about 15 years off and on; and had follow'd also the Business of Chimny-sweeping , when at Land. He own'd in general, that within these 3 Years last past he had committed a great many Robberies, some of them very considerable, in and about London; but he would not come to Particulars, saying, he had forgot them in a great measure, and it would signifie nothing to any Person to know every ill thing he had done; for he could make no other amends to the Persons he had wrong'd, than to ask their Pardon. Upon my asking him, Whether any Servants or Neighbors of the Persons he had robb'd at any time, were ever concern'd with him, he answer'd, No, so far as he could remember. He readily acknowledg'd he had been a very ill Liver; that he had committed all manner of Sin but Murther. I found him very ignorant in Matters of Religion, tho' he said he formerly went to Church. He could neither Read nor Write, which, he told me, was a great Misfortune to him; for had he known those things, he might have spent his Time better. He further said, That he was much addicted to Idleness and Gaming, which two Vices brought him to the commission of others, particularly that of Robbing at such a rate as he did; and, That when of late he had some Thoughts of leaving off Thieving, he found his Inclinations were still that way. He exprest himself as if he was now willing to die, desiring nothing in this World, but that God, of his Infinite Mercy, would forgive whatever he had done amiss, and dispose him to die well, so as he might avoid the Eternal Condemnation he had deserv'd. I press'd him to confess the Fact for which he was condemn'd; but he denied it, tho' at the same time he acknowledg'd God's Justice in bringing him to this Untimely End. At the Request of a certain Person I asking him, Whether (as 'twas reported by some) he had made a Contract with the Prince of Darkness, for a set time to act his Villanies in; he answer'd, He never did, nor said any such thing. He and all the rest being ask'd, whether they knew any thing of Mr. Hampson's Murther, they all declar'd and protested, that they knew nothing of it.

II. Stephen Bunce, Condemn'd for the same Fact, deny'd his being guilty of it, but acknowledg'd himself to have led a very ill Life, and committed many Robberies of late years, for which he asked Pardon both of God and Man, and was sorry he could make no other satisfaction but by his Death, which he said he was willing to submit to, and therefore desir'd his Friends nor to Petition for his Life. He told me he was about 28 years of Age, born of very good and wealthy Parents in Kent; his Grand-father (with whom he was brought up at Feversham) being worth above 800 l. a Year, but that his Family was ruined by the late Civil Wars. I found he had very little Education, and had spent the most part of his Life in an idle way of Gaming, Drinking, and the like, which he freely confessed: Only he said he was sometimes in the Sea-Service , and designed for the Sea again when he was apprehended. He protested that he never was guilty of Murther.

III. Richard Low, Condemned for the same, and other like Facts; he said, he was about 24 years of Age, Born near the Horse-ferry in Westminster, that he was brought up to the Sea , and served there for the greatest part of his Life. He own'd he was justly Condemned, and that he had committed many Robberies within these 4 or 5 years, in and about London. He Confessed further, that he had been a very wicked Liver, and was guilty of Whoredom, Drunkenness, Swearing, and many other Crimes, but not of Murther. He seem'd very much dejected, and said he was sorry he had been so wicked, but if he were to live his Life over again, he hoped he should be wiser and better; and so said all the rest.

IV. Will. Davis, condemn'd for Breaking open the House of Christopher Gately, and taking from thence 3 Gold Rings, a Shagreen Box, &c. on the 25 of September last. He said he was almost 24 Years old, born in the Parish of St. Margaret Westminster; that he was a Seaman by Profession, and had gone several Voyages; but by Gaming, Drunkenness, and an idle Life, and keeping of bad Company, had brought himself into the wicked Trade of Robbing, and to this his untimely and shameful End; which he acknowledged to be the just Reward of his Sins.

V. Joseph Montisano, alias Day, Condemned for Breaking the House of David Martin, in the Parish of St. Bartholomew near the Exchange , and taking from thence a Gold striking Watch, &c. He acknowledg'd, that his Condemnation was just, and that he had been of late Years a very Wicked Man, and done much Mischief in the World, by Cheating and Thieving; which, Gaming had first brought him to, and which prov'd his ruin at last; for when he was found out to be such a Person, none of those Merchants and others who imployed him and intrusted him with Goods and Money before, would afterwards have any thing more to do with him. He confess'd himself guilty in particular of a Robbery by him committed (together with one Thomas Dennis) at the House of Mr. Calpin, in a Court in Aldersgate-street, on the 6th of August, 1707. taking from thence one piece of Scarlet-Cloth, a Remnant of Shaloon, a Remnant of Blue Cloth, and two Remnants of Black Cloath; a piece of which black Cloath he dropt under the Window. He said he was a Sugar-baker by Trade, and for some time a Gardener , who rented two Gardens at Lambeth, and kept the Market: That about 12 Years ago he was a Servant to Capt. Rooke, then Commander of the Fubs Yatch, and lived with him about two Years: That he was now about 28 Years of Age, as far as he knew, and was born at Ansterdam, of Jewish Parents, but Educated by the care of an Aunt of his, a Protestant in the City of London; to which place he was brought from Holland when an In

fant. He told me he never was Baptized, yet went to Church often, and was made acquainted with the Principles of the Christian Religion, which (it seems) he understood a great deal better than those of his fellow Sufferers, who were early Baptized into it. He express'd great Sorrow for his past mispent Life, of which he gave me a particular Account: And desiring earnestly to receive the Sacrament of Baptism before he dy'd, and I judging him fit for it, administred it to him, as I did also, at the same time, to the two following Malefactors.

VI. William Kite, Condemned for a Rape by him Committed upon a Girl of Seven Years Old. He was about 47 Years of Age, born of Anabaptist Parents, at Great Wolverton in Warwick-shire, and came up to London in 1678, where having served his Apprenticeship with two Silkdyers , he afterwards set up for himself. He confest the Fact for which he was to suffer, and said, That he had been a very ill Man; but yet sometimes would mind that which is Good, and frequently go to hear Sermons; though he was no true Member of Christ's Church. By his Words and Tears he express'd his Grief for his former Vicious Life; and having given me some satisfactory Account of himself, I receiv'd him into Christ's Flock by Baptism.

VII. John Read's Confession should have come in here. But as he was Repriev'd at the Place of Execution, I shall now say no more of him, but that I hope he will remember the great danger he has been in, and endeavour to improve this extraordinary Mercy, and make good his Baptismal Vow.

All these Persons did carry themselves very well, and were very sober, so far as I could observe, under their Condemnation, during which I was much with them, sometimes in the Chapel, and sometimes in the Condemned Hold, and at some other times in other places within Newgate, where I could best discourse with them. As I found they often expressed great satisfaction in this, Viz. That among so many Men they were, not one of them had ever kill'd any Person; I put them in mind, that the very attempt or design to kill, was Murther before God, of which some of them could not but be sensible they were guilty, as Hall, and those concern'd with him. To this they answer'd me, That if at any time they had let off a Pistol, it was not with a design to kill, but secure themselves from being taken. Being desir'd to ask John Hall, Steven Bunce, and Richard Low, whether they were acquainted with one Mr. Barrat, and did frequently resort to his House, at the Swan and Two Fighting-Cocks in Bunn-Hill-Fields, and, Whether they had at any time made him privy to any of their concerns; I put those Questions to them: To which they answer'd me, upon the word of Dying Men, That they did not know Mr. Barrat, and had no manner of Acquaintance with him, nor he with them; and that though they had been sometimes at his House, as being publick and free to any-body to go in, yet he never knew any thing of their Concerns, and were perfect Strangers to him. This they solemnly declared, as they hoped for Salvation.

Upon my pressing again Hall, Bunce and Low, to be more open and particular in their Confessions, and thereby clear their Consciences, and make some sort of satisfaction to the Persons Injured, they all told me, That what they had done before they were made Evidences against Arthur Chambers, and others, that were Executed within, this Twelve-Month, was very well known: That for what they had done since, it was not very considerable; That (however) they had taken Care to send to the Persons injur'd by 'em, and acquainted them with whatever might be necessary for them to know in those Matters; and that if they could make them better amends, and undo all the Evils they had done in their Lives, they would heartily do it. They all expressed a desire rather to Die than to Live, saying, they hoped it would be for their good hereafter, to undergo this Condemnation here; but whether it be so or no, I will not take it upon me absolutely to determin: But no doubt it may prove to the good of Mankind, who will be no more injured by them; and it may also particularly prove to their great good, who have been formerly engag'd in such Sinful Courses, and will now, as I hope, take Warning by their Death, as these Persons desir'd they would. When I went to visit them in the Condemned Hold, (where some People told me, It was not safe for me; but I was not of their Opinion) I found them always in very good Order; and they were so far from offering Rudeness, or doing any Mischief to me, that they shewed me all the Respect, and gave me all that attention which it became them to give to one, who endeavoured nothing more than the preparing them for a better Life. I must say this of them, that (taking them all together) I never saw so many Condemn'd Offenders, at once, behave themselves with more Decency than these did.

They were this Day carry'd out of Newgate in three Carts to the Place of Execution, where I attended them for the last time.

I exhorted them to stir up their Hearts to God more and more, to clear their Consciences, and to discover any thing they knew might be of use to the World. They answer'd me to some private Questions I put to them; and then declar'd they had no more to say, but that they were guilty of the several Facts for which they dy'd. They desir'd all Spectators to pray for them, and take Warning by them; and Davis in particular wish'd that all that knew him would become wiser and better by his shameful Death, so as they might not come to the same Condemnation: And he pray'd that none would reflect upon his Wife and Family, for his having been such an ill Liver, and come to such an ill end. Hall spoke to this effect, That he had been very wicked, and done much Mischief; but he hop'd God had forgiven him; and he desir'd all Persons to take Warning by him, and pray for him. And so did his other Fellow-Sufferers. While we were at Prayer, Word was brought, that there was some probability, there would be a Reprieve for John Read, which set his Heart betwixt Hope and Fear. We went on with Praying, and sung several Penitential Psalms; Rehears'd the Apostle's Creed; and while we were waiting for that Reprieve, which was long a coming, I continu'd my Exhortations to them, and Prayers for them, even 'till they seem'd to be most desirous and impatient of going out of this World, Read excepted; who being unty'd and taken out of the Cart, in an anxious expectation, the others desir'd me to pray again, which I did for a considerable time, and then withdrew; wishing them a happy Passage out of this Life to a better, and heartily recommending every one of their Souls to God's boundless Mercy in Christ. When I had done with them, they pray'd for some Minutes by themselves; and then were turn'd off; calling upon God all the while to have Mercy upon their Souls, and open the Gate of Heaven to them. Some time after this was over, the Reprieve came for John Read, on whose Face one could then read the Joy it brought to his Heart. God grant he may improve it to good.

This is all the Account I can give here of these Malefactors; which, if the Reader do not find so full and so congruous as he might desire, I hope he will excuse me, when he considers what a deal of Work I have had to dispatch in a few Days: In which the Thoughts and Endeavours of making Converts and Proselytes to the Christian Religion had, above all others, the prevalence with me,

Wednesday, Dec.17.1707

Paul Lorrain, Ordinary .


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