Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 25 September 2017), Ordinary of Newgate's Account, March 1749 (OA17490317).

Ordinary's Account, 17th March 1749.

THE ORDINARY of NEWGATE'S ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confession, & Dying Words Of the THREE MALEFACTORS Who were executed at TYBURN On Friday the 17th of MARCH 1748-9.

BEING THE Second EXECUTION in the MAYORALTY OF THE Right Honble Sir William Calvert, Knt . LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

NUMBER II. For the said YEAR.


Printed for, and sold by T. PARKER, in Jewin-street, and C. CORBETT over-against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet-street, the only authorised Printers of the Dying Speeches.


[Price Six-pence.]

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

BY Virtue of the King's Commission of the Peace, OYER and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, held before the Right Honourable Sir WILLIAM CALVERT , Knight , Lord-Mayor of the City of London; the Honourable Baron CLARKE, Mr. Justice WRIGHT, Mr. Justice BYRCH, RICHARD ADAMS , Esq ; Recorder , and other of his Majesty's Justices of OYER, and TERMINER, and Goal-Delivery of Newgate, holden for the said City, of London, and County of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday the 22d, Thursday the 23d, Friday the 24th, Saturday the 25th, and Monday the 27th of February, in the 22d Year of his Majesty's Reign; JOHN

RAVEN, NICHOLAS MOONEY, THOMAS HOLLY, JOHN BURK, and BENJAMIN WATTS, were capitally convicted, and received Sentence of Death accordingly.

They all of them constantly attended divine Service in the Chapel, since their Convictment, and appeared very penitent and earnest in their Devotion.

On Thursday the 9th Instant, the Report of the above 5 Malefactors was made by Mr. Recorder to his Majesty, when he was pleased to order the 4 following for Execution, viz. John Raven, Thomas Holly, John Burk, and Benjamin Watts, on Friday the 17th Instant.

Nicholas Mooney , upon Account of some Circumstances, which were laid before his Majesty, is respited till the 20th of April , John Raven reprieved by his Majesty for Transportation , and the remaining three order'd for Execution as above.

1. THOMAS HOLLY was indicted for robbing Mary Dale , in an open Field near the King's Highway, of one Silk Handkerchief, Value 6 d. Jan. 20th . He was a second Time indicted for robbing Sarah Buscoe , &c. of a Silver Thimble, Value 3 d. and Six-pence in Money, Jan. 20th .

2. JOHN BURK , late of St. Giles's in the Fields, was indicted for robbing Terence Walden of 1 Waistcoat, Value 2 s. and a Handkerchief, Value 6 d. Feb. 3d.

3. BENJAMIN WATTS, alias ROTTEN , late of Saterly in Suffolk, was convicted, as being a notorious Smuggler, and not surrendering himself according to order of Council .

4. John Burk , aged 21, was born in Dublin. At about 9 Years of Age, he says, he was sent abroad as a Cabbin-Boy , on board a Merchant Ship that sailed from Appledore, near Biddeford in Devon, trading to Virginia, and he continued in that Capacity, and before the Mast for 3 or 4 Years.

The last Voyage he went in her, he says, was about the Commencement of the late War with France, when being homeward bound he was press'd into his Majesty's Service, and taken on board the Mortar Bomb. He had not sailed in her long, but cruising the Bristol Channel in Hopes to pick up more Seamen, off the Island of Lundee, they met with bad Weather; and that Channel being pretty open to the Wind, as he says, as it

then blew, they thought it might be more safe to come to anchor under the Island. But the Storm increased so upon them, that they expected all to perish; for after cutting their Masts by the Board, and throwing over their Guns, &c. they were obliged to let down all their Anchors, which, notwithstanding would not preserve them; but the Violence of the Winds and Waves parted their Cables, and they were left entirely to the Mercy of the Sea. In this dangerous Condition, without Mast or Rigging of any Kind, they were toss'd up and down for 3 Days and Nights, and the 4th Day about 9 o'Clock in the Morning, the Storm abated, so after running that great Hazard of their Lives, the Ship's Crew were providentially saved, and got into Appledore Harbour . The Owner gave his Orders immediately to refit, (the Hull of the Ship all the while having received very little Damage) which was accordingly set about, and Burk stay'd till she was compleated, and ready to fail.

But, then thinking he had been in this Employ long enough, had suffer'd sufficient Hardships, he determin'd the endeavouring to change his Fortune, and try what he could do in another Way of Life; so taking French Leave, as he call'd it, he left Biddeford, and cross'd the Country to Plymouth, where he was no sooner come, than a Press-gang meeting him in the Streets, saluted him, with How dost do Brother Tarr? and hurried him directly on board the Ludlow Castle a 40 Gun Ship of War, but he says, he had the Liberty to enter himself as an effective Man before the Mast. During his being on Board that Ship, which was only eight or nine Months, she was one of the Fleet ordered to go before Ostend, while it was besieged by the French in the late War. And the Governor desiring some Assistance, a Complement of Men from every Ship was sent, and he made one of the Number that was draughted out for that Purpose He was ashore he says in the Garrison of Ostend about eighteen Days, and it being the Opinion of the Governor, that the Place must be taken, he and the rest that belonged to the Men of War, were again sent back to their respective Ships; and accordingly the Town surrender'd to the French. The Ludlow Castle returned presently after to the Downs, and from thence was dispatch'd with some others to Amsterdam, in order to Convoy to England, a Dutch India-Man; which being effected, and arriving at Sheerness, Burk became Sick, and was sent on Board the Britannia Hospital Ship, where he was taken proper Care of.

By the Time he recovered the Ludlow Castle was gone to the Westward, and he was turned over to the Amazon, which having been taken from the French, was made an English Man of War of twenty Guns. In this Ship they had the good Fortune to take a French Privateer to the Westward; with which Prize he and some other Hands were sent into Mount's Bay, and it being there sold to a Merchant of that Neighbourhood, he was discharged, and made the best of his Way on Foot for London, when he came here, be went aboard a Ship, called the Jamaica Snow, from which he was again press'd into the Service; and after some Time being kept on Board the Royal Sovereign, was turned over to the Pool, a forty Gun Ship of War, his stay on Board the Pool was about six or seven Months, and then he was in the Deal Castle for the Space of two Months.

After all he got on Board the Mortar Bomb again, which was the first Kings Ship he ever was in, and continued there he says, about thirteen Months in the Channel Service. At the End of which Time she came up to Woolwich, (it being the latter End of July or Beginning of August last) and being paid off, he among others was discharged the Service.

And now he says, he went to his Parents and lived with them in St. Ann's Parish, Westminster, with thirteen Pounds in his Pocket, which was all the Wages that remained due to him, he then lived with them till about three Weeks before Christmas, he afterwards went down to Parkgate, and failed from thence in a Packet Boat, he landed at Dublin on Christmas Eve; but not meeting with any great Encouragement, or kind Reception, he left his Native Country again and repaired to London about the Middle of January. Since which Time he gives no other Account of himself, but that he lived with his Friends very quietly, who gave him Meat, Drink, and Lodging, and was in hopes of going to Sea again soon He says he had been that very Day, he was taken up, to agree with the Captain of a Virginia Trading Ship, that he had been on Board the Ship, and had hired himself to go a Voyage.

He says, that coming Home in the Evening through Lincoln's Inn Fields, he did meet the Prosecutor, Terence Walden, and gave him a blow upon the Head, who immediately cryed out Murder, Burk

took to his Heels, and ran away. Some People hearing the out cry, came to see what was the Matter, and hearing the Complaint, pursued Burk and took him. The Prosecutor then upbraided him with what he had done.

Burk says, it was the Prosecutors crying out that made him run away, but whatever he intended to do, being in Liqour, he thought it better to run, then to stay to be taken. He had taken nothing from the Man, and expected no Harm to ensue, or otherwise he had Time enough to have escaped from them. He never was concerned, he says, in any such Thing before, and that if he had not been drunk, he should not have attempted this Fact, and though he was often told, how positively the Prosecutor swore to his taing the Handkerchief and Waistcoat, &c. that in running he flung away the Stick and Parcel together; yet did he declare to the last, that he never handled the Parcel, nor offered the open Knife to the Terror of the Prosecutor, and he declared upon hopes of seeing God, that when he met the Prosecutor, he struck him with his Stick; but never said a Word to him, nor offered to take any thing from him.

2. Benj. Watts , aged 42, was born at Saterly, and bred a Carpenter by Trade, at which he wrought for the support of his Family for many Years; till about 7 Years ago it pleased God to visit him with a grievous Sickness, which confined him a long Time, and was very expensive to him, and he scarce escaped with Life. However he was rendered thereby incapable of getting a Livelihood, and Maintenance for his Family any longer by his Trade aforesaid.

Complaining to his Acquaintance and Neighbour of his Hardships, and Misfortunes he now laboured under, he says to him, why don't you take on with the Smuggling Trade? Watts replyed, he had spent all his Money in his Illness, and was very Poor. His Neighbour however advised him so to do, and to encourage him lent him some Money to begin with; and now he began to buy Parcels of Tea, &c. of the Smugglers, and to sell it again in any small Quantity, not thinking it was a Crime; but says, he never landed any Goods contrary to Law, nor carried Fire Arms, being always since he got into those Ways, in low Circumstances, and in too bad State of Health, to attempt to undertake dangerous Exploits. However after the outlawry was proclaimed against him, he thought proper to leavehis own House, and secrete himself at a Friends for some Time But unluckily for him, going one Day to Bungy near Beccles to see a young Child of his that was kept by a Friend, at that very juncture of Time two Custom, or Excise Officers came into the House not thinking he was there, but to search for prohibited and uncustomed Goods. They seeing him, and knowing that there was an outlawry against him, were about to apprehend him in the House, but escaping from them, he took to his Heels, and ran away the Distance of some Fields. They follow'd as close as they could, and kept him in Sight, till by reason of a Phthysical or Consumptive Disorder, he has for some Years laboured under, his Breath fall'd him, and he could run no farther, he came to a Hedge, and finding himself spent, he thought it was best to surrender; but at first he says, in hopes to keep them off, he put his Hand to his side Pocket, as though he was about to draw out a Pistol, and bid them keep their Distance, for that the first Man, that came to seize him should be a dead Man: But after they had parleyed a little with him, and he found they were determined to take him, says he to them, Gentlemen, you need not be afraid, I have no Arms, and since I find I cannot get away from you, I surrender myself to you; you are welcome to do as you please with me. So they took him without any farther Resistance, and brought him back again to a Public-House at Bungy, where they charged a proper Officer with him, till they could get a Party of Soldiers, and then they set out, and brought him directly to London, about the Beginning of January last, and he was committed to Newgate.

The Case was, there was one Sam. Colliton , who kept the Wallnut-Tree at Benacre, had lodged an Information upon Oath against him before John Oxenford , Esq ; Justice of the Peace for the Liberty of the Tower, that he, with others, to the Number of three, or more, were assembled together at Benacre in Suffolk, on October 8, 1746, in order to be aiding and assisting in landing uncustomed Goods. In Consequence of which he was advertised in the London Gazette, and not surrendering himself according to Order of Council, became liable, and was tried by Suggestion; which contained certain Facts founded on a late Act of Parliament, made in the 19th Year of his present Majesty's Reign, entitled, An Act for

farther Punishment of Persons concerned in landing and carrying away uncustomed Goods, &c. in Order to bring in a Number of Persons that had been guilty of great and violent Offences, to surrender themselves to Justice; and if they did not before a Day fixed by the King's Order in Council, that they were then declared to be Felons convict, and to suffer Death as other Felons. So that this Punishment he has brought upon himself by his own Obstinacy; for if Innocence had been of his Side, he might have surrendered, and made it appear, and then his Life had been safe: But the flying from Justice, he is now sensible, argued Guilt in the Eye of the Law, and, of course, Punishment must ensue. However, according to the common Usage of these People, he refused to own the Matter of the Information against him to be true; but said, as it pleased God to suffer him to be thus dealt with, he received his Fate with Resignation, forgiving all Men, as he hoped to be forgiven.

Being desired to ask him whether he knew any Thing of the breaking and robbing the House of Mrs. Leman, at Wenhaston, near Blithburgh, in Suffolk, which was done on the 5th of December last, by about half a Dozen Persons, supposed to be Smugglers; he protested he knew nothing of the Fact, nor who did it, and thank'd God that he had never been guilty of any such like outrageous Piece of Villainy.

3. Thomas Holly , aged 22, was born about four Miles from York City, and the Account he gives of himself is, that his Parents being in low Circumstances in the World, when he was about 11 Years of Age he was obliged to shift for himself; so going aboard a Coal-Ship that traded from York to London, he maintained himself for two Years very well by his Wages, without being burthensome to them, who had many Children to provide for. Afterwards he entered on board the Success Man of War, of 20 Guns, being then bound for Ireland. It was expected she would have been stationed there for three Years, but having staid only eight Months, received Orders to proceed to New England. In their Passage thither, she had the good Fortune to meet with a Spanish Galleon, three Leagues to the Westward of the Bay of Biscay. It was a French Ship, in the Service of Spain. The Success fired once, and upon the second Fire, he says, the French Captain fell down in a Fit,

after having given his Orders to fall to Leeward, and strike, tho' the Gunner and Boatswain were preparing to engage. Accordingly, without firing a Gun, she became a Prize to the Success, who clapped some of her Men on board, and carried her to New England. There was Cargoe and Money on board to the Amount of 70,000 l. 143 Bags of Dollars, besides a large Bag of Diamonds, and other very valuable Things. She proving lawful Capture, was sold in that Country; but out of the whole Amount, this poor unhappy young Man's Share was only 36 l. Having staid in New England about 22 Months, the Success returned to England with some Trade under her Convoy, and afterwards went to Lisbon; from thence she went upon a Cruize on the Coast of France, where she met with some small Prizes, upon Account of one of which he has ceived 11 s. 6 d. the other remains yet unpaid.

Having been cruising in the Channel, and upon the French Coast, about two Years, she came up to Sheerness, and Holly got ashore; when remembring he had undergone great Hardships for some Years, and wishing to see his Parents again, he proposed to go into Yorkshire; in order to which, he gave another young Man some Money to go on board the Ship in his Room, and he was dismiss'd. He accordingly went, though he stayed but a little while with them, and came up again to London. Then he went on board the Tender, a Ship appointed to carry Men and Stores forwards and backwards as Occasion required. In this Situation he remained about four Years, and last April quitted that Ship. Afterwards he went to Holland in a Trading-Vessel, and returning to London, went again Home to his Parents on board a Coal-Ship, and came up to London again. He work'd his Passage down again on board a Collier, and staid with his Relations in the Country till November last, and then came up to London, and, to his great Misfortune, has had too much to do with loose and wanton Company.

His Parents had received for him the Thirty-six Pounds abovementioned; and when he left them last, he had Twenty Pounds of them, which he brought to Town, but it lasted not long among such Companions as he betook himself to. When that was gone, they taught him how to go about to get more, and he was so regardless of his own Interest, as to listento their evil Council, to the Hazard of his Life. He owned he had got into bad Company, but said he knew not their Names, nor where they belonged to: Moreover, that he had not been concerned in any Robbery, nor had his Companions committed any to his Knowledge; but loose and idle they were, and had persuaded him to become so too. And now, being reduced to very great Straits and Necessity, and a Woman, he called his Wife, being ready to lye in, which occasioned her Complaints in such Circumstances to be the more frequent and clamorous, he could think of no other Expedient to provide for her, than by Robbery and Plunder. The Woman is since brought to Bed, I was told, and is in a miserable Condition, and the Child, not a Fortnight old, was brought for him to see about two Days before his Execution.

The Day he committed the Fact, for which he suffered, he says, he had been rambling with loose and disorderly Fellows, and made himself drunk with Gin. He had left them, and was going over the Fields near Limehouse Church , where he met the two Women, the Prosecutors. He went up to them and said, he wanted Money; they told him, they had got none for him; but he swore at them, and said again, he would have what they had got. Upon which, searching one of the Women, and she having no Money, he took away the Handkerchief, but from the other, protested he took nothing at all. The Woman indeed in Evidence said, that he gave her the Thimble upon asking for it; and the Man that took him said, he denied before the Justice, that he took a Six-pence.

At this very Time, a Man coming by with a Cart, was told, that a Robbery was commited by Holly, and that he had put the Women in Fear of their Lives: Upon which he ran to him, and seizing him, had him before a Justice of the Peace at Hackney, who commited him to Newgate.

He was satisfied of the Justice of his Sentence; but being but a Boy, as it were, he might, he flatter'd himself, have met with some Favour, in Consideration of his Youth, and that the Robbery he was convicted for was but trifling. But, being made sensible, that taking a Handkerchief, or Ten Pounds upon the Highway, is liable to the same Punishment; he said, well, I cannot help it, if I must suffer for it here, I hope, the Lord Jesus Christ will lookupon me with Pity and Compassion, and have Mercy upon my poor Soul hereafter. At last he did own, that he had committed other Robberies, two or three, but that they were done when he was in Liquor, as, it seems, was too often the Case with him; but said, he never got much by it, and lamented himself very much, saying, that Drunkenness had been the Cause of all the Evils he had done or suffered.


ON Friday Morning, the 17th Instant, about Nine o'Clock, John Burk , Benjamin Watts , and Thomas Holly , went from Newgate in a Cart to the Place of Execution, attended by a Party of Dragoons, and Foot Guards. They joined in Prayer to God with me to forgive them their Offences; and having recommended their Souls to the Infinity of the Divine Mercies, they were turned off, calling upon God and the Lord Jesus Christ to receive their Souls.

Watt's Body was, by his Friend's Direction, carried away in a Hearse, which attended for that Purpose.

Burk's and Holly's were put into a Cart, which they had provided, and guarded away from Tyburn by a great Company of Sailors.

This is all the Account given by me, JOHN TAYLOR , Ordinary of Newgate.

N.B. As I promised, at my first coming into the Place of Ordinary, that I would neither add or diminish from the Account, these poor unhappy Wretches give of themselves, and as near as possible, always repeat it in their own Words; so the Publick may perceive by the foregoing Sheets, that I have been strictly true to my Promise: As these poor Creatures were quite illiterate, and could hardly deliver their Accounts intelligibly, I have only endeavoured to make it sit to read, keeping to their own Words as near as possible.