Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 21 October 2020), Ordinary of Newgate's Account, April 1765 (OA17650417).

Ordinary's Account, 17th April 1765.

AN ACCOUNT OF THE Behaviour, Confession and Dying Words, OF FOUR MALEFACTORS, VIZ.

Charles Sebrey, John Cook, alias George Miln, Richard Perry and John Taylor, AND LIKEWISE OF JOHN PICKETT.

Who were executed at Tyburn on Wednesday, April 17th, and May the 15th, 1765.

BEING THE Fourth and Fifth Executions in the MAYORALTY OF THE Right Hon. Sir William Stephenson, Knt.

LORD-MAYOR of the City of LONDON .

BY THE Rev. Mr. MOORE, Ordinary of Newgate.

NUMBER III. for the said Year.

LONDON: Sold by J. MERES in the Old Baily. Price 6 d.

THE ACCOUNT OF THE Behaviour, Confession and Dying Words, &c.

BY virtue of the king's commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and goal-delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, before the Rt. Honourable Sir William Stephenson, Knt. lord-mayor of the city of London ; Sir Henry Gould, Knt. one of the judges of the court of Common Pleas ; George Perrot, Esq; one of the barons of his majesty's court of Exchequer ; James Eyre, Esq; Recorder ; and other of his majesty's justices of oyer and terminer of the city of London, and justices of goal-delivery of Newgate, holden for the said city and county of Middlesex, on Wednesday the 27th, Thursday the 28th of February, Friday the 1st, and Saturday the 2d of March, in the fifth year of his majesty's reign, five persons were capitally convicted, and received sentence of death for their several crimes in their indictments, viz.

Charles Sebrey for House-breaking; John Cook alias George Miln for personating and forgery; Richard Perry and John Taylor for house-breaking, and John Hall for privately stealing nine guineas in the dwelling-house of John Tyner, February the 12th.

On Friday April the 12th, the report of the said malefactors was made to his majesty by Mr. Recorder, when four of them were ordered for execution, on Wednesday, April the 17th, 1765, viz.

John Cook alias George Miln, Charles Sebrey, Richard Perry, John Taylor, John Hall for stealing nine guineas from the dwelling-house of John Tyner, was respited during his majesty's pleasure.

John Cook, alias Miln, alias Montgomery, was indicted for forging and counterfeiting a receipt for money, to this purport: "Received the 8th of January, 1765, of John Girling, the sum of 7 l. 9 s. there being so much wages due to my brother, John Atkins, otherwise Montgomery, on board his majesty's ship America. I say received the same by me James Montgomery, executor;" with intention to defraud John Girling, or the proper person claiming the said wages, January the 8th.

George Miln, for that was his real name, was born near Aberdeen in North Briton, of very reputable parents, who gave him a liberal education; when of a proper age they sent him to the university of Aberdeen, intending him for a minister of the kirk of Scotland, where he was a student ten years, and made a great proficiency in learning of every kind, to qualify him for the office of a minister: in time, he took the degree of master of arts; when he left the university he was made master of a school by Sir L - Grant; but being of a rambling disposition, he could not bear confinement, and at last determined to go to sea: he was on board several ships, and was made clerk of the crown store-ship , where he remained some time, and saved a great deal of money, but coming to London, he lived at such an extravagant rate, he soon made an end of all that he had, which put him upon scheming to get more to support his extravagancies; at last, he determined upon fortune-hunting, thinking by that means to make himself in the world; he paid his addresses to several young ladies, and endeavoured to engage their affections, by telling them what a large fortune he had, and noble friends that would soon make him a very great

man. In all attempts of this kind he was disappointed, and not having money to support his grandeur, he began to defraud many of his acquaintance, till they found him to be a cheat, and would not suffer themselves to be imposed on any longer; he then began to pilfer, steal and to forge. He many times attempted to get off forged notes, and, at last, had success in receiving the wages of an old shipmate, personating his brother, forging a will and giving a receipt in his name for 7 l. 9s.

While under sentence of death, he behaved in a very decent manner, having great hopes of a reprieve on account of his friends; he wrote several petitions to them, especially to some of the members of parliament for North Briton; but, instead of signing his name Miln, he signed it Cook, which so disgusted his friends, that they declared they would not trouble themselves about him. After the report was made, he seemed resigned to suffer, and said his sentence was just, and hoped it would be a warning to other young men. Tears flowed from his eyes in abundance; he expressed a comfortable hope, that God for Christ's sake would have mercy on his precious soul. In this situation of mind, he continued till he gave up his spirit into the hand of God.

Charles Sebrey was indicted, for that he, on the 4th of February, about the hour of nine in the night of the same day, the dwellinghouse of William Compton did break and enter, and stealing two pair of silver shoe-buckles, value 10 s. one 36 s. piece of gold, two crown pieces, one piece of foreign silver, called a French crown, and 17 l. in money, numbered, and one Bank note, value 10 l. bearing date January 19, 1765, payable to the Earl of Middlesex, or bearer, the property of the said William, in his dwelling house.

Upon this indictment he pleaded not guilty. Mr. Compton and Mr. Clay, high constables for Holborn division, were the principle evidence against him; most of the things mentioned in the indictment, was produced in court by Mr. Clay; and deposed to by Mr. Compton. Upon his own confession and the evidence of Mr. Compton and Mr. Clay, he was found guilty.

Charles Sebrey was born at a village in Shropshire; his parents being poor, he was brought up by the parish, and when of a proper age he was put apprentice (as a servant) to the vicar of that parish; he was

of a very desperate disposition while a boy; when his apprenticeship was served, he came to London, and got acquainted with a gang of thieves, and in a little time he became very expert in pilfering, stealing, and house-breaking. He was concerned in several robberies in and near London, some of which being advertised, he went into the country to see his friends, and when he came there being short of money, he determined to break the house of the Reverend Mr. South (his old master) which he very easily accomplished, as he was well acquainted with the house; he put his design in practice of a Sunday in the afternoon, when he knew the whole family was at church: he got in at a window, and then into the room where he knew his master kept his money, from whence he took a considerable sum, great part of which was in crown and half crown pieces. His master took him up on suspicion, and upon searching him they found most of the money, especially the crowns and half crowns. The justice bound his master over to prosecute him at Shrewsbury assizes; upon his trial there was no clear evidence against him, his master not being able to swear positively to the money, he was therefore acquitted; no sooner was he acquitted in the court, he, with all the impudence imaginable, came up to his master and demanded all the money that had been taken from him, which demand of his was immediately complied with.

Charles Sebrey, in company with D - S -, (who was tried and acquitted the same day) immediately set out for London. Spirited with their success, they determined to begin again as soon as a convenient opportunity offered, which fell out according to their wishes the day following; for coming through Staffordshire in their way to London, they came to a farmer's house that D - S - was very well acquainted with, it being harvest time, there was no one in the house to interrupt them; Sebery got in at the window, and then opened the door for D -; while they were committing this robbery, they narrowly escaped being taken, for the farmer's man came from the harvest field while they were in the house, but Sebrey seeing him, barred the door against him, and while the man run into the fields calling thieves! thieves! they made their escape out of the back part of the house, and so got clear off. In their way to London they committed many robberies, both in houses and on the highway.

After they came to London, D - S - was taken and tried at the Old Baily and transported; Sebrey proceeded to his old trade, and had several accomplices, but said he would not discover them, for he said, he hoped that his being brought to justice would be a warning to them. He declared he had committed several robberies by himself. About twelve months since he broke a house at Hendon beyond Hampstead, where he got the best booty that ever he had before; he committed this robbery in the middle of the day; he got in at the window, and carried off a large sum of money, which he spent in a very little time. He committed several other robberies, the particulars of which he could not exactly recollect; at last, he committed that for which he suffered, which he perpetrated on Monday the 4th of February 1765, between the hours of nine and ten in the night of the same day; he got in at a back window by the assistance of a ladder, he took a chissel with him, with which he wrenched open the bureau, and carried off all the things mentioned in the indictment. We may learn from the example made of this man, that tho' wickedness may go a long time unpunished, yet one time or another, it will meet with its just reward.

While under sentence of death, he constantly attended chapel, and behaved in a decent manner, and at times seemed very penitent. After the dead warrant came down, he made a full and open confession of all these robberies. He desired that all people would take warning by him.

Richard Perry and John Taylor, were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of Hannah Medley, widow , on the 6th of January, in the night, and stealing five brass candlesticks, value 2 s. one brass pestle and mortar, value 1 s. one copper coffee-pot, value 1 s. three copper sauce-pans, value 6 s. one copper panakin, value 1s. four copper pottage-pots and covers, value 20 s. one pair of copper scales, value 2 s. and six pewter plates, value 4 s. the property of the said Hannah, in her dwelling-house.

Richard Perry, was born in Staffordshire of poor parents, who gave him but little education; when a boy he lived in a very loose way of life - He used to work at husbandry work, and married a wife by whom he had several children, and being of an indolent disposition, he began pilfering and theiving; he married one of his daughters to

John Taylor; then he and Taylor went a thieving together, they worked at the harvest together, and frequently stole corn from the farmers field, and being great, they stole a number of fowls, young geese, turkies, and sheep, from several of the farmers in Staffordshire; being suspected, and for fear of being brought to justice, they left Staffordshire and came to London, and went on in their old course for a considerable time without being discovered; they got acquainted with Thomas Cook, Joseph Sparrow, and several others, with whom they committed several burglaries and robberies. Perry was about seventy years of age.

While under sentence of death, he frequently attended chapel, but seemed quite insensible of a future state; he frequently flattered himself with the hopes of a reprieve. When the dead warrant came down, he appeared more concerned, and prayed that God would have mercy on his soul.

John Taylor, son-in-law to Perry, was born in Staffordshire of poor parents, who gave him no education; he was put an apprentice to a taylor ; before he was out of his time, he married Perry's daughter; his father-in-law being very expert in thieving, he soon taught his son-in-law, who became in a little time very hardened. One instance of this he declared to me, viz. he in company with his father-in-law and several others, did atempt to break a gentleman's house in a village near London, betwixt the hours of twelve and two, they attempted to break in at the parlour window; the gentleman of the house being alarmed with the noise, looked out of the window, upon which Taylor immediately fired a gun at the gentleman, but happily missed him; one of his accomplices reproved him for it, and told him, they did not want people's lives, but their money; upon which Taylor charged his piece and fired at his accomplice, and shot him through the hand. They afterwards committed several robberies near Hackney, Stepney, Newington, Islington, and Highgate; and at last broke into the house of Mrs. Medley at Poplar, for which his father-in-law and he suffered. Cook and Taylor took out of her house all the things mentioned in the indictment; they likewise broke open several poultry houses, and carried the fowls in Mrs. Medley's pots, and when they got home divided the spoil. He professed to be heartily sorry for his sins.

While under sentence, he behaved in a very decent manner, and earnestly prayed that God would have mercy on his soul.

On the Morning of Execution.

ABOUT seven o'clock they were all brought up to chapel, and received the holy sacrament, and behaved in a decent and penitent manner.

After two hours spent in praying and commending them to God, they came down into the Press-yard, and had their irons knocked off.

About nine o'clock they were put into two carts, to be conveyed to the place of execution. They arrived there about ten o'clock, where I spent half an hour with them; then they were turned off calling upon God to receive their souls.

THE ACCOUNT OF THE Behaviour, Confession and Dying Words, &c.

BY virtue of the king's commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and goal-delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London, and county of Middlesex, at Justice-Hall in the Old Baily, before the Rt. Honourable Sir William Stephenson, Knt. lord mayor of the city of London ; the Honourable Sir Sidney Stafford Smythe, Knt. one of the Barons of the court of Exchequer ; James Eyre, Esq; Recorder ; and others of his majesty's justices of oyer and terminer of the city of London, and justices of goal-delivery of Newgate, holden for the said city and county of Middlesex, on Wednesday the 17th, Thursday the 18th, Friday the 19th, and Saturday the 20th of April, in the fifth year of his majesty's reign, one person was capitally convicted, and received sentence of death, viz.

John Pickett, for breaking the East-India house, on Wednesday May 8: the report of the said malefactor was made to his Majesty by Mr. Recorder; when his Majesty was pleased to order him to be executed on Wednesday, May the 15th, 1765.

John Pickett was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies, and stealing two hempen bags, value 6 d. and 1400 pieces of silver, called dollars, value 300l. the property of the India Company. He stood likewise charged for privately stealing the said dollars, in the warehouse of the said company; also for feloniously stealing the same in the dwelling-house of the said company The indictment was also laid for feloniously stealing the said dollars, the property of Mr. Michael Salomons, in the said company's dwelling-house: and again, for stealing the same in their warehouse.

John Pickett, was born at Lyons in France, of poor parents, whose situation in life, would not admit of giving him any education. He went to sea while very young; he was first on board of a coasting vessel. In process of time he entered on board of a French East Indiaman, in which he went to India; when he came there, he left the French service and entered on board of an English ship. He was several voyages in the English East India service. At the beginning of the last war, he entered on board of a man of war, and continued in the service till the peace: he went through many hardships and difficulties in that time. After the peace was proclaimed, he came to England, and received a large sum of money for prizes and wages, which he spent in a little time, which put him upon projecting how to get more without going to sea again. He resolved not to take to any petty way of thieving, but determined, if possible, by any stratagem, to make his fortune at once, and to go into his country. Having been often in the East India-house, and seen the bullion hoisted (as he called it) out of the bullion-office into the carts, to be sent aboard the ships, he began to scheme, if by any means he could get into that office, and take away a quantity of the money without being discovered. A week before he was executed, he made the following confession to me of his

whole proceedings, from the beginning to the completion of the robbery. The week before Ladyday, he went several times to the India-house to contrive how to get into the bullion-office; at last he found a chimney in the sailors lobby, which he perceived went up to the floor of the bullion-office (as he thought;) he therefore determined to conceal himself in the chimney, and take proper tools to break through the floor, (if he could possibly get up the chimney) which he thought would be very easy, as their was no ceiling to the floor: accordingly he went to Wapping, and bought an iron crow, a large gimblet, and a marling spike; all which he carried into the sailors lobby, under a large sailor's coat that he wore: when he had got them there, he concealed them, and then consulted what time would be most convenient for him: as the Monday following was Ladyday, he concluded to come on the Saturday, because he would not be disappointed for want of time; accordingly he went on the day appointed to a public house near, and had some dinner and two or three pints of beer, and then went and bought sixpenny worth of beef, with which he went into the sailors lobby, where he concealed himself till the office was shut up, which he thought was about two o'clock. In about an hour after he attempted to get up the chimney; he got up a considerable way, but found it too narrow for him: he therefore broke his way through, and got to the floor, and with the gimblet bored several holes in the floor, and then, with the marling spike, broke the holes one into another, and got the pieces of wood out, so that in a little time he got the hole large enough to get through: when he had done this, he found a greater difficulty to surmount; for, instead of the bullion office, he found it to be the tea warehouse, and a chest of tea over his head; the chest being made of very thin wood, he soon made his way through it; but, when he had done that, he was near having a stop put to his whole proceedings; for the tea came with such a force upon him, that it was as much as he could do to save himself from being suffocated; it was with much difficulty he extricated himself out of it, by letting the tea down the chimney into the lobby: when he had done this, he got from off the chimney into the empty chest; he then found another chest of tea over that, but

having been almost suffocated with the first, he made the hole in the bottom of that not so large, but let all the tea gradually into the lobby: when that was done, he found a third chest, which he let down the chimney as before: when he had got through all the chests of tea, he got down into the sailors lobby, and the boards being loose, he scraped all the tea into the rack cellar, which is under the lobby, the better to avoid being discovered, if any one should come into the office: when he had done this, he went up into the tea-warehouse with his crow, gimblet, and marling spike; he first attempted to bore through the wooden part, but finding it impracticable, he, with the iron crow, broke in pieces two chests of tea and threw it about warehouse; and then broke thorough the brick work into the clerk of the bullion office's closet: when he had done this, he took away three bags of dollars, and let them down out of the tea warehouse into the lobby, by the assistance of a rope he found in the warehouse; then he came down into the lobby, and contrived how he might get off undiscovered. He declared he was so weak with fasting, that the three bags was more than he could possibly carry away; he was therefore obliged to leave one of the bags behind the door; the other two he slung across his shoulders, under his sailors coat, and then concealed himself till the office was open; and he then got off undiscovered. He had some thoughts of going back to take the other bag of dollars, but was afraid of being discovered; he carried the two bags to the girl that he kept, and told her, that now he would make her a gentlewoman; for he had got money enough, and he would take her to France in a few days. They set off in the Dover machine, but God, who never suffers iniquity to go unpunished, brought him to justice when he thought himself safe.

This robbery was a very extraordinary one, but the manner of its being found out, I think still more so; which was in the following manner; Mr. John Giffard, gunner of the Albion man of war , coming from Chatham, in search of some persons that had forged seamens wills, and received their money; he was informed that this Pickett was one. He obtained a warrant of Sir John Fielding, to search his lodgings; upon searching a large chest of his, the landlady desired he would take an inventory of the things therein; upon search

ing the same, they found a bag with two or three hundred dollars in it: the gunner immediately recollected the robbery of the Indiahouse, and gave information to the company; upon which they enquired where the man was gone; the landlady told them she believed he was gone to Dover: they immediately applied to Sir John Fielding, who sent after him to Dover, and took him and his lady, and found upon him a large quantity of dollars. They were brought to London, and examined before Sir John Fielding. Pickett at first denied the taking of the dollars out of the India-house, but pretended he saw a man hiding them in the fields near Stepney; but the woman being terrified with the thoughts of being hanged, and having the offer of turning King's evidence, she at last confessed that Pickett told her, that he took the dollars out of the India-house, and that no one was concerned with him; upon this he was committed to Newgate, and the woman to Clerkenwell Bridewell, to give evidence against him at the sessions at the Old Baily. Upon his trial circumstances was clear against him; and the evidence of the woman proved him guilty beyond all dispute: upon which the jury brought him in guilty.

While under sentence of death, he behaved in a very decent manner; but being a Roman Catholic, he would not attend chapel, but a priest was permitted to visit him; I conversed with him several times; he seemed to be very teachable, and deeply sensible of the necessity of true repentance, and he frequently refused to let me pray with him.

On the morning of Execution.

AFTER the priest had left him, I conversed with him of the certainty of a future judgment, and the impossibility of having our sins pardoned, but by the Great God of the whole earth.

He seemed convinced that the absolution of a priest would avail him nothing; except God pardoned his sins, he must perish eternally. He then desired me to pray with him, which I did, and he was very much affected, and earnestly prayed that God would have mercy on his soul.

At the place of execution, I prayed with him again; he fervently called to God for mercy, in these words; O Lord! for Christ's sake, have mercy upon a poor sinner, bestow de charity on de poor sinner. The spectators was much affected with the earnestness of his prayers; he desired them to pray for him, and I believe many of them did. After I left him, he was turned off, crying, Lord Jesus receive my soul.

N. B. This is the only true account that hath been published, neither will their be any authentic one, but by me,