Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ordinary Account

THE Ordinary of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Fryday the 28th of July, 1721.

AT the Sessions begun July 12, at Justice Hall in the Old-Bayly, were convicted of Capital Crimes, seven Men and five Women; 6 whereof obtaining His Majesty's Reprieve, the others were order'd for Execution. July 28, viz. J. Winshipp; R. Hunter; G. Post; W. Goslin; M. Clark, and M. Inman.

The Sunday preceeding their Execution, I preach'd to Them, and to Others present, from the following Words...

To such Actions as these, what can we say? Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the Streets of Ascalon! lest the Heathens rejoyce; lest the barbarous Nations Triumph! Besides which we mention'd the Murther of a Friend and Acquaintance; the sending an Innocent Person unprepar'd into the other World; to appear before God with all her Sins about her; and without that space which the Law allows a Condemn'd Malefactor. Against such Deeds as these, we need not have recourse to Religion; as Nature itself will loudly here exclaim, O Earth, hide not my Blood.

Application, to the Persons to dye. As, to turn their former hatred of God into the more intense Love: By true Repentance, by acknowledging their Offences, and by bearing patiently the Dispensations of Providence. Also, to convert their late hatred of Mankind, Preying, Spoiling, Robbing, into Meekness, Charity, Humility: And to endeavour to love even those who had legally accus'd them, and brought them to ignominious Deaths.

The Account of the Malefactors before their Deaths.

AS the Prisoners condemn'd were carried up to the Chappel twice each Day (where, after the Prayers, I endeavour'd, as I had time, to instruct them by explaining the Word of God) I had an easy Opportunity of Regarding their several Behaviours, which was in the general with Decency and Devotion; nor did they ever absent themselves from the publick Duties; except that George Post, and Mary Inman were for some short time Sick, and rendered incapable of attending the Publick Service in the Chapel.

1. MATTHEW CLARK) was condemn'd for the Murther of Sarah Goldington on the 27th of May last, at a Place call'd Wilsden-Green.

He was about 24 Years of Age, Born at St. Albans, near to which Place he was bred up, and serv'd a Gentleman , in whose Family he might have learn'd a much better Disposition and Temper of Mind, had not his Nature been corruptly bent from the Cradle, and the Dispositions of his Soul forceably leaning to Vice. He said, he was taught very well to Read; but what tended still to the depraving his Mind, was the neglect of Reading, or Hearing the Scripture; but sitting in the Church-Yard with other idle Fellows, during the Time of Divine-Service.

But he added, that he preceiv'd his Mind and Inclinations more sensibly inclined to Wickedness, for a Year or two last past; which he now imputed to God's Spirit having left him to himself. For he could not be contented with his old Way of Life, viz. Going to Plough, and driving Carts; but us'd to skulk about Bushy-Heath (near Watford) intending oftentimes to set upon some Passengers there; that he rob'd on that Heath a Person, of about 45 s. using him cruelly at the same time.

What Money he got by ill Means he own'd never did him any Service; but as he was liked well enough, he said, by most of the young Women about, he consumed much Money in trifling Ways upon them. And being acquainted with her he was afterwards about to wed, while he liv'd at Watford, he used to go frequently to that Town and be Merry; till by his perswasions he had induced the young Woman to consent to Marriage; and bringing her up to London, they went to a Goldsmith's to purchase a Ring; but he not having Money enough to pay for it, left her, and pretended he had a Legacy in the Country bequeath'd him of 15 l. which he would receive, and which would at once defray all Expences. Leaving London, he went toward Neesden, and Wilsden-

Green, where he had sometime liv'd, he said, he lay about for 2 or 3 Days, intending to rob till he had acquired 15 l. But being alone, tho' he oft made a Resolution to attack the next Person that pass'd, his Heart fail'd, and he durst not attempt it. That he here met the Master of the Ale-House where he did the Murder, who asking him how he came to loiter there in Hay time, offer'd him Work, and hired him for a Servant . But he upon this considering 'twas Hay time, and all Folks from Home, and in particular the Master of the said Ale-House, went thither, and calling for Liquor, fate an Hour, renewing the former Friendship that had been between him and the Maid, and talking over the many Meriments and Frolicks; he having before pretended a Love and Kindness for her. After this, he said, when he was now assured that no one was in the House but they two alone, the Devil put it into his Mind, that he could not possibly rob the House, unless the said Servant-Maid was dispatch'd. Upon which he added, that he privately got a Knife under his Coat, and getting up to kiss her, design'd to cut her Throat; but his Heart misgiving him, he sat down again. A while after he went and kiss'd her again; and then, he said (for which God pardon his Soul) he snatch'd the Knife from his Coat, and cut her Wind-pipe, and went away; but the Knife being very dull she made a noise in the Throat as if she call'd to him, and scrabbled to the Door; he seeing she was not dead return'd, and most barbarously cut her Neck round to the Bone, and then rob'd the House of a little Silver, but was too surpriz'd and shock'd to carry off much, (at mentioning this, this most horrid Mind, and most abandon'd Creature, very severely cry'd, and ask'd, if for him there could be any Mercy from God!)

When I enquired farther of the particulars of his Story, he said, that was the whole, and the true Matter of Fact. As for what follow'd afterwards, he told me, he went for London again with the little Money he had got; but being to pass by Tyburn, a sort of Horror and Trembling seiz'd him, nor could he possibly go by it. Returning back he met a Waggon, and the better to prevent Suspicion, undertook to drive it to London. Soon after the Pursuers came up to him, and ask'd him, if any one had pass'd his Waggon who might be suspected of Murther; whereupon he shewing some Confusion, they examin'd him farther, and perceiv'd the Slieve of his Shirt to be Bloody; but he affirm'd that he had met a Soldier, who abusing him, he had fought with him. But the consciousness of his Guilt pressing hard upon him, he soon confest the Truth.

He show'd a Concern, (tho' without Cause) that his Father, an honest and industrious Man, going once to see him in Newgate, said, had he been to die for any other Sin, he would have aim'd at saving his Life; but nothing but Blood could attone for Blood.

On the Tuesday before his Death, when I urg'd him to prepare for his latter End; he said, he could scarcely be well compos'd, the hanging in Chains was so apt to intrude upon his Thoughts, but that he well deserv'd it he own'd; adding, that he had often remember'd what he us'd to read in the Scripture, viz. That the Bodies of the Wicked should be expos'd to the Beasts of the Field, and to the Fowls of the Air for Meat.

Before he dy'd I ask'd him, if he had not had very terrifying and frightful Thoughts, in the Night time especially? He answer'd, that it was not easy to express the Horror of his Soul; that he had frightful Dreams, and dreadful Apprehensions: And how he should meet the murthered Creature at the Last Day, if he had destroy'd her Soul as well as her Body, God only knew! After I had advised him in these Matters, I directed him to prepare for the Reception of the Holy Sacrament, &c.


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