Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences by Arthur L. Hayward

Part 14 out of 15

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.8 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

ships, Captain Bowles commander, then lying in the Tagus, and bound home
for England, who accordingly brought him home. Though, as it happened,
Heaven brought the captain and the rest of the crew so quickly to an end
of their villainies that they all came home time enough to be hanged
with their lieutenant.

But to return to Gow and his crew. Having thus dismissed the
Bristol-man, and cleared his hands of most of his prisoners, with the
same wicked generosity he gave the Bristol captain thirteen cerons of
beeswax, as a gratuity for his trouble and charge with the prisoners,
and in recompense, as he called it, for the goods he had taken from him,
and so they parted.

This was the last prize they took, not only on the coast of Portugal,
but anywhere else, for Gow, who, to give him his due, was a fellow of
council and had a great presence of mind in cases of exigence,
considered that as soon as the Bristol ship came into the river of
Lisbon, they would certainly give an account of them, as well of their
strength, and of their station in which they cruised, and that
consequently the English men-of-war (of which there are generally some
in that river) would immediately come abroad to look for then. So he
began to reason with his officers that the coast of Portugal would be no
proper place at all for them, unless they resolved to fall into the
hands of the said men-of-war, and they ought to consider immediately
what to do. In these debates some advised one thing, some another, as is
usual in like cases. Some were for going to the coast of Guinea, where,
as they said, was purchase[103] enough, and very rich ships to be taken;
others were for going to the West Indies, and to cruise among the
Islands, and take up their station at Tobago; others, and not those of
the most ignorant, proposed standing in to the Bay of Mexico, and
joining in with some of a new sort of pirates at St. Jago de la Cuba,
who are all Spaniards, and call themselves _Guarda del Costa_, that is
Guard ships for the coast (though under that pretence they make prize of
ships of all nations, and sometimes even of their own countrymen too,
but especially of the English), but when this was proposed, it was
answered they durst not trust the Spaniards. Others said they should go
first to the islands of New Providence [Bahama Islands], or to the mouth
of the Gulf of Florida, and then cruising on the coast of North America,
and making their retreat at New Providence, cruise from the Gulf of
Florida, north upon the coast of Carolina, and as high as the Capes of

But nothing could be resolved on, until at last Gow let them into the
secret of a project, which, as he told them, he had long had in his
thoughts, and this was to go away to the North of Scotland, near the
coast of which, as he said, he was born and bred, and where he said, if
they met with no purchase upon the sea, he could tell them how they
should enrich themselves by going on shore. To bring them to concur with
this design, he represented the danger they were in where they were, the
want they were in of fresh water, and of several kinds of provisions,
but above all, the necessity they were in of careening and cleaning
their ship; that it was too long a run for them to go to southward, and
that they had not provisions to serve them till they could reach to any
place proper for that purpose, and might be driven to the utmost
distress, if they should be put by from watering, either by weather or

Also, he told them, if any of the men-of-war came out in search of them,
they would never imagine they were gone away to the northward, so that
their run that way was perfectly secure, and he could assure them of his
own knowledge that if they landed in such places as he should direct,
they could not fail of considerable booty in plundering some gentlemen's
houses, who lived secured and unguarded very near the shore; and that
though the country should be alarmed, yet before the Government could
send any men-of-war to attack them, they might clean their ship, lay in
a store of fresh provisions, and be gone. Beside that, they would get a
good many stout fellows to go along with them upon his encouragement, so
that they should be better manned than they were yet, and should be
ready against all events.

These arguments and their approaching fate concurring, had a sufficient
influence on the ship's company to prevail on them to consent, so they
made the best of their way to the northward; and about the middle of
January they arrived at Carristoun,[104] in the Isles of Orkney, and
came to an anchor in a place which Gow told them was safe riding under
the lee of a small island at some distance from the port. But now their
misfortunes began to come on, and things looked but with an indifferent
aspect upon them, for several of their men, especially such of them as
had been forced or decoyed into their service, began to think of making
their escape from them, and to cast about for means to bring it to pass.

The first to take an opportunity to go away was a young man who was
originally one of the ship's company, but was forced by fear of being
murdered (as has been observed) to give a silent assent to go with them.
It was one evening when the boat went on shore, for they kept a civil
correspondence with the people of the town, that this young fellow,
being one of the ship's crew and having been several times on shore
before, and therefore not suspected, gave them the slip and got away to
a farm-house which lay under a hill out of sight. There, for two or
three pieces-of-eight, he got a horse, and soon by that means escaped to
Kirkwall, a market town and chief of the Orkneys, about twelve miles
from the place where the ship lay. As soon as he came there he
surrendered himself to the Government, desiring protection, and informed
them who Gow was, and what the ship's crew were, and upon what business
they were abroad, with what else he knew of their designs, as to
plundering the gentlemen's houses, etc. Upon this they immediately
raised the country, and got a strength together to defend themselves.

But the next disaster that attended the pirates (for misfortunes seldom
come alone) was more fatal than this, for ten of Gow's men, most of them
likewise forced into their service, went away with the long-boat, making
the best of their way for the mainland of Scotland. These men, however
they did it, or what shift soever they made to get so far, were taken in
the Firth of Edinburgh, and made prisoners there.

Hardened for his own destruction and Justice evidently pursuing him, Gow
grew the bolder for the disaster, and notwithstanding that the country
was alarmed, and that he was fully discovered, instead of making a
timely escape, he resolved to land, and so put his intended project of
plundering the gentlemen's houses into execution, whatever it cost him.

In order to this he sent the boatswain and ten men on shore the very
same night, very well armed, directing them to go to the house of Mr.
Honeyman of Grahamsey, sheriff of the county, and who was himself at
that time, to his great good fortune, from home. The people of the house
had not the least notice of their coming, so that when they knocked at
the door, it was immediately opened. Upon which they all entered the
house at once, except one Panton, who they set sentinel and ordered him
to stand at the door to secure their retreat, and to hinder any from
coming in after them Mrs. Honeyman and her daughter were extremely
frightened at the sight of so many armed men coming into the house, and
ran screaming about like people distracted, while the pirates, not
regarding them, were looking about for chests and trunks, where they
might expect to find some plunder; and Mrs. Honeyman in her fright
coming to the door asked Panton, the man who stood sentinel there, what
the meaning of it all was. He told her freely they were pirates, and
that they came to plunder her house. At this she recovered some courage,
and ran back into the house immediately, and knowing where her money
lay, which was very considerable and all in gold, she put the bag in her
lap and boldly rushing by Panton, who thought she was only running from
them in a fright, carried it all off, and so made her escape with the

The boatswain being informed that the money was carried off, resolved to
revenge himself by burning the writings and papers, which they call
there the charters of their estates, and are always of great value in
gentlemen's houses of estates but the young lady, Mr. Honeyman's
daughter hearing them threaten to burn the writings, watched her
opportunity, and running to the charter-room where they lay, tied the
most considerable of them up in a napkin and threw them out of the
window, jumped out after them herself, and escaped without damage,
though the window was one storey high at least.

However, the pirates had the plundering of all the rest of the house
besides, and carried off a great deal of plate, and things of value, and
forced one of the servants, who played very well on the bagpipes, to
march along, piping before them, when they carried it off to the ship.
The next day they weighed anchor, intending though they had cleaned but
one side of the ship, to put out to sea and quit the coast. But sailing
eastward, they came to anchor again at a little island called Calf
Sound. And having some further mischief in their view here the boatswain
went on shore again with some armed men; but meeting with no other
plunder they carried off three women, whom they kept on board some time
and used so inhumanly that when they set them on shore again they were
not able to go or stand, and it is said one of them died on the beach
where they left them.

The next day they weighed again, holding the same course eastward,
through the openings between the islands, till they came off Ross Ness;
and now Gow resolved to make the best of his way for the Island of Eday,
to plunder the house of Mr. Fea, a gentleman of a considerable estate,
and with whom Gow had some acquaintance, having been at school together,
when they were youths. On the 13th of February in the morning, Gow
appearing with his ship off Calf Sound, Mr. Fea and his family were very
much alarmed, not being able to get together above six or seven men for
his defence. He therefore wrote a letter to Gow intending to send it on
board as soon as he should get into the harbour, to desire him to
forbear the usual salutes, with his great guns, because Mrs. Fea his
wife was so very much indisposed, and this as he would oblige his old
school fellow; telling him at the same time that the inhabitants were
all fled to the mountains, on the report of his being a pirate, which he
hoped would not prove true. In which case, he should be very ready to
supply him with all such necessities as the island would afford,
desiring him to send the messengers safe back, at whose return the
alarms of the people would immediately be at an end.

The tide it seems runs extremely rapid among those islands, and the
navigation is thereby rendered very dangerous and uncertain. Gow was an
able seaman, but was no pilot for that place, and which was worse, he
had no boat to assist in case of extremity, to ware the ship, and in
turning into Calf Sound, he stood a little too near the point of a
little island called the Calf, and which lay in the middle of the
passage. Here his ship missing stays, was in great danger of going on
shore; to avoid which, he dropped an anchor under his foot, which taking
good hold, brought him up, and he thought the danger was over. Gow was
yet in distress and had no remedy but to send his small boat on shore to
Mr. Fea to desire his assistance, that is to say, to desire him to lend
him a boat to carry out an anchor and heave off the ship. Mr. Fea sent
back the boat, and one James Laing in it, with the letter already
mentioned. Gow sent him back immediately with an answer, by word of
mouth, viz., that he would write to nobody, but if Mr. Fea would order
his people to assist him with a boat to carry out an anchor, he would
reward them handsomely.

In the meantime Mr. Fea ordered his great boat, for he had such a one as
Gow wanted, to be staved and launched into the water and sunk, and the
masts, sails and oars to be carried out of sight. While this was doing
Mr. Fea perceived Gow's boat coming on shore, with five persons in her.
These men having landed on the main island, left their boat on the
beach, and altogether marched directly up to the mansion house. This put
him into some surprise at first, however, he resolved to meet them in a
peaceable manner, though he perceived they were all double-armed. When
he came up to them, he entreated them not to go up to the house,
because of the languishing condition of his wife, who was already
frighted with the rumours which had been raised of their being pirates,
and that she would certainly die with the fear she was in for herself
and family, if they came to the door.

The boatswain answered they did not desire to fright his wife, or
anybody else, but they came to desire the assistance of his boat, and if
he would not grant them so small a favour, he had nothing to expect from
them but the utmost extremity. Mr. Fea returned that they knew well
enough he could not venture to give them or lend them his boat or any
help, as they appeared to be such people as were reported, but that if
they would take them by force, he could not help himself. But in the
meantime, talking still in a friendly manner to them, he asked them to
go to a neighbouring house, which he said was a change-house, that is a
public-house, and take a cup of ale with him. This they consented to,
seeing Mr. Fea was alone; so they went all with him. In the meantime Mr.
Fea found means to give secret orders that the oars, masts and sails of
the pirates' boat should be all carried away, and that a quarter of an
hour after they had sat together, he should be called hastily out of the
room, on some pretence or other of somebody to speak with him; all which
was performed to a tittle. When he was got from them, he gave orders
that his six men, who before he had got together, and who were now come
to him well armed, should place themselves at a certain stile behind a
thick hedge, and which was about half way between the alehouse and his
own house, saying that if he came that way with the boatswain alone,
they should suddenly start out upon them both, and throwing him down,
should seize upon the other, but that if all the five came with him, he
would take an occasion to be either before or behind them, so that they
might all fire upon them, without danger of hurting him.

Having given these orders, and depending upon their being well executed,
he returned to the company and having given them more ale, told them he
would gladly do them any service that he could lawfully do, and that if
they would take the trouble of walking up to his house in a peaceable
manner so that his family might not be frighted with seeing him among
them, they should have all the assistance that was in his power. The
fellows (whether they had taken too much ale, or whether the condition
of their ship and the hopes of getting a boat to help them, blinded
their eyes, is not certain) fell with ease into this snare, and agreed
readily to go along with Mr. Fea; but after a while resolved not to go
all of them, only deputed the boatswain to go, which was what Mr. Fea
most desired.


Chained neck to neck and hand to hand these wretches were led through
the streets to Blackfriars Stairs, where they were taken aboard a barge
and carried down the river to the vessel which was to transport them to

(_From the Newgate Calendar_)]

The boatswain was very willing to accept of the trust, but it was
observed he took a great deal of care of his arms, which were no less
than four pistols, all loaded with a brace of bullets each, nor would he
be persuaded to leave any of them behind him, no not with his own men.
In this posture, Mr. Fea and the boatswain walked along together very
quietly, until they came to the stile, having got over which Mr. Fea,
seeing his men all ready, turned short about upon the boatswain, and
taking him by the collar, told him he was his prisoner and the same
moment, the rest of his men rushing in upon them, threw both down, and
so secured the boatswain, without giving him time so much as to fire one
pistol. He cried out, indeed, with all his might to alarm his men, but
they soon stopped his mouth by first forcing a pistol into it, and then
a handkerchief; and having disarmed him, bound his hands behind him and
his feet together. Then Mr. Fea left him there under a guard, and with
his other five men, but without arms, at least such that could be seen,
returned to the alehouse to the rest. The house having two doors, they
divided themselves and rushing in at both doors at the same time, they
seized the four men before they were aware, or had time to lay hold of
their arms. They did indeed what men could do, and one of them snapped a
pistol at Mr. Fea, but it did not go off, and Mr. Fea at the same time
snatching at the pistol to divert the shot if it had fired, struck his
hand with such force against the cock, as very much bruised it.

They were all five now in his power, and he sent them away under a good
guard to a village in the middle of the island, where they were kept
separate from one another, and sufficiently secured. Mr. Fea then
despatched expresses to the gentlemen in the neighbouring island to
acquaint them with what he had done, and to desire their speedy
assistance, also desiring earnestly that they would take care that no
boat should go within reach of the pirates' guns. And at night Mr. Fea
caused fires to be made upon the hills round him, to alarm the country,
and ordered all the boats round the Island to be hauled up upon the
beach, as far as it was possible, and disabled also, lest the pirates
should swim from the ship, and get any of them into their possession.

Next day, the 4th, it blew very hard all day, and in the evening about
high water, it shifted to W.N.W., upon which the pirates set their
sails, expecting to get off and so to lay it round the island, and put
out to sea. But the fellow who was ordered to cut the cable, missing
several strokes, the cable checked the ship's way, and consequently on a
sudden she took all aback. Then the cable being parted when it should
have been held, the ship ran directly on shore on the Calf Island, nor
could all their speed prevent it. With an air of desperation Gow told
them they were all dead men, nor could it indeed be otherwise, for
having lost the only boat they had, and five of their best hands, they
were able to do little or nothing towards getting their ship off;
besides, as she went on shore at the top of high water, and a spring
tide, there was no hope of getting her off afterward. Wherefore the next
morning, being Monday, the 15th, they hung out a white flag, as a signal
for a parley, and sent a man on shore upon Calf Island, for now they
could go on shore out of the ship at half flood.

Now Mr. Fea thought he might talk with Gow, in a different style from
what he did before; so he wrote a letter to him, wherein he complained
of the rude behaviour of his five men, for which he told him, he had
been obliged to seize on them, and make them prisoners, letting him know
that the country being all alarmed would soon be too many for him, and
therefore advised him to surrender himself peaceably, and be the author
of a quiet surrender of the rest, as the only means to obtain any
favour; and then he might become an evidence against the rest, and so
might save his own life. This letter Mr. Fea sent by a boat with four
armed men to the island, to be given to the fellow that Gow had sent on
shore, and who waited there; at the same time, he gave them a letter
from Gow to Mr. Fea, for now he was humbled enough to write, which
before he refused. Gow's letter to Mr. Fea was to let him have some men
and boats, to take out the best of the cargo, in order to lighten the
ship, and set her afloat; offering himself to come on shore and be
hostage for the security of men and boats and to give Mr. Fea a thousand
pounds in goods for the service. He declared at the same time, that if
this small succour was refused him, he would take care nobody should
better himself by his misfortunes, for rather than they would suffer
themselves to be taken, they would set fire to the ship, and would all
perish together.

Mr. Fea replied to this letter that he had a boat indeed, that would
have been fit for his service, but that she was staved and sunk; but if
he would come on shore quietly without arms, and bring his carpenter
with him to repair the boat, he might have her. Mr. Fea did this to give
Gow an opportunity to embrace his first offer of surrendering. But Gow
was neither humble enough to come in nor sincere enough to treat with
him fairly, if he had intended to let him have the boat; and if he had,
it is probable that the former letter had made the men suspicious of
him, so that now he could do nothing without communicating it to the
rest of the crew. About four in the afternoon Mr. Fea received an answer
to his last letter, the copy of which is exactly as follows:

From on board our Ship the
_Revenge_, Feb. 16th, 1725.

Honoured Sir,

I am sorry to hear of the irregular proceedings of my men; I gave no
orders to that effect, and what hath been wrongfully done to the
country, was contrary to my inclinations. It is my misfortune to be
in this condition at present; it was in your power to have done
otherwise in making my fortune better. Since my being in the
country, I have wronged no man, nor taken anything but what I have
paid for. My design in coming was to make the country better, which
I am still capable to do, providing you are just to me. I thank you
for the concern you have for my bad fortune, and am sorry I cannot
embrace your proposal as to being evidence, my people have already
made use of that advantage. I have by my last signified my design of
proceeding, provided I can procure no better terms. Please to send
James Laing on board to continue till my return. I should be glad to
have the good fortune to commune with you upon that subject. I beg
that you would assist me with a boat, and be assured I do no man
harm, were it in my power, as I am now at your mercy. I cannot
surrender myself prisoner, I'd rather commit myself to the mercy of
the seas; so that if you will incline to contribute to my escape, I
shall leave my ship and cargo at your disposal.

I continue,
Honoured Sir etc.,
John Smith

Upon this letter, and especially that part wherein Gow desired to
commune with him, Mr. Fea, believing he might do some service in
persuading him to submit, went over to Calf Island and went on shore
alone, ordering his boat to lie in readiness to take him in again, but
not one man to stir out of her, and calling to Gow with a speaking
trumpet desired him to come on shore. This the other readily did, but
Mr. Fea, before he ventured, wisely foresaw that whilst he was alone
upon the Island, the pirates might unknown from him, get the ship by
different ways, and under cover of shore might get behind and surround
him. To prevent which, he set a man upon the top of his own house, which
was on the opposite shore and overlooked the whole island, and ordered
him to make signals with his flag, waving his flag once for every man
that he saw come on shore, but if four or more came on shore, then to
keep the flag waving continually, till he (Mr. Fea) should retire. This
precaution was very needful, for no sooner was Mr. Fea advanced upon the
island, expecting Gow to come on shore to meet him, but he saw a fellow
come from the ship, with a white flag, a bottle, a glass and a bundle,
then turning to his own house, he saw his man make the signals
appointed, and that the man kept the flag continually waving. Upon which
he immediately retired to his boat, and he was no sooner got into it,
but he saw five fellows running under shore, with lighted matches and
grenadoes in their hands to have intercepted him, but seeing him out of
their reach, they retired to the ship.

After this the fellow with the white flag came up and gave Mr. Fea two
letters; he would have left the bundle, which he said was a present to
Mr. Fea, and the bottle which he said was a bottle of brandy, but Mr.
Fea would not take them, but told the fellow his captain was a
treacherous villain, and he did not doubt that he should see him hanged,
and as to him (the fellow) he had a great mind to shoot him; upon which
the fellow took to his heels, and Mr. Fea being in his boat did not
think it worth while to land again to pursue him. This put an end to all
parley for the present, but had the pirates succeeded in this attempt,
they would have so far gained their point, either that they must have
been assisted, or Mr. Fea must have been sacrificed.

The two letters from Gow were one for Mr. Fea, and the other for his
wife. The first was much to the same purpose as the former, only that in
this Gow requested the great boat with her masts, sails and oars, with
some provisions to transport themselves whither they thought fit to go
for their own safety, offering to leave the ship and cargo to Mr. Fea,
and threatening that if the men-of-war arrived (for Mr. Fea had given
him notice that he expected two men-of-war) before he was thus assisted,
they would set fire to the ship, and blow themselves up, so that as they
had lived so they would die together. The letter to Mrs. Fea was to
desire her to intercede with her husband, and plead that he was their
countryman and had been her husband's schoolfellow, etc. But no answer
was returned to either of these letters.

On the 17th, in the morning, contrary to expectation, Gow himself came
on shore upon the Calf Island[105], unarmed except for his sword, and
alone, only one man at a distance, carrying a white flag, making signals
for a parley. Mr. Fea, who by this time had gotten more people about
him, immediately sent one Mr. Fea, of Whitehall, a gentleman of his own
family, with five other persons well-armed over the island, with orders
to secure Gow if it were possible by any means, either dead or alive.
When they came on shore, Gow proposed that one of them, whose name was
Schottary, a master of a vessel, should go on board the ship as hostage
for this Gow's safety, and Schottary consenting, Gow himself conducted
him to the ship's side.

Mr. Fea perceiving this from his own house, immediately took another
boat and went over to the island himself, and while he was expostulating
with his men for letting Schottary go for hostage, Gow returned, and Mr.
Fea made no hesitation, but told him that he was his prisoner. At this
Gow started and said that it ought not to be so, since there was a
hostage delivered for him. Mr. Fea said he gave no order for it, and it
was what they could not justify, and since Schottary had ventured
without orders, he must take his fate, he would run the venture of it;
but he advised Gow, as he expected good usage himself, that he would
send the fellow who carried his white flag back to the ship with orders
for them to return Schottary in safety, and to desire Winter and
Peterson to come with him. Gow declined giving any such orders, but the
fellow said he would readily go and fetch them, and did so, and they
came along with him. When Gow saw them, he reproached them for being so
easily imposed on, and ordered them to go back to the ship immediately,
but Mr. Fea's men, who were too strong for them, surrounded them and
took them all. When this was done, they demanded Gow to deliver his
sword, but he said he would rather die with it in his hand, and begged
them to shoot him, but was denied; and Mr. Fea's men disarming him of
his sword, carried him with the other two into their boat, and after
that to the main island, where Mr. Fea lived.

Having thus secured the captain, Mr. Fea prevailed with him to go to the
shore over against the ship, and to call the gunner and another man to
come on shore on Calf Island, which they did. But they were no sooner
there, but they also were surrounded by some men which Mr. Fea had
placed out of sight upon the island for that purpose. Then they made Gow
call to the carpenter to come on shore, still making them believe they
would have a boat; and Mr. Fea went over and met him alone, and talking
with him, told him they could not repair the boat without help and
without tools. So persuading him to go back and bring a hand or two with
him, and some tools, some oakum, nails, etc., the carpenter being thus
deluded, went back and brought a Frenchman and another with him, with
all things proper for their work. All of whom, as soon as they came on
shore, were likewise seized and secured by Mr. Fea and his men.

But there were still a great many men in the ship, whom it was necessary
to bring if possible to a quiet surrender; so Mr. Fea ordered his men to
make a feint as if they would go to work upon the great boat which lay
on the shore upon the island but in sight of the ship. There they
hammered and knocked and made a noise as if they were really caulking
and repairing her, in order to her being launched off and put into their
possession; but towards night he obliged Gow to write to the men that
Mr. Fea would not deliver the boat until he was in possession of the
ship, and therefore he ordered them all to come on shore, without arms,
and in a peaceable manner. This occasioned many debates in the ship, but
as they had no officers to guide them and were all in confusion, they
knew not what to do. So after some time bewailing their hard fate, and
dividing what money was left in the ship among them, they yielded and
went on shore, and were all made prisoners, to the number of
eight-and-twenty, including those who were secured before.

Being now all secured and in custody in the most proper places in the
island, Mr. Fea took care to give notice to the proper officers in the
country, and by them to the Government of Edinburgh, in order to get
help for the carrying them to England. The distance being so great, it
took up some time; for the Government at Edinburgh not being immediately
concerned in it, but rather the Court of Admiralty of Great Britain,
expresses were dispatched from thence to London, that his Majesty's
pleasure might be known; in return to which, orders were despatched into
Scotland to have them immediately sent up into England with as much
expedition as the case would admit. Accordingly they were brought up by
land to Edinburgh first, and from thence being put on board the
_Greyhound_ frigate, they were brought by sea to England. This
necessarily took up a great deal of time, so that had they been wise
enough to improve the hours that were left, they had almost half a
year's time to prepare themselves for death, though they cruelly denied
the poor mate of a few moments to commend his soul to God's mercy, even
after he was half murdered before. They were most of them in custody the
latter end of January, and were not executed till the 11th of June.

The _Greyhound_ arrived in the river the 25th of March, and the next day
came to an anchor at Woolwich; and the pirates being put into boats
appointed to receive them, with a strong guard to attend them, were
brought on shore on the 30th, and conveyed to the Marshalsea prison in
Southwark, where they were delivered to the keepers of the said prison,
and were laid in irons. There they had the mortification to meet
Lieutenant Williams, who was brought home by the _Argyle_ man-of-war,
from Lisbon, and had been committed to the same prison but a very few
days before.

Indeed, as it was a mortification to them, so it was more to him, for
though he might be secretly pleased that those who had so cruelly, as he
called it, put him into the hands of Justice by sending him to Lisbon,
were brought into the same circumstances with himself, yet on the other
hand, it could not but be a terrible mortification to him that here were
now sufficient witnesses found to prove his crimes against him, which
were not so easy to be had before.

Being thus laid fast, it remained to proceed against them in due form,
and this took up some long time still. On Friday, the 2nd of April, they
were all carried to Doctors' Commons, where the proper judges being
present, they were examined; by which examination the measures were
taken for the farther proceedings. For as they were not equally guilty,
so it was needful to determine who it was proper to bring to an
immediate trial, and who, being less guilty, were more proper objects of
the Government's clemency, as being under force and fear and
consequently necessitated to act as they did; and also who it might be
proper to single out as an evidence against the rest. After being thus
examined they were remanded to the Marshalsea. On Saturday, the 8th of
May, the five who were appointed for evidence against the rest, and
whose names are particularly set down in its place, were sent from the
Marshalsea prison to Newgate, in order to give their information.

Being thus brought up to London, and committed to the Marshalsea prison,
and the Government being fully informed, what black uncommon offenders
they were, it was thought proper to bring them to speedy justice. In
order to this, some of them, as has been said, who were less criminal
than the rest, and who apparently had been forced into their service,
were sorted out, and being examined (giving first an account of
themselves, and then of the whole fraternity) it was thought fit to make
use of their evidence for the more clear detecting and convincing of the
rest. These were George Dobson, John Phinnes, Timothy Murphy, and
William Booth.

These were the principal evidences, and were indeed more than
sufficient, for they so exactly agreed in their evidence, and the
prisoners (pirates) said so little in their defence, that there was no
room for the jury to question their guilt, or to doubt the truth of any
part of the account given in. Robert Read was a young man, mentioned
before, who escaped from the boat in the Orkneys, where he surrendered
himself, after getting a horse at a farmer's house, and conveying
himself to Kirkwall, the chief town of the said Orkneys. Nevertheless,
he was brought up as a prisoner with the rest, nor was he made use of as
an evidence but was tried upon most, if not all the indictments with the
rest. But Dobson, one of the witnesses, did him the justice to testify
that he was forced into their service, as others were, for fear of
having their throats cut, as many had been served before their faces,
and that in particular he was not present at, or concerned in any of the
murders for which the rest were indicted. Upon which evidence, he was
acquitted by the jury. Also he brought one Archibald Sutor, the man of
the house said before to be a farm-house, as to whether the said Read
made his escape in the Orkneys, who testified that he did so escape to
him, and that he begged him to procure him a horse, to ride off to
Kirkwall, which he did, and there he surrendered himself; also he
testified that Read gave him (Sutor) a full account of the ship and the
pirates that were in her, and what they were; and that he (Sutor)
revealed it all to the collector of the Customs, by which means the
country was alarmed, and he added, that it was by this man's means that
all the prisoners were apprehended (though that was going too far, for
'tis plain, that it was by the vigilance and courage of Mr. Fea,
chiefly, that they were reduced to such distresses as obliged them to
surrender). However, it was true that Read's escape did alarm the
country, and that he merited very well of the public for the timely
discovery he made, so he came off clear as indeed it was but just, for
he was not only forced to serve them, but as Dobson testified for him,
he had often expressed his uneasiness at being obliged to act with them,
and that he wished he could get away, and he was sincere in those
wishes, as appeared by his taking the first opportunity he could get to
put it in practice. This Dobson was one of the ten men who ran away with
the pirates' long-boat from the Orkneys, and who were afterwards made
prisoners in the Firth of Leith, and carried up to Edinburgh.

Gow was now a prisoner among the rest in the Marshalsea. His behaviour
there was sullen and reserved, rather than penitent. It had been hinted
to him by Mr. Fea, as by others, that by his behaviour he should
endeavour to make himself an evidence against others, and to merit his
life by a ready submission, and obliging others to do the like. But Gow
was no fool, and he easily saw there were too many gone before who had
provided for their own safety at his expense, and besides that he knew
himself too deeply guilty of cruelty and murder to be accepted by public
justice as an evidence, especially where so many other less criminals
were to be had. This made him, with good reason, too, give over any
thoughts of escaping by such means as that; and perhaps seeing so
plainly that there was no room for it might be the reason why he seemed
to reject the offer, otherwise he was not a person of such nice honour
as that we should suppose he would not have secured his own life at the
expense of his comrades. Gow appeared to have given over all thoughts of
life, from the first time he came to England. Not that he showed any
tokens of his repentance, or any sense of his condition suitable to that
which was before him, but continuing sullen and reserved, even to the
very time he was brought to the bar, when he came there, he could not be
tried with the rest, for the arraignment being made in the usual form,
he refused to plead. The Court used all the arguments which humanity
dictates in such cases,[106] to prevail on him to come into ordinary
course of other people in like government, laying before him the
sentence of the law in such cases, namely that he must be pressed to
death, the only torturing execution which however they were obliged to

But he continued inflexible, carried on his obstinacy to such a height
as to receive the sentence in form, as usual in such cases. The
execution being appointed to be done the next morning, he was carried
back to Newgate in order to it. But whether he was prevailed with by
argument and the reasons of those about him, or whether the apparatus
for the execution and the manner of the death he was to die terrified
him, we cannot say, but the next morning he yielded, and petitioned to
be allowed to plead, and he admitted to be tried in the ordinary way.
Which being granted, he was brought to the bar by himself and pleaded,
being arraigned again upon the same indictment upon which he had been
sentenced as a mute, and was found guilty.

Williams the lieutenant, who was put on board the Bristol ship (as hath
been said) with orders to deliver him on board the first English
man-of-war they should meet with, comes, of course, to have the rest of
his history made up in this place. The captain of the Bristol ship,
though he received his orders from the crew of pirates and rogues, whose
instructions he was not obliged to follow, and whose accusation of
Williams they were not obliged to give credit to, yet punctually obeyed
the order, and put him on board the _Argyle_, Captain Bowler, then lying
in the port of Lisbon and bound for England; who, as they took him in
irons, kept him so, and brought him to England, in the same conditions.
But as the pirates did not send any of their company, nor indeed could
they do it, along with him to be evidence against him, and the men who
went out of the pirate ship on board the Bristol ship, being till then
kept as prisoners on board the pirate ship (and perhaps could not have
said enough, or given particular evidence, sufficient to convict him in
a course of justice), Providence supplied the want by bringing the whole
crew to the same place; for Williams was in the Marshalsea prison before
them, and by that means they furnished sufficient evidence against
Williams also, so that they were all tried together.

In Williams's case the evidence was as particular as in Gow's, and
Dobson and the other swore positively that Williams boasted that after
MacCauly had cut the super-cargo's throat imperfectly, he (Williams)
murdered him, and added that he would not give him time to say his
prayers, but shot him through the head. Phinnes and Timothy Murphy
testified the same, and to show the bloody disposition of this wretch,
William Booth testified that Williams proposed afterwards to the company
that if they took any more ships they should not encumber themselves
with the men, having already so many prisoners that in case of a fight
they should not be safe with them; but that they should take them and
tie them, back to back, and throw them all overboard into the sea.

It should not be omitted here also in the case of Gow himself (as I have
observed in the introduction) that Gow had long meditated the kind of
villainy which he now put in practice, and that it was his resolution to
turn pirate the first opportunity he should get, whatever voyage he
undertook, and that I observed he had intended it on board a ship in
which he came home from Lisbon, and failed only for want of a sufficient
party. So this resolution of his is confirmed by the testimony and
confession of James Belvin, one of his fellow-criminals, who upon trial
declared that he knew that Gow and the crew of the _George_ galley had a
design to turn pirates from the beginning, and added that he discovered
it to George Dobson, in Amsterdam, before the ship went out to sea. For
the confirmation of this, George Dobson was called up again, after he
had given his evidence upon the trials, and being confronted by Belvin,
he did acknowledge that Belvin had said so, and that in particular he
had said that the boatswain had a design to murder the master and some
others and run away with the ship. Being asked why he did not
immediately reveal it to the master, Captain Ferneau, he answered that
he heard Belvin tell the mate of it, and that the mate told the captain;
but the captain made light of it. But the boatswain finding himself
discovered, refused to go, upon which Gow was made second mate, and
Belvin was made boatswain; an he had been as honest afterwards as
before (whereas on the contrary, he was as forward and active as any of
them, except that he was not in the first secret nor in the murders), he
might have escaped what afterwards became so justly his due. But as they
acted together, Justice required that they should suffer together, and
accordingly, Gow and Williams, Belvin, Melvin, Winter, Peterson,
Rowlinson and MacCauly, received the reward of their cruelty and blood
at the gallows, being all executed together on the eleventh of June.

It happened that Gow being a very strong man, and giving a kind of
spring, it so strained the rope that, on some people pulling him by the
legs, it broke and he fell down, after he had remained about four
minutes suspended. His fall stunned him a little, but as soon as he was
taken up, he recovered himself so far as to be able to ascend the ladder
a second time, which he did with very little concern, dying with the
same brutal ferocity which animated all his actions while alive. His
body hangs in chains over against Greenwich, as that of Williams does
over against Blackwall.


[102] The most northerly of the islands.

[103] The word is here used in its original sense, indicating
something acquired by seeking--or hunting--_pour chasser._

[104] The island of Carrick.

[105] According to Johnson's _History of the Pirates_ (Chap.
XVIII) Gow's real motive for returning to the Orkneys was to wed
a girl whose parents had repulsed him on account of his poverty.
She was the daughter of one Mr. G----, a well-to-do man.

[106] One of these humane arguments, according to Johnson, _op.
cit._, consisted in tying his thumbs together with whipcord,
"which was done several times by the executioner and another
officer; they drawing the cord until it broke."


_Although the several histories which are related within the compass of
this Appendix do not so properly fall under the general title of this
work (most of them having fallen out in a period of time long before
that to which I have fixed the beginning of these memoirs of the
unfortunate victims to public justice) yet there are two reasons which
determined me to give these narratives a place in this collection. The
first is that the wonders of Providence signalized in these transactions
might hereby be recorded and preserved to posterity; and the other, that
from the perusal the wicked might be deterred from pursuing their
vicious courses, from the prospect of those sudden, dreadful, and
unexpected strokes which the best hid criminal practices have met with
from the unsearchable conduct of Divine Justice. And as these arguments
had weight enough with me to engage me to the performance of this work,
so I hope they will also incline my readers to peruse them with that
improvement and delight which I have ever aimed to excite in the course
of my labours._

A true and perfect account of the examination, confession, trial,
condemnation and execution, of JOHN PERRY, his mother and brother, for
the supposed murder of WILLIAM HARRISON, Gent.

Upon Thursday, the 6th of August, 1660, William Harrison, steward to the
Lady Viscount Campden, at Campden in Gloucester, being about seventy
years of age, walked from Campden aforesaid to Charringworth, about two
miles from thence, to receive his lady's rent; and not returning so
early as formerly, his wife, Mrs. Harrison, between eight and nine
o'clock in the evening, sent her servant John Perry, to meet his master
on the way from Charringworth. But neither Mr. Harrison nor his servant
John Perry returning that night, early the next morning Edward Harrison,
William's son, went towards Charringworth to enquire after his father.
On the way he met Perry coming thence, and being informed by him that he
was not there, they went together to Ebrington, a village between
Charringworth and Campden, where they were told by one Daniel, that Mr.
Harrison called at his house the evening before, in his return from
Charringworth, but stayed not. Then they went to Paxford, about half a
mile from thence, where hearing nothing of Mr. Harrison, they returned
towards Campden. And on the way hearing of a hat, band and a comb, taken
up on the highway between Ebrington and Campden, by a poor woman then
leasing [gleaning] in the field, they sought her out. With her they
found the hat, band and comb, which they knew to be Mr. Harrison's; and
being brought by the woman to the place where she found the same, in the
highway between Ebrington and Campden, near unto a great furze-brake,
they there searched for Mr. Harrison, supposing he had been murdered,
the hat and the comb being hacked and cut, and the band bloody, but
nothing more could there be found. The news hereof coming to Campden, so
alarmed the town that the men, women and children hasted thence in
multitudes to search for Mr. Harrison's supposed dead body, but all in

Mrs. Harrison's fears for her husband were now much increased, and
having sent her servant Perry the evening before to meet his master, and
he not returning that night, caused a suspicion that he had robbed and
murdered him. Thereupon the said Perry was the next day brought before a
Justice of the Peace; by whom being examined concerning his master's
absence, and his own staying out the night he went to meet him, gave
this account of himself. That his mistress sending him to meet his
master, between eight and nine o'clock in the evening, he went down
Campden Field towards Charringworth about a land's length,[107] where
meeting one William Read of Campden, he acquainted him with his errand,
and farther told him that as it was growing dark he was afraid to go
forwards, and would therefore return and fetch his young master's horse
and return with him; he went to Mr. Harrison's court gate, where they
parted. He stayed till one Pierce coming by, he went again with him
about a bow's shot into the fields, and returned with him likewise to
his master's gate, where they also parted; and the said John Perry
averred that he went into his master's hen-roost, where he lay about an
hour, but slept not, but when the clock struck twelve, arose and went
towards Charringworth, until a great mist arising, he lost his way, and
so lay the rest of the night under a hedge. At break of day on Friday
morning he went to Charringworth, where he enquired for his master of
one Edward Plaisterer, who told him he had been with him the afternoon
before, and received three-and-twenty pounds of him, but stayed not long
with him. He went to William Curtis of the same town, who told him he
heard his master was at his house the day before, but being not at home,
did not see him. After which he said he returned homewards, it being
about five o'clock in the morning, when on the way he met his master's
son, with whom he went to Ebrington and Paxford, etc. Curtis being
examined, affirmed what Perry had said concerning them to be true.

Perry then being asked by the Justice of Peace how he, who was afraid to
go to Charringworth at nine o'clock, became so bold as to go thither at
twelve, answered that at nine o'clock it was dark, but at twelve the
moon shone. Being further asked why returning twice home after his
mistress had sent him to meet his master, and staying until twelve of
the clock, he went not into the house to know whether his master was
come, before he went a third time, at that time of night to look after
him, he answered that he knew his master was not at home, because he saw
a light in his chamber window, which never used to be there so late when
he was at home.

Yet notwithstanding this that Perry had said about staying forth that
night, it was not thought fit to discharge him until further enquiry was
made after Mr. Harrison, and accordingly he continued in custody at
Campden, sometimes in an inn there, and sometimes in the common prison,
from Saturday, August the 18th, to the Friday following; during which
time he was again examined at Campden, by the aforesaid Justice of
Peace, but confessed nothing more than before, nor at that time could
any further discovery be made as to what was become of Mr. Harrison. But
it hath been said that during his restraint at Campden he told some (who
pressed him to confess what he knew concerning his master) that a tinker
had killed him; and to others he said that a gentleman's servant of the
neighbourhood had robbed and murdered him; and others, again, he told
that he was murdered and hid in a bean-rick in Campden, where search was
in vain made for him. At length he gave out that if he was again carried
before the Justice, he would discover that to him which he would not do
to anybody else; and thereupon he was, on Friday, August the 24th, again
brought before the Justice of Peace, who first examined him. And asking
him whether he would confess what had become of his master, he answered
he was murdered but not by him. The Justice of Peace then telling him
that if he knew him to be murdered, he knew likewise by whom he was, so
he acknowledged he did, and being urged to confess what he knew
concerning it, affirmed that it was his mother and brother that had
murdered his master. The Justice of Peace then advised him to consider
what he said, telling him that he feared he might be guilty of his
master's death, and that he should not draw more innocent blood upon his
head, for what he now charged his mother and brother with might cost
them their lives. But he affirming he spoke nothing but the truth, and
that if he were immediately to die he would justify it, the Justice
desired him to declare how, and when they did it.

He then told him that ever since he came into his master's service his
mother and brother had lain at him to help them to money, telling him
how poor they were, and that it was in his power to relieve them by
giving them notice when his master went to receive his lady's rents, for
they would then waylay him and rob him. And further, he said that upon
the Thursday morning, when his master went to Charringworth, going on an
errand into the town, he met his brother in the street, whom he then
told whither his master was going, and if he waylaid him he might have
his money; and further said, that in the evening when his mistress sent
him to meet his master, he met his brother in the street before his
master's gate, going as he said to meet his master, and so they went
together to the churchyard, about a stone's throw from Mr. Harrison's
gate, where they parted. He going the footway beyond the church, they
met again, and so went together the way leading to Charringworth, until
they came to a gate about a bow's shot from Campden church that goes
into a ground of the Lady Campden's, called the Conygree, which to
those who have a key to go through the garden, is the nearest from that
place to Mrs. Harrison's house. When they came near unto that gate, he
(the said John Perry) said he told his brother that he believed his
master was just gone into the Conygree (for it was then so dark they
could not discern any man, so as to know him). But perceiving there was
no way but for those who had a key through the gardens, he concluded it
was his master who had gone through, and so told his brother if he
followed him, he might have his money, and he in the meantime, would
walk a turn in the fields. Which accordingly he did, and then followed
his brother. About the middle of the Conygree, he found his master on
the ground, his brother upon him, and his mother standing by. Being
asked whether his master was dead, he answered, No, for that after he
came to them, his master cried, _Ah, rogues! Will you kill me?_ At which
he told his brother he hoped he would not kill his master; his brother
replied, _Peace, peace, you're a fool_; and so strangled him. Which
having done, he took a bag of money out of his pocket, and threw it into
his mother's lap; and then he and his brother carried his master's dead
body into the garden, adjoining to the Conygree, where they consulted
what to do with it, and at length agreed to throw it into the great pool
by Wallington's Mill, behind the garden.

His mother and brother bid him go up to the court next the house, to
hearken whether anyone was stirring, and they would throw the body into
the pool; and being asked whether it was there, he said, he knew not,
for that he left it in the garden, but his mother and brother said they
would throw it there, and if it was not there, he knew not where it was,
for that he returned no more to them, but went into the court gate,
which goes into the town. He met with John Pierce with whom he went into
the field, and again returned with him to his master's gate. After which
he went into the hen-roost, where he lay until twelve o'clock at night,
but slept not, and having, when he came from his mother and brother,
brought with him his master's hat, band and comb, which he laid in the
hen-roost, he carried the said hat, band and comb, and threw them after
he had given them three or four cuts with his knife, in the highway,
where they were after found. And being asked what he intended by so
doing, he said he did it that it might be believed his master had been
there robbed and murdered. And having thus disposed of his hat, band and
comb, he went towards Charringworth, as hath been related.

Upon this confession and accusation, the Justice of Peace gave order for
the apprehending of Joan and Richard Perry, the mother and brother of
John Perry, and for searching the pool where Mr. Harrison's body was
said to be thrown, which was accordingly done, but nothing of him could
be found there. The Fish Pools, likewise, in Campden, were drawn and
searched, but nothing could be found there either; so that some were of
opinion that the body might be laid in the ruins of Campden House, burnt
in the late wars, and not unfit for such a concealment, where was
likewise search made, but all in vain.

On Saturday, August 25th, Joan and Richard Perry, together with John
Perry, were brought before the Justice of Peace, who acquainted the said
Joan and Richard with what John had lain to their charge. They denied
all, with many imprecations on themselves if they were in the least
guilty of anything of which they were accused, but John on the other
side affirmed to their faces that he had spoken nothing but the truth
and that they had murdered his master, further telling them that he
could never be at quiet for them since he came into his master's
service, being continually followed by them to help them to money (which
they told him he might do by giving them notice when his master went to
receive his lady's rents), and that meeting his brother Richard in
Campden Town, the Thursday morning his master went to Charringworth, he
told him whither he was going, and upon what errand; Richard confessed
he met his brother that morning and spoke with him, but nothing passed
between them to that purpose. Both he and his mother told John he was a
villain to accuse them wrongfully, as he had done, but John on the other
side affirmed that he had spoken nothing but the truth and would justify
it to his death.

One remarkable circumstance happened in these prisoners' return from the
Justice's house to Campden, viz., Richard Perry following a good
distance behind his brother John, pulling a clout out of his pocket,
dropped a ball of inkle,[108] which one of his guard taking up, he
desired him to restore it, saying it was only his wife's hair lace; but
the party opening it, and finding a slip knot at the end, went and
showed it unto John, who was then a good distance before and knew
nothing of the dropping and taking up of this inkle. Being showed it,
and asked whether he knew it, he shook his head and said, yes to his
sorrow, for that was the string his brother strangled his master with.
This was sworn upon the evidence at their trial.

The morrow being the Lord's day, they remained at Campden, where the
minister of the place designing to speak to them, if possible to
persuade them to repentance and a farther confession, they were brought
to church; and in their way thither passing by Richard's house, two of
his children meeting him, he took the lesser in his arm, and was leading
the other in his hand, when on a sudden both their noses fell
a-bleeding, which was looked upon as ominous.

Here it will be no impertinent digression to tell how the year before,
Mr. Harrison had his house broken open between eleven and twelve o'clock
at noon, upon Campden market-day, whilst himself and his whole family
were away, a ladder being set up to a window of the second story, and an
iron bar wrenched thence with a ploughshare, which was left in the room,
and seven score pounds in money carried away, the authors of which
robbery could never be found. After this, and not many weeks before Mr.
Harrison's absence, one evening in Campden garden his servant Perry made
a hideous outcry, whereas some who heard it coming in, met him running
and seemingly affrighted, with a sheep-pick in his hand, to whom he told
a story how he had been set upon by two men in white, with naked swords,
and how he defended himself with his sheep-pick, the handle whereof was
cut in two or three places, as was likewise a key in his pocket, which
he said was done with one of their swords.

The passages the Justice of the Peace having before heard, and calling
to mind upon Perry's confession, asked him first concerning the robbery,
when his master lost seven score pounds out of his house at noon-day,
whether he knew who did it? He answered, Yes, it was his brother, and
being further asked, whether he was with him, he answered, No, he was at
church, but that he gave him notice of the money, and told him in which
room it was, and where he might have a ladder, that would reach the
window; and that his brother after told him he had the money, and had
buried it in his garden, and that they were at Michaelmas next to have
divided it, whereupon search was made in the garden, but no money could
be there found. And being further asked concerning the other passage, of
his being assaulted in the garden, he confessed it was all a fiction,
and that he did it having a design to rob his master, so that rogues
being believed to haunt the place, when his master was robbed they might
be thought to have done it.

At the next assizes, which were held in September following, John, Joan
and Richard Perry had two indictments found against them, one for
breaking into William Harrison's house, and robbing him of one hundred
and forty pounds, in the year, 1659; the other for robbing and murdering
the said William Harrison on the 16th day of August, 1660. Upon the last
indictment, the judge of the assizes, Sir C. T., would not try them,
because the body was not found; but they were then tried upon the other
indictment for robbery, to which they pleaded not guilty. But someone
whispering behind them, they soon pleaded guilty, humbly begging the
benefit of his Majesty's gracious pardon and Act of Oblivion,[109] which
was granted them. But though they pleaded guilty to their indictment,
being thereunto promised (as probable) by some who are unwilling to lose
time and trouble the Court with their trial as the Act of Oblivion
pardoned them; yet they all afterwards and at their death, denied that
they were guilty of that robbery, or that they knew who did it. Yet at
his assize, as several credible persons have affirmed, John Perry still
persisted in his story that his mother and brother had murdered his
master, and further added that they had attempted to poison him in gaol,
so that he durst neither eat nor drink with them.

At the next assizes, which was held the Spring following, John, Joan and
Richard Perry were by the then judge of assize, Sir B. H., tried upon
the indictment of murder, and pleaded thereunto severally not guilty.
And when John's confession before the Justice was proved, _viva voce_,
by several witnesses who heard the same, he told them he was then mad
and knew not what he said. The other two, Richard and Joan Perry, said
they were wholly innocent of what they were accused, and that they knew
nothing of Mr. Harrison's death, nor what was become of him; and Richard
said that his brother had accused others as well as him of having
murdered his master, which the judge bidding him prove, he said that
most of those who had given evidence against him knew it, but naming
none, nor did any speak to it. And so the jury found them all three

Some few days after being brought to the place of their execution, which
was on Broadway Hill, in sight of Campden, the mother, who was reputed a
witch and to have bewitched her sons, so that they would confess nothing
while she lived, was executed first. After which, Richard being upon the
ladder, professed as he had done all along that he was wholly innocent
of the fact for which he was then to die, and that he knew nothing of
Mr. Harrison's death, nor what was become of him, and did with great
earnestness beg and beseech his brother, for the satisfaction of the
whole world and for his own conscience, to declare what he knew
concerning him. But he, with a dogged and surly carriage, told the
people he was not obliged to confess to them; yet immediately before his
death, he said he knew nothing of his master's death, nor what had
become of him but they might hereafter possibly hear.

Mr. Harrison's account of his being absent two years, and of his return
home, addressed to Sir Thomas Overbery, Knight

Honoured Sir,

In obedience to your commands, I give you this true account of my
being carried away beyond the seas, my continuance there and return

On Thursday, in the afternoon, in the time of harvest, I went to
Charringworth to demand rents due to my Lady Campden, at which the
tenants were busy in the fields, and were late ere they came home,
which occasioned my stay there till the close of the evening. I
expected a considerable sum, but received only twenty-three pounds
and no more. In my return home, in the narrow passages amongst
Ebrington Furzes, there met me one horseman, and said, _Art thou
there?_ and I, fearing that he would have rode over me, struck his
horse over the nose, whereupon he struck me with his sword several
blows, and ran it into my side, while I with my little cane made my
defence as well as I could. At last another came behind me, ran me
in the thigh, laid hold on the collar of my doublet, and drew me to
a hedge near to the place. Then came in another. They did not take
away my money, but mounted me behind one of them, drew my arms about
his middle, and fastened my wrists together with something that had
a spring lock to it, as I conceived, by hearing it give a snap as
they put it on; then they threw a great cloak over me and carried me

In the night, they alighted at a hayrick, which stood near unto a
stone pit, by a wall side, where they took away my money. This was
about two hours before day, as I heard one of them tell the other he
thought it to be then. They tumbled me into the stone pit. They
stayed, as I thought, about an hour at the hayrick. When they took
horse again, one of them bade me come out of the pit. I answered
they had my money already, and asked what they would do with me,
whereupon he struck me again, drew me out, and put a great quantity
of money into my pockets, and mounted me again, after the same
manner. And on Friday, about sunset, they brought me to a lone house
upon a heath, by a thicket of bushes, where they took me down,
almost dead, being sorely bruised with the carriage of the money.
When the woman of the house saw that I could neither stand nor
speak, she asked them whether or no they had brought a dead man?
They answered, no, but a friend that was hurt, and they were
carrying me to a surgeon. She answered, if they did not make haste
their friend would be dead before they could bring him to one.
There they laid me on the cushions and suffered none to come into
the room but a little girl. There we stayed all night, they giving
me some broth and strong waters.

In the morning, very early, they mounted me as before, and on
Saturday night, they brought me to a place where were two or three
houses, in one of which I lay all night on cushions by their
bedside. On Sunday morning they carried me from thence, and about
three or four of the clock, they brought me to a place by the
seaside, called Deal, where they laid me down in the ground. One of
them staying by me, the other two walked a little off to meet a man,
with whom they talked; and in their discourse I heard them mention
seven pounds, after which they went away together, and about half an
hour after returned. The man (whose name, as I after heard, was
Wrenshaw) said he feared I would die before they could put me on
board; then they put me into a boat, and carried me on ship-board,
where my wounds were dressed.

I remained in the ship, as near as I could reckon, about six weeks,
in which time I was indifferently recovered of my wounds and
weaknesses. Then the master of the ship came in and told me and the
rest who were in the same condition, that he discovered three
Turkish ships. We all offered to fight in defence of the ship and
ourselves, but he commanded us to keep close, and said he would deal
with them well enough. A little while after, he called us up, and
when we came on deck we saw two Turkish ships close by us; into one
of them we were put, and placed in a dark hold, where how long we
continued before we were landed, I know not.

When we were landed they led us two days' journey, and put us into a
great house or prison, where we remained four days and a half, and
then came to us eight men to view us, who seemed to be officers.
They called us and examined us of our trades and callings, which
everyone answered. One said he was a surgeon, another that he was a
broad-cloth weaver, and I, after two or three demands, said I had
some skill in physic. We three were set by, and taken by three of
these eight men who came to view us. It was my chance to be chosen
by a grave physician of eighty-seven years of age, who lived near to
Smyrna, who had formerly been in England, and knew Crowland in
Lincolnshire, which he preferred before all others in England. He
employed me to keep his still-house, and gave me a silver bowl,
double gilt, to drink in. My business was most in that place, but
once he set me to gather cotton wool, which I not doing he struck me
to the ground, and after drew his stiletto to stab me; but I holding
up my hands to him, he gave me a stamp and turned from me, for
which I render thanks to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who
stayed his hand and preserved me.

I was there about a year and three quarters, and then my master fell
sick on a Thursday, and sent for me, and calling me, as he used, by
the name of Bell, told me he should die and bid me shift for myself.
He died on the Saturday following, and I instantly hastened with my
bowl[110] to a port almost a day's journey distant, the way to which
place I knew, having been twice there employed by my master about
the carriage of the cotton wool. When I came thither I addressed
myself to two men who came out of a ship of Hamburg, which, as they
said, was bound for Portugal within three or four days. I enquired
of them for an English ship, they answered there was none. I
entreated them to take me into their ship, but they answered they
durst not, for fear of being discovered by the searchers, which
might occasion the forfeiture, not only of their goods, but also of
their lives. I was very importunate with them, but could not
prevail. They left me to wait on Providence, which at length brought
me another out of the same ship, to whom I made known my condition,
craving his assistance for my transportation. He made me the like
answer as the former, and was as stiff in his denial, until the
sight of my bowl put him to pause. He returned to the ship, and
after an hour's space came back again accompanied with another
seaman, and for my bowl, undertook to transport me; but he told me I
must be contented to lie down in the keel and endure much hardship,
which I was content to do to gain my liberty.

So they took me on board, and placed me below in the vessel, in a
very uneasy place, and obscured me with boards and other things,
where I lay undiscovered, notwithstanding the strict search that was
made in the vessel. My two chapmen who had my bowl, honestly
furnished me with victuals daily, until we arrived at Lisbon in
Portugal, where, as soon as the master had left the ship and was
gone into the city, they set me on shore moneyless, to shift for
myself. I knew not what course to take, but as Providence led me, I
went up into the city, and came into a fair street, and being weary
I turned my back to a wall, and leaned upon my staff. Over against
me were four gentlemen discoursing together; after a while one of
them came to me, and spake to me in a language that I understood
not. I told him I was an Englishman and understood not what he
spoke. He answered me in plain English, that he understood me, and
was himself born in Wisbech, in Lincolnshire. Then I related to him
my sad condition, and he taking compassion on me, took me with him,
provided me with lodging and diet, and by his interest with a master
of a ship bound for England, procured my passage; and bringing me on
ship board, he bestowed wine and strong waters on me, and at his
return gave me eight stivers and commended me to the care of the
master of the ship, who landed me safe at Dover. From thence I made
a shift to get to London, where being furnished with necessaries I
came into the country.

Thus, honoured Sir, I have given you a true account of my great
sufferings and happy deliverance by the mercy and goodness of God,
my most gracious Father in Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer, to
whose name be ascribed all honour, praise and glory. I conclude and

Your Worship's,
In all dutiful respect,
William Harrison

Before I part with this story, it is proper for me to remark that though
it does not contain any extraordinary mark of the wisdom of Providence,
yet being in its nature strange and hitherto having escaped any other
collection, I thought it not improper to be preserved here, since some
of the circumstances are of such a nature as not to be paralleled in any
English story.


[107] A local term for a strip of furrowed land.

[108] A kind of broad linen tape.

[109] Passed at the Restoration, in 1660, granting "free
general pardon, indemnity, and oblivion for all treasons and
state offences" committed between 1 Jan., 1637, and 24 June,
1660. The regicides and certain Irish priests were excepted.

[110] That is, the silver-gilt one his master had given him.

A Relation of the Surprising Discovery of the Murder of MARY BARWICK,
committed by WILLIAM BARWICK, her husband, on the 14th of April, 1690,
upon which he was convicted, at the Lent Assizes at York, before the
Honourable Sir John Powell, Knight, then one of the Judges of Assize

In the following relation, I have kept strictly up to the motives which
I have mentioned in the beginning of this Appendix, and I hope that will
atone for the inserting of this story, which I confess can be of no
other use than to gratify the curiosity of the reader.

As murder is one of the greatest crimes that man can be guilty of, so it
is no less strangely and providentially discovered when secretly
committed. The foul criminal believes himself secure, because there was
no witness of the fact. Not considering that the all-seeing eye of
Heaven beholds his iniquity, and by some means or other bringing it to
light, never permits it to go unpunished. Indeed, so certainly does the
revenge of God pursue the abominated murderer, that when witnesses are
wanting of the fact, the very ghosts of the murdered parties cannot rest
quiet in their graves until they have made the detection themselves. Of
this we are now to give the reader two remarkable examples that lately
happened in Yorkshire, and no less signal for the truth of both
tragedies, as being confirmed by the trial of the offenders at the last
assizes held for that county.

The first of these murders was committed by William Barwick, upon the
body of Mary Barwick his wife, at the same time big with child. What
were the motives that induced the man to do this horrid fact does not
appear by the examination of the evidence, or the confession of the
party; only it appeared upon his trial that he had got her with child
before he married her, that being then constrained to marry her, he grew
weary of her, which was the reason he was so willing to be rid of her,
though he ventured body and soul to accomplish his design.

The murder was committed on Palm Monday, being then the fourteenth of
April, about two o'clock in the afternoon, at which time the said
Barwick drilled his wife along until he came to a certain close, within
sight of Cawood Castle, where he found the conveniency of a pond. He
threw her by force into the water, and when she was drowned and drawn
forth again by himself upon the bank of the pond, he had the cruelty to
behold the motion of the infant, yet warm in her womb. This done, he
concealed the body, as it may readily be supposed, among the bushes that
usually encompass a pond, and the next night when it grew dusk, fetching
a hay spade from a rick that stood in the close, he made a hole by the
side of the pond, and there slightly buried the woman in her clothes.
Having thus despatched two at once, and thinking himself secure, because
unseen, he went the same day to his brother-in-law, one Thomas Lofthouse
of Rusforth, within three miles of York, who had married his drowned
wife's sister, and told him he had carried his wife to one Richard
Harrison's house in Selby, who was his uncle, and would take care of

But Heaven would not be so deluded, but raised up the ghost of the
murdered woman to make the discovery. It was Easter Tuesday following,
about two-o'clock in the afternoon, that the afore-mentioned Lofthouse,
having occasion to water a quickset hedge not far from his house, as he
was going for the second pailful, an apparition went before him in the
shape of a woman, and soon after set down against a rising green grass
plot, right over against the pond. He walked by her as he went to the
pond, and as he returned with the pail from the pond, looking sideways
to see whether she continued in the same place, he found she did, and
that she seemed to dandle something in her lap that looked like a white
bag, as he thought, which he did not observe before. So soon as he had
emptied his pail, he went into his yard and stood still to turn whether
he could see her again, but she was vanished. In this information he
says that the woman seemed to be habited in a brown-coloured petticoat,
waistcoat and a white hood, such a one as his wife's sister usually
wore, and that her countenance looked extremely pale and wan, with her
teeth in sight, but no gums appearing, and that her physiognomy was like
that of his wife's sister, who was wife to William Barwick.

But notwithstanding the ghastliness of the apparition, it seems it made
so little impression on Lofthouse's mind that he thought no more of it,
neither did he speak to anybody concerning it until the same night, as
he was at family duty of prayers, when that apparition returned again to
his thoughts, and discomposed his devotion; so that after he had made an
end of his prayers, he told the whole story of what he had seen to his
wife, who laying circumstances together, immediately inferred that her
sister was either drowned or otherwise murdered, and desired her husband
to look after her the next day, which was the Wednesday in Easter week.
Upon this, Lofthouse, recollecting what Barwick had told him of his
carrying his wife to his uncle at Selby, repaired to Harrison
before-mentioned, but found all that Barwick had said to be false, for
Harrison had neither heard of Barwick nor his wife, neither did he know
anything of them. Which notable circumstance, together with that other
of the apparition, increased his suspicion to that degree that now
concluding his wife's sister was murdered, he went to the Lord Mayor of
York. And having obtained his warrant, he got Barwick apprehended; who
was no sooner brought before the Lord Mayor, but his own conscience then
accusing him, he acknowledged the whole matter, as it has been already
related, and as it appears by the examination and confession herewith

On Wednesday, the 16th of September, 1690, the criminal, William
Barwick, was brought to his trial before the Honourable Sir John Powel,
Knight, one of the judges of the Northern Circuit, at the assizes held
at York, where the prisoner pleaded not guilty to his indictment. But
upon the evidence of Thomas Lofthouse and his wife, and a third person,
that the woman was found buried in her clothes, close by the pond side,
agreeable to the prisoner's confession, and that she had several
bruises on her head, occasioned by the blows the murderer had given her
to keep her under water, and upon reading the prisoner's confession
before the Lord Mayor of York, attested by the clerk who wrote the
confession, and who swore the prisoner's owning and signing it for
truth, he was found guilty and sentenced to death, and afterwards
ordered to be hanged in chains.

All the defence that the prisoner made was only this, that he was
threatened into the confession that he had made, and was in such a
consternation that he did not know what he said or did; but then it was
sworn to by two witnesses that there was no such thing as any
threatening made use of, but that he made a free and voluntary
confession, only with this addition at first, that he told the Lord
Mayor he had sold his wife for five shillings, but not being able to
name either the person or the place, where she might be produced, that
was looked upon as too frivolous to outweigh circumstances that were too

The Examination of William Barwick, taken the 25th of April, 1690

Who sayeth and confesseth that he carried his wife over a certain
wainbridge, called Bishop Dyke Bridge, between Cawood and Sherburn;
and within a lane about one hundred yards from the said bridge, and
on the left hand of the said bridge, he and his wife went over a
stile, on the left hand of a certain gate, entering into a certain
close, on the left hand of the said lane; and in a pond in the said
close, adjoining to a quick-wood hedge, he did drown his wife and
upon a bank of the said pond did bury her, and further, that he was
within sight of Cawood Castle, on the left hand, and there was but
one hedge betwixt the said close where he drowned his wife, and the
Bishops Slates, belonging to the said castle.

William Barwick
_Exam, capt. did etc.
anno super dict.
coram me._

_S. Dawson, Mayor_

An Account of the Conviction and Execution of Mr. WALKER, and MARK
SHARP, for the Murder of ANN WALKER

I am conscious that my collecting these relations may expose me to the
railery and ridicule of a very numerous tribe of wits in this age, who
value themselves extremely on their contempt of supernatural stories,
and their disbelief of all things which relate to apparitions or returns
from that state in which souls go when they depart from the body. Yet
the following story is so remarkable, the proofs so exceedingly cogent,
and the mistakes made in the relation of it by various authors so
likely, notwithstanding, to bring it in the course of time into
discredit, that I thought I could not do a greater service to the public
than to preserve it in its genuine purity, which I have had occasion to
retrieve from the sight of some papers which related thereto, and from
which the following account is written verbatim, without any alteration
so much as in a letter.

About the year 1631, there lived in a place called
Chester-in-the-Street, in the County Palatine of Durham, one Mr. Walker,
a yeoman of good fortune and credit. He was a widower and kept a young
woman, one Ann Walker, a relation of his, in his house as housekeeper.
It was suspected, it seems, by some of the neighbours, that she was with
child, immediately upon which she was removed to one Dame Cair's an aunt
of hers in the town of Lumley, hard by. The old woman treated her with
much kindness and civility, but was exceedingly earnest to know of her
who was the father of the child with which she went, but the young woman
constantly avoided answering that question. But at last, perceiving how
uneasy the old woman was because she could get no knowledge how the poor
babe was to be provided for, this Ann Walker at last said that he who
got her with child would take care of both her and it, with which answer
her aunt was tolerably satisfied.

Some time after, of an evening, her old master Walker, and one Mark
Sharp, with whom he was extraordinarily intimate, came to her aunt's
house and took the said Anne Walker away. About a fortnight passed
without her being seen or heard of, and without much talk of the
neighbourhood concerning her, supposing she had been carried somewhere
to be privately brought to bed, in order to escape her shame. But one
James Graham, a miller, who lived two miles from the place where
Walker's house was, being one night between the hours of twelve and one,
grinding corn in his mill, and the mill door shut, as he came downstairs
from putting corn into the hopper, he saw a woman standing in the
middle of the floor, with her hair all bloody, hanging about her ears,
and five large wounds in her head. Graham, though he was a bold man, was
exceedingly shocked at this spectacle. At last after calling upon God to
protect him, he, in a low voice, demanded who she was, and what she
wanted of him. To which the woman made answer, _I am the spirit of Anne
Walker, who lived with Walker at Chester-in-the-Street, and being got
with child by him, he promised to send me to a private place, where I
should be well looked to until I was brought to bed, and well again, and
then I should come to him again and keep his house. And I was
accordingly, late one night, sent away with Mark Sharp, who upon the
moor, just by the Yellow Bank Head, slew me with a pick, an instrument
wherewith they dig coals, and gave me these five wounds, and afterwards
threw me into a coalpit hard by, and hid the pick under the bank. His
shoes and stockings also being bloody he endeavoured to wash them, but
seeing the blood would not go forth, he hid them there too. And now
James Grime_ (so the country people pronounce Graham) _I am come to you,
that by revealing this bloody act my murderers may be brought to
justice; which unless you do, I will continually pursue and haunt you._

The miller returned home to his house very melancholy, and much
astonished at this sight, yet he held his peace, hoping that if he did
not reveal it she would go to somebody else. He was fearful of blasting
the character of Mr. Walker, who was a man of substance, by telling such
a tale concerning him to a Justice of Peace. However, he avoided as much
as he was able being in the mill alone, especially at nights, but
notwithstanding all his care, and though other persons were not far off,
she appeared to him there again, and in a harsh tone demanded why he had
not made known what she had spoken of to him. He made her no answer, but
fled to the other end of the place where the people were. Yet some
little time after, just after sunset, she met him in his own garden, and
spoke to him with such a cruel aspect and with such fearful threats that
he promised to go the next morning to a magistrate, which he accordingly

On the morrow, being St. Thomas's Day, he applied to a justice of the
peace and told him the story. The justice having tendered him his oath,
and taking his information in writing, forthwith issued his warrant, and
apprehended Mr. Walker and Mark Sharp, who by trade was a collier, i.e.,
dug coals out of a mine. They made light of the thing before the
justice, although he in the meanwhile had caused a place which Graham
said the apparition had spoken of, to be searched, and there found the
dead body, wounded in place and manner as before described, with the
pick, the shoes and the stockings. However, Walker and Sharp were
admitted to bail, and at the next assizes appeared upon their trial.

Judge Davenport heard the several circumstances of the woman's being
carried out by Sharp, her being suspected to be with child by her
master, Walker, and the story which Graham repeated exactly upon oath,
as he had done before the justice. The foreman of the jury did depose
that he saw a child standing upon the shoulders of the prisoner Walker,
at the Bar, and the judge himself was under such a concern and
uneasiness that as soon as the jury had found the prisoners guilty, he
immediately rose up and passed sentence of death upon them, a thing
never known before nor since in Durham, the custom being not to pass
sentence until the close of the assizes.

The Life of JACQUES PERRIER, a French Robber and Murderer

As I have stepped in the former stories a little back in time, so in
this I shall make bold to go out of our own nation, to relate a very
extraordinary passage which happened at Paris in the beginning of the
last century, because it will serve as a notable instance of that
confusion and fear which guilt brings over the souls of the most
hardened villains and thereby renders them often instruments of justice
upon themselves; so that it seems not virtue only is its own reward, but
vice also brings upon itself those torments which it ought to feel. Thus
Providence ordereth, with inscrutable wisdom, that every man should feel
happiness or misery according as his own demeanour serves. But it is now
time that we hearken to the story.

It happened that a certain architect, who was in high esteem with the
greatest nobles in France for his excellent skill in building after the
Italian model, and had thereby obtained both a great reputation and a
large estate, being a generous and charitable man, took into his house
one Jacques Perrier, in the nature of an accountant, for the better
ordering of his affairs. For the six years that this Jacques lived in
his master's house, never any man was known to behave better or more
commendably than he did. At length he married and had children, so that
the master looking upon him as a staid discreet person, of whose
fidelity he had indubitable proofs; he therefore gave him the charge of
everything, when he went to a country house of his, a small distance
from Paris, where he sometimes stayed for a week or so to unbend his
mind and enjoy the benefit of the summer season.

At last, Jacques observing what great wealth he had acquired, began to
be covetous and desirous of obtaining it; and after having cast it long
in his head how he might obtain it, he at length resolved with himself
to join with certain villains who at that time robbed in the streets and
committed murders on the roads about Paris. Gaining notice of a house
where such people frequented, he found ways and means to be admitted
into the room where they had their consultations. And the person who
introduced him having promised for his fidelity, they listened very
attentively to the proposal which he promised to make them, and which
after a little pause, he performed in these words. _My good friends, it
is now upwards of six years since I have lived in the service of a rich
and eminent person. I thought that before this time I might have made my
fortune under him, and therefore have hitherto served him faithfully and
honestly; but finding my expectations herein deceived, I come to make
you an offer which may enrich you all. He has a house in the country,
whither he retires with his daughter and maid-servant only. These may
easily be dispatched and then all his effects will be our own. I will
venture to assure you, they will be worth ten thousand crowns._

The thieves were not a little rejoiced at the thoughts of so
extraordinary a booty, and therefore, after returning Perrier thanks,
they readily embraced his motion and promised him whatever assistance he
should require. It was not long before the unfortunate, gentleman went,
as usual, with his daughter and her maid, to enjoy the pleasures of his
rural habitation, leaving the direction of his affairs to Jacques, who
no sooner saw him safe out of Paris, but he went to give notice to his
associates that the time was now come to execute his bloody proposal.
They quickly got all things in readiness, and as soon as it was evening,
set out under the command of this desperate varlet to commit that
horrible murder which he had contrived. Arriving at the house, Perrier
knocked at the door; the maid knowing him, supposed some extraordinary
business had brought him thither, and readily opened the door. But she
was exceedingly surprised to find him followed by five ruffians oddly
dressed, masked and with large staves in their hands. However, they did
not give her much time to consider, but followed her immediately into
the kitchen, where, by the direction of their abominable leader, they
immediately, with many cruel blows, put her to death. From thence they
went upstairs into the old gentleman's apartment, and found him sitting
upon his bed. As soon as they entered, _Perrier_, said his master, _is
it thus that you return that kindness with which I have always treated
you. Did I not take you from misery and want. Have I not maintained you,
and put it in your power to maintain your family? Will you repay this my
charity with robbing me of all I have? Must the tenderness I have shown
towards you draw upon me death from your hands, and do you not think
that the same God who hath seen me cherish and relieve you, will not
bring upon you condign punishment for this execrable villainy thou art
going to commit?_

Perrier was sensible of the truth of what he said, but knowing it was
impossible for him to go back, he gave a sign to the murderers to fall
about the execution of their work; but the old man, who was too wise to
expect mercy from their hands, endeavoured to lay hold of a halbert
which stood in his room, designing therewith, as well as he could, to
defend himself. But before he could get it into his hands the villains
struck him down, and with thirty or forty wounds gave a passage for his
soul into a better life.

The unfortunate young lady lay in the next room to her father's, and
being already got to bed, heard with astonishment the execrable fact.
However, full of fear and astonishment, she covered herself with the bed
clothes, and endeavoured all she was able, to hide herself in the bed.
But alas, her caution was to small purpose. Perrier knew too well the
situation of all things to be deceived by so trivial an artifice, and
therefore after pulling the bedclothes into the middle of the floor, he
exposed, naked, to his fellow ruffians, the most beautiful young lady in
France. In vain she fell upon her knees, and with all that tender
elocution so natural to their sex when in distress, besought them that
they would spare her life, which, as she said, could be of no benefit to
them, and could only serve to increase the number of their sins; but
they were too much flushed in cruelty and blood to give any attention to
her entreaties, and so without respect either to the softness of her
sex, or to her tender age, with a shower of blows from their clubs they
laid her dead upon the floor. Being thus become master of the house,
Perrier took the keys, and opening the several apartments, disclosed to
them all the riches of his deceased master. They immediately brought
away all the ready money they found in the house, which amounted to
little less than ten thousand crowns. All the rich movables they
conveyed away to a boat which they had prepared for that purpose, and
had fastened in a creek of the river on a bank of which the house stood.
They loaded and unloaded this vessel five or six times, for there was no
hurry in carrying away the goods, seeing it was the dead time of the
night, and when they had thoroughly plundered it of everything that
would yield money, they then came away and went to the place where they
laid up their spoils. There it was resolved to divide the booty, and
Perrier claimed the largest share, as well in right of his having put
them upon that project, as that he had assisted more strenuously in the
execution of it than any of them; for when men associate themselves to
commit wickedness, he who surpasses the rest in villainy claims the same
reward, and from the same reasons, as he who in another society
surpasses all his neighbours in virtue. When this execrable fact was
over, and he had secured his share in the plunder, he returned home to
the house of his master, and remained in carrying on the ordinary course
of business of his master.

About two days after, it happened that a man who had business with the
old gentleman called at his country house, and after knocking a good
while at the door, finding that nobody answered, he went to town, and
meeting with Jacques Perrier at his master's house, he told him of his
calling upon him in the country, and that he found nobody there. Jacques
counterfeited the greatest surprise at the news, and calling many
assistants, went down immediately to his master's seat, and with all the
seeming horror imaginable, became a second time a witness of those
barbarities which he and his villainous associates had committed. At the
sight of the murdered maid in the kitchen, he cried out with the
greatest vehemence, and seemed in an agony of sorrow; but when he saw
the body of his master, he roared and stamped, he cried out, tore his
hair and threw himself upon the body as if he had never more intended to
have drawn breath. All the persons he had carried with him were
effectually deceived by his behaviour, and were under apprehensions lest
his too violent grief should throw him into a fever or prompt him to lay
hands upon himself. He was not contented with acting thus upon the spot,
but resolved to play it over again when he came back to Paris. There
abundance of people pitied him, and looked on him as one whom the
sincere love he had for his master had drawn to the utmost despair by
reason of his unfortunate death.

But one of the old gentleman's relations, who was a man of more
penetration than the rest, began to suspect his excessive affliction,
and by his arguments drew another gentleman, who was also interested in
the family affairs, to be of his opinion; whereupon Jacques was
apprehended on suspicion and sent to prison. Solitude and confinement
are often the roads to repentance and confession, for the vanities of
the world being no longer before them, in such cases people are apt to
retire into the recesses of their own breasts, and having no avocations
from considering how they have spent their former years, the reflection
often extorts truth which would never be by any other method
discovered. But it was not so with Perrier. His dissimulation was of a
stronger contexture, and not to be broken even by sorrow and
confinement. He not only continued to deny the knowledge of the murder,
but also to lament the loss of so indulgent a master, with such floods
of tears, and so many strong appearances of real sorrow and affection
that, no proof appearing against him, the magistrates were afraid of
having themselves reproached with injustice if they had not given him
his liberty, to which, after six months imprisonment, he was restored.

The rest of the assassins seeing a long space of time elapsed, and that
still not the least discovery was made of the murder, laid aside all
fears of being taken, and began to appear more openly than hitherto they
had done since the perpetration of that fact. But in the midst of their
security the Providence of God forced them to betray themselves; for as
the father, son and cousin, who were all concerned in the murder, were
sitting with one Masson, another of the confederates, making merry at a
public-house, on a sudden they turned their heads and saw ten or twelve
archers or marshal's men (who have the same authority as constables in
our country) who by chance met together and came into the house to
drink. Guilt on a sudden struck the whole company with apprehensions
that they were come in search of them, the fear of which made them throw
down their knives and forks, leave what they had upon the table and fly
with the utmost precipitation, as supposing they ran for their lives.

This extravagant behaviour struck the archers with amazement, and
immediately calling for the landlord, they enquired of him what should
be the sudden cause of this terror in his guests. He replied that it was
impossible for him to tell certainly, but from discourse which he had
heard, he took them to be persons of no very honest character, and from
the great sums of money he had heard them count out, he was apprehensive
that they had committed some robbery or other. There wanted not any
farther account to stir up the archers to a pursuit, from whence they
already assured themselves they should be considerable gainers, the
thing speaking for itself, since honest people are not used to fall into
such panics; but only guilt creates apprehensions in men at the sight of
the ministers of justice. Immediately, therefore, the officers pursued
them in the road they had taken, and the old man being less able to
travel than the rest, in about two hours time they came up with him at
the side of a rivulet, where, for very weariness he had stopped as not
being able to cross it.

No sooner did they come up to him but he surrendered, and fear having
brought a sudden repentance, he, without any equivocation, began to
confess all the crimes of his life. He said that it was true they all of
them deserved death, and he was content to suffer; he said, moreover,
that in the course of his life he had murdered upwards of three-score
with his own hands. He also carried the officers to an island in the
river, which was the usual place of the execution of those innocents who
fell into the hands of their gang, and acknowledged that of all the
offences he had committed, nothing gave him so much pain as the having
murdered a hopeful young gentleman (for the sake of a trifle of money
which he had about him) by putting a stone about his neck and sinking
him in the water.

Of the other three, two were apprehended, but the third made his escape
and was running hastily with the news to Jacques Perrier and their other
companions, but he was soon after seized, and carried to prison with the
rest, none escaping from the hands of Justice but Masson and the cruel
Perrier, the author of all this mischief. The three who were in prison
endured the torture with the greatest constancy, absolutely denying that
they knew anything of the murders and robberies which had been
committed, yet when they were confronted by the old man, their courage
deserted them, they acknowledged the fact, and judgment was pronounced
upon them that they should be broke alive upon the wheel, before the
house of the unfortunate architect whom they had murdered.

When they were brought there, with a strong guard, to suffer that
punishment to which the Law had so justly doomed them, they appeared to
be very penitent and sorrowful for their crimes, and one of them in
particular did, with greatest vehemency, beseech the pardon of Almighty
God, of the king his sovereign, and of his people whom he had so much
injured, declaring that he could not die in peace without informing the
multitude who were assembled to behold their execution, of a certain
kind of villainy in which he was particularly concerned. He said it was
his custom to watch about the sides of the road which lay near the
woods, and that having a cord with him, he suddenly threw it about the
neck of any passenger who was coming by, and therewith immediately
strangled him before he was aware, or capable of resisting them, and if
at any time there came by several passengers together who demanded what
he did there, he replied that he was sent thither by his master to catch
a cow; and his going in the habit of a peasant gave such an aspect of
truth to the story that he was never suspected.

Though the concourse of people be generally very great, yet the
assembly on this occasion was much larger than ordinary, and those who
were spectators, contrary to the ordinary custom, showed but very little
compassion at the miserable tortures which those wretches endured. On
the contrary, they continually cried out that they should discover what
was become of Perrier and their other accomplice, Masson. These
unfortunate men continued to assert in their last moments that they knew
nothing of either of them, but supposed that, hearing of their
apprehension, they had immediately made their escape, and were retired
as far as they were able from the danger. The people were infinitely
satisfied with the death of these assassins, and nothing was wanting to
complete the triumph of Justice but the apprehension of Perrier and his
associate, to whose adventures it is now time that we return, in order
to display the severe justice of Providence, and the admirable methods
by which it disappoints all the courses that human wit can invent in
order to frustrate its intent.

Masson had hid himself in a village not far from the city of Tours,
where he concealed himself so effectually that the inhabitants had not
the least suspicion of his being a dishonest man. On the contrary, he
applied himself to an honest way of getting his livelihood, and after
sojourning there for a considerable space, he married a young woman,
with the consent of her parents, and seemed to be now established in a
state of peace and security, if it were possible for a guilty soul to
know either security or peace. A trivial accident, in which no man but
Masson would have had a hand, proved the instrument by which he was
drawn to suffering that cruel death which his companions had before
undergone, and he so justly deserved.

There was, it seems, a young country fellow in the neighbourhood where
Masson lived, who was just married, and according to a silly notion
which prevails not only among the peasants of France but also among the
clowns of all other nations in Europe, fancied himself bewitched by some
charm or other, which rendered him incapable of performing the rites of
his marriage bed. Masson thereupon offered, if he would give him a
reasonable gratuity, to free him from this insupportable malady, and a
bargain was accordingly struck for four crowns, two of which the fellow
gave him in his hand, and two more were to be paid on the accomplishment
of the cure, when there were no more complaints of insufficiency. Upon
this he immediately demanded the other two crowns, which the other
refused, and our infatuated thief brought the cause before the
magistrates, where, when it came to be examined, it appeared plainly
that Masson had bragged to his companions that he had wrought the
charm, for the undoing of which he now claimed a reward. And as the
Justice of the Court required, he was sentenced to be banished as a
sorcerer, after being first whipped at all the cross-streets in town.

But behold the marvellous conduct of Divine Justice. He appealed from
this sentence to the parliament at Paris, whither he was no sooner
conducted under a strong guard, but he was immediately known to be one
of that gang of assassins which had been executed for the murder of
Perrier's master and family. Immediately he was charged with this fact,
and the heirs of that unfortunate gentleman prosecuted their charge with
such vigour that he received the like judgment, to be broken alive upon
the wheel at the same place where his associates had suffered death;
which sentence was rigorously executed five years after the perpetration
of that execrable fact.

There remained nobody but Jacques Perrier, the author and contriver of
this horrid villainy, who had not suffered according to their deserts.
He, after hiding himself for a while, until he saw what became of his
companions, hastily betook himself to flight, and endeavoured to fly
into England, where, if he once arrived, he knew he should remain in
safety. But in this attempt he was disappointed (although nobody pursued
him), for being arrived at Calais, the same covetous and wicked
disposition which had prompted him to murder so kind a master and all
his family, egged him on to rob a certain rich merchant there, which
villainous design he effected whilst the gentleman was at church. But he
gained not much by that, for the booty being too large to be concealed,
he was very quickly apprehended and for this fact condemned to be
hanged. He had more wit, however, than his companion, Masson, and
therefore never dreamt of appealing to the parliament of Paris, where he
knew he should meet with the same fate which had befallen the rest of
the gang. However, when he came to suffer that death which was appointed
him by Law, he did not stick to acknowledge that execrable parricide
which he had projected, as well as carried into execution; so that when
the news reached Paris, it occasioned universal joy that not one of
these bloody villains had escaped, but were so wonderfully cut off, when
they themselves fancied the danger to be over.

The French author from whom I have transcribed this account hath swelled
the relation with much of that false eloquence which was so common in
the last age, not only in France, but throughout all Europe. Except that
I have rejected this, I have been very faithful in this translation, the
story appearing to me to be very extraordinary in its kind, and worthy
therefore of being known to the public, since it will sufficiently
declare that as vice prevails generally throughout all countries and
climates, stirring up men to cruel and atrocious deeds, so the eye of
Providence is continually watchful, and suffers not the blood of
innocents to cry out for revenge in vain. It remains that I inform my
readers that this villainy was transacted about the year 1611, and that
Masson and Jacques Perrier suffered in the year 1616.


Of these unfortunate lads, Abraham White was born of mean parents who
had it not in their power to give him much education, but taught him,
however, the business of a bricklayer, which was his father's trade, and
by which, doubtless, if he had been careful, he might have got his
bread. But he unfortunately addicting himself from childhood to drinking
and lewd company, soon plunged himself into all manner of wickedness,
and quickly brought on a fatal necessity of stepping into the road of
the gallows; and associating himself with Sanders and Minsham, they had
all gone together upon the road for about six weeks before they were

Francis Sanders was a young fellow of very tolerable arts and education.
He had been put out apprentice to a stay-maker, attained to a great
proficiency in his trade; and by the help of his friends, who were very
willing to lend him their assistance, he might have done very well in
the world if it had not been for that unfortunate inclination to roving,
which continually possessed him. His acquaintance with a certain bad
woman was in all probability the first cause of his addicting himself to
ill-courses, and as in the papers I have before me relating to him, her
history is also contained, I thought it would not be unentertaining to
my readers if I ventured to insert it. This woman's true name was Mary
Smith. She was brought up, while young, from her native country of
Yorkshire to London, where getting into the service of an eminent
shopkeeper, she might, had she been honest and industrious, have lived
easily and with credit; but unfortunately both for herself and her
master's apprentice, the young man took a liking to her, and one night,
having first taken care to make himself master of the key of her door,
he came out of his chamber into hers, where after a faint resistance,
he got to bed to her. Their correspondence was carried on for a good
while without suspicion, but the young man having one night stole a
bottle of rum with a design that it should make his mistress and he
merry together before they went to bed, they inconsiderately drank so
heartily of it that the next morning they slept so sound that their
master and mistress came upstairs at ten o'clock, and found them in bed
together. Upon this, the wench, without more ado, was turned out of
doors, and was forced to live at an alehouse of ill-repute, where
Sanders used to come of an evening, and so got acquainted with her.

John Minsham was an unfortunate wretch, born of mean parents, and
equally destitute of capacity or education. From the time he had been
able to crawl alone, he had known scarce any other home than the street.
Shoe-blacks and such like vagabonds were his constant companions, and
the only honest employment he ever pretended to was that of a
hackney-coachman, which the brethren of the whip had taught him out of

Thus furnished with bad principles, and every way fitted for those
detestable practices into which they precipitated themselves, they first
got into one another's company at a dram-shop near St. Giles in the
Fields, much frequented by Constance Buckle, a most lewd and abandoned
strumpet, and one Rowland Jones, a fellow of as bad principles as
themselves. One night, having intoxicated themselves with the vile
manufacture of the house, they went out, after they had spent their
money, and in Bloomsbury Square attacked one John Ross, from whom they
took away a hat value five shillings, and fourpence halfpenny in money.
This man, it seems, lived the very next door to the gin-shop where they
frequented. Going there the next day, to make complaint, he was
immediately told that the people who had robbed him had sold his hat,
and were coming thither by and by to drink the money out in gin. Upon
this information Ross procured proper assistance, and the people keeping
their appointment pretty exactly, were all surprised and taken.

In the confusion they were under when first apprehended, Minsham and
Sanders in part owned the fact, but Rowland Jones making a full and
frank discovery, was accepted as an evidence, and produced against them
at their trial at the ensuing sessions at the Old Bailey, where, upon
full evidence, they were all convicted of this fact, and Francis
Sanders, Constance Buckle, and Robert Tyler, were indicted for
assaulting Richard Smith on the highway, putting him in fear, and taking
from him a hat value five shillings.

Rowland Jones, the evidence, deposed that the night the robbery was
committed he was in company with the prisoners at a brandy shop, where
having drunk until they were all pretty much elevated, they went out in
order to see what they could pick up. And not far from the place they
went from, overtaking a man whom they saw had a pretty good hat on,
Sanders hit him a blow in the face, and that not doing the business, he
repeated it, and at the second blow, the hat fell off from his head,
whereupon Constance Buckle caught it and clapped it under her coat. The
constable deposed that by the information of Rowland Jones, he
apprehended the prisoners. Constance Buckle acknowledged that she was in
their company when the man was knocked down and the hat taken, whereupon
the jury, without withdrawing, found them guilty, and they received
sentence of death.

The woman Constance Buckle pleaded her being with child, and a jury of
matrons being impannelled, they found she was quick, and thereby
procured her a respite of execution, and soon after her sentence was
changed to transportation. The rest, under conviction, behaved
themselves very indifferently, and manifested sufficiently that though
custom and an evil disposition might make them bold in the commission of
robberies, yet when death looked them steadily and unavoidably in the
face, all that resolution forsook them, and in their last moments they
behaved with all the appearances of terror which are usually seen in
souls just awakened to a due sense of their guilt. They died on the 23rd
of December, 1730; White being eighteen, Sanders near eighteen, and
Minsham sixteen years of age.


Acton Common
African Company, the Royal
Allen, a felon
Amlow, Squire
Anderson, Thomas, a thief
Angier, Humphrey, a highwayman
Annesley, Mr., his Murder
Ansell, James, a deer-stealer
Apparition, of a murdered woman
Appeals, nature of
Applebee, a footpad
Apprehension, of offenders
Armstrong, Samuel, a housebreaker
Artillery Ground
Aruba Island
Ashby, Joseph
Ashley, Isaac
Aspley, Mr. Fluellen
Audley, Lord
Austin, John, a footpad
Avery, Captain, a pirate

Bagshot Heath
Bailey, Francis, a highwayman
Ball, Thomas
Baltic, expedition to
Barnham, a cheat
Barton, John, a robber
William, a highwayman
Barwick, William, a murderer
Beezely, Mr., a distiller
Bellamy, Martin, a thief
Bennett, an apprentice
Benson, Edward, a thief
F., a thief
Timothy, a highwayman
Berry, Thomas
Bess, Edgeworth, _see_ Lion, Elizabeth
Bewle, John
Biddisford, a deer-stealer
Bigg, Jepthah, an incendiary
Billers, Sir William
Billings, Thomas, a murderer
Bird, Dick
Bishopsgate Street
Bishop Stortford
Black Act, the
Blacket, Frances, _alias_ Mary, a highwaywoman
Black Mary, _see_ Rawlins, Mary.
Blake, Joseph, _alias_ Blueskin, a highwayman
Robert, a coiner
Blewit, William
Bloomsbury Market
Blueskin (_see_ Blake)
Blunt, a corporal
Bond Street
Booty, James, a ravisher
Boston, New England
Bourn, William, a thief
Bradley, a baker
Thomas, a street-robber
Bradshaw, John, a pirate
Bramston, William
Branch, Benjamin
Bridges, William
Brightwell, the brothers
Brinsden, Matthias, a murderer
Mail, robbery of
Britton, Hannah
Broom, Thomas
Brown, a thief
Edward, a footpad
Brownsworth, George
Buckle, Constance, a strumpet
Burden, Thomas, a robber
Burgess, Jonah
Burglary, laws concerning
Burk, William, a footpad
Burnet, Stephen, a street-robber
Burning alive, a capital punishment
Burnworth, Edward, _alias_ Frazier
Burridge, William, a highwayman
Burton, a shoplift
Bushey Heath
Butler, James, a highwayman
Butlock, Thomas, a thief
Byng, Admiral

Calvo, Stefano di
Cammel, James, a thief
Campden, Gloucester
Candy, Joseph
Cane, Richard, a footpad
Carolina, America

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest