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said, I have now as great a satisfaction at heart, as if I was going to enjoy an estate of two hundred pounds a year, though the chaplain understood it in a different sense. But this hopeful scheme was discovered in the Press-yard in Newgate, just as he was going into the cart, though it was not prevented without some loss of blood: one Watson, an officer, too incautiously examining Jack's pockets, unluckily cut his own fingers."
It was also his wish, in case of hanging, to be put into a warm bed and blooded-but he was too dead. Tyburn saw him die--and he made a decent end, much pitied by the spectators. Jack was a gallant rascal, and we must do him the only justice we can, by saying that he was no murderer!
Many poems and plays were writ upon his life and death. Several pictures of Jack in the condemned hole were published -and upon one, painted by Sir James Thornhill, some lingering lines were composed, thắt drag upon the ear like the wheels of a criminals cart. A pantomime, called Harlequin Sheppard, was enacted at Drury Lane.-And, no doubt, Jack threw a summerset over Newgate to the great delight of the people in the one shilling. The very pulpit moralized on Sheppard's extraordinary escapes—and one preacher in particular, having recorded Jack's adroitness, applied the
then to open
" Let me exhort
the locks of
hearts with the nail of repentance; burst asunder the fetters of your beloved lusts ; mount the chimney of hope, take from thence the bar of good resolution, break though the stone-wall of despair, and all the strong holds in the dark-entry of the valley of the shadow of death: raise yourselves to the leads of divine meditation. Fix the blanket of faith with the spike of the church. Let yourselves down to the turner's house of resignation, and descend the stairs of humility: so shall you come to the door of deliverance from the prison of iniquity, and escape the clutches of that old executioner the devil, who goeth about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may
We have been lavish of our room upon Jack Sheppardand must be more guarded in our treatment of the rest. But he was, perhaps, the most daring, careless, and yet bloodless offender that ever stood up to his hips in fading rue, or looked at his face in the livid glass which confronts the dock of the Old Bailey. He was passionately fond of women and wineand in reference to the latter, he, like justice, despised half
Macheath was but Jack Sheppard set to music. We can easily picture him in our mind's burglary-eye, sitting up three pair of stairs in Drury Lane, “with his doxies around him," singing the old Irish death song of
“For its we are the boys of the Holy Ground, *
upon nothing, and turn us round !”
Jonathan Wild, the notorious thief and thief-taker, was, in February, 1724-5, apprehended and lodged in Newgate. He used to carry a constable's staff about with him, and rob under the very shadow of its crown. He hung mankind at 401. a head, as men have since done. And he constantly caused his companions to be transported, as tenpenny nails are bartered, by the hundred. Jonathan was tried and sentenced to death. The Ordinary's account is very minute, but we cannot tarry with it. The particulars of a curious quarrel between Wild and Charles Hitchen, the city marshal, are detailed-in which much excessive villany is exposed. When two such scavengers begin to pelt each other, dirty work must be looked for. The Marshal bespatters poor Jonathan lustily for three pages-but Wild retorts with several good round accusations, and daubs his opponent to utter blackness. The Marshal considerably “ sinks in his repute,” after Jonathan's short abusive history. Wild made himself delirious by poison at the time of execution
- but he was a little roused to a sense of his situation, by the desperate treatment he experienced from the mob. He died at Tyburn, and was buried—but it was feared by his friends, that he found his way, at last, to “among the otamies at Surgeon's Hall.”
The first volume of this extraordinary work ends with the end of Mrs. Hayes, who, it will be remembered by most of our readers, stirred
1726 with about as barbarous a murder as ever convulsed a city, since murders first came into vogue. She hated Mr. Hayes with the heart of a she-Zanga or a tigress. She compassed his death, and, to make it certain, won over to her purpose Thomas Billings and Thomas Wood, two men, who contrived to make him drunk with mountain. Wood and Billings despatched the poor man with a coal hatchet -and Mrs. Hayes held his head over a bucket while the two murderers cut it off.
“Mrs. Hayes proposed, in order to prevent a discovery, that she would take the head and boil it in a pot till only the skull remained, whereby it would be altogether impossible for any body to distinguish to whom it belonged.
“ This proposal might have been approved of, only it was not altogether so expeditious: it was therefore proposed, that Billings and Wood should take the same in the pail; and carry it down to the Thames, and throw it in there. This was approved of, and Billings taking the
* The English-Irish name for St. Giles's.
head in the pail under his great coat, went down stairs with Wood to dispose thereof, as had been before agreed upon.'
The head was found, and exhibited in St. Margaret's Church Yard upon a pole ;-some friend of poor Mr. Hayes knew it, and recognized the murdered man.
Mrs. Hayes was tried and condemned to be burnt.
“ After sentence, Mrs. Hayes behaved herself with more indifference than might have been expected from one under her circumstances; she frequently expressed herself to be under no concern at her approaching death, only the manner of it appeared to carry some terror with it; she shewed more concern for Billings than for herself, and also a surprising fondness for him in all her actions: when in the chapel, she would sit with her hand in his, and lean upon his breast and shoulder, and he on her's; for this she was reprimanded, as being offensive to the spectators, both in regard to the indecency of the action, and as it shewed her esteem for the murderer of her husband; notwithstanding whịch reason she would not desist, but continued the same until the minute of her death; one of her last expressions to the executioner, as she was going from the sledge to the stake, being an enquiry if he had hanged her dear child."
The following account of her execution is painfully vivid.
“ About twelve the prisoners were severally carried away for execution ; Billings, with eight others, for various crimes, were put into three carts, and Catharine Hayes was drawn upon a sledge to the place of execution, where being arrived, Billings, with the other eight, after having had some time for their private devotions, were turned off: after which, Catharine Hayes being brought to the stake, was chained thereto with an iron chain, running round her waist, and under her arms, and a rope round her neck, which was drawn through a hole in the post; then the faggots, intermixed with light brush-wood and straw, being piled all round her, the executioner put fire thereto in several places, which immediately blazing out, as soon as the same reached her, she with her arms pushed down those which were before her, when she
appeared in the middle of the flames as low as the waist; upon which the executioner got hold of the end of the cord which was round her neck, and pulled it tight, in order to strangle her, but the fire soon reached his hand, and burned it, so that he was obliged to let it go again; more faggots were immediately thrown upon her, and in about three or four hours she was reduced to ashes: in the mean time Billings’s irons were put upon him as he was hanging on the gallows; after which, being cut down, he was carried to the gibbet, about a hundred yards distance, and there hung up in chains."
Swift wrote the following ballad on Mr. Hayes' murder, which the Ordinary describes as the work of “an anonymous writer, who imagined this execrable murder was a fit subject for drollery."
“A SONG ON THE MURDER OF MR. HAYES,
BY MRS. HAYES.
(To the Tune of Chevy Chace.)
In Tyburn-road a man there liv'd,
A just and honest life;
If so had pleas'd his wife.
But she to vicious ways inclin’d,
A life most wicked led;
She oft defil'd his bed.
Full twice a-day to church he went,
And so devout would be;
If that no saint was he!
This vex'd his wife unto the heart,
She was of wrath so full;
She pick'd one in his scull.
But then her heart ’gan to relent,
And griev'd she was so sore;
She cut him into four.
All in the dark and dead of night,
These quarters she convey'd;
His marrow-bones she laid.
His head at Westminster she threw,
All in the Thames so wide;
And you may have the tide.
But heav'n, whose pow'r no limit knows
On earth, or on the main,
Upon the land again.
This head being found, the justices
Their heads together laid;
And all agreed there must have been
Some body to this head.
But since no body could be found,
High mounted on a shelf,
A witness for itself.
Next, that it no self-murder was,
The case itself explains,
And throw it in the Thames.
Ere many days had gone and past,
The deed at length was known,
The fact to be her own.
God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all,
By Cath'rine Hayes's fall.”
The second volume begins with the trial of that ruffianpoet, Richard Savage--whose gross barbarities of nature Doctor Johnson endeavoured to adorn and obscure with the cumbrous flowers of his biography. Savage's crime is too well known to need notice here. Colonel Charteris, whose name Pope has damned to everlasting fame, soon follows. His epitaph is the only good thing he ever lived for. At page 152 Sarah Malcombe, for murders, holds out five and thirty tempting and desperate pages-but we cannot heed her.
The trial of Charles Macklin, for insinuating a cane into the left eye (which, of course, became the left eye no longer) of Thomas Hallam, occurs at page 234. The accident, for such it really was, arose about a wig :-Hallam was a brother actor. Quin and others vouched for the peaceable disposition of Macklin, and he was acquitted of the murder.
In Richard Coyle's trial for the barbarous murder of Captain Hartley, the letter, written by the prisoner the night before he suffered, is well worth reading., "It is at once devout, sly, simple, and pathetic.
The second volume concludes with an account of George Price, for the murder of his wife, which is too frightfully cruel for our pages. It is singular, that this work teems with accounts of men murdering their wives, while there are not more than one or two instances of uncourteous retorts on the part of the women.