Ordinary of Newgate Prison:
Ordinary's Accounts: Biographies of Executed Convicts

23rd October 1721

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Currently Held: Harvard University Library

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22nd October 1721

FIFTHLY and LASTLY, The Influence that the Appointment for Death should have. It should induce Men to despise the World; to acquire a nobler Treasure in Heaven; to be instant and earnest in Devotions: It should make a Man examine and judge himself that he be not judged of God; make us reflect on the Wisdom of God in bringing down Man to Humility, by having form'd him, tho' the Glory of Creation, one of the most changeable Being created; so form'd, as for one Generation to give Place to another in less than an hundred Years, while the Sun and Moon, and Stars, preserve the Posts, to shine on our Posterity as they have shone on us.

1. JOHN DYKES< no role > ) of Stepney Parish , was convicted of Assaulting Charles Wright< no role > on the Road, between Mile-End and Bow , and robbing him of a Penknife, a Seal, and 5 s. 8 d. in Money, by clapping a Pistol to his Breast, and telling him if he did not peaceably deliver he should be shot through.

He was 23 Years Old, but very Ignorant, having forgot all his Reading and Writing, which (he said) was taught him by his Friends. Being the eldest Child, and having a too indulgent Father, he desliked to go 'Prentice to any Occupation for seven Years, and was not compel'd thereto; yet some Times (he said) he work'd with his Brother as a Carpenter or Cooper . He added, that his Ruin proceeded from an idle Habit which he catch'd of Gaming, at which having spent most of his Money, he would play for Half-Pence with the Children in the Streets, where he some Times re-establish'd his Stock; but at other Times being quite destitute, and afraid to acquaint his Father with his Losses, he took to picking Pockets, which he often practic'd, and was some Times in Bridewell for it: Upon his being discharg'd, he would often promise his Friends that he would go to Sea, but still refused to do so, though often equip'd and enter'd for his Majesty's Service. He also said, that his Friends often lamented to him, begging he would take to some Business, telling him he would assuredly come at length to be hang'd; adding, that his Friends often bought him good Suits of Cloaths, to encourage him to go to Church, but that he was scarce ever in a Church in his whole Life; going, as he said, toward the Fields, to Play and Game, and returning when he thought Church was done.

He also said, that he not only robb'd as a Footpad on the Highway, but broke into several Houses, about Mile-End , Bow , and Hackney ; in particular, that Isaac Drew< no role > and he forceably enter'd, in the Night-Time, a House, by the School-House, going to Bow , and took Cloaths and some little Plate; but what (he said) most griev'd him, was, that he robb'd a poor Man, near the Men hanging in Chains by Bow , of all his Wages, he being a Gardener, and going Home late at Night.

This Prisoner (as I was told) used, at particular Times, to start up in the Night-Time, and tear his Hair, and beat his Breast, and crying out in a very odd way; but at other Times to be singing forth of Psalms by himself, and repeating the Lord's-Prayer for several Hours together.

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