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

24th December 1744

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Currently Held: Harvard University Library

LL ref: OA174412244412240032

4th November 1743

Miles from Ely, and quitting his Horse got into a Field, where he saw a Man a Harrowing. Here he concealed himself till the Man had left off: When the Man was gone, he got one of the Iron Teeth out of the Harrow, and with that got off his Fetters. Upon this he proceeded directly for London, to his Father-in-Law's George Ellis< no role > 's, at the Seven Dials , where his Wife and her Father were both greatly surprized to see him.

HE for some Time after this lived very honest in the Employment of a Labourer ; but afterwards growing weary of his Business, and renewing his Acquaintance with his old Companions, he was led by them to the Commission of those very Crimes, for which he was once before Condemn'd, and now Executed.

HE acknowledged, that he and his Companions have killed One Hundred and Twenty-six Sheep, since the last Time they followed those Courses.

SUCH a profligate Sett of audacious Bloodthirsty, desperate, and harden'd Villains, have of late started up to infest this great City, as make it quite unsafe to walk even in the most public Streets; every one surely will allow, that the apprehending and bringing such Villains to their deserved Punishment, is an Undertaking worthy of the greatest Encouragement, and more especially, when such an Undertaking is attended with the greatest Danger and Hazard.

NO Body has taken more Pains, or run greater Hazards on this Account, than an Officer of this City, (by the Encouragement of the Civil Magistrates) who has twice very near ran the Risque of his Life, once by being shot at in open Day-light, in Drury-Lane , by some of these Ruffians; but escaping that Attempt, and persisting still in his laudable Endeavours to bring them to Justice, seventeen of the most audacious of them, going with their Pistols and Hangers, to a House he was known to frequent, fully determined to Sacrifice him, which has been confessed by Harper the Evidence, now a Prisoner in Woodstreet Compter; but the said Officer fortunately happening not to be there, their Design prov'd abortive. Since therefore, it is evident, from these desperate Attempts, that this vigilant Officer goes hourly in danger of his Life, it is, surely, but fit he should be rewarded according to his Merit, not only in common Justice to him, but as an Encouragement to Others, to follow so laudable an Example; the only likely means to put an End to the wicked Practices of such abandon'd Wretches, and restore Peace and Safety to the Inhabitants of London and Westminster, who are at present deterr'd by the daily numerous Instances of their unprecedented Barbarity, from pursuing their lawful Occasions, even at Hours, that used formerly to be counted very seasonable.

Richard Harper< no role > , othewise Daddy, was taken on the last Lord-Mayor's Day in Cheapside , and that Night committed to the Compter, next Day being carried before the sitting Alderman, he was committed to Newgate , where he was put into one of the Cells, and in the Evening, two worthy Magistrates of this City, came to the Press-Yard, and there took his Confession of several Robberies committed by him and his Companions, knowing what Villainies he had been concerned, and sensible his Life was too justly forfeited, unless he could serve his Country, by detecting his wicked Companions, he chose to turn Evidence, and open such a Scene of Villiany committed by him and his Companions, as is scarcely to be parallell'd, and which is as follows, viz.

The following is an Account of the Robberies committed by Thomas Wells< no role > , Joseph Field< no role > This name instance is in set 3512. , John Potbury< no role > This name instance is in set 3511. , William Billingsley< no role > This name instance is in set 3510. , and the rest of their Gang.

JOHN Potbury< no role > , otherwise Jack the Sailor, James Cole< no role > , (not yet taken) and William Harper< no role > This name instance is in set 3509. , having robbed a Gentleman in a Street near Temple-Bar , of a Silver Watch, were pursued very closely, but in the Pursuit fell down, by which Means they escap'd.

AFTER this, Billingsley, otherwise Gugg, John Potbury< no role > , Henry Gadd< no role > This name instance is in set 3513. , (the little Boy) otherwise Scampey, William Bristow< no role > , otherwise Dilsey, James Roberts< no role > This name instance is in set 3223. , Theophilus Watson< no role > This name instance is in set 3519. , William Harper< no role > , with some others (not yet taken) robbed a Gentleman in Bartholomew Fair , Billingsley and Watson held him by the Arms, whilst Potbury pick'd his Pocket of his Watch. The Gentleman making some Resistance, they fell on him with their Bludgeons, and beat him in a cruel Manner. In the Scuffle the Gentleman lost his Stick

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