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

24th December 1744

About this dataset

Currently Held: Harvard University Library

LL ref: OA174412244412240036

4th November 1743

square, and took away fifty-two Yards of Linnen, Three Silver Spoons, a Punch Ladle, and two Silver Salts. In the Commission of this Robbery they were disturbed (and very narrowly escaped being all taken) by six Soldiers, who pursued and fired at them, but they had the good Fortune to Escape.

WHEN they came to Black Boy Alley , they began to share their Booty; but Billingsley had secreted the Plate, for it is common amongst themselves to play at Rob Thief; however, Field and Potbury detected him in it, and said he was a Rogue to wrong them. He told them he had no such Design, it was done only to try them, whether they knew he had it, for no Man could say, that ever went with him, that he ever sunk upon them.

AFTER this, Field and Billingsley one Evening stopt a Gentleman just by George's Coffee-House , near Temple Bar ; Field pick'd his Pocket, and was taken in the very Fact by the Gentleman. Billingsley followed Field and the Gentleman, to see what he did with him; the Gentleman getting some Persons to his Assistance, carried him to the Watch-House, and afterwards to Sir Thomas De Veil< no role > 's, Knt. where he waited to see what would become of him; he had not waited long, before he came out, with six Persons besides himself, with Links, to Guard him to Newgate in a Coach. Billingsley seeing that, immediately makes the best of his Way to Black-Boy-Alley , in Chick Lane , to raise a Posse to rescue him; he got six of his own Gang, and all had got large Broomsticks; just at Holborn Bars they met the Coach, and one of them went to the Coachman and ordered him to stop his Horses, or else he would knock his Brains out, whilst the others got to the Coach-door, and let out their Companion, and carried him off in Triumph to Black-Boy-Alley, in Defiance of Justice. This was about two Years ago, and they always afterwards went with Pistols, Hangers, and Cutlasses, for fear any of the Thief-takers should offer to take them; they generally went in Numbers, sometimes six, and sometimes ten.

SOME few Nights after, being six of them in Company, they attack'd a Man and his Wife betwixt the New-Exchange in the Strand, and Charing-Cross, and bid them Stand; Potbury jstled the Man against the Wall, in the mean Time Field did his Endeavour to pick his Pocket of his Watch; the Man made some Resistance, although he had his Child in his Arms, and for fear the Child should be hurt, he said to his Wife, my Dear take the Child, and was handing it to her, with a Design to give them his Money; when Billingsley imagining by his giving the Child away, that he intended to make his Defence, made a fierce Blow at him with a Bludgeon, which unfortunately fell on the Child and killed it; on which the Woman screaming out, they all took to their Heels, and ran away.

ON Sunday Evening, the Night before their Execution, a Gentleman went to the Press-Yard on Purpose to ask Gadd (the little Boy) some particular Questions, and one of them was, Whether he was one of the Seventeen that went to Copenhagen House on Pretence of getting Mushrooms? He answered, He was, and moreover said, that their real Intentions was to have kill'd Mr. Blewmier, (a Constable belonging to St. James's, Clerkenwell) and one Mr. Foot, (a Headborough belonging to the same Parish, and keeps the Blue Coat-Alehouse just by Clerkenwell Church.) And he further said, that being disappointed, they all came to Town, and went to the Wind-Mill Alehouse in Cow-Cross, arm'd with Pistols, Cutlasses, and Hangers, with a Design to sacrifice Mr. Jones, (the City Marshal) Mr. Boomer, and one Lloyd, (that attends Mr. Jones) which House they knew Mr. Jones was accustomed to frequent. The Gentleman reply'd, suppose Mr. Jones and the two other Persons, had been there, What could you have done. Done, Sir, I could have cut and slash'd away as well as the best of them. The Gentleman was astonished for some Time to hear such an Expression come from the Mouth of a meer Child. He gently reprimanded him, but it had no Effect on him. He seemed entirely ignorant of his unhappy Circumstances, not considering that he was to suffer the next Day. When the Gentleman had done discoursing with him, he was ordered into his Cell again.

THUS we are at length come to the Close of this dismal Scene, more so indeed on many Accounts, than the Details of former Executions.

View as XML