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tors, who hate suffered an ignominious Death for their Offences, viz. for Parricide, Murder, Treason, Robbery, Burglary, Pirucy, Coining, Forgery, and Rapes; from the Commitment of the celebrated John Sheppard, to the Acquittal of the equally celebrated Margaret Caroline Rudd. Including a Period of fifty Years' and upwards, both in Town and Country. Calculated to expose the Deformity of Vice, the Infamy and Punishments naturally attending those who deviate froin the Paths of Virtue ; and intended as a Beacon to warn the rising Generation against the Temptations, the Allurements, and the Dangers of bad Company. The former Part extracted from authentic Records ; and the Histories and Transactions of the modern Convicts communicated by the unhappy Sufferers themselves, since the Author has been appointed to his present Office. By the Rev. Mr. Villette, Ordinary of Newgate, and others.
“ Vice is a monster of such frightful mien,
Pope. London, 1776.
In an article in a late number upon John Everett, a gentleman who kept the Cock alehouse, in the Old Bailey; and from the Cock took to the tap in the Fleet, and from the tap took (no unusual consequence) to Tyburn ;—we were led to remark, that “ The glory of the class of men to whom he belonged is departed. The heroes of Hounslow Heath and Wimbledon Common no longer take the air; the very memory of their exploits is fast fading, or only recorded in the Newgate Calendar.” On reperusing this passage, we have been touched with its pathos ; and the same feeling that made uncle Toby, grieve that the devil was damned, has inspired us with, perhaps, the questionable regret, that glory of any kind should utterly go, or that the memories of those who have resolutely died for the good of their country, should be in danger of poor pitiful extinction. The consequence of this, our regret, has been, that we have lapsed into an exciting course of reading; first, sipping at police reports; then, tippling at the huge tap of the State Trials; and fairly coming, at last, to dramming ourselves with the Newgate Calendar and Remarkable Trials, to the deep forgetfulness of all“ honest men and true.” Reading the Newgate Calendar is perhaps the opium-eating of books; but as it is well known, that such habit of reading or eating is more easily fallen into than discontinued, and as it is also pleasure to a sufferer to talk of his infirmities, we cannot refuse ourselves the melancholy satisfaction of telling over our whole course of reading, as much in the hope of rescuing
eminent names from the maw of oblivion, as for the sake of disburthening our full minds of their malefactor-knowledge. The Newgate Calendar (we mean the genuine work), is to our certain experience becoming a scarce book : and, consequently, the life of Jack Sheppard, or of dishonest Master Dick Turpin, is becoming as uncertain amongst us as amongst themselves. It has therefore fallen to our task to prevent these flaming names from going out; and we intend in the following pages to pour in the oil upon the flaring luminaries of the road with so liberal a hand, as to make them burn brightly for ever! . The Newgate Calendar, like misery in the proverb, brings one acquainted with strange bedfellows. The brave, the deep, the dastardly, the feeble, and the ferocious,-the hardy, the revengeful, and the reckless, crowd together in one brief biography, and seem to be mingled but for one huge moral ;-to shew us the base infirmities of mortality, and the large littleness of life. Jack Sheppard, with all his escapes, does not escape at last: the heartless Dick Turpin dies, after his myriad ch'ances, at the end of a few pages : Catharine Hayes is burnt, like an Indian widow, at her husband's death, and almost before his head is cold : and Eugene Aram, whose mystery lay so long in the earth, is betrayed by the Knaresborough bones in but a few short sentences. Biography and mortality are equally brief. The Newgate Calendar never forgets itself; and you pass through it as through Tothill-fields, with the Penitentiary ever before you ! . We have many apposite observations to offer on the work before us, and on its dangerous subjects; but as we have much ground to pass over before we part with our readers, we must (to use the professional phrase) take the road as speedily as possible, and with but short prologue, mixing up our robbers and our remarks as we proceed, and offering an agreeable variety of murderers and moral reflections to beguile the way. Let not our readers suppose, that we treat the subject with a levity which it does not warrant;--we have every intention of making the Retrospective Review a sort of literary justice-hall, in which rogues will see their faces-veluti in speculum, that is, as at the Old Bailey. But we are determined to avoid writing 'a condemned sermon upon a race of gentlemen, certainly for the quiet, though not perhaps for the glory of the age, now utterly extinct. Alas! the age of highway turpitude is gone! The guard of the Exeter Subscription Coach points out, from the road, the spot upon Hounslow Heath where Steel was murdered; but the poor craning passenger cannot see the clump, for the cottages-heaths are no longer strewed with the memories of murder-commons no longer hang out their gentle gibbets !-
VOL. VII. PART II.
no connectimanding an The Seand never be to
the highwaymen are unhorsed—and Bagshot is now barren of its Robins !-You may walk about Wimbledon till you drop with fatigue, at this day, and not light upon a curl-pated Hugh; and from morn to noon, from noon to dewy eve, the traveller may traverse the road, and never be stopped by any thing more dangerous than The Seven Compasses, or more frightful or money-demanding than a toll. The toll of the turnpike has no connection with the toll of St. Sepulchre's!
The perusal of the Newgate Calendar has made many spots sacred to the meditative mind, which, without the association afforded by such cruel reading, would have met the eye as mere common mould. To the unlearned, Hounslow Heath is a miserable inclosed waste, famous for nothing but the great western road, which goes through it like a river; and for barracks which stagnate on it like a pool; to the studious, it is the Marathon of murder-the great field of larceny, petty and huge; the fame-spot of Holloway and Haggarty, and of hundreds who have not been unable to stand themselves, or to make others stand.” Leicester Square (where poor Miss Linwood's fame is worsted !) is sacred to the burnt body and pious memory of Mrs. King! On Putney Heath, or rather on the border of Wimbledon Common, the common mind would see nothing !--but the Epicure of burglaries pauses at one spot, to dream over the gibbet of Jerry Abershaw, whose chained bones once swung to the winds that whistled over Kingston Hill. Jerry was a marvellous man; but his hanging in chains is now suspended. It is perhaps melancholy to find the charmed spots so utterly laid waste by cultivation; the commons so defaced by improvement! In a few years you shall hardly be able to lay your finger upon a decent heath, or to say where Jem Dawson's bones whitened in the air. Kennington Common has long since exchanged its uncertain cart-load of malefactors and Ordinaries, for the fleeting safety coach, bearing pampered citizens to the sea-the gallows’-tree is felled! No gentleman, now-a-days, goes with his button-hole full of batchelor's-buttons, sucking an orange up Holborn Hill! Death is curtailed of its processions; and, to use Tom Brown's phrase, “ burnt brandy and bad women” are not repented of after the old fashion. Even Tyburn, famous Tyburn, has, like other noble spots, cut down its wood, and gone into decay!Alack Tyburn,-marvellous Tyburn, the dream-spot of all the Newgate calendarians !-Tyburn has shrunk into a turnpike, which, however, as though conscious of its early company, or, as the Bard of “The Bard” would say, “ awake and faithful to its wonted fires,” still stops the wayfarer for his money on the king's highway! .
But to come to our task. The first gentleman of any
middling name or figure in the Annals of Newgate is Dick Oakey, an old offender,—though only twenty-five years of age, when he paid his final visit to Tyburn. He was a daring villain about the suburbs of town, and delighted most to canter over the lonely roads of Hampstead and Highgate. He was first tried with one or two others, and convicted, as it appears, on the evidence of one Blueskin, who had betrayed him and his companions to Jonathan Wild, the Jonathan Wild :-Fielding's Jonathan !-Jonathan, who was the comma, that stood between the amities of the thieves and thief-takers, appeared against Dick at the trial. Jonathan's evidence, however, though strong against Oakey's companion, is mild as to Oakey himself. It seems, to be sure, very sincere. Oakey escaped death on this offence, but after innumerable robberies on the road he was convicted; and the following clear account of him is given by the Ordinary. We pass over the birth, parentage, and education of Dick, which are hit off in the true dying-speech style, and come to his ripened days. After stating the death, under sad circumstances, of a girl who associated with Dick, the Ordinary proceeds :
“ Oakey being once more left without a companion, was resolved to try his fortune himself. He still kept to his occupation of snatching pockets, in which his long experience had made him a great proficient: and indeed considering he had none to assist him, there were but few dealers in the same way, that met with equal success.
“But having thus proceeded for two or three months, he fell into company with a couple of house-breakers, who persuaded him that their branch of business was more profitable than his. Here, says one of them, whose name is Harvey, you go upon a queer lay* in the open streets, while people are passing to and fro, for the sake of a lousy pocket, in which you hardly ever find any thing but a key and a thimble, or perhaps two or three penny-worth of half-pence; but we slum a ken when all is boman,t and get more in one night, than you do in a month. .: “ Oakey could not resist the force of such a convincing argument, but immediately entered into partnership with his new acquaintance. They succeeded in their first attempt, which encouraged Oakey to go upon a second, and accordingly they broke open a house near the Mint, in Southwark, and stole several pieces of callimanco, to the value of twenty-two pounds. But Oakey happened to be taken, and loving nobody so well as himself, impeached his two comrades. They were soon apprehended, and at Kingston assizes were tried and capitally convicted on Oakey's evidence. Harvey was executed, but the other obtained a reprieve for transportation. ; “ This was such a discouragement to Oakey, that he forswore
* À dangerous adventure.
+ Break a house when all is safe.
house-breaking, and returned to street-robbing; but did not confine himself as formerly to the single article of snatching pockets, for taking in one who was known by the name of Will the Sailor, to be his assistant, they ventured upon robbing men as well as women. Will wore a very long sword: it was his part when they met a gentleman alone to pick a quarrel with him, and while they were engaged, it was Oakey's business to run away with the gentleman's hat and wig.
“ Some difference arising between Oakey and Will, they parted, and Oakey fell in with Reading, Haws, Milksop, Lincoln, and Wilkinson, all of whom have since been executed. He was concerned with them in about twenty robberies, though at his first admittance, Nat. Haws told him, he was a size too little for a hero, and fit for nothing but to clean pistols, and sell the goods they stole.”
The last observation of Nat. Hawes was, unfortunately for its force and truth, made before Napoleon signalized himself, and established the heroism of little bodies. Dick Oakey died with a very pye-bald sort of repentance; picking of pockets did not seem to have afflicted his conscience very heavily, and therefore he escaped much ponderous penitence. He had burnt a widow's will, and for this he sorrowed stoutly. .
Humphrey Angier, who was cut off in the bloom of his youth at Tyburn, on the 9th of September, 1723, was about as arrant a villain as ever clapped muzzle to muzzle, or induced a gentleman to stand on the highway to witness a transfer of property. The name of Humpbry does not blare through Fame's impudent trumpet very grandly ; but it is attached to crimes sufficient to recommend it to the most curious reader. Angier was indicted for robbing a Mr. Lewin, the then city marshal, on the 23d of December, 1720, and was convicted principally on the evidence of John Dyer, his companion in arms. On a second indictment for robbing one John Sibley, Dyer again gave evidence, and with the utmost nonchalance.
.“ John Dyer. The prisoner and I stopped a waggon near Hydepark-corner, and robbed Mr. Sibley of nine or ten shillings.
Court. Did you rob him in the waggon?
Dyer. About ten years.
Dyer. Twelve years ? Let me see. Yes, I believe I have been in a mistake, it might be twelve years. But it being so long ago, I do not remember the time exactly; though I could have been very punctual, if I had had my pocket-book here; but I had the misfortune to lose it. For in that book I had entered down a particular account of