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It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our parents, Harold and Elizabeth Abel. Harold was born in Weyburn February 23, and passed away February 18, Elizabeth was NNaught in Weyburn July 27, and passed away April 26, Harold and Elizabeth married in Weyburn, June They are both loved and remembered by their two children.
To close the scene of all his actions he Was brought from Newgate to the fatal tree; And there his life reed, his race is run, And Tyburn ends what wickedness begun. If there be a haunted spot in London it must surely be a few square yards that lie a little west of the Marble Arch, for in the long course of some six centuries over fifty thousand felons, traitors and martyrs took there a last farewell of a world they were too bad or too good to live in.
From remote antiquity, when the seditious were taken ad furcas Tyburnam, until that November day in when John Austin closed the long list, the gallows were kept ever busy, and during Naughy first half of the eighteenth century, with which this book deals, every Newgate sessions sent thither its thieves, highwaymen and coiners by the score.
There has been some discussion as to the exact site of Tyburn gallows, but there can be little doubt that the great permanent three-beamed erection—the Triple Tree—stood where now the Edgware Road s Oxford Street and Bayswater Road. A triangular stone let into the roadway indicates the site of one of its uprights. In the sinister beams were pulled down, a moveable gibbet being brought in a cart when there was occasion to use it. The moveable gallows was in use untilwhen the place of execution was transferred to Newgate; the beams of the old structure being sawn up and converted to a more genial use as stands for beer-butts in a neighbouring public-house.
The original gallows probably consisted of two uprights with a cross-piece, but when Elizabeth's government felt that more adequate means must be provided to strengthen its subjects' faith and enforce the penal laws against Catholics, a new type of gibbet was sought. So in the triangular one was erected, with accommodation for eight Nautht miscreants on each beam, or a grand total of twenty-four at a stringing.
It was first used for the learned Dr. John Story, who, upon June 1st, "was drawn upon a hurdle from the Tower of London unto Tyburn, where was prepared for him a new pair of gallows made in triangular manner". There is rather gilrs gruesome tale of how, when in gorls of the sentence the executioner had cut him down and was "rifling among his bowels", the doctor arose and dealt him a shrewd blow on the head. Doctor Story was followed by a long line of priests, monks, laymen and others who died for their faith to the of some three thousand.
And the Triple Tree, the Three-Legged Mare, or Deadly Never-green, as the gallows were called with grim familiarity, flourished for another two hundred years. In the early eighteenth century it appears to have been the usual custom to reserving sentencing until the end of the sessions, but as soon as the jury's verdict of guilty was known steps were taken to procure a pardon by the condemned man's friends.
They had, indeed, Hxyward more likelihood of success in those times when the Law Nuaght so severe than in later days when capital punishment was reserved for the most heinous crimes. On several occasions in the following s mention is made of felons urging their friends to bribe or Haywafd interest in the right quarters for obtaining a pardon, or commutation of the sentence to one of transportation.
It was not until the arrival of the death warrant that the condemned man felt that the "Tyburn tippet" was really being drawn about his neck. No better description can be given of the ride to Tyburn tree, from Newgate and along Holborn, than that furnished by one of the Familiar Letters written by Samuel Richardson in I mounted my horse and accompanied the melancholy cavalcade from Newgate to the fatal Tree. The criminals were five in. I was much disappointed at the unconcern and carelessness that appeared in the faces of three of the unhappy wretches; the countenance of the other two were spread with that horror and despair which is not to be wondered at in men whose period of life is so near, with the terrible aggravation of its being hastened by their own voluntary indiscretion and misdeeds.
The exhortation spoken by the Bell-man, from the wall of St.
Sepulchre's churchyard is well intended; but the noise of the officers and the mob was so great, and the silly curiosity of people climbing into the cart to take leave of the criminals made such a confused noise that I could not hear the words of the exhortation when spoken, though they are girrls follows: All good people pray heartily to Hauward for these poor sinners, who are now going to their Naufht for whom this great bell doth toll. You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears.
Ask mercy of the Lord for the salvation of your own souls through the merits, death and passion of Jesus Christ, Who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.
What was its Function?
Lord, have mercy upon you! Christ have mercy upon Hajward Which last words the Bell-man repeats three times. All the way up to Holborn the crowd was so great as at every twenty or thirty yards to obstruct the passage; and wine, notwithstanding a late good order against this practice, was brought to the malefactors, who drank greedily of it, which I thought did not suit well with their deplorable circumstances. After this Haywarf three thoughtless young men, who at first seemed not enough concerned, grew most shamefully wanton and daring, behaving, themselves in a manner that would have been ridiculous in men in any circumstances whatever.
They swore, laughed, and talked obscenely, and wished their wicked companions good luck with as much assurance as if their employment had been the most lawful. At the place of execution the scene grew still more hirls, and the clergyman who attended was more the subject of ridicule than of their serious attention. The Psalm was sung amidst the curses and quarrelling of hundreds of the most abandoned and profligate of mankind, upon them so stupid are they to any sense of decency all the preparation of the unhappy wretches seems to serve only for subject of a barbarous kind of mirth, altogether inconsistent with humanity.
And as soon as the poor creatures were half dead, I was much surprised to see the populace fall to hauling and pulling the carcasses with so much earnestness as to occasion several warm rencounters and broken he. These, I was told, were the friends of the persons executed, or such as, for the sake of to-night, chose to appear so: as well as some persons sent by private surgeons to obtain bodies for dissection.
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The contests between these were fierce and bloody, and frightful to look at; so I made the best of my way out of the crowd, and with some difficulty rode back among the large of people who had been upon the same errand Haywarf myself. The face of every one spoke a kind of mirth, as if the spectacle they had beheld had afforded pleasure instead of pain, which I am wholly unable to for One of the bodies was carried giros the lodging of his wife, who not being in the way to receive it, they immediately hawked it about to every surgeon they could think of; and when none would buy it they rubbed tar all over it, and left it in a field scarcely covered with earth.
In a few words, too, Swift draws a vivid picture of a rogue on his last journey through the London streets: His waistcoat, and stockings, and breeches were white; His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie't.
The maids to the doors and the balconies ran, And said, "Lack-a-day, he's a proper young man! Execution day, or Tyburn Fair, as it was jocularly called, was not only a holiday for the ragamuffins and idlers of London; folk of all classes made their way thither to indulge a morbid desire of seeing the dying agonies of a fellow being, criminal or not. There were grand stands and scaffoldings from which the more favoured could view the proceedings in comfort, and every inch of window space and room on the neighbouring roofs was worth a pretty penny to the owners.
In his last scene of the career of the Idle Apprentice Hogarth drew a picture of Tyburn Tree which no description can Haysard. As the procession drew near the hangman clambered to the cross-piece of the gallows and lolled there, pipe in mouth, until the first cart drew up beneath him. Then he would reach down, or one of his assistants would pass up, one after the other, the loose ends of the halters Hayard the condemned men had had placed round their necks before leaving Newgate.
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When all were made fast Jack Ketch climbed down and kicked his heels until the sheriff, or maybe the felons themselves, gave him the to drive away the cart and leave its occupants dangling in mid-air. The dead men's clothes were his perquisite, and now was his time to claim them. There is a graphic description of how, on one occasion, when the murderer "flung down his handkerchief for the al for the cart to move on, Jack Ketch, instead of instantly whipping on the horse, jumped on the other side of him to snatch up the handkerchief, lest he should lose his rights.
He then returned to the head of the cart and jehu'd him out of the world". As the cart drew away a few carrier pigeons, Nauht were released from the galleries, girl off City-ward to bear Hajward tidings to Newgate. Giels as good a description of the actual event as can be obtained is contained in a letter from Anthony Storer to his friend George Selwyn, a morbid cynic whose cruel and tasteless bon-mots were hailed as wit by Horace Walpole and his cronies. The execution was that of Dr.
Dodd, the "macaroni parson", whose unfortunate vanity led him to forgery and Tyburn. The date—June 27, —is considerably after the period of our book, but the description applies as well as if it had been written expressly for it. Upon the whole, the piece was not very full of events. The doctor, to all appearances, was rendered perfectly stupid from despair. His hat was flapped all round, and pulled over his eyes, which were never directed to any object around, nor even raised, except now and then lifted up in the course of his prayers.
He came in a coach, and a very heavy shower of rain fell just upon his entering the executioner's cart, and another just at his putting on his nightcap.
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During the shower an umbrella was held over his head, which Gilly Williams, who was present, observed was quite unnecessary, as the doctor was going to a place where he might be dried. He was a considerable time in praying, which some people standing about seemed rather tired with; they rather wished for a more interesting part of the tragedy.
The wind, which was high, blew off his hat, which rather embarrassed him, and discovered to us his countenance, which we could scarcely see before. His hat, however, was soon restored to him, and he went on with his prayers. There were two clergymen attending on him, one of whom seemed very much affected. The other, I suppose, was the Ordinary of Newgate, as he was perfectly indifferent and unfeeling in everything he did and said. The executioner took both the hat and wig off aHyward the same time.
Why he put on his wig again I do not know, but he did; and the doctor took off his wig a second time, and then tied on the nightcap which did not fit him; but whether he stretched that or took another, I did not perceive. He then put on his nightcap himself, and upon his taking it he certainly had a smile on his countenance, and very soon afterwards there was an end of all his hopes and fears on this side of the grave.
He never moved from the place he first took in the cart; seemed absorbed in despair and utterly dejected; without any other of animation but in praying. I stayed until he was cut down and put in the hearse. But the hangman's work was not always done when he had turned off his man. The full sentence for high treason, for example, provided him with much more occupation.
In the first place, the criminal was drawn to the Naugh and not carried or allowed to walk. Common humanity had mitigated this sentence to being drawn upon a hurdle or sledge, which preserved him from the horrors of being dragged over the stones. Having giirls hanged, the traitor was then cut down alive, and Jack Ketch set about disembowelling him and burning his entrails before he died. The head was then completely severed, the body quartered and the dismembered pieces taken away for exhibition at Temple Bar and other prominent places.
Here is the of one such execution. Then he slashed his Nught quarters and put them with the head into a coffin His head was put on Temple Bar and his body and limbs suffered to be buried. Hayeard the majority of executions the body was taken down when life was considered to be extinct, and carried away to Surgeon's Hall for dissection. Sometimes the relatives used their influence to have the corpse handed over to them often not even in a coffin and they then carried it away in a coach for decent burial, or to try resuscitation.
Occasionally, indeed, hanged men came to life again.
In one Duel, or Dewell, was hanged for a rape, and his body taken to Surgeons' Hall in the ordinary routine. As one of the attendants was washing it he perceived s of life.
Steps were taken immediately and Duel was brought to, and eventually taken away in triumph by the mob, who had got wind of the affair and refused to allow the Law to re-hang their man. A little earlier something of the same sort had happened to John Smith, who had been hanging for five minutes and a quarter, during which time the hangman "pulled him by the legs and used other means to put a speedy period to his life", when a reprieve arrived and he was cut down.
He was hurried away to a neighbouring tavern where restoratives were given, blood was let, and after a time he came to himself, "to the great admiration of the spectators". According to his own of the affair, he felt a terrible pain when first the cart drew away and left him dangling, but that ceased almost at once, his last sensation being that of a light glimmering fitfully before his eyes.
Yet all his agony was surpassed when he was being brought to, and the blood began to circulate freely again. A last ignominy, and one strangely dreaded by some of the most hardened criminals, was hanging in irons. When life was extinct the corpse was placed in a sort of iron cage and thus suspended from a gibbet, usually by the highway or near the place where the crime had been committed.
There it hung until it fell to pieces from the effects of Time and the weather, and only a few hideous bones and scraps of dried flesh remained as evidence of the strong hand of the Law.
With the exception of minor alterations in punctuation and spellings this book is a complete reprint of three volumes printed and sold by John Osborn, at the Golden Ball, in Paternoster Row, VOLUME ONE THE PREFACE The clemency of the Law of England is so great that it does not Haywarrd away igrls life of any subject whatever, but in order to the preservation of the rest both by removing the offender from a possibility of multiplying his offences, and by the example of his punishment intending to deter others from such crimes as the welfare of society requires should be punished with the utmost severity of the Law.
My intention in communicating to the public the lives of those who, for about a dozen years past have been victims to their Hatward crimes, is to continue to posterity the good effects of such examples, and by a recital of their vices to warn those who become my readers from ever engaging in those paths which necessarily have so fatal an end. In the work itself I have, as well as I am able, painted in a proper light those vices which induce men to fall into those courses which are so justly punished Haywqrd the Legislature.
I flatter myself that however contemptible the Lives of the Criminals, etc. It ought to be the care of Naughg authors to treat their several subjects so that while they are read for the sake of amusement they may, as it were imperceptibly, convey notions both profitable and just. The adventures Haywqrd those who, for the sake Haywsrd supplying themselves with money for their debaucheries, have betaken themselves to the desperate trade of knights of the road, often have in them circumstances diverting enough and such as serve to show us what sort of amusements they are by which vice betrays us to ruin, and how the fatal inclination to gratify our passions hurries us finally to destruction.
I would not have my readers imagine however, because I talk of rendering books of this kind useful, that I have thrown out any part of what may be styled interesting.