With regard to G.G.’s Query as to the time occupied in the journey of Schultz from Colchester to London, do not the circumstances sufficiently prove that by some means six must have been written for sixteen? Sixteen hours would give a rate of travelling nearer the average of those days, and was about the time occupied on the return to Colchester. For if we allow a due time after twelve for dinner, settling accounts, and going to the inn whence the “Staets-Kutsche” started, and for partaking of the meal there provided, we shall very easily get to seven or eight in the evening; sixteen hours after that time would be “towards noon” in the following day.
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PRISON DISCIPLINE AND EXECUTION OF JUSTICE.
Sir,—I am glad that you devote some part of your columns to the good work of bringing forward facts and anecdotes which, though not generally known, your readers individually may have happened to notice, and which illustrate the manners of our ancestors. I dare say few of your correspondents have met with the London Magazine for the year of 1741. An imperfect copy fell into my hands when a lad; ever since which time I have been in a state of great wonderment at the story contained in the leaf which I enclose. I need hardly say that the italics are mine; and perhaps they are hardly necessary. Yours, &c., BETA.
“TUESDAY, 21 [June].
“A very extraordinary Affair happen’d at the County Gaol in Hertford, where four Highwaymen, very stout lusty Fellows, viz. Theophilus Dean, Charles Cox (alias Bacon-Face), James Smith, and Luke Humphrys, lay under Sentence of Death, pass’d on them the last Assizes, and were intended to have been executed the following Day; Mr. Oxenton, the Gaoler, who keeps an Inn opposite to the Prison, went into the Gaol about four a Clock in the Morning, as was his Custom, attended by three Men, to see if all was safe, and, having lock’d the outward Door, sent one of his Men down to the Dungeon, where the four Felons had found means to disengage themselves from the Pillar and Chain to which they had been lock’d down, and one of them, viz. Bacon-Face, had got off both his Hand-Cuffs and Fetters; on opening the Door, they disabled the Man and all rush’d out; then coming up Stairs they met the Gaoler and his other two Men, of whom they demanded the Keys, threatening to murder them if their request was not immediately comply’d with: they then forced his men into the Yard beyond the Hatchway, and a Battle ensu’d, in which the Gaoler behav’d so manfully, tho’ he had but one Man to assist him, that he maintain’d the Possession of his Keys till he was heard by his Wife, then in Bed, to call out for Assistance, who fortunately having another Key to the Gaol, ran to rescue him; the Fellows saw her coming and demanded her