His instability of mind pressed him also to go out into the world, for it appeared to him a great evil that while all the rest of his companions were continually discoursing of their adventures, he should have none to mention of his own. Some of them, also, having slightingly called him Cockney and reproaching him with never having been seven miles from London, he remembered that his father had some near relations in the west of England, so he took a sudden resolution of going down thither to work at his trade. Full of these notions he went over one evening pretty late with his brother to Southwark, and meeting there with an acquaintance who would needs make him drink, they stayed pretty long at the house, insomuch that Luke got very drunk, and being always quarrelsome when he had liquor, insulted and abused everybody in the room. As he was quarrelling particularly with one James Young, William Bramston who stood by, came up and desired him to be quiet, advised him to go home with his company, and not stay and make a disturbance where nobody had a mind to quarrel but himself. Without making any reply Luke struck him a blow on the face. Bramston thereupon held up his fist as if he would have struck him, but did not. However Nunney struck him again and pushed him forwards, upon which Bramston reeled, cried out he was stabbed and a dead man, that Nunney was the person who gave him the wound, and Luke thereupon (drunk as he was) attempted to run away.
Upon this he was apprehended, committed prisoner to Newgate, and the next sessions, on the evidence of such of his companions as were present, he was convicted and received sentence of death. He behaved himself from that time as a person who had as little desire as hopes of continuing in the world, enquired diligently both of the Ordinary and of the man who was under sentence with him, how he should prepare himself for his latter end, coming constantly to chapel, and praying regularly at all times. Yet at the place of execution he declared himself a Papist. He added, that at the time the murder was committed he had no knife nor could he imagine how it was done, being so drunk that he knew nothing that had happened until the morning, when he found himself in custody. He was about twenty years of age at the time of his suffering on the 25th of May, 1723.
The Life of RICHARD TRANTHAM, a Housebreaker
Though vices and extravagancies are the common causes which induce men to fall into those illegal practices which lead to a shameful death, yet now and then it happens we find men of outward gravity and serious deportment as wicked as those whose open licenciousness renders their committing crimes of this sort the less amazing.