Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,040 pages of information about Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences.

Never poor wretch suffered deeper affliction than he did, in the reflection of his follies, for giving up all hopes of life, he spent the whole interval of time between sentence and execution in grieving for the sorrows he had brought upon himself and the stain his ignominious death would leave upon his family.  His companion, in the meantime, was fled far enough out of the reach of Justice, so that Cartwright had nothing to expect but death to which he patiently submitted, acknowledging upon all occasions the justice of that sentence which had befallen him, and wishing that his death might be sufficient to warn other young men in such circumstances, as his once were, from falling into faults of that kind, which had brought him to ruin and shame.  Yet though he laid aside all desires relating to worldly things, he yet expressed a little peevishness from the neglect shown towards him by his friends in the country, who though they knew well enough of his misfortunes, yet they absolutely declined doing anything for him, from a notion perhaps that it might reflect upon themselves.  Above all things Cartwright manifested a due sense of the ingratitude he had been guilty of towards so good a master as the gentleman whom he robbed had been to him, he therefore prayed for his prosperity, even with his last breath, and declared he died without malice or ill-will against any person whatsoever.

At the place of his execution he attended very devoutly to the prayers, but did not say anything to the people more than to beg of them to take warning by him, after the rope was fixed about his neck.  He was executed at Tyburn, on Monday, the 21st of September, 1726, being then about twenty-three years of age, a remarkable instance of how far youth, even of the best principles, is liable to be corrupted, if they are not carefully watched over and may justify those restraints which parents and masters, from a just apprehension of things, put upon their children or servants.

The Life of FRANCES, alias MARY BLACKET, a Highwaywoman

Nothing deserves observation more than the resolution, or rather obstinacy, with which some criminals deny the facts they have committed, though ever so evidently proved against them.  There are two evils which follow from a hasty judgment formed from this consideration; the first is, that people either instigated through malice, or rashly and by mistake, swear against innocent persons from a presumption that nobody would be so wicked as to die with a lie in their mouths; the other fault consists in imagining that the prosecutor is never in the wrong, but believing that covetousness or revenge can never bring people to such a pitch as to take away the life of another to gain money, or glut their passions.  Our experience convinces us that either of these notions taken generally is wrong in itself, and that even as many have died in the profession of falsehoods, so some have suffered though innocent of the crime for which they died.  The true use, therefore, of this reflection is that where life is concerned, too much care cannot be taken to sift the truth, since appearances often deceive us and circumstances are sometimes strong where the evidence, if the whole affair were known, would be but weak.

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Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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