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.

As he passed through Holborn to the place of execution, he desired the cart might stop at his master’s house, which accordingly it did.  Cluff thereupon called for a pint of wine and desired to speak with Mr. Payne.  Accordingly he came out, and then he addressed himself to him in these words. Sir, you are not insensible that I am going to suffer an ignominious death for what I declare I am not guilty of, as I am to appear before my Great Judge in a few moments, to answer for all my past sins.  I hope you and my good mistress will pray for my poor soul.  I pray God bless you and all your family. Then he spoke to somebody to bid the carman go on.  It was remarkable that he spoke this with great composedness and seeming cheerfulness.

At the place of execution he did not lose anything of that cheerful sedateness which he had preserved under the course of his misfortunes, but made the responses regular to the prayers in the cart and standing up, addressed himself in these words to the multitude. Good People, I die for a fact I did not commit.  I have never ceased to pray for my prosecutors most heartily, ever since I have been under sentence.  I wish all men well.  My sins have been great, but I hope for God’s mercy through the merits of Jesus Christ. Then a Psalm was sung at his own request.  Afterwards, overhearing somebody say that his mistress was in a coach hard by his execution, he could not be satisfied until somebody went to search and coming back assured him she was not there.  As the cart was going away he spoke again to the people saying, I beg of you to pray for my departing soul.  I wish I was as free from all other sins as I am of this for which I am now going to suffer.

He desired of his friends that his body might be carried to Hand Alley in Holborn, and from thence to St. Andrew’s Church, to lie in the grave with his brother.  He suffered on the 25th of July, 1719, being then about thirty-two years of age.

FOOTNOTES: 

   [86] Passed by a Parliament held at Gloucester in 1278 and
        dealing with actions at law.

The Life of JOHN DYER, a most notorious thief, highwayman and housebreaker

My readers cannot but remember the mention often made of this criminal, in the former volumes.  He was, at the time of his death, one of the oldest offenders in England, and as he was at some pains to digest his own story that is, the series of his villainies into writing, so what we take from thence, will at once be authentic and entertaining to our readers.

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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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