Under sentence he behaved himself stupidly, not seeming to have a just concern for the offence which he had committed. He was sullen, would say very little, did not deny the crime for which he died, but yet did not seem to have that compunction which might have been expected from a man in his sad condition.
At the place of execution Rogers said little; Simpson acknowledged lewd women had been his ruin; Robert Oliver acknowledged that he had been a vicious, unruly, young man, who had hearkened to no advice, but addicted to nothing but the accomplishment of his vices. They were all desirous of prayers, and after they were celebrated they submitted to their deaths very patiently; and with pious ejaculations, they were executed on the 21st of November, 1739, Rogers being forty years of age, Simpson nineteen, and Oliver twenty-two.
The Life of JAMES DRUMMOND
Folly and wickedness, as it were, naturally lead men to poverty, shame and misfortunes, but when such miseries overtake persons who lived soberly and in all outward appearance honestly, it is apt to create wonder at first, and afterwards to excite compassion.
The unhappy man of whom we are now speaking was the son of a sailor, who brought him when but a boy of three years of age up to London, and then dying, left him to the care of his mother, who was too poor to give him any education. However, he went to sea, and being a young man ingenious enough in himself, and very tractable in his temper, he soon became a tolerable proficient in the practical part of navigation. This recommended him to pretty constant business, whereby he got enough to maintain himself and his family handsomely enough, if he had thought fit to have employed it that way; which for a considerable space of time he did, keeping up a very good reputation in the neighbourhood where he lived, and serving with a fair character on board several men-of-war, going up the Baltic with squadrons sent thither to preserve the Swedish coast from being insulted by the Moscovites.
After his return, he served on board the fleet which destroyed that of the Spaniards in Sicily. He was afterwards coxswain in the Admiral, when they served in the Mediterranean, and on the coast of Spain, but coming home at last and being weary of going to sea, he took up the trade of selling china and some small goods about the country; in which he got so established a character that the gentlemen with whom he chiefly dealt would have trusted him a hundred pounds on his word, and never anything gave a greater shock to his neighbours and acquaintances than the news of his being apprehended for a highwayman. However, it seems he had been engaged to that course by his brother, notwithstanding that till then he had lived not only honestly, but with tolerable sentiments of religion.