My duty to both, my love to my brother-in-law. I wish to God I had been ruled by you, for now I see the evil of my sin, but I freely die, only the disgrace I have brought on you, my wife and children. I wrote to my wife last Saturday was seven night but had no answer, for I should have been glad to have heard from you before I die, which will be on Wednesday the seventh of this instant October, hoping I have made my peace with God Almighty. I freely forgive all the world, and die in charity with all people. Had it not been for Joyce Hite’s sister and Mr. Howel, I might have starved, he told me it has cost him fifteen shillings on my account, and he gave me four more. I desire Thomas Mason will give my wife that locket for my son.
I have nothing more to say, but my prayers to God for you all day and night, and for God’s sake, be as kind to my poor wife and children as in your power lies. I desire there might be some care taken of that Estate at Minton for my son. Mr. Botfield hath the old writings, and I beg you will get them and give them to my wife, and pray show her this letter and my love to her, and my blessing to my children, begging of her as I am a dying man to be good to them, and not make any difference in them, but be as kind to one as the other, and if she is able to put the boy to some trade. Mr. Waring and Thomas Tomlings have each of them a book of mine, pray ask for them, which is all I have to say, but my prayers to God for you all, which is all from your
In my Cell.
October the 6th.
P.S. My love to all my friends. Pray show this letter to my wife as soon as you can, and desire of her to bring up my children in the fear of the Lord, and to make my son a scholar if she is able. There is five of us to die.
In this disposition of mind, and without adding anything to his former confessions he suffered on the seventh of October, 1730, being then in the thirty-third year of his age.
The Life of SAMUEL ARMSTRONG, a Housebreaker
I have heretofore remarked the great danger there is in having a bad character, and keeping ill-company, from the probability of truth which it gives to every accusation that either malice or interest may induce men to bring against one.
This malefactor was the son of parents in tolerable circumstances, who were careful of his education, and when he grew up bound him apprentice to Captain Matthews, commander of a vessel which traded to Guinea and the West Indies. He behaved at sea very well, and had not the least objection made to his character when he came home. Happy had it been for him if he had gone to sea again, without suffering himself to be tainted with the vices of this great city.