His behaviour under these unhappy circumstances was very mean, and such as fully showed what difference there is between courage and that resolution which is necessary to support the spirits and calm our apprehensions at the certain approach of a violent death. I forbear attempting any description of those unutterable torments which the exterior marks of a distracted behaviour fully showed that this poor wretch endured. And as I have nothing more to add of him, but that he confessed his having been guilty of a multitude of ill acts, he submitted at last with greater cheerfulness than he had ever shown during his confinement to that shameful death which the Law had ordained for his crimes, on the 23rd of October, 1721, when he was about twenty-three years of age.
 This Bridewell occupied the
site adjoining the north side
of the Green Coat School, on the west: side of Artillery Place.
Although originally intended for vagrants, early in the 18th
century it was turned into a house of detention for criminals.
The Life of RICHARD JAMES, a Highwayman
The misfortune of not having early a virtuous education is often so great a one as never to be retrieved, and it happens frequently (as far as human capacity will give us leave to judge) that those prove remarkably wicked and profligate for want of it who if they had been so happy as to have received it, would probably have led an honest and industrious life. I am led to this observation at present by the materials which lay before me for the composition of this life.
Richard James was the son of a nobleman’s cook, but he knew little more of his father than that he left him to the wide world while very young; and so at about twelve years of age he was sent to sea. There he had the misfortune to be taken prisoner by the Spaniards, who he acknowledged treated him with great humanity, and a house-painter taking a great liking to him, received him into his house, taught him his profession, and used him with the same tenderness as if he had been his nearest relation.
But fondness for his country exciting in him a continual desire of seeing England again, at last he found a means to return before he was seventeen; and after this, being in England but a very small time, he totally disobliged what few friends he had left, by his silly marriage to a poor girl younger than himself. As is common enough in such mad adventures, the woman’s friends were as much disobliged as his, and so not knowing how to subsist together, Richard was obliged to betake him to his old profession of the sea.