When these two criminals came to be tried at the Old Bailey, their behaviour was equally ludicrous, silly and indecent; affecting to rally the evidence that was produced against them, and to make the people smile at their premeditated bulls. Carrick, was a lean, fair man, and stood at the left hand corner of the bar; Molony was a larger built man, who wore a browner wig. Carrick took occasion to ask Mr. Young, when he stood up to give his evidence, which side of the chair it was he stood on, when he robbed him. Mr. Young answered him, that he stood on the right side. Why now, what a lie that is, returned Carrick, you know Molony, I stood on the left. Before the people recovered themselves from laughing at this, Molony asked him what coloured wig he took him to have on at the time the robbery was committed; being answered it was much the same colour with that he had on then, There’s another story, quoth Molony, you know, Carrick, I changed wigs with you that morning, and wore it all day.
Yet after sentence was passed, Molony laid aside all airs of gaiety, and seemed to be thoroughly convinced he had mistaken the true path of happiness. He did not care to see company, treated the Ordinary civilly when he spoke to him, though he professed himself a Papist, and was visited by a clergymen of that Church.
As he was going to the place of execution, he still looked graver and mote concerned; though he did not fall into those agonies of sighing and tears as some do, but seemed to bear his miserable state with great composedness and resignation, saying he had repented as well as he could in the short time allowed him, suffering the same day with the two last mentioned malefactors.
The Life of THOMAS WILSON, a Notorious Footpad
It happens so commonly in the world, that I am persuaded that none of my readers but must have remarked that there is a certain settled and stupid obstinacy in some tempers which renders them capable of persevering in any act, how wicked and villainous soever, without either reluctancy at the time of its commission, or a capacity of humbling themselves so far as to acknowledge and ask pardon for their offences when detected or discovered. Of this rugged disposition was the criminal we are now to speak of.
Thomas Wilson was born of parents not in the worst of circumstances, in the neighbourhood of London. They educated him both in respect of learning and other things as well as their capacity would give them leave; but Thomas, far from making that use of it that they desired, addicted himself wholly to ill practices, that is to idleness, and those little crimes of spoiling others, and depriving them of their property, which an evil custom has made pass for trivial offences in England. But it seems the parents of Wilson did not think so, but both reprimanded him and corrected him severely whenever he robbed orchards, or any other such like feats as passed for instances of a quick spirit and ingenuity in children with less honest and religious parents.