At the place of execution he seemed less daunted than any of the malefactors who suffered with him, showed himself several times by standing up to the spectators, before the rope was fastened about his neck, and told them that he hoped they would give no credit to any spurious accounts which might be published of him; because whatever he thought might be necessary for them to know, he had digested in a paper which he had delivered the Sunday before he died, in order to be communicated to the public. He added, that since he had been in the cart, he had been informed that one Phelps had been committed to Newgate for a robbery mentioned by him in his paper. He said, as he was a dying man, he knew nothing of Phelps, and that he was not in any manner whatsoever concerned in that robbery for which he had been apprehended. He then put the rope about his neck, and submitted to his death with great resolution, being then about twenty years of age, and the day he suffered the 26th of July, 1722.
The Paper delivered by the above mentioned criminal the day before his execution.
I, Thomas Wilson, desire it may be known that I was in a horse-way that lies between Highgate and Hornsey, where meeting a man and a woman, they enquired the way to Upper Holloway. We directed them across the fields; meantime we drank two pints of ale to hearten us, then followed them, and robbed them of two shillings and some half pence, the woman’s apron, her hat and coloured handkerchief. We left them without misusing them, though there were thoughts of doing it. My companion that robbed with me is gone to Holland upon hearing I was taken up, though I should not have impeached him, but his friends lived in Holland. Another robbery we committed was by a barn in the footpath near Pancras Church of a hat and tie-wig, and cane, and some goods he was carrying, but we heard he had a considerable sum of money about him; but he ran away and I ran after him, but I being drunk he escaped, and I was glad to get off safe. We robbed two other men near Copenhagen House of a coat and waistcoat. I committed many street robberies about Lincoln’s Inn. For these and for all other sins, I pray God and Man to pardon me, especially for shooting the pistol off before Justice Perry, at my friend’s adversary, and am very glad I did not kill him.
The Lives of ROBERT WILKINSON and JAMES LINCOLN, Murderers and Footpads
Robert Wilkinson, like abundance of other unhappy young men, contracted in his youth a liking to idleness, and an aversion to all sorts of work and labour, and applied himself for a livelihood hardly to anything that was honest. The only employment he ever pretended to was that of a prize fighter or boxer at Hockley-in-the-Hole, where, as a fellow of prodigious dexterity, though low in stature, and very small limbed, he was much taken notice of. And as is usual for persons who have long addicted themselves