Imatges de pÓgina

whims? Katherine did not ask herself the led by a soldier named Upton, without question while she carved her ugly man- uniform or arms, also made the same pernikin. A spirit such as Tibbie's deserved fectly just application to Ensign Dearing, encouragement, that was all ; and one who the paymaster.

Soon after the governor's lived so near the miser could not but be dinner-hour, Wall ran out, beat one of the interesting to the future bride of his men who appeared to be drunk, and snatchnephew. Katherine wondered, as she ing a bayonet from the sentry, struck him worked, how long the old man could live. with it, and then put both men under arrest. How if his seventy years should multiply Thirsting for revenge on what he called until they counted a hundred ? Katherine “the mutinous rascals,” who had dared to sat up long that night, with brows bent, ask for their rights, the governor ordered over the fire. She was beginning to feel the long roll to be beat, and parade called. care, she who had never met any obstacle The three hundred men, without firearms, to her wishes which had not been easily were formed into a circle, two deep, in the overcome. The owls hooted in the belfry, midst of which stood the implacable goand the winds moaned round the cloisters; vernor, the drummers, his obsequious capand even May was fast asleep before Kathe- tain, and pliant ensigns. Immediately the rine left her chair.

cumbrous carriage of a six-pounder was

dragged into the circle, and the governor CHRONICLES OF LONDON

called Benjamin Armstrong out of the ranks. STREETS.

Five or six brawny black slaves then ap

peared, with an interpreter to give them NEWGATE (CONCLUDED).

orders, and unfortunate Armstrong was JOSEPH WALL, commandant of the African lashed by the wrists to the rings of the gunCorps, was lieutenant-governor of the island carriage, to receive on the spot eight hunof Goree, in Africa, and superintendent of dred lashes. The rope used was not the trade to the colony of Senegambia, in the usual whipcord tied to a wooden handle, year 1782. He was an Irishman of good such as the cord with which they sting family, but of a severe and unrelenting dis- garotters in Newgate at the present day, position, and liked neither by his officers nor even the tight-twisted log-line used on

At the revolution of the Ha- board men-of-war, but a long lashing of vannah in 1762, he had fought with especial rope nearly an inch in circumference. With courage, and won his well-deserved pro- brutal cruelty, Governor Wall ordered a motion. As a subordinate the man would fresh black to take the rope every twentyhave been brave and loyal, as a superior he five lashes, and if the stalwart slaves was merciless and tyrannical, for power in- at all relaxed, he shouted: “ Lay on, you toxicates and brutalises some minds. His black beasts, or I'll lay on you; cut him to wife was an accomplished woman of noble the heart, cut his liver out." birth. In July, 1782, the governor being When this cruel punishment was ended, affected by the disease proverbially so fatal to poor Armstrong, with his back “as black Europeans, prepared to return to England. as a new hat,” walked to the hospital, sayThe day before he sailed, at eleven A.M., ing he felt he should certainly die. Rowe, twenty or thirty men out of the three hun- the assistant-surgeon, found the rope

had dred soldiers of the African Corps came up bruised and not cut the flesh, and the inin a body to the Government House, and juries were therefore the more serious. respectfully requested that before the pay. The poor fellow sank and died five days master left with the governor, they might after the governor left for England. In receive money that had been stopped from March, 1784, Wall, who had been arrested their

pay, for certain restrictions in food at Bath by order of Lord Sidney, escaped that the garrison had just before been from his majesty's messengers at the voluntarily enduring for some months, when Brown Bear, Reading. He then escaped provisions ran short. As spokesman at to France, changed his name, and there the head of these petitioners was a soldier and in Italy lived respectably and kept named Benjamin Armstrong, who advanced good company, much affecting the Irish hat in hand, and paid the governor every officers in the French service, and the prorespect. The governor, enraged at the fessors of the Scotch and Irish colleges in complaint of the men, instantly ordered Paris. In 1797, Wall returned to England Armstrong and his party back to the bar- and lodged in Lambeth Cut, and afterwaris racks under threat of punishment.

in Upper Thornhaugh - street, BedfordThe men obeyed and returned without square, Tottenham Court-road, where his noise abont two P.M. A second party, / wife visited him.

In October, 1801, Wall

nor men.

wrote to Lord Pelham, then secretary of entered the cell, and the prisoner joined state, announcing his readiness to submit to him devoutly in prayer. a trial. He was tried January 22nd, 1802. In that curious and amusing work, A The prisoner's defence was, that before Book for a Rainy Day, Mr. J.T. Smith, forArmstrong was punished an open mutiny merly Keeper of the Print Room in the had broken out among the Goree garrison. British Museum, says: “Solomon, a pencilArmstrong had refused to march the men dealer, assured me that he could procure back till their claims were allowed, and had me a sight of the governor, if I would said he should not leave for England. A only accompany him in the evening to prisoner had been released, the soldiers had Hatton-garden, and smoke a pipe with threatened to break open the stores, and a Doctor Ford, the ordinary of Newgate, with sentry had held a bayonet to his (Wall's) whom he said he was particularly intimate. breast. He denied that he had ever blown Away we trudged; and upon entering the men from cannon has had been reported. club-room of a public-house, we found the The prisoner was found guilty, and sentence said doctor most pompously seated in a of death passed. He seemed deeply affected superb masonic chair, under a stately crimby the sentence, but only requested the son canopy, placed between the windows. court to give him a little time to prepare The room was clouded with smoke whiffed for death. After two respites, the miser- to the ceiling, which gave me a better idea able man was hung on the 28th of Janu- of what I had heard of the Black Hole of ary. The night before the execution, the Calcutta than any place I had seen. There prisoner's wife, the Honourable Mrs. Wall, were present at least a hundred associates begged leave of Kirby, the jailer, to stay of every denomination; of this number my with her husband from nine to eleven, ex- Jew, being a favoured man, was admitted to pecting a reprieve. They parted in tears, a whispering audience with the doctor, which the miserable culprit saying he could sub- soon produced my introduction to him.” mit to his fate with Christian fortitude. Sunrise, the next morning, found Mr. About one A.M., Wall, who did not sleep, Smith waiting by appointment for his new inquired particularly at what time the friend, Doctor Ford, at Newgate; and this scaffold would be brought out of the is how he describes the end of Governor press-yard, and if it would make a great Wall: noise. The attendant, unwilling to hinder “ As we crossed the press-yard a cock him from sleep, pretended ignorance. The crew; and the solitary clanking of a restpoor wretch fell asleep between four and less chain was dreadfully horrible. The five o'clock, and did not hear the noise prisoners had not risen. Upon our entering of the scaffold being dragged out to the a cold stone room, a most sickly stench of debtors' door, though it shook the whole green twigs, with which an old roundprison. But about twenty minutes after shouldered, goggle-eyed man he awoke with a start, as a mail-coach deavouring to kindle a fire, annoyed me passed and the horn blew cheerily, and almost so much as the canaster fumigation said to the turnkey guarding him, "Is not of the doctor's Hatton-garden friends. that the fatal scaffold?” He did not fall “ The prisoner entered. He was death's asleep again after this, but asked many counterfeit, tall, shrivelled, and pale; and minute questions about the execution, his soul shot so piercingly through the particularly as to whether, being a tall port-holes of his head, that the first glance man, he could not avoid the jerk when of him nearly terrified me. the scaffold fell, although, as he said, he heart, putting my pencil in my pocket, God presumed the jerk was intended to dislocate forbid that I shonld disturb thy last mothe sufferer's neck, and so put him the ments! His hands were clasped, and he sooner out of pain. His voice preserved was truly penitent. After the yeoman had its usual strength and tone, and he spoke requested him to stand up, he 'pinioned of his approaching death with the calmness him,' as the Newgate phrase is, and tied and courage of an old soldier. At half-past the cord with so little feeling, that the six he asked an attendant whether the governor, who had not given the wretch the noise he heard was not the erecting of the accustomed fee, observed, “You have tied

He was humanely answered in me very tight,' upon which Doctor Ford the negative. Wall put on that eventful ordered him to slacken the cord, which he morning a mixed-coloured loose coat with did, but not without muttering. Thank a black collar, a swan’s-down waistcoat, you, sir,' said the governor to the doctor, blue pantaloons, and white silk stockings it is of little moment.' He then observed Doctor Ford, the ordinary, soon afterwards to the attendant, who had brought in an



I said in my


very riff-raff.'

immense iron shovel full of coals to throw corpse, which was stained with blood and on the fire, 'Ay, in one hour that will be dirt. There was the mark of a crushing a blazing fire; then, turning to the bludgeon blow on the back of the head, and doctor, questioned him, 'Do tell me, sir, I a large bruise on the right arm. The hat am informed I shall go down with great and shoes were gone, and the flap of the force, is that so ?' After the construction coat was spread over the face. Mr. Steele's and action of the machine had been ex- shoes were found about fifty yards from plained, the doctor questioned the governor the body. The cruel murder excited great as to what kind of men he had at Goree; horror at the time, and the coachmen at "Sir,' he answered, they sent me the night, by glimpses of the moon, would point

The poor soul then joined out to pale and hushed passengers the exact the doctor in prayer; and never did I spot were the body was found, and the witness more contrition at any condemned third clump of trees, near the old gravelsermon than he then evinced.

pit, where the searchers had picked up an Directly the execution was over, Mr. Old hat supposed to have belonged to one Smith left Newgate, where the hangman's of the murderers. The story was discussed, yeoman was selling the rope that had no doubt, often enough in Catherine-street, hung Governor Wall for a shilling an inch, where timid eyes would turn towards the while in Newgate-street a starved old man shop with the lavender-water in the winwas selling another identical rope at the dow, as if the ghost of Mr. Steele might at ridiculously low price of only sixpence an any moment emerge from it and start again inch, and at the north-east corner of on the road to Hounslow. Warwick-lane, a woman known as Rosy The murder had been almost forgotten, Emma, reputed wife of the hangman's man, when one day in the autumn of 1807, was selling a third identical noose to the Benjamin Hanfield, a convict in a ship then Epping buttermen, who had come that lying at Portsmouth, confessed that he had morning to Newgate Market.

helped in the crime, and could disclose the

names of the two men who really killed Mr. Steele, a lavender merchant, who Mr. Steele. Holloway and Haggerty, the lived at No. 15, Catherine-street, Strand, two men pointed out by Hanfield, were at left town for Feltham, near Hounslow, once arrested. Haggerty was a marine on where he had a small house and a nursery- board the Shannon frigate, then lying at garden, on the afternoon of Friday the Deal. When taken before the port admiral 5th of November, 1802. Having seen to and asked where he had been four years his gardens and stock and paid his work- ago, his countenance fell, and he would men, he left his nursery the next day, have fallen backwards had not Vickery, Saturday, about seven in the evening. He the police officer, caught him, sat him down, wore at the time a light green coat, striped and given him some water. Holloway was waistcoat, half- boots, and a round hat. found in Clerkenwell Prison, suffering for Mr. Steele, not returning to London the some offence for which he had been connext day, Mr. Meyer, his brother-in-law, victed. When taken by Vickery to Johnbecame alarmed, and set out for Feltham, street, Bedford-row, and the warrant read, but Mr. Steele was not there. Mr. Meyer's he said, “I am innocent!

Oh, dear! I alarm increasing, he went to the barracks know nothing about it. I will down on at Hounslow to procure assistance, and a my knees to you and the justice if you will vigorous search was then instituted. The let me go." soldiers scouring the heath soon came on Hanfield's version of the story was this. traces of the man who, it was began to be He had known Haggerty and Holloway, feared, had been murdered by foot-pads. and been much with them for six or seven His drab great-coat was found inside some years. They generally met at the Turk's flags in a gravel-pit about ten or fifteen Head in Dyot-street, the Black Horse in yards from the road going from Hounslow Dyot-street, or the Black Dog at the to Staines. Soon after the soldiers dis- corner of Belton-street. In the beginning covered the body of the murdered lavender of November, 1802, Holloway came to merchant on the opposite side of the road, Hanfield at the Turk's Head, and asked about two hundred yards from the path. him if he had any objection to being in a It lay in a ditch by a clump of trees, and a good thing. It was to be a “low toby" (footportion of the bank had been pulled down, pad robbery). Hanfield consented, and it or had fallen upon it. A buckled strap was arranged for the Saturday following: was drawn tight round the neck of the On that day, Hanfield, Haggerty, and Holloway met. Holloway had found out cent, for if they had not done this they a gentleman to "sarve” (rob) on Hounslow had done other things as bad, that the Heath. They sat drinking some time, and hulks were dreadful, and that rather than then started for Hounslow, and at Turnham be seven years in the hulks he would bang Green they stayed again to refresh them- as many men as were killed at the battle of selves, and at the Bell at Hounslow again Copenhagen. Hanfield was peculiarly brutal drank. At half-past four they left the Bell

, and ferocious in prison. There were endand proceeded over the heath till they less discrepancies in his evidence, and after reached the eleventh mile-stone towards all the two men were chiefly convicted by Belfont. They were rather too soon, so means of a conversation overheard by an they struck out over the heath to a clump officer, when they were in adjoining cells of trees. It was dark when they got there, in Worship-street, when they confessed a but by the time they had waited an hour previous knowledge of each other. This the moon rose, and they again sallied out. cruel stratagem seems more worthy of

As they came out from the trees, Hol- Venice in the Middle Ages than of England loway said he thought he heard a foot- in 1807, and after all it only proved that step, and they went along the road till they they had met before. To our mind the thought they could descry the figure of innocence of the two men is unquestionable, a man coming along the road towards and the wretch Hanfield was probably the Hounslow. This man was Mr. Steele. On only murderer. their stopping him and demanding his To the last the two men pathetically money, the lavender merchant at once con- asserted their innocence. Upon the ensented to give it up without showing fight, trance of the sheriffs, Haggerty came out and begged them not to hurt him. On his into the press-yard, and had his fetters declaring he carried no pocket-book, Hol- struck off. He appeared deeply depressed, loway knocked him down, and declared but uttered not a word, and returned into if he spoke he would knock out his what is called the Long Room to be pinioned. brains. Hanfield took hold of Mr. Steele's Holloway was pinioned before his irons legs. Haggerty then searched him, and on were removed. He again returned into his struggling to get across the road, as the Long Room, and a few minutes after a night coach approached, Holloway said, said he wished to speak to the gentlemen. “I'll silence the beggar,” and killed him At this time several noblemen, the lord with two dreadful blows of his blackthorn mayor, Alderman Flower, and many genbludgeon. Hanfield then left them in terror, tlemen, besides the sheriffs and underbut was rejoined by them in a public sheriffs, were assembled in the yard. honse at Hounslow. Holloway was then A circle was formed, and, on his entering wearing the murdered man's hat. But on it, he began on his right, bowing slowly the Monday following, to avoid detection, and reverently, until he had completed the he filled the hat with stones, and Aung it circle ; he then stood erect in the centre, into the Thames from Westminster Bridge. and in an audible voice said, “ Gentlemen, This was Hanfield's story, but the trans- I die innocent; I know nothing of this here ported convict, who had turned king's affair that I am going to suffer for.”. He evidence, was by no means to be implicitly then dropped down upon his knees, and believed.

with his hands, as in the posture of prayer, From the beginning that shrewd and said, “I am innocent, by God!" He then energetic man, Mr. James Harmer (after- arose, and with great composure proceeded wards Alderman Harmer), the attorney for to the scaffold. Holloway and Haggerty, had a strong con- The final catastrophe was terrible indeed. viction that the two men were innocent. The crowd which assembled to witness the Hanfield it was proved had been a hackney. execution was nearly forty thousand. The coachman and a thief, and had deserted from pressure of the crowd was such, that beno fewer than five different regiments. More- fore the prisoners appeared, some women over, he had been once quartered at Houns- who could be no longer supported by the low. He had before escaped transportation men, were suffered to fall, and were by turning informer. Mr. Harmer also trampled to death. . This was also the brought forward the sworn deposition of a case with several men and boys. In all fellow-prisoner of Hanfield's at the House parts there were continued cries of " Murof Correction, who proved that Hanfield der! murder!" particularly from the female had said, the day before the execution of part of the spectators and children, some the two men, that they could not be inno- of whom were seen expiring without the possibility of obtaining the least assistance, ing to relate, there lay near one hundred every one being employed in endeavouring persons dead, or in a state of insensibility, to preserve his own life. The most affect strewed round the street. ing scene of distress was seen at the end of Green Arbour-court, nearly opposite the In an interesting account of a visit to debtors' door. The terrible occurrence various prisons in 1818, written by that which took place near this spot was attri- excellent philanthropist, Joseph John Gur. buted to the circumstance of two piemen ney, in 1819, that writer appends some attending there, and one of them having sensible and practical remarks made on his basket overthrown, which stood upon prison discipline by himself and his noble a sort of stool with four legs ; some of the sister, Mrs. Fry, the very type of Christian mob, not being aware of what had hap- charity. He speaks warmly of the good pened, and at the same time severely effected by the Ladies' Prison Visiting As. pressed, fell over the basket and the man sociation, which commenced its labours at the very moment he was picking it up, among the female prisoners of Newgate in together with its contents. Those who April, 1817. Those excellent people, the once fell were never more suffered to rise, Quakers, always alive to works of charity, such was the violence of the mob. At originated the movement, and were first, this fatal piace a man of the name of Her- here and in America, to revive a rememrington was thrown down, who had in his brance of the almost forgotten fact that hand his youngest son, a fine boy about the object of law and justice is not so much twelve years of age. The youth was soon to punish as to reform the criminal. Mere trampled to death; the father recovered, cruelty transforms him into a wild beast, though much bruised, and was amongst kindness and religion restore him to hu. the wounded in St. Bartholomew's Hos- manity, bring him back from the pariah pital. A woman who was so imprudent state, and often restore him to civilisation. as to take with her a child at the breast, The feeling that good men still care for was one of the number killed; whilst in him, and do not look upon him as utterly the act of falling, she forced the child into lost, softens his heart, and habits of order

, the arms of the man nearest to her, re- sobriety, and industry, recreate him, as it questing him, for God's sake, to save its were, and often recal him to humanity. life; the man finding it required all his The cold-blooded murderer alone the law exertion to preserve himself

, threw the considers as hopeless, irreclaimable, and infant from him, but it was fortunately dangerous, and so dismisses him from life caught at a distance by another man, who, in terrible but just retaliation for the life finding it difficult to insure its safety or he has taken: all other criminals it should his own, got rid of it in a similar way. endeavour to warn, and if possible to reThe child was again caught by a person claim. Poverty has perhaps led him to who contrived to struggle with it to a cart, crime, and his habits of crime may have under which he deposited it until the dan- arisen merely from never having heard of ger was over, and the mob had dispersed. or seen virtue. Most young prisoners In other parts the pressure was so great, are reclaimable; most women whom vice that a horrible scene of confusion ensued(the result of their seducer's crime) has and seven persons lost their lives by suffo- turned into thieves or drunkards, are cation alone. It was shocking to behold reclaimable if a better mode of life is a large body of the crowd, in a convulsive opened to them. On these great prinstruggle for life, fighting with the most ciples Mrs. Fry acted, and with a sacsavage fury with each other; the conse- cess that seems the result of Heaven's quence was that the weakest, particularly special blessing. At that time the female the women, fell a sacrifice. A cart, which prisoners in Newgate were sunk into an was overloaded with spectators, broke apparently hopeless state of idleness, down, and some of the persons, falling abandoned and shameless vice, riot, and from the vehicle, were trampled under foot, drunkenness. They were the dress of the and never recovered. During the hour the dregs of London, the scum of the scum, malefactors hung, little assistance could blasphemous, filthy, ignorant of the combe afforded to the unhappy sufferers; but monest decencies and duties of life. Freafter the bodies were cut down, and the gal. quent communication was allowed them, lows removed to the Old Bailey yard, the through an iron grating, with visitors of marshals and constables cleared the street both sexes, many of such visitors as vile, where the catastrophe occurred, and shock-degraded, and desperate as themselves.

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