Imatges de pÓgina

all together in one cell, that they might most remarkable case in his autobiography unite in prayer; and in the morning early, is that of six gentlemen, who, getting drunk Silas Told and Sarah Peters, another at an election dinner at Chelmsford, went school-teacher, visited them. “When the out and committed a highway robbery. One men were led down from the cell, they of these unfortunate men was Mr. Brett, the appeared like giants refreshed with wine, son of a Dublin clergyman; the second, Mr. nor was the fear of death apparent on Whalley, a country gentleman; a third, any of their countenances.” Then going Mr. Morgan, an officer in the navy, enup to the chapel, Told and the young gaged to be married to Lady Elizabeth woman conversed with them in the press Hamilton, the Duke of Hamilton's daughyard room. Upon being called out to ter. After ceaseless importunities, the king, have their irons taken off, Lancaster came George the Second, pardoned Mr. Morgan, first. While they were unfettering his but only on condition that he should not legs, in presence of the sheriff, Lancaster hear of the respite till at the place of execulooked up to heaven with a pleasant smile, tion. The poor fellow fainted when the and said: "Glory be to God for the first sheriff produced the respite, and they moment of my entrance into this place! loosened the halter, and lifted him out of For before I came hither my heart was the cart; and he was then put into a coach, as hard as my cell wall, and my soul was in which Lady Hamilton was seated, and as black as hell; but O, I am now washed, driven back, only half recovered by his clearly washed from all my sins, and by love's tears and kisses, to Newgate. The one o'clock shall be with Jesus in paradise;" other culprits, not a bit more guilty than and he then exhorted the spectators to the lucky lover of a duke's daughter were flee from the wrath to come.

hung without mercy. Told, indefatigable The sheriff shed tears at hearing this, in doing good, also attended to the last and asked Mr. Lancaster if he was in three of the Spitalfields weavers, who were carnest, “ being so greatly affected with hung for the “halter riots” at Bethnalhis lively and animated spirits.” When green. He has also left minute account their irons were taken off they were re- of the behaviour of Mrs. Brownrigg, who manded back to the press-yard room; but flogged to death her apprentice in Flowerby some accident the smiths were a long de-Luce-court. The wretched hag contime removing the last man's fetters. fessed to him that when taken at WandsWhen he approached, Lancaster clapped worth she had hidden a clasp-knife in her his hands together and shouted with joy : stays, intending to stab herself, and prevent “Here comes another of our little flock!" the shame and reproach of a public execuThen when the time came for the eight con- tion. On the day of execution, when the demned men to get into the cart, Lancaster spectators (especially the women) were very exhorted the populace to forsake their sins cruel-cursing her, cheering, and throwing and to come to the throne of grace. stones and mud—Told attended the peni.

After this, Told formed a sort of religious tent woman to the last. As he sat with society, thirty-six of the Newgate debtors her in the cart, after the executioner had being the first members. Sometimes I tied her up to the gallows, at the Fleetconversed in public among the felons, street end of Fetter-lane, Mrs. Brownrigg says this excellent man; "and the Lord is said to him, a horrible dread distorting her witness to the horrible scenes and the countenance: “Mr. Told, I have many times dreadful emblem of the infernal pit which passed by this place, and always experienced was there portrayed, consisting of swearing, that, when near this spot, a dreadful horror cursing, blasphemies, and foul conver- seized me, for fear that one day or other I sation." For several years, Told says, he should come to be hanged; this enters afresh met with repulses from the keepers and on my mind now, and greatly terrifies me. ordinary, as well as from the prisoners From the Old Bailey Session Papers for themselves. On Sunday mornings, Mr. June, 1780, we gather a very vivid and Taylor, the ordinary, stationed himself near picturesque notion of the attack on Newthe door at Newgate to obstruct Told's gate during the Gordon riots. The mob entrance, On Sundays this good man came pouring down Holborn, between six preached to forty of the prisoners on the and seven o'clock, on the evening of debtors' side, and formed them into an the 6th of June. There were three flags organised Wesleyan congregation. Some carried by the ringleaders—the first of of Told's experiences among the criminals green silk, with a Protestant motto; the of Newgate were of a singular kind. The second, dirty blue, with a red cross; the


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third, a flag of the Protestant Union. A servant, named Benjamin Bowsey, after. sailor named Jackson had hoisted the wards hung for his share in the riot. One second flag in Palace-yard, when Justice of the leaders in this attack was a mad Hyde had launched a party of horse upon waiter from the St. Albans Tavern, named the people; and when the rabble had sacked Thomas Haycock; he was very prominent, the justice's house in St. Martin's-street, and he swore that there should not be a Jackson shouted, “Newgate, a-hoy!” and prison standing in London on the morrow, led the people on to the Old Bailey. Mr. and that the Bishop of London's house Akerman, a friend of Boswell's, and one of and the Duke of Norfolk's should come the keepers of Newgate, had had intima- down that night. They were well suption of the danger two hours before, when ported, he shouted to the mob, for there a friend of one of the prisoners called upon were six or seven noblemen and members him just as he was packing up his plate for of Parliament on their side. This man removal, told him “ he should be the one helped to break up a bureau, and collected hung presently,” and cursed him. Exactly sticks to burn down the doors of Akerat seven, one of the rioters knocked at Mr man's house. While Akerman's house was Akerman's door, which had been already still burning, the servants escaping over barred, bolted, and chained. A maid. the roofs, and Akermau's neighbours were servant had just put up the shutters, when down among the mob, entreating them to the glass over the hall-door was dashed spare the houses of innocent persons, a into her face. The ringleader who knocked waiter, who wore a hat with a blue cockwas better dressed than the rest, and wore ade in it, named Francis Mockford, went a dark brown coat and a round hat. The up to the prison-gate and held up the main man knocked three times, and rang three key, and shouted to the turnkeys, “D— times; then, finding no one came, ran down you, here is the key of Newgate; open the the steps, “ made his obeisance to the mob,” door !” Mockford, who was eventually

” !” pointed to the door, then retired. The sentenced to death for this riot, aftermob was perfectly organised, and led by wards took the prison keys and flung them about thirty men walking three abreast. over Westminster Bridge. George Sims, Thirty men carried iron crowbars, mattocks, a tripeman in St. James's Market, always and chisels, and after them followed "an forward in street quarrels, then went up innumerable company,” armed with blud- to the great gate in the Old Bailey with geons and the spokes of cart-wheels. The some others, and swore desperately that he band instantly divided into three parts would have the gates down-curse him,

-one set went to work at Mr. Akerman’s he would have the gates down! Then the door with the mattocks, a second went to storm broke; the mob rushed on the gate the debtors' door, and a third to the felons'. with the sledge-hammers and pickaxes they A shower of bludgeons instantly demolished had stolen from coachmakers, blacksmiths, the windows of the keeper's house; and and braziers in Drury-lane and Long-acre, while these sticks were still falling in and plied them with untiring fury. The showers, two men, one of them a mad tripeman, who carried a bludgeon, urged Quaker, the son of a rich corn-factor, who them on; and the servant of Akerman, wore a mariner's jacket, came forward with having known the man for several years, a scaffold-pole, and drove it like a battering- called to him through the hatch, "Very ram at the parlour shutters. A lad in well, Mr. George the tripeman; I shall mark a sailor's jacket then got on a man's you in particular!" Then John Glover, a shoulders, and jammed in the half-broken black, a servant of a Mr. Phillips, a barshutters with furious blows of his bullet rister in Lincoln's Inn, who was standing head. A A chimney-sweeper's boy then on the steps leading to the felons' gate scrambled in, cheered by the mob, and the main gate), dressed in a rough short after him the mad Quaker. A moment jacket, and a round hat trimmed with dirty more and the Quaker appeared at the first- silver lace, thumped at the door with a floor window, flinging out pictures into the gun-barrel, which he afterwards tried to street. Presently, the second parlour thrust through the grating into the faces window gave way, the house door was of the turnkeys, while another split the forced, and the furniture and broken door with a hatchet. The mob, finding they chattels in the street were set in a blaze. could not force the stones ont round the All this time a circle of men, better dressed hatch, then piled Akerman's shattered furthan the rest, stood in the Old Bailey, niture, and placing it against the gates, set exciting and encouraging the rioters. The the heap on fire. leader of these sympathisers was a negro Nine or ten times the gate caught fire,


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and as often the turnkeys inside pushed brink of starvation, was about to apply to down the burning furniture with broom. Burke for patronage and bread. Rambling sticks, which they pushed through the in a purposeless way about London to hatch, and kept swilling the gates with while away the miserable time, the young water, in order to cool them, and to keep poet happened to reach the Old Bailey the lead that soldered the hinges from just as the ragged rioters set it on fire to melting and giving way. But all their warm their Protestantism. Suddenly, at a efforts were in vain; for the flames, now turning out of Ludgate-hill, on his way back spreading fast from Akerman's house, gra- to his lodgings at a hairdresser's near the dually burnt into the fore-lodge and chapel, Exchange, a scene of terror and horror broke and set the different wards one after the red upon the view of the mild young Suffolk other on fire. Crabbe the poet, who was apothecary. The new prison, Crabbe, in his there as a spectator, describes seeing the Journal (June the 8th), kept for the perusal prisoners come up out of the dark cells of his Myra, says, was a very large, strong, with their heavy irons, and looking pale and and beautiful building, having two wings scared. Some of them were carried off on besides Mr. Akerman's house, and strong horseback, their irons still on, in triumph by intermediate works and other adjuncts. the mob, who then went and burnt down Akerman had four rioters in custody, and the Fleet. At the trial of Richard Hyde, these rascals the mob demanded. He the

poor mad Quaker, who had been one begged he might send to the sheriff, but of the first to scramble through Mr. Aker this was not permitted. “How he escaped, man's windows, the most conclusive proofs or where he is gone, I know not; but just were brought forward of the prisoner's at the time I speak of, they set fire to his insanity. A grocer in Bishopsgate-street, I house, broke in, and threw every piece of with whom he had lodged, deposed to his furniture they could find into the street, burning a Bible, and to his thrashing him. firing them also in an instant. One day at the Doctor Butler's Head, in gines came (they were mere squirts in Coleman-street, the crazed fellow had come those days), “but were only suffered to in and pretended to cast the nativities of preserve the private houses near the persons drinking there. He also prophe- prison.” This was about half-past seven. sied how long each of them would live. “ As I was standing near the spot, there On hearing this evidence, the prisoner approached another body of men-I supbroke out: “Well, and they might live pose five hundred-and Lord George Gorthree hundred years, if they knew how to don in a coach drawn by the mob, towards live; but they gorge themselves like alder- | Alderman Bull's, bowing as be passed

Callipash or callipee kills half the along. He is a lively-looking young man people.” It was also shown that, the in appearance, and nothing more, though night after the burning of Newgate, the just now the reigning hero. By eight prisoner came to a poor woman's house in o'clock Akerman's house was in flames. Bedford-court, Covent-garden, and he then I went close to it, and never saw anything wore an old grey great-coat and a flapped so dreadful. The prison was, as I said, a hat, painted blue. As the paint was wet, remarkably strong building; but, deterthe woman asked him to let her dry it. mined to force it, they broke the gates He replied, “ No, you are a fool; my hat with crows and other instruments, and is blue” (the Protestant colour); “it is climbed up the outside of the cell part, the colour of the heavens. I would not which joins the two great wings of the have it dried for the world.” When the building, where the felons were confined ; woman brought him a pint of beer, he and I stood where I plainly saw their drank once, and then pushed it angrily operations. They broke the roof, tore on one side. He then said, “I have tasted away the rafters, and having got ladders, it once, I must taste it three times; it is they descended. Not Orpheus himself had against the heavens to drink only once out more courage or better luck. Flames all of a pot.” Doctor Munro, the physician who around them, and a body of soldiers exattended George the Third in his madness, pected, they defied and laughed at all deposed to the insanity both of the pri- opposition. The prisoners escaped. I soner's father and the prisoner. He was stood and saw about twelve women and sent to a mad-house.

eight men ascend from their confinement Crabbe, who, having failed as a surgeon to the open air, and they were conducted and apothecary down at Aldborough, his through the streets in their chains. Three native place, had just come up to London to of these were to be hanged on Friday earn his bread as a poet, and being on the (Newgate was burnt on the Tuesday).


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“You have no conception of the frenzy leisure, in full security, without sentinels, of the multitude. This being done, and without trepidation, as men lawfully emAkerman's house now a mere shell of ployed in full day. Such is the cowardice brickwork, they kept a store of flame there of a commercial place. On Wednesday for other purposes. It became red-bot, and they broke open the Fleet, and the King's the doors and windows appeared like the en- Bench, and the Marshalsea, and Wood. trance to so many volcanoes. With some street Compter, and Clerkenwell Bridewell, difficulty they then fired the debtors and released all the prisoners, and some prison, broke the doors, and they, too, all people were threatened. Mr. Strahan made their escape. Tired of the scene, I advised me to take care of myself; and one went home, and returned again at eleven might see the glare of conflagration fill o'clock at night. I met large bodies of the sky from many parts. The sight was horse and foot soldiers, coming to guard dreadful. . . . Several chapels have been the Bank, and some houses of Roman destroyed, and several inoffensive Papists Catholics near it. Newgate was at the have been plundered; but the high sport time open to all ; any one might get in, was to burn the jails. This was a good and, what was never the case before, any rabble trick. The debtors and criminals one might get out. I did both, for the were all set at liberty; but of the criminals, people now were chiefly lookers-on. The as has always happened, many are already mischief was done, and the doers of it retaken, and two pirates have surrendered gone to another part of the town (to themselves, and it is expected that they Bloomsbury-square, to burn Lord Mans- will be pardoned.” And then follows å field's house). “But I must not omit what fine touch of irony: “Jack” (Wilkes) struck me most: about ten or twelve of “who was always zealous for order and the mob getting to the top of the debtors' decency, declares that if he be trusted with prison, whilst it was burning, to halloo. power he will not leave a rioter alive. They appeared robed in black smoke mixed There is, however, now no longer any need with sudden bursts of fire-like Milton's l'of heroism or bloodshed; no blue ribbon infernals, who were as familiar with flame (the badge of the rioters) "is any longer as with each other."

worn." As for Thrale, his brewery escaped On the Wednesday, the day after the pretty well: the men gave away a cask or fire, a big carelessly-dressed man worked two of beer to the mob, and when the his way to the ruins from Bolt - court, rioters came on a second and more imporFleet-street. The burly man's name was tunate visit, the soldiers received them. Doctor Samuel Johnson, and he wrote to Boswell, always bent on scraping acMrs. Thrale and her husband a brief ac- quaintance, however intrusively, with any count of what had happened since the famous or notorious person, had been inFriday before. On that day Lord George troduced to Mr. Akerman, the keeper of Gordon and the mob went to Westminster, Newgate, long before the Gordon riots. and that night the Protestants burnt the Boswell, who loved a hanging almost as Catholic chapel in Duke-street, Lincoln's- well as George Selwyn, says that his inn-fields. On Monday they gutted Sir "esteemed friend Mr. Akerman discharged George Saville's house in Leicester-square; his very important trust with intrepid firm. on Tuesday pulled down the house of Sir ness, tenderness, and charity;" and he tells John Fielding, the blind magistrate and an interesting story of Akerman's courage the novelist's half-brother, in Bow-street; and promptitude, the recital of which won and the same night burnt Newgate, Lord for him the praise both of Johnson and Mansfield's house in Bloomsbury, and a Burke. Catholic chapel in Moorfields. On Wed- Many years before the Gordon riots a nesday they burnt the Fleet and the fire broke out in the brick addition to the King's Bench, and attacked the Bank of old jail. The frightened prisoners, breakEngland, but were driven off by a party ing into a tumult, began to shout, “We of constables headed by John Wilkes. shall be burnt! we shall be burnt! Down

“On Wednesday,” says the doctor, to with the gate!" Akerman at once hurried come to what he actually saw himself, “I down, showed himself at the gate, and walked with Doctor Scott to look at New- after long confused shouts of “Hear him! gate, and found it in ruins, with the fire yet hear him!” obtained silence. He then glowing. As I went by, the Protestants calmly told the men that the gate must were plundering the Sessions House at the not come down, that they were under his Old Bailey. There were not, I believe, care, and could not be permitted to escape a hundred; but they did their work at | He could, he said, assure them that there

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was no fear, for the fire was not in the only up and dressed, but equipped for stone prison ; and that if they would be walking: her scarlet cloak wrapped round quiet, he then promised to come in among her, her black hat, with its long white them, and lead them to a further end of the cock's feather, on her head, sable muff, building; offering, in addition, not to leave dainty Balmoral boots, looped-up dress, them till they were reassured, and gave and bat’s-wing petticoat, all complete. him leave. To this generous proposal “My dear, are you quite mad ?” was my they agreed. Mr. Akerman then, having natural exclamation. first made them fall back from the gate, “ People are mad who lie in bed on lest they should be tempted to break out, sparkling frosty mornings like this,” she went in, closed the gate, and, with the answered, throwing up the window, and determined resolution of an ancient Roman, pointing to the clear red dawn; “look ordered the outer turnkey upon no account there, you lazy woman, look there! Come, to unbar the gate, even though the pri- make haste, Joany; I have set my heart soners should break their word (which he on an early walk; we will go to the farm, trusted they would not), and by force bring and get a draught of milk from the cow.” him to order it. “Never mind me,” said "Shut the window, then, for pity's he, “ should that happen." The prisoners sake," said I, with a rueful glance at my

. then peaceably followed him through pas- bath, in all its icy horrors, which, at that sages of which he had the keys to a part of hour, there was no hope of mitigating. the jail the farthest from the fire. Having, " It is delightful," Lelgarde exclaimed, by this judicious conduct, says Boswell

, following my look; “I am all in a glow fully satisfied them that there was no imme- from mine." And she tossed back the mass diate risk, if any at all, he then addressed of flaxen hair, which hung wet and heavy, them : “ Gentlemen, you are con- all the ripple drenched out of it, over her vinced that I told you true. I have no shoulders. doubt that the engines will soon extinguish Of course I did what Lelgarde told me, this fire. If they should not, a sufficient and dragged up my middle - aged limbs guard will



you shall be all taken from their cosey resting-place, and dressed out and lodged in the compters. I assure with what speed I could, marvelling much you, upon my word and honour, that I have what this new caprice might mean. not a farthing insured. I have left my “ Have

you had a bad night ?” I asked, house that I might take care of you. I will when we were crossing the frost-covered keep my promise, and stay with you, if you paddock in the direction of the farm. insist upon it; but if you

will allow me to A bad night ? What! because I get go out and look after my family and pro- up an hour earlier than usual ?” perty, I shall be obliged to you.' Strack "You are not answering my question, with this courage, truthfulness, and ho- you know,” I suggested. nourable sense of duty, the felons shouted: But no further answer could I get; and “ Master Akerman, you have done bravely. so we arrived at the farm, saw the cows It was very kind of you. By all means go milked, and went shivering home to breakand take care of your own concerns.” He fast. Lelgarde would have routed me out did so accordingly; and they remained, and again as soon as the meal was over, but were all preserved. Doctor Johnson said I struck at last. “You will tire yourself of this man, whom Wellington would have quite out, child,” I said ; and I was startled esteemed : “Sir, he who has long had con- by the tone in which she answered: stantly in his view the worst of mankind, “That is just what I am trying to do.” and is yet eminent for the humanity of his That day, however, I was only amused disposition, must have had it originally in at her vagaries; but when time passed on, a high degree, and continued to cultivate and the same strange restlessness still beset it very carefully.”

her, I grew vaguely uneasy. Her hours were becoming uncertain ; sometimes she

was still asleep when the breakfast-bell LELGARDE'S INHERITANCE.

rang; sometimes she was afoot before

dawn, though she never again pressed me IN TWELVE CHAPTERS. CHAPTER V.

into the service. I began to wish that Almost before light on the following she would, as I might then have exercised morning, I was conscious of a soft kiss on some control over the length of her rambles. my cheek, and mischievous fingers pulling All day long she was rushing about, demy hair; and, opening my sleepy eyes, I vising employments, evidently for the mere beheld Lelgarde, to my astonishment, not sake of being up and doing; and, by the

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