ePub 版

these Circumstances concurring to prove he had
been butchered, they were all three deservedly :
condemnet and executed, the being burnt, and
they hanged; Billings and Wood confefsing their
Wickedness, and declaring the several shocking
Particulars relating to this black Scene, which shew-
ed she was a molt hardened Mouster, and guilty
not only of Murder, but Adulrery, and Inceft.

The next Instance we shall produce of the fatal Consequences 'attendarit upon the Commission of Murder, and the Improbability of escaping Punishment, however secret Persons may be in perpetrating so nefarious a Deed, or however artful in their Defence if apprehended, shall be that of the notorious Sarah Macolm. This hardened Offender was one of the Laundresses belonging to the Tem. ple, and used likewise, upon Occasion, to chair for such as wanted. Accordingly it' unfortunately hap: pened, by this Means, she became acquainted with the Circumstances of Mrs. Duncomb, an old Wi. dow Gentlewoman, who lived in Chambers up

four Pair of Stairs, together with an ancient Wo: man, formerly 'her Servant, but then superannu. ·ated, and a young Maiden of seventeen who did. her Work, pii!

This Sarah Malcolm then, by being frequently there, having observed, and knowing the old Gentlewoman was very well to pass, imagined it would be no difficult Matter to make herself Mistress of all her Effects by the Murder of these three un. happy Perfons. The old Gentlewoman, who was about fourscore, was Bedridden, her ancient Servant who was sixty, in a Manner helpless, and the young Maiden, who was not so robust as her self, nor capable of making much Resistance, el. pecially if fer upon unawares.' Accordingly this wretched Instrument of Satan, without any Re.. morse, resolves upon perpetrating these three horrid


Murders, which she effected but two easily : This
done, after having ransacked the Chambers, and
taken thence what he thought proper, to prevent
all Suspicion The Mut the Door, which went with
a Spring-Lock after her, and contrived also by
the Help of a String, to bolt it within Side.

She now fancied herself secure from Dete&ion, but was mightily deceived; the Divine Vengeance - pursuing her, and infatuating her so far, that tho'.

The had a sufficient Time, (no less than twenty'four Hours) to have conveyed every thing away that might have conduced to her Discovery, the had not the Power ; nay, even after being queftioned concerning these Murders by one of her Masters, and two Watchmen being ordered to take Care of her, though they were so weak as to let her go, and take her Word for her coming again next Day, she was not able to ftir any farther than the Temple Gate, but remained there as if chained, (as indeed she was by the Hand of Providence) till luch Things of Mrs. Duncomb's were found concealed by her in her Master's Chambers, as made ic amount almost to a Demonstration that the was guilty ; Hereupon she was secured, and being carried before Sir Richard Brocas, was by him committed to Newgate ; not long after which she was tried, condemned, and defervedly executed in the middle of Fleetfreet, opposite to Mitre Court.

And so hardened was this Criminal in her Wickedness, that the perfilted to the last, in denying herself to be guilcy of the Murders, which the would fain have saddled upon three innocent Per. sons, who, by all Circumstances appeared to be innocent, and were accordingly acquitred: But she acknowledged she was accessary to the Robbery, because a Tankard, and Money of the old Geria tlewoman's, being found upon her, were sufficient Proofs thereof, and would have rendered her do.

ing otherwise of no Service. As the thus intend. ed therefore to have taken away the Lives of chosc three guilt!ess Persons, and would have added Murder to Murder, for aught that has yet been found to the contrary, and died with a Lie in her Mouth, it is much to be feared, the launched unprepared into Eternity.,

Almost of the same obdurate Stamp was Elion Lewis, a Man who had been bred to the Sea, but afterwards followed the Trade of selling Milk, wherein, had he not given too much Way to his vicious Inclinations, he might have lived very com. fortably. This unfortunate Person, together with his Wife, and a Girl abour ren Years of Age, their

Apprentice, lodged in the House with an ancient : Woman their Relation, who let out Money to Use, and from whom they had once some Expe&tations ; but Lewis, who was of a surly Disposition, and somewhat extravagant, having by some Means disobliged his ancient Kinswoman, she made her Will, and left every thing away from him.

This of itself provoked him greatly, but what exasperated him yet more, was that she had demand. ed back a Watch The had let him have for some Time in his Pocker, and dunned him for some Money he had borrowed of her, but without any In. tention of restoring or repaying either, not imagining she would insift thereon. All these Things working together upon a Man of his morose Temper, he at last suffered his Malice so far to get the better of all Sentiments of Humanity and Religion, that he resolved to be revenged of her, by depriving her of Life, as he did accordingly, in the Manner following."

One Monday Evening when the House was clear, nobody being therein but himself, having provi. ded himselt a Hatchet, he waited within the

Entry, Entry, for her coming in, well knowing she would not fail to be ac home before it was quite Night; and as soon as the had ftept within Doors, and pas. fed by him, it being dusk, he ftruck her on the Head with the Hatcher with all his Force : This not doing her Business fo effe&ually but chat fhe Thricked out, he twisted some small Cords about her Neck to prevent her crying out a second Time, and then with reiterated Blows quite dilpatched her. After all this Barbariry acted in cold Blood, so little was he troubled with Remorse, that he went to the next Door to light a Candle, wiped up the Blood with one of her old quilted Petricoats, and dragging the Corpfe into his Room, concealed it there under his Bed, and witha out taking any Norice of what he had done till next Morning to his Wife, who was then big with Child, went to fleep therein very unconcerned. He now thought himself secure from any Disco very, his Intent being to have crammed the mange led Body into a Hamper, and so to have carried ic a pretty Way out of Town, and there lefr ir in fome Ditch, or amongit some Bushes: Accordingly, he had hired a Chaise for that Purpofc the next Day, on Pretence of having some Hams to make a Present of to his Friends in the Country, and was to have set out very early that Night, or the Morning following, with his hopeful Lugo gage.

But how much in vain does Man appoint, when Heaven has determined to disappoint! That very Night is he taken fo ill, that he is forced to be Jer Blood ; whereupon, not believing he should 'be in a Condicion to pursue his intended Joure ney, and being apprehensive the Corple, mould it remain any longer under the Bed, might by fome Means or other be discovered, he resolves to dispose of it forthwith in another Manner. Ac. cordingly, he prevails on the Watchman, by giving him a. Shilling for his Trouble, to fetch him a Pint of Wine from a particular Tavern ar, some Distance ; and while the Coast was clear, lugs the dead Carcase to che Ditch at Hockley in the Hole, which was about two Hundred Yards from his Lodging, and there throws it in. · He could not do this however so cleverly, but that he sufered the mangled Head to hit against a Poft near his House, so that some of the Brains stuck thereon, and not only so, but the Blood was plainly to be traced back to his yery Door, which the Darkness had prevented his observing : It was no Wonder therefore, that next Morning when the Body was found, and Muliųudes gathered about ii, fome Person more intelligent than the rest should perceive this, and mistrust that the Murder had been commitred there ; and that on declaring his Suspicion, the Neighbours should recollect Mrs. Robinson had been missing a Day or two, nor yet that notwithstanding the Head's being mangled, it should be known to be her's, and that thereupon the Man with his wife and Girl should be recured.

But notwithlanding all this, and even though the Marks of Blood remained in the House, nothing but Circumstances appearing against him, he might ftill have escaped, had not the Divine Jultice pursued him. For the Girl, being examined, declared (what was really true) she knew nothing of the Matter, neicher had heard any Bustle in the House, which was credited the more easily, because he had always been a cruel Master to her, Atripping her naked, and almost flaying her upon very slight Provocacions. Neither had the next-door Neighbours, one of which was a Baker, and up greatest Part of the Night, been alarmed with any Noise ; and as for the Marks of Blood, as he had a Vein opened, it was not at all Atrange some Signs thereof


« 上一頁繼續 »