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day that she was to be tried, and just as she was brought down to the bar of the Old-Bailey, Johnson called to see her: but Mr. Spurling, the heat turnkey, telling him that he could not see her till her trial was ended, he instantly drew a pistol, and Not Spurling dead on the spot, in the presence of the court, and all the persons attending to hear the trials; Mrs. Housden, at the same time encouraging him in the perpetration of this horrid murder.

The event had no sooner happened, than the judges, thinking it unnecessary to proceed on the trial of the woman for coining, ordered both the parties to be tried for the murder; and there being such a number of witnesses to the deed, they were almost immediately convicted, and received sentence of death,

From this time to that of their execution, and even at the place of their death, they behaved as if they were wholly insensible of the enormity of the crime which they had committed; nay, though there were so many witnesses to the fact, they had the confidence to deny it to the last moment of their lives; nor did they shew any signs of compunction for their former fins.

On the 19th of September, 1712, they were executed opposite the sessions-house in the Old Bailey, after which Johnson was hanged in chains near Holloway, between Iington and Highgate.

There is something fo extraordinary in the case of these malefactors that one is almost at a loss what judgment to form of the enormity of their guilt. Johnson had been capitally convicted, and received a free pardon: and Housden had experienced a like effect of the royal mercy. What then shall we think of the man committing a daring murder in such a place, and on so folemn

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an occasion, and of the woman, in circumstances lo calamitous as hers, encouraging him in the perpetration of so horrid a crime? A crime, that the Nightest reflection would have told them must necessarily be punished in an exemplary manner. To escape was impossible :- to commit the crime then, argued a folly as well as baseness that is, perhaps, without example.

The turnkey was doing no more than discharging the duties of his office, and had not given the least provocation to the parties for the horrid murder that ensued.

Their behaviour under sentence of death evinces to what a shocking degree their minds must have been hardened; and, upon the whole, the instance before us affords a proof that the human heart is “ corrupt above all things, and defpe, • rately wicked.”

Account of RICHARD TOWN, who was Ex

ecuted for Defrauding his Creditors under a Commission of Bankruptcy. IN September, 1712, Richard Town was in

dicted at the Old Bailey for withdrawing himfelf from his creditors after a commission of bank. rupt issued against him, and for removing and fraudulently carrying away fifteen tons of callow, valued at 400l. and 400l. in money, with his debc-books, and books of accounts, with intention to defraud his creditors

Having pleaded not guilty to the indictment the council informed the jury that the act of parliament had expressly declared that “ if any " person, being a bankrupt, after the month of

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“ April, 1707, did fraudulently conceal, em“ bezzl, or make away with goods or money to " the value of 201, he should be deemed guilty of “ felony."

A number of witnesses were now called to prove his being a regular trader, and to make it appear that he had committed an act of bankruptcy; but the principal of these was Mr. Hodgson, who deposed that being fent after the prisoner by the commissioners of bankrupt, he apprehended him at Sandwich, and searching him by virtue of his war ant, found in his pocket twenty guineas in gold, and about five pound seven shillings and sixpence in filver ; and that he had three gold rings on his fingers: that he took from him the gold, and five pounds in silver, and left him the odd Glver.

Town had intended to fail in a ship which was bound to Amsterdam; but being too late he went on board a packet-boat bound to Oftend, but being taken fea-fick, he went to the side of the vesiel, and stooping down, dropped eight hundred guineas, which were in two bags between his coat and waistcoac, into the sea.

A storm arising at sea, the packet-boat was driven back, and obliged to put into Sandwich, in consequence of which Town was apprehended by Hodgson, as above mentioned.

When Town was examined before the commifsioners he acknowledged that he had ordered Thomas Noriis to carry off his books of accounts, plate, and papers of value, and likewise to convey away a large quaintity of tallow, whịch he supposed was then arrived in Holland,

Now the council for Town insisted that, as Nor. ris was a joint agent with him, the act of one was the act of buth; and that he could not legally bę

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convicted till the other (who was then abroad) could be apprehended, and tried with him. But in order to frustrate this argument, it was proved that Town had shipped off large quantities of goods on his own account: besides, the circum. Itance of his being taken at Sandwich by Mr. Hodgson, with more than twenty pounds of his creditors money in his poffeffion, was a sufficient proof of his guilt; wherefore the jury did not hesitate on his case, and he received sentence of death.

This unhappy man was a native of the county of Oxford, and for some time had carried on a considerable business as a tallow chandler with great reputation; but it appears too evident that he had formed a design of defrauding his creditors; because, at the time of his absconding, he had confiderable property in the funds, and was otherwise in good circumitances.

· Before his conviction he was indulged with a chamber to himself in the press-yard: but after fentence was passed on him he was put into the condemned hole, with the other prisoners: but here he catched a violent cold, which brought on a deafness, a disorder to which he had been subject; wherefore, on complaining of this circumstance, he was removed to his former apartments.

While under sentence of death he refused to acknowledge the justice of his sentence, declaring that a person whom he had relieved, and preserved from ruin, had occafiond his destruction. He attended the devotions of the place, declared that he forgave his enemies, and begged that God would likewise forgive them,

He was executed at Tyburn on the 23rd of December, 1712, being exactly forty-one years

of of age on that day: a circumstance that he remarked to the Ordinary, on his way to the fatal tree,

Mr. Town was the first person who suffered on the act which made it felony for a bankrupt to conceal the value of 2ol. or upwards. It is the fate of many an honest man to become a bankrupt, and it is but too common for the unfeeling world to brand all bankrupts with the general name of villain : but, we hope, for the honour of human nature, that this name is not deserved once where it is applied a thousand times.

It has been the misfortune of some of the worthiest men we have ever known to become bankrupts. On the contrary, many of the most contemptible of the human race have been successful traders, and, in the language of the city, have been a good men.” Undoubtedly there have been fraudulent bankruptcies; but, comparatively speaking, we believe very few. We have not many instances of traders flourishing in a great degree, after a bankruptcy; and what man would wilh, if it were in his power, to meet the public contempt and derision, for the sake of embezzling a few paltry hundred pounds, and this too, at the hazard of his life?

With regard to the particular instance before us, we see a strong proof of the wisdom and juftice of Providence, in preventing this offender from making his escape; in the first place, by the ship being sailed, and in the second, by the packet boat being obliged to put back, through îtress of weather.

Hence let all who are tempted to commit crimes of a similar, or of any other nature, learn that they can never escape the fight of a just God, who ruleth the world in righteousness.

Account

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