« PredošláPokračovať »
Some serious and important reflections will naturally occur to the mind on perusing the above melancholy narrative. Mr. Hunter was educated in a manner greatly superior to the vulgar; and he was of a profession that ought to have set an example of virtue, instead of a pattern of vioe : yet neither his education nor profession could actuate as preventive remedies against a crime the most abhorrent to all the feelings of humanity.
Hunter's first offence, great as it was, could be considered as no other than a prologue to the dismal tragedy that ensured , a tragedy that was attended with almost every possible circumstance of aggravation; fór Mr. and Mrs. Gordon had done nothing to him that could tempt him to any thoughts of revenge ; and the children were too young to have offended him, even in intention ; they limply mentioned to their parents a circainftance, that to them appeared fomewhat extraordinary; and which, Mr. Hunter's character and htuation considered, was indeed of a very extraordinary nature: yet, in revenge of the supposed affront, did he resolve to embrue his hands in the blood of innocents who never offended.
When we consider the conduct of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, in discharging the young woman who was guilty of a violation of the laws of decency, and retaining in their family the principal of: fender, we must own that their partiality was ill founded; this. however, must be ascribed to the veneration in which clergymen are universally held, and the particular regard that was shewn towards them in Scotland at the commencement of the present century. Still, however, it is an aggravation of Hunter's crime,' who ought to have bten grateful in proportion as he was favoured.
It is a shocking part of Hunter's story, that he who was looked upon as a minister, was one of a fociety of abandoned young fellows, who occasionally assembled to ridicule the scriptures, and make a mockery of the being and attributes of God! Is it then to be wondered that this wretch fell an example of the exemplary justice of Divine Providence? Perhaps a fate no less dreadful attended many of his companions, but as their histories have not reached our hands, we can only judge of the confequences by the enormities of their crimes.
There is fomething so indescribably shocking in denying the existence of that God " in whom we “ live, move, and have our being,” that it is amazing any man can be an atheist, who feels that 'he did not create himself.
From this fad tale be mortals taught
The wond'rous pow'r of God,
Beneath his vengeful rod !
Narrative of the Life, and Execution of JOHN
COWLAND, Gentleman, at Tyburn, for the Murder of Sir ANDREW SLANNING, Baronet.
this affair are inort, they are interesting. Sir Andrew Slanning having made a temporary acquaintance with an orange-woman, while in the pit at Drury Lane play-house, retired with her as foon as the play was ended, and was followed by Mr. Cowland and some other gentlemen. They had
gone but a few yards before Mr. Çowland put his arm round the.woman's neck; on which Sir Andrew desired he would defist, as she was his
wife. Cowland, knowing that Sir Andrew was married to a woman of honour, gave him the lie, and swords were drawn on both sides : but some gentlemen coming up at this juncture, no immediate ill consequence happened.
They all now agreed to adjourn to the Rose tavern; and Captain Wagget having there used his utmoft endeavours to reconcile the offended parties, it appeared that his mediation was attended with success; but, as they were going up ftairs to drink a glafs of wine, Mr. Cowland drew his sword, and stabbed Sir Andrew in the belly, who finding himself wounded, cried out “ murder.”
One of Lord Warwick's servants now, and two other persons who were in the house, ran up and disarmed Cowland of his sword, which was bloody to the depth of five inches, and took him into custody. Cowland now desired to see Sir Andrew; which being granted, he jumped down the stairs, and endeavoured to make his escape ; but being pursued he was easily re-taken.
Cowland was instantly conducted before a juftice of the peace, who committed him ; and on the 5th of December, 1700, he was tried at the Old Bailey, on three indictments, the first at the common law, the second on the statute of stabbing, and the third on the coroner's inquest for the murder.
Every fact above mentioned was fully proved on the trial; and among other things it was deposed, that the deceased had poffeffed an estate of 20,000l a year, and his family became extinct by his death, and that he had been a gentleman of great good-nature, and by no means disposed to animosity.
Sentence of death waś now paffed on Mr. Cowland being found guilty on the clearest evidence, and though great interest was made to obtain a pardon for him, he was executed at Tyburn on the 2oth of December, 1700.
From the moment of his imprisonment to the day of his death, his behaviour was truly contrite and penitent; he professed the most unfeigned sorrow for all his lins, and gave the following account of himself: That he was the son of re. putable parents, who apprenticed him to a goldsmith. That in the early part of his life he was sober and religious, studying the scriptures, giv ing a regular attendance on divine worship, and devoutly reflecting on his duty towards God; but that abandoning this course of life, he became an easy prey to his own intemperate passions, and proceeded from one degree of vice to another, till at length he committed the horrid crime for which he was justly doomed to fall a sacrifice to the violated laws of God and his country.
On a retrospect of the above-written melancholy narrative, some reflections will occur thatf if properly attended to, may be of singular use to the reader. The dispute which cost Sir Andrew Slanning his life, took its rise from his having associated himself with a woman of light character, with whom Cowland thought he had as much right to make free as the baronet ; but Sir Andrew was originally to blame ; for as he was a married man, there was a greater impropriety in the connection he had formed: this, however, was no kind of juftification of the conduct of Cowland, who could have no business to interfere ; and his crime is greatly enhanced by his having committed the murder after an apparent reconciliation had taken place. To sum up our
abfervations in a few words; from this sad tale let
Circumstantial Account of the Life, Trial, Piracies,
and Execution of Captain JOHN KIDD, wbo'
HE case of Captain Kidd, while in agita
tion, engaged the attention of the public in a very eminent degree, though the man himself was one of the most contemptible of the human race. The town of Greenock in Scotland gave birth to Captain Kidd, who was bred to the lea, and having quitted his native country, he refided at New York, where he became owner of a small vessel, with which he traded among the pi. rates, obtained a thorough knowledge of their haunts, and could give a better account of them than any other person whatever. He was neither remarkable for the excess of his courage, nor for his want of it. In a word, his ruling passion appeared to be avarice, and to this was owing his connection with the pirates.
When Kidd was in company with these abandoned people he used to converse and act as they did ; yet at other times he would make singular professions of honesty, and intimate how easy a matter it would be extirpate these people, and prevent their making future depredations,