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Title: An Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent Executions at Tyburn (1725)
Author: Mandeville, Bernard, 1670-1733?, Zirker, Malvin R.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "An Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent Executions at Tyburn (1725)" ***


















Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_
Earl R. Miner, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Maximillian E. Novak, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Lawrence Clark Powell, _Wm. Andrews Clark Memorial Library_


John Butt, _University of Edinburgh_
James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_
Ralph Cohen, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_
Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_
Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_
Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_
Everett T. Moore, _University of California, Los Angeles_
James Sutherland, _University College, London_
H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_


Edna C. Davis, _Clark Memorial Library_


The _Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent Executions at Tyburn_ was
originally published as a series of letters to the _British Journal_.
The first letter appeared on February 27, 1725;[1] just twelve days
before, Jonathan Wild, self-proclaimed "Thief-Catcher General of _Great
Britain_ and _Ireland_," had been arrested and imprisoned in Newgate.
Thus the _Enquiry_ had a special timeliness and forms a part of the
contemporary interest in the increasingly notorious activities of Wild.
Wild's systematic exploitation of the London underworld and his callous
betrayal of his colleagues in criminality (he received £40 from the
government for each capital conviction he could claim) had created
public protest since at least 1718 when an act (which Mandeville cites
in his Preface) directed against receivers of stolen goods was passed,
most probably with the primary intention of curtailing Wild's
operations. Wild's notoriety was at its peak in 1724-5 after his
successful apprehension of Joseph Blake ("Blueskin") and Jack Sheppard,
the latter figure becoming a kind of national hero after his five
escapes from prison (he was recaptured by Wild each time).[2]

The timeliness of Mandeville's pamphlet extends, of course, beyond its
interest in Jonathan Wild, who after all receives comparatively little
of Mandeville's attention. The spectacle of Tyburn itself and the civil
and moral failures it represented was one which Londoners could scarcely
ignore and which for some provided a morbid fascination. Mandeville's
vivid description of the condemned criminal in Newgate, his journey to
Tyburn, and his "turning off," must have been strikingly forceful to his
contemporaries, who knew all too well the accuracy of his description.

"Tyburn Fair" was a holiday. Apprentices deserted their posts,
pickpockets, dram-dealers and other free-lance caterers, prostitutes,
grub-street elegiasts armed with dying speeches or commemorative verses,
went to theirs, to swell the enormous and unruly holiday mob, a mob
given a certain tone by the presence of the respectable or aristocratic
curious (Boswell says "I must confess that I myself am never absent from
a public execution") who came in their coaches or even rode along with
the condemned in his cart. The mob at Tyburn reached enormous
proportions. Thirty thousand people witnessed an execution in 1776;
eighty thousand an execution in Moorfields in 1767.[3] Richardson, in
_Familiar Letters on Important Occasions_ (Letter CLX) refers to the
"pressure of the mob, which is prodigious, nay, almost incredible."

When such popular madness was climaxed by the generally unrepentant
criminal's drunken bravado (Richardson's criminals "grew most shamefully
daring and wanton.... They swore, laugh'd and talked obscenely"[4]), and
by their glorification by the mob (according to Fielding the criminal at
Tyburn was "triumphant," and enjoyed the "compassion of the meek and
tender-hearted, and ... the applause, admiration, and envy, of all the
bold and hardened"[5]), serious-minded men rightly wondered what valid
end the execution of the law served. And of course it was not merely
that the criminal died unrepentant or that the spectators remained
unedified and undeterred. The scene at Tyburn also reflected society's
failure to utilize a significant portion of its "most useful members," a
failure disturbing to the dominant mercantile attitude of the time which
valued "the bodies of men" as potential sources of wealth (Mandeville's
concern with the usefulness of the lower class is obvious throughout the
first part of the _Fable of the Bees_ and in the _Essay on Charity, and

Mandeville's subject, then, was one familiar to his readers and one
whose importance they recognized. His attitude toward his subject was
for the most part a thoroughly conventional one. For instance, his
primary assumption that the penal code must be harsh since its function
is to deter, not to reclaim, pervades eighteenth-century thought on the
subject and is clearly reflected in the number of offences carrying the
death penalty (160 when Blackstone wrote; 220 in the early nineteenth
century). Its logical culmination may be found in arguments such as
George Ollyffe presented in 1731. Ollyffe, noting that the frequency of
the death penalty was not deterring criminals, suggests that more
horrible forms of punishment be devised, such as breaking on the wheel,
"by which the Criminals run through ten thousand thousand of the most
exquisite Agonies ... during the unconceivable Torture of their
bruised, broken, and disjointed Limbs," or "twisting a little Cord hard
about their Arms or Legs," which would produce the "keenest Anguish."[6]
Ollyffe's public-spirited ingenuity should be a warning to modern
readers who assume that Mandeville's attitude is unusually harsh and

Most of Mandeville's specific proposals too may be paralleled in the
many pamphlets of the time concerned with the criminal and the lower
class. To point out some of the similarities between Mandeville's and
Fielding's proposals (which he states most fully in _An Enquiry into the
late Increase of Robbers_, 1751) is not to posit direct influence but to
suggest the uniformity of opinion on these matters during many years.
Both Mandeville and Fielding argue for closer control over receivers of
stolen goods, against advertising in the paper to recover stolen goods,
against the false compassion of the tender-hearted who fail to prosecute
or of juries which fail to convict the guilty, against the
indiscriminate imprisonment of young with old, hardened criminals with
first offenders, men with women, and against frequent pardons. They
agree in demanding that the condemned should meet his death, soberly,
shortly after his conviction.[7]

Mandeville's suggestion that the bodies of the executed be turned over
to surgeons for dissection is not to be found in Fielding's pamphlet. It
does, however, become a part of the "Act for preventing the horrid Crime
of Murder" (25 Geo. II. c. 37), an act for which Fielding is often given
credit.[8] This suggestion, and that in Chapter VI to trade felons into
slavery (which as far as I know is Mandeville's own), clearly stem from
the impulse to increase the deterrent power of the law by making it more

What distinguishes Mandeville's pamphlet (in addition to the
characteristically hard-headed bluntness of its author) is a quality
present in one degree or another in all his work: an exuberant delight
in creating scene. Throughout the _Fable of the Bees_, for example, but
especially in the first part, the argument is punctuated by vivid scenes
in which an idea is acted out or illustrated. Invariably these scenes
have a merit and interest beyond that owing to their function in the
argument. They are lively, vivid, picturesque, humorous or touching in
their own right. The reader can scarcely doubt that Mandeville enjoyed
composing them--he admits as much in the Preface to the _Enquiry_ when
he acknowledges, in defending the "lowness" of his subject, the
"Pleasure there is in imitating Nature in what Shape soever."

The gusto and vitality of the description of the events at Tyburn well
illustrate Mandeville's art. He puts us on the scene, lets us see and
hear the various actors, gives us telling detail: a bully rolling in the
mire; a putrified wig; a drunken old woman on a bulk; refuse flying
through the air; trollops in rags; a gin seller "squeez'd up in a
corner"; carcasses of dogs and cats. The scene is filled with objects
and has movement as well: the mob is a torrent which "bursts through the
gate," a "floating multitude." There is "jostling," "kicking dirt,"
"rolling"; peddlers "stir about," and one who has "ventured in the
Middle of the Current" is "fluctuating in the irregular Stream." The air
is filled with "oaths and vile expressions," and "loud laughter"; a
peddler "tears his Throat with crying his commodity." Mandeville orders
his scene spatially and chronologically, and he enforces its vividness
by relating the action in the present tense. Its basic unity, however,
is owing to the evaluation and control provided by the various tones of
the narrator's voice, which is alternately scornful and disgusted
("abandoned Rakehells") and almost playfully ironic ("he is the
prettiest Fellow among them who is the least shock'd at Nastiness";
"their darling Cordial, the grand Preservative of Sloth, Jeneva").

For one reader at least Mandeville is eminently successful in capturing
what must have been the appalling uproar and the dismaying quality of
the events at Tyburn. His vivid, circumstantial realism sets the
_Enquiry_ apart, as far as I know, from all other pamphlets dealing with
this sorry subject. If his views for the most part are conventional, his
style and technique are not, and in this respect the _Enquiry_ is best
compared not with other pamphlets but with Hogarth's portrayal of the
demise of the idle apprentice (Plate XI of the _Industrious and Idle
Apprentice_, 1747), in which Hogarth represents visually many of the
same details which Mandeville reports and in which he conveys a
comparable sense of the violent and brutal activity of the Tyburn mob.


[Footnote 1: See "A Note on the Text" below.]

[Footnote 2: A useful account of Wild's career and fame appears in
William R. Irwin's _The Making of Jonathan Wild_ (New York, 1941), pp.

[Footnote 3: The figures are taken from Leon Radzinowicz' _A History of
English Criminal Law_ (New York, 1948-56), vol. I, p. 175, n. 45.]

[Footnote 4: Compare the hero of Swift's "_Clever_ Tom Clinch _going to
be hanged_" (1726), "Who hung like a Hero, and never would flinch." He
"Rode stately through _Holbourn_, to die in his Calling," and adjured
his friends to "Take Courage, dear Comrades, and be not afraid, / Nor
slip this Occasion to follow your Trade."]

[Footnote 5: Henry Fielding, "An Enquiry into the Causes of the late
Increase of Robbers," _Works_, ed. Henley (London, 1903), vol. 13, p.
122. Fielding might have added that the criminal-hero also enjoyed the
amorous admiration of the fair: when clever Tom Clinch rode by "The
Maids to the Doors and the Balconies ran, / And said, lack-a-day! he's a
proper young Man"; according to Mrs. Peachum "The youth in his cart hath
the air of a lord, / And we cry, There dies an Adonis!"]

[Footnote 6: George Ollyffe, _An Essay Humbly Offer'd, for an Act of
Parliament to prevent Capital Crimes, and the Loss of many Lives; and to
Promote a desirable Improvement and Blessing in the Nation_, second
edition, (London, 1731), p. 8.]

[Footnote 7: Fielding's and Mandeville's positions may be compared to
that of an anonymous pamphleteer writing in 1701: "I might add, that it
were not amiss, if after Condemnation they were allowed nothing but
Bread and Water; a good way to humble them, and bring them to a sense of
their Condition, as to a future state, and to put a stop to their
murthering their Keepers, and attempting to break Gaol. And it were
well, if a Particular Habit (Black the most proper Colour) were assigned
them, at least at their Executions; and that they might not be suffered
to make their Exits in gay Clothes (as they sometimes do like Men that
Triumph) but rather as becomes Those, who are just going to undergo the
Curse of the Law, and that are intended to be a Warning to Others." R.
J., _Hanging not punishment enough, for Murtherers, High-way Men, and
House-Breakers_, p. 21.]

[Footnote 8: Both the criminal and the "mob" detested the anatomists. In
the British Journal of March 20, 1725--one of the issues in which
Mandeville's letters appeared--a captured murderer is reported to have
said "d----n my Soul; but I desire I may not be Anatomiz'd." In the same
issue is recorded a mob's assault on a doctor whom they suspected,
rightly it seems, of grave-robbing. He was forced to flee for his life
and his stable was "pulled down."]


The letters (which Mandeville tells us were composed before Wild's
capture) appeared in nos. 128-133 of the _British Journal_ (Feb. 27,
Mar. 6, Mar. 13, Mar. 20, Mar. 27, and Apr. 3, 1725). The differences
between the text of the newspapers and that of the pamphlet have some
significance, for what alterations there are suggest that Mandeville was
a fairly careful editor. The Preface to the pamphlet is entirely
new--its addition is one of several changes Mandeville made to put the
articles in pamphlet form. He also, for example, added a Table of
Contents, and gave headings to each chapter and, in one instance,
changed "Papers" to "Chapters."

Throughout minor changes (not clearly purposeful) in punctuation,
italicization, and capitalization occur, and occasionally a word is
changed ("Holland" becomes "Leyden," p. 27) or a word is inserted ("none
of them should" becomes "none of them likewise should," p. 13), but only
three changes may be called substantial. (1) In the first newspaper
article the following sentence appeared in the text in brackets after
the footnoted sentence on p. 3 of the pamphlet: "Here I beg leave to
observe, that the greatest Part of this Treatise was wrote some Months
before Jonathan Wild was apprehended; and that as nothing was said of
him, but what may be equally applied to any one, who either now follows,
or shall take upon him the same Employment, I keep to the original
Manuscript, imagining the Reader will be better pleased to see the
Author's Sentiments concerning Jonathan, and the Trade he drove before
his Commitment, than any Alterations that might be expected from
what has happen'd since." (2) The phrase on p. 17, "with Applause,
and repeated with Impunity," corrects the newspaper version "with
Impunity, and repeated with Applause." (3) On p. 25, lines 3 through
17 appear only in the pamphlet, the newspaper version reading merely
"... of Course, we seldom meet with any Thing that is edifying, or

The pamphlet is reproduced from the copy at the Huntington Library.



_A_ PROPOSAL _for some_ REGULATIONS _concerning_
FELONS _in_ PRISON, _and the good
Effects to be Expected from them_.

To which is Added,

A Discourse on TRANSPORTATION, and a Method
to render that Punishment more Effectual.


_Oderunt peccare Mali formidine Poenæ._

Printed: And Sold by _F. Roberts_ in _Warwick-Lane_.




The Design of this small Treatise, is to lessen if not prevent the
common Practice of Thieving, and save many Lives of the loose and
indigent Vulgar, of which now such great Numbers are yearly lavish'd
away for Trifles. In order to this, I have endeavour'd to set in a true
Light the destructive Consequences of _Theftbote_, and the Damage the
Publick sustains from the Trade that is drove by Thiefcatchers, and the
various ways now in vogue of compounding Felonies, by which the Safety
as well as Maintenance of Thieves and Pilferers are industriously taken
care of, and the Laws that enforce Prosecution altogether eluded.

To the same Purpose I have pointed at the Licentiousness and other
Disorders of _Newgate_, arising from the wrong Method we have of
treating common Felons in Prison. I have describ'd the Transactions of
Execution Day, with the Procession to _Tyburn_, and demonstrated what
small Advantage they are of, as well to the condemn'd themselves, whose
grand Affair it is to prepare themselves for another World, as to their
Companions who should be deterred, or the rest of the Spectators, who
should be struck with the Awfulness of the Solemnity. I have likewise
searched into the Origin of Courage, and the wrong Judgments that are
differently pass'd on the dying Behaviour of Malefactors, shew'd the ill
Consequences as well as Absurdity of our mistaking Drunkenness for
Intrepidity, and a senseless Deportment for Undauntedness; and touch'd
on the several Neglects and Mismanagements that are accessary, and one
way or other contribute to the Encrease and Support of Felons, and
consequently, the Frequency of Executions. Afterwards I have in a
Chapter by it self offer'd some Proposals for a better Usage, and more
proper Treatment of common Felons in Confinement, and made a Pathetical
Representation of the good Effects we might probably expect from such
wholesome Regulations. To these I have added a Discourse on
Transportation, and a Method of rendering that Punishment not only more
effectual on the Criminals, but likewise advantagious to the Publick in
the most extraordinary manner.

I am not so vain as to place any Merit in the Performance, or promise my
self the Applause of many: on the contrary, I expect to be censur'd, and
perhaps deservedly, for the uncouth Decorations I have intermix'd with
my Subject. Men of Taste and Politeness will think themselves very
little oblig'd to me for entertaining them with the meanest and most
abject part of low Life, for almost a whole Chapter together; and tell
me that the Inside of _Newgate_, either on an Execution Day, or any
other, is not a Scene they ought to be troubled with; and that the
Exactness of a Picture among the Judicious is of little Worth where the
noble manner is wanting. To this I could answer that, if I have
trespassed against the Laws either of Elegance or Formality, I was
forc'd to it by what is superior to all Laws, Necessity. When a Man is
to inspire his Readers with an Aversion to what they are unacquainted
with, he can never compass his End without furnishing them first with a
general Idea of the Thing against which he wou'd raise their
Indignation: I could add that, when a Piece is lively and tolerably
finish'd, the good-natured Critick will pardon the Meaness of the
Design, for the sake of the Colouring and the Application of the Master.
But if neither of these Excuses are thought sufficient, I must plead
guilty, and confess that the Pleasure there is in imitating Nature in
what Shape soever is so bewitching, that it over-rules the Dictates of
Art, and often forces us to offend against our own Judgment.

As there are in this City not a few Men of Business and good
Understanding, whose Leisure allows them not to read much beyond the
Publick News, and most of them are concern'd in the Contents of this
Pamphlet, I caused the several Chapters of it to be Printed in as many
Papers of the _British_ Journal; imagining that its having been
dispers'd, and, as it were, advertis'd in that manner, could give no
Offence to the more Curious, who would chuse to have it entire by it
self, and peruse it in a Character less troublesome to the Eyes.

In the first Chapter I should have taken notice of a Clause in an Act of
Parliament that was made in the Fourth Year of His present Majesty, and
is call'd, _An Act for the further Preventing Robbery, Burglary, and
other Felonies_, &c. The candid Reader I hope will pardon the Neglect,
occasion'd by the small Acquaintance I have with the Law, and give me
leave in this Place to repair that Omission. The Words are these.

    And whereas there are several Persons who have secret Acquaintance
    with Felons, and who make it their Business to help Persons to their
    stollen Goods, and by that Means gain Money from them, which is
    divided between them and the Felons, where-by they greatly encourage
    such Offenders: Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That
    whenever any Person taketh Money or Reward, directly or indirectly,
    under Pretence, or upon account of helping any Person or Persons to
    any stollen Goods or Chattels, every such Person so taking Money or
    Reward, as aforesaid (unless such Person doth apprehend, or cause to
    be apprehended such Felon who stole the same, and cause such Felon
    to be brought to his Trial for the same, and give Evidence against
    him) shall be guilty of Felony, and suffer the Pains and Penalties
    of Felony, according to the felony committed in stealing such Goods,
    and in such and the same manner, as if such Offender had himself
    stole such Goods and Chattels, in the manner and with such
    Circumstances as the same were stollen.

Since the Printing of these Chapters, in the Paper aforesaid, I have
likewise been inform'd; that, as receiving Money for assisting others in
the Recovery of their stolen Goods, is by this Act made Felony; so by
the known Rules of Law, whoever is aiding and assisting thereto is of
Course guilty as an Accessary, and to incurr the same Punishment as the
Principal: and it cannot be doubted; but that he, who pays Money on such
an Occasion, is accessary to the Receiving of it; which well deserves
the Reflection of those who make no Scruple of redeeming the Goods that
had been stolen from them; as likewise does another Thing, which is,
that if he who takes Money for stolen Goods is a principal Felon, and
that he who pays it is a Felon, as being accessary, then he who by
publick Advertisements with Promises of Secrecy, and that no Questions
shall be asked, invites others to commit Felony, is guilty of a great
Misdemeanour, tho' it produce no Effect; but, if it do, the Person
publishing such Advertisement will be an Accessary likewise.





  OF THEFTBOTE; _or, the Crime
  of Compounding of Felony_.                                      Page 1


  _Of the ill Consequences of_ THEFTBOTE,
  _and the Licentiousness of Felons in_
  Newgate.                                                             9


  _Of Execution Day, the Journey to_ Tyburn,
  and _a Word in behalf of Anatomical
  Dissections._                                                       18


  _Of the wrong Judgments that are pass'd
  on the dying Behaviour of Malefactors._                             28


  _Of Regulations concerning_ FELONS _in
  Prison, and the good Effects to be expected
  from them._                                                         37


  Method to render that Punishment more
  effectual._                                                         46




    _Of_ THEFTBOTE; _or, the Crime of Compounding of Felony._

The Multitude of unhappy Wretches, that every Year are put to Death for
Trifles in our great Metropolis, has long been afflicting to Men of Pity
and Humanity; and continues to give great Uneasiness to every Person,
who has a Value for his Kind. Many good Projects have been thought of to
cure this Evil, by sapping the Foundation of it: A Society has been set
up to reform our Manners; and neither Workhouses, nor Discipline on
small Crimes, have been wanting: An Act has been made against prophane
Cursing and Swearing; and many Charity Schools have been erected. But
the Event has not answer'd hitherto the good Design of those Endeavours.
This City abounds as much with loose, lazy, and dishonest Poor; there
is as much Mischief done by ordinary Felons; and Executions for Theft
and Burglary are as frequent, at least, as ever: Nay, it is believed,
that _London_ is more pester'd with low Villany than any other Place
whatever, the Proportion of Bigness between them not left unconsider'd.
As there is no Effect without a Cause, so something must be the Reason
of this Calamity. I have long and carefully examined into this Matter,
and am forced to ascribe the Mischief complained of to two palpable
Evils, distinct from those we have in common with other large overgrown
Cities. One regards Prosecutions; the other the Treatment that is given
to Malefactors after they are taken. I shall begin with the first: I
mean the Neglect of them, occasion'd by our shameful Negotiations with
Thieves, or their Agents, for the Recovery of stolen Goods, by which, in
Reality, we become Aiders and Abetters to them.

The Law of _England_ is so tender of Mens Lives, that whoever justly
prosecutes, and convicts a Person of a Capital Crime, has nothing to
answer for to his Conscience, but, on the contrary, has done a Service
to his Country, without Offence to God, or the least Breach of Charity
to his Neighbour. But as every Body has not Strength of Mind and
Resolution enough to perform Duties that are repugnant to his Nature,
so, making Allowances for Human Frailties, I could excuse the
Backwardness of a meek home-bred Person, who should complain, That to
appear in open Court, and speak before a Judge, are terrible Things to
him. But I think it unpardonable, that a Man should knowingly act
against the Law, and by so doing powerfully contribute to the Increase,
as well as Safety and Maintenance, of Pilferers and Robbers, from no
other Principle, than a criminal Selfishness, accompany'd with an utter
Disregard to the Publick: Yet nothing is more common among us.[9] As
soon as any Thing is missing, suspected to be stolen, the first Course
we steer is directly to the Office of Mr. _Jonathan Wild_. If what we
want is a Trinket, either enamel'd, or otherwise curiously wrought; if
there is Painting about it; if it be a particular Ring, the Gift of a
Friend; or any Thing which we esteem above the real Value, and offer
more for it than Mr. _Thief_ can make of it, we are look'd upon as good
Chaps, and welcome to redeem it. But if it be plain Gold or Silver, we
shall hardly see it again, unless we pay the Worth of it. Some Years
ago, it is true, a Man might, for half a Piece, have fetch'd back a
Snuff-Box that weigh'd twenty or thirty Shillings: But this was in the
Infancy of the Establishment. Now they are grown wiser, and calculate
exactly what such a Thing will melt down for: To offer less is thought
unreasonable; and unless Mr. _Thief-catcher_ stands your Friend indeed,
if you have it, you will seldom save any Thing but the Fashion. If in
this Place you can hear no Tidings of your Goods, it is counted a Sign,
that they are in the Hands of irregular Practitioners, that steal
without Permission of the Board. In this Case we immediately put in an
Advertisement in some News-Paper or other, with a Promise, that such a
Reward will be given, and no Questions asked. I own, that in the
Printing of these short Epistles there is no manner of Harm, if we
abstract the Act itself from the Concern the Publick has in it. The
Tenor of them is rather benevolent than injurious: And a Panegyrist on
the present Times might justly say of them, That in no Performances the
true Spirit of Christianity was so conspicuous as in these: That they
were not only free from Calumny and ill Language, but likewise so void
of Reproach, that speaking to a Thief, we never call'd him so in those
charitable Addresses: That in them the very Catalogues of Injuries
receiv'd, were penn'd with as little Heat, or Resentment, as ever
Tradesman shew'd in a Bill of Parcels directed to his best Customer:
That here we are so far from hating our Enemy, that we proffer him a
Recompence for his Trouble, if he will condescend to let us have our
own again; and leaving all Revenge to God, to shew that we are willing
to forgive and forget, we consult, in the most effectual Manner, the
Safety of a Person that deserves Hanging for the Wrong he has done us.
Yet, notwithstanding the kind Constructions that may be put on these
Civil Offers, they all tend to the _Compounding of Felony_, and are the
Occasion of a double Mischief: They invite the Indigent and Lazy to pick
Pockets, and render the Negligent more careless than probably they would
be, was this Practice abolish'd. A Pocket-Book, or Memorandum, may be
stole from a Man that is of vast Concern to him, and yet of no Use but
to the Owner: If this be taken by a regular Thief, a listed Pilferer, it
is easily recover'd for a small Reward. I don't suppose any one so
silly, that therefore he would go to Places, and into Companies, on
Purpose to have his Pocket pick'd; but I can't help thinking, that if
those Things were never to be heard of again, and the Loss
irretrievable, many young Rakes, and other loose Reprobates, would be
under greater Apprehensions, and more upon their Guard, at least when
they had such a Charge about them, than the Generality of them now are.
And again, if nothing could be made of Letters, Papers, and Things of
that Nature, such as have no known Worth, and are not readily turned
into Money, the numbers of Whores and Rogues, young and old, that are
employ'd in the Diving Trade, would decrease considerably; many of them,
from a Principle of Prudence, refusing to meddle with any Thing else.
For as on most of the Things now spoke of, no real Value can be set, the
Punishment would be inconsiderable, if any, should the Things be found
upon them, or themselves be taken in the Fact. Most Men will agree to
all this, whilst unconcern'd; but when private Interest is touch'd, it
soon stifles these Considerations. I should be a Fool, says one, when a
Thing of Value is stolen from me, not to get it back, if I can, for a
Trifle. If I lose a Sword, or a Watch, I must have another; and to save
the Fashion in these Things is considerable: It is better to lose the
Half than the Whole. I have nothing to do with the Thief, says another,
if I have my own again, it is all I want: What Good would it do to me to
have a poor Fellow hang'd? A Third, more compassionate, will tell us,
that if he knew the Thief, he would not meddle with him; and that he
would lose ten times the Value of what has been taken from him, rather
than be the Occasion of a Man's Death. To these I reply, that the
Legislators seem to have known how the Generality of Men would argue,
and what Excuses they would make; they had an Eye on the Frailty of our
Nature; consider'd, that all Prosecutions are troublesome, and often
very expensive; that most Men preferred their own Interest, their Ease
and Pleasure, to any Regard of the Publick; and therefore they provided
against our Passions with so much Severity. _Compounding of Felony_ is
not prohibited under a small Penalty, or attoned for by a little Fine;
it is next to Felony; and the most creditable Citizen, that is convicted
of it, ceases to be an honest Man.

The Offence in our Law is call'd THEFTBOTE; of which my Lord Chief
Justice _Coke_ says, "That it is an Offence beyond Misprision of Felony;
for that is only a bare Concealment of his bare Knowledge: But that it
is THEFTBOTE when the Owner not only knows of the Felony, but takes of
the Thief his Goods again, or Amends for the same to favour or maintain
him, that is, not to prosecute him, to the Intent he may escape. The
Punishment of THEFTBOTE is Ransom and Imprisonment." THEFTBOTE (as
described by Act of Parliament) _est emenda furti capta absque
consideratione curiæ domini regis_. Sir _Matthew Hale_, in his _Pleas of
the Crown_, says, "That THEFTBOTE is more than a bare Misprision of
Felony, and is, where the Owner doth not only know the Felony, but takes
his Goods again, or other Amends, not to prosecute."

This Rigour of the Legislature is a full Demonstration, that they
thought it a Crime of the most pernicious Consequence to the Society;
yet it is become familiar to us; and our Remissness in several Matters,
relating to Felons, is not to be parallell'd in any other civiliz'd
Nation. That Rogues should be industriously dispers'd throughout the
City and Suburbs; that different Hours and Stations should be observ'd
among them, and regular Books kept of stollen Goods; that the
Superintendent in this hopeful Oeconomy should almost every Sessions,
for a Reward, betray, prosecute, and hang one or more of this his
Acquaintance, and at the same Time keep on his Correspondence amongst
the Survivors, whom, one after another, he sends all to their Triangular
Home; that Magistrates should not only know and see this, but likewise
continue to make use of such a Person for an Evidence, and in a manner
own that they are beholden to him in the Administration of Justice;
That, I say, all these Things should be Facts, is something very
extraordinary, in the Principal City, and the Home Management of a
Kingdom, so formidable abroad, and of such Moment in the Balance of
_Europe_, as that of _Great Britain_.

The Mischief that one Man can do as a Thief, is a very Trifle to what he
may be the Occasion of, as an Agent or Concealer of Felons. The longer
this Practice continues, the more the Number of Rogues must hourly
encrease; and therefore it is high Time that regular Book-keeping of
stolen Goods should cease, and that all Gangs and Knots of Thieves
should be broke and destroy'd as much as is possible, at least, none of
them suffer'd to form themselves into Societies that are under
Discipline, and act by Order of a Superior. It is highly criminal in any
Man, for Lucre, to connive at a Piece of Felony which he could have
hinder'd: But a profess'd Thief-Catcher, above all, ought to be severely
punish'd, if it can be proved that he has suffer'd a known Rogue to go
on in his Villany, tho' but one Day, after it was in his Power to
apprehend and convict him, more especially if it appears that he was a
Sharer in the Profit.


    _Of the ill Consequences of_ THEFTBOTE, _and the Licentiousness of
    Felons in Newgate._

Often, when I have spoke against _Theftbote_, after the same manner as
now I have been writing, I have heard Men of Worth and good Sense come
into my Sentiments, who yet, after all, would tell me, That if I had
lost any Thing myself, they believ'd that I would be glad to have it
again with as little Cost and Trouble as I could. This I never denied,
and am still willing to own. We are all partial and unfit Judges in our
own Cause; but the most that can be made of this, is, That in that Case
neither I nor any Body else, that has had any Thing stolen from him,
ought to be consulted about the Matter: We are ill qualified, and
therefore incapable of determining any Thing rightly concerning it. I
have another Reason why this ought to be referred rather to those who
never lost any Thing by Thieves and Pilferers, than others who have been
Sufferers that Way: Rogues, it is true, have a thousand Stratagems, and
a Person may be very careful, and yet have his Pocket pick'd, if ever he
appears in the Street, or a Crowd: Yet, if we divide Mankind into two
Classes, that the one will be more exempt from those Misfortunes than
the other, is undeniable. A Man, who is always upon his Guard in the
Streets, and suspects all Crowds; that is temperate in his Liquor;
avoids, as much as is possible, unseasonable Hours; never gives Ear to
Night-walkers; a Man that abroad is always watchful over himself, and
every Thing about him, and at home takes Care of his Doors and Bolts,
his Shutters, Locks, and Bars; such a one, I say, is in less Danger than
others, who are unthinking, and never mind what Companies they thrust
themselves into; or such as will be drunk, go home late in the dark
unattended, and scruple not to talk and converse with lewd Women, as
they meet them; or that are careless of themselves as well as of the
securing and fastening of their Houses. It is evident then which Class
would yield the most proper Judges; whom if it was left to, I don't
question but the sober, careful, and wiser Part of the Nation would
agree, that the Practice in vogue, and Method made use of to recover
stolen Goods, even tho' there was no express Law against it, is, on many
Accounts, mischievous to the Publick, and visibly destructive to the
Interest of honest Property, and our Security in the Enjoyment of it.

There is no greater Encouragement for Men to follow any Labour or
Handicraft, than that they are paid as soon as they have done their
Work, without any further Trouble. It is from such a Consideration as
this, that to encrease the publick Security, the Law not only punishes
Stealing, but likewise makes it Felony, knowingly to buy stolen Goods;
and moreover perpetuates honest Property, and renders the Right of it
inalienable from the injured Owner, who seizes his Goods in what Hands
soever he finds them. These two additional Precautions are of admirable
Use in hampering common Villains, and strengthening the Law against
Theft. From the first, a Rogue, after he has made himself liable to be
hang'd, may be still disappointed, and miss his chief Aim; for as Money
is what he wants, if no Body will purchase what he offers, he is never
the nearer. The Second makes that he is never safe, tho' he is rid of
the Goods, and the Money in his Pocket; for tho' they are gone through
half a Dozen Hands, as soon as the Right Owner lays Claim to the Things
stole, every one is oblig'd to discover where he had them; and by this
Means it is seldom difficult to find out the Thief, or the Receiver of
stolen Goods. To leap these two Barriers, and free himself at once of
the Trouble there is in finding a safe Purchaser, and all Apprehensions
of future Danger, a Rogue could not wish or imagine any Thing more
effectual than that he might lodge what he has stole in the Hands of the
Owner himself, and so receive a Reward for his Pains, and, at the same
Time, a Pardon for his Crime, of him, whose Prosecution was the only
Thing he had to fear. It is evident then, that the friendly Commerce,
and amicable Negotiations, now in vogue, between Thieves and those that
are robb'd by them, are the greatest Encouragement of low Villany that
can be invented, and as sure a Way to keep up the Breed of Rogues, and
promote the Interest of them, as either our Fishery or the Coal Trade
are constant Nurseries for Sailors.

I am not ignorant, that in the present Conjuncture, as Cases might be
stated, it would be very harsh, and seem to be the Height of Injustice,
if we should hinder People from redeeming stolen Goods on all
Emergencies whatever. A Man may be vigilant and careful, and his
Servants the same, and yet, their Eyes being one Moment turn'd from the
Counter, a Shop-Book may be snatched, and carried off, perhaps, a Month
before _Christmas_. This may put a Tradesman of good Business in great
Distress: Must he lose it? I say, Yes, if the Publick is to be preferr'd
to a private Interest. In the mean time, I know very well what every
Body would do in that Case: But that the Whole suffers by the
Redemption, I prove thus: Let us say, that this Year twelve Shop-Books
are stole, that are all recover'd for two or three Guineas apiece got
for them, and no Body punish'd. You may expect that next Year you will
have forty or fifty stole, and in a few Years nothing will be more
common. And again, let us suppose that last Year an hundred Shop-Books
were stole; but, by vertue of some effectual Law for that Purpose, not
one redeemed. The Consequence, in all Probability, would be, that the
next Year you would hardly have ten Shop-Books stole; and if, thro' the
strict Observance of the Law, none of them likewise should be redeem'd,
you would hear no more of that Practice.

Besides, when a Man steals what is of no Value but to me, and can have
no other View than that I should redeem it, and be his Pay-Master
myself, the Felony becomes, in a manner, a compound Action, in which, as
soon as I comply, I join with the Thief: And if we consider that the
changing of Property from one Man to another, is seldom of any
Consequence to the Publick, and that all the Mischief that can befal it
from Theft, that is, the Loss of Goods that Way sustain'd by private
Persons, consists in this, That those who committed it, gain their
Point, and come off with Impunity, let who will be the Thief, or the
Receiver; if, I say, we consider these two Things, it will appear, that
in the Case I have mentioned, myself, who for my own Ends assisted the
Thief with Money, and secured him from Prosecution, had the greatest
Share in the Transaction, and consequently was, of the two, the most
injurious to the civil Society. Without me the Rogue would not only have
been disappointed, but likewise, whilst he continued in Possession of
the Thing stole, remained in the perpetual Dread of being prosecuted for
what he never had any Benefit from; and it is not probable that a Man
who had been twice so served, would ever make such another Attempt.

These Things well deserve the Consideration of wise Men, and I desire
the compassionate Part of Mankind to reflect on what daily Experience
teaches us of common Felons, and they will easily find out, that
unseasonable Pity may prove the greatest Cruelty. The oftner a young
Rogue steals with Impunity, the sooner he'll be a thorough-paced
Villain, that will venture on more hazardous Undertakings; and the more
numerous the Examples of such are, the more loose People will enter into
the Fraternity, of which, whether it be great or small, very few ever
arrive to a middle Age. Some are cunning enough never to be taken in a
Fact; but no Subtlety can save them from the Impeachment of others. A
licens'd Practitioner may be skreen'd and protected some Years, if he
sticks to Discipline, and pays the greatest Part of his Earnings for his
Security; but if he rides resty, and squabbles about the Contribution
required of him, he is in a dangerous Way. It is possible that a
dextrous Youth may be esteemed, and be a Favourite to the Superintendent
a great while; but when he grows very notorious, he is hunted like a
Deer, and the Premium on his Head betrays him. He may baffle his
Prosecutor, find a Flaw in an Indictment, elude the Force of an
Evidence, come off once or twice, be reprieved, break Goal, or be
pardoned, the Gallows will be his Portion at last. The Wretch that is
train'd up to stealing, is the Property of the Hangman: He can never
entirely leave off his Trade: Many, after Transportation, have, with
great Hazard of their Lives, found the Way back again to _Newgate_. A
Thief bred must be hang'd if he lives.

From all which appears, what I undertook to prove, That Remissness as to
Prosecutions, occasion'd by the bare-faced Compositions of Felony, is
one of the grand Causes of that lamentable Complaint, the Frequency of
Executions; and should we compare the Droves that are carried to
_Tyburn_ for Slaughter, with those others that are sent to _Smithfield_
for the same Purpose, we would find the modern Thief-Catcher subservient
to the Executioner in the same Manner, as the wealthy Grazier is to the
needy Butcher; and that of the Cattle in either Sense, few are kill'd by
the one that were never cherish'd by the other.

I am now come to the second Cause, which is the Treatment Felons receive
after they are taken, both in _Newgate_ and their Journey from thence to
the Gallows: First, It is wrong to suffer such Numbers of them to be and
converse together; for nothing but the utmost Corruption can be expected
from a Company of forty or fifty People in a Prison, who, every one of
them, singly consider'd, were all the worst of Thousands before they
met. Secondly, It is an Encouragement to Vice, that the most dissolute
of both Sexes, and generally young People too, should live promiscuously
in the same Place, and have Access to one another. For the rest, the
Licentiousness of the Place is abominable, and there are no low Jests
so filthy, no Maxims so destructive to good Manners, or Expressions so
vile and prophane, but what are utter'd there with Applause, and
repeated with Impunity. They eat and drink what they can purchase, every
Body has Admittance to them, and they are debarr'd from nothing but
going out. Their most serious Hours they spend in mock Tryals, and
instructing one another in cross Questions, to confound Witnesses; and
all the Stratagems and Evasions that can be of Service, to elude the
Charge that shall be made against them; or else in reading Lectures on
some Branch or other of their Profession, the various Arts and Methods
of Stealing, or the Glory, as well as Usefulness of invincible Impudence
on all offensive and defensive Emergencies. As villainous Pawn-brokers,
and all Receivers of stolen Goods, have good Reasons to be liberal to
those they have dealt with, when in this Distress, so no Felons are here
in Want, and reduced to the Allowance of the Prison, but Novices and
silly Creatures, that have the least deserved to be punish'd; whereas
the Veteran Rogues, and such as have been great Traders, are well
provided for. This keeps them up in Debauchery; and many, after
Condemnation, persist in their riotous Courses, and pampering their
Bodies, whilst the Care that is taken of their Souls is very mean. For
such is the Noise and Confusion all around them, that even the best
dispos'd have not sufficient Opportunities to prepare themselves for
another World; and the Helps they receive in Spirituals are, all Things
consider'd, no better than the Accounts we have of them after every


    _Of Execution Day, the Journey to _Tyburn_, and a Word in behalf of
    Anatomical Dissections._

When the Day of Execution is come, among extraordinary Sinners, and
Persons condemned for their Crimes, who have but that Morning to live,
one would expect a deep Sense of Sorrow, with all the Signs of a
thorough Contrition, and the utmost Concern; that either Silence, or a
sober Sadness, should prevail; and that all, who had any Business there,
should be grave and serious, and behave themselves, at least, with
common Decency, and a Deportment suitable to the Occasion. But the very
Reverse is true. The horrid Aspects of Turnkeys and Gaolers, in
Discontent and Hurry; the sharp and dreadful Looks of Rogues, that beg
in Irons, but would rob you with greater Satisfaction, if they could;
the Bellowings of half a dozen Names at a time, that are perpetually
made in the Enquiries after one another; the Variety of strong Voices,
that are heard, of howling in one Place, scolding and quarrelling in
another, and loud Laughter in a third; the substantial Breakfasts that
are made in the midst of all this; the Seas of Beer that are swill'd;
the never-ceasing Outcries for more; and the bawling Answers of the
Tapsters as continual; the Quantity and Varieties of more entoxicating
Liquors, that are swallow'd in every Part of _Newgate_; the Impudence,
and unseasonable Jests of those, who administer them; their black Hands,
and Nastiness all over; all these, joined together, are astonishing and
terrible, without mentioning the Oaths and Imprecations, that from every
Corner are echo'd a about, for Trifles; or the little, light, and
general Squallor of the Gaol itself, accompany'd with the melancholy
Noise of Fetters, differently sounding, according to their Weight: But
what is most shocking to a thinking Man, is, the Behaviour of the
Condemn'd, whom (for the greatest Part) you'll find, either drinking
madly, or uttering the vilest Ribaldry, and jeering others, that are
less impenitent; whilst the Ordinary bustles among them, and, shifting
from one to another, distributes Scraps of good Counsel to unattentive
Hearers; and near him, the Hangman, impatient to be gone, swears at
their Delays; and, as fast as he can, does his Part, in preparing them
for their Journey.

At last, out they set; and with them a Torrent of Mob bursts thorough
the Gate. Amongst the lower Rank, and working People, the idlest, and
such as are most fond of making Holidays, with Prentices and Journeymen
to the meanest Trades, are the most honourable Part of these floating
Multitudes. All the rest are worse. The Days being known before-hand,
they are a Summons to all Thieves and Pickpockets, of both Sexes, to
meet. Great Mobs are a Safeguard to one another, which makes these Days
Jubilees, on which old Offenders, and all who dare not shew their Heads
on any other, venture out of their Holes; and they resemble Free Marts,
where there is an Amnesty for all Outlaws. All the Way, from _Newgate_
to _Tyburn_, is one continued Fair, for Whores and Rogues of the meaner
Sort. Here the most abandon'd Rakehells may light on Women as shameless:
Here Trollops, all in Rags, may pick up Sweethearts of the same
Politeness: And there are none so lewd, so vile, or so indigent, of
either Sex, but at the Time and Place aforesaid, they may find a
Paramour. Where the Croud is the least, which, among the Itinerants, is
no where very thin, the Mob is the rudest; and here, jostling one
another, and kicking Dirt about, are the most innocent Pastimes. Now you
see a Man, without Provocation, push his Companion in the Kennel; and
two Minutes after, the Sufferer trip up the other's Heels, and the
first Aggressor lies rolling in the more solid Mire: And he is the
prettiest Fellow among them, who is the least shock'd at Nastiness, and
the most boisterous in his Sports. No modern Rabble can long subsist
without their darling Cordial, the grand Preservative of Sloth,
_Jeneva_, that infallible Antidote against Care and frugal Reflexion;
which, being repeated removes all Pain of sober Thought, and in a little
Time cures the tormenting Sense of the most pressing Necessities. The
Traders, who vent it among the Mob on these Occasions, are commonly the
worst of both Sexes, but most of them weather-beaten Fellows, that have
mis-spent their Youth. Here stands an old Sloven, in a Wig actually
putrify'd, squeez'd up in a Corner, and recommends a Dram of it to the
Goers-by: There another in Rags, with several Bottles in a Basket, stirs
about with it, where the Throng is the thinnest, and tears his Throat
with crying his Commodity; and further off, you may see the Head of a
third, who has ventur'd in the Middle of the Current, and minds his
Business, as he is fluctuating in the irregular Stream: Whilst higher
up, an old decrepit Woman sits dreaming with it on a Bulk; and over
against her, in a Soldier's Coat, her termagant Daughter sells the
Sots-Comfort with great Dispatch. The intelligible Sounds, that are
heard among them, are Oaths and vile Expressions, with Wishes of
Damnation at every other Word, pronounced promiscuously against
themselves, or those they speak to, without the least Alteration in the

As these undisciplined Armies have no particular Enemies to encounter,
but Cleanliness and good Manners, so nothing is more entertaining to
them, than the dead Carcasses of Dogs and Cats, or, for want of them,
Rags, and all Trompery that is capable of imbibing Dirt. These, well
trampled in Filth, and, if possible, of the worst sort, are, by the
Ringleaders, flung as high and as far as a strong Arm can carry them,
and commonly directed where the Throng is the thickest: Whilst these
ill-boding Meteors are shooting thro' the Air, the Joy and Satisfaction
of the Beholders is visible in every Countenance and Gesture; and more
audibly express'd by the great Shouts that accompany them in their
Course; and, as the Projectiles come nearer the Earth, are turn'd into
loud Laughter, which is more or less violent in Proportion to the
Mischief promis'd by the Fall. And to see a good Suit of Cloaths spoiled
by this Piece of Gallantry, is the tip-top of their Diversion, which
they seldom go home without enjoying: For tho' no People in their Senses
would venture among them on Foot, in any tolerable Dress, yet there are
young Rakes of Fortune, who care not what they lavish, or destroy: Of
these the maddest sort will often, after a Night's Debauch, mix with
Crowds, and thrust themselves in the midst of the most abominable
Rabble, where they seldom fail of meeting with such Adventures.

Tho' before setting out, the Prisoners took care to swallow what they
could, to be drunk, and stifle their Fear; yet the Courage that strong
Liquors can give, wears off, and the Way they have to go being
considerable, they are in Danger of recovering, and, without repeating
the Dose, Sobriety would often overtake them: For this Reason they must
drink as they go; and the Cart stops for that Purpose three or four, and
sometimes half a dozen Times, or more, before they come to their
Journey's End. These Halts always encrease the Numbers about the
Criminals; and more prodigiously, when they are very notorious Rogues.
The whole March, with every Incident of it, seems to be contrived on
Purpose, to take off and divert the Thoughts of the Condemned from the
only Thing that should employ them. Thousands are pressing to mind the
Looks of them. Their _quondam_ Companions, more eager than others, break
through all Obstacles to take Leave: And here you may see young
Villains, that are proud of being so, (if they knew any of the
Malefactors,) tear the Cloaths off their Backs, by squeezing and
creeping thro' the Legs of Men and Horses, to shake Hands with him; and
not to lose, before so much Company, the Reputation there is in having
had such a valuable Acquaintance. It is incredible what a Scene of
Confusion all this often makes, which yet grows worse near the Gallows;
and the violent Efforts of the most sturdy and resolute of the Mob on
one Side, and the potent Endeavours of rugged Goalers, and others, to
beat them off, on the other; the terrible Blows that are struck, the
Heads that are broke, the Pieces of swingeing Sticks, and Blood, that
fly about, the Men that are knock'd down and trampled upon, are beyond
Imagination, whilst the Dissonance of Voices, and the Variety of
Outcries, for different Reasons, that are heard there, together with the
Sound of more distant Noises, make such a Discord not to be parallel'd.
If we consider, besides all this, the mean Equipages of the Sheriffs
Officers, and the scrubby Horses that compose the Cavalcade, the
Irregularity of the March, and the Want of Order among all the
Attendants, we shall be forced to confess, that these Processions are
very void of that decent Solemnity that would be required to make them
awful. At the very Place of Execution, the most remarkable Scene is a
vast Multitude on Foot, intermixed with many Horsemen and
Hackney-Coaches, all very dirty, or else cover'd with Dust, that are
either abusing one another, or else staring at the Prisoners, among whom
there is commonly very little Devotion; and in that, which is practis'd
and dispatch'd there, of Course, there is as little good Sense as there
is Melody. It is possible that a Man of extraordinary Holiness, by
anticipating the Joys of Heaven, might embrace a violent Death in such
Raptures, as would dispose him to the singing of Psalms: But to require
this Exercise, or expect it promiscuously of every Wretch that comes to
be hang'd, is as wild and extravagant as the Performance of it is
commonly frightful and impertinent: Besides this, there is always at
that Place, such a mixture of Oddnesses and Hurry, that from what
passes, the best dispos'd Spectator seldom can pick out any thing that
is edifying or moving.

Here I must observe, that the Possibility of Pardons and Reprieves, that
often come very late, and which, with or without Grounds, most Criminals
continue to hope for, 'till they are hang'd, is another great Clog, that
keeps attach'd to the World those that are less abandon'd, and more
relenting than the Generality of them; and who, without that Hindrance,
would, in all Probability, prepare themselves for certain Death, which
overtakes many whilst they are still doubting of it. The Ordinary and
Executioner, having performed their different Duties, with small
Ceremony, and equal Concern, seem to be tired, and glad it is over.

The Tragedy being ended, the next Entertainment is a Squabble between
the Surgeons and the Mob, about the dead Bodies of the Malefactors that
are not to be hanged in Chains. They have suffer'd the Law, (cries the
Rabble,) and shall have no other Barbarities put upon them: We know what
you are, and will not leave them before we see them buried. If the
others are numerous, and resolute enough to persist in their Enterprize,
a Fray ensues: From whence I shall take an Opportunity of saying
something upon the Occasion of it. I have no Design that savours of
Cruelty, or even Indecency, towards a human Body; but shall endeavour to
demonstrate, that the superstitious Reverence of the Vulgar for a
Corpse, even of a Malefactor, and the strong Aversion they have against
dissecting them, are prejudicial to the Publick; For as Health and sound
Limbs are the most desirable of all Temporal Blessings, so we ought to
encourage the Improvement of Physick and Surgery, wherever it is in our
Power. The Knowledge of Anatomy is inseparable from the Studies of
either; and it is almost impossible for a Man to understand the Inside
of our Bodies, without having seen several of them skilfully dissected.
Kings and Princes are open'd, and have their Hearts and Bowels taken
out, and embalm'd. It is not then Ignominious, much less offensive to
the dead Body, which may be interred with as much Decency, after
Dissection, as if it never had been touch'd. But suppose that many of
our common Thieves were not to be buried at all, and some of them made
Skeletons; and that several Parts of others, variously prepared, should
be preserved for the Instruction of Students? What if it was a Disgrace
to the surviving Relations of those, who had Lectures read upon their
Bodies, and were made use of for Anatomical Preparations? The Dishonour
would seldom reach beyond the Scum of the People; and to be dissected,
can never be a greater Scandal than being hanged. The University of
_Leyden_ in _Holland_ have a Power given them by the Legislature to
demand, for this Purpose, the Bodies of ordinary Rogues executed within
that Province; but, with us, it is the general Complaint of all
Professors of Anatomy, that they can get none to dissect: Where then
shall we find a readier Supply; and what Degree of People are fitter for
it than those I have named? When Persons of no Possessions of their own,
that have slipp'd no Opportunity of wronging whomever they could, die
without Restitution, indebted to the Publick, ought not the injur'd
Publick to have a Title to, and the Disposal of, what the others have
left? And is any Thing more reasonable, than that they should enjoy that
Right, especially when they only make use of it for commendable
Purposes? What is done for the common Good, every Member of the Society
may, at one time or other, receive an Advantage from; and therefore
quarrelsome People, that love fighting, act very preposterously and
inconsistent with their Interest, when they venture to have their Bones
broke, for endeavouring to deprive Surgeons of the Means to understand
the Structure of them.


    _Of the wrong Judgments that are pass'd on the dying Behaviour of

Having finish'd the Picture I proposed to draw of modern Executions, and
the Crowds that usually attend them, I shall make some Remarks on the
Judgments that are commonly passed on the dying Behaviour of our
ordinary Felons. In a rich and potent Kingdom, where worldly Glory is
not in Contempt, and to think meanly of our selves seldom taught by
Example, whatever it may be by Precept, nothing is counted more
provoking, or less to be born with Patience, than to be called a Coward.
The vilest Rogues, and most despicable Villains, may own a thousand
Crimes, and often brag of the most abominable Actions; but there is
scarce one, who will confess that he has no Courage. Our general Esteem
for Valour, which is demonstrable from what I have said, as it is of
great Use to a warlike Nation, is very commendable; and Fortitude ought
ever to keep its Place amongst the Cardinal Virtues: But the Notions
which the Vulgar have of Courage, as well as Honour and Shame, are full
of dangerous Errors. Compliments, as well as Reproaches, when ill
applied, are often the Causes of great Mischief; and I am persuaded,
that the Perverseness of Opinion now reigning amongst us, both in
applauding and discommending the Conduct of Criminals in their last
Hours, is an accessary Evil, that very much contributes to what is the
Subject of our grand Complaint, the Frequency of Executions. To explain
my self on this Matter in the clearest Manner I am able, I beg leave to
begin with it from the Bottom.

In all living Creatures, that fall under our Senses, we perceive an
Instinct of Self-Preservation; and the more sensible they are, the
greater Aversion they discover to the Dissolution of their Being. Man,
the most perfect of them, sets an inestimable Value on Life, and knows
no Fear equal to the Horror he has against Death. This is to be
understood only of Man, in the State of Nature, before he has made
Reflections on himself, and what he sees of the Creation; but when,
after that his Reason demonstrates to him that there must have been a
first Cause; that the World is govern'd by an intelligent Being; that
himself, a Compound of Soul and Body, is indebted to that Being for all
he enjoys, and that there is a strong Probability of a Life after this:
When, moreover, he considers himself as incorporated in a Community of
vast Numbers, that all together make one Body politick, the Welfare of
which he finds universally esteemed, as a Concern superior to all
others: When, I say, he finds and reflects on all this, he plainly sees,
that the Fear of Death, must, on many Accounts, be prejudicial to the
publick Good and common Security, in which he has a Share. It is a
Virtue then to conquer it; and if we inspect into the early OEconomy of
all Nations, we shall find, that the most powerful Motives made use of
to induce Man to lessen this Fear, and moderate the Fondness which
Nature has given us of Life, had their Origin from Religion, or a
publick Spirit; that is, in other Words, from a Representation of his
Duty either to God or his Country. Thus holy Martyrs have suffer'd with
Fortitude for their Faith, and, in Confidence of eternal Happiness,
hasten'd to Death with Alacrity, and even rejoiced in the Midst of
Flames. And thus there have been valiant Men, in all Ages, that have
exposed themselves to the greatest Hazards, in Defence of their Laws and
Liberties, and, animated by a zealous Love for their Country, sacrific'd
their Lives to the publick Welfare. As Men of this Sort have every
where deservedly gained the general Applause, and the Virtue they are
possess'd of has been honoured by the Name of Courage; so, on the
contrary, the Fearful and Pusillanimous, that ever prefer their own
Safety to all other Considerations, and are therefore never to be relied
upon, are as justly despis'd, and the ignominious Word, by which we
reproach the Vice that enslaves them, is Cowardice.

From what has been said it is evident, that the original Reason why
Courage is generally esteemed, is, because it is taken for granted, that
both the Principle we act from, and the End we labour for in conquering
our Fears, are praise-worthy, and have a visible Tendency, either to the
Good of others, or our own spiritual Felicity. Nothing, therefore, is
more unjust, than that we should continue our Esteem for Valour when it
degenerates, and both the Motive Men set out with, and the Scope they
aim at, are palpably destructive. Anger, Pride, Envy, and several other
Passions, are capable of subduing Fear. But, as these Principles are
evil in themselves, so it is impossible that the End to be obtain'd by
them should be commendable. What perverse and miserable Judges are we
then, that applaud a Person's Intrepidity in fighting a Duel, when in
the Act itself, we see him willfully violate the Laws of God and Man?
But should human Honour here break in upon me, and my Reasoning, how
right soever, be overpower'd by the irresistable Clamour of the
fashionable World, what can be said for the senseless Intimidity of a
vulgar Rogue, who not only professes an utter Disregard to Honour and
Conscience, but has likewise, at his first Setting out, as a Preliminary
to his Business, disclaim'd all Pretences to common Honesty? Why should
we delight in the Intrepidity, tho' it was real, of a Villain in his
Impiety? Why should Christians be pleased to see a great Sinner give up
his Ghost impenitent; or imagine that he dies bravely, because he bids
Defiance to Heaven, and boldly plunges himself into an Abyss of eternal
Misery? Yet nothing is more common amongst us: And the further a Man is
removed from Repentance, nay, the more void he seems to be of all
Religion, and the less Concern he discovers for Futurity, the more he is
admired by our sprightly People: Whereas, he who shews but the least
Sorrow for his Sins, or, by his Tears, or Dismality of Gestures, lets us
know that he is under Apprehensions of the divine Wrath, is a weak silly
Creature, not worth looking at: And he only, in the Opinion of many,
dies like a Man, who, in reality, goes off most like a Brute. But some
of my Readers, perhaps, will have nothing to do with Christianity.
Suppose, then, we lay by that Consideration; I grant, that to subdue
the Terrors of Death is a manifest Token of Intrepidity, and promise to
pay Homage to true Courage wheresoever I can meet with it; only let us
not be imposed upon, but try the Valour of this undaunted Hero, whether
it be genuine. No Man can conquer the Fear of Death, but by something
superior to it: What is the Power that supports him in the Conflict, and
what Principle does he act from? It is not his Innocence, for his Guilt
is publick, and his Crimes are proved upon him. It is not Zeal for
Religion, nor the Love of his Country: He pretends to neither. Yet it
must be some mighty Principle of vast Force and Efficacy; for if he acts
consistently, he despises not only Death, but the Wrath of Omnipotence,
and a Punishment just at Hand, that shall be everlasting. Will you say
that he firmly believes that there is no God, nor Life after this, and
that Man is wholly mortal? Suppose it; that's no Support against Death
itself: But look narrowly into him, and you will alter your Opinion,
even as to that. The Enthusiasm of Atheists has other Symptoms;
deplorable as it is, the Appearance of it is more sedate, and they make
some Pretences to Reasoning: But what Probability is there, that a poor
Rascal, who was brought up in Ignorance, and perhaps cannot read, one
who never troubled his Head with thinking, much less with thinking on
abstruse Matters, and Metaphysicks, should so far lose himself in the
Mazes of Philosophy, as to become a speculative Atheist.

Since, then, we can find no Principle from which it is possible a common
Villain should derive his Undauntedness, it is evident that what we see
is spurious, and the Bravery we admire only counterfeited, and false at
Bottom. The Terror of Death inwardly excruciates him; But his Fear of
shewing this, of being called a Coward, and laugh'd at by his
Companions, has some Command over his outward Appearance; therefore,
(not to be found out,) sometimes he swears or scoffs at Religion; at
others he mixes forc'd Laughter with the vilest Language, and trys all
the Strength of Brutality to keep down a struggling Conscience, and
appear more atheistical and obdurate than, to his Sorrow, he feels
himself to be. But his Impudence would soon fail him, and his
inexhaustible Stock be but a weak Match for the Agonies he suffers, if
he took not Refuge in strong Liquors. These are his only Support, and
Drunkenness the Cause of his Intrepidity. Should I be told, that in many
of them no Signs are seen either of Fear or Ebriety, it would be of no
Force against my Assertion: As great Fear sinks, so hard Drinking raises
the Spirits: They are two Enemies, that, when equally match'd, may, by
mutual Conflict, easily disarm and hinder the Operations or each other.
Let a curious Observer mind the continual Changes of the Prisoner's
unsettled Behaviour, the wild Manner of his Actions, and, above all, the
greedy Haste, with which he throws down every Thing potable and
intoxicating, and he will soon perceive that our Sham-Hero drinks
neither with Comfort, nor for Pleasure, and seems to expect no other
Benefit from it, than that it may take away his Senses, and hinder him
from thinking. Are not they fine Judges, who are imposed upon by such
pusillanimous Wretches, that are so far from having conquer'd the Fear
of Death, that they go out of the World without having ever dared one
Moment soberly to think of it; and of whom it can only be said, that
they died hard and unmov'd, because they were senseless, and with the
Courage of a Stone suffer'd themselves, without Thought, to drop into

The Mischief that these Patterns of Impenitence, together with the
Applause that is given them, must produce in a vast and opulent City,
will appear from the following Consideration. It is necessary to the
publick Peace and Security, that Burglary, Robbing in the Streets, or on
the Highway, and all those Crimes where Violence is mix'd with
Injustice, should be capitally punish'd: But considering on the one
hand, how much more prone Men are to Ease and Pleasure, than they are to
Industry and Labour; and, on the other, the Generality of human Wants,
and the unequal Distributions of Fortune to supply them, it must be
acknowledg'd, that where Men are without Shame and Education, and
consequently not affected with the Ties either of Honour or Religion,
Poverty itself is a strong Temptation to Thieving, when Opportunities
offer. The greatest Charity, therefore, and Compassion we can shew to
our Fellow-Creatures, is an extraordinary Severity, and never-ceasing
Watchfulness in a Government against the first Approaches of Dishonesty.
It is with this View that the Provision of the Legislature, that such
Offenders should be punish'd with Death, is to be vindicated; tho' the
Punishment is greater than the Laws, framed by God himself for the
_Jewish_ Commonwealth, inflicted; or what natural Justice, proportioning
the Punishment to the Crime, seems to require: For it is not the Death
of those poor Souls that is chiefly aim'd at in Executions, but the
Terror we would have it strike in others of the same loose Principles:
And, for the same Reason, these Executions are little better than
Barbarity, and sporting away the Lives of the indigent Vulgar, if those
valuable Sacrifices we are obliged to make to the publick Safety, are
render'd insignificant. If no Remedy can be found for these Evils, it
would be better that Malefactors should be put to Death in private; for
our publick Executions are become Decoys, that draw in the Necessitous,
and, in effect, as cruel as frequent Pardons; instead of giving Warning,
they are examplary the wrong Way, and encourage where they should deter.
The small Concern, and seeming Indolence of the Condemn'd, harden the
Profligates that behold them, and confirm to them, by ocular
Demonstration, what they encourage one another with in viler Language,
(low, as it is, permit me to mention it,) _That there is nothing in
being hang'd, but awry Neck, and a wet pair of Breeches._


    _Of Regulations concerning_ FELONS _in Prison, and the good Effects
    to be expected from them._

What has been said in the foregoing Chapters, in relation to common
_Felons_, has pointed at the evil Customs, Mismanagements, and perverse
Opinions, that prevail amongst us. I shall now conclude what I proposed
to publish on this Subject with offering some Proposals towards a better
Usage of them in Prison; and the good Effect such Alterations, in all
Probability, would produce. All which, without Arrogance or Presumption,
I submit to better Judgment.

_First_, I would have every one of the Malefactors lock'd up by himself;
and they should never be suffer'd to converse together. It would not be
a very great Expence (where Chimneys, convenient Windows, Order, and
Beauty would be out of the Question:) to build an hundred small Rooms,
perhaps, of twelve Foot Square, that would be strong, beyond the
Possibility of being forced by naked Hands; and, to prevent all Hopes of
breaking Goal, I would have it a Custom made, to search, suspected or
not, all Prisoners, and the Places they are in, every Night before
Bed-time. The Rooms I speak of, I would rather have obscure, than
otherwise; and the small Light they had, far beyond Reach. They, should
all have such Conveniences, that those, who were shut up in them,
should, during their Stay, have no Occasion to stir out of them on any
Account. Thus we might secure Prisoners, without galling them with
Irons, before we are sure that they deserve to be punish'd at all.

_Secondly_, I would have a Law made, to fix a certain number of Days,
after which the Condemned should not have the Benefit of Pardons or
Reprieves, tho' they might be obtain'd. This Time elaps'd, they should
have one Day to bid farewell to Friends and Relations: After which, they
should have three times four and twenty Hours allow'd them, for no other
Purpose, than to make their Peace with Heaven, and prepare themselves
for Death. During this time, they should be inaccessible to all but a
sober Keeper, to take Care of them, and a Clergyman, to assist them in
Spirituals. And here I beg leave to observe, that Men of Reputation, who
live in Credit, and by their Learning, or exemplary Lives, have acquired
the Publick Esteem, are fitter for this Task, than others of small
Parts, and no Repute; that, labouring under narrow Circumstances, for a
poor Salary, and some miserable Perquisites, take upon them this weighty
Province, as a Livelihood and Business, to be constantly follow'd. The
more Respect and Reverence are paid to Divines, and the higher their
Dignity is, the greater Opportunity they have of making themselves
serviceable in every Branch of their Function, but more especially that
Part of it now under Consideration. In other Protestant Countries,
beyond Sea, the Ministers of the National Church perform this Office,
either by Turns, or as the Criminal, and sometimes the Magistrate,
desire it. In most Employments Use makes Perfectness, but here it
incapacitates: and was a Man, even of the greatest Prudence and
Watchfulness over himself, always to converse with Rogues, and do
nothing else but instruct and attend Malefactors in their last Hours,
the very Habit he would contract from it, would spoil him for that
Purpose: And it is impossible, but constant Practice wou'd, in a little
Time, wear out, or at least take off the greatest Part of that
Earnestness and Concern, which ought to be inseparable from the Charge I
speak of.

The greater Provision we made for the Souls and future Happiness of
these short-liv'd Sinners, the less Indulgence we should have for their
Bodies and sensual Appetites: And I would have it strictly observed,
that from the Moment their Death was fixed, 'till their Execution, they
should receive nothing for Sustenance but Bread and Water; and of either
what they would. I would, moreover, have it enacted, That every Year a
certain number of dead Bodies, not under six, should be allowed to
Physicians and Surgeons, for Anatomical Uses, not to be made choice of
till after Death, in such a Manner, that no Felon could be sure this
would not be his Lot.

If they should complain, that the miserable Diet they were confined to,
was a Severity that disturbed their Thoughts, and hinder'd their
Devotion, it would be a Sign, that their Minds were not yet turned the
right Way: But this Grievance, a short Time and Necessity will never
fail to cure. The harsher that Article may seem, the more Efficacy it
would be of, in deterring Rogues from Mischief: For I do not doubt but
most of them would look upon the wholsome Regulations in Prison here
mentioned, as the most considerable Part of the Punishment they were to
suffer; though, I confess, that what I have in View by this low Diet,
chiefly regards the eternal Welfare of those unhappy People, as it
would be instrumental to an early Repentance. When, free from Fumes of
Food, and all intoxicating Comforts, the serious Thoughts of a Criminal
shall be obliged to dwell upon his wretched Self, and behold the
Prospect of a future State so near, so certainly to come, the loosest
and most abandon'd will be brought to Reason. Death being unavoidable,
and nothing upon Earth to save him, Self-defence will make him turn his
Eyes elsewhere: His continued Abstinence will help to clear his
Understanding; then searching after Truth, he will be soon convinced of
the Folly and Weakness of those Arguments, by which he had been used to
harden his Conscience, keep out Remorse, and fortify his Steadiness in

When a Man thus wean'd from the World, and all the Hopes of Life, should
be drawn forth from his dark and solitary Dungeon, once more enjoy the
open Air, and see himself exposed to gazing Multitudes, there met on
purpose to feed their Curiosity at his Expence; when the Paleness of his
Countenance, and the Shaking of every Limb, should, without Disguise,
reveal the Motions of his Heart; and his Spirits neither confounded, nor
buoy'd up by inebriating Liquors, should discover their real Condition
and Incapacity to uphold their trembling Tenement; the Spectacle would
be awful, and strike the Hearts of the Beholders: When seated on the
ignominious Cart, by his restless Posture, the Distortion of his
Features, and the continual wringing of his Hands, he should disclose
his Woe within, and the utmost depth of Sorrow: When we should hear his
shrill Cries and sad Complaints interrupted with bitter Sobs and anxious
Groans, and now and then, at sudden Starts, see Floods of Tears gushing
from his distracted Eyes, how thoroughly would the Concurrence of so
many strong Evidences convince us of the Pangs, the amazing Horror, and
unspeakable Agonies of his excruciated Soul!

Common Stubbornness and Stupidity could not be Proof against all this;
and the Licentious Rabble of both Sexes, that make now the most
considerable part of those dismal Processions, would not attend in such
tumultuous Crowds. Few Profligates would be able to stand the Shock of
Sounds and Actions so really tragical: Many would run away for fear of
rouzing the Lion kept chain'd within, and waking a guilty Conscience
from the Lethargy they have thrown it in with so much Labour. They would
not follow long to behold a Scene so little to their Purpose; and
whatever Multitudes of them might set out with these Penitents, they
would drop off, and dwindle away by Degrees; even the most obdurate
would sicken at such a Sight, and turning from it to less displeasing
Objects, seek after more suitable Diversions. The Absence of so many
Rake-hells, that only take delight in Mischief, would render these
Tragedies more solemn, and, at the same Time, make room for Spectators
of a better Sort, and lesser Sinners, on whom, in all Probability, they
would have a more desirable Effect. It is not to be express'd, what
lasting and useful Impressions such Shews would make: Many that are
conscious of their Frailty, and the small Power they have of conquering
their Passions, would take an Opportunity from them of adoring the
divine Mercy, for having preserved them hitherto from falling into such
Crimes; even the Voluptuous, that in the Enjoyment of Youth and Vigour,
are enamour'd with Life for the sake of Pleasure, would be startled at
them, and thank God that this was not their Case; and several by the
Fear of Death only, become more serious and reflecting.

Thus much we should gain, at least, in Behalf of Religion, from every
Execution, even of the most sorry Felons, who, void of Sense and
Goodness, only grieve because they are to die, and go they know not
where: But it is more than probable, that some of them would become good
Christians, and make exemplary Ends. When the Condemn'd should, in every
Respect, receive the Treatment I have requir'd, and by this Means,
undisturb'd by earthly Cares, have Leisure, in sober Sadness, to review
their past Life, and examine into the Multitude, as well as Enormity of
their Offences; then, after thorough Contrition, and an open Confession
in Behalf of Justice, animated by Faith, betake to constant Prayer; we
ought to believe that thus exerting themselves in the Work of Salvation,
by the good Guidance of able Divines, and their own unwearied
Endeavours, many of them would find Favour in the Sight of the Almighty;
and that several, even as they went to Death, would be regenerated, and
comforted from above with a strong Assurance of Forgiveness. What a
visible Alteration would it not make in them, when they should perceive
their Spirits, that the Moment before were overwhelm'd with Grief, or
fill'd with black Despair, cherish'd and enlighten'd by the powerful
Beams of heavenly Grace and Clemency: Transported with the Prospect of
approaching Bliss they then would wish to die, and rejoice that they
should be made Examples to frighten Evil-doers from their Ways.

But when they should consider, what Acts of Devotion and unfeigned
Piety, what Works of superlative Charity would be necessary, if they
were to live, to atone for the heinous Crimes and manifold
Transgressions they had been guilty of against God and their Neighbour,
how would it rouze their Souls, and how eager would it not render them,
in the most profitable Manner, to spend the small Remains of Life!
Sometimes they would deter the wicked and in the same Breath solicite
Heaven for their Conversion: At others, reasoning from the Changes they
had experienced within, they would combat Impiety with Vehemence, and
conjure Unbelievers no longer to doubt of an everlasting Futurity: They
would paint to them, in the strongest Colours, the Horrors they had felt
from an accusing Conscience, and the Abyss of Misery they had been
plunged in, whilst yet labouring under the dire Reflection on eternal
Vengeance; And thus, mixing fervent Prayers with strenuous Exhortation,
they would employ the few Moments, that were left them, in Exercises
intirely spiritual and holy.

How such Conversions would affect the Minds of all that saw or heard
them, cannot be better imagin'd than by examining our selves. When we
had seen an half-starv'd Wretch, that look'd like Death, come shivering
from his Prison, and hardly able to speak or stand, get with Difficulty
on the slow uncomfortable Carriage; where, at the first Rumbling of it,
he should begin to weep, and as he went, dissolve in Tears, and lose
himself in incoherent Lamentations, it would move us to Compassion. But
with what Astonishment would it not fill us, to behold the same
Creature, near the fatal Tree, become lively, glow with Zeal, and, in
Strength of Voice and Action, excell the most vigorous Preachers! All
this we might expect; and that those of Wit and Genius, as certainly
there are among them, would often light on new and convincing Arguments
to warn the Sinner: Nay, some of them prove stupendious Orators, that
would not only spread Amazement all around them, but likewise find
uncommon Ways to reach the Heart with Violence, and force Repentance on
their Hearers. It is Stupidity to doubt the vast Use such Executions
would be of, to compass Happiness both here and hereafter; and should we
regard the first only, it would be no Exaggeration to assert, that one
of them would be more serviceable to the Peace and Security of this
immense City, than a thousand of those that are now so frequent among


    _Of_ TRANSPORTATION: _And a Method to render that Punishment more

When I concluded the last, I thought not to have tired the Reader any
longer with the Subject of Malefactors: But it has been remonstated to
me since, that what I had wrote, would seem very defective, and this
Treatise be, in reality, imperfect, if I said nothing of Transportation;
which, for some Years last past, on many Occasions, has been
substituted, and inflicted in the room of capital Punishment; and
having, at the same Time, been furnish'd with a Hint concerning this
Affair, that may be of admirable Use, I cannot forbear imparting it to
the Publick. There is no doubt but the Design of Transporting Felons,
instead of hanging them, when their Crimes were not very enormous, was
just and commendable, and it was reasonable to expect that it would have
proved a powerful Remedy against the grand Evil I have all along
complain'd of, and which has been so often repeated. But our subtle
Criminals have found out Means hitherto to render it ineffectual: Some
have made their Escape in the Voyage itself; others, condemn'd to this
Punishment, never have been put on board; several have reach'd the
Plantations, but been return'd again by the first Shipping, and great
Numbers have been come back before half their Time was expir'd. Those
that are forced to stay, do very little Service themselves, and spoil
the other Slaves, teaching the _Africans_ more Villany and Mischief than
ever they could have learn'd without the Examples and Instructions of
such _Europeans_. We have loud Complaints from all the Islands, that we
send such Numbers, and they know not what to do with them. As they come
from _England_, and are to serve _English_ Men, their Colour, as well as
Country and Language, plead for them; and the Masters that complain of
them, are to blame themselves for treating them with less Severity than
they do the innocent, as well as unfortunate Blacks, and more remisly
than they ought, if they consider'd that these Country Men of theirs are
sent thither on purpose to work, and are condemn'd to Hard Labour, as a
Punishment for their Crimes. The mild Usage our Felons receive beyond
Sea, and the many Examples of such as come back before their Time, with
Impunity, have quite destroy'd the End which Transportation was design'd
for. The Criminals have no dread against it, remain as they were
themselves, and do no Service to others.

To redress this, there is an Expedient that may immediately be put
into practice, and is, to my thinking, every way unexceptionable;
for it would effectually prevent the returning of the Felons,
make them serviceable in the most extraordinary Manner, and,
at the same Time, be terrible beyond Expression. The Use I would put
them to is, the Redemption of Slaves, that in _Morocco_, as well as
_Tunis_, _Algiers_, and other Places on the Coast of _Barbary_, groan
under a miserable Servitude. Should it be objected, that such abandon'd
People would turn Mahometans, and our selves become accessary to their
eternal Ruin, I would ask what Surety we had for those that were there
already. Amongst our Seafaring Men, the Practice of Piety is very
scarce: Abundance of them lead very bad Lives, who yet, as to the Love
of their Country, and the _Meum & Tuum_, are very honest Fellows. There
are not many that are well grounded in the Principles of their Religion,
or would be capable of maintaining it against an Adversary of the least
Ability; and we are not certain, that under great Temptations, they
would remain stedfast to the Christian Faith. The Danger then of
Apostacy being the same in both, we must be manifestly the Gainers, when
we change lazy cowardly Thieves, and incorrigible Rogues for brave,
laborious, and useful People. It would be no difficult Matter to enter
into Negotiations with the several Powers of _Barbary_ for this Purpose;
neither is it reasonable to imagine, that they would scruple to take our
Felons on account of the bad Lives they had led, or refuse any for their
Impudence, Wickedness, or Aversion to Labour. They consider and manage
their Slaves as we do our Cattle; and it is their Age, their Health, the
Soundness of their Limbs, and their Strength, they examine into, with
little Regard to their Temper or their Morals: They are ever watchful
over them, without trusting to their Honesty, or expecting any voluntary
Obedience from them. If bought Servants are able, Masters there have
sure Ways to make them work. They laugh at Stubborness and refractory
Spirits, and their steady Severity is a sovereign Remedy against Sloth,
and all other Failings of the Will: From all which it is highly
probable, that a Barbarian would be glad to change an elderly honest
Man, pretty well worn, and above Fifty, for a sturdy House-breaker of
Five and twenty: And as to those that might be pretty equal, as to Years
and Abilities, what if we should give them three for two, or two for
one? I am sure we could be no Losers. Those likewise that are known to
be in Quality superior to common Sailors, might be redeem'd by still a
greater Number of Felons; or, at the worst, they could be no Sufferers
by the Exchanges of the others.

What I am speaking of, I confess would be a very severe Punishment for
Felony; but I cannot imagine, how we can think on the Rigour of it,
without reflecting, at the same Time, on the Inhumanity we are guilty of
in the small Concern we often shew, for many Years, for the Captivity of
those who have deserv'd no Punishment at all. The greater the Calamities
are of that cruel Bondage, the more reasonable it is, that the Guilty
should suffer it rather than the Innocent. It is unpardonable not to
deliver from the Yoke of Infidels, when it is in our Power, our Fellow
Subjects, whom we have no Complaint against. When sufficient Sums cannot
be rais'd to redeem them with Money, what should hinder us from doing it
at the Expence of Miscreants, whom it is Injustice not to punish, and
who, out of Chains, cannot be otherwise than noxious to the Publick? If
this be duly weigh'd, I doubt not, but what, at first, seems to be the
greatest Objection to this Proposal, would, on further Reflection, be
found an unanswerable Argument why we should embrace it. There would
likewise be room always, with fresh Supplies of Felons, to release
those, who might be cured, or, at least, thought to have been
sufficiently punish'd; and, to prevent all Tricks and Escapes, this
Service might be perform'd by Men of War instead of Merchant Men, or
Transports. This effectual Manner of Transportation, as Felons are
treated, and Things are managed now, would be more dreadful than
hanging, whilst it was only talk'd of; but when it came to the Push, and
Criminals came near, and under the Gallows, there would be very few, if
they were sober enough to think at all, that, before the Cart drove
away, would not change their Minds, put off the evil Hour if they could,
and chuse Slavery, or any Thing else, to avoid immediate Death. But
then, if the Regulations I have offer'd in the foregoing Chapter
were likewise to be put in Practice, the forc'd Abstinence, and
unavoidable Sobriety in Prison, with the other Preparations before
Detail, and the Journey from _Newgate_ to _Tyburn_, without Hopes
of Pardon or Reprieve, would strike great Terror even at a Distance; by
which Means, the Thoughts of either would be insupportable, and there
would be no great Purchase in the Choice. The Horror loose People would
conceive against such Proceedings, would be of inestimable Consequence
to the Nation, and Thousands that are yet unborn would, deterr'd by the
Rigour of those Laws, turn their Hands to honest Labour, and die in
their Beds in their own Country, that without them, and Things remaining
as they are, will either be hanged, or transported long before the End
of this Century. But if what I propose should not lessen the Number of
Felons so much as ought to be expected, it would clear us at least from
the Blame of not having endeavoured it; and from Transportation we
should have the Satisfaction, that the Kingdom would not lose so many
Inhabitants by it as it does now, though the same Numbers were sent
abroad. But, what is infinitely more valuable, that Punishment likewise
would rid without Slaughter, or Probability of Return, the Country of
the Vermin of Society, that, perpetually nibbling at our Property,
destroy the Comforts of secure and undisturb'd Possession, at the same
Time that it would furnish us with an Opportunity of performing the most
charitable Action in the World; for such I will not scruple to call the
redeeming and restoring to their Friends, without their Cost,
industrious Mariners, that lost their Liberties, and became Sufferers
in an honest Calling, and were led into dreadful Captivity by Infidels,
whilst, in promoting the Interest of Commerce and Navigation, they were
labouring for the Safety, the Wealth, and Glory of their Country.

I shall be told by some of my Readers, that they are ready to contribute
to the Redemption of unfortunate Captives with their Purses; but that
among Christians, free-born Subjects ought never to be made Slaves for
any Reason, or at any Rate whatever. But this is a Singularity peculiar
to _Englishmen_, more built on an Excess of Good-nature, than any sound
Reason. _France_ and _Spain_ make use of Malefactors in their Gallies,
and the _Hugonots_ of the first would never have complained of that
Punishment, had it never been inflicted on any but Thieves and Villains.
But these are _Roman_ Catholick Countries, and arbitrary Kingdoms: Of
_Holland_ you can say neither, and yet the great Cities of it have all
Work-houses for Criminals. At _Amsterdam_ there is one, where Felons are
kept constantly employ'd in rasping of _Brasil_ Wood: To earn at this as
much as they spend is not to be done without excessive Labour, though
they fare as hard as they work; yet they are obliged to get more than
their Maintenance costs considerably. They have a Task set them, which
if they do not perform, the Neglect of their Hands is reveng'd on their
Bellies; and they are stinted in their Allowance in Proportion to the
Deficiency. In this Place a very strict Hand is kept over them; no
Offences are left unpunished, and they are often drubb'd even for ill
Language. The Periods of Time, for which Felons are condemned to this
Rasp-house, are vastly different, according as their great Crimes, or
slighter Trespasses deserve this Tuition, and themselves are young or
old Offenders, and judged to be more or less incorrigible, from six
Weeks to ninety nine Years. These are not called Slaves; but such is
their Abode, their Diet, and their Discipline, that of those who were to
be confined there for any considerable Number of Years, I don't believe
there ever was one who would not have thought it a glorious Preferment,
if, instead of it, he might have taken his Chance, and been sold for a
Slave in _Turky_.

We have, I own, no open Enemies in _Africk_ more than any where else at
present; and our most gracious Sovereign has, by his Clemency and
powerful Influence over the Emperor of _Morocco_, procured Liberty to
those of his Subjects that had been taken in _English_ Ships: But it is
wrong from thence to infer, that there are no Slaves in _Turky_ of the
_British_ Nation.

Among those that are brought up to the Sea, there are many, that, by
several Accidents, are left ashore in Foreign Parts, and are
necessitated to enter themselves on any Ships they can meet with. If
this be done in Time of Peace, and when they are not summoned to serve
their own Country, they are guilty of no Fault. But as all Mariners, as
well as Soldiers, share the Fate of those on whose Side they engage, so
many of our Sailors are Slaves in _Turky_, that were taken in _French_,
_Dutch_, and other Ships, and are consequently not reclaimable by any
Treaty made with _Great Britain_. Tho' these might not deserve the same
Regard altogether with those that were taken in Ships of the _British_
Nation; yet, as they are our Countrymen, and have committed no Crime,
their Redemption ought not to be deferred one Moment, if they might be
had in Exchange for others, whom we have judged not worthy to live
amongst us. Besides, as we are at Peace now with all those Rovers, so
half a Year hence, some or other of them may fall out with us; their
Friendship is not much to be depended upon: Let the Provision but be
made, and Felons kept at hard Labour, and under strict Discipline at
home, till they are wanted abroad, and we shall find, that the
Institution it self, the very Name of it, will be of vast Use, before
the Thing itself is put into Practice.



[Footnote 9: _This was wrote some Months before_ Jonathan Wild _was


_Publications in Print_


     16. Nevil Payne's _Fatal Jealousy_ (1673).

     17. Nicholas Rowe's _Some Account of the Life of Mr. William
     Shakespeare_ (1709).

     18. "Of Genius," in _The Occasional Paper_, Vol. III, No. 10
     (1719); and Aaron Hill's Preface to _The Creation_ (1720).


     22. Samuel Johnson's _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ (1749) and _Two
     Rambler_ papers (1750).

     23. John Dryden's _His Majesties Declaration Defended_ (1681).


     26. Charles Macklin's _The Man of the World_ (1792).


     31. Thomas Gray's _An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard_ (1751);
     and _The Eton College Manuscript_.


     41. Bernard Mandeville's _A Letter to Dion_ (1732).


     45. John Robert Scott's _Dissertation on the Progress of the Fine
     Arts_. (1800).


     49. Two St. Cecilia's Day Sermons (1696-1697).

     51. Lewis Maidwell's _An Essay upon the Necessity and Excellency of
     Education_ (1705).

     52. Pappity Stampoy's _A Collection of Scotch Proverbs_ (1663).


     75. John Joyne, _A Journal_ (1679)

     76. André Dacier, _Preface to Aristotle's Art of Poetry_ (1705).


     80. [P. Whalley's] _An Essay on the Manner of Writing History_

     83. _Sawney and Colley (1742) and other Pope Pamphlets._

     84. Richard Savage's _An Author to be lett_ (1729).


     85-86. _Essays on the Theatre from Eighteenth-Century Periodicals._

     87. Daniel Defoe, _Of Captain Mission and his Crew_ (1728).

     90. Henry Needler, _Works_ (1728).


     93. John Norris, _Cursory Reflections Upon a Book Call'd. An Essay
     Concerning Human Understanding_ (1690).

     94. An Collins, _Divine Songs and Meditacions_ (1653).

     95. _An Essay on the New Species of Writing Founded by Mr.
     Fielding_ (1751).

     96. _Hanoverian Ballads._


     97. Myles Davies, _Athenae Britannicae_ (1716-1719).

     98. _Select Hymns Taken Out of Mr. Herbert's Temple_ (1697).

     99. Thomas Augustine Arne, _Artaxerxes_ (1761).

     100. Simon Patrick, _A Brief Account of the New Sect of
     Latitude-Men_ (1662).

     101-102. Richard Hurd, _Letters on Chivalry and Romance_ (1762).

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: University of California, Los



University of Michigan

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles

Wm. Andrews Clark Memorial Library

_Corresponding Secretary_: Mrs. Edna C. Davis, Wm. Andrews Clark
Memorial Library

The Society's purpose is to publish reprints (usually facsimile
reproductions) of rare seventeenth and eighteenth century works. All
income of the Society is devoted to defraying costs of publication and

Correspondence concerning subscriptions in the United States and Canada
should be addressed to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2205
West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. Correspondence concerning
editorial matters may be addressed to any of the general editors. The
membership fee is $5.00 a year for subscribers in the United States and
Canada and 30/- for subscribers in Great Britain and Europe. British and
European subscribers should address B. H. Blackwell, Broad Street,
Oxford, England. Copies of back issues in print may be obtained from the
Corresponding Secretary.

The publications for 1963-1964 are in part subsidized by funds
generously given to the Society in memory of the late Professor Edward
N. Hooker, one of its co-founders.


     SAMUEL RICHARDSON, _Clarissa_: Preface, Hints of Prefaces, and
     Postscript. Introduction by R. F. Brissenden.

     THOMAS D'URFEY, _Wonders in the Sun, or the Kingdom of the Birds_
     (1706). Introduction by William W. Appleton.

     DANIEL DEFOE, _A Brief History of the Poor Palatine Refugees_
     (1709). Introduction by John Robert Moore.

     BERNARD MANDEVILLE, _An Enquiry into the Causes of the Frequent
     Executions at Tyburn_ (1725). Introduction by Malvin R. Zirker, Jr.

     JOHN OLDMIXON, _An Essay on Criticism_ (1728). Introduction by R.
     J. Madden, C.S.B.


William Andrews Clark Memorial Library


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