Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
London's Central Criminal Court


(Note: This item is concerned with Mr Morris Delany, Born Carlow c1733)

Ordinary's Account, 17th January 1763.

 ACCOUNT of the
Behaviour, Confession, and Dying Words
Executed on Monday January the 17th;
For a Robbery on the High-Way,
WILLIAM CHAMP for Horse-Stealing,
Executed on Wednesday February the 9th;
DANIEL BLAKE for Murder,
Executed on Saturday February the 26th, 1763.
First, Second and Third EXECUTIONS in the MAYORALTY

The Ordinary Of Newgate's Account of the Behaviour,

Confession, and Dying Words, &c.

BY virtue of the King's commission of the peace, oyer and terminer, and goal-delivery of Newgate, holden for the city of London and county of Middlesex, at Justice-hall in the Old Baily, before the Right Honourable William Beckford, Esq. Lord Mayor of the City of London , Sir Thomas Parker, Knt. Lord Chief Baron of his Majesty's court of Exchequer; the Honourable Henry Bathurst, one of the Judges of his Majesty's court of Common Pleas; Sir J. Eardly Wilmott, one of the Judges of his Majesty's court of King's Bench; Sir William Moreton, Knt. Recorder; James Eyre, Esq. deputy Recorder, and others of his Majesty's Justices of oyer and terminer of the city of London, and Justices of goal-delivery of Newgate, &c. holden for the said city and county of Middlesex on Friday the 14th, Saturday the 15th, and Monday the 17th of January, in the third year of his Majesty's reign, eight persons were capitally convicted and received sentence of death, for the several crimes in their indictments laid, namely, Emanuel Mountain, Hans Eeg, William Autenreith, Morris Delany, John Collins, William Champ, Thomas Bryant, and George Watson. And on Wednesday February the 2d, the report of the said malefactors being made to his Majesty by Mr. Recorder, William Autenreith, Morris Delany, John Collins, and William Champ, were ordered for Execution on Wednesday the 9th Instant. And Hans Eeg, George Watson, and Thomas Bryant, were respited during his Majesty's pleasure.

1. Emanuel Mountain was indicted for the wilful murder of Joseph Carassa. He stood likewise charged on the coroner's inquest for the said murder, January the 5th.

This sudden affair happened at the house of John Smith, a Dutchman, who keeps the Mulbery-Gardens in Nightingale-lane, Wapping.

See original The deceased, and the criminal were sailors who lodged at the house beforementioned; the latter, a Portuguese, who spoke little or no English, and therefore was tried by means of an interpreter. Whatever gave rise to this quarrel, whether a fightingbout, which happened the same Day between the prisoner and a Dutchman, whose part the deceased took, as the prisoner pleaded in his defence; or whether it was any other provocation, this fact was attended with circumstances which proved it a cruel and inhuman murder.

These two having gone up to two seperate beds in the same room, between ten and eleven o'clock at night, were soon after heard by the landlord and other company, scolding and fighting overhead. They went up and found them entangled with each other in a fierce and obstinate combat, in the dark, on the bed of the deceased, whose shirt was stript off, the prisoner being uppermost, and the face of the deceased bloody.

As soon as they were parted, with much difficulty; Carassa said, Father, it is not my fault; then rising from his bed, he cried, Lord, I am a dead man! whilst his bowels were all coming out on his left side - to the quantity of two handfuls. He said, the prisoner gave me a stab on purpose, on which the prisoner attempted to go away, but was prevented. Mr. Thompson, the surgeon who first came to see him in the morning, said also, that he is a dead man, that his bowels were cut, and he would not meddle with him.

He was carried to the London-hospital the same morning, and being viewed and examined by another surgeon, Mr. Alder; the patient told him the wound was given wilfully, with a push, by a Portuguese who had been quarrelling with his friend, whose part he took. He died of that wound three quarters of an hour after; this surgeon supposed it to be done with a knife. This was confirmed, by the prisoner's words, to a witness who stopped him in attempting to escape, to whom he said, Me have done this; - with a knife - which lay by the bed, where it was found, being a long clasp knife, all bloody four or five inches deep.

Notwithstanding this clear, consistent and positive evidence against the prisoner, and hardy attempt was made to shield and rescue him from the mortal stroke of it, by one Emanuel Rotherek Corea, who representing himself to be a Portuguese priest, belonging to the ambassador of that nation, deposed, that as he attended the dying man to administer the sacrament to him, he exhorted him to speak the truth, and as he hoped for pardon of God, to pardon the prisoner, if he had offended him; to which the wounded man replied, That there was no offence to pardon the prisoner, for that he himself deserved ten thousand deaths, by being the aggressor in this quarrel; that he pulled the prisoner out of the bed by the legs, and struck him to make him fight with him.

But this effort was of so little weight in the scale, against the opposite united and supported testimonies of six or seven witnesses, that the jury quickly brought in the prisoner guilty, and he was immediately adjudged to be executed on the second day from thence, being Monday the 17th of January following.

As this prisoner did not agree with us in his religion, nor understand our language, he was not brought to chapel, nor could it answer any purpose for me to visit him in his cell; hearing also that no clerical person of his own persuasion had yet visited him, on Sunday at noon it was by me earnestly recommended to

See original one of the runners, to go and find out a proper gentleman to visit him. This was done on Sunday evening and Monday morning. After which he was taken from Newgate, between nine and eleven, to the usual place of execution; and after a few minutes delay, wherein enquiry was made among the people, by order of the under sheriff on duty, whether any one who could speak his language were present? such a person did offer himself, and speak to him a little while. He is said to have behaved with a sullen silence in the way, and at the place. After execution, the body was brought back to Surgeon's-hall, to be dissected and anatomized, pursuant to his sentence.

2 and 3. Morris Delany and John Collins were indicted, for that they on William Toulmin did make an assault, on the King's highway, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and violently taking from his person one silver salve-box value 27s. one guinea, one 18s. piece, one quarter guinea, and three shillings in money, numbered, his property, and against his will, December the 31st.

The circumstances most considerable in this fact, for the caution of honest and well-meaning people, and the warning of daring criminals were these: It appears from the evidence of the coachman, who drove the prosecutor and his wife from Wapping towards Whitechapel, that these two adventurers, and a boy (supposed to be George Watson, now respited) had watched and dog'd the coach from the prosecutor's door in Old Gravel-lane, to the middle of the Newroad, where they stopped and robbed the coach; that the boy acted as a spy, slily questioned the coachman where he was going, and who were his fare? which he as unwarily told him; that the moon-light betrayed them; the salve-box discovered them, and their own pistols were turned against them: for each of these were means to detect and convict them, as appears very clearly on the trial. How little did these blind and hardened transgressors consider, that while they were lying in wait for their prey, they were lurking privily for their own blood; and pulling down on their own heads that swift vengeance, which, before the next setting sun, overtook them.

Morris Delany, about 30 years of age, was born in the county of Carlow in Ireland, went to sea about his twentieth year, and on his return, about three years ago, was employed in the river Thames, working at ballast, and other labour of loading and unloading ships . He was sometimes also engaged at the west end of the town, as a partner in carrying a sedan chair ; for which his robust frame and size bespoke him well adapted. Happy, if he had never betaken himself to any worse employment!

But not being content with an honest, laborious course of life, he gave way to the temptations of vice and villainy; to which he is now fallen a prey in the prime of his years. For this fact, charged in the indictment, he was pursued next morning by the coachman, whose coach and fare he had robbed; but the hand of justice had prevented him. He was taken the night before on suspicion, as he lay in bed in a new lodging he had gone to, having a pistol under his arm, and a powder-horn about him at his entrance into the house; and when searched at the watch-house, the silver salve-box, with the name of Toulmin inscribed, was found upon him. Soon after conviction, he was visited in his cell, and invited to come to chapel, with a view and desire to do him all possible good offices which his circumstances

See original required and could admit of; he expressed his intention to attend there, with thanks; but being quickly after visited by a priest of his own persuasion, viz. of the church of Rome, he never came to chapel. At another visit he was reminded, that it was his indispensable duty to confess any other facts he had been guilty of, so as to give the best satisfaction he could to the injured, and acquit the innocent, who might otherwise be charged or suspected; - that no private or auricular confession could excuse him from doing this.

He was charged therefore to answer as a dying man, and as he hoped for mercy, Whether he was guilty of the charge (for which he was formerly tried) of breaking and entering the dwelling house of Thomas Combe, and thence stealing goods to a considerable value? he declared to me, he was not the person, nor knew where the house stands; and that some gentlemen had been with him to make the same enquiry, and he had answered them in the same manner. It appears however on the trial of George Watson, that he was guilty of another burglary and robbery in the shop of Mr. Rogers, haberdasher and hosier, in Whitechapel; for which Watson was to have been admitted an evidence against him, if he had not been already convicted on the present indictment. And this is supposed to be one reason why Watson was respited; to which another added some weight, namely, because the said Watson had returned and put out the lamp left in the shop, after the robbery, lest the house and family should be burned. So well and wisely is any alleviating circumstance laid hold of in favour of a criminal, which can open a door for extending mercy, to him.

But tho' this criminal did not accept of our assistance in spiritual things, yet was he not neglected in the distribution of those reliefs of money and provision, which the severity of the season excited many good people to contribute to the prisoners in this distress, with an abundant charity, proportioned to their necessity.

John Collins, (otherwise N - e) the other principal in this fact, was the person who first attacked Mr. Toulmin with a pistol, opened the coach door, and robbed him of the money mentioned in the indictment: and being apprehended the next day in another fact of the like nature, and brought before the justice, confessed his part in the robbery, and desired to be transported.

When first visited, after conviction, he shewed all the symptoms of sorrow unrestrained, and for the present inconsolable; he wept a flood of tears, he cried aloud, he wrung his hands and bitterly bewailed his sad lot, that he must be cut off in a moment, in the vigour of his youth; that he dared not acquaint his friends, already too much offended by his undutiful behaviour: that he must fall unpitied, unlamented, at a distance from his friends, now ashamed to own him, confounded to hear of his dire fate.

Well would it be if the young adventurers, now dismissed from sea or land service, and tempted by their vices into this high-way to a shameful death and sure destruction, had beheld and considered this sad scene of distress! anguish and horror painted in their faces; and perhaps not one good thought in their hearts to support them. Surely they would be warned, not to perpetrate any fact to disgrace themselves and their friends; to sink the services they have done, or for

See original feit the honour they have gained from their applauding king and country, ever kind and beneficent to the brave and honest mariner and soldier. Above all, they would not distrust that good providence which has hitherto preserved them in the midst of dangers, nor provoke that almighty power which led them through fire and water, protected them in the fire of battle and the raging tempests, still leading them on to victory. - Plumed as they are with the honours of a successful war, will they stain themselves with deeds of the vilest cowardice, and turn their weapons against their unarmed fellow-subjects? Prevent it, heaven! and let every good principle of honesty and truth within them oppose the base attempt.

And if such motives of virtue and honour will not restrain them, let them set before their eyes the desperate hazard they run of being plunged into quick perdition in the midst of their sins: as appears but too probably to be the case of a footpad lately mentioned in all the news-papers under the name of John Dixon, belonging to captain Long, shot through the breast (expiring with only two groans, in his attempt to rob the Portsmouth stage-coach) by Mr. Thomas Young, master-gunner of his majesty's ship Neptune.

And should they escape such a sudden stroke as this, let them still look forward to the sure (though perhaps a little slower) fate of a gibbet. These reflexions naturally arise from the case of this and some other of these convicts, who told me they had served his majesty at sea .

Collins (a fictitious name) was the son of a reputable tradesman at Bristol, and had a suitable education. Having been to sea before this last war, he was early impressed into the service in the beginning of it; he then entered a volunteer; and his father encouraging and assisting him, he was made a midshipman on board the Edgar, in which he served three years. After this he served on board the Lark, captain Shiley. This he told me; though a witness to his character on the trial, describes him to be only a boatswain's mate in a frigate. He, with the other convicts who attended the chapel, five in number, had daily instructions given them, adapted to their particular cases and circumstances, to which they seemed to give diligent attention, to join seriously and devoutly in the prayers, and to make a hopeful progress in their penitence.

When questioned about the several facts he was charged with, he persisted in declaring that he never attempted any such thing till the Friday December 31, and was taken on the Saturday January 1, being partly drawn in by others; one of which was under the same sentence with him, though he freely owned he was as forward as the other.

He was farther examined concerning that heinous crime mentioned in his first commitment by Sir John Fielding, on oath of Jeremiah Keeble, "for assaulting him on " the high-way, with intent to rob him, " and also for wilfully and maliciously" firing a loaded pistol at him, with intent to kill and murder him;" he endeavoured to soften and explain away the force of this charge, by insisting that the pistol went off accidentally, by his falling when pursued by Keeble in order to apprehend him, and that it was charged only with gunpowder.

He was farther pressed at other times, to confess the truth, as he hoped for mercy in heaven. To which he answered, this is the truth, and that the other account was only a mistake or misrepresentation of the fact; and in this assertion he persisted, even after he See original knew himself included in the deathwarrant.

He continued daily to lamént, with the most pungent grief and dejection of spirit, the cnes he had thus rashly and suddenly fallen into; which he owned were much aggravated, by being perpetrated after his recovery from a fit of sickness.

The consciousness of his ingratitude for this mercy, ut him (as he expressed it) so deep, that he found it very difficult for some time to receive any consolation or hope. In farther conversation with him, he described the manner and occasion of his being drawn in to commit these facts - that after his recovery from sickness, by which he was drained of his money and run in debt, sitting idle, in the way of temptation, at the Cooper's Arms, St. Catharines, near the Tower, a drunken sailor came in, and would make him drink some hot. Morris Delany dropt in, and drank with them; after which it was proposed to go out, meaning on the high-way: to which Collins agreed; this was on Friday when they robbed Mr. Toulmin, whose money he confessed he received in his hat; that on sight of it, he said to him, with threats, you give nothing but copper; to which he replied, there is gold and silver among it, and I have nothing left but this silver salve box, offering it to Collins, but he refused it, though Delany afterwards took it unknown to him; and this, it appears, was chiefly instrumental in detecting and convicting them.

Among the money taken (he said) they found an eighten shilling piece, a guinea, and a quarter guinea; out of which Delany claimed, first, a guinea, to pay for the pair of pistols just before bought for this purpose; that on this, each took his pistol, and then they, differing about dividing the remainder, parted that night.

In his next attempt, the following day or night, which was against a Stratford coach, with four or five men passengers in it, he was apprehended, by their being too quick for him, and his falling down, as before mentioned. But he declared he did not express the words, your life or your money, as sworn before Sir John Fielding.

The convicts were daily visited and brought up to chapel. Collins among the rest, behaved with a becoming seriousness; and as he could read well, performed his part in the service with an attentive fervency. In his cell, he undertook to assist his fellow-convict, William Champ, wholly illiterate, by reading to him and praying with him, who for that purpose was shut up in the same cell with him. Being asked how Champ behaved on that occasion? he said, he was very ignorant and stupid, and much inclined to sink into sleep when he should attend to instruction or prayer.

While they were duly instructed in the design, use and benefit of this chastisement, and other points most pertinent to their several cases, each of them, especially Collins, seemed to improve under the affliction; yet he found it very difficult to resign himself with patience, after the death-warrant came, to his sad lot; and when after two or three days he had well nigh subdued his reluctance, and reconciled himself to his fate, a new temptation sprung up, by the application of some of his friends to the throne for mercy; which failing of success, threw him back, on the day he heard it, into fresh agonies of sorrow and anguish of soul, opened all his wounds, and afforded no easy task to stop the current of his grief; to compose him to submission and resignation.

As notice had been given, at a proper interval of time, for them to prepare for

See original the holy communion, they were daily instructed for that purpose; and this subject duly opened, applied and impressed, assisted greatly in restoring him to peace and a calm spirit; so far that I judged it proper to administer to him and Champ, the day before execution, Champ having been diligently instructed in his preparation in the plainest terms, adapted to his capacity.

On the same day William Fredrick Autenreith was admitted to the holy communion by a very worthy and intelligent Lutheran divine of his own country and mode of worship, having first made a full confession of his guilt in the affair, for which he is convicted, in presence of his prosecutors, to the great satisfaction of us all, who had earnestly laboured to bring about this salutary and desirable effect.

3. William Champ was indicted for stealing one black gelding, value 10 l, the property of Richard Hutchins, November the 18th.

The prisoner had wrought as a labourer with the prosecutor at Little Chelsea, and was discharged three days before the felony; he was met by the prosecutor, who was in quest of him, December the 10th, at the halfway house, between Kensington and Knightsbridge; to whom, after a little prevarication, he freely confessed the fact with all its circumstances, so that the owner recovered his horse. However, this poor simple fellow was committed to New-Prison, prosecuted, and on his trial convicted; nor could his character of an industrious, inoffensive man before this fact, given him by five masters, for whom he had wrought, save him from execution, tho' the prosecutor was one of the five.

He was born at Shatton in Wiltshire, within four miles of Highworth, being a little turned of thirty years of age; has left a wife and three children; was bred up to labouring work and husbandry, and might, if he had been transported, have become a very useful hand in the new conquests or colonies. He has wrought in the neighbourhood of London four or five years; before which he did labouring work in his native country. He did not deny the fact for which he is convicted, but declared this is the first fact in which he ever wronged another in any respect; nor can give a reason why he was induced to perpetrate this. He complained privately to his fellow-convict that his wife was turbulent, when he was at home with her, and had behaved ill in his absence; but did not say this tempted him to the fact.

Being questioned frequently about his state of mind, he seemed to become daily more resigned and hopeful of mercy, calmly and regularly prepared for his last hour, and believed he should find rest.

Morning of Execution.

IT was told me, by one of the turnkeys, that Autenreith was respited and when they went up to acquaint him of it, about nine o'clock last night, they found him hard at work, burning thro' the door of his cell. Whether his design was to endeavour to burn himself and the convicts, or (if they could) to escape, seemed uncertain. When I went up to view the place, and see Autenreith, he was greatly confused, explained it, that it was a design, concerted among these three convicts, to break thro' his own door first, and then to endeavour to open that of the other cell, and attempt to get thro' the ceiling; and he charged the other two with this to their face. Collins

See original walked about his cell in great disorder, and with a countenance so disturbed, as spoke the anguish of his soul; did not directly deny his being privy to it, but evaded a confession, bidding the doctor say what he pleased against him, he should not contradict it. Champ was silent and sullen. The turnkeys believed these two were not privy to it, because Collins had desired one of them to watch with him the night past. In the chapel I endeavoured to bring him to an humble and sincere confession of his guilt.

Collins said this design was spoke of among all the convicts about ten days since; that they had no thoughts of destroying themselves, but only to attempt an escape, however difficult it might appear, but that he had little hopes of it, and therefore did nothing towards it: however, that the doctor with his privity began it last night.

When Champ was questioned, he begged I would ask him no questions: but after solemnly charging them both, as they hoped for mercy and forgiveness in heaven, to speak the truth, and confess their whole design, he acknowledged that he was privy to it; but that, for his part, he was so dejected and weak, that he thought himself unable to escape, had a way been opened for that purpose. Collins earnestly desired to have the holy communion administred to him, as promised and intended, if this affair had not intervened; but in consideration, it was yesterday administred to them both; and they had so quickly and shamefully relapsed into this design. Prayers were earnestly offered up for their renovation; and they were exhorted to return to the vow and profession they had so lately made, and hope the benefit of the holy sacrament would be again renewed to them, of which I could not safely and freely repeat the administration to them again.

Soon after eight they were dismissed from chapel, and taken down to have their fetters knocked off, and their arms pinioned. It was half an hour past nine before this was done, and they put into the cart: Delany first, then Champ, and Collins last. They all looked heavy, dejected, and covered with shame and sorrow. They reached the place of execution in an hour, and being tied up, proper prayers were offered up with and for them, in which the people joined, at their request.

They repeated the Belief, and declared their hope of being saved in that faith; they all declared they were resigned and composed. Collins and Champ expressed an hearty sorrow for the part they had taken in the attempt of last night, and frequently asked pardon for it. Collins acknowledged he had tried to burn a hole thro' the door with a piece of candle once, but it was several nights ago; and finding his plan impracticable, he desisted.

Delany, being in a distant cell, and one story higher than these, did not seem to be privy to it; nor did they, or any one else, charge him with it. Being asked whether he chose to confess any particular fact now in his last moment, which might be the means of saving any innocent person from suspicion or trouble, he answered, he believed no such person is like to suffer for any thing he had done; he professed to die in peace and charity with all men, and did not seem averse to join in our prayers; after which Collins and he joined hands, and took leave of each other, and then of Champ, their fellow-sufferer.

A little before the last recommendatory prayer Collins spoke a few words

See original to the multitude, "to take warning by him, and not be guilty of any act of fraud or violence which might bring them there to be made a public spectacle, but to keep within the bounds of justice, and endeavour to get an honest livelihood; the forsaking of which, brought him to this sad lot: he reminded them, that many of them were as deep in sin as himself, and therefore ought to take timely warning by his example, and break off their sins, before they brought them to destruction."

The extremity of distress in which he stood and delivered his words, together with the earnest manner in which he prayed, gave such force to what he said as melted many into tears.

Having taken an hearty and affectionate leave of their minister, they continued crying to God for mercy, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! 'till the cart was driven from under them, which was exactly at eleven o'clock. In three or four minutes they were all motionless. Champ in half the time.

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