The Newgate Calendar - BENJAMIN RENSHAW

BENJAMIN RENSHAW

Executed, after an Abortive Attempt, at Nottingham, 29th of August, 1812, for setting fire to a Haystack

   THIS man was convicted on the clearest evidence of the wicked, wasteful crime of burning the hay of Mr Charles Stanton -- and, in aggravation of such business, soon afterwards, of wantonly slaughtering a ram, the property of Mr Isaac Dodsley, both of the town of Mansfield, in the county of Nottinghamshire. He was sentenced to death, and left by the judge for execution.

   About eleven o'clock he was taken from the prison and placed in a cart, accompanied by the executioner and a respectable gentleman who had daily visited him during his condemnation. The concourse of spectators was unusually great, to witness the awful catastrophe. When arrived at the fatal tree, and some time had been spent in singing and prayer, Renshaw himself prayed with an audible voice, and afterwards addressed the multitude for the space of fifteen or twenty minutes, exhorting them, and especially youth, to avoid evil company; and this he did in a manner which excited the astonishment of every beholder. Such fortitude, unshaken confidence and composure were scarcely ever before witnessed, expressing at the same time, as he had done before, his assurance of the mercy of God. After he was turned off, the noose of the rope moved under his chin, and it was deemed proper to put him into the cart, that the rope might be adjusted afresh, after which he was turned off again. This circumstance occasioned a considerable sensation among the spectators, who generally expressed their abhorrence of the executioner, to whose carelessness they attributed the accident. After hanging the usual time, his body was given to his friends for interment at Mansfield.

Previous Next