THIS unfortunate man was convicted of a burglary in the house of a Mr. G. Bell, at Edgware at Middlesex. Though the robbery of Mr. Bell was daring, yet his behaviour at the place of execution indicated the greatest contrition. The son and daughter of the malefactor were, most unadvisedly, present at the melancholy end of their depraved parent; and, on his being launched into eternity, became almost frantic, and were conveyed from the agonizing scene in a state of insensibility. We can readily suppose the effect produced by such a shock upon the nervous system as beholding a parent in the throes of death, under the hands of the executioner; for hard must be that heart that can, unmoved, witness such a sight inflicted upon a stranger.
A shocking instance of this happened to Mr. William Boddington, high constable of the Finsbury Division, a few years ago. Mr. Boddington attended, in his official capacity, at the execution of Francis Hubbard, who suffered in Hatton-garden for the murder of Jordan Hosty, near that place; and a minute or two after that malefactor had been turned off, he fainted; and being taken home in a coach, was put to bed, from which he rose no more.
A few years ago, information being made of a disorderly meeting at an ale-house in Turnmill-street, under the name of the Cock-and-Hen-Club, Mr. Boddington was directed by the justices to disperse them: accordingly, attended by other constables, he went to the house; and, upon entering the club-room, the officers were assailed with cutlasses and other weapons, and were all severely wounded. Hubbard was the man who attacked Mr. Boddington, and wounded him so terribly on the head, breast, and shoulders, with a cutlass, that his recovery was for several months despaired of. The injury Mr. Boddington received on the above occasion greatly impaired his constitution, and, it is supposed, contributed towards his premature death, by rendering him susceptible of the most poignant feelings on beholding the dying agonies of a man who had attempted to murder him, and absolutely embittered some of the latter years of his life.