The Newgate Calendar - Supplement 3

The Newgate Calendar - ANN HOLLAND


Wife of a highwayman with whom she robbed many people. Executed 1705

            This woman was born of obscure parents. She possessed a great share of natural accomplishments; which was, perhaps, more unlucky for her than if she had been deformed and ugly. She entered into the service of several families, but as regularly decamped with some valuable booty. She at last was bar-maid at a low coffee-house, where she served her master's customers in a double capacity; and here she became acquainted with a Mr. French, a comb-maker, who was fascinated with her appearance. He never once suspected her virtue, and paid her honourable courtship: a match was concluded. She, however, proved as bad a mistress as she had been a maid; and, after forcing her husband, by her bad conduct, to turn her out of doors, he went to Ireland, and there died.

            Ann Holland again found herself a wandering vagabond, and left to shift for a livelihood among the wicked. In this she was not unsuccessful; for, being young and very cunning, she played her cards to great advantage. She was soon after married to James Wilson, a noted highwayman of the time, who found her very serviceable in the way of his profession. The justice of the law, however, deprived her of her second husband, and Nan was again a widowed vagabond. Her misdemeanours introduced her into Newgate, where she became acquainted with one Tristram Savage, with whom she continued in company after their liberation.

            This pair once waited upon a conjuror. Savage being disguised as a woman, and she in her own character. They wished to have their nativity calculated, and told the doctor they would pay him well. After a great deal of unintelligible jargon. Savage says to the conjuror, "Can you tell me, sir, what I think?" The conjuror replied, with a surly countenance, "It is no part of my profession to tell peoples' thoughts." "Why, then," replied Savage, "I'll show them you. I was thinking as how you must be very rich, and able to spare some of your money: so I now demand, upon the pain of instant death, whatever money you have about you." The old conjuror seemed magic-struck; and so powerful an argument was Savage's pop, (as thieves call their pistols,) that he gave them twenty guineas, a gold watch, a silver tobacco-box, and two rings of his finger; after which they bound and gagged him, telling him to raise the devil to his assistance.

            Holland and her associate got clear off with this valuable booty, and we have no further account of her until 1705, when she was executed at Tyburn. Instead of imploring mercy for the pardon of her offences, she execrated the hard heart of her judge, the rigour of the laws, and abused the executioner; forgetting to repent of the guilt which brought her to this disgraceful end, and would, unrepented of, deliver her soul into the far less merciful hands of another hereafter.

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