The Newgate Calendar - Supplement 3
THIS man was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and bred up to husbandry. He was, however, soon wearied of that laborious employment, and went to London to gather gold upon the streets and highways.
He commenced with caution, and ventured only upon petty depredations. In the character of a scourer, with an apron on, he went up stairs into a gentleman's house, and, seeing three or four footmen's liveries, he brought them off under his arm. As he was going out, the coachman, standing at the door with his coach, asked, "Whither he was going with these clothes and waistcoats?" Quoth Halloway, "The parliament being to sit within this week, and your master being willng his men's liveries should look somewhat fresh and decent, the steward has ordered me to scour them against then." "Here, here, then," said he, "take my cloak too, and scour it well." Halloway had no objection to take his cloak also, but he neglected to return either with it or the other clothes. The coachman suffered for his simplictity, the very boys crying after him wherever he went, "Here, here, take my cloak, too!"
Upon another day, when there was a great throng of coaches in the street, William went up to the coach of a gentleman, pretending that he had something very particular to say to him, and, while the gentleman was leaning over the door, one of his comrades stole one of the couch seats at the other door. When the gentleman had done conversing with William, and, missing his couch, he looked out at the other door after the thief, and, in the meantime, William made sure of the other couch, and went off undiscovered. The gentleman, then, in a great surprise, called to his coachman, "Tom, hast thou got the horses there?" "Yes, sir," quoth Tom. "Ay, but are you sure you have them?" "Why, yes, sir, I am sure I have them, for their reins are now in mine hand." "Well, be sure and keep them there, for I have lost the seats out of the coach, and, if you have not a special care, you will lose my horses too."
Not long after this adventure, whilst a Mr. Innes, who kept a punch-house, was taking an airing in his calash, William perceived that the driver was fast asleep, and, stepping forward, robbed him of his watch and two guineas. Not satisfied with this, he tied his legs together, and, pulling the pins out of the axle-trees, he waited behind a hedge until he saw what would come to pass. In a short time off go the wheels, and calash and driver embraced the street.
Becoming more hardened in villainy, William resolved to commence highwayman in form. Accordingly, he purchased a horse, and, meeting with a farmer, asked him the time of the day. "About twelve," said the farmer. "Why, then, it may be high time to ask one favour of you." "What's that?" "Why, truly, understanding that you received ten pounds at the inn from whence you now came, necessity obliges me to borrow this of you; and, if you are not willing to lend it me by fair means, I'll take it by foul means." The farmer immediately drew his hanger, but this proved no defence against pistols; therefore, he was constrained to surrender.
At another time he overtook a gentleman upon the road, who informed him that he was well-nigh robbed in coming along, and advised William, if he had any money about him, to be very careful where he lodged it. He replied, that he had but little, but, to take care of it, he would put it in his mouth. The gentleman never suspecting into what company he had been involved, replied, "that he had been getting his rent from his tenants, and that he had a considerable sum, which he had secured in the folds of his stockings." When they came to a convenient place, Halloway desired him to "stand and deliver!" Unable to resist such a demand, the gentleman gave him a purse with eighty guineas.
Halloway, continuing his depredations, was at length apprehended, tried, and condemned, but he obtained a reprieve during his Majesty's pleasure. Meanwhile, he broke the prison, and, being one day intoxicated, he had the impudence to go to the session of the Old Bailey, when the judges were sitting, and some of the turnkeys, offering to apprehend him for breaking the jail, he shot one of them dead upon the spot. He was seized, along with a woman who was found accessory to the murder. They were both executed, and Halloway was hung in chains.
He, in the most solemn manner, declared that he never had any enmity towards the person he murdered, and that it was merely in consequence of his being intoxicated: thus adding one to the many fatal effects of giving way to the ruinous habit of drinking, and thus inflaming the passions to the commission of the most disgraceful crimes, from which the mind would shrink in the moment of sobriety and reflection.