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The Newgate Calendar - RICHARD CARPENTER


Convicted at the Lent Assizes, 1785, Hampshire, of forging Seamen's Wills and executed at Winchester

THIS man had been for long a public character on the dramatic boards, and he made his final exit on a stage erected for the purpose -- under the gallows.

He was for many years the clown in the pantomime entertainments at Drury Lane. Unlike the major part of his brethren of the sock and buskin, Carpenter saved some part of his salary, with which he went to Portsmouth, took an elegant house, and commenced as navy agent; in which lucrative business he acquired considerable property. It however appears that, like many who, from hard earnings, suddenly come into easy receipts, Carpenter grew so impatient to become rich that he committed felony of the basest nature -- that of forging seamen's wills and powers.

This infamous robbery of poor widows and orphans he had for some time carried on with impunity, when the officers of justice went in pursuit of him. He was surprised in his own house, which was spacious, and elegantly furnished, and at the very moment when he was entertaining some friends.

His execution attracted a vast number of spectators, by whom, from his penitence and resignation to his unhappy fate, he was generally much pitied.


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