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Newgate Calendar - JOHN DAY


The Most Execrable Murderer of Father, Mother, and their Servant

"óMy heart sinks in me,
"And every slacken'd fibre drops its hold,
"Like nature dropping down the springs of life"

††††††††††† This inhuman monster, having been one night in bad company, especially of lewd women, surfeiting in drunkenness, came home, swearing and cursing vehemently, requiring money of his sorrowful, terrified parents, who laboured to pacify him with good words, entreating him to go to bed, and sleep that night; and if it appeared in the morning, when he awaked, that he wanted money, he should have it: little thinking that they nourished a viper in their bosom, to sting them to death.

††††††††††† About midnight this graceless son, being come a little to himself, got up with a murmuring mind, and getting softly into the bedchamber of his parents, drew a large knife out of his sheath, and cut his aged father and mother's throats. After which desperate wickedness he remembered the servant-maid, who lay in the loft above, and that she might not come as a witness against him, he went softly up, and finding her asleep, ravished her, and then cut her throat from ear to ear. Then musing upon the horrid villanies he had committed, the devil put it into his head to set the house on fire, when he had plundered what he thought fit, that the dead bodies being consumed, it might be thought to have been by accident, and he not be suspected. But God, who never suffers such monsters in wickedness to go unpunished, even in this world, brought the discovery to light: for though he denied to have been at home that night, and seemed wonderfully sorry at the surprising misfortune, as he termed it, yet living very profusely, and having spent all his money, he was forced to sell the plate he had stolen, which being stopped, upon examination, he confessed the fact. Upon which he was sent to gaol, where he remained very sorrowful; and he affirms the ghost of the murdered persons appeared to him in frightful shapes, pointing to their ghastly wounds, and, in a threatening manner, summoning him to appear at the dreadful tribunal of Almighty God, to answer for their innocent blood, that cried for vengeance against him.

††††††††††† After he had sometime lain in this sorrowful condition, his trial came on; when he pleaded guilty to this indictment, saying, his youthful sins had brought this heavy judgment upon him, declaring, before his sentence, he desired to die, as not being fit to live.

††††††††††† The court exhorted him to a serious repentance of his sins, and to pray to God to deliver his soul from blood-guiltiness. He promised to do what in him lay: and a minister was ordered to attend him, and give him ghostly consolation, the short remainder of the time he had to live. The minister who visited him prayed earnestly with and for him, that God would look down in mercy upon him; and wash his sin-polluted soul from blood-guiltiness in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. The same minister attended him to the place of execution, which exhibited a very affecting scene: here he burst into tears, and advised all young persons to beware of Sabbath-breaking, drunkenness, swearing, and whoredom, as they valued their peace here and hereafter. He was executed on Kennington-Common, about the middle of September, 1792, and afterwards hung in chains near the bloody spot.


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