Crime and Punishment, 1700-1703

19-22 July 1700   There was so great a crowd of spectators yesterday to see the execution of the dutch vintner, his pretended wife, and drawer, for the murder of Esq; Norris, that there was a great deal of mischief done, but the particulars we cannot learn, only that one scaffold fell, which, I am told, kill’d one boy, and wounded several people more; one of the Sheriffs Officers, though on horseback, was so crowded, that his horse fell down under him, and he was carried off for dead; and there was nothing to be heard almost but shrieks and out-cryes of murder. The woman was buried in Stepney-Church-Yard, but the 2 men were hang’d up in chains, both upon one gibbet, a little beyond Mile-end, which occasions a numerous crowd of spectators to go see them; many of whom are so terrified at the dismal sight, that they were forced to call in at the Golden Cabbage, alias Globe, to take a cup of the precious mortal’s reviving liquors, to bring them to themselves again. [London Post]

22-24 July 1700   On Saturday last, Surgeons Hall demanded the body of the foot-man, who robb’d Esq; Harcourt, but there having been a former order that his corps[e] should be brought back and interred; it occasioned some dispute, however the Hall at last got his body, in order to be anatomized. [London Post]

6-8 November 1700   I am told, that 3 of the bodies of the condemned criminals executed, as mentioned in my last, yesterday at Tyburn, were begg’d, in order to be anatomized; that 3 more were put into coffins, and given to their friends, in order to be disposed of at their discretion; and that the other 2 were buried under Tyburn. [London Post]

18-20 December 1700   On Tuesday 8 women went, all in white, to the King, to beg the life of a condemned highway-man; but His Majesty was pleased to tell them, that he had resolved not to pardon such. [London Post]

2-5 May 1701   This night the Sessions ended at the Old-Baily where only 2 received sentance [sic] of death, viz. Thomson and Shears for fellony [sic] and burglary: A great many were burnt in the cheek, and one woman in the hand, her crime she was tryed for having been committed, before the law for burning in the cheek was in force. [London Post]

16-18 July 1701   Last night the Sessions ended at the Old Baily, which proved a Maiden Sessions, there being none condemned to die. [English Post]

4-6 September 1701   Last night the Sessions ended at the Old Baily, when 3 persons received sentence of death, viz. 2 men and 1 woman, the latter pleaded her belly, and was brought in with quick child, by a jury of matrons. The 2 men are for burglary and fellony. 13 were burnt in the cheek, and one in the hand for manslaughter, and 4 ordered to be whipt. [Post Man]

16-18 October 1701   Yesterday the Sessions ended at the Old Baily, where several persons were burnt in the cheek, but none condemned to death: And ’tis observable, that none have been executed these three last Sessions. [Flying Post]

21-23 October 1701   It was Saturday the robbery was committed in Epping Forrest, when one of the gentlemen that were attack’d vigorously defended himself, by which means he saved 50 guineas; and if the other had had but the courage of a superannuated London-Watchman, they had taken the 3. highway-men. [Post Boy]

20-22 November 1701
Lawrence Corbett, aged about 50, of a little stature, thin faced, of a palish black complection black eyes, and squints a little, who lately lived at Hodgsdon, was about a year and half since tried at the Old Baily for a burglary, and hath been since a prisoner in the Fleet; on Saturday last the 8th instant cheated Mr. Wil. Warham, a goldsmith, at the Golden Cup in Sheer-Lane near Temple Bar, of one dozen of silver spoons, weighing 23 ounces, 10 penny-wt. which is about 2 ounces a piece, the workman’s Mark Da. Whoever discovers the said Lawrence Corbet, so that he is apprehended, or the spoons seiz’d, to the above William Warham, shall have 2 guinea’s reward. [Post Boy]

17-19 October 1701   This day about 2. in the afternoon, 12 persons in masques well mounted and armed, robbed 3 coaches near the King’s Oak in Epping Forrest, and took a considerable sum of money from them. [London Post]

5-8 December 1701   On Friday morning 7 coiners, one of them a French woman, were seized in Eagle and Child-Court near Shoo-lane [sic]; The same night 5 other of the same trade were seized near Tuttle-street, and there was found in their custody a vast number of counterfeit pieces of money. A great many have been seized in St. Martins and St. Giles’s. [English Post]

27-30 December 1701   Letters from Exeter say, That the highway men continue to be very audacious in that country, that by night they attack houses where they expect any booty, in great numbers; and among others did lately assault the house of Madam Fulford, a rich widow gentlewoman within 7 miles of Exeter; and notwithstanding she has a great family of servants, and that several gentlemen her friends who were there accidentally, fir’d upon them from the house; they had the Impudence to continue the attack for several hours before they could be beat off. They say that 40 of that gang are since come towards London, where they hope those concern’d will be careful in looking after suspicious persons. [Flying Post]

10-12 March 1703   One of the malefactors condemned sast Sesions, attempted some days ago to cut his throat, but was prevented by one of the turn-keys. [English Post]

7-9 December 1703   There are 2 women in Newgate to be tryed for murthering their bastard children, and 3 strowling gipsies are ordered down to Huntington to be tryed for robbing 2 women, and leaving them bound together on the road naked. [Post-Man]




(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Crime and Punishment, 1700-1703", 18 November 2001, updated 1 December 2001 <>

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