A Perfect NARRATIVE OF THE ROBBERY AND MURDER Committed near Dame Annis so Cleer, on Friday night, the second of July, 1669. Ʋpon the Person of Mr. John Talbot: QUONDAM, Preacher to a Regiment of His Majesties Forces in Portugal, and lately, since his return, Curate of Laindon in ESSEX.

Who at that time, Was stripped to his shirt, had his throat cut, and was stabbed into the throat, by six Men and a bloody Woman, whereof three Men and the bloody Woman were miraculously Apprehended, and upon Friday, the Ninth of July, were Condemned at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily; two of the Men and the Woman being Executed for the said Fact, on Wednesday, the Fourteenth of July, 1669.


London, Printed by William Godbid, MDCIXIX.

A Narrative of the Robbery and Bloody Murther of Mr. John Talbot, &c.

SUch is Almighty Gods most wonder­full providence in the continued su­stentation of his Creation, especially in the preservation of mankind, the Image of himself; that no Atheist hitherto could Justly accuse his most righteous Dispensation, relating to his government of the Universe, or more particularly any wicked Men triumph in their desperate attempts, to de­stroy Man on Earth, his most noble Creature: Tis true, that iniquity (especially in this age) hath so prevailed, that many Giants in sin, have in both kinds dared as far as they either were permitted, or prevailed with by the Devils instruments, to assault the being of all beings, and others indeavouring to execute that in Effigie, which they cannot reach or accomplish, in respect of his inac­cessible essence; but whilest the bold Atheist spends his quivers of arrows against Heaven, at length he experi­ences the fall of his own weapons, to his at once (I cen­sure not whether too late) apparent conviction, and in­evitable destruction; and whilst the Murderer most ma­liciously enterprises to extirpate humane nature by his most desperate practises, he frequently in killing another [Page 4] enlivens himself; so that guilt hereupon multiplies wit­nesses as well of his bloody actions, as perpetuates a me­morial of divine existence in Judgment ordering all af­fairs here below.

To passe by at present what relates to the encrease and condition of Atheists, howsoever, tis highly suspitious that Murther is a branch sprouting from this stock, nay pro­bably groweth very near the root. Also, not upon this occasion to rehearse what others have wrote concerning this horrid impiety, and how that their punishment hath been mistructive to the then present and after ages of Gods especial regard to humane nature, in his unsearch­able wayes discovering such offenders, bringing them to receive rewards sutable to their inhumane designes and practices; as a further addition to what on this subject hath already been made publick, that all people may avoid both the occasion and fate of Murderers, it is not unmeet that a true and faithfull Narrative be exposed to view of the late execrable Murder of Mr. John Talbot late a Minister. This Gentleman as I am informed, was Chaplain to one of his Majesties Regiments in Portugal, where he continued in the discharge of his Office, till the recalling of the said Regiment; when he arrived at Lon­don, he preached 3. Months at St. Alphage in the Wall.

But before this accident, he was Curate at a Town called Laindon in Essex; the occasion of his coming to London (as he often wrote) was upon the account of a Law-sute between him and some persons of that Parish. The morning before this disaster, he applyed himself to his Lawyer, and had some intimation that his adversaries designed to Arrest him; hereupon he was shie whether he went and with whom he conversed, but soon after he took notice of six Men and one Woman that dogged him whither soever he went; after many shiftings from place [Page 5] to place in order to his avoidance of them; he betook himself to Grayes-Inne, whither some or all of these per­sons followed him, so that he took full and accurate no­tice of them.

Whence he sent by the hands of two Gentlemen be­longing to that Innes of Court, one or two Letters re­questing some of his acquaintance and friends to come to his assistance, all this while he only suspected an Arrest.

They failing, he applied himself to a Gentlemans cham­ber at Grayes-Inne, where staying till he supposed all cause of danger was over; after a short refreshment, as he informed me, steered his course the back way through Old-street, over the fields towards Shoreditch; not long after he came into the fields he perceived the same per­sons which before dogged him to pursue him; whereupon in this straight, it being late, near Eleven of the Clock, he sought to make his escape, (breaking through a Reed hedge) to a Garden House, before he could reach his designed shelter, one or more seised him, and first picked his pockets, where they found about 20 shillings, and his knife, with which one attempted to kill him; the cut in the Coller of the Doublet signifies, that they endeavou­red to cut his Throat before they stripped him; but the Wound seems to inform that they first pulled of his Coat and Doublet, and then executing their so long waited for intention on him.

As to the manner and form of his Wound, whether it was because the knife was broad pointed, (and so it was judged) that it might not by stabs do full execution, or that these pretended to an exquisite skill in butchering Men, they first cut out a peece of his Throat about the breadth of a Crown peece, but missed the Winde-pipe; then in the dependant part of the Orifice they stabbed [Page 6] him with the knife, the point whereof reached near unto the Lungs; but so providence did order their cruelty, that they missed the recurrent Nerves, by which he had been silenced, as also the Jugular Veins and Arteries, by the opening of which he had remedilesse bled to death, and possibly no such discovery had been made of the Murder.

It must not be omitted that whilst they strove, and this Barbarous fact was committed, that the Dogs in the garden opened much; and by their fierce barking awakened some persons, who in regard of the light, sup­poseing it day break, came down to look after their mar­keting; whereupon the Murderers left their prey, and Mr. Talbot although Mortally wounded, crept after them through the same breach he had made at his entrance into the Garden; fearing least he might not be found and perish for want of help if he continued there, he went not far before he fell down in that place where he was found lying. Before I proceed, besides the barking of the Dogs, he observed, that the Beasts did very much bellow, as if God had caused this cruelty of the Dogs to be some kind of occasion of Mercy to the wounded Man, and to reproach the more destructive fierceness of these Murderers, and had opened wide the mouths of the Beasts of the field, to amaze and affright them from this slaughter of an Innocent; but because the voyce of these Creatures seemed not loud enough to deter these assaylants from prosecuting their bloody attempt, soon after the Heavens spake terribly in Thunder, which pos­sibly did so astonish these wretches, that they escaped no farther from the place where they did this Horrid exploit. And as if these occurrences were not sufficient to the end for which they were appointed, a great showre of rain fell, which drew the Brick-makers out of their [Page 7] Hutts and Lodgings, to save their Bricks from the Rain, by covering them with Straw. By some of these Mr. Talbot was espyed, lying in his shirt and drawers bloody: Notice hereupon was given to the rest, and when they came to him he being raised up, and cherished with a lit­tle strong water, immediatly pointed which way the Murderers went. The watch near Shoreditch, having notice of the Murder, some persons of them went out, as well to take care of the Wounded Gentleman, as also to find out and apprehend the Offenders: One of these fearing also an Arrest, kept in the search aloof off and he first discovered a Man lying amongst the Nettles, whom he supposed likewise to be killed; but calling his companions, this Person appeared by the bloody knife ly­ing on one side of him, and the Ministers doublet on the other, to be guilty of the Murder, and accordingly he was seised; at first he feigned himself asleep, but being well awakened, he attempted to make his escape; a pewter pot being found near him, the mark newly scra­ped out, one of his guard brake his head with it, and so he became more quiet and tractable. In the mean time Mr. Talbot by the great care of the Officers and people watching that night, was conveyed to the Star Inn at Shoreditch Church, and put to bed, a Chyrurgeon im­mediatly sent for to dresse him. When this Eaton was brought before him, he straightways knew him, and by writing declared, he was the person that cut his Throat, and that five more and a bloody Woman were his associ­ates. He being (upon his request) a second time brought before him, then continued his former accusa­tion of him; whereupon he was carried before Justice Pitfield, and by him after examination committed to New­gate; it was not long before the Woman was found, pre­tending her self likewise to be asleep, and when the Of­ficers [Page 8] brought her before Mr. Talbot, he presently knew her, and inquired of the Constable whether her name was not Sarah, for he had heard one of her Comrades say in Holborn, Shall we have a Coach Sarah? She being asked her name, and not suspecting the reason, said her name was Sarah: Shortly after another person was taken, whom likewise he knew, and a fourth, who were com­mitted to Newgate, as the several following witnesses both before the Justice, and at the Prisoners Trial declare; which evidence I shall now set down, only craving liberty to prefix a true Copy of a Letter, which the said Mr. Talbot sent to a person of quality on the Wednesday following.


ON Friday last walking in Holborn, a Gentleman, a very stranger to me, bid me to look to my self for I was dogg'd by Knaves, and so God knows it proved to my sorrow, yet know I not for what cause I was thus pursued: I moved to Grays-Inn till I thought this malice might have been over, after this I was still pursued, and God knoweth that I knew none of their Faces, Houses, Streets, High-ways, all was one; thus for above seven hours I was dogg'd, till I was al­most dead with weariness; at last, striving to get to my Inn, I went a new way, thinking to escape them, but could not; for at Eleven of the Clock that night, six men and one bloody woman first cut my throat, and then stabbed me in the throat. I was found and brought by the Officers of the Parish of Shore-ditch, where I am carefully provided for; an able Doctor, Dr. Hodges, and a Chyrurgeon, one Mr. Leichfeild, take care of me. I can eat nothing, neither can I speak any thing but I and No. There are three of my bloody Enemies in Newgate, at Hicks-Hall these three are Cast, to day they are to be at the Old-Baily.

Your Humble Servant, J. TALBOT.

Mr. John Talbot's Account of his wandring from one place to another, when he was dogg'd by several Persons.

THe reason why I could not escape them was this, into what Place, House, Alley, or corner soever I came, I was watched and dogg'd by several Persons; I took sanctu­ary in Counsellor Prichards Chamber of Grayes-Inn a certain time, out of his Chamber I had liberty to go into the Walks, in the very Walks I was dogg'd; I returned again into the abovesaid Chamber, afterward I walked in the upper Gallery there, till I thought all was well, then it was past Three of the Clock in the Afternoon, then I went into the Lane, I thought the People had been mad, they pursued me bloodily; at Five of the Clock I housed, and got a Cup of Beer, but immediately I was forced to fly; then I was pursued till I was stabbed by six Men and one bloody Woman.

I am so sick I can write no more.

The Attestation of James Kynoin, concer­ning Mr. Talbot.

UPon the second day of July, about Twelve of the Clock at Noon, there came into Mr. Prichards Chamber in Grays-Inn, a Gentle­man [Page 10] in the habit of a Minister, who seemed to be very much frighted, which induced me to ask him, Why he looked so ill? his answer was, That he had been dogg'd by several Persons for three or four hours, but knew not why. Then I asked him, If he thought them not Bailiffs? says he, I am confident they cannot be such, for I owe no man a penny; or to that effect. Having rested himself a while, he begged a pen, ink, and paper, that he might write a line or two to a Friend, which he did, subscribing his name thus, Jo. Talbot. VVhich Note (being open) he sent to his Friend, who lived in Charter-house-Lane, requiring him (as I remem­ber) if he ever did any thing for him, to meet him somewhere, for he had something of im­portance to acquaint him with; this Note he sent by a Servant of Mr. Prichards, and in the mean time while he stayed to expect an answer, shewed me some of those Persons which he suspected were of the Confederacy in dogging him, neither of which, I verily believe, were either Rodes or Prichard, two of those who are now Condemned for the Robbery and Murder of the said Mr. Talbot.

James Kynoin.

The Attestation of John Savil Headborough of Shoreditch.

SAturday. Morning, a great showre of Rain falling, the Brick-makers were necessita­ted to rise, to cover their Brick with Straw, to save it from the Rain; one of them saw a Man lying in the field stript to his shirt and drawers all wet, hereupon being frighted he ran and told his fellow Workmen what he had seen; they all came to see whether the man was kill'd, they finding life in him, came and called me up out of my Bed, between two and three of the Clock, and said there was a man either Kill'd or Robb'd in the fields; with that, I came and went with them, finding life in the Gentleman, I sent for strong waters. At Mrs. Whites (at the Garden House of Dame Annis so Cleer) he drank it; then I sent for a Trusse of Straw, then the Brick-makers put their Coats about him, and their Wifes put their Hankercheifs about his Neck, to keep the Ayre from his wounds; he drank strong waters three times, and was so [Page 12] well comforted with it, that he made signs for Pen, Ink and Paper, and then Wrote, (see Mr. Went's first Attestation.) VVe then brought him to the Watch-house in a Handbarrow, one of our Company fearing an Arrest, crossing the fields to go home, found a Man lying on the back-side of the Garden where the Murther was commited; he calls to me, signifying that there was another Man Murthred, as he thought; So I made thither, and took this Man, whose name afterwards proved to be Stephen Eaton a Journy-man Confectioner in Barbican, (pretending him­self to be asleep) and Mr. Talbots Doublet with the Collar thereof bloody, was found lying on one side of him, and Mr. Talbots Knife on the other side, with which he was stabbed in the throat:) I gave my Men charge to search him, and they found about him four peeces of Tape, whereof one peece of white Tape was bloody; I brought him to Mr. Talbot, and he made signs for a Pen and Ink, and wrote, That that was his bloody Enemy that cut his Throat; and that at the Instant of time the Beasts of the field bellowed. I secured him a while in the stocks, after which I said to my partner, I would go down into the Garden and see for Mr. Talbots other Cloaths, but I could find none; As I went I [Page 13] saw a poor Woman coming out of a Shade, and I asked her, what she did there? She said, she was about her employment, (which was to gather Rags,) and whether there was any body in the Shade? She answered, there was a Woman snoring; I went in and took her asleep, (her name being Sarah Swift, as afterwards appeared) I askt her what she did there? She told me she wanted a little rest, and she came there to sleep. I demanded of her where she lived? She an­swerd, at Cow-Cross; and then I brought her before Mr. Talbot, and he made signs for Pen and Ink, and wrote, She was the bloody Wo­man, that said, Kill the Dog; afterwards these persons were carried before Justice Pitfield who committed them to Newgate.

The Marke of Jo. † Savill.

The Attestation of Thomas Hutchins Silk-weaver of Holloway-lane in Shoreditch.

SAturday, July 3. (the Morning being wet) between seven and eight of the Clock, I [Page 14] coming over Hogsdon fields towards Dame An­nis so Cleer, perceiving a Man lying in a ditch, not above two stones throw from the place, where the Ministers Throat was out: Meeting another Man on the path, requested him to go with me to see what he was, so we went: We asked him why he lay on the wet ground? He answer'd, for no harm; we askt him again, why he lay there seeing such a Robery was com­mitted, and the man Mortally Wounded, and that we suspected him to be one in the Fact? Whereupon he would willingly have been gone; I stept to him and told him he must go before an Officer to clear himself, by Confes­sing where he was last night, otherwise I would make him go: Then I with him that was with me brought him to Mr. Edward Banister Head­borough: Witness my hand

Thomas Hutchins.

The Attestation of Edward Banister Headborough, living at the Red Lion in Halloway Lane.

The suspected person being brought unto me, I examined him where he lived? He told me, he lived in Cloth-Fair, at one Thomas Sutton's house: I asked him again, where he was the last night? he told me he had been in his Lodging, and had not been out all the day before: Then I asked him what Trade he was? he said he was a Tay­lor, then he told me he wrought for this Sutton, then I had him to the Star to Mr. Talbot, who was asked whether this was one of the parties? He looked very earnestly upon him and made signes for Pen, Ink and Paper, and it was given him by Mr. Daniel Dod Clark of the Parish, whereupon he wrote, I think this is one of the knot that lay him down to dog me in the Ruines below Shoo-lane, pray ask him if a Boy brought him (the said Henry Pritchard) a flagon of drink yesterday a­bout 4 or 5 of the clock: I mean not the flagon at the Garden, but in the Ruines below Shoo-lane, 6 men and one bloudy woman dog'd me full seven hours, his Associates will say (that is deny it) as the man did this day that had my Doublet: So I carried him before Justice Pitfield, who examined him, but he would not confess any thing of the fact, but told him that he was in his Lodging that night, and came not forth till 7 a clock that Saturday morning. The Justice asked him, where he was yesterday? he [Page 16] answered at Mr. Sutton's: Then the Justice desi­red me to go to Mr. Suttons with him, when I came there, I asked Mr. Sutton's Wife whether she knew this man? she said she did, and she had known him about this half year: then I asked her, whether he lodg'd there last night? she answered, she had not seen him in a fortnight: Then her hus­band coming down stairs affirmed the like; Then I brought him back to Justice Pitfield, who Exa­mined him, but he would not confess any thing, whereupon his Mittimus was made.

The first Attestation of Master VVent Constable of Shore­ditch Parish. Saturday July the 3d. 1669.

BEtween two & three of the clock in the mor­ning, I was called up by a company of Brick-makers, to go and take care of a man (whose name afterwards I learnt to be Mr. John Talbot) whom they said lay speechless, if not dead in the fields; and as they thought, stripped and robbed of his clothes, in that he there lay naked to his shirt and drawers: whereupon I made what provision and speed I could to go with them: but not going down immediately to them, they being very di­ligent and industrious, went and called up the Beadle and a brother-Officer and went again to the aforesaid Mr. Talbot: whereas it being then day-light, they saw him lying in his blood, with a terrible gash and wound in his throat: but percei­ving life in him, they sent for strong waters and gave him, which did very much revive him; and thereupon they covering him with their Coats, [Page 18] brought him to me to take care and charge of him: but as they were bringing the said Master Talbot to me, one of the Brick-makers espying a Bayliff in the fields and fearing an arrest by him, withdrew himself from the rest of the Company to go another way: and in his passing up a Lay­stall hill, he espied something lying under the side of a Garden: to which he presently approaching, found it to be the doublet of Mr. John Talbot, it being bloody about the Collar, and therefore be­ing in a maze, and looking about him, he espied a man, namely, one Stephen Eaton, lying in the Net­tles very near the doublet; whereupon he call'd again to the Company that were carrying away Master Talbot, bidding them come to him; saying, there was another man kill'd, and lay dead there by him: the said Stephen Eaton hearing this star­ted up, and would have gone away, which the Brick-makers likewise perceiving, seised on him, and stayed him on the place till the Officer and his Guard came up to them: who taking the said Stephen Eaton into his custody, and looking about the place, found a knife all bloody, which after­wards proved to be the knife of Master Talbot, with which his Throat was cut and stabbed: and farther looking thereabout, and searching him, found in a Ditch by him a Quart Pot, and in his Drawers four pieces of Tape, one whereof was broken, the rest of them being whole pieces, and some of them bloudy; all which giving great suspicion of him, they brought him to the woun­ded man; who presently made signes for a Pen [Page 19] and Ink, and wrote that, that man (namely Ste­phen Eaton) was his bloody Enemy, and that he with five men more and a bloudy woman, had dog'd and persued him seven hours, and thereup­on securing him in the stocks, whilest I went to provide a Lodging for the wounded man, and to get a Chyrurgion and other necessaries for him: I desired my Partner, the Officer that had before brought Master Talbot out of the fields, and ta­ken the said Stephen Eaton, to go again and search the Fields and Garden, near where this Eaton with the knife and doublet were taken: because Mr. Talbot had wrote that there we might have some farther information: but this said Officer, finding nothing neither in the Fields or Garden that could give any farther discovery; again coming forth of the Garden, espied over the High-way a shed door open'd, a woman coming forth with an old pair of bodies in her hand, whom he questioning, and find­ing it to be her Trade to gather Rags, let her pass, demanding of her, if any other person were in the Shed? to which she answered, there was a woman, upon which he going in, found her snorting, either being or pretending to be asleep: which he with his Guard soon roused up, and finding her some­what suspitious, brought her to the wounded man whom I had gotten to bed, and was by this time very much revived with necessaries that I had like­wise procured for him: and therefore taking the woman into the room to him, I did by writing de­mand of him, if that was the bloudy woman, that he had before in several papers wrote of to me? to [Page 2] which he presently wrote this Answer:

Is not this woman called by the name of Sarah which yesterday wanted a Coach, and pretended she had a Bastard lately: Whereupon I presently before any information was given on either side, more than what passed between Mr. Talbut and my self in Writing. I took her aside and deman­ded her name, which she told me was Sarah, but denyed that she wanted a Coach, or any ways pre­tended she had a Bastard the day before, which I likewise told Mr. Talbut; but he still affirmed, That she was the very Woman which with the six men so long dog'd and pursued him, and cryed to her Companions, Kill the Dog, when they first began to set upon him. Then I presently caused her to be taken away and secured in the Watch-house neer the Stocks, wherein the said Stephen Eaton was all this time secured: Whilst I made provision for the conveying of them to a Magi­strate, in the mean time questioning with Mr. Tal­but whether he were certain that the persons I had then in custody, namely Stephen Eaton and Sarah Swift were guilty of wounding and stripping of him? He still asserted, That they were both of them guilty of his wound and blood. Then I presently caused both of them to be pinioned, and in going to have them to a Magistrate, Stephen Eaton desired of me that I would first permit him to see and speak once more to Mr. Talbut, which accordingly I granted, and went my self up with him, and coming into the room to Mr. Talbut, he fell upon his knees, lifting up his hands, and spake [Page 21] these words to Mr. Talbut, Sir, I desire you to con­sider, what you do in charging me with this grie­vous and bloody crime of wounding of you, which I am altogether clear and innocent of; and there­fore I pray the Lord to make a speedy discovery of the persons that were the Actors of it: And you Sir, speaking to Mr. Talbut, be pleased to clear me that am innocent. To which Mr. Talbut, so well as he could, cryed no, no, making signs that he was the man that wounded him, and that I should take him away; so guarding him with Sa­rah Swift directly to a Justice, they were by several circumstances besides what Mr. Talbut had wrote about them, both of them suspected guilty; yet they both denyed it, or that they ever saw Mr. Talbut till that morning that they were brought before him; but near the end of their examinati­on, and the hearing of the evidences that came a­gainst them and first found them, when their Mit­timus was about to be made by the Justice, there came in one Mr. Porter, who dwells in the Garden near which these persons were both taken, de­claring that in his Garden there lay a Coat and Breeches which he suspected to be the wounded mans, and therefore desired that an Officer would go and take charge of them, which accordingly I did, leaving my Partner the other Officer that first took them, to receive the Mittimus from the Justice and convey them to Newgate: So when I came to the Garden, I found as Mr. Porter before had told me, the Coat and Breeches of Mr. Tal­but, with the sheath of his knife lying by them, [Page 22] which I took up before several persons that being there went into the Garden with me; I searcht his pockets, finding therein a leather case with some papers and writings in them, and an Alma­nack with a pair of Gloves and a pocket Hand­kerchief, and a leather purse with a half Crown and a groat, and a brass half penny in it; all which things I presently carried to Mr. Talbot, who wrote that they were all his, and that he had lost one pound ten pence, with two gold rings, besides the money that I had found; and that one of the rings was a Portugal ring with a stone in it; and the other was a plain English ring with this Posey in it, Love as I, or I die: Therefore by the way all persons are de­sired to make a discovery of such persons that shall at any time tender such rings to their view or sale.

But to return to our business, I then began to question Mr. Talbot how he thought his cloaths should come into the Garden, and what occasioned him to be about that place so late, he having be­fore declared that they set upon him about eleven a clock on Friday night; to which he gave this answer: That as he was on Friday seeking for one Mr. John Pell in Holborn, a Shop-keeper, being a stranger to him, bid him look to himself, for he was dogged by many Knaves: whereupon he fearing an arrest from some people of Laindon in Essex, he betook himself to Grays-Inn, where by some Lawyers he was civilly entertained, declaring to them his condition, and withal sent for some of [Page 23] his acquaintance to come to him, but they not being at home, he waited there for their coming till it was very late, thinking thereby that those persons which before had followed him, and had there been seen to wait for him, would for that time have given over their hopes and expectations of taking him, and so have drawn off from wait­ing any longer that night for him; and there­fore when he and the Gentlemen with whom he was thought it convenient for him to depart, they advised him to go the privatest way he could to his Lodging, which was in Bishopsgate-street, which accordingly he did; but withal soon per­ceived that he was still dogged, though they made no attempt to assault or come upon him; and at last, as he thought he had quite lost them, and had been quite escaped from them, he having for some time no perceivance of them, till as he was going along the High-way, leading from Oldstreet to Shorditch, they made fresh suit after him, crying out to the bloody Woman with them, Sarah, Sarah, a Coach, a Coach; which as he apprehended was to carry him away, till such time as he heard her as she followed them, cry out to them, Kill the Dog; and thereupon he run out of the High-way into the fields, and from thence into the Garden, thinking thereby to have got to the house therein, and so have escaped their bloody design; but they being so resolute and violent in the pursuit of him, that they en­tred [Page 24] the Garden after him, and just within the hedge of it sezied him, laying him on the ground, clapping some of their hands to his mouth, others kneeling on his breast whilst one took him by the throat, and with his own knife that they had taken out of his pocket, cut away a great piece of his skin and flesh closs to the wind-pipe, to the breadth of a six pence, stabbing him likewise in the same place; which done they stripped off his Coat, Doublet and Breeches, but by some strange providence, as yet not certainly known to us; they were so prevented that they were constrained to leave both him and most of his cloaths in the Garden, save only his Knife and Doublet, with the two gold rings and one pound ten pence in money, as before mentioned. And this he several times asserted to me and several others, to be the only ground and cause of his be­ing in such a place and at such a time of the night: Now if this be true, as we are charitably to judge it is, it being almost the last words and writing of a dying man, it may then serve to confute and reprehend the many false and various con­structions and apprehensions of many persons con­cerning the said Mr. Talbot, who so far as I can perceive have causlessly aspersed him with be­ing conversant amongst these people the day before, as if he had been naught with Sarah Swift; and so by that means was surprized with her, and fell into the hands of his barbarous [Page 25] and bloody enemies; but this accusation carrieth nothing of weight or certainty with it, for as much as this Sarah was so pitiful a scrubbed, lowsie creature, that I think it should have loathed him or any man to come near to her.

The second Attestation of Mr. Went a Weaver, Constable; living near Shoreditch-Church.

I Going to Newgate on the Lords day after the Robbery, to learn what I could of Sarah Swift, I had information from a prisoner in Newgate, That one George Rhodes, came to him and took him by the hand thorough the Grate, and told him that Sarah Swift was had before a Justice, for being suspected to be guilty of cutting the throat and robbing one in Shore-ditch, and told him he was sorry for her, and wisht she might get well off, and withall trem­bled, the while he had him by the hand, and was so amazed, he could not tell how to go down stairs; Then the Prisoner bid him go fetch two or three penny-worth of That same, (it being an usual term with [Page 27] them) whereupon he jumped down stairs, telling him he was going to take horse to ride out of Town. As we came from New­gate, we call'd in at Cloth-Fair, where we had directions how to find him: but his Pa­rents being both dead, we heard he was an Apprentice in Long-Lane with a Broker, coming thither to look for him, his Master told me, That he had been gone from him a Fortnight, but he would come again to morrow, whereupon I told him I would come to morrow to speak with him, and ac­cordingly I did, but he was not then come; thereupon I acquainted his Master with the reason of my coming, desiring him to se­cure and bring him forth, that he might be Examined touching the Crime that he was suspected Guilty of; who the same day came along with him to my house to Shore­ditch, but I being not within, he was by Mr. Dod our Parish-Clark, accompanied to the wounded man.

The Attestation of John Chapman Head­borough of Shoreditch, fol­loweth.

AS soon as he came, the wounded per­son made signe for Pen, Ink and Pa­per, and writes thus; Mr. Dod, pray ask him what he made on Friday in Grays-Inn, walking so long time up and down, here and there, I met him and he lookt grim on me, I cannot attest he was one that cut my throat, But I am sure he was one that dog'd me: So he gave Mr. Dod the paper­book, and made signes for it again, and writes, Send for an Officer: The Broker ask'd him, what time of the Day he saw him in Grays-Inn? and he call'd a third time for the Book, and wrote; The hour I cannot tell being in so much fear and trouble, but I am sure he was one that [Page 29] dog'd me, with that there was an Officer sent for, which was my self, I did apprehend him in in a low Room in the House, accompanied with his Master and two more, besides Mr. Dod the Clark: I asked his Master some questions, and he told me, he had absented himself from him this Fortnight, and that he came and bought out his time, that Morning, for five pound for three years to come. He denied the Fact for the which he was apprehended; so I carried him before Justice Pit­field: After his Mittimus was made, there was three persons made Affidavit, that the said George Rhodes going before the Justice, kickt the Dust, and said, He valued not his life, for if he were hang'd he would hang five more.

The last Note Mr. Talbot wrote, was on the day before he Dyed.

Mr. Went

PRay get some to speak to the Ordinary to enquire of Eaton who employed him or hired him.

If so, let Eaton give their names of their place of habita­tion: Or whether any of Lainedom people did abett, con­sent, or contribute to his bloody fact.

Whereupon Mr. Went upon the Execution day, repaired to Newgate, and obtained the following Attestation from a Chaplaine that was present with the Prisoners, not meet­ing with the Ordinary.

The Chaplaine Attested, that before that time, he had some conference with Eaton, and went in again to him with the Note I had of Mr. Talbot, questioning Eaton about it, who utterly denied it, as he should answer it before an Eternal Judge, and that he is altogether clear and inno­cent of the Crime laid against him, and that he never saw the face of Mr. Talbot, till he was on Saturday morning brought before him, which said Gentleman likewise que­stioning Sarah Swift the day before Execution, concerning her being guilty, and urging her to confess the bloody fact: she answered, she would burn in hell before she would confess any thing.

An account of the proceedings at the Sessions house, in the Old Bayly, concerning the Robbery and Murder committed by three men and one woman on Mr. Talbott at a place called Dame Annis so clear in Moorefields.

The Prisoners being brought to the Barr, a bloody knife was produced, they all denied that they ever saw it, and [Page 30] and that they knew the person wounded, or any thing of the said Murder or Robbery. But many witnesses were called which were at the taking of these said Offenders; But especially one person who was the first that found the said wounded man Mr. Talbott, did declare these words, (or words to the like effect) that first finding of the said woun­ed man, he viewed him and found that his throat was cut, whereupon he called for help, (being the first man that found the said Mr. Talbot) and thereupon walking about the place where he lay, he espyed a bloody doublet, and approaching near to it, he saw a man lying as it were a sleep between the said doublet and the said bloody knife, but calling at the man, awak'd and rose up, thereupon he layed hold on him, and endeavouring to escape, he gave him a knock over the head, and broke the skin, whereby did issue forth a little blood, and afterwards searching the pockets of the said person, whose name was Stephen Eaton, he found four peices of tape, one of which said peices of tape was bloody, besides some money and other things, which being asked how he came by them could not at pre­sent give any possitive answer: but at the Sessions house be­ing asked how that tape came bloody, answered it was occasioned by his bloody head, but the witness swore 'twas impossible, there being not so much blood as would wet his hair.

But the main evidences against the said Offenders were the subscriptions of the said M. Talbott, when any of the said Offenders were brought before him, he writ down that such an one had robbed him, and also in his writing much exclaiming against one Sarah, mentioning her to be the bloody woman, that cryed, kill the dog.

The Offenders names are
  • [Page 32]1. Stephen Eaton a Confectioner.
  • 2. Sarah Swift.
  • 3. Hen. Prichard a Tayler.
  • 4. George Roades a Broker.

These being all persons of a loose life and not able to give any good account of their habitations and behaviour, were by the Jury brought in, guilty of the said Robbery and intended murder of the said Mr. Talbot: for they could not prove where they were after 6 of the clock the night before the said murder was committed.

We have been the briefer in this part of the Narrative to avoid the Repetition of what hath been before at large set forth in the Attestations of the several persons concerned.

Note: Midd. ss.THe Information of Thomas Lichfield, of the Parish of St. Buttolph's Bishop­gate, London, Chirurgeon, taken and acknowledged the thirteenth day of Iuly, in the one and twentieth year of the raigne of our Soveraign Lord King Charles the second, Annoq. Dom. 1669.

This Informant saith, That he being sent for, as a Chirurgeon, to take care of one Iohn Talbott, who was wounded in his throat: This informant at his coming, searched his throat, and found a wound therein of the depth of three inches, and of the breadth of two inches, which penetrated into his Longes, which as this Informant verily conceives [Page 33] was done with a knife, he this Informant applyed several Medicines for the cure thereof, but found the same to be mortal. And the said Iohn Talbott dyed on Monday the twelfth day of Iuly instant, about one of the Clock in the morning, and farther saith not

Tho. Lichfield.
Iohn Cowper Coroner.

Here followeth the Attestation of the Ordnarie of Newgate.

Henry Prichard having the favour of a Repreive.

I was in the Cart at the Executing of three of those persons condemned for the Murder of Mr. Tal­bott, and intending to examine them about it, I was told and assured by two Ministers then present, that they would confess nothing of it, and therefore I thought it not needful farther to enquire but present­ly went to Prayer.

Henry Gerrard, Minister of Creechurch, and Ordnary instituted.

The extraordinary care of the Officers, both Church-Wardens, Constable, and other private persons, was eminently remarkable and desirous to be recorded as a worthy example to others, when­soever any such accident shall happen. As the care of his wound was committed to Mr. Lichfeild, a neighbouring Chyrurgion, who diligently attend­ed [Page 34] him, and skilfully managed his business; so that nothing might be omitted which might conduce to his recovery, a Physitian was likewise called, Viz. Dr. Hodges, who was one of the two Phisitians im­ployed by the City dureing the late dreadful Visita­tion; and at the request of Dr. Thiscrosse Minister to the Charter-House: Dr. Rigely somtimes met there by whose joint direction he seemed in a hopeful way of Cure. From Monday morning till the Sabboth following no ill Symptome appearing, either upon account of the wound or otherwise; for although he was taken up very wet, and lay in the open air some hours; yet through their experienced abilities he was secured from a Feavour: Several Chyrurgi­ons, Viz. That antient Master in his Art Alderman Arris, Mr. Peirce, and others, did freely and chear­fully afford their assistance, about noon on Sabboth day he was dressed, the wound well conditioned, a very laudable digestion appeared, and he seemed more chearful then formerly, but so it pleased Pro­vidence, within two or three hours after, a violent fit of Coughing seizeing him, a branch of the Ju­gular brake; if not the Jugular it self, and in a short space, before any one could come in to his assistance, the effusion of blood was so great, that he fainted, and his extream parts were cold; after the Flux was stopp'd upon caughing, he bled again, and the third time, till his condition became deplorable; about one or two that morning he sent for Dr. At­feild Minister of Shoreditch and whereas before he said little else, then I, or No, being requested by his Physitians and Chyrurgions not to put those parts [Page 35] upon a great relation, but rather to write his mind; he spake freely to the Doctour, who desired him to declare his judgment, in relation to justification; which he freely did, saying, that he hoped to be sa­ved by the merrits of Jesus Christ onely; and the Doctor pressing him to signifie whether he was fully satisfied to his accusation of the persons condemned; he readily answered that he was wel assured that he was not mistaken in what he had done, relating to that business, being inquired of, whether he could freely forgive them; he replyed, that he prayed for the well-fare of their Souls; but desired that the law might pass on their bodies, in short, he sub­mitted to that dispensation of Providence towards him, and resigned himself up when the Doctour prayed with him, and within two hours expired, during his languishment; He was very much com­posed, and seemed devout; howsoever some per­sons were pleased to censure him, and to prejudge his condition. Thus much must be said, that ma­ny spake concerning him, what they knew not: He seemed so charitable as not to concern himself with their aspersions; 'Twere desireable if men would be of a more Christian and charitable temper, because such false Defamations wound more effectually then Murderous hands.

[Page 36]1. That we may escape the snares of bloody and deceitful Men: The Church of England, hath taught us in the Letany to pray for the deliverance from Murther.

And this upon Scripture foundations that sets forth that the Lord hath even changed the wicked minds and intentions of Men.

Thus the heart and will of Esau, upon Iacobs prayers was changed from hatred, to favour to­wards his Brother Iacob: see Genesis ch. 32. and 33.

Thus David in 2. Samuel chap. 15.31. Prayed the Lord to turn the counsel of Achitophel into foolishness, so in Prov. 16.7. When a mans ways please the Lord, he maketh even his Enemies to be at peace with him.

Ier. 10.11. The Lord said verily it shall be well with thy remnant, verily I will cause the Ene­my to entreat thee well in the time of evil, and in the time of affliction.

Ier. 19.23. O Lord I know that the way of man is not in himself, it is not in man that walk­eth to direct his steps.

2. To avoid such dangers shun evil company there is a promise annexed thereto, 2. Cor. 6. ver. 16.17.18.

3. If such mischeifs befall us, consider the rod, and who hath appointed it or in his wise provi­dence permitted it.

Luke. 12.27. The haires of our head are num­bred. Math. 10.29. Not a Sparrow falls to the ground without Our Father.

1. Kings. 22.24. An Arrow shot at randome must take place.

[Page 37]4. Even in the worst of calamities, consider that God many times delivers his People thereby, from a vain transitory world, to a habitation eternal in the heavens not made with hands.

Psal. 63.3. Thy loving kindness is bettter then life.

And those that will bear with comfort the pangs of death, must labour to dye in faith, that is they must lay hold of the promise of God touching the forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting by Christ, and then we may say with Iob. chap. 5. ver. 21· Thou shalt not be afraid of destruction when it com­eth: Death be it never so bitter or painful, shall not be able to separate us from the love of God. Rom. 8. ver. 28.38. St. Stephens violent death was but a sweet sleep. Acts 7.60. Iohn 11.11. It is but a sleeping in Jesus, 1. Thess. 4.14. The Grave is called a bed of rest: Isaiah 57.2. Prov. 14.32. The righteous hath hope in his death, it delivers them from sin and sorrow, from temptati­ons of the Devil, the opposition and vexation of the world and flesh, and is an inlet or passage to im­mortality.

As we have shewed by the Testimony of holy writ that the Scripture affords consolations to the faithful, under their greatest afflictions, so it de­nounceth wrath and damnaation against Murthe­rers.

[Page 38]That these kind of persons are reported to have a Canting Language amongst themselves; as when they say take Coach, is meant cut a Throat; take Horse, take a Purse; Mill a Gruntling, steal a Pigg, &c.

Enough hath been said to shew the accomplishment of the Psalmists Commination: Bloody and deceiptful men shall not live out half their days, Psal. 55.23. And he there renders the reason: For thou O God shalt bring them down into the Pit of Destruction, in thee will I trust.

Instead of Errata's, I must acquaint the Reader, that some Relations have been Printed concerning this Murder; in which are so many notorious mi­sttakes and falsities, that I hope every page of this narrative may correct them and appear it self free from such faults, which occasion much mischeif in giving people an opportunity to, and instructing them in the Art of lying.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.