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Old Bailey Proceedings - Trial Accounts
London's Central Criminal Court

14th May 1719
Stephen Margrove & John Wood
Violent Theft - Highway Robbery divider

Stephen Margrove and John Wood, of the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields, were indicted for Assaulting George Smith on the King's High-Way, and taking from him 22 s. the 18th of January last.

The Prosecutor deposed that the Prisoners came up to him (and John Wood took him hold by the Collar of his Coat) and demanded his Money, and said if he would not give it them they would take away his Life and swear Sodomy against him; that by means of this Violence, and being under a Terror, and in great-Fear he gave them what he had in his Pocket, which was Half a Guinea, and about 11 s. or 12 s. in Silver

but they not being contented with that said they would shame him if he did not, give them more Money, and went Home with him in his Master's House in Golden-Square, where being in a Surprize, he gave them another Guinea; he was sure they were the same Persons, he having seen them before, when he was with his Master at Tunbridge.

The Prisoners pleaded that the Prosecutor came up to Wood while he was making Water, and took hold of his Yard, using some unseemly Expressions, whereupon he called out a Sodomite; that then the Prosecutor fell on his Knees, and begg'd them not to expose him, and took them over to the Hoop Tavern Door, and gave them half a Guinea and some Silver here (which the Prosecutor deny'd) they said further than the Prosecutor took them Home to his Master's House and gave them another Guinea;

and urg'd that it could not be robbing on the High Way, because the Prosecutor gave them the Money; But the Court observed that the Money, they took from him in the Street, was mention'd in the Indictment; and that he that took a Man by the Collar in the Street, and demanded his Money with threats to take away his Life if he did not give it them, and by such violence and putting in feat got his Money from him was guilty of Robbing him.

They called several to their Reputation, by which it appear'd that Margrove had been a Servant at Young-Man's-Coffee-House 6 Years, and Wood had been a Gentleman's Servant, but none to give an Account how they spent the last 6 Months of their Lives.

The Jury found them Guilty. Death.


Ordinary's Account, 8th June 1719.

THE Ordinary of NEWGATE HIS ACCOUNT OF The Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Speeches Of the Malefactors Executed at Tyburn, On Monday the 8th of June 1719.


On Friday the 29th of the same Month, being the Anniversary Day of K. CHARLES the IId's Blessed Nativity and Happy Restauration: I preached on part of the Gospel appointed for the Service of that Day, viz. St. Matth. 22. 21, 22. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar, the Things which are Caesar's; and unto GOD, the Things that are GOD's. When they had heard these Words, they marvelled, and left Him, and went their way.

Those Words of our Blessed Saviour to the Pharisees Disciples, and the Herodians, I first explain'd in general with their Context.


And Yesterday, being the 7th of this instant June, and the Second Sunday after Trinity, I Preached to them again, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon; taking my Text out of the Gospel appointed for that Day, viz. St. Luke 14. 16, 17. Verses, and part of the 18th Verse. Then saith He unto him, A certain Man made a great Supper, and bad many: And sent his Servant at Supper-time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are uow ready. And they all with one Consent, began to make excuse.


In my Explanation of those several Particulars, I shew'd How in that Parable Our Blessed Saviour sets forth this great Truth, viz. That ALMIGHTY GOD lovingly invites Men to His Kingdom of Glory and Happiness, and They often unworthily reject His most gracious Invitation, as being more taken with the Things of the Earth here below, than with those infinitely better Things that are in Heaven above.

Having enlarged upon all those Points, and endeavour'd to incline the Hearts of my Hearers to obey CHRIST's Call, and accept of the Felicity they were invited to, by HIM in whose Presence is fulness of Joy, and at whose Right Hand there are Pleasures for evermore; I did, for a Conclusion of the Whole, in a special manner apply my self to the Persons Condemned,

whom I exhorted, more and more to take an impartial Survey of their past vicious Lives, seriously to consider their present dismal Condition because they had Sinned, and effectually labour to prevent their future miserable State, and obtain (through CHRIST's Merits) a Life of Endless Happiness in the next World, by making a wise Use of their few remaining (and therefore precious) Moments in this; that they might be at Peace with GOD, with their Neighbour, and with their own Consciences, before their Great Change came, which was now so near at hand.

As they were attentive to my publick, so likewise to my private Instructions and Admonitions, wherein I represented to them the Deformity, Odiousness, and lamentable Consequences of Vice on the one hand, and the Beauty, Loveliness, and blessed Effects of True Religion and Virtue on the other; shewing them, that according as they now lived and dy'd, they should be either Happy, or Miserable for ever. In these they were fully taught, and seem'd to be very clear: And I hope they were most (if not all) of them well dispos'd.

The respective Accounts which they gave me of Themselves are as follow.


- John Wood, condemned with Stephen Margrove, hereafter mention'd, for an Assault and Robbery by them jointly committed on the Person of George Smith, taking from him 22 Shillings on the 18th of January last, He said he was 22 years of age, born at Winchester; That he came up to London when very Young: That soon after he got into Service , and lived several Years (alternately) with divers Honourable Persons, by whom he was entertain'd, sometimes in the Capacity of a Footman , at other times in that of a Butler, and often in both those Capacities at once; and, That the last Service he was in, he quitted about 9 Months ago on account of his Lady's disliking of him.

He protested, That he was Innocent of the Fact he stood Condemned for, but at the same time freely confess'd he had been (otherwise) an Ill-liver, as having frequently profaned the Lords-day, much neglected the Service of God, both publick and private, and often yielded to the Devil's Temptations, by which he was brought to the Commission of those Sins so common among Men, and so heinous withal, viz. Swearing, Cursing, Drinking, Adultery, Fornication, &c.

All. which he said he now abhorr'd, and truly repented of; praying God to for give him all his Sins of what degree or nature soever. And here (after he had long persisted in his Denial of the Crime he was to suffer for) he at last acknowledged it, and the Justice of his Sentence upon it; adding, That of late he had made it his Wicked Practice, by using some undecent Gestures, to induce Men to Sodomy, whom he fancy'd might be inclinable that way, as if he would have yielded his Body to that foul Act;

but when he had taken the Money agreed upon beetween them for it, he deceived them, and told them, that he was not for their Sport; and he must have more of their Money, or else he would accuse them, and defame them When he now came to himself, and consider'd this, and other his heinous Offences, he express'd great grief for them, as Stephen Margrove, (hereafter mention'd) did for his, who had committed the like Undecency and Cheat.

- Stephen Margrove, condemned for the same Fact, committed with the said John Wood. He said, he was 21 Years of Age, born in Catherine-Wheel-Yard in the Parish of St. James in Westminster: That he had been 6 Years a Servant in a Coffee-house near Charing-Cross; and afterwards lived with a Gentleman for sometime: That having quitted this Service, he got into another, which was that of waiting on a Cornet in the Regiment of Dragoons then at Worcester: That the said Regiment being broke, his Master the Cornet, who had no further occasion for him, discharg'd him about a Twelve-month ago: That from that time he remain'd without any Employment, saving, that (now and then) he did some Business for One that kept a Toy-shop at Tunbridge; and that, when out of Service, he lived mostly upon his Friends; some giving him Victuals, others Lodging, and others Washing.

He deny'd the Fact he stood condemn'd for, and said, he never was guilty of any such Crime, nor any other; and, That he was not in the least addicted to the common Vices of Swearing, Cursing, Drinking, keeping Company with lewd Women, &c. But after his loud Protestation of Innocence as to this Robbery, he at last confess'd his being concern'd in it; adding, That he had often allured Men (whom he supposed to be given) to Sodomy, but never suffer'd them to proceed to that foul Act with him, his Intent being only to get some Money, which he extorted from them by threatning them, much in the same manner as John Wood did. He acknowledg'd this was a great Offence, and therefore humbly begg'd Pardon of God, and all he had offended, to whom he could make no other Satisfaction.


At the Place of Execution, to which they were carry'd from Newgate (in two Carts) this Day, I attended them for the last time; and two of them, viz. John Wood and Richard Williams, declar'd to me (as they had done twice before) That Edward Irons, who is accused to have robb'd a Porter on the Highway, and taken from him a Neckcloth and two Shillings and Six Pence in Money, is innocent of that Fact: That themselves, with another lately gone into the Country, were the only Persons who did it; and, That the said Edward Irons was no ways concern'd with them in it.

After they had made this Declaration, I pray'd by them, and desir'd them all to clear their Consciences in every thing. To which they answer'd, They had no more to say, but that they died in Charity with all Men; and desired the Spectators would pray for them, and that all (young Men especially) might take Warning by them.

Which they having said, I pray'd for them again, and sung some Penitential Psalms with them: I also made them rehearse the Apostles Creed, and wish'd they might obtain that Life Everlasting, which they had now profess'd to believe; and, That the LORD JESUS CHRIST would please to say to every one of their Souls (as He once did to the Penitent Thief on the Cross) To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Thus having recommended them to the DIVINE GOODNESS and MERCY, I withdrew, and left them to their private Devotion, for which they had some time allotted them;

and just as the Cart was drawing away, each of them earnestly cry'd to GOD for Pardon and Grace, in these and the like Ejaculations. LORD, have Mercy upon me! LORD, comfort thou me with thy Spirit! LORD JESUS, wash away my Sins in thy most precious Blood! LORD, he thou my Helper! LORD, I come, I come! LORD JESU, receive my Soul! &c.

This is all the Account here to be given of these Dying Malefactors by me,


Monday, June 8th. 1719.


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