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

4th April 1722
James Tims
Violent Theft - Highway Robbery divider

James Tims, of St. Gregory by St. Pauls, was indicted for Assaulting John Bonwick on the Highway, putting him in fear, and taking from him a Watch, value 5 £. a Cornelian Seal, 7 s. and a steel Seal, 1 s. on the 7th of March last.

The Prosecutor depos'd, that about 10 at night, as he was making water in St. Pauls Church-Yard, the prisoner and another jostled him, and he felt the prisoner pull out his Watch; he kept his Eye on him, follow'd and stopt him with the Watch in his hand.

Mr Cousins depos'd, that hearing a noise he stept out, and saw 2 or 3 Persons about Mr. Bonwick, who held the prisoner by the Coat; and the prisoner charged Mr. Bonwick with Sodomy: which was confirm'd by John Cullen.

The prisoner in his defence said, that as he came along drunk, he heard the Prosecutor and another quarrelling: he past by them, and one of them came running after him, and almost knocked him down; the Prosecutor then came up and charged him with the Robbery.

[Verdict: Guilty - Punishment: Death]


Ordinary's Account, 4th May 1722.

THE Ordinary of NEWGATE his ACCOUNT of the Behaviour, Confessions, and Last Dying Words of the Malefactors that were Executed at Tyburn, on Friday the 4th of May, 1722.

AT the Sessions held at Justice-Hall in the Old-Baily, on the 4 &c. of April last past, were found Guilty of Capital Offences seven Men and two Women, viz. T. Reeves, J. Hartley, J. Tims, J. Thompson, J. Hoopes, J. Broom, J. Edwards, and Jane Bean, and Alice Phenix. Five of these Receiving His Majesty's Pardon, on condition of being Transported to America; The remaining 4 were ordered for Execution.

Of the several Texts of Scripture, which I endeavoured to illustrate to them, (during the Month that they lay under Sentence of Death) the last was, Job the 19. Verse, 25, and 26.

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter Day upon the Earth and tho' after my Skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my Flesh shall I see God.


The Account of the Prisoners, during the time that they lay under Sentence of Death.

THO' the sound of the Sentence past upon Malefactors, does commonly awe and alarm them into a serious Concern for the present, it has sometimes not even that Effect upon their Minds: And that the generallity of those last Condemn'd were so little sensible of their Danger, must be imputed to the greater part of them being wholly Illiterate.

Nor was it possible to perswade them to improve themselves in the little Reading they had learnt when Children; but they expected (as they told me) that I must furnish them with Common-Prayer Books, and not their Friends, nor would they otherwise regard the publick Prayers, or below attend to J. Hooper, when he offer'd to read and pray with them in the Condemned-Hold.

But to prevent in some Measure their vicious Practice of leud Talking and Swearing, I obtained for them some small stitch'd Books against those Vices, and after the Dead-Warrant was sent to them, they forsook their idle Discourse, and grew more serious; lamenting with Tears their Mistake, in having thought they should be all Reprived either when his Majesty left the Kingdom, or, at the Convention of the New Parliament.


4. JAMES TIMS, of St Gregory near St. Pauls, was convicted of assaulting John Bonwick, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, about 10 at Night, on the 7th of March last, and taking from him a Watch, a Cornelian Seal, &c. value 5 £. and 8 s. Tims pulling the Watch while another Robber josled him up against the Wall, and pretending after he was apprehended, to Charge Mr. Benwick with an attempt of Sodomy.

He much lamented, that tho' he was about 26 Years of Age, he could only say the Lord's Prayer, having wholly forgotten his Reading, which his Parents indulgently gave him when a Child, not having sound Writing or Reading, he said, necessary in his Way of driving and Managing Cattle and Beast.

He said he had been very much disturb'd by the Swearing and Cursing of the other Malefactors in the Condemn'd-Hold, who had no thoughts of dying; but that his Wife and all his Relations had earnestly advis'd him to be serious and attentive. He added, that the found his Mind very inclinable to Repentance, and could easily induce himself to take Delight and Pleasure in the Performance of Religion, Duties; and as for his being before convicted of carrying away a Number of Hogs which he had to drive, and converted the Money he sold them for, to his own Use; that he said was thro' the Instigation of an Acquaintance, who over perswaded him when he had drank after a very sultry Day, and was almost disguis'd in Liquor.

Indeed when he found the Efforts of his Friends were unable to procure him a Reprieve, he was the most observant of his Duty, and the Morning of his Death Received the Holy Sacrament with much earnestness of Devotion, and at the Place of Execution was in the Cart most particularly pressing in his Exclamations to God and Christ.

As they went to Execution, Tims and Thomson were full of Tears, and with wringing Hands implor'd God's Pardon. Hartly, tho' he was the fullest of Tears at first, yet when he saw no Hopes of Life remain, he appear'd wholly without Thought, but with a settled and deaden'd Look.

But as Reeves had been from the first no way concern'd at his approaching Danger, the same Deportment which he had at first, continued with him to the last Moment; and as the Mob, for want of Regulation, threw down one of the Horses that was drawing away the Cart; he would not hang in the half Posture of Misery, but threw himself over the Side of the Cart to his Death.

They all said, they were even glad at going out of this careful World; took their Leaves of each other; desir'd the Prayers of the People; adding, That as they hoped God had forgiven them, Men they expected would do the same. Reeve said, that tho' his Wife had the Misfortune, to have her Husband before Executed, yet no one ought to Reflect upon her for his ignominious Death, for she was not concerned in his Robberies, but that he himself was indeed guilty of the Fact for which he suffer'd, and had committed many Robberies about 6 or 7 o'Clock at Night, about those same Fields, and once on the High-Rood, robb'd till he had acquir'd 53 £. before he went to Bed, &c.

He was extreamly desirous to tell the Spectators, that Hartly was not with him in this Robbery, but in other Robberies had assisted him; but I endeavour'd to convince him, that as his Friend had been found Guilty by 2 impartial Men, he was simple to try to perswade People that his Friend was Innocent; and that they ought both to submit to the Hand of Providence, and to think more of another World and less of this.

This is the Account to be given of the MALEFACTORS, By

T. PURNEY, Ordinary, and Chaplain.



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