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On Saturday the 26th of May, 1770, Richardfon, Conway, and two men named Jackson and Fox, went to the shop of Mr. Robert Dun, in Princes-square, near Ratcliff-highway, and purchased a pair of piftols. The above mentioned Jackson was afterwards an evidence against his accomplices ; but we do not learn that Fox was ever taken into custody.
Having thus purchased the pistols, they left them at the house of an acquaintance, named Thomas; after which they all went to the lodgings of Conway, where they spent the night.
On the succeeding day (Sunday) they took a coach to Whitechapel, where they continued drinking till the dusk of the evening, when they went to Thomas's house for the pistols. Being unprovided with balls, they remained for while in consultation what to substitute in their stead; and at length they cut a pewter spoon in pieces, and loaded their pistols.
This being dene, Conway and Richardson went together, and the other two accompanied them, but at a small distance, that they might not appear to be a gang of ruffians. They met a gentleman's fervanr, whom they stopped ; but, as he had no money, he was permitted to pass without farther moleftation.
It happened that, in the afternoon, Mr. Venables, a butcher in Whitechapel, had been walking to Stepney, with his neighbour, Mr. Rogers, a carpenter ; and they were returning to town when they were met by the villains above-mentioned, which happened a few minutes after they had parted from the gentleman's servant.
Mr. Venables and Mr. Rogers had the appearance of men from whom a considerable booty
might be expected; whereupon Conway stopped the former, and demanded his money; but, instead of delivering it, Mr. Venables, who was a robuft man, twice knocked down Richardson and Fox; and they had no sooner recovered their legs, than Richardson and Conway inftantly fired their piftols, and the two unoffending passengers were killed on the spot.
These unprovoked murders being thus perpetrated, the villains did not stay to'rob the partiess búr, with the consciousness of guilt, hurried away towards Stepney, whence they went to Ratcliffhighway, and thence to Wapping, where they stopped a man, and robbed him of eighteen shillings and his watch.
This robbery being committed, they hastened to Darkhouse-lane, near Billingsgate, where they ftaid during the night and the next morning, after breakfafting at a public-house in Southwark, they parted, with a view of consulting their fafety in fight.
The bodies of the deceased, being found in the rõad, were conveyed to the watch-house; and a surgeon being sent for, he examined the wounds, and found that they had been made by pieces of pewter,
On the following Wednesday Jackson was apprehended, on fufpicion of having been concerned in the commiflion of these horrid murders. On his examination he gave information who were his ac-' complices; 'on which he was admitted an evidence for the crown.
In a few days after Jackson was taken in custody, Conway went to the shop of Mr. Burtman, a pawn. broker in Jermyn-ftreet; where he offered a watch in pledge. An advertisement in the news-paper,
describing the person of Conway, having been read by Mr. Burtman, the latter imagined that he was the man thus described; on which he gave a hint to one of his servants to sit by Conway, while he, (Burtman) examined the watch.
The servant, apprehending danger, whispered his master that it was probable he had pistols in his possession : on which a person was sent out, to request the attendance of the neighbours, with a view to prevent mischief. In the interim Conway, remarking that they whispered together, begged permission to retire to the vault, which he was readily allowed to do :-but on his return he was taken into custody, and a coach was called to convey him to Sir John Fielding's office in Bowstreet.
As they were going thither, Mr.Burtman hinted. a strong suspicion that Conway * was guilty of the murders; to which the latter made this remarkable and shocking answer; " Den my eyes ! though “ I am guilty (I mean not guilty) I could not shoot "two men at once.
When he was brought to the house of the magistrate above-mentioned, he was confronted with Jackson, when they mutually endeavoured to.criminate each other, but the circumstances against Conway were so very suspicious, that Sir John Fielding did not hesitate to commit him to Newgate.
Richardson was likewise apprehended within five days after this commitment, and taken to Bow-street, for examination; when the charge against him was so very strong, that he was likewise committed to Newgate, to abide the event of a trial by jury.
* Some accounts give this man's name Conna... way; but it is uncertain which is the true spelling,
Jackson having been admitted an evidence (as above-mentioned) bills of indictment were preferred, at the next sessions at the Old Bailey, against Conway and Richardson, who were thereupon put on their trials for the murders of Mr. Venables and Mr. Rogers. Jackson's evidence against them was full and positive; and this being strongly supported by that of the person of whom they had purchased the pistols, aided by a variety of collateral circumftances, the jury did not hesitate to convict them; the consequence of which was, that they were condemned to die.
After conviction they were, as usual in such cases, lodged in the cells of Newgate; and we are sorry to say that their penitence did not seem proportioned to the dreadful crime they had committed-a crime of the blackest dye, and altogether, unprovoked by those who fell victims to their inhuman barbarity.
On the Monday following they were conveyed to the place of execution : an incredible number of people attending the folemn procession, and preparing to see the exit of men who had diftinguished themselves by the atrociousness of their crimes, and whose story had excited the public curiosity in a very high degree.
Unprepared as these men appeared to have been for the dreadful fate that awaited them, yet, when they saw how near and how certain it waș, they seemed to be shocked to a degree beyond description, and appeared as solemn and sincere in their devotions as others who had suffered at the fatal tree.
After execution their bodies were cut down and conveyed to Bow-common, where they were put in chains, and hung on a gibbet, It is hardly cre-,
dible to think what immense numbers of people went from London, to take a view of these malefactors while hanging in chains : to talk of a thousand, or ten thousand, would be saying nothing, Perhaps more than fifty thousand visited the spot within the first five days. On Sunday, particularly, the place resembled a crowded fair; and many people got money by selling liquors and other provisions to the assembled multitude. So great was the crowd, that the banks in the neighbourhood, and even the hedges, were broken down, that the mob might gratify their eager curiofity.
These malefactors fuffered at Tyburn on the 19th of July, 1770.
In the case of these men, the consciousness of guilt will appear in its most striking light; for after they had committed the murders, fuch was their terror, that they did not dare to reap the intended fruits of their illegal expedition ; for we find that the murdered men were not robbed, but the guilty parties fought their fafety in fight; so true is that feriptural expression, " the wicked fly, when no “man pursueth.”
No account has ever reached us of what became of the accomplice Fox. It was presumed that he escaped out of the kingdom; but could he escape from his own conscience from those terrors which must ever haunt the guilty mind? Alas! he could not. The atteinpt must have been vain ; fince he carried about with him the consciousnefs of being a murderer, and must have had a perpetual heli within his own breaft.
The story before ụs will serve to enforce, in a very emphatic manner, that divine command, “ Thou ihalt do no murder.” May all the readers of this narrative be inftructed in the doctrines of