The History Of The Remarkable Life Of John Sheppard Containing A Particular Account Of His Many Robberies And Escapes - Daniel Defoe - ebook
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A particular Account of his rescuing his pretended Wife from St. Giles's Round House. Of the wonderful Escape himself made from the said Round-House. Of the miraculous Escape he and his said pretended Wife made together from New-Prison, on the 25th of May last. Of his surprizing Escape from the Condemn'd Hold of Newgate on the 31st of August: Together with the true manner of his being retaken; and of his Behaviour in Newgate, till the most astonishing, and never to be forgotten Escape he made from thence, in the Night of the 15th of October. The Whole taken from the most authentick Accounts, as the Informations of divers Justices of the Peace, the several Shop-keepers above-mentioned, the principal Officers of Newgate and New Prison, and from the Confession of Sheppard made to the Rev. Mr. Wagstaff, who officiated for the Ordinary at Newgate.

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THE HISTORY OF THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF JOHN SHEPPARD CONTAINING A PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF HIS MANY ROBBERIES AND ESCAPES

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Daniel Defoe

CLASSIC CRIME

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

VIZ.

TO THE CITIZENS OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER

THE LIFE OF JOHN SHEPPARD, &c.

VIZ.

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HIS ROBBING THE SHOP OF Mr. Bains in White-Horse-Yard of 24 Yards of Fustian. Of his breaking and entering the House of the said Mr. Bains, and stealing in Goods and Money to the Value of 20 l. Of his robbing the House of Mr. Charles in May Fair of Money, Rings, Plate, &c to the Value of 30 l. Of his robbing the House of Mrs. Cook in Clare-Market, along with his pretended Wife, and his Brother, to the Value of between 50 and 60 l. Of his breaking the Shop of Mr. Philips in Drury-Lane, with the same Persons, and stealing Goods of small Value. Of his entering the House of Mr. Carter, a Mathematical Instrument Maker in Wytch Street, along withAnthony Lamb and Charles Grace, and robbing of Mr. Barton, a Master Taylor who lodged therein, of Goods and Bonds to the Value of near 300 l. Of his breaking and entering the House of Mr. Kneebone, a Woollen-Draper, near the New Church in the Strand, in Company of Joseph Blake alias Blewskin and William Field, and stealing Goods to the Value of near 50 l. Of his robbing of Mr.Pargiter on the Highway near the Turnpike, on the Road Hampstead, along with the said Blewskin. Of his robbing a Lady’s Woman in her Mistress’s Coach on the same Road. Of his robbing also a Stage Coach, with the said Blewskin, on the Hampstead Road. Likewise of his breaking the Shop of Mr. Martin in Fleet-street, and stealing 3 silver Watches of 15 l. Value.

ALSO—

A particular Account of his rescuing his pretended Wife from St. Giles’s Round House. Of the wonderful Escape himself made from the said Round-House. Of the miraculous Escape he and his said pretended Wife made together from New-Prison, on the 25th of Maylast. Of his surprizing Escape from the Condemn’d Hold of Newgate on the 31st of August: Together with the true manner of his being retaken; and of his Behaviour in Newgate, till the most astonishing, and never to be forgotten Escape he made from thence, in the Night of the 15th of October. The Whole taken from the most authentick Accounts, as the Informations of divers Justices of the Peace, the several Shop-keepers above-mentioned, the principal Officers of Newgate and New Prison, and from the Confession ofSheppard made to the Rev. Mr. Wagstaff, who officiated for the Ordinary at Newgate.

LONDON: Printed and sold by JOHN APLEDEE in Black-Fryers, J. ISTED, at the Golden-Ball

near Chancery Lane in Fleet Street, and the Booksellers of London and Westminster.

(Price One Shilling.)

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TO THE CITIZENS OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER

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..................

GENTLEMEN,

EXPERIENCE HAS CONFIRM’D YOU IN that everlasting Maxim, that there is no other way to protect the Innocent, but by Punishing the Guilty.

Crimes ever were, and ever must be unavoidably frequent in such populous Cities as yours are, being the necessary Consequences, either of the Wants, or the Depravity, of the lowest part of the humane Species.

At this time the most flagrant Offences, as Burning of Dwellings; Burglaries, and Highway Robberies abound; and Frauds common Felonies, and Forgeries are practic’d without Number; thus not only your Properties, but even your very Lives are every way struck at.

The Legislative Power has not been wanting in providing necessary and wholesome Laws against these Evils, the executive part whereof (according to your great Privileges) is lodged in your own Hands: And the Administration hath at all times applyed proper Remedies and Regulations to the Defects which have happen’d in the Magistracy more immediately under their Jurisdiction.

Through the just and salutary Severities of the Magistrates, publick excessive Gaming has been in a manner Surpress’d; and some late Examples of divine Vengeance have overtaken certain of the most notorious lewd Prostitutes of the Town, which together with the laudable endeavours of the great and worthySocieties, has given no small check to that enormous and spreading Vice.

But here’s a Criminal bids Defiance to your Laws, and Justice who declar’d and has manifested that the Bars are not made that can either keep him Out, or keep him In, and accordingly hath a second time fled from the very Bosom Of Death.

His History will astonish! and is not compos’d of Fiction, Fable, or Stories plac’d at York, Rome, or Jamaica, but Facts done at your Doors, Facts unheard of, altogether new, Incredible, and yet Uncontestable.

He is gone once more upon his wicked Range in the World. Restless Vengeance is pursuing, and Gentlemen ‘tis to be hoped that she will be assisted by your Endeavours to bring to Justice this notorious Offender.

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THE LIFE OF JOHN SHEPPARD, &C.

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THIS JOHN SHEPPARD, A YOUTH BOTH in Age and Person, tho’ an old Man in Sin; was Born in the Parish of Stepney near London, in the Year 1702, a Son, Grandson, and great Grandson of a Carpenter: His Father died when he was so very Young that he could not recollect that ever he saw him. Thus the burthen of his Maintenance, together with his Brother’s and Sister’s, lay upon the Shoulders of the Widow Mother, who soon procured an Admittance of her Son John into theWork-House in Bishopsgate-street, where he continued for the space of a Year and half, and in that time received an Education sufficient to qualifie him for the Trade his Mother design’d him, viz. a Carpenter: Accordingly she was recommended to Mr. Wood in Witch-Street near Drury-Lane, as a Master capable of entertaining and instructing her Son: They agreed and Bound he was for the space of seven Years; the Lad proved an early proficient, had a ready and ingenious Hand, and soon became Master of his Business, and gave entire Satisfaction to his Master Customers, and had the Character of a very sober and orderly Boy. But alas unhappy Youth! before he had compleated six Years of his Apprenticeship, he commenced a fatal Acquaintance with one Elizabeth Lyon, otherwise call’dEdgworth Bess, from a Town of that Name in Middlesex where she was Born, the reputed Wife of a Foot Soldier, and who lived a wicked and debauch’d Life; and our young Carpenter became Enamour’d of her, and they must Cohabit together as Man and Wife.

Now was laid the Foundation of his Ruin; Sheppard grows weary of the Yoke of Servitude, and began to dispute with his Master; telling him that his way of Jobbing from House to House was not sufficient to furnish him with a due Experience in his Trade; and that if he would not set out to undertake some Buildings, he would step into the World for better Information. Mr. Wood