« IndietroContinua »
Like Patience, thou
ment of his fees; if convicted, he was set Art quiet in thy earth,
in the stocks on each of the three subseInstructing Hope that Virtue's birth
quent market-days in Halifax, with the Is Feeling's vow.
stolen goods on his back, if they were Thy fancied bride!
portable; if not, they were placed before The delicate Snowdrop, keeps
his face. This was for a terror to others, Her home with thee; she wakes and sleeps and to engage any who had aught against Near thy true side.
him, to bring accusations, although after Will Man but hear!
the three market-days he was sure to be A simple flower can tell
executed for the offence already proved What beauties in his mind shonld dwell
upon him. But the convict had the saThrough Passion's sphere.
tisfaction of knowing, that after he was J. R. Prior. CHRONOLOGY.
put to death, it was the duty of the coro 1793. On the 21st of January, Louis
ner to summon a jury, “and sometimes XVI. was beheaded at Paris, in the thirty- the same jury that condemned him," to ninth year of his age, and nineteenth of inquire into the cause of his death, and
that a return thereof would be made into his reign, under circumstances which are in the recollection of many, and the Crown-office; "which gracious and known to most persons. A similar in- sage proceedings of the coroner in that strument to the guillotine, the machine
matter ought, one would think, to abate, by which Louis XVI. was put to death, in all considering minds, that edge of acri” was formerly used in England. It was
mony which hath provoked malicious and first introduced into France, during the prejudiced persons to debase this
laudable revolution, by Dr. Guillotine, a physician,
and necessary custom." So says the book. and hence its name.
In April, 1650, Abraham Wilkinson
and Anthony Mitchell were found guilty THE HALIFAX GIBBET AND GIBBET-LAW. of stealing nine yards of cloth and two
The History of Halifax in Yorkshire, colts, and on the 30th of the mor.th re12mo. 1912, sets forth “a true account
ceived sentence, to suffer death, by of their ancient, odd, customary gibbet- having their heads severed and cut off .aw; and their particular form of trying from their bodies at Halifax gibbet,” and and executing of criminals, the like not they suffered accordingly. These were us'd in any other place in Great Britain." the last persons executed under Halifax The Halifax gibbet was in the form of the gibbet-law. guillotine, and its gibbet-law quite as re
The execution was in this manner :markable. The work referred to, which is The prisoner being brought to the scaffold more curious than rare, painfully endea- by the bailiff, the axe was drawn up by yours to prove this law wise and salutary. pulley, and fastened with a pin to the It prevailed only within the forest of side of the scaffold. “The bailiff, the Hardwick, which was subject to the lord jurors, and the minister chosen by the of the manor of Wakefield, a part of the prisoner, being always upon the scaffold duchy of Lancaster.
If a felon were
with the prisoner, in most solemn manner, taken within the liberty of the forest with after the minister had finished his miniscloth, or other commodity, of the value of terial office and christian duty, if it was thirteen-pence halfpenny, he was, after a horse, an ox, or cow,&c. that was taken three market-days from his apprehension with the prisoner, it was thither brought and condemnation, to be carried to the along with him to the place of execution, gibbet, and there have his head cut off and fastened by a cord to the pin that from his body. When first taken, he was stay'd the block, so that when the time brought to the lord's bailiff in Halifax, of the execution came, (which was known who kept the town, had also the keeping by the jurors holding up one of their of the axe, and was the executioner at the hands,) the bailiff, or his servant, whipkibbet. This officer summoned a jury of ping the beast, the pin was pluck'd out, frith-burghers to try him on the evi- and execution done; but if there were no dence of witnesses not upon oath : if ac
beast in the case, then the bailiff, or his quitteid, he was set at liberty, upon pay- servant, cut the rope."
The Halifar Gibbet. But if the felon, after his apprehension, 1623 to 1650 there were twelve execa or in his going to execution, happened to tions. The machine is destroyed. The make his escape out of the forest of Hard- engraving placed above, represents the wick, which liberty, on the east end of instrument, from a figure of it in an old the town, doth not extend above the map of Yorkshire, which is altogether breadth of a small river; on the north better than the print of it in the work about six hundred paces; on the south before cited about a mile; but on the west about ten miles ;--if such an escape were made, The worthy author of the Halifax then the bailiff of Halifax had no power gibbet-book seems by his title to be well to apprehend him out of his liberty; but assured, that the machine was limited to, if ever the felon came again into the and to the sole use and behoof of, his liberty of Hardwick, and were taken, he district; but in this, as in some other was certainly executed. One Lacy, who particulars, he is mistaken. made his escape, and lived seven years A small print by Aldegraver, one of out of the liberty, after that time coming the little German masters, in 1553, now boldly within the liberty of Hardwick, lying before the writer, represents the was retaken, and executed upon his for- execution of Manlius, the Roman, by the mer verdict of condemnation.
same instrument; and he has a similar The records of executions by the Ha- print by Pens, an early engraver of that lifax gibbet, before the time of Elizabeth, school. There are engravings of it in are lost; but during her reign twenty- books printed so early as 1510. In tive persons suffered under it, and from Hollinghed's Chronicle there is a cut of
a man who had attempted the life of the violenoe of a blow on the head of the Henry III. suffering by this instrunient. axe, with his heavy maul, forced it through In Fox's “ Acts and Monuments,” there the man's neck into the block. I have is another execution in the same manner. seen the draught of the like heading-in
The“ maiden" by which James, earl strument, where the weighty axe (made of Morton, the regent of Scotland, was heavy for that purpose) was raised up put to death for high treason in 1581, and fell down in such a riggetted frame, was of this form, and is said to have been which being suddenly let to fall, the constructed by his order from a model of weight of it was sufficient to cut off a one that he had seen in England: he was man's head at one blow." the first and last person who suffered by it in Scotland; and it still exists in the Remarkable instances of the mildness parliament-house at Edinburgh. In “The of January, 1825, are recorded in the Cloud of Witnesses; or the last Speeches provincial and London journals. In the of Scottish Martyrs since 1680,” there is first week a man planting a hedge near a print of an execution in Scotland by a Mansfield, in Yorkshire, found a blacksimilar instrument. The construction of bird's nest with four young ones in it. such a machine was in contemplation for The Westmoreland Gazette states, that on the beheading of lord Lovat in 1747 : he the 13th a fine ripe strawberry was gaapproved the notion—"My neck is very thered in the garden of Mr. W. Whiteshort," he said, " and the executioner head, Storth End, near End-Moor, and will be puzzled to find it out with about the same time a present of the his axe: if they make the machine, I same fruit was made by Thomas Wilson, suppose they will call it lord Lovat's Esq. Thorns, Underbarrow, to Mr. Aldermaiden."
man Smith Wilson, some of them larger in bulk than the common hazel-nut. In
deed the forwardness of the season in the Randle Holme in his “ Armory" de- north appears wonderful. It is stated in scribes an heraldic quartering thus : the Glasgow Chronicle of the 11th, that on “ He beareth gules, a heading - block the 7th, bees were flying about in the garfixed between two supporters, with an den of Rose-mount; on the 9th, the sky was axe placed therein; on the sinister side a
without a cloud; there was scarcely a maule, all proper." This agreeable bear. breath of wind, the blackbirds were singing he figures as the reader sees it.
ing as if welcoming the spring ; pastures wore a fine, fresh, and healthy appearance; the wheat-braird was strong, thick in the ground, and nearly covering the soil ; vegetation going on in the gardens ; the usual spring flowers making their appearance; the Christmas rose, the snowdrop, the polyanthea, the single or border anemone, the hepatica in its varieties, and the mazerion were in full bloom; the Narcissus making its appearance, and the crocusses showing colour, On the 11th, at six o'clock, the therinometer in Nelsonstreet, Glasgow, indicated 44 degrees on the 9th, the barometer gained the ex
traordinary height of 31.01 ; on the 11th, it Holme observes, that “this was the was at 30-8. The Sheffield Mercury reJews' and Romans' way of beheading of- presents, that within six or seven weeks fenders, as some write, though others say preceding the middle of the month, the they used to cut off the heads of such, barometer had been lower and higher than with a sharp, two-handed sword : how- had been remarked by any living indiviever, this way of decollation was by lay- dual in that town. On the 23d of Noing the neck of the malefactor on the vember it was so low as 27:5; and on block, and then setting the axe upon it, the 9th of January at 11 P. M. it stood at which lay in a rigget in the two side- 30·65. In the same place the following posts or supporters ; the executioner with meteorological observations were made:
the whole year.
Remember on St. Vincent's day
If that the sun his beams display
DO. P. M.
Dr. Forster, in the « Perennial Calen11th 42 38
dar," is at a loss for the origin of the com12th
mand, but he thinks it may have been 13th
derived from a notion that the sun would 14th
not shine unominously on the day whereon
the saint was burnt.
DO. P. M. 11th. 30-4 303
CHRONOLOGY. 12th. 30:3
30-2 13th . .. 30.5
1800.-On the 22d of January, in this 14th . ... 29-5 29.7 year, died George Steevens, Esq. F. R. S. At Paris, in the latter end of 1824, the F. A. S. He was born at Stepney, in barometer was exceedingly high, consi- 1751 or 1752, and is best known as the dering the bad weather that had prevail- editor of Shakspeare, though to the vered, and the moisture of the atmosphere. satility and richness of his talents there are There had been almost constant and in- numerous testimonials. He maintained cessant rain. The few intervals of fair the greatest perseverance in every thing weather, were when the wind got round a he undertook. He never relaxed, but few points to the west, or the northward sometimes broke off favourite habits of of west : but invariably, a few hours long indulgence suddenly. In this way after, the wind again got to the south- he discontinued his daily visits to two west, and the rain commenced falling. It booksellers. This, says his biographer in appeared as if a revolution had taken the Gentleman's Magazine, he did “after place in the laws of the barometer. The many years' regular attendance, for no barometer in London was at 30:48 in real cause.” It is submitted, however, May, 1824, and never rose higher during that the cause, though unknown to others
may have been every way sufficing and
praiseworthy. He who has commenced a January 22.
practice that has grown into a destroyer
of his time and desires to end it, must St. Vincent. St. Anastasius. St. Vincent was a Spanish martyr, said snap it in an instant. If he strive to abate to have been tormented by fire, so that he it by degrees, he will find himself relaxdied in 304. His name is in the church
ing by degrees. of England calendar. Butler affirms that him fast," unless he achieve, not the de
“Delusions strong as hell will bind his body was “thrown in a marshy field anong rushes, but a crow defended it termination to destroy, but the act of defrom wild beasts and birds of prey.” The
struction. The will and the power are Golden Legend says that angels had had taken snuff all his life, he never took
two. Steevens knew this, and though he the guardianship of the body, that the crow attended to drive away birds and Paul's church-yard. Had he taken one
one pinch after he lost his box in St. fowls greater than himself, and that after he had chased a wolf with his bill and he might have taken one more, and then beak, he then turned his head towards bit in a paper, and then, he would have
only another, and afterwards only a little the body, as if he marvelled at the keep Jied as he lived—a snuff-taker. No; ing of it by the angels. His relics necessarily worked miracles wherever they grand secret, thac a man's self is the
Steevens appears to have discovered the were kept. For their collection, separaLion, and how they travelled from place to great enemy of himself
, and hence bis in
tolerance of self - indulgence even in place, see Butler.
degree. Brand, from a MS. note by Mr. Douce, referring to Scot's “ Discoverie of Witch
His literary collections were remarkcraft," cites an old injunction to observe ably curious, and as regards the days that
are gone, of whether the sun shines on St. Vincent'sday: “ Vincenti festo si Sol radiet memor este." It is thus done into English by Abraham
St. Vincent. Fleming :
Early Witlow grass. Draba verna.
This being the first day of term, the January 23.
judges of the different courts at Westmin
ter, take their seats in Westminster-hall HILARY TERM begins.
to commence business, St. Raymund of Pennafort, A. D. 1275. The engraving represents the inte
St. John the Almoner, A. D. 619. St. rior of the hall at the time when the