Extracts from the Newcastle Courant relating to Criminals and Crime, 1782-1789


Extracted by George Bell

House of Correction, Newcastle, January 10th. 1782.

THREE PERSONS (Part of a Gang of Thieves) in PRISON here.

A MAN who calls himself HENRY CUNNINGHAM, appears to be about 30 years of age, 5 feet 9 inches high, of a dark swarthy complexion, thin faced, has black dull eyes, long black rough hair, a small scar of a slight wound under his left eye, lately healed, a scar on his right jaw, and wants the first joints of the thumb and two first fingers of his right hand.- His present dress is an old coarse slouched hat, a black silk neckcloth, a coarse blue half-wide coat, a fine light blue coat and waistcoat, and dirty buck or doe skin breeches: He says he was born at Wigton, in Cumberland, brought up as a Pitman, but for the last ten years has travelled the country, and sold earthen pots and mugs in summer, and coopered and mended lanthorns in winter. His principal residence hath of late been at Bishop Auckland, and at Barlow, near Winlaton, with some others of the gang. A little Woman who calls herself ANN HAMILTON, otherwise BROWN, says she has cohabited with said Cunningham as his wife for about five years, but was never lawfully married to him, and was born at Dalkeith, in Scotland. She appears to be about 35 years of age, has light coloured hair, a fair complexion, a small round face, a slight squint with her right eye; her present dress is a black silk bonnet, a silk handkerchief about her head, a short red cloak, a remarkable beautiful flowered chintz gown, and a black quilted petticoat.

A Woman who calls herself MARY WILSON, says her maiden name was TATE, that she was born at Glasgow, and is the wife of William Wilson, a Pitman, who lately entered into the marine service; she appears to be about 50 years of age, her stature is a degree under the middle size; she has brown hair, a star on her forehead, another on her right cheek, another on her under lip on the right side; Her present dress is a black silk bonnet, a silk handkerchief about her head, a short scarlet cloak, a blue and white checked and spotted bed-gown, a dark copper coloured camblet gown, and a black quilted petticoat.

The above described persons were apprehended in company together, and are part of a Gang of Thieves and Pickpockets, who have for some time past infested the markets in this town, and generally resort to fairs in the country.- Elizabeth Whitebread, the Pickpocket, advertised in this paper the two last weeks, is one of the same gang.

Those who have any discovery to make, or any thing to say concerning them, or who desire to see them, are to apply at the Town Clerk's Office.

A DISCOVERY of more of the same GANG.

THOMAS DOUGLAS and his Wife, JOHN DOUGLAS his Brother, and ELEANOR his Wife, and David their eldest Son, aged about 15 years, and the noted THOMAS COLPITTS, otherwise STUART, and his Wife, who have all lately resided or lodged, at or about the head of Gateshead, and on Gateshead Fell; other part of the Gang reside at or near Bishop Auckland, they often change their names, and frequently rendezvous at the Crown and Cannon on Gateshead Fell, and have a Ware Room for their Stolen Goods, at or near the head of Gateshead, and another on the Fell.

Durham Gaol, July 27th 1782

The following felons in Durham gaol took their trials this week: William Fairbridge, for house-breaking; Jane Moore, for murder; William Coulthread, John Robinson, John Allewell, Joseph Peck, William Peck, and Mary Turner, for sheep-stealing; Elizabeth Paxton, for concealing a child; William Hill, Thomas Harrison, John Caburn, George Patterson, William Mitchall, Mary Hunter, Mary Gilhespie, John Sadbury, and James Donaldson, for theft; James Waugh, for killing pigs.

Durham Assizes, August 3rd 1782

Yesterday se'nnight the Assizes ended at Durham, when William Coulthread, John Robinson, and John Allewell, for sheep stealing, received sentence of death. William Fairbridge, for theft, sent on board a man of war. John Caburn, John Sidbury, George Patterson, and William Mitchall, for theft; the two former are committed to the house of correction for two years, and the two latter for one year. Margaret Walker, to be whipped. Mary Hunter and Mary Gilhespie, to be privately whipped. William Hill, Eliz. Paxton, Thomas Harrison, Jane Moore, Joseph Peck, William Peck, Mary Turner, James Waugh, and James Donaldson, acquitted.

Newcastle Assizes, August 3rd 1782

Thursday the Assizes ended here, when James Walker, convicted of burglary, received sentence of death; and Alexander Ross, for theft, was committed to the House of Correction for six months.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, October 12th 1782

Wednesday at the Quarter Sessions, Thomas Ridley of Barlow, Taylor, convicted of petit larceny, to be kept at hard labour in the House of Correction till Saturday se'nnight, the 19th instant, and then to be whipped round the Sandhill, and to the blue stone on Tyne Bridge.- Ann Donkin, Spinster, convicted of petit larceny, to be kept at hard labour one month in the House of Correction.- Edward Charleton, convicted of deceit, in cancelling a promisory note, and fined 20s.- David Brown, Robert Park, and James Robertson, convicted of a riot and assault, and fined five guineas.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, May 3rd 1783

Wednesday at the General Quarter Sessions for this town,... the following persons were severally convicted of petit larceny, and sentenced to hard labour in the House of Correction, viz. Jane Hill, widow, for 14 days; Margaret Walker, Elizabeth Oliver, Elizabeth Rumford, Elizabeth Moody, spinsters, for one month each; and Moody and Rumford afterwards to be sent to their settlements by vagrants passes; William Sanderson, labourer, and Mary, wife of Thomas Wilson, labourer, for two months each; Catherine Allen, widow, for three months, and afterwards to be sent to her settlement by a vagrants pass.

At the same Sessions John Cram, Shoemaker, was convicted of obtaining a pair of boots by false pretences, with intent to cheat and defraud, and fined one shilling, and sentenced to imprisonment for one month.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, July 19th 1783

Wednesday, at the Quarter Sessions here, James Robson, Husbandman, Fenwick Trotter, Labourer, and Isabell Hall, Spinster, were severally convicted of petit larceny, and committed to the House of Correction to be kept at hard labour for one month each

Durham Assizes, August 16th 1783

The following felons in Durham gaol took their trials this week: Robert Storey, for murder; Eleanor Turnbull, for stealing three ten pound banks notes; Margaret Pearson, otherwise Pearcey, and Eliz. Campbell, for stealing a five pound bank note, and 10s. 6d. in silver; William Jones and Jacob Goodlad, Mary Conkerton, John Welsh, Esther Fawcett, Jane Haswell, Wm Albion, and Edward Chambrelin, for burglary; Ralph Lidgard, John Whiteing, Joseph Oxley, and Ann Wilson, for stealing watches; Ann Forster, Barbara Loggan, Ann Pattenson, otherwise Ann Lloyd, Ann Buckles, and Mary Foggan, for an assault and robbery; Wm Elwin, and Tho. Watson; for horse-stealing; Francis Squires, Ann Taylor alias Morley, Jane Brown, Sarah Wright, Mary Summers, Dinah Portis, Geo. Thornton, John Waddell, John Frazier, and Mary Cook, for theft.

Northumberland Assizes, August 16th 1783

The felons from Morpeth are: Andrew Edmonston, for being a spy; Wm Wilson, for stealing a letter containing £300; Wm Fairbridge, for burglary, Andrew Jorden, George Johnson, otherwise Williamson, and Elizabeth Old, for theft.

Northumberland Quarter Sessions, October 18th 1783

At the General Quarter Sessions held at Alnwick, for the county of Northumberland, on Wednesday se'nnight... Thomas Richardson, alias Richey, convicted of larceny ... was ordered to hard labour in the House of Correction for one month; and Alice Dalton also convicted of larceny, to be confined in the House of Correction for one week.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, July 17th 1784

Wednesday, at the General Quarter Sessions here, Thomas White, Joiner, was convicted of petit larceny, and sentenced to hard labour in the House of Correction for one month, and then to be sent to his settlement by vagrant's pass.- Isabell Stephenson, of South Shields and Henry Jennings, Miller, were severally convicted of obtaining money by false pretences, and fined ?s. each, and sentenced to three months imprisonment.- Dorothy March, convicted of barratry and common scolding, was sentenced to the House of Correction, there to remain till she find sufficient sureties for her peaceable and good behaviour for twelve months.

Durham Assizes, August 7th 1784

The following felons in Durham gaol took their trials this week: Thomas Atley, for murder; Wm Stephenson, and Francis and Wm Blenkinsop, for sheep-stealing; James Morrow, for stealing a mare; Robt Weldell, for shop-breaking; Robt and Henry Cunningham, Charles Johnson, Wm Bowey, Cuth. Winship, John Robson, Ralph Blenkinsop, Morley Tewit, Michael Dun and John Kirby, for burglary and theft; Ann Anderson, Ann Hunter, Alice Hartburn, John Thompson, Tho. Storey, Mary Hutchinson, Dinah Brown, Ann Johnston, Mary Addey, Wm Southeron, Thos Middleton, Edw. Monkass, and Catherine Laing, for theft.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, October 16th 1784

Wednesday, being the adjournment of the Quarter Sessions, William Collings was convicted of petit larceny, and sentenced to hard labour in the House of Correction for six months, and, at the end of that period, to be whipped from the House of Correction to Newgate.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, January 29th 1785

Tuesday, four convicts, under sentence of transportation, were sent down to Shields, to be conveyed thence by sea to the hulks, at Gravesend, where they are to remain till an opportunity offers to send them abroad.

Durham Assizes, July 23rd 1785

The following felons at Durham have taken their trials: John M'Entire and Richard James, for highway robbery; William Hamilton, Isabella his wife, and Wm Jackson, for house breaking; Thomas Elliot, for horse-stealing; Duncan Wright, Richard Cleugh, Geo. Sharp, John Stokoe, John Welsh, for theft; Alex. Guild, Ann Crosby, and Ann Colpits, for stealing goods out of Mr Chipchase's shop in Durham; Guild and Crosby acquitted, the others all guilty; Nicholas Rumley, for ... prisoners to break the implements for that use; Wm Trotter, for sheep-stealing, and Robt Shepherd, for stealing flour out of Monkwearmouth Mill, and for the murder of Tho. Hawkey, no bill.- The remainder took their trials yesterday, viz.- John Winship, for the murder of Grace Smith; Wm Kirkley, for burglary; Wm Thompson, and Thomas Dixon, for horse-stealing; John Dawson, for breaking open a stable in South Shields; and stealing 2 saddles; Simon Metcalf, for having been a principle ringleader and fomentor of the great tumults and riots at Sunderland; John Wood and John Winskill, for sundry riots in Sunderland, after the proclamation had been read; William Smith alias Holland; and John Brewer, for stealing a quantity of plate from Mr Walter Reay of Sunderland, removed by a habeas corpus to London, and on their arrival there, were rescued out of the custody of the gaoler, since which Smith was retaken and recommitted, Brewer not yet retaken; Charles M'Laurin, for pocket-picking; John Ling and Philip Stacey for house-breaking.

Morpeth Gaol, July 23rd 1785

The felons in Morpeth Gaol are: Sylvanus Broadwater, and Walter Scott, for horse-stealing in 1783, condemned Assizes 1784, and since ordered to be transported seven years; John Ramsay, for murder; Joseph Miller, James Wintrip, alias Winter, William Cockburn, and Mary Cockburn, for horse-stealing; William Davison, for sheep-stealing; William Graham, for house-breaking; Wm Taylor, for stealing a game cock; Roderick Morrow, and John Davidson, for pocket-picking; and William Bruce, for theft.

Newcastle Assizes, July 30th, 1785

Wednesday the assizes ended here, when John Thompson, found guilty of petty larceny, to be imprisoned six months, and publickly whipped; Isaac Lowe, found guilty of grand larceny, to be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years; John Leighton, convicted of sheep-stealing, sentenced to be hanged; Roger Carr, Andrew Mitchell, Samuel Lemon, James Elliot, and Thomas Johnson, all found not guilty; and no bill was found against Andrew Mordue.

Morpeth, August 20th, 1785 On Tuesday were executed on the Fair Moor, near Morpeth, pursuant to their sentence, William Graham, for Housebreaking, and William Cockburn for Horse-stealing.

Newcastle, January 21st, 1786

Saturday last, four persons belonging to the notorious gang of Thieves and Shop-lifters, called the Bishop Auckland Gang, otherwise the Barlow Gang, otherwise the Gateshead-Fell-Gang, so called from several of them residing at these places, and from numbers of them frequently rendezvousing there, were observed reconnoitring the Linen Drapers shops in this town, and traced to an Alehouse in Pipewellgate, where they were apprehended and brought back to this town.

The above Elizabeth Thompson, convicted last Wednesday was one of them. Walter Clarke, another of them, after examination escaped from the officer; and the other two, Jane Clark and Eleanor Murray, otherwise Gardiner, were committed for further examination.

House of Correction, Newcastle, March 2nd 1786

Two suspected Persons in the House of Correction Here., ONE of them calls himself ABRAHAM SMITH, a Tinker, says he was born at Lead-Gate, near Ryton, and has lived at Bishop Auckland for about a year and a half past, and was lately a soldier in the Fencibles in America; he appears to be about 21 years of age, 5 feet 5 inches high, has a dark or swarthy complection, long dark brown hair, curled at his ears, black eyes, and now wears an old slouched hat, a black neckcloth, an old blue halfwide coat, with white metal flat buttons, an old red double breasted waistcoat, and trowsers.

The other calls himself JOHN COOPER, says he was born at Bishop Monkton, near Ripon, in Yorkshire, but was brought up and chiefly lived at Barnard Castle, has been formerly two or three voyages at sea, and lately got his bread by selling books and pamphlets, &c., he appears to be about 17 years of age, about 5 feet 2 inches and a half high, has dark brown hair, very thick and rough on the top of his head, grey eyes, and a fair complection; he now wears an old coarse slouch hat, a sailor's old jacket, an old brown striped velveret waistcoat and trowsers.

The above two persons are supposed to be part of the notorious gang of thieves called the Bishop Auckland-Gang, otherwise the Barlow-Gang, otherwise the Gateshead-Fell-Gang, so called from some of them residing, and others occasionally rendezvousing at these places.

Persons able to give any account or information concerning these suspected persons, or either of them, are desired to transmit the same to the Town Clerk, and those who desire to see them, are to apply at his Office.

Northumberland Quarter Sessions, May 6th, 1786

At the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace held at Morpeth, the 26th day of April last,... John Scott, John Towns, and Alex. Deans, were convicted of stealing ducks at Tynemouth, and committed to the house of correction at Morpeth, to hard labour for one month. Jane Routledge, Ann Robson, William Curry, Ann Bennett, and Jane Winterup, otherwise Jane Winter, severally convicted at the said sessions for larceny, and sentenced to be severally committed to the said house of correction to hard labour; the said Jane Routledge, for six weeks; Ann Robson, and William Curry, for six months each; and Ann Bennett, and Jane Winterup, otherwise Jane Winter, for twelve months each. Elizabeth Donkin, Edward Collins, Tho. Curry, and Edward Coulson, acquitted.

Newcastle, July 15th 1786

The noted offender John Anderson, who some years ago (with an accomplice since hanged) infested the highways in the neighbourhood of this town, and was driven from here by the Hue and Cry, and a rigorous pursuit after him, and who twice narrowly escaped from his pursuers, had the audacity last Monday once more to venture himself here, when he was seen by a Constable, who knew him, riding southward along Tyne Bridge, the Constable with another man attempted to take him, but he by clapping spurs to his horse got from them, and rode in full speed up Gateshead: He is described under the name of John Morra, by an advertisement in our last and this week's Hue and Cry, where a reward of Five Guineas is offered by the Keeper of York Castle for taking him; and as he has, since he left this part of the country, almost lost the use of one arm, the taking him now can be no difficult matter: It appears by the said advertisement, that he, on the 11th of May last, escaped from the guards who were conducting him from York Castle to the River Thames, in order to his being transported.

Newcastle Gaol, August 12th 1786

The felons in Newcastle Gaol are: Robert Thompson and William Bell, for house-breaking; John Thompson, for ship-robbing; John Mowbray, for horse-stealing; Henry Jennings for horse-stealing and theft; Jane Clark, Elizabeth Thompson, Mary Brown, and Elizabeth Smith, for shop-lifting; Frances Atkinson, for taking George Wilson, her illegitimate son, of six years of age, into the shop of a Linen-draper, with an intention to steal, and the said Geo. Wilson did then steal and carry away 13 yards of printed calico; Richard Gordon, and Robert Cunningham, for theft; and Catherine Sterling, for pocket-picking.

Northumberland Assizes, August 19th, 1786

The Grand Jury, at the Assizes for the county of Northumberland, presented James Smith, servant to Mr J. Atkinson, of Ryle, in the parish of Whittingham, with the sum of Five Guineas, as a reward for his spirited conduct in apprehending and prosecuting to conviction, John Macdonald, a felon.

Newcastle Assizes, August 19th 1786

At the Assizes held in and for this town and county, before Francis Buller, Esq; one of the Justices of his Majesty's Court of King's Bench, and John Heath, Esq; one of the Justices of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas, which ended on Wednesday last, the nine following felons were tried and convicted, the three first capitally, and of consequence received sentence of death, viz. John Thompson, Mariner, for stealing a silver watch privately from the person of Jonathan Simpson, Ship-Master; this was done on shipboard on the river Tyne: and Thompson was indicted for another felony, committed in a ship on the river; but being convicted of the first mentioned crime, he was not tried for the other.Henry Jennings, Labourer, for stealing a bay gelding, the property of William Donald: Jennings was also indicited for two other felonies; but being convicted of the horse stealing, he was not tried for the others.William Bell, Labourer, for stealing in the Dwelling-house of Thomas Ogilvie, money to the amount of £6 8s. 6d. This convict is only about 15 or 16 years of age, and is reprieved: the two former are left for execution.- Robert Thompson was indicted for two burglaries and larcenies; but being acquitted of the capital part of those crimes, he was convicted only of grand larceny within the benefit of the statute, and was sentenced to be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years.- Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Smith; Elizabeth, wife of William Thompson; Mary, wife of John Brown; and Frances, wife of James Atkinson; severally for grand larceny within the benefit of the statute, were sentenced to be privately whipped, and afterwards committed to the house of correction; there to be kept to hard labour for the term of one year.- Jane, wife of Walter Clark, for grand larceny within the benefit of the statute, sentenced to be privately whipped, and afterwards committed to the house of correction; there to be kept to hard labour for the term of two years.- These five female convicts are part of a certain notorious gang of thieves, many of whom are now pretty well known among the people of trade in this town, particularly the Linen-drapers; and such discoveries have lately been made, as we hope cannot fail of soon exterpating the whole gang. The above woman, who calls herself Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas Smith, her real name is said to be Ann Gregg, shortly before she committed the crime here, for which she is now under punishment, was in Carlisle gaol charged with a felony, but broke out and escaped before she got her trial.- The above Frances Atkinson has a boy only about six years old, which she takes with her into shops, and has taught him to be very dextrous with taking up and going off with goods, whilst she is engaging the attention of the shopkeeper another way.

Newcastle, September 2nd, 1786

Wednesday Henry Jennings was executed on the Town Moor, pursuant to his sentence at the last assizes, for horse-stealing. He died very penitent; and, in a paper delivered by him to the Ordinary, he admitted the wicked and unwary to take warning by his sad and untimely exit. He also delivered an Explanation of many of the Cant Terms, now in use amongst robbers, pick-pockets, house-breakers, &c. which he desired to be published for the benefit of the public at large.

Newcastle, September 2nd 1786

Last Monday, John Newen, Mariner, aged about seventeen years, was committed to Gaol, to take his trial at our next Assizes, for stealing the night between the 24th and 25th instant, on board the ship Betty, of Scrabro', Robert Oxley, Master, on the River Tyne, a Silver Watch, nine Guineas of Gold, and 2s. 6d. of Silver, the property of Robert Porret. The Gold was stolen from a locked Beauroe; but the Watch and the 2s. 6d. were stolen privately from the person of the owner, whilst he slept in the Cabin, and without his knowledge:- this latter part of the crime is therefore capital, and almost exectly similar to that for which the noted John Thompson received sentence of death at our last Assizes.

Durham Gaol, March 24th 1787

Yesterday se'nnight William Bailey and George Duncan, two men confined to Durham gaol for smuggling, made their escape out of the said gaol, by means of a rope that had been conveyed to them for that purpose. Duncan has been since taken and committed to his former lodging, but Bailey is still at large.

Newcastle, June 2nd, 1787

Monday his Majesty's Pardon arrived here for John Thompson, convicted at our last assizes for a ship-robbery, on condition of transportation for seven years to Botany Bay.

Newcastle, August 18th 1787

Monday night, Isaac Lowe, Robert Allison, John Gally, and William Greaves, four convicts under sentence of transportation in the gaol of this town, found means to break the cross bars in the privy, and let themselves down by a rope, by which they escaped undiscovered; Lowe was taken on Wednesday morning at Shields, and remanded back to gaol; and as strict search in making after the other delinquents, it is hoped they will all be taken very soon.- For a description of their persons, see Hue and Cry.

Newcastle, February 16th 1788 Yesterday three prisoners, under sentence of transportation, were brought from Morpeth gaol to this town, and lodged in Newgate, in order to be sent off with the prisoners here for Botany Bay.

Newcastle, March 1st 1788 Wednesday the Mars, Captain Atkinson, sailed with the transports on board, for Plymouth.

Durham Quarter Sessions, April 5th 1788

Wednesday last, at the Quarter Sessions at Durham, John Anderson, of Gateshead, Woollen-draper, was convicted upon the clearest evidence, of a misdemeanor, in receiving and concealing stolen goods in his house, in Pipewellgate, being part of three bales of Leeds cloth lately stolen from the waggon of William Graham, common carrier, knowing the same to have been feloniously stolen, and for this offence was sentenced to pay a fine of 100l.

Newcastle Quarter Sessions, July 19th 1788

Wednesday, at the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace for this town and county, held at the Guildhall,... the first three under-named persons were convicted of petit larceny, and sentenced to hard labour in the House of Correction for the respective times following, viz. Joseph Ridley, two months; Ann King, Spinster, one month; Elizabeth, wife of William Crow, Labourer, a fortnight.

At the same Sessions, George Turnbull was convicted of an odious misdemeanor, for which he was fined 6s. 8d. and ordered to be imprisoned one month in gaol, and then to be discharged on payment of his fine.

And Thomas Young, Taylor, at the same Sessions, was convicted of assaulting and threatening George Gray, Taylor, and ordered to be imprisoned till he finds two sufficient sureties to enter into a recognizance with him, himself in £20 and the sureties in £10 each, for his good behaviour for twelve months.

Morpeth Gaol, July 19th 1788

The felons in Morpeth gaol are:- George Brown, found guilty of burglary last assizes, received sentence of death, but was afterwards respited; William Brown, charged with sheep stealing; John Winter, Robert Winter, Margaret Winter, and John Clark, for breaking into Heslyside House, and stealing therefrom a silver plated tankard; James Robinson, and John Davison, with pocket picking; Joseph Polwarth, and Jane his wife, and Walter Clark, with stealing wool and cheeses from Doddington; and John Stewart, for being aiding and assisting therein; Eleanor Scott, Elizabeth Thompson, Mary Davidson, and George Emmery, with theft; William Arnott, John Smithwhite, and Mary Davison, with knowingly receiving stolen goods; Joseph Wilson, with stealing from a locked drawer in the house of the Rev. Joseph Cook, of Sheepwash, two five pound notes, and one guinea; John Brown, with embezaling a letter containing four five pound bank notes, and a promisory note of the value £42 19s. 1½d. delivered to him to put into the Post Office at North Shields; and Archibald Patterson, with assaulting and dangerously wounding Robert Stoddart, whereby his life is in danger.

Newcastle Assizes, July 26th 1788 Monday the assizes for this town ended, when Gilbert Taylor was found guilty of grand larceny, within the benefit of the statute, and ordered to be fined one shilling, and to be committed to the house of correction to hard labour for 12 months - George Johnson, Thomas Wilson, Francis Wilson, and John Brown, were acquitted.- No bill was found against William Towns.

Morpeth, August 2nd, 1788

We hear that the noted John and Robert Winter, (father and son) who were found guilty of burglary, and received sentence of death at the last Assizes for Northumberland, are to be executed, pursuant to their sentence, on Fair Moor, near Morpeth, on Wednesday next, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon.

Morpeth, August 9th, 1788

On Wednesday John and Robert Winter, father and son, were executed on the Fair Moor, near Morpeth, pursuant to their sentence, at the last assizes, for breaking into the house of William Charlton, Esq; at Hesleside, they appeared to be perfectly resigned to their unhappy situation, and as they were going to be turned off, the younger Winter addressed the numerous spectators of their melancholy situation, in a very unexpectedly pathetic speech, in which he observed, that having been brought up without any regard to morality of religion, the progress of evil had so rapidly over-run his inclination, that at any early age he was arrived at the full maturity of vice, in the pursuance of which he experienced so many dreadful pangs, that he could not pretend to say, whether his ignominious untimely end was more piercing than the uneasiness he had felt in his various pursuits of rapince and depredation, which he had been in practice from his infancy, and in which he was much aided by the ill example shewn by his profligate parents. He then warned the younger part of the assembled populace, to beware of the practice of evil deeds, and recommended a particular attention to the duties of religion, and special observance of the sabbath, a day he had never been taught to reverence; and with the great importance of which he was so totally unacquainted; and that he had never, to his knowledge, attended a place of divine worship. He then met his unhappy fate with uncommon fortitude, whilst his unfortunate father seemed to be totally bereft of any sense of his dreadful situation.

Newcastle, April 4th 1789

On Tuesday evening last the felons under sentence of transportation, in Newgate, made a daring effort to escape, by breaking a hole in the wall of the place where the coals are kept; but a cat having stole the piece of candle they had secreted for the purpose of finishing their work, the project was frustrated.

Newcastle, May 16th 1789

Wednesday night, three of the prisoners in Newgate, two under sentence of transportation, and one for trial for stealing poultry, made an attempt to liberate themselves from confinement, by sawing off their irons, and removing one of the iron bars from the window of the room in which they were confined, from whence they meant to descend by a rope used for drawing up provisions, which they had secured, but their design was frustrated by the discovery of the scheme before it was perfectly ripe for execution.

Morpeth Gaol, June 20th 1789

The riotous behaviour of the felons in Morpeth gaol, where a great number are confined, has arisen to such an height, that the gaoler is under the necessity of calling in the assistance of the military.- The cause of such riots seems to be owing to the want of separate cells to keep them apart, or to increase the number of convicts destined to Botany Bay, who not being quickly sent off, through long confinement, generally become desperate.

Newcastle, July 4th 1789

Thursday morning Mr M. Mordue, Gaoler, set out for London with one of the convicts under sentence of transportation to Botany Bay.

Newcastle, July 11th 1789

Last week Frances Atkinson, alias Wilson, an old offender, who was tried at the assizes here in the year 1786, for shop-lifting, and committed to the House of Correction for one year, to be privately whipped, was detected in stealing a pair of shoes from a shop in the Castle Stairs, and on Monday she was fully committed to take her trial at the Sessions.

[Last updated: 3rd August 2010 - Brian Pears]