Transportation and other Punishments


3 June 1721   On Saturday last our Sessions ended at the Old-Baily, where the tryals were very numerous, and some of them remarkable. ...
          Besides these, one Mary Andrews being indicted for a felony refus'd to plead; and tho' the Court laid before her the consequences of her obstinancy; she persisted in it a long time, till the Executioner, being cal'd to tye her up as one convicted of felony, happening to draw her thumbs very hard, as usual on such occasions, she finding her self unable to bear the little pain of the whipcord, was persuaded not to try whether she could suffer the superior torment of the pressing, and so yielded to plead, which she presently found was much to her advantage; for on a full tryal she was found not guilty, there being not sufficient evidence of the fact, so she was immediately discharged. (Applebee's Original Weekly Journal)


24 January 1719   Mr. Forward, a West-India merchant, the principal undertaker for transporting the felons beyond sea, hath receiv’d an account, that the Eagle Galley, Capt. Staples, which sail’d lately from London with 106 convicts for the Plantations, was met in her passage by a pyrate ship; the crew of which came on board Capt. Staples, and put him and his men in irons, and brought the felons from under the hatches, and mann’d the ship with ’em, and afterwards went a pirating together; but this thieving alliance had been concluded but a few days, e’re they were met by several ships of force, who hearing of what had happen’d, came up with ’em, upon which an engagement ensued, and the felons were observ’d to fight very desperatly, several of whom were kill’d, and one in particular was cut to pieces after an obstinate resistance; both the ships were taken and carry’d to Carolina, where about 50 of the felons and pyrates were executed, and the rest sold for slaves. (Original Weekly Journal)

21 February 1719   Among the 126 convicts which were on Thursday last brought out of Newgate, in order to be transported, was a woman with two crutches and her daughter, a girl aged about 14. Some of the men belch’d out horrid curses, as they passed along; as they came near the waterside, one of these men, who were appointed to look after the prisoners, and secure them in a lighter, being much crowded by the spectators, and suspecting some design to rescue some of the criminals, drew his cutlass, and very dangerously wounded a person, some say his own prentice, and was soon after committed to the Compter. (Weekly Journal, or, British Gazetteer)

9 May 1719   They have been busy this week in settling the route for the march of the felons convict in several country goals, in order to their being transported to his Majesty’s Plantations in Maryland, viz. There are 12 to be sent from Maidstone Goal in Kent, 3 from Chelmsford in Essex, 4 from Horsham in Sussex, 7 from Hertford, 1 from Alesbury in Bucks, and 1 from Peterborouth, 37 from the Marshalsea in Southwark, and 44 from Newgate. (Original Weekly Journal)

16 May 1719   On Monday the convict felons, mention’d in our last, were carried downt he river, and put on board the Ship Margaret, Captain Greenwood, at Gravesend, bound for Maryland; as they pass’d by a barge, fill’d with persons of the first rank, they gave loud and repeated Huzzas. (Original Weekly Journal)

30 September 1731   Yesterday morning about 130 felons convicts went from Newgate on board a close lighter at Black Fryars, in order to be transported to America. [Grub-street Journal]

12 October 1734   Several men and a woman, who were order'd for transportation at the last Assizes for Worcester, together with one R. New, formerly an evidence against William Manley, hanged at Stafford for murder, who had bound himself to serve in the Plantations, were sent down in a decked vessel bound for Bristol, in order for transportation; when they came within about a mile of Bristol River, the wind blowing very hard, one of them with a great lime-stone that was in the bottom of the vessel for ballast, started [i.e. loosened] a plank, by beating on the bottom of the vessel, and then cryed out, The boat is almost full of water; which made the Master of the vessel immediately to run the boat ashore to save himself, which he did, with his men, and six of the transports; but New and Vaughan, and one Spinner, the three greatest rogues, were drowned.
          One of the transports who was saved confessed, on his coming to Bristol, that Vaughan beat the hole in the boat, in order to make the owner run her ashore, that they might have an opportunity all to make their escape. They swore and curs'd all the way, and New in particular swore, That he was gong to Hell in a Cradle, for so he term'd the rolling of the vessel. The six other transports were all deliver'd at Bristol, and go by the next ship to Virginia. (Read's Weekly Journal, or, British-Gazetteer)

19 October 1752   Gloucester, Oct. 14.   They write from Oxford, that, a few days ago was committed to their Castle, the noted William Grindy, for returning from transportation. He formerly kept an inn at Nettlebed, during which time he committed several robberies on the highway, for which he was condemn’d at the Old Bailey about 18 months ago; but, as he was a young man, his prosecutors interceded for him so as to obtain a mitigation of his sentence for transportation for fourteen years. (General Advertiser)

Scenes at the Pillory

15 June 1732   Tuesday, June 13. This day the noted JOHN WALLER stood in the Pillory at the Seven Dials for wilful and corrupt perjury, in swearing a robbery on the highway against several persons whereby they had been convicted. The populace was so exaspereated against him, that they broke in upon the Peace officers, got upon the pillory, and beat him in such a violent manner, than in less than 5 minutes he was taken down for dead, and carried to the Round-house, and from thence to Newgate, where he lies in a dangerous condition. SJ. – He was every severely handled. WE. – The mob pelted him so severely, that he was knock’d on the head, and dropt off the pillory dead. LE. DP. 14. – They stripp’d him naked, and beat the pillory flat to the ground, then stamp’d upon him and terribly bruised him, he was carried to S. Giles’ Round-house, and a Surgeon sent for to bleed him, but before he got to Newgate he expired. DJ. 14 – He had not stood above 8 minutes, before they pulled him down, by which time his skull was fractured in such a manner that he died on the spot: his body was brought back to Newgate in a coach, where he remained about 3 hours before the Keeper would received him ’till an order came from the Sheriffs. C. (Grub-street Journal, summarizing accounts in other newspapers.)

22 June 1732   Thursday, June 15. Yesterday the Coroner’s Jury sat on the body of Waller, who was killed in the Pillory last Tuesday at the Seven Dials; but did not agree in their Verdict. WE. – And brought in their Verdict Wilful murder with unlawful weapons by persons unknown. SJ. – Yesterday a relation of Waller’s made an information against a Chimney Sweeper and one Dalton, who are both absconded. DJ. 16. (Grub-street Journal, summarizing accounts in other newspapers.)

12 October 1732   Tuesday, Octob. 10. Yesterday morning thirteen malefactors were executed at Tyburn: . . . Griffith, who was [to be] executed for the murder of Waller in the pillory, made a speech to the populace at his going into the cart, and declared his innocence. DP. (Grub-street Journal)

5 June 1735   Yesterday George Wood, known by the name of Ranging Buck, and late an Officer to the High-Bailiff of Westminster, stood in the pillory at the corner of Fetter-lane in Fleet-street, for wilful and corrupt perjury, pursuant to his sentence at the last Sessions in the Old Baily. He was most severely treated by the populace, who, besides throwing dirt, cut him in the face with stones, broken glass, &c. in so miserable a manner, that he was almost dead when he was taken down. (The Old Whig)

16 February 1737   Bristol, Feb. 12. Yesterday in the afternoon one Elliot, a fidler, without Lawford's Gate, was committed to the stocks on the key, by one of our Magistrates, for attempting to swear falsely against a poor woman in Marsh-street, for selling a dram of spirituous liquors; after being free from the stocks, the mob took him in hand, and through several streets pelted him with kennel dirt, flung ashes in his eyes, and otherwise bedaub'd him, that no pillory chap could be worse served; to make him clean, they afterwards flung him into the common horse pond on the Wear. 'Tis supposed he must resign his employment. (Daily Gazetteer)


23 October 1725   Yesterday John Shepherd and John Draper were whipp'd at the cart's tail, from the Church of St. Clement's Dane to the new Church in the Strand, pursuant to their sentence at the late Sessions in the Old-Baily for tearing off and stealing escutcheons from a hearse at a funeral: This is in Terrorem, perhaps a heavier punishment may be inflicted upon the next offenders, it being resolved to put a stop to that rude practice. [Mist's Weekly Journal]


5 April 1729   On Monday ... the entrails of a man, and the entire skin, except the left ear, were found in a pond in the field between Oliver’s Mount, and the end of Dover street; which some people supposed to belong to the body of one of the malefactors executed last week at Tyburn, that has been anatomized by the surgeons. And on Tuesday two eminent surgeons were appointed to examine the same, which they did accordingly, and declared upon oath, that they did believe them to belong to a body anatomized by the surgeons, so that they were thereupon order’d to be buried. (London Journal)

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished in whole or redistributed without the permission of the compiler. However, short selections may be quoted in historical studies and reviews as long as acknowledgement is given to this site.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Transportation and other Punishments", 6 August 2004, updated 5 June 2007 <>

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