Newgate Calendar - WILLIAM KELLY

WILLIAM KELLY

Executed near Gloucester, and His Body Hung in Chains, September the 28th, 1772, for Murder

            IN the case of this man, we find little more said than that he was, on the clearest evidence, convicted of the murder of Richard Dyer, except that he long persisted, with the most wicked imprecations, in his innocence of the charge against him. In this manner he continued, until the moment the cart which carried him to execution passed the spot where the murder was committed, when the Almighty smote his conscience. He turned pale, and trembled, and while calling God to witness his innocence, his voice suddenly faltered, and he began to confess his guilt, in an agony of mind.

            The cart was stopped, when viewing the place with distorted features, he said, "Just there I killed poor Dyer; I overtook him, and walked with him in friendly conversation, until in getting over that stile," pointing to it, "I struck him on the back of the head with a hedge-stake, and repeated the blow, he fell dead at my feet." He farther confessed, that on coming up with the deceased, he had no intention to hurt him, but that the devil whispered him to commit murder and robbery; but when he saw his bloody work, he was deprived of the, power of robbing, and ran away, like Cain, the first murderer, struck with horror.

            The unfortunate wretch left a wife and children to lament his sad fate, and was but just twenty-two years of age.

 

"Think, timely think, on the last dreadful day,
"How you will tremble there, to stand expos'd,
"The foremost in the rank of guilty ghosts,
"That must be doom'd for murder! Think on murder!
"That troop is plac'd apart from common crimes;
"The damn'd themselves start wide, and shun that band,
"As far more black, and more forlorn than they."
DRYDEN.

 

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