TO THE PUBLIC.
This History was first published in 1749, soon after the execution of Jackson, Carter, and other Smugglers, upon the Broyle, near Chichester. The writer in his Preface, says: “I do assure the Public that I took down the facts in writing from the mouths of the witnesses, that I frequently conversed with the prisoners, both before and after condemnation; by which I had an opportunity of procuring those letters which are herein- after inserted, and other intelligence of some secret transactions among them, which were never communicated to any other person.” Its authenticity thus shewn, he further says: “Of all the monstrous wickedness with which the age abounds, nothing, I will be bound to say, can parallel the scenes of villainy that .are here laid open. In all the Histories I have ever read, of all the barbarous stories I have heard related, never did I meet with an instance where cruelty was carried to such an excess as here. We have an instance of two men suffering the most cruel torments that malice itself could invent, without any provocation given, and for no other crime but a duty to serve their king and country.
He also says: “When the facts were proved by un deniable evidence in the face of the Court, what horror and detestation appeared in the countenance of every-
one present! Everyone shuddered when they heard the aggravating circumstances of the murders related, and how barbarously the villains handled their two wretched victims. The judges themselves declared on the bench, that in all their reading they never met with such a continued scene of barbarity, so deliberately carried on and so cruelly executed. The Council, Jury, and all present, were astonished and shocked, to hear proved beyond contradiction, facts of so monstrous a nature as the sufferings were of Mr. Galley and Mr. Chater.”
“But how monstrous and unnatural soever the facts here related appear, yet they are certainly true: everything is related just in the manner it was acted, without the least aggravation to set it off. I have set down nothing but what the witnesses themselves declared upon their oaths, except in some few circumstances which Steele declared on his first examination, but was not examined upon his trial. And therefore, upon the whole, I affirm that the following account is genuine and authentic.”
A reverend writer says: “In order to deter mankind from the perpetration of notorious crimes, nothing can be so effectual as to represent, in the most striking colours, the punishments that naturally attend them. The fear of shame as often preserves a person from the commission of a crime, as the expectation of a reward for his continuing in the paths of virtue.” Mr. Pope also says,
“Vice is a Monster of such
These authorities, it is hoped, will be a sufficient apology for reprinting the said History; and as the chief motive thereto is that of serving the community, the editor humbly hopes it will meet with due encouragement, more especially as such republication may justly be considered as one means (among many others) of checking that audacious spirit which now daily gains ground, by reminding those violators of the laws, that, like Jackson and the other miscreants mentioned in this work, they will most assuredly receive that just punishment their crimes merit, if they continue their unlawful and wicked practices. On the other hand, did they seriously consider the dreadful consequences which frequently follow, they would shudder to think of them; they would at once see and confess their own unworthiness; they would be thoroughly sensible, that to answer the purposes of their Great Creator, they should use their utmost endeavours to get an honest livelihood in the stations to which they may respectively be called; they would then be useful members of the community; and by such conduct would avoid those dreadful horrors and most bitter pangs which for ever haunt guilty minds.
The better to attain these most desirable and salutary ends, parents, guardians, and others who have the tuition of youth (we mean here the youth of the poor and the illiterate in general) should now and then take occasion to read, or cause to be read, to their servants, etc., divers passages of this true history; at the same time make such remarks and draw such inferences from
them, as their own natural good sense and experience might point out; and more especially they should put them in mind that God, by the mouth of His servant Moses, expressly declares, “He who sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”
“ I have drawn it up in the way of a Narrative, as the best method of giving a full view of the whole affair. When that is over, I proceed to give an account of their Trials; after which I conclude with their lives, confessions, behaviour, and last dying words at the place of execution.
“I cannot omit to mention here, that Mr. Banks made a speech, exceedingly eloquent and judicious, which drew the attention of the whole court; and which he concluded with that wise saying of the wisest of men, ‘ That the mercies of the wicked are cruelties’; the truth of which will evidently appear in the following pages.