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him carrying a baker's basket. I think I heard that he did not do quite so well by himself, as he had done by the old folks.”
On the north side of Snow Hill is the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the tolling of whose solemn bell, reverberating through the neighbouring cells of Newgate, has often exhorted the condemned criminal, that, before a brief hour shall have passed away, he will be swinging a lifeless weight, exposed to the curious gaze and, perhaps, the execrations of the pitiless crowd.
St. Sepulchre's Church, dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre, is supposed to have been originally built about the year 1100. It was either entirely or partially rebuilt in the reign of Henry the Sixth, when Popham, Chancellor of Normandy and Treasurer of the King's Household, erected a handsome chapel on the south side of the choir, and also the beautiful porch at the north-west corner of the edifice, the latter of which still remains. The striking and venerable tower was probably built at the same period. The church was severely damaged by the great Fire in 1666; nothing but the walls and the tower being left. It was restored, after designs by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1670; but in consequence of its falling into a decayed state, was again repaired, and underwent considerable alterations in 1790. The organ, built in 1677, is said to be the oldest, and one of the finest in London.
We cannot discover, either that any very celepersons have been interred in St. Sepulchre's Church, or that many interesting monuments perished in the great conflagration. Here, however, lies buried—though without any memorial of his resting-place—the elegant scholar, Roger Ascham, whose love for the classic writings of Greece and Rome was exceeded only by his fondness for cockfighting. He is, perhaps, best remembered in the present day from having been the tutor of Queen Elizabeth. Here, too, lies buried one whose romantic adventures and daring exploits have rarely been surpassed : we allude to Captain John Smith, who figured conspicuously in the reigns of Elizabeth and James, and who was buried here in June 1631. He served for some time under the banner of the Emperor against the Grand Signior, and, during the war in Hungary, distinguished himself by challenging three Turks of quality to single combat, and cutting off their heads. For this exploit, Sigismund, Duke of Transylvania, gave him his picture set in gold, besides settling on him a pension of three hundred ducats, and permitting him to bear three Turks' heads, between a chevron, in his armorial bearings. He afterwards went to America in search of fresh adventures, and was taken prisoner by the Indians, but contrived to make his escape from them after a short captivity. On numerous occasions he hazarded his life in naval engagements with pirates, with Spanish men-ofwar, and in every kind of adventure; but the most important act of his life was the share which he
had in civilizing the natives of New England, and reducing that province to obedience to Great Bri
His epitaph, though no longer to be seen in St. Sepulchre's Church, has fortunately been preserved, and is as follows:
Here lies one conquered, that hath conquered Kings,
By the will of one Robert Dow, citizen and merchant-tailor, who died in 1612, the annual sum
* See an account of his exploits in the “ History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles ;" written by himself.
of 26s. 8d. was bequeathed for the delivery of a solemn exhortation to the condemned criminals in Newgate, on the night previous to their execution. According to Stow, it was provided that the officiating clergyman of St. Sepulchre's “should come in the niglit-time, and likewise early in the morning, to the window of the prison where they lie, and there ringing certain tolls with a hand-bell, appointed for the purpose, should put them in mind of their present condition, and ensuing execution, desiring them to be prepared therefore, as they ought to be. When they are in the cart, and brought before the wall of the church [on their way to Tyburn), there he shall stand ready with the same bell, and after certain tolls, rehearse an appointed prayer, desiring all the people there present to pray for them.” *
* The affecting admonitions, here referred to, were as follows:Admonition to the Prisoners in Newgate, on the Night before
Who for wickedness and sin, after many mercies shown, are now appointed to die to-morrow in the forenoon; give ear, and understand, that to-morrow morning, the greatest bell of St. Sepulchre's shall toll for you, in form and manner of a passing bell, as used to be tolled for those that are at the point of death : to the end that all godly people, hearing that bell, and knowing it is for your going to your deaths, may be stirred up heartily to pray to God to bestow his grace
mercy upon you, whilst you live. I beseech you, for Jesus Christ's sake, to keep this night in watching and prayer, to the salvation of your own souls, while there is yet time and place for mercy; as knowing to-morrow you must appear before the judgment-seat of your
According to the “Annals of Newgate,” it was for many years a custom for the bellman of St. Sepulchre's, on the eve of an execution, to proceed under the walls of Newgate, and to repeat the following verses in the hearing of the criminals in the condemned cell:
that in the condemn'd cell do lie,
Past twelve o'clock !
Creator, there to give an account of all things done in this life, and to suffer eternal torments for your sins committed against Him, unless, upon your hearty and unfeigned repentance, you find mercy through the merits, death, and passion of your only Mediator and Advocate Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return to him.
Admonition to the Condemned Criminals, as they are passing by
St. Sepulchre's Church-wall to Execution. All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll.
You that are condemned to die, repent with lamentable tears: ask mercy
of the Lord, for the salvation of your own souls, through the merits, death, and passion of Jesus Christ, who now sits at the right hand of God, to make intercession for as many of you as penitently return unto Him.
Lord have mercy upon you.
Christ have mercy upon you.
Christ have mercy upon you.