Executed at Presteigne in April, 1712, for murdering Edward Williams
DAVY MORGAN was born at Brecknock, the chief town in Brecknockshire, in South Wales, whence he came up to London in the quality of a serving-man to a Welsh knight, when about eighteen years of age; but young as he was, he quickly learned to rob his master of money and clothes, to the value of above ten pounds, and then ran away from his service.
Being now his own master, the company he kept was none of the best, for they were all the greatest housebreakers, pickpockets and shoplifters, both in town and country; by whose conversation becoming as wicked as the best of them, he had not long turned thief before he broke open the house of a Venetian ambassador in Pall Mall and robbed him of above two hundred pounds' worth of plate, for which, being shortly after apprehended, he was committed to the Gatehouse at Westminster.
After he had procured his liberty again he broke, one night, into the house of Doctor Titus Oates, in Axe Yard, in Westminster, and stood sentinel over that reverend divine whilst his comrades rifled most of the rooms; and then, tying him neck and heels, after the same manner as they do a soldier, with a couple of muskets which they found in the kitchen, Davy very sorely gagged him, saying that if his mouth had been as well crammed but a few years ago, he had not sworn so many men's lives away for pastime.
Another time, getting into a gaming-house frequented much by Bully Dawson, and perceiving he had won a great deal of money, he requested the favour of speaking a word or two with him in the next room. Dawson, taking him to be some chub or cully, went along with him, where, shutting the door, Davy pulls out a pistol, and presenting it to his breast, quoth he: "I want money, sir, for a very extraordinary occasion; therefore deliver what you have without any resistance, for if you make but the least noise soever I'll shoot you through the heart, though I were sure to die on the spot."
Bully Dawson, being strangely surprised at these words, and dreading what a desperate man might do in his rage, gave him all his money, which was about eighteen guineas. Then, tying him hand and foot, Davy went about his business. By that time the bully thought this bold robber was gone, so calling out for help, several sharping gamesters came out of the gaming-room to him and, untying him, asked how that adventure came to pass. Which Dawson relating through several volleys of loud oaths, they fell a- laughing heartily at him, and cried: "Dawson, 'twas a fair nick."
At last Davy Morgan, having committed a great robbery in London, in breaking open a Jew's house in Duke's Place, and taking from thence above two thousand pounds in gold, fled into Wales; and in Presteigne, in Radnorshire, did not only rob the church of its communion plate, but also broke open the house of one Edward Williams, whom he barbarously murdered. But being apprehended at Bristol, and sent to jail in the county where he committed this most barbarous crime, he was executed at Presteigne, in April, 1712, aged forty-three years, and hanged in chains.