JAMES ATTAWAY AND RICHARD BAILEY
Executed at Tyburn, 4th of July, 1770, for committing a Burglary after tying up the Butler
THE crime for which these men so justly suffered was committed in a manner most artful and daring.
About nine o'clock one evening they went to the house of Thomas Le Merr, Esq., in Bedford Row, London, a public and genteel street. They had received information that Mr Le Merr was in the country. On their knocking at the door it was opened by a footman, to whom Bailey delivered a letter, saying that it was for his master. Before the servant could answer, Attaway, another daring ruffian who had escaped justice, rushed in, shut the street door, and stabbed him in the belly with a dagger. They then drew cords from their pockets, tied the bleeding man's hands behind his back, and dragged him downstairs into the kitchen, unloosed his hands, and ordered him to light a candle, though, being summer, it was not dark. This done, regardless of his wound, which he begged time to bind up, they again tied his hands behind him, bringing the rope first about his neck, and then across his face in such a manner that it went through his mouth, which it kept open, and then made it fast behind. Thus bound, they dragged him into a cellar and bolted the door.
In a few minutes one of the villains returned and asked him if he was fast. Being answered, as well as the poor man could speak, that he was secure enough, they broke open the pantry, where the plate chest was kept, forced the lock, and deliberately packed up its contents.
In the meantime the bound man gnawed the rope in his mouth, and soon liberated himself. He then forced open the door which confined him and got into the area, over which was a skylight; and, apprehensive that he was bleeding to death, he made an effort to climb up a pipe to get through it and give an alarm. Making a last exertion he succeeded, and, dragging the rope after him, got to the stables behind the house, and called for help as loudly as his almost exhausted strength would permit. Five or six grooms immediately came to his assistance, and seized the robbers as they were coming out of the house, thus fortunately saving the poor fellow's life and Mr Le Merr's property.
On this evidence the two men were found guilty, and were hanged at Tyburn, on the 4th of July, 1770.