The Life of JULIAN
a Black Boy and Incendiary
From speaking of artificial blacks, I come now to relate the unhappy death of one who was naturally of that colour. This poor creature's Julian. At the time of his execution he seemed to be about sixteen years of age, he had been stolen while young from his parents at Madras. He still retained his pagan ignorance both in respect to religion and our language.
He was brought over by one Captain Dawes, who presented him to Mrs. Elizabeth Turner, where he was used with the greatest tenderness and kindness, she often calling him to dance and sing after his manner before company; and he himself acknowledged that he had never been so happy in his life as he was there. Yet, on a sudden, he stole about twenty or thirty guineas, and then placing a candle under the sheets left it burning to fire the house, and consume the inhabitants in it. Of this, upon proof and his own confession made before Sir Francis Forbes and Mr. Turner, he was convicted.
While he remained under sentence, he was often heard to mumble in reproach and revengeful terms to himself. However, before his death he learned the Lord's Prayer, and when it was demanded whether he would be a Christian, he assented with great joy, which arose, it seems, from his having heard the common foolish opinion that when christened Blacks are to be set free. However, christened he was, and received at his baptism the name of John.
The place in which he was confined being very damp, the boy having nothing to lie on but a coat, caught so great a cold in his limbs that he almost lost the use of them before his death, and continued in a state of great pain and weakness; insomuch that when he was told he must prepare for his execution, he determined with himself to forestall it, and for that purpose desired one of the prisoners to lend him a penknife, but the man, it seems, had more grace than to grant his request, and he ended his life at Tyburn, according to his sentence.
Source: Hayward, Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals