Cache-Control: public, max-age=1024000 Lives of Remarkable Criminals: William Lipsat


a Thief

William Lipsat was the son of a person at Dublin, in very tolerable circumstances, which he strained to the utmost to give this lad a tolerable education. When he had acquired this he sent him over to an uncle of his at Stockden, in Worcestershire, where he lived with more indulgence than even when at home, his uncle having no children, and behaving to him with all the tenderness of a parent. However, on some little difference (the boy having long had an inclination to see this great City of London) he took that occasion to go away from his uncle, and accordingly came up to town, and was employed in the service of one Mr. Kelway. He had not been long there before he received a letter from his father, entreating him to return to Dublin with all the speed he was able. This letter was soon followed by another, which not only desired, but commanded him to come back to Ireland. He was not troubled at thinking of the voyage and going home to his friends, but he was very desirous of carrying money over with him to make a figure amongst his relations, which not knowing how to get, he at last bethought himself of stealing it from a place in which he knew it lay. After several struggles with himself, vanity prevailed, and he accordingly went and took away the things, viz., 57 guineas and a half, 25 Caroluses,[1] 5 Jacobuses, 3 Moidores, six piece of silver, two purses valued at twelve pence. These, as he said, would have made his journey pleasant and his reception welcome, which was the reason he took them. The evidence was very dear and direct against him, so that the jury found him guilty without hesitation.

From the time of his condemnation to the day he died, he neither affected to extenuate his crime, nor reflect, as some are apt to do, on the cruelty of the prosecutors, witnesses, or the Court that condemned him. So far from it, that he always acknowledged the justice of his sentence, seemed grieved only for the greatness of his sin and the affliction of the punishment of it would bring upon his relations, who had hitherto always born the best of characters, though by his failing they were now like to be stigmatised with the most infamous crimes. However, since his grief came now too late, he resolved as much as he was able to keep such thoughts out of his head, and apply himself to what more nearly concerned him, and for which all the little time he had was rather too short. In a word, in his condition, none behaved with more gravity, or to outward appearance with more penitence than this criminal did.

He suffered with the same resignation which had appeared in everything he did from the time of his condemnation, on the 1st of February, 1724-5, with the before-mentioned malefactors, being then scarce eighteen years of age.


[1] Carolus was a gold coin of Charles I, worth 20s.-23s.; a Jacobus, coined by James I, was of the same value; the moidore was worth about 27s.

Source: Hayward, Lives of the Most Remarkable Criminals