Hanged at Gloucester Jail in April, 1714, for the Murder of one Mr Beachere
MACCARTNEY being left to the wide world, and knowing not what course to take for a livelihood, being no scholar, nor brought up to any trade, turned thief at once, being so light-fingered that anything was his own which lay within his reach. He was a notable house- breaker, and had done many exploits that way; but his greatest was in breaking open the house of Sir Thomas Rochford, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, in the kingdom of Ireland, whom he and his comrades bound, with his lady, back to back, like a spread eagle, and all the men and women servants in the house after the same manner, without either shirt or smock upon them; then breaking open all trunks, cabinets, escritoires and chests of drawers, they took what plate and money they could find, to the value of fourteen hundred pounds.
After committing this notorious robbery, his country being too hot to hold him, he fled into Scotland, where, breaking open a stable belonging to Sir James Steward, then her Majesty's advocate for that kingdom, and stealing thence a horse and saddle, he came into England and turned highwayman. Being pretty lucky in his roguery, he always maintained himself in clothes; so that the handsome appearance which he made in his habit, with his fawning, cringing and flattering way, had brought him to be acquainted with several creditable gentlemen, to whom he pretended he had a very good estate in Ireland.
One day Maccartney, with another rogue as good as himself, meeting in the Strand one Mr Vaughan, a Welsh gentleman, having about four hundred pounds per annum in Pembrokeshire, invited him to drink a pint of wine; and, going together to a tavern, whilst they were regaling themselves over a glass of claret, quoth Maccartney to his comrade: "I vow this is a fine day; we'll e'en ride both of us out this afternoon."
Said Mr Vaughan (not in the least mistrusting they were highwaymen): "If I had a horse I would ride out with you too, gentlemen."
Quoth Maccartney: "I'll help you to a horse, sir." And being as good as his word, they all three rode towards Romford, beyond which place, about a mile, meeting a coach full of passengers, Maccartney and his comrade set upon it.
Whilst they were robbing them, quoth the Welsh gentleman to himself: "I'll not stand idle; I'll e'en be doing something too." So perceiving another coach at a little distance behind that which the others had attacked, and in which was only one gentleman, with his footman behind, he made up to it, and commanding the coachman to stop, he robbed the gentleman of five guineas in gold and forty shillings in silver, and rode off.
Shortly after, going to Bristol, one Mr Beachere of Wiltshire also went down to that city in order to go to Ireland, where he unhappily fell into company with Maccartney, who was likewise going to that kingdom. In the morning, after their short acquaintance overnight, Maccartney calling up the aforesaid Beachere to go down to the Pill to embark, when he was on Durham Down, a mile without the city, this Irish rogue knocked him down and with a razor cut his throat from ear to ear, and then passed over into Wales, and designed for Holyhead.
But messengers being sent into Wales to inquire at all the ports, heard of, pursued and took him in Brecknockshire, with Beachere's clothes and bloody shirt. He was then committed to Gloucester Jail; and being convicted for this murder and robbery, he was there executed, on Wednesday, 7th of April, 1714, aged twenty-three years, and was afterwards hanged in chains on Durham Down.