Executed on Clerkenwell Green for the Murder of Edward Perry, December, 1713
THIS offender was born at Whitehaven, in Cumberland, and from his youth brought up at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in Northumberland. He had used the sea for almost ten years, and once was (for a little while) master of a small collier, given him by his father, trading between Newcastle and London, where, becoming acquainted with ill company, and losing his little vessel one night at play, he soon learned the most enormous vices of the town, and became as bad as his companions, in going very frequently upon the water-pad, or robbing ships as they lay at anchor in the River Thames.
Once Lowther, meeting a great virtuoso belonging to the Royal Society taking a serious walk in the fields near Paddington, to meditate on the stupendous works of nature, made bold to make him stand till he took twenty-eight guineas from him.
Not long after this Lowther met with a sad mischance, for going one day to an ale-house in Covent Garden, at Christmas time, where a box was put up by the servants in one of the back rooms in which he was drinking for customers to put what they pleased into it, he, being by himself, heated the poker red- hot, and went to unsolder the box as fast as he could, which was filled with gunpowder, by reason two or three boxes had been so opened before, and the money taken out.
As soon as the heat of the poker came to the powder, up flew the box, out fell the money, and the noise thereof giving a loud report, the servants went presently into the room, where they found Lowther frightened almost out of his wits, with his wig blazing about his ears, his neck-cloth all on fire, and his face most sadly burned.
However, not pitying his mortified condition, they were for carrying him before a magistrate, but making the matter up, by paying the servants three pounds ten shillings, he was discharged of getting box-money off people without asking them for it, and went about his business.
Lowther, having once stolen a black pudding in Clare Market and clapped it into his bosom, stepped, as he was going along, into Daniel Burge's meeting- house, where he placed himself opposite to that reverend don, who was very piously delivering a lecture to his zealous congregation, and who in the midst of his eloquent discourse, looking wistly towards Lowther, said: "Thou man! fling that black sin out of thy bosom." Lowther having a guilty conscience, and really thinking the teacher had spoken to him, flung it at his head, saying: "And be poxed to you. I had but one black pudding, and you are so unconscionable as to desire it of me." Which transaction put the auditors into a sort of a surprise, as well as the doctor.
Another time Lowther, having stolen a watch, was committed to Newgate, where compounding the felony, he then escaped the severity of the law and procured his liberty. But Lowther not performing his agreement, his adversary sent him to one of the compters, where he was removed by a habeas to Newgate. Here he first became acquainted with Dick Keele, with whom, after they had got their liberty, he went a-thieving, till being sent to Clerkenwell Bridewell, they there bred a riot, in which Edward Perry, a servant to Mr Boreman, the keeper, was killed.
For this fact both these malefactors received sentence of death, and were executed together on Wednesday, the 23rd of December, 1713, Lowther being twenty-three years of age.