His attention was suddenly attracted by a clanking sound ā he
knew what it was, for he had startled himself by making the same
noise in walking to the door. Presently a voice began to sing, and
he saw the shadow of a figure on the pavement. It stopped ā was
silent all at once, as though the person for a moment had forgotten
where he was, but soon remembered ā and so, with the same clank-
ing noise, the shadow disappeared.
He walked out into the court and paced it to and fro; startling
the echoes, as he went, with the harsh jangling of his fetters. There
was a door near his, which, like his, stood ajar.
He had not taken half a dozen turns up and down the yard,
when, standing still to observe this door, he heard the clanking
sound again. A face looked out of the grated window ā ^he saw it
very dimly, for the cell was dark and the ba^s were heavy ā and
directly afterwards, a man appeared, and came towards him.
For the sense of loneliness he had, he might have been in jail a
year. Made eager by the hope of companionship, he quickened his
pace, and hastened to meet the man half-way ā
What was this ! His son !
BARNABY RUDGE 485
They stood face to face, staring at each other. He shrinking and
cowed, despite himself; Barnaby struggling with- his imperfect
memory, and wondering where he had seen that face before. He
was not uncertain long, for suddenly he laid hands upon him, and
striving to bear him to the ground, cried:
Ah! I know! You are the robber!'
He said nothing in reply at first, but held down his head, and
struggled with him silently. Finding the younger man too strong
for him, he raised his face, looked close into his eyes, and said,
'I am your father.'
God knows what magic the name had for his ears ; but Barnaby
released his hold, fell back, and looked at him aghast. Suddenly he
sprung towards him, put his arms about his neck, and pressed his
head against his cheek.
Yes, yes, he was ; he was sure he was. But where had he been so
long, and why had he left his mother by herself, or worse than by
herself, with her poor foolish boy? And had she really been as
happy as they said? And where was she? Was she near there? She
was not happy now, and he in jail? Ah, no.
Not a word was said in answer; but Grip croaked loudly, and
hopped about them, round and round, as if enclosing them in a
magic circle, and invoking all the powers of mischief.
During the whole of this day, every regiment in or near the me-
tropolis was on duty in one or other part of the town ; and the reg-
ulars and militia, in obedience to the orders which were sent to
every barrack and station within twenty-four hours' journey, be-
gan to pour in by all the roads. But the disturbance had attained
to such a formidable height, and the rioters had grown, with im-
punity, to be so audacious, that the sight of this great force, con-
tinually augmented by new arrivals, instead of operating as a
check, stimulated them to outrages of greater hardihood than any
they had yet committed ; and helped to kindle a flame in London,
4.86 BARNABY RUDGE
the like of which had never been beheld, even in its ancient and
All yesterday, and on this day likewise, the commander-in-chief
endeavoured to arouse the magistrates to a sense of their duty, and
in particular the Lord Mayor, who was the faintest-hearted and
most timid of them all. With this object, large bodies of the sol-
diery were several times despatched to the Mansion House to
await his orders: but as he could, by no threats or persuasions, be
induced to give any, and as the men remained in the open street,
fruitlessly for any good purpose, and thrivingly for a very bad one;
these laudable attempts did harm rather than good. For the crowd,
becoming speedily acquainted with the Lord Mayor's temper, did
not fail to take advantage of it by boasting that even the civil au-
thorities were opposed to the Papists, and could not find in their
hearts to molest those who were guilty of no other offence. These
vaunts they took care to make within the hearing of the soldiers;
and they, being naturally loath to quarrel with the people, received
their advances kindly enough: answering, when they were asked if
they desired to fire upon their countrymen, ^No, they would be
damned if they did' ; and showing much honest simplicity and good
nature. The feeling that the military were No Popery men, and
were ripe for disobeying orders and joining the mob, soon became
very prevalent in consequence. Rumours of their disaffection, and
of their leaning towards the popular cause, spread from mouth to
mouth with astonishing rapidity; and whenever they were drawn
up idly in the streets or squares, there was sure to be a crowd about
them, cheering and shaking hands, and treating them with a great
show of confidence and affection.
By this time, the crowd was everywhere; all concealment and
disguise were laid aside, and they pervaded the whole town. If any
man among them wanted money, he had but to knock at the door
of a dwelling-house, or walk into a shop, and demand it in the
rioters' name; and his demand was instantly complied with. The
peaceable citizens being afraid to lay hands upon them, singly and
alone, it may be easily supposed that when gathered together in
bodies, they were perfectly secure from interruption. They assem-
bled in the streets, traversed them at their will and pleasure, and
publicly concerted their plans. Business was quite suspended; the
BARNABY RUDGE 487
greater part of the shops were closed ; most of the houses displayed
a blue flag in token of their adherence to the popular side; and
even the Jews in Houndsditch, Whitechapel, and those quarters,
wrote upon their doors or window-shutters, 'This House is a True
Protestant.' The crowd was the law, and never was the law held in
greater dread, or more implicitly obeyed.
It was about six o'clock in the evening, when a vast mob poured
into Lincoln's Inn Fields by every avenue, and divided ā evidently
in pursuance of a previous design ā into several parties. It must not
be understood that this arrangement was known to the whole
crowd, but that it was the work of a few leaders; who, mingling
with the men as they came upon the ground, and calling to them
to fall into this or that party, effected it as rapidly as if it had been
determined on by a council of the whole number, and every man
had known his place.
It was perfectly notorious to the assemblage that the largest
body, which comprehended about two-thirds of the whole, was
designed for the attack on Newgate. It comprehended all the riot-
ers who had been conspicuous in any of their former proceedings;
ai} those whom they recommended as daring hands and fit for the
work; all those whose companions had been taken in riots; and a
great number of people who were relatives or friends of felons in
the jail. This last class included, not only the most desperate and
utterly abandoned villains in London, but some who were compar-
atively innocent. There was more than one woman there disguised
in man's attire, and bent upon the rescue of a child or brother.
There were the two sons of a man who lay under sentence of death,
and who was to be executed along with three others, on the next
day but one. There was a great party of boys whose fellow-pick-
pockets were in the prison; and at the skirts of all, a score of mis-
erable women, outcasts from the world, seeking to release some
other fallen creature as miserable as themselves, or moved by a
general sympathy perhaps ā God knows ā with all who were with-
out hope, and wretched.
Old swords, and pistols without ball or powder; sledge-ham-
mers, knives, axes, saws, and weapons pillaged from the butchers'
shops; a forest of iron bars and wooden clubs; long ladders for
scaling the walls, each carried on the shoulders of a dozen men;
488 BARNABY RUDGE
lighted torches; tow smeared with pitch, and tar, and brimstone;
staves roughly plucked from fence and paling; and even crutches
taken from crippled beggars in the streets; composed their arms.
When all was ready, Hugh and Dennis, with Simon Tappertit be-
tween them, led the way. Roaring and chafing like an angry sea,
the crowd pressed after them.
Instead of going straight down Holborn to the jail, as all ex-
pected, their leaders took the way to Clerkenwell, and pouring
down a quiet street, halted before a locksmith's house ā the Golden
'Beat at the door,' cried Hugh to the men about him. 'We want
one of his craft to-night. Beat it in, if no one answers.'
The shop was shut. Both door and shutters were of a strong and
sturdy kind, and they knocked without effect. But the impatient
crowd raising a cry of 'Set fire to the house!' and torches being
passed to the front, an upper window was thrown open, and the
stout old locksmith stood before them.
'What now, you villains!' he demanded. 'Where is my daugh-
'Ask no questions of us, old man,' retorted Hugh, waving his
comrades to be silent, 'but come down, and bring the tools of your
trade. We want you.'
'Want me!' cried the locksmith, glancing at the regimental dress
he wore: 'Ay, and if some that I could name possessed the hearts
of mice, ye should have had me long ago. Mark me, my lad ā and
you about him do the same. There are a score among ye whom I
see now and know, who are dead men from this hour. Begone! and
rob an undertaker's while you can! You'll want some coffins be-
'Will you come down?' cried Hugh.
*Will you give me my daughter, ruffian?' cried the locksmith
'I know nothing of her,' Hugh rejoined. 'Burn the door!'
'Stop!' cried the locksmith, in a voice that made them falter ā
presenting, as he spoke, a gun. 'Let an old man do that. You can
spare him better.'
The young fellow who held the light, and who was stooping down
before the door, rose hastily at these words, and fell back. The
BARNABY RUDGE 489
locksmith ran his eye along the upturned faces, and kept the wea-
pon levelled at the threshold of his house. It had no other rest than
his shoulder, but was as steady as the house itself.
'Let the man who does it, take heed to his prayers,' he said
firmly; 'I warn him.'
Snatching a torch from one who stood near him, Hugh was step-
ping forward with an oath, when he was arrested by a shrill and
piercing shriek, and, looking upward, saw a fluttering garment on
There was another shriek, and another, and then a shrill voice
cried, 'Is Simmun below!' At the same moment a lean neck was
stretched over the parapet, and Miss Miggs, indistinctly seen in
the gathering gloom of evening, screeched in a frenzied manner,
'Oh! dear gentlemen, let me hear Simmuns's answer from his own
lips. Speak to me, Simmun. Speak to me!'
Mr. Tappertit, who was not at all flattered by this complim.ent,
looked up, and bidding her hold her peace, ordered her to come
down and open the door, for they wanted her master, and would
take no denial.
'Oh good gentlemen!' cried Miss Miggs. 'Oh my own precious,
precious Simmun ā '
'Hold your nonsense, will you!' retorted Mr. Tappertit; 'and
come down and open the door. ā G. Varden, drop that gun, or it
will be worse for you.'
'Don't mind his gun,' screamed Miggs. 'Simmun and gentlemen,
I poured a mug of table-beer right down the barrel.'
The crowd gave a loud shout, which was followed by a roar of
'It wouldn't go off, not if you was to load it up to the muzzle,'
screamed Miggs. 'Simmun and gentlemen^ I'm locked up in the
front attic, through the little door on the right hand when you
think you've got to the very top of the stairs ā and up the flight of
corner steps, being careful not to knock your heads against the
rafters, and not to tread on one side in case you should fall into the
two-pair bedroom through the lath and plasture, which do not bear,
but the contrairy. Simmun and gentlemen, I've been locked up
here for safety, but my endeavours has always been, and always
will be, to be on the right side ā the blessed side ā and to pre-
490 BARNABY RUDGE
nounce the Pope of Babylon, and all her inward and her outward
workings, which is Pagin. My sentiments is of little consequences,
I know/ cried Miggs, with additional shrillness, ^for my positions
is but a servant, and as sich, of humilities, still I gives expressions
to my feelings, and places my reliances on them which entertains
my own opinions! '
Without taking much notice of these outpourings of Miss Miggs
after she had made her first announcement in relation to the gun,
the crowd raised a ladder against the window where the locksmith
stood, and notwithstanding that he closed, and fastened, and de-
fended it manfully, soon forced an entrance by shivering the glass
and breaking in the frames. After dealing a few stout blows about
him, he found himself defenceless, in the midst of a furious crowd,
which overflowed the room and softened off in a confused heap of
faces at the door and window.
They were very wrathful with him (for he had wounded two
men), and even called out to those in front, to bring him forth and
hang him on a lamp-post. But Gabriel was quite undaunted, and
looked from Hugh and Dennis, who held him by either arm, to
Simon Tappertit, who confronted him.
'You have robbed me of my daughter,' said the locksmith, Vho
is far dearer to me than my life ; and you may take my life, if you
will. I bless God that I have been enabled to keep my wife free of
this scene; and that He has made me a man who will not ask mercy
at such hands as yours.'
'And a wery game old gentleman you are,' said Mr. Dennis, ap-
provingly; 'and you express yourself like a man. What's the odds,
brother, whether it's a lamp-post to-night, or a feather-bed ten
year to come, eh?'
The locksmith glanced at him disdainfully, but returned no
'For my part,' said the hangman, who particularly favoured the
lamp-post suggestion, T honour your principles. They're mine ex-
actly. In such sentiments as them,' and here he emphasised his dis-
course with an oath, 'I'm ready to meet you or any man half-way.
ā Have you got a bit of cord anywheres handy? Don't put yourself
out of the way, if you haven't. A handkecher will do.'
BARNABY RUDGE 491
'Don't be a fool, master,' whispered Hugh, seizing Varden
roughly by the shoulder; 'but do as you're bid. You'll soon hear
what you're wanted for. Do it!'
'I'll do nothing at your request, or that of any scoundrel here,'
returned the locksmith. 'If you want any service from me, you may
spare yourselves the pains of telling me what it is. I tell you, be-
forehand, I'll do nothing for you.'
Mr. Dennis was so affected by this constancy on the part of
the staunch old man, that he protested ā almost with tears in his
eyes ā that to baulk his inclinations would be an act of cruelty and
hard dealing to which he, for one, never could reconcile his con-
science. The gentleman, he said, had avowed in so many words
that he was ready for working off; such being the case, he con-
sidered it their duty, as a civilised and enlightened crowd, to work
him off. It was not often, he observed, that they had it in their
power to accommodate themselves to the wishes of those from
whom they had the misfortune to differ. Having now found an
individual who expressed a desire which they could reasonably
indulge (and for himself he was free to confess that in his opinion
that desire did honour to his feelings), he hoped they would de-
cide to accede to his proposition before going any further. It was
an experiment which, skilfully and dexterously performed, would
be over in five minutes, with great comfort and satisfaction to all
parties; and though it did not become him (Mr. Dennis) to
speak well of himself, he trusted he might be allowed to say that
he had practical knowledge of the subject, and, being naturally
of an obliging and friendly disposition, would work the gentleman
off with a deal of pleasure.
These remarks, which were addressed in the midst of a frightful
din and turmoil to those immediately about him, were received
with great favour; not so much, perhaps, because of the hangman's
eloquence, as on account of the locksmith's obstinacy. Gabriel
was in imminent peril, and he knew it; but he preserved a steady
silence; and would have done so, if they had been debating
whether they should roast him at a slow fire.
As the hangman spoke, there was some stir and confusion on
the ladder; and directly he was silent ā so immediately upon his
492 BAkNABY RUDGE
holding his peace, that the crowd below had no time to learn
what he had been saying, or to shout in response ā some one at the
'He has a grey head. He is an old man: Don't hurt him!'
The locksmith turned, with a start, towards the place from which
the words had come, and looked hurriedly at the people who were
hanging on the ladder and clinging to each other.
Tay no respect to my grey hair, young man,' he said, answering
the voice and not any one he saw. 'I don't ask it. My heart is
green enough to scorn and despise every man among you, band
of robbers that you are!'
This incautious speech by no means tended to appease the fero-
city of the crowd. They cried again to have him brought out; and
it would have gone hard with the honest locksmith, but that Hugh
reminded them, in answer, that they wanted his services, and must
'So, tell him what we want,' he said to Simon Tappertit, 'and
quickly. And open your ears, master, if you would ever use them
Gabriel folded his arms, which were now at liberty, and eyed
his old 'prentice in silence.
'Lookye, Varden,' said Sim, 'v/e 're bound for Newgate.'
'I know you are,' returned the locksmith. 'You never said a
truer word than that.'
'To burn it down, I mean,' said Simon, 'and force the gates, and
set the prisoners at liberty. You helped to make the lock of the
T did,' said the locksmith. 'You owe me no thanks for that ā
as you '11 find before long.'
'Maybe,' returned his journeyman, 'but you must show us how-
to force it.'
'Yes; for you know, and I don't. You must come along with
us, and pick it with your own hands.'
'When I do,' said the locksmith quietly, 'my hands shall drop
off at the wrists, and you shall wear them, Simon Tappertit, on
your shoulders for epaulettes.'
'We '11 see that,' cried Hugh, interposing, as the indignation of
BARNABY RUDGE 493
the crowd again burst forth. 'You fill a basket with the tools
he '11 want, while I bring him downstairs. Open the doors below,
some of you. And light the great captain, others! Is there no
business afoot, my lads, that you can do nothing but stand and
They looked at one another, and quickly dispersing, swarmed
over the house, plundering and breaking, according to their cus-
tom, and carrying off such articles of value as happened to please
their fancy. They had no great length of time for these proceed-
ings, for the basket of tools was soon prepared and slung over a
man's shoulders. The preparations being now completed, and
everything ready for the attack, those who were pillaging and
destroying in the other rooms were called down to the workshop.
They were about to issue forth, when the man who had been last
upstairs, stepped forward, and asked if the young w^oman in the
garret (who was making a terrible noise, he said, and kept on
screaming without the least cessation) was to be released?
For his own part, Simon Tappertit would certainly have re-
plied in the negative, but the mass of his companions, mindful of
the good service she had done in the matter of the gun, being of a
different opinion, he had nothing for it but to answer, Yes. The
man, accordingly, went back again to the rescue, and presently
returned with Miss Miggs, limp and doubled up, and very damp
from much weeping.
As the young lady had given no tokens of consciousness on
their way downstairs, the bearer reported her either dead or
dying; and being at some loss what to do with her, was looking
round for a convenient bench or heap of ashes on which to place
her senseless form, when she suddenly came upon her feet by some
mysterious means, thrust back her hair, stared wildly at Mr. Tap-
pertit, cried 'My Simmuns's life is not a wictim!' and dropped
into his arms with such promptitude that he staggered and reeled
some paces back, beneath his lovely burden.
'Oh bother!' said Mr. Tappertit. 'Here. Catch hold of her,
somebody. Lock her up again; she never ought to have been let
'My Simmun!' cried Miss Miggs, in tears, and faintly. 'My
for ever, ever blessed Simmunl'
494 BARNABY RUDGE
'Hold up, will you,' said Mr. Tappertit, in a very unresponsive
tone, 'I '11 let you fall if you don't. What are you sliding your
feet off the ground for?'
'My angel Simmuns!' murmured Miggs ā 'he promised ā '
'Promised! Well, and I '11 keep my promise,' answered Simon,
testily. 'I mean to provide for you, don't I? Stand up!'
'Where am I to go? What is to become of me after my actions
of this night!' cried Miggs. 'What resting-places now remains but
in the silent tombses!'
'I wish you was in the silent tombses, I do,' cried Mr. Tappertit,
^and boxed up tight, in a good strong one. Here,' he cried to one
of the bystanders, in whose ear he whispered for a moment: 'Take
her off, will you. You understand where?'
The fellow nodded ; and taking her in his arms, notwithstanding
her broken protestations, and her struggles (which latter species
of opposition, involving scratches, was much more difficult of
resistance), carried her away. They who were in the house poured
out into the street; the locksmith was taken to the head of the
crowd, and required to walk between his two conductors; the
whole body was put in rapid motion; and without any shouting or
noise they bore down straight on Newgate, and halted in a dense
mass before the prison-gate.
Breaking the silence they had hitherto preserved, they raised a
great cry as soon as they were ranged before the jail, and de-
manded to speak to the governor. This visit was not wholly un-
expected, for his house, which fronted the street, was strongly bar-
ricaded, the wicket-gate of the prison was closed up, and at no
loophole or grating was any person to be seen. Before they had
repeated their summons many times, a man appeared upon the
roof of the governor's house, and asked what it was they wanted.
Some said one thing, some another, and some only groaned and
hissed. It being now nearly dark, and the house high, many per-
BARNABY RUDGE *96
sons in the throng were not aware that any one had come to
answer them, and continued their clamour until the intelligence
was gradually diffused through the whole concourse. Ten minutes
or more elapsed before any one voice could be heard with toler-
able distinctness; during which interval the figure remained
perched alone, against the summer-evening sky, looking down into
the troubled street.
'Are you,' said Hugh at length, 'Mr. Akerman, the head jailer
'Of course he is, brother,' whispered Dennis. But Hugh, with-
out minding him, took his answer from the man himself.
'Yes,' he said. T am.'
You have got some friends of ours in your custody, master.'
'I have a good many people in my custody.' He glanced down-
ward, as he spoke, into the jail: and the feeling that he could see
into the different yards, and that he overlooked everything which
was hidden from their view by the rugged walls, so lashed and
goaded the mob, that they howled like wolves.
'Deliver up our friends,' said Hugh, 'and you may keep the
'It 's my duty to keep them all. I shall do my duty.'
'If you don't throw the doors open, we shall break 'em down,'
said Hugh; 'for we will have the rioters out.'
'All I can do, good people,' Akerman replied, 'is to exhort you
to disperse; and to remind you that the consequences of any dis-
turbance in this place, will be very severe, and bitterly repented
by most of you, when it is too late.'
He made as though he would retire when he had said these
words, but he was checked by the voice of the locksmith.
'Mr. Akerman,' cried Gabriel, 'Mr. Akerman.'
'I will hear no more from any of you,' replied the governor,
turning towards the speaker, and waving his hand.
'But I am not one of them,' said Gabriel. 'I am an honest man,
Mr. Akerman; a respectable tradesman ā Gabriel Varden, the
locksmith. You know me?'
'You among the crowd!' cried the governor in an altered voice.