and senseless in their hands. Now a score of prisoners ran
to and fro, who had lost themselves in the intricacies of the
prison, and were so bewildered with the noise and glare that
they knew not where to turn or what to do, and still cried
out for help, as loudly as before. Anon some famished wretch
whose theft had been a loaf of bread, or scrap of butcher's
meat, came skulking past, barefooted going slowly away
because that jail, his house, was burning ; not because he had
any other, or had friends to meet, or old haunts to revisit,
or any liberty to gain, but liberty to starve and die. And
then a knot of highwaymen went trooping by, conducted by
the friends they had among the crowd, who muffled their
fetters as they went along, with handkerchiefs and bands of
hay, and wrapped them in coats and cloaks, and gave them
drink from bottles, and held it to their lips, because of
their handcuffs which there was no time to remove. All
this, and Heaven knows how much more, was done amidst a
noise, a hurry, and distraction, like nothing that we know of,
even in our dreams ; which seemed for ever on the rise, and
never to decrease for the space of a single instant.
He was still looking down from his window upon these
things, when a band of men with torches, ladders, axes, and
many kinds of weapons, poured into the yard, and hammer-
ing at his door, inquired if there were any prisoner within.
He left the window when he saw them coming, and drew
back into the remotest corner of the cell ; but although he
returned them no answer, thev had a fancy that some one
was inside, for they presently set ladders against it, and
began to tear away the bars at the casement ; not only that,
indeed, but with pickaxes to hew down the very stones in
As soon as they had made a breach at the window, large
enough for the admission of a man's head, one of them thrust
in a torch and looked all round the room. He followed this
man's gaze until it rested on himself, and heard him demand
why he had not answered, but made him no reply.
In the general surprise and wonder, they were used to this ;
without saying anything more, they enlarged the breach until
it was large enough to admit the body of a man, and then
came dropping down upon the floor, one after another, until
the cell was full. They caught him up among them, handed
him to the window, and those who stood upon the ladders
passed him down upon the pavement of the yard. Then the
rest came out, one after another, and, bidding him fly, and
lose no time, or the way would be choked up, hurried away
to rescue others.
It seemed not a minute's work from first to last. He
staggered to his feet, incredulous of what had happened,
when the yard was filled again, and a crowd rushed on,
hurrying Barnaby among them. In another minute not so
much|: another minute ! the same instant, with no lapse or
interval between ! he and his son were being passed from
hand to hand, through the dense crowd in the street, and were
glancing backward at a burning pile which some one said was
From the moment of their first entrance into the prison,
the crowd dispersed themselves about it, and swarmed into
every chink and crevice, as if they had a perfect acquaintance
with its innermost parts, and bore in their minds an exact
plan of the whole. For this immediate knowledge of the
place, they were, no doubt, in a great degree, indebted to
the hangman, who stood in the lobby, directing some to go
this way, some that, and some the other ; and who materially
MR. DENNIS ENJOYS HIMSELF. 233
assisted in bringing about the wonderful rapidity with which
the release of the prisoners was effected.
But this functionary of the law reserved one important
piece of intelligence, and kept it snugly to himself. When
he had issued his instructions relative to every other part of
the building, and the mob were dispersed from end to end,
and busy at their work, he took a bundle of keys from a
kind of cupboard in the wall, and going by a kind of
passage near the chapel (it joined the governor's house, and
was then on fire), betook himself to the condemned cells,
which were a series of small, strong, dismal rooms, opening on
a low gallery, guarded, at the end at which he entered, by
a strong iron wicket, and at its opposite extremity by two
doors and a thick gate. Having double locked the wicket,
and assured himself that the other entrances were well
secured, he sat down on a bench in the gallery, and sucked
the head of his stick with the utmost complacency, tran-
quillity, and contentment.
It would have been strange enough, a man's enjoying
himself in this quiet manner, while the prison was burning,
and such a tumult was cleaving the air, though he had been
outside the walls. But here, in the very heart of the building,
and moreover with the prayers and cries of the four men
under sentence sounding in his ears, and their hands, stretched
out through the gratings in their cell-doors, clasped in frantic
entreaty before his very eyes, it was particularly remarkable.
Indeed, Mr. Dennis appeared to think it an uncommon
circumstance, and to banter himself upon it; for he thrust
his hat on one side as some men do when they are in a
waggish humour, sucked the head of his stick with a higher
relish, and smiled as though he would say, "Dennis, you're
a rum dog ; you're a queer fellow ; you're capital company,
Dennis, and quite a character ! "
He sat in this way for some minutes, while the four men
in the cells, certain that somebody had entered the gallery,
but could not see who, gave vent to such piteous entreaties
234 BARNABY RUDGE.
as wretches in their miserable condition may be supposed to
have been inspired with : urging, whoever it was, to set them
at liberty, for the love of Heaven ; and protesting, with great
fervour, and truly enough, perhaps, for the time, that if they
escaped, they would amend their ways, and would never, never,
never again do wrong before God or man, but would lead
penitent and sober lives, and sorrowfully repent the crimes
they had committed. The terrible energy with which they
spoke, would have moved any person, no matter how good or
just (if any good or just person could have strayed into that
sad place that night), to have set them at liberty ; and,
while he would have left any other punishment to its free
course, to have saved them from this last dreadful and re-
pulsive penalty ; which never turned a man inclined to evil,
and has hardened thousands who were half inclined to good.
Mr. Dennis, who had been bred and matured in the good
old school, and had administered the good old laws on the
good old plan, always once and sometimes twice every six
weeks, for a long time, bore these appeals with a deal of
philosophy. Being at last, however, rather disturbed in his
pleasant reflection by their repetition, he rapped at one of
the doors with his stick, and cried :
"Hold your noise there, will you?""
At this they all cried together that they were to be hanged
on the next day but one ; and again implored his aid.
"Aid! For what!" said Mr. Dennis, playfully rapping
the knuckles of the hand nearest him.
" To save us ! " they cried.
" Oh, certainly," said Mr. Dennis, winking at the wall in the
absence of any friend with whom he could humour the joke.
"And so you're to be worked off, are you, brothers?"
" Unless we are released to-night," one of them cried, " we
are dead men ! "
" I tell you what it is," said the hangman, gravely ; " I'm
afraid, my friend, that you're not in that 'ere state of mind
that's suitable to your condition, then ; you're not a-going to
A DISGRACE TO THE BAILEY. 235
be released : don't think it Will you leave off that "ere
indecent row ? I wonder you an't ashamed of yourselves,
He followed up this reproof by rapping every set of
knuckles one after the other, and having done so, resumed
his seat again with a cheerful countenance.
"You've had law," he said, crossing his legs and elevating
his eyebrows : " laws have been made a" purpose for you ; a
wery handsome prison's been made a 1 purpose for you; a
parson's kept a 1 purpose for you ; a constitootional officer's
appointed a' purpose for you ; carts is maintained a' purpose
for you and yet you're not contented ! Will you hold that
noise, you sir in the furthest ? "
A groan was the only answer.
"So well as I can make out," said Mr. Dennis, in a tone
of mingled badinage and remonstrance, "there's not a man
among you. I begin to think I'm on the opposite side, and
among the ladies ; though for the matter of that, I've seen a
many ladies face it out, in a manner that did honour to the
sex. You in number two, don't grind them teeth of yours.
Worse manners," said the hangman, rapping at the door with
his stick, " I never see in this place afore. I'm ashamed of
you. You're a disgrace to the Bailey."
After pausing for a moment to hear if anything could be
pleaded in justification, Mr. Dennis resumed in a sort of
coaxing tone :
"Now look'ee here, you four. I'm come here to take care
of you, and see that you an't burnt, instead of the other
thing. It's no use your making any noise, for you won't be
found out by them as has broken in, and you'll only be
hoarse when you come to the speeches, which is a pity.
What I say in respect to the speeches always is, ' Give it
mouth.' That's my maxim. Give it mouth. I've heerd,"
said the hangman, pulling off his hat to take his handkerchief
from the crown and wipe his face, and then putting it on
again a little more on one side than before, "I've heerd a
236 BARNABY RUDGE.
eloquence on them boards you know what boards I mean
and have heerd a degree of mouth given to them speeches,
that they was as clear as a bell, and as good as a play.
There's a pattern ! And always, when a thing of this natures
to come off, what I stand up for, is, a proper frame of mind.
Let's have a proper frame of mind, and we can go through
with it, creditable pleasant sociable. Whatever you do
(and I address myself, in particular, to you in the furthest),
never snivel. I'd sooner by half, though I lose by it, see a
man tear his clothes a' purpose to spile 'em before they come
to me, than find him snivelling. It's ten to one a better
frame of mind, every way ! "
While the hangman addressed them to this effect, in the
tone and with the air of a pastor in familiar conversation
with his flock, the noise had been in some degree subdued ;
for the rioters were busy in conveying the prisoners to the
Sessions House, which was beyond the main walls of the
prison, though connected with it, and the crowd were busy
too, in passing them from thence along the street. But when
he had got thus far in his discourse, the sound of voices in
the yard showed plainly that the mob had returned and were
coming that way ; and directly afterwards a violent crashing
at the grate below, gave note of their attack upon the cells
(as they were called) at last.
It was in vain the hangman ran from door to door, and
covered the grates, one after another, with his hat, in futile
efforts to stifle the cries of the four men within ; it was
in vain he dogged their outstretched hands, and beat them
with his stick, or menaced them with new and lingering pains
in the execution of his office ; the place resounded with their
cries. These, together with the feeling that they were now
the last men in the jail, so worked upon and stimulated the
besiegers, that in an incredibly short space of time they
forced the strong grate down below, which was formed of
iron rods two inches square, drove in the two other doors,
as if they had been but deal partitions, and stood at the
MR. DENNIS'S ENJOYMENT CUT SHORT. 237
end of the gallery with only a bar or two between them and
" Halloa ! " cried Hugh, who was the first to look into the
dusky passage: "Dennis before us! Well done, old boy.
Be quick, and open here, for we shall be suffocated in the
smoke, going out. 1 "
" Go out at once, then," said Dennis. " What do you
want here ? "
" Want ! " echoed Hugh. " The four men."
" Four devils ! " cried the hangman. " Don't you know
they're left for death on Thursday? Don't you respect the
law the constitootion nothing ? Let the four men be."
"Is this a time for joking?" cried Hugh. "Do you hear
'em ? Pull away these bars that have got fixed between the
door and the ground ; and let us in."
" Brother," said the hangman, in a low voice, as he stooped
under pretence of doing what Hugh desired, but only looked
up in his face, "can't you leave these here four men to me,
if I've the whim ! You do what you like, and have what
you like of everything for your share, give me my share.
I w r aiit these four men left alone, I tell you ! "
" Pull the bars down, or stand out of the way," was Hugh's
" You can turn the crowd if you like, you know that well
enough, brother," said the hangman, slowly. " What ! You
rc'ill come in, will you ? "
"You won't let these men alone, and leave 'em to me?
You've no respect for nothing haven't you?" said the
hangman, retreating to the door by which he had entered,
and regarding his companion with a scowl. " You will come
in, will you, brother?"
"I tell you, yes. What the devil ails you? Where are
you going ? "
"No matter where I'm going," rejoined the hangman,
looking in again at the iron wicket, which he had nearly
238 BARNABY RUDGE.
shut upon himself, and held ajar. " Remember where you're
coming. That's all ! "
With that, he shook his likeness at Hugh, and giving him
a grin, compared with which his usual smile was amiable,
disappeared, and shut the . door.
Hugh paused no longer, but goaded alike by the cries of
the convicts, and by the impatience of the crowd, warned
the man immediately behind him the way was only wide
enough for one abreast to stand back, and wielded a sledge-
hammer with such strength, that after a few blows the iron
bent and broke, and gave them free admittance.
If the two sons of one of these men, of whom mention has
been made, were furious in their zeal before, they had now
the wrath and vigour of lions. Calling to the man within
each cell, to keep as far back as he could, lest the axes
crashing through the door should wound him, a party went
to work upon each one, to beat it in by sheer strength, and
force the bolts and staples from their hold. But although
these two lads had the weakest party, and the worst armed,
and did not begin until after the others, having stopped to
whisper to him through the grate, that door was the first
open, and that man was the first out. As they dragged him
into the gallery to knock off his irons, he fell down among
them, a mere heap of chains, and was carried out in that
state on men's shoulders, with no sign of life.
The release of these four wretched creatures, and conveying
them, astounded and bewildered, into the streets so full of
life a spectacle they had never thought to see again, until
they emerged from solitude and silence upon that last journey,
when the air should be heavy with the pent-up breath of
thousands, and the streets and houses should be built and
roofed with human faces, not with bricks and tiles and stones
was the crowning horror of the scene. Their pale and
haggard looks and hollow eyes; their staggering feet, and
hands stretched out as if to save themselves from falling ;
their wandering and uncertain air; the way they heaved and
ILLUMINATIONS AT NIGHT.
gasped for breath, as though in water, when they were first
plunged into the crowd ; all marked them for the men. No
need to say " this one was doomed to die ; "" for there were
the words broadly stamped and branded on his face. The
crowd fell off', as if they had been laid out for burial, and
had risen in their shrouds ; and many were seen to shudder,
as though they had been actually dead men, when they
chanced to touch or brush against their garments.
At the bidding of the mob, the houses were all illuminated
that night lighted up from top to bottom as at a time of
public gaiety and joy. Many years afterwards, old people who
lived in their youth near this part of the city, remembered
being in a great glare of light, within doors and without,
and as they looked, timid and frightened children, from the
windows, seeing a face go by. Though the whole great
crowd and all its other terrors had faded from their recol-
lection, this one object remained ; alone, distinct, and well
remembered. Even in the unpractised minds of infants, one
of these doomed men darting past, and but an instant seen,
was an image of force enough to dim the whole concourse;
to find itself an all-absorbing place, and hold it ever after.
When this last task had been achieved, the shouts and
cries grew fainter; the clank of fetters, which had resounded
on all sides as the prisoners escaped, was heard no more; all
the noises of the crowd subsided into a hoarse and sullen
murmur as it passed into the distance ; and when the human
tide had rolled away, a melancholy heap of smoking ruins
marked the spot where it had lately chafed and roared.
ALTHOUGH he had had no rest upon the previous night, and
had watched with little intermission for some weeks past,
sleeping only in the day by starts and snatches, Mr. Haredale,
from the dawn of morning until sunset, sought his niece in
every place where he deemed it possible she could have taken
refuge. All day long, nothing, save a draught of water,
passed his lips; though he prosecuted his inquiries far and
wide, and never so much as sat down, once.
In every quarter he could think of; at Chigwell and in
London ; at the houses of the tradespeople with whom he
dealt, and of the friends he knew ; he pursued his search. A
prey to the most harrowing anxieties and apprehensions, he
went from magistrate to magistrate, and finally to the
Secretary of State. The only comfort he received was from
this minister, who assured him that the Government, being
now driven to the exercise of the extreme prerogatives of the
Crown, were determined to exert them ; that a proclamation
would probably be out upon the morrow, giving to the mili-
tary, discretionary and unlimited power in the suppression of
the riots; that the sympathies of the King, the Administra-
tion, and both Houses of Parliament, and indeed of all good
men of every religious persuasion, were strongly with the
injured Catholics; and that justice should be done them
at any cost or hazard. He told him, moreover, that other
persons whose houses had been burnt, had for a time lost
WITHOUT A HOME. 241
sight of their children or their relatives, but had, in every
case, within his knowledge, succeeded in discovering them ;
that his complaint should be remembered, and fully stated in
the instructions given to the officers in command, and to all
the inferior myrmidons of justice; and that everything that
could be done to help him, should be done, with a good-will
and in good faith.
Grateful for this consolation, feeble as it was in its reference
to the past, and little hope as it afforded him in connection
with the subject of distress which lay nearest to his heart ;
and really thankful for the interest the minister expressed,
and seemed to feel, in his condition ; Mr. Haredale withdrew.
He found himself, with the night coming on, alone in the
streets ; and destitute of any place in which to lay his head.
He entered an hotel near Charing Cross, and ordered some
refreshment and a bed. He saw that his faint and worn
appearance attracted the attention of the landlord and his
waiters ; and thinking that they might suppose him to be
penniless, took out his purse, and laid it on the table. It
was not that, the landlord said, in a faltering voice. If he
were one of those who had suffered bv the rioters, he durst
not give him entertainment. He had a family of children,
and had been twice warned to be careful in receiving guests.
He heartily prayed his forgiveness, but what could he do ?
Nothing. No man felt that more sincerely than Mr. Hare-
dale. He told the man as much, and left the house.
Feeling that he might have anticipated this occurrence,
after what he had seen at Chigwell in the morning, where no
man dared to touch a spade, though he offered a large reward
to all who would come and dig among the ruins of his house,
he walked along the Strand ; too proud to expose himself to
another refusal, and of too generous a spirit to involve in
distress or ruin any honest tradesman who might be weak
enough to give him shelter. He wandered into one of the
streets by the side of the river, and was pacing in a thoughtful
manner up and down, thinking of things that had happened
VOL. II. R
242 BARNABY RUDGE.
long ago, when he heard a servant-man at an upper window
call to another at the opposite side of the street, that the
mob were setting fire to Newgate.
To Newgate ! where that man was ! His failing strength
returned, his energies came back with tenfold vigour, on the
instant. If it were possible if they should set the murderer
free was he, after all he had undergone, to die with the
suspicion of having slain his own brother, dimly gathering
He had no consciousness of going to the jail ; but there he
stood, before it. There was the crowd wedged and pressed
together in a dense, dark, moving mass ; and there were the
flames soaring up into the air. His head turned round and
round, lights flashed before his eyes, and he struggled hard
with two men.
" Nay, nay," said one. " Be more yourself, my good sir.
We attract attention here. Come away. What can you do
among so many men ? "
"The gentleman's always for doing something," said the
other, forcing him along as he spoke. " I like him for that.
I do like him for that.""
They had by this time got him into a court, hard by the
prison. He looked from one to the other, and as he tried
to release himself, felt that he tottered on his feet. He who
had spoken first, was the old gentleman whom he had seen
at the Lord Mayor's. The other Avas John Grueby, who
had stood by him so manfully at Westminster.
" What does this mean ? " he asked them faintly. " How
came we together?"
" On the skirts of the crowd," returned the distiller ; " but
come with us. Pray come with us. You seem to know my
"Surely," said Mr. Haredale, looking in a kind of stupor
" He'll tell you then," returned the old gentleman, " that I
am a man to be trusted. He's my servant, He was lately
AT THE DISTILLER'S. 243
(as you know, I have no doubt) in Lord George Gordon's
service; but he left it, and brought, in pure good-will to me
and others, who are marked by the rioters, such intelligence
as he had picked up, of their designs."
" On one condition, please, sir," said John, touching his
hat. " No evidence against my lord a misled man a kind-
hearted man, sir. My lord never intended this.""
"The condition will be observed, of course, 1 " rejoined the
old distiller. " It's a point of honour. But come with us,
sir; pray come with us.""
John Grueby added no entreaties, but he adopted a
different kind of persuasion, by putting his arm through
one of Mr. Haredale's, while his master took the other, and
leading him away with all speed.
Sensible, from a strange lightness in his head, and a
difficulty in fixing his thoughts on anything, even to the
extent of bearing his companions in his mind for a minute
together without looking at them, that his brain was affected
by the agitation and suffering through which he had passed,
and to which he was still a prey, Mr. Haredale let them lead
him where they would. As they went along, he was con-
scious of having no command over what he said or thought,
and that he had a fear of going mad.
The distiller lived, as he had told him when they first met,
on Holborn Hill, where he had great storehouses and drove
a large trade. They approached his house by a back entrance,
lest they should attract the notice of the crowd, and went
into an upper room which faced towards the street; the
windows, however, in common with those of every other room
in the house, were boarded up inside, in order that, out of
doors, all might appear quite dark.
They laid him on a sofa in this chamber, perfectly insensible ;
but John immediately fetching a surgeon, who took from
him a large quantity of blood, he gradually came to himself.
As he was, for the time, too weak to walk, they had no
difficulty in persuading him to remain there all night, and
244 BARNABY RUDGE.