TWELVE BAD MEN
TWELVE BAD MEN
ORIGINAL STUDIES OF EMINENT
SCOUNDRELS BY VARIOUS HANDS
EDITED BY THOMAS SECCOMBE
WITH SIXTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS
I fUV TTOVIJpOi
(All rights reserved.)
TO THE MEMORY
BARRY LYNDON, ESQUIRED
PREFACE , . . ^ '. xvii
I. JAMES HEPBURN, Earl of Bothwdl ( 1 536-1 57 8) . i
BY G. GREGORY SMITH.
II SIR EDWARD KELLEY, Necromancer (1555-1595) 34
BY A. F. POLLARD.
,111. MATTHEW HOPKINS, Witchfinder (d. 1647) 55
BY J. O. JONES.
IV. GEORGE JEFFREYS, Unjust Judge (1648-1689) . . 67
BY W. A. J. ARCHBOLD.
V. TITUS GATES, Perjurer (1649-1705) . 95
BY THOMAS SECCOMBE.
VI. SIMON FRASER, Lord Lovat (1667-1747) . .155
BY J. W. ALLEN.
VII. COLONEL FRANCIS CHARTERIS, Libertine (1675-1732) . 200
BY ARTHUR VINCENT.
VIII. JONATHAN WILD, Thieflaker (1682-1725) . . 219
BY ARTHUR VINCENT.
IX. JAMES MACLAINE " The Gentleman Highwayman"
(1724-1750) . 246
BY G. THORN DRURY.
X. GEORGE ROBERT FITZGERALD "Fighting Fitzgerald"
(1748-1786) . . . . . .265
BY G. LE G. NORGATE.
XI. THOMAS GRIFFITHS WAIKEWRIGHT, Poisoner (1794-1 85 2) 292
BY A. G. ALLEN.
XII. EDWARD KELLY, Bushranger (1855-1880) . . 322
BY J. W. ALLEN.
APPENDIX . . 351
INDEX ........ 363
NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS.
Simon, Lord Lovat, counting the clans on his fingers. " Drawn from the
life and etch'd in aquafortis by William Hogarth." Published on August 25,
1746. The original of this famous etching, a sketch in oils, is now in the
National Portrait Gallery. It is said that, when the plate was finished, a
bookseller offered its weight in gold for it. The impressions, sold at one
shilling each, could not be taken from the copper as fast as they were wanted,
though the rolling press was kept at work day and night. Hogarth received
twelve pounds a day for the impressions. The description given of Lovat by
a correspondent in the Gentlemarfs Magazine at the time of the trial tallies
well with this remarkable likeness : " Lord Lovat makes an odd figure,
being generally more loaded with clothes than a Dutchman with his ten pairs
of breeches ; he is tall, walks very upright considering his great age, and is
tolerably well shaped ; he has a large mouth and short nose, with eyes very
much contracted and down-looking, a very small forehead, almost all covered
with a large periwig ; this gives him a grim aspect, but upon addressing any
one he puts on a smiling countenance."
The illustration on the title-page is engraved from a rare gilt medal struck in
1678, and now in the British Museum. On the obverse is a portrait of
" T. Oates, D.D.," and on the reverse a view of Pickering, with his "screw-
gun," stalking Charles II. in St. James's Park. One of the cards in the well-
known popish-plot pack of playing cards, mentioned on p. in, has the same
subject. This medal is figured in Pinkerton, and described in Hawkins's
" Medallic History."
KELLEY INVOKING A SPIRIT to face p. 34
This picture of " Ed. Kelley, a magician, in the Act of invoking the
Spirit of a Deceased Person," engraved by Ames, after Sibly, is from
an illustration in one of Dee's works. The figure holding the book is
that of Kelley, as his earless head testifies. George Cruikshank depicted
the necromancer, engaged in a similar occupation, in Ainsworth's "Guy
x NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS.
PORTRAIT OF SIR EDWARD KELLEY . . to face p. 38
This portrait is after a mezzotint by R. Cooper, and was originally
executed for Baldwyn's edition of William Lilly's Autobiography,
London, 1822. A note states that it was prefixed to Dr. Dee's " Book
of Spirits," 1659, a work which it is not easy to identify. It certainly
resembles the older portraits, one of which is given in Meric Casaubon's
work. There is another portrait in the Museum Print-room, subscribed
" Eduardvs Kellaevs celebrus Anglus et Chymiae Peritissimus. Ex
collectione Frederici Rothscholtzii."
PORTRAIT OF MATTHEW HOPKINS . . to face p. 55
This curious woodcut forms the frontispiece to the witch-finder's " Dis-
covery of Witches " (see p. 65). On one side sits Elizabeth Clark, who
gives the names of her imps, and on the right is another witch, perhaps
Helen Clark. It was reproduced in Caulfield's " Memoirs of Remark-
able Persons," 1794, where it is described as " correctly copied from an
extreme rare print in the collection of J. Bindley, Esq." It is similarly
reproduced in the first volume of the Anthologia Hibernica. A rude
portrait of Hopkins in a cuirass and a conical hat, as he is here repre-
sented, is prefixed to a reprint of his " Discovery " issued in 1838.
PORTRAIT OF JUDGE JEFFREYS . . to face p. 6"
There are two engravings in the British Museum from this fine portrait
by Kneller one by Isaac Oliver, the other by E. Cooper. Both, but
especially the former, are extremely rare. It is uncertain whether the
title was ever actually conferred (see p. 91). It has been seriously asserted
that the titles " Earle of Flint," &c. (as reproduced at the foot of the
portrait), were given satirically. Another fine portrait of the judge by
Kneller was engraved by R. White, who executed our portrait of Titus
Gates, in 1684.
JEFFREYS TAKEN AT WAPPING . . . to face p. 92
The original of this plate, dated December 12, 1688, and described as
engraved for the "Devil's Broker," represents the Lord Chancellor
surrounded by a crowd of persons, who are conducting him to a place of
safe keeping, and, in the meantime, not sparing their reproaches. It is
worth noting that his eyebrows are not shaved off, as Reresby states them
to have been, as a means of disguise. On the right, above, is Father
Petre, and at the foot is the devil issuing, amid flames, from the earth,
and clawing a Jesuit's head. This print was very popular both in Eng-
land and the Netherlands.
PORTRAIT OF TITUS GATES to face p. 95
This portrait of the perjurer, drawn and engraved by R. White, was
executed in 1679, when Titus was at the zenith of his popularity. The
verses below are fitter for reproduction than the scurrilities appended to
NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS. xi
the uncomplimentary portraits of him "peeping through a two-inch
board," or as " Oats well thresh't," which became the fashion in 1685 :
" Behold the Chief and Happy Instrument,
Whom Providence for Britain's safety sent.
Westminster (?) taught him, Cambridge bred him, then
Left him instead of books to study Men.
And these he studied with so true an Art,
As deeply div'd into the very Heart
Of Foul Conspiracy. ..."
This is the most authentic portrait, though it is perhaps surpassed in
interest by another, entitled "Bob Ferguson; or, the Raree Shew of
Mamamouchee Mufty." This in reality represents Oates, his head-dress
being half a Jesuit's cap, half a Turk's turban. He carries a Protestant
flail in his right hand ; on his left side he wears a loose cloak. The title
is a reference to the notorious plotter with whom Oates is compared.
Mamamouchi (homme habillt h la Turque) Mufti are two cant words
borrowed from the ballet in Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme. The
lines below are rich in choice allusions to the more outlandish traits in
Oates's character. Other portraits of him are numerous.
THE DEVIL, TITUS OATES, AND THE POPE . to face p. 117
This print, which was probably published in 1678, explains itself. The
partnership between those two oft- quoted functionaries, the devil and the
pope, forms the subject of numerous rhymes and pictures at this period.
A woodcut of " The Plot first hatched at Rome by the Pope and the
Cardinalls " forms the ace in the pack of playing-cards already alluded to.
The devil is here represented crouching under a table at which the pope
and cardinals are sitting. Another broadside, with a typical cut, was
entitled, " London's Drollery ; or, the Love and Kindness between the
Pope and the Devil " ; and in a similar vein were conceived " A Nest of
Nunne's Eggs," "Rome's Hunting Match for Three Kingdoms," and
"The Pope Haunted with Ghosts."
OATES, HIS DEGREES . ... to face p. 142
This is one of a large number of satires upon Oates, examples of which
are almost as numerous as the laudatory productions. The crushed eggs
on the pillory are prophetic only of the artist's hopes, the mezzotint
having been published two days before Oates's actual punishment. The
devil perched upon the gallows behind looks wistfully at his pupil, and
dangles a halter over his head.
THE BEAUTIFULL SIMONE . . . to face p. 155
This portrait of Lovat in female attire refers to the report current at the
time that he was taken disguised as an old woman, and some added that
he was found spinning and smoking a short pipe (see Westminster
fournal, June 28, 1746). The foundation for the myth is confined to
the fact that Simon's hiding-place in the hollow of a tree was discovered
owing to the protrusion of a few of the many yards of flannel in which
his body was swathed.
xii NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS.
INTERIOR OF WESTMINSTER HALL . . to face p. 196
This admirable contemporary print is entitled, ' ' A Perspective View of
Westminster Hall with both Houses of ParliameHt Assembled on the
Tryal of Simon, Lord Lovat." Subjoined is a key to the figures. A
Speaker, B Members of House of Commons, C Other members, D
Managers for the House of Commons, E The Managers' Clerks,
F Lord Lovat, G Witness giving evidence, H Prisoner's counsel,
K King's box, L Prince of Wales's box, M Duke of Cumberland
and other members of the Royal Family, N The box where Princess
Amelia sat during the trial, O Foreign Ambassadors, P Peeresses,
T Earl of Orford's gallery. The most important numbers are :
I The King's Chair, 5 The Lord High Steward, 6 The two arch-
bishops, 7 The bishops, 8, 9 Dukes and barons, 10 Earls and
viscounts, 14 The judges, 15 Serjeant at the Mace, 16 Lord High
Steward's Purse-bearer, 17 Clerks belonging to the House of Lords.
The scaffoldings, we are particularly informed, were hung with red bays,
except where the House of Commons sat, and that portion was covered
with green bays.
PORTRAIT OF COLONEL CHARTERIS . . to face p. 200
This mezzotint of " Colonel Francisco," with his thumbs tied, which was
executed in 1730, is fully described in the text (p. 213). Other portraits
in the Print-room at the British Museum are, " To the glory of Colonel
Don Francisco upon his delivery out of gaol," and " Colonel Charter is
contemplating the Venus of Titian."
PORTRAIT OF JONATHAN WILD . . . to face p. 219
The rough woodcut from which this is taken is probably the only con-
temporary representation of the Thief-taker in existence.
JAMES MACLAINE AT THE BAR to face p. 246
The number of these portraits and illustrations of the close of Maclaine's
career testify to the extraordinary interest which was excited at the time
by this very unattractive rogue. Another engraving in the Museum
represents him in Newgate surrounded by members of the fair sex, who
are making a liberal use of their pocket-handkerchiefs. It is entitled,
" Newgate's Lamentation ; or, the Ladys last farewell of Maclean."
Lady Caroline Petersham, afterwards Countess of Harrington, who is
here depicted speaking on the outlaw's behalf, was satirised in some
other engravings, of which we have not been able to find any trace.
According to the advertisements in the contemporary papers, she was
oortrayed, with Miss Ashe, as one of Maclaine's " doxies," and also
figured in " The presentation of the purse of gold to Maclean by the sub-
PORTRAIT OF G. R. FITZGERALD . . to face p. 265
This likeness of Fitzgerald, which was originally engraved for the
Monthly Mirror, has been said to exhibit great duplicity. Investigation
has revealed the melancholy fact that the same block has done duty both
for the duellist and for the actor, Stephen Kemble. As, however, no
other portrait of Fitzgerald is known to exist, it would be rash to deny to
this one the merit of resemblance.
NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS. xiii
[ED KELLY IN HIS ARMOUR . . . to face p. 322
For permission to use this illustration from Superintendent Hare's book,
"The Last of the Bushrangers," we are indebted to the courtesy of
Messrs. Hurst and Blackett. A full description of the armour depicted
will be found in the text.
For information respecting the authorities used in the compilation
of the Twelve Lives> the reader is referred to the Appendix of
Authorities at the end of the volume.
THE practice of whitewashing has proved as injurious
to biography as the worst taint of bigotry or partisan-
ship in the pages of history. Of course there are no really
bad men extant in England at the present day, so that the
process might naturally be expected to be but little in
demand. But many picturesque figures of the past have
undergone this philistine disfigurement. Richard III.,
Henry VIII., Bloody Mary, and Oliver Cromwell, have all
been rehabilitated, and the last, at least, demonstrated to be
much nearer akin to a saint than a sinner. The very pirates
of romance, men such as Sir Henry Morgan and Captain
Kyd, have been proved to be no worse than they need have
been ; and as for literary characters, any unamiable traits
that might have been attributed to certain members of that
saintly band have long since been shown to be misinterpreted
virtues. The villain has been banished to the detective
story, and every deviation from the path of mere collective
morality is explained by either artistic temperament or
psychological eccentricity. The tendency has gone so far
that one is led to ask oneself, not without the gravest appre-
hension, " Is there, then, no evidence to be found of extreme
depravity ? " For the wholesale elimination of the utter
villain from history could hardly be regarded save in the light
of an aesthetic calamity. Fortunately for lovers of the pic-
turesque, as the result of careful inquiry, a few choice spirits
have been found whose robust vices have defied the insidious
influence of research : men whom it would certainly be pre-
mature to make any attempt at whitewashing. This work,
then, avows as its serious object the rehabilitation of the
bad man in his native badness.
Society is apt to flatter itself that exceptional talents are
denied to persons who indulge in the worst forms of depravity.
But it can hardly be denied that some of the individuals
whose exploits we have recorded, from materials which have
hitherto been often completely unexplored, were men of
really great ability. All of them attained to eminence in
ill-doing, and if they had devoted their energies to more
legitimate pursuits, would doubtless have long since found
authoritative biographers. " An honest man," as Schiller
says, " may be formed of windle-straws, but to make a rogue
you must have grist."
Our first principle being the exclusion of other than un-
mitigated miscreants, the process of selection, though far
from easy, was much simplified. To turn, albeit regretfully,
from palseontological evidences of villainy was imperative.
History possesses a fine mammoth criminal in King John,
but the deposits in which are to be found the records of his
activity are unsavoury with age, difficult of exploration, and
incapable of exact exposition. The bad men of modern
Britain exhaust our scheme, and ample material has been
found without extending the rake to any scandal older than
Queen Elizabeth. So, too, the temptation to paradox has
been sternly resisted, and the task of resolving such com-
pound characters as those of Lord Verulam and John
Churchill, Eugene Aram and Leonard Macnally, has been
left to the perennial ingenuity of essayists less single-minded
and less modest than ourselves.
A natural succession of precedents led us almost insensibly
to fix upon twelve as the number of subjects ; and if, as has
been affirmed, "the phrase a bad man has rather degene-
rated in England," let it be our worthy endeavour, by
associating it with such men as Titus Gates and Jonathan
Wild and Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, to restore to a
really expressive and comprehensive term as much as
possible of its native vigour. As biography, like gossip, is
rather apt to be spoiled by moralising, this corroding ele-
ment has as far as possible been eliminated. Nevertheless,
and in case any serious reader, after a perusal of the book,
should entertain any doubts as to its precise ethical drift,
we are free to maintain with the utmost sincerity that,
since " George Barnwell " has been denied to the London
prentices, no narratives of life and adventure have appeared
more commendably moral in tendency than these ; and they
are frankly and freely suggested as a source whence earnest
and improving divines may point their morals and enliven
their pulpits. That their researches have led the writers
of this volume into some exceedingly curious byways
of social history is a fact which, it is trusted, will be
patent to the general reader no less than to the advocates of
social purity and to those specially interested in antiquarian
Our contents will be found to exhibit a striking diversity
in the manner of the crime as well as in the historic period
and status of the criminal. Our unifying principle is pre-
eminence in ill-doing. Our fit protagonist is Bothwell, a
spacious villain of the bloody, bold, and resolute type. In
piquant contrast figures the vulpine alchemist, Sir Edward
Keiley, a rival to Galeotti in pretension, to Cagliostro in
cunning, and to Casanova in profligacy. The reigns of
the o'erwise author of " Doemonologie . . . divided into
Three Bookes " and his successor are appropriately repre-
sented by Matthew Hopkins, the witch-pricker; then comes
a portrait of Judge Jeffreys, cramoisie from bullying wit-
nesses adverse to the Crown, whose career (in spite of
attempts to powder his visage to a semblance of refine-
ment) remains a standing reproach to judicial history,
and in its endowment with lethal properties is only
approached by that of his monstrous contemporary, that
upas-tree of his period, Titus Oates. The era of political
vicissitudes and of the Vicar of Bray is represented by
yet another historical personage, the double-faced old
Jacobite fox, Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. , Him follows
Colonel Francis Charteris, a valuable corrective to erroneous
notions respecting the teacup times of Queen Anne, who
possesses, moreover, the peculiar interest that attaches to vice-
specialists. The professional rascality of the eighteenth
century is represented by that weevil among criminals,
Jonathan Wild, and by James Maclaine, a robber whose
fame has become clouded, but in whom the absence of
redeeming qualities is really noticeable. The possibility
of another injustice to old Ireland has been obviated by
the selection of Fighting Fitzgerald from among a mob
of meritorious countrymen and contemporaries. Eng-
land reasserts its supremacy with the pseudo-Italianate
scoundrel, Thomas Griffiths Wainewright, poisoner and
precioso ; and the tale is suitably completed by that too
enterprising colonial, Ned Kelly, the bushranger. The
picturesque achievements of this last are worthy of the
best traditions, and afford welcome refutation to the charge
of nineteenth-century tameness or degeneracy.
Each criminal has been given in charge of a competent
and responsible person, not so much for purposes of dis-
section as of description ad vivum. If any of their crime-
stained stories prove entertaining, it is well. But poverty
of crime has in no case been atoned for by a wealth of bio-
graphical imagination. The following memoirs are in every
case the outcome of genuine research among contempo-
rary records, combined with reference to the most authentic
of subsequent sources. So the chief authorities are given
for each memoir, though a pious profusion of sepulchral
stumbling-blocks such as are interpolated references has
been carefully avoided. It has been attempted, in fine, to
dissociate accuracy from its frequent concomitant, deadness ;
and, in the words of the worthy Lawrence Eachard, to
represent culpable lives and actions " with all simplicity
and fidelity, as well as all freedom and decency."
163, HOLLAND ROAD, W.
EARL OF BOTHWELL.
" A race of wicked acts
Shall flow out of my anger, and o'erspread
The world's wide face, which no posterity
Shall e'er approve, nor yet keep silent."
frenzies which issued from the Silver Casket still
JL show, at the remove of three centuries, a power for
havoc of the patriotic heart and critical brain which would
do credit to a second Pandora. We praise and damn Queen
Mary with the earnestness of a sixteenth-century Scot ; and
research is powerless to stay the eternal squabble of senti-
ment. An earnest Mariolater lately announced that his
beautiful quarto would "finally dispose" of the " calumnies
of hostile historians," but this confidence in an ending of the
matter was but part of the critical madness. One topic,
however, remains behind, about which we do not quarrel over-
much. The character of the man who shaped the destinies
of Mary, who raised the mystery we cannot solve, has passed
down to us and been accepted with an unanimity which is a
relief. Bothwell in all the fairy books of this thrilling period
is the bold bad man ; to dispel which pleasant fancy would
be unseemly. Though some have made him ugly, as others
have found Mary divinely fair, we may, for peace's sake, give
him the credit of goodly features: a well-favoured villain may
better the melodrama. Meanwhile, as the sanely generous
* TWELVE BAD MEN.
bic-g cipher lias not yet found him out an honest man seeking
some principle of good by strange paths, we can hurt no feel-
ings, and may not be charged with fanaticism, if we retell in
brief the story of his boldness and his badness.
James Hepburn's father, Earl Patrick, gave him haughti-
ness and a mind for ambitious schemes. From his mother
Agnes, daughter of Lord Henry Sinclair, the "fader of
bookis and lare " of the poet Gawin Douglas, he might
have drawn some gentler inspiration, but the roving nature
of the Sinclairs, which drove them to seek honour in Nor-
way and the East, sorted more readily with the spirit of
the Hepburns. Thus fittingly endowed for his future lord-
ship in wild Liddesdale he passed to Spynie Castle, probably
before his father's divorce in 1543, to spend his early years
with his kinsman Patrick, Bishop of Moray. But the dis-
cipline was easy, a round of feasting and merry tales and of
amours which were neither episcopal nor Platonic. Young
Hepburn must have succumbed to the delights of Spynie
had he not felt the stir of doing in his blood ; but the lessons
of his reverend kinsman were not and could not be forgotten.
There is reason to believe, from the evidence of some letters,
that his intellectual education had been good. Some of his
books, on mathematics and the art of war, have been pre-
served, but they prove little beyond his good taste in binding.
He lived too rapidly to be a student, and the exploits and
subtleties of his later years do not suggest the teaching of
Valturin or Sextus Julius.
On his father's death in 1556 he became fourth Earl of
Bothwell and succeeded by right to the offices of Lord High
Admiral of the kingdom, Sheriff of Edinburgh, Haddington,
and Berwick, Bailie of Lauderdale, and Keeper of the castles
of Hailes and Crichton, thereby winning a position in men's
eyes and in actual power scarcely inferior to that of the royal
house of Hamilton. Earl Patrick had been reconciled to
Mary of Guise, the Regent, some years before his death, and
his son gave early proof of his loyalty to her party of French
EARL BOTHWELL. 3
sympathies by signing, on December 14, 1577, the act consti-
tuting commissioners for the betrothal of the young Queen
to the Dauphin. Ere the year was out England was
involved in the Franco-Spanish strife, and so Scotland, with
a Guise for ruler, could not be idle. It was the old game of
checkmate on the Borders, with moss-troopers for pawns and
a castle or two to be taken. " The Scottish nobility, hating
the French aliens in their midst rather than dreading broken
crowns, refused the Regent's bidding ; but young Bothwell
was eager to ride with his Liddesdale vassals into England.
In after years he cherished the memory of his boyish zeal,
not only for the 'irreparable damage' which he had done,