A few Lines Upon the awful EXECUTION of John Ormesby & Matth. Cushing, October 17th. 1734


A few Lines Upon the awful EXECUTION of John Ormesby & Matth. Cushing, October 17th. 1734


One for Murder, the other for Burglary.

Image / Audio Credit

Pamphlet Location: AAS Record Number: 10415EC029ECF0D0, Record Number: w015181
Recorded in Early American Imprints, Series 1, no. 40044 (filmed)


ALL you who read these Lines may see
The sad and dire Effects of Sin:
Therefore if Sinners still you'l be,
Leave off to read ere you begin.

Or else perhaps another Day,
This will 'gainst you a Witness be;
You Warning have (mind waht I say)
That from such Sins you do keep free.

Two Men who have great Sinners been,
Now Die, each one for his own Crime:
Not Forty Years hath th'oldest seen,
The other Dies just in his Prime.

Poor John Ormesby, confin'd in Jayl
(For some mis-deed by him transacted)
There in a rage murder'd one Bell,
Some People think he was Distracted.

With a Quart Pot one blow he gave,
For which he had small Provocation:
The poor Man's Life they could not save;
This the Effect of his vile Passion!

Matthew Cushing, alas! poor he
To satisfy the Law must Die;
And tho' his Crime so great may'nt be,
Yet by the Law 'tis Burglary.

They both of them fair Trials had,
The Jury brought them Guilty in;
Their Case is pitiful and sad;
See what they're come to by their Sin!

They to the fatal Place must ride
Each Man his Coffin in the Cart,
With Guard of Soldiers on each side:
The Sight enough to pierce one's Heart.

Then they arrive at th' Gallows Tree,
While Spectators lament and cry;
Alas! how hard it is to see,
Much more to feel their Destiny.

The fatal Moment now is near,
That these poor Mortals must go hence,
To answer for what they did here:
Their lasting State will soon commence.

As the Tree falls, so it will lie,
And must for evermore remain;
So with these Men, just as they Die,
'Twill be, in endless Joy or Pain.

Poor Men! they feel the Pangs of Death,
And now they view Eternity;
Few Moments more will stop their Breath,
And then, alas; they Die, they Die!

May this to all a Warning be,
That they forsake the way that's Evil,
From Murder, Theft, and Burglary,
Keep clear, when tempted by the Devil.

Avoid lewd Women, ever shun
Their Company, entangling Snares,
By them, poor Youths are oft undone,
The Truth of this Cushing declares.

From Swearing and from Cursing too,
Mind that you always do keep clear;
Or this you'll have great cause to rue;
And in the End you'l find them dear.

Let the Commands of Parents dear
Strictly obeyed be, and then
You may expect to be bless'd here
And after death also. Amen.

Method of Punishment






Execution Location

Boston Neck

Printing Location

[Boston] Printed and sold [by Samuel Kneeland and Timothy Green] at the printing house in Queen-Street, over against the prison., 1734]


“A few Lines Upon the awful EXECUTION of John Ormesby & Matth. Cushing, October 17th. 1734,” Execution Ballads, accessed July 17, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/845.

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