Of the endes and deathes of two Prisoners lately pressed to death in Newgate. 1569.


Of the endes and deathes of two Prisoners lately pressed to death in Newgate. 1569.


Preacher recounts attempts to comfort two prisoners; one, alderman Draper, repents; the other, Watson, believes falsely that he will be reprieved and thus does not repent

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

Pamphlet Location: Huntington Library - Britwell, no 60/ HEH18321, EBBA 32408
Recorded in CM Simpson 1966, The British Broadside Ballad and its Music, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, pp. 323-4.


TRue Preachers which God liketh well,
To you I runne wyth all my hart,
Your wordes with me are like to dwell,
Vntyll thys lyfe I shall depart.
As for the rest whose tounges are tyde,
To them who runs, he runs far wyde.

Œ_What so doth best commend the truth,
All falshood lykewyse discommendes,
I know you Preachers tender youth,
And visits them lyke faythfull frendes.
Yet if there hap a dismoll day,
The Wolues would teare your liues away

Œ_But they that humbly do you beare,
And eke well beare your woordes away,
Hauing their vnderstandinges cleare,
Needes neuer feare the dismoll day.
Nor wyll seek[Single illegible letter] peace here in this lyfe,
Where nought is found but war and strife.

Œ_So they that do, nor yet wyll beare,
When they be cald, and truth is told,
Ill haps to them vnwares is neare,
Yet blindnes maketh Bayardes bold.
But they that warned are in tyme,
Halfe armed are gainst daungerous crime.

Œ_A tryall iust I found of late,
Where Preachers dyd them selues addresse,
To spend the day within Newgate,
To comfort two whom Law bad presse.
There did I see that comfort great,
Whereof our Preachers oft intreat.

Œ_There saw I more, do what they might,
Sharpe iudgement pass, the Presse at hand,
The one would not remyt hys spight
But doth the same to vnderstand,
By blasphemies most horrible,
And countenaunce most terrible.

Œ_[Illegible word] would beleue that he should dye,
Which playnly dyd to vs appeare,
By [...]yish countenaunce smylingly,
Which seemed very monstrous geare.
And yet he was of perfect mynde,
But thus he shewed hys diuelish kynde.

Œ_Wyth hym perswasions would not serue,
In all my lyfe I saw none sutch:
He sware great othes he would not sterue,
If ought there were within the hutch.
And to it he went full egerly,
As one that thought he should not dye.

Œ_Anon there came a prisoner in,
That yrons had clapt on good store.
Gods hart quoth Wat, you wyl not lyn,
These partes you playd lyke slaues before.
And vp he snatch hot coales in hand,
To throw at one that by did stand.

Œ_This stander by a Keeper was,
That hardly handled him alwayes:
Wherefore if he myght bring to pas,
That Keeper should now end hys dayes.
Though he did burne in hell therefore.
Sutch Keepers should keepe there no more.

Œ_This desperate foole intreated was,
By Master Yong and others there,
To pray for them that dyd trespas,
And to forgeue, sithe death is neare.
Gods woundes quoth he, it is shame for ye,
That cry not agaynst this tyrannye.

Œ_Why wyll not bolts or fetters serue,
Thinke you (quoth Wat) to hold this man?
He hath no money though he sterue,
Hys hos[Single illegible letter] and doublet must trudge than.
If bell there be, or plages to fall,
These Villains wyll be plaged all.

Œ_For my part if I boyle in lead,
I cannot hold but brawle this out.
Would I might [Single illegible letter]ight how euer I sped,
Chuld course that Ore and fl[...]ring Lout.
No more good Wat, quoth Master Yong,
Thou hurt[Section of illegible text] thy selfe most wt that tong.

Œ_Thus parted he and Master Yong,
Much greued for hys senceles soule.
But I remayned and vsed my tong,
As God dyd force vice to controle,
But-Wat no chaungeling would not rest,
But fell a fresh vnto a [Single illegible letter]est.

Œ_As I might then I did exhort,
Them both with me to go and pray,
Where I would speake to their comfort,
If that the Lord dyd not say nay.
The time is short, therefore quoth I,
Let vs seeke the Lord whiles he is nye.

Œ_I pray you be content quoth Wat,
The Lord hath mercy inough in store,
I may yet haue my part of that,
As he to others hath geuen before.
You must repent and cal for grace,
(Quoth I) els neuer looke to see Gods face.

Œ_Then was the tother glad of me,
And gaue to God great thankes and prayse,
That he might haue my companye,
With hym for to remayne alwayes.
Wherein such comfort great he found,
That teares of ioy dropt to the ground.

Œ_I see now God is good (quoth he)
And wyll not haue my soule be lost,
But hath prouided you for me,
Not sparing any payne nor cost.
You come from God, your words arswete,
I feele Gods grace my hart doth mete.

Œ_I would I had knowen you befor[Section of illegible text]e,
But now it is in ryght good tyme:
For though my carcas be forlorne,
My soule to God I feele doth clyme.
Oh beare me (sayth he) to the rest,
Ill haps to me is for the best.

Œ_Heare how this misery hath wrought,
The taming of my flesh so proud:
My soule to God that hath it bought,
I do commend with voyce so loud.
Knowing that he doth heare my cry,
And pardons me immediately,

Œ_Would God the world dyd heare my voyce
And would be warned by my death,
Then would they not in euyll reioyce,
But prayse the Lord whyles they haue breath.
And loue hym that hath loued them well,
Who hath redeemed their soules from hell.

Œ_O God (quoth he) is thys thy kynde,
To care for hym that knew not thee?
I neuer had thee earst in mynde,
Yet now thy grace hath healed me.
Due thankes to thee I cannot geue,
That hast now made me to beleue.

Œ_O tell me I pray, what is your name,
Sayth he to me vnknowen you are:
To you lykewyse I am the same,
But God that knowes vs is not far.
He wyll reward you this I trust,
Sith I cannot that dye needes must.

Œ_So God dealt with me yester day,
A frend be sent vs in Limbo:
Whose good estate God blesse alway,
For that good [Single illegible letter]ore that came him fro.
Hys name was Draper Alderman,
Which was my comfort great as than.

Œ_He prayed wyth vs most earnestly,
No scorne was in hys v[Single illegible letter]luet cote,
Wyth teares he kyst vs louingly,
And went with mourning there God wote.
So doth the power of the Lord,
Make diuers men in truth accord.

Œ_Thus God hath found me out at length,
And stayed me of my wicked race
And me indu[...] with perfect strength
No [Single illegible letter]ong can rightly prayse such grace
I would my death were much more vile
That others might beware ther while.

Œ_So then we prayed ech one for other
Wyth trickling teares of ioye and greefe
In truth I tooke him for my brother
Though neuer so much he were a theefe.
Then death to him could not come ill,
For of Gods grace he had his fill.

Œ_Then foorth we went and made a fyre,
I dyned there wyth bread and cheese:
To sing some Psalmes was his desyre,
So ech man soonge in their degrees.
O Lord turne not away thy face,
From hym that lyes prostrate in place.

Œ_But Watson fell vnto hys foode
As one that hungry was in deede
And merely eate that he thought good,
But threw the rest the dogs to feede.
I saw no thought that he did take,
Nor lykelyhoode from sinne to wake.

Œ_Then vp came Maister Yong agayne
Their deathes now being at the doore
But Watson could not yet refrayne,
But laughes it out still more and more.
Still all in vayne to hym was sayd,
Yet all the rest downe kneeling prayde.

Œ_Then Skarlet tooke hym by the hande
And preached, though small to his regarde
Yet all the rest might vnderstande,
Hys woordes deserued to be harde.
And yet he could not [Single illegible letter]olde but smyles,
In deede he was begylde therwhyles.

Œ_A Prisoners tale that he dyd trust
Made hym that way to loose hys lyfe
So there the matter was discust,
The presse at length did end their stryfe.
He trusted that which was vntrue,
Vntill it was to late to rue.

Œ_Lo thus much I thought good to wryte
For those that warned yet will be
That they in euill no more delyght,
Nor to such councell do agree.
Who dyd this yll one so peruarte,
That heauy presse burst Watsons harte.

Method of Punishment




Execution Location


Printing Location

London by Iohn Awdely, dwellyng in litle Britaine streete without Aldersgate





“Of the endes and deathes of two Prisoners lately pressed to death in Newgate. 1569.,” Execution Ballads, accessed May 20, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/888.

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