Francis Winter's last Farewel:


Francis Winter's last Farewel:


OR, THE White-Fryers Captain's Confession and Lamentation, Just before his Execution at the Gate of White-Fryers, on the 17th of this instant May, 1693.

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Magdalene College - Pepys Library, Pepys Ballads 2.188; EBBA 20803

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BEhold these sorrows now this day,
you that are standers by,
All former joys are fleed away, now I am brought to die:
My heart is fill'd with fear and dread, for here is no relief,
Since I a sinful life have led,
I nothing see but Grief.

I spent my days with roaring boys, and little thought of death,
But where are all those fading joys, now I must loose my breath:
Now they are clearly fleed from me, and there is no relief,
Alas! alas! I nothing see, but bitter clouds of Grief.

Alas! the follies of my youth comes fresh into my mind;
Had I been guided by the truth, then had I left behind
A better name then now I shall, alas! here's no relief;
I by the hand of justice fall,
and nothing see but Grief.

Bold Francis Winter is my name, who seem'd to bear the sway,
But now, alas! in open shame I do appear this day:
My former joys have taken flight, for here is no relief;
Grim Death appears this day in sight,
which fills my soul with Grief.

I must acknowledge this is true, that when in arms we rose,
I was the captain of that crew which did the sheriff oppose:
'Tis said a man was slain by me, therefore here's no relief,
For I must executed be, and nothing see but Grief.

Whether I kill'd the man or no,
I cannot justly [say]
But since in arms we [ ] we seem'd to disobey
The city's lawful magistrate; therefore here's no relief.
And I must here submit to fate, I nothing see but Grief.

It was against the wholesome laws of this my native land,
To rise in arms, and be the cause of that rebellious band,
Who broke through law and justice too,
of which I was the chief,
For which I bid the world adieu; I nothing see but Grief.

Let my misfortunes teach the rest obedience to the laws;
Let them not magistrates molest, for that has been the cause
Of shedding blood, for which I die, I being there the chief;
The very minute's drawing night, I nothing see but Grief.

I ofrentimes have wish'd, in vain, that I had not been there;
Nay, were it to be done again, I shou'd that deed forbear,
And not myself with such inthral, tho' then I was the chief;
But what is past, I can't recal, I nothing see but Grief.

The thousands that are standing by, alas! you little know
My inward grief and misery, and what I undergo:
O let me have your prayers this day,
my sorrows here condole:
I now have nothing more to say, but, Lord receive my soul.



Execution Location


Printing Location

Printed for J. Deacon, at the Sign of the Angel in Guiltspur-street.


From The Proceedings of the Old Bailey: London's Central Criminal Court, 1674 to 1913 

Francis Winter, otherwise called Captain Winter, who lived lately in White-Fryars , was arraigned and tried upon an Indictment of Murther, for killing one John Chandlor , with a Leaden Bullet shot out of a Blunderbus, value 10s. giving him a mortal Wound upon the Calf of his Right Leg, of the breadth of one Inch, and of the depth of three Inches; upon the 4th of July 1691, of which Wound so given by the said Francis Winter, he the said Chandlor died the 7th day of the same Month, in the Ward of St. Andrews Wardrobe ; the matter of Fact was after this manner; there being a Riot and a Mutiny raised in White-Fryars , by reason the Gentlemen of the Inner-Temple were offended at a Passage that leads from the Fryars into the Temple Walks, so would stop it up, which White-Fryars men opposing, the Gentlemen sent to acquaint the High Sheriffs of London (viz.) Sir Francis Child , and Sir Edward Clarke , who came by vertue of their Authority to appease the Rout; but they would not be persuaded to peace, but made a hot Resistance; and there were gathered together to the number of about fourscore, the Prisoner being at the head of them, as their Captain and Leader, presenting a Blunderbus against the Sheriffs Officers, shooting it against them; and the deceased Chandlor being unfortunately in the Croud to assist the High-Sheriffs, he was shot by the said Winter into the Calf of his Leg, as aforesaid; and he declared before his Wife, and others who were his Friends, that it was Captain Winter that shot him, for he knew him very well, and described him by his Garb, he having on a White Wastcoat, and a Cap button'd up on one side, in which Equipage the said Winter was in at the same time; all was very clearly and particularly proved against the Captain: And he had very little to urge in his own defence, only denied that he shot the said Chandlor, and that others shot beside him; but then the Court directed the Jury, as to point of Law in the matter; telling them, That where any Lawful Authority shall be opposed by any Riot, or Riotous Assembly, this implied Malice in Law, in the Persons so offending, and they were all equally guilty; and consequently, if the Prisoner did not shoot Chandlor, yet he was guilty of Murther, because he did abet, promote, stir up, and maintain such a Rebellious and Unlawful Assembly; So the Jury having well considered of their Verdict, they brought the Prisoner in guilty of Murther.

Tim Hitchcock, Robert Shoemaker, Clive Emsley, Sharon Howard and Jamie McLaughlin, et al.The Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 1674-1913 (, version 7.0, 15 January 2019).





“Francis Winter's last Farewel:,” Execution Ballads, accessed June 24, 2024,

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