British Executions

Margaret Harvey

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: stealing

Date Of Execution: 6 Jul 1750

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown



Executed for Privately Stealing

MRS. HARVEY was a native of the city of Dublin, and descended from parents of reputation, by whom she was educated in a very decent manner. She married the valet of a nobleman when she was only sixteen years of age; and her husband, soon afterwards, procuring a lieutenant's commission on board a man-of-war, sailed in the service of his country.

Returning after an absence of six months, he became extremely jealous of his wife; but we have no account that he had then any cause for such jealousy. Be this as it may, he treated her with such severity that she left him, in apprehension that her life was in danger.

Some of her relations afforded her present support; but, when they began to think her troublesome, she went to her parents, who received her with the utmost affection: but her husband had art enough to persuade her father that she had no good cause to have left him; on which the old man insisted on her returning to her duty as a wife.

When she was again at home with him he treated her no less cruelly than heretofore; and, on a particular occasion, without any previous quarrel, he cut her on the arms and head with a hanger, so that she carried the marks to the grave; yet still she continued to love him with unabating affection.

At length, when she was on a visit, in company with several other women, and complaining of the cruelty of her husband, they recommended her to avenge herself by quitting him, and putting herself under the protection of a gentleman who knew her situation, pitied her case, and would be proud to become her benefactor.

Fatally for her repose, she listened to this advice, and went to live with the stranger; on which her husband left Dublin, and set out for London.

The man who had thus been the indirect means of seducing her from her duty soon grew tired of her company, and quitted her, leaving her in circumstances of utter distress.

In this dilemma she determined to go in search of her husband, and solicit his forgiveness; and, with this view, sailed for England, and travelled to London; but her inquiries after him proving fruitless, she went into service in Marylebone Street, and remained about four months in that station.

When the fireworks were exhibited in St. James's Park, on occasion of the peace with France, she was permitted to go and see the extraordinary sight; and, while she was a spectator of that magnificent show, some women and seamen entered into conversation with her; and, going to a public-house, they spent the night and following day in intemperance.

Ashamed now to return to her service, she took a lodging in St. Giles's, and, becoming acquainted with some women of ill fame, who were supported by sailors who visited them, she soon became as abandoned in manners as her associates.

Some Irish seamen being acquainted with her, she went with them to Wapping; and, having drank very freely, she was met on her return home by a gentleman, who took her to a tavern, where she found means to rob him of his gold watch; but, being taken into custody that night, she was lodged in the Round-house, and committed to Newgate the following day.

Being brought to trial at the Old Bailey sessions, she was capitally convicted; but, pleading that she was with child, she was respited till the year 1750, when sentence of death was passed on her.

While in this distressed situation, she acknowledged that she should not have pleaded being with child, but that she had hopes of obtaining a pardon on condition of transportation; and on the arrival of the warrant for her execution she wrung her hands, cried exceedingly, and lamented the misfortunes which first induced her to come to London.

On the morning of her execution she was visited by some of her countrywomen, who, having privately brought in some brandy, induced her to drink such a quantity of it, that she died in an absolute state of intoxication; though before this circumstance she had exhibited every real sign of penitence and contrition.

She was executed at Tyburn on the 6th of July, 1750.