Robert Harpham, executed for coining
reprieve; but he said he did not regard a reprieve on his own account; for that slavery, in a foreign country, was as much to be dreaded as death. Some questions being asked him respecting any accomplices he might have, he declined charging any particular person with a crime, but gave the Ordinary of Newgate a list of the names of some people whom he desired him to send to, requesting that they would reform the error of their ways.
The sacrament was administered to him in private on the day before his execution, at his own request, as he said he could not attend the duties of religion while exposed to the observation of a curious multitude.
He was executed at Tyburn on the 24th of May, 1725, after exhorting the persons present to beware of covetousness, and be content in the station allotted them by Providence.
To the particulars above recited little need be added by way of remark or instruction. The man who is wicked and foolish enough to be guilty of coining should consider that he is deliberately taking away his own life, in the very act of robbing the poor; for counterfeit money, though it pass for awhile among persons who have considerable sums to pay away, will ultimately remain in the hands of some mechanic or labourer, who has perhaps not another piece in the world but the base metal which he has taken.
Let us figure to ourselves, for a moment, the distress that such a person must endure; aggravated, possibly, by the hungry calls of a wife and numerous family; and then let any man lay his hand on his heart, and ask himself how few crimes there can be more atrocious than that of coining!