Hide Articles List

9 articles on this Page

Advertising

, IEXECUTION OF FOY.

News
Cite
Share

EXECUTION OF FOY. I WALKS TO THE SCAFFOLD SMOKING. LAST LETTERS TO HIS RELATIVES AND FRIENDS. At 8 o'clock on Saturday morning, Wiliiam Jo;eph Foy, ex-truant school boy and ex- soldier, aged 25, was hanged in Swansea Gaol for the murder of Mary Ann Recs at the old Y nysfach Works, Merthyr. Foy died with a cigarette in his mouth. The execution was carried out in a most matter-of-fact way. Th., chaplain had for -,orne time been in the con- demned cell administering the last conso.'ations of religion to a repentant man. The cxccu- lioner: had entered and pinioned him, and he had been ailowou a. ci,?arottc—he derived much coniforr from the soothing inliueneo of the weed—to steady his IF ryes, This 11-) h"ld tight- ly in his lips, and never relinquished til! the end. Then, un.supporied, but with attendants on either side, h0 walked to hi., doom, proceed- ed down the eighteen, step; reached the open air, took his iast glimp-e of the world, and en- tered the place.of'execution. The prison chap- lain the Rev. J. W. Watkins Jones, Vicar of le purist Church, entered the doorway, repeating in solemn and vibrating- tones the beautiful VTord,, of the Burial Servic: which he had begun in the condemned, cell and continued all. alon_, the route. Immediately behind him carno tho culprit, and on either side Pierpont I ftnd his assistant, Ellis. Fov was instantly placed by the hangmen with his feet to the } chlk mark. His legs wore pimoned. the rope j readjusted, and then Pierpont, taking the white ca.p in lil,4 hand, dragged it over his face, ciirarettc and ail. Then Ellis, the assistant executioner, pulled the lever, the trap-doors parted, the body I dropped with a smart jerk—and all was over. Meauwhile the chaplain hsd been reciting the concluding portion of the burial service. As the body gave the final shudder, the chapllain started the Lord's Prayer, in which all present joined. Ho followed this with a special prayer, cf which he held a printed copy in his hand. Th-i,benedicti-)n having been pronounced and the service ended, the spectators—who included Mr. George Gowor Isaac .(the under-shoriff. who had charge of the an-angemr-nts), ih, governor of the prison, Mr. Gibson; the prison surgeon, Dr. David Howell Thomas, J. P. the two executioners, and a number of warder. besides the representatives of the press—gather- ed round to take a final lock and a-sure them- selves that the sentence had been effectively carried out. Them was no doubt about this-- ) the body hung in the pit still and stark. At 8.12, a warder posted up the following notice:— "We, the undersigned, hereby declare that the judgment of death was this day executed on William Joseph Foy in H.M. Prison, Swan- sea. in our presence.—Signed for D:ivies Lewi- .-heriff of Glamorgan hire, G. G. Isaac, under sheriff; D. H. Thomas, justice for Glamorgan- shire: Frank W. Gibson, governor of the said prison; J. H. Watkins Jones, chaplain." A second notice -read :1, D. Howel! Tho mas, surgeon of H.M. Prison, hereby certify that I have this day examined the body of Wii- liarn Joseph Foy, upon whom judgment of death was executed in the said prison, and that after examination I found that the said Wm. J. Foy was dead. (Signed) D. Rowen Thomas." After reading the notice, the crowd gradu- ally dwindled away. FOY'S CONVERSION. A letter, with several postscripts, was receiv- ed on Saturday by Mrs. Norbury, Penyard. Merthyr. It is dated on Friday, and would indicate that the condemned man spent his la^t. hours on earth in writing to his sister. The tone of the letter shows the remarkable change which had been effected in Foy's mental ai tit.ude:— Swansea Gaol, May 7th, 1909. My Dear Sister,—Jus: one line to let you know I am perfectly happy, having taker. Holy Communion, and made my peace w xh God. Therefore, I beg you not to gTiev, for me, but to rejoice, for I shall be in Heaven above waiting for you, my dear sister. Give my best and last wishes to Con and father, and tell them that it is my wish that you and they should seek the peace of God. as I have done. I wish to remind you that I have been treated with great kindness by the officers that have been looking after me. They have helped me always to find peace with God, and I have found it, so therefore. dear sister, you will see that I am quite happy, and will meet my fate like a man. So I therefore wish, dear sister, that you will not grieve, but try to live a good life for my sake. Anything further you would like to know you will get it from the chaplain, and you will also get the silver cross which I have had from him. My dear sister, give my bsst respects to Jenkin and Annie Lloyd. So I now conclude by sending you my best and last wishes to you all. May God bless you I all.—From your penitent brother, Joe. P.'S,-My dear sister, just a few lines for the children. It is my earnest wish that you should teach them to grow up in God's ways, and worship Him always for His name's sake. Amen. Rc-rt on the Lord, and bs of good courage, and Ho will give you strength. P.S.S.—My dear sister, I hope to God that you arrived home cafe, and that you all are in good health, and always will be. with the help of God. Good-bye, and bless you all. At the end of the letter there are a number of crosses marked in the shape of a heart, with an arrow through it. CONFESSION OF THE CRIME On Sunday morning, Mrs. Norbury received the following letter from the Rev. D. L. Pros- ser (assistant chaplain of Swansea Prison), en- closing a message from her brothers— ELM. Prison, Swansea, May 8th, 1909. Dear Mrs. Norbury,—In accordance with your brother's last wish, I am sending you the little cross which he wore when he died, and I pray that this aign of our Christian faith may often comfort you in the bitter trial that has fallen upon you.—For the chaplain, D. L. Prosser (Assistant Chaplain). The following was the enclosure referred to H.M. Prison, Swansea, May 4, 1909. My Dear Sister,—I think it is my duty to write to tell you that my sentence is just. I am guilty, and think it right you should ¡ know. I am quite happy and resigned. I have cone-sed my sin to God, and have had His forgiveness. I put my whole trust in His mercy through His precious blood, and I am looking forward to receiving Holy Com- munion. I should like you to know that everybody here has been very kind to me. and I have been helped by them to realise my position. I hope rny fate will be a warning to others, and that young men will take a lesson and avoid evil and choose the good. Give my love to all frinds.-I am, dear sister, your affectionate brother, William Joseph Foy." The condemned man must have spent his last days writing letters to his relatives and friends. All his letters are written in a strong, firm hand. On May 3rd he wrote as follows to a friend:— "Dear Old PaJ,-I am very plea-sed to know that you are still thinking of me. Your last letter has given me courage to bear the load. I am quite well and happy, thank God. As you say, I have kept my promise. I am in God's hands for evermore. I was baptised last Satur- day. I thank you for sending me the photo, for I am only too glad to see old faces, and I am sure you look' well enough. That is a very nice verTe you put in the letter, and now I will send you one in reCum;- 'A few more suns shall set O'er these dark hills of time, And we shall be where suns are not- I A far serener clime.' (No. 165, 'Sacred Songs and Solos.") On May 5tb he again wrote to the same friend:— "Dear Old Pal,—Just a few lines in answer to your welcome letter. I hope you and your wife are in the best of health, and that you will always think of Joe. I am very pleased to tell you that I am going to receive Holy Commun- ion on Friday, and that I am sure we shall meet again in that land of joy and peace, for I have repented. I am glad to hear that they a.re praying for me in the churches and chapels, and I hope this will be a warningnot for others to leave the old track and follow the now. I will promise you that I will keep a stout heart and meet my fate manfully, for I am in the hands of our Saviour Jesus Chrit. Farewell for the last time. I conclude by sending my best respects to all.—From your unfortunate pal, William Joseph Foy." "How safe are those within God's kesDing. How safe awake, how safe when sleeping. Every night and day His eye can watch them; His hand from every evil snatch them." Writing on the 4th inst. to Mr. anJ Mrs. Lloyd, neighbours of Mrs. Norbury, Foy stat- ed, "I am all right. I have given myself to In God. Thank you for the services you have rendered my sister. I hope you will not forget her when I am gone. I can assure .you that I am perfectly happy, for I am now entirely in God's keeping."

The Men We Trust.

MERTHYR POLICE COURT.

jScratched Until He Bled.

,0.-.-.----------rA POLITICAL…

MINERS' WAGES.

-----_._----------__----South…

Advertising