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April 24, 1787.

Yesterday morning the following convicts were executed on the newly-invented temporary scaffold, placed before the debtors' door of Newgate:—John Burn, Daniel Gunter, James Francis, and John Green, convicted in January sessions; and William Ludlam, William Oakes, John Bishop, alias John Buller, and James Haylock, alias Hullock, formerly a runner at a public office, convicted in February sessions.— After divine service in the chapel of Newgate, the prisoners were brought out of the gaol, and six of them having joined the ordinary in devout prayer, and chaunted the usual psalm (the others, being two Roman Catholicks, were attended by a priest of that persuasion). At nine o'clock the platform dropped, and in a few moments they showed no signs of life. They were fervent in their devotions, and all of them appeared to die sincerely penitent. 

The scaffold on which these miserable people suffered is a temporary machine, which was drawn out of the yard of the sessions-house by horses; it had this day only one beam fixed; and upon a bolt being drawn, the platform dropped, leaving the malefactors suspended in a manner similar to that of the scaffold lately in use.

After the convicts were cut down, the gallows was drawn back to the sessions-house yard; and the whole cleared away in half-an-hour's time.

An Account of the new-invented Scaffold for Executing Criminals in the Old Bailey.

We imagine that an accurate representation of the new mode of executing criminals in the Old Bailey, which does so much honour to the present worthy Sheriffs, will hardly fail of giving satisfaction to such, at least, as do not reside near the metropolis. 

The whole of this temporary erection is hung in black. The criminals are attended by the proper officers and the Ordinary of Newgate, from their cells to the centre part of the scaffold, which is a platform raised about two or three inches above the general floor, and directly under the gallows : here, after the usual prayers and solemnities, the rope is tied up, and, at the Sheriff's signal, the executioner pulls away a staple, which loosens a bar that supports the platform, and the platform then falls in : and this, being much more sudden and regular than that of a cart being drawn away, has the effect of immediate death. During the whole time of this awful spectacle, a full-toned bell, which is suspended above the roof of this part of the prison, is solemnly tolled; but as it is fixed so far on the roof as not to he in sight, it does not appear. The scaffold is supported by strong posts, fixed into grooves made in the street, and the whole is temporary, being all calculated to take to pieces, which are preserved within the prison.

SOURCE: Curiosities of Street Literature, London, Reeves and Turner, 196, Strand, 1871.