Warning to the condemned

st sepulcher church
St Sepulcher’s Church by User Lonpicman — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:StSepulchresChurch.jpg, [CC BY-SA 3.0]

By Dan Graves

Here is another tidbit from Chamber’s Book of Days. Near Newgate prison in London was a parish church bearing the name St Sepulchre’s. On the 8th of May 1705, Robert Dowe gave £50 to the vicar and church wardens stipulating that through all futurity they should have a bell tolled and a serious exhortation made to condemned prisoners in Newgate, during the night preceding their execution.

All you that in the condemned hold do hear,
Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die:
Watch all and pray, the hour is drawing near
That you before the Almighty must appear:
Examine well yourselves, in time repent,
That you may not to eternal flames be sent:
And when St Sepulchre’s bell tomorrow tolls,
The Lord above have mercy on your souls!