Newgate Letter

The Nail in the Coffin

Though I have been developing over the years a solid case to prove that William Longmire was the same person sentenced to Newgate Prison in 1725 as the one whose writing and signatures grace so many King George County documents in the 1730’s and 1740’s it was not until I became aware of a letter written by him – just days before his scheduled execution – that I was able to fit this final piece of the puzzle into a cogent set of events and circumstances which helped to prove, once and for all, that this William was the very same. The Newgate Letter, as I call it, will hopefully prove to be the proverbial nail in the coffin to the naysayers and refuters who not only doubt that William wrote the many documents I ascribe to him, but to others who insist that an amanuensis wrote the letter for him. For now we have a third set of writing to compare to the others featured here which fit a documentable timeline and which cross reference each other for handwriting analysis purposes. And so in this section I will not only muse on the state of mind of William and try to interpret what he meant by “if you would give me a few papers into ye church for me” but will also zero in on the rudiments of his penmanship and signature.

Update: I am in the process of procuring the services of a handwriting expert to not only compare the three sets of documents mentioned above but also to examine the first 200 entries in the Northern Neck Proprietary Book E – Grants and Surveys. This would presumably become a fourth set of documents written by William Longmire and can be cross-checked against the others. Some years ago I had tried to engage another expert on the subject and he basically said of the three above mentioned document sets that it was a no-brainer and he would not take my money. Bless that fellow. And I agreed with him then as I do now. However, with the Lord Fairfax implications, and lack of corroborating documents, I feel duty bound to nail this down and get a professional assessment to augment my theory. I should have results some time in the spring of 2023.

Categories: Newgate Letter

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