John also dictated a full confession, perhaps to the same Reverent Chave. This was reproduced in Bells Weekly Messenger on the 4th August (a London newspaper) and in the aforementioned Volume 65 of the Annual Register.
On Friday, the 11th instant, about a quarter before four in the afternoon., I went to the house of Thomas Coles, in the parish of East Worlington, who sold cider, and remained there drinking, in company with Samuel Melhuish, until ten o’clock. About a quarter past nine, Sarah Downe, and Mary her sister, came into the room where Samuel Melhuish and myself were drinking. I asked Mary Downe to drink to me; but she refused, desiring me to give it to the right person, meaning her sister Sarah. I accordingly offered it to her sister, who took it and drank to me; after which, her sister Mary asked her if she was going home; her answer was, “Yes, I am.” I then said, ” We are all going directly, because it is our direct road.” Mary said, “Come then, for I am going now.” Sarah answered, “Go on, and l will overtake you.”
Mary then went towards her home., which was about half a mile from thence. Mrs. Coles said unto Sarah, “You had better sit down, till they are ready to go.” I was then sitting in the settle by the fire-side, and Sarah standing opposite. Mrs. Coles pushed her down by me, saying, “There, sit you down by the side of him.” She remained there a few minutes; after which she rose up again, and said she would not stop there any longer, as she must go home. I answered, “You may make haste along if you like;” then drank the cider that remained in the cup, and we three went out together, Sarah and myself taking the direct road towards home, and Samuel Melhuish going across the ground a shorter way. Sarah proceeded some paces in front, with a basket on her arm and a cup in her hand; I followed at a little distance.
We had not gone above 26 land rods, when we met William Filp and James Bourn; and, after that, we went on, until we came to a cross road near Worlington town, where I turned away to go to my home. She asked me whether I would not go home with her; my answer was, I would rather not; she replied, ” You had better, for I have something to tell you; I asked her what it was; she said, ” If you will go with me, I will tell you;” · I said, “I do not mind going as far as Bridge-park gate.” When we arrived there, she would not tell me, but requested me to go further.
I walked with her, until we reached her own home, where we remained till it began to rain. I then said, “I will go home, and do you go in;” she replied, ” I wont go in as yet.” I asked her, where she would go, then, out of the rain? She replied, “I do not know where, unless we go into Mr. Smith’s linhay.” I objected, it being so for out of my way. She said, it was not too far, as she would not go in until her sister Mary was in bed.
So we both proceeded on, till we came to Mr. Smith’s linhay. After we entered the linhay, she laid clown her basket and cup. I demanded again of her, what it was she had to tell me, but she made me no answer. I said, “If you will not tell me what it is, I shall go home, and you must go in.” She again refused to go in, saying, “My sister is not in bed; if I go·in before she is in bed, she will quarrel with me.” Then I replied, “I won’t stop any longer, for I must and will go home.” She then said, “I will go over the marsh with you, if you will stop till my sister is in bed. “I replied, “Yes, if you will tell me, what you have to relate to me.”
So we went over the marsh together; and on our road I said, “You might as well tell me what that is.” She said, ” What do you think it is?” I answered, ” I am sure I do not know what it might be.” She then said, “I am with child by you, and the people tell me, that you won’t have me, nor pay towards the child.”
I said, “No, because it is not mine.” She demanded the reason why. I said, “Because you have had two already by other persons, nor do I think.: you are in the family way. “She said, ” Yes, I certainly am, and the people tell me the same.” I replied, “The Lord knoweth: I am sure I do not.” I likewise said, ” If you are I shall have nothing to do with it.”
With that she abused me very much. I told her, it was not worth her while to abuse me. She then began to curse and swear at me, calling me all manner of names. I said, “Do not swear; where do you think your poor soul will go?” She replied, “I’m d—d if I care what becomes of me;” she still kept on abusing me, and got into a violent passion, which very much irritate me.
I desired her to compose herself, and not give way to passion. She said, “I don’t care about being in a passion, nor don’t care for you; and I do not care what will become of me; you never shall rest or abide in the country, except you have got me.” I said “Don’t say so, for if you do you will set me in a passion, and make me do what should not do else.”
She then said, “I don’t care what you do,” and began to swear very much, calling me a d—d bad fellow, and said, if she was able, she would knock me into that pit. I was in such a great passion, that I knew not what I did, and said to her again, “If you repeat that, I will put you there.” She repeated the words, and said, “You may if you like; but if you do, you shall go there too.”
It was then I gave her a push, and she immediately fell in. I turned round and said, “The Lord have mercy upon me. I have done for her.” I went down into the water, and endeavoured to get her out; but it being so dark I could not find her. Upon that I went home praying to the Almighty that he would forgive me.
John Radford was sent to the gallows on 28th July. As he walked out, he told the crowds that he was “very happy”, and then said the Lord’s Prayer before the noose was placed round his neck