6. John Smith (Circa 1661 To After 1727)
John Smith, from England was charged of housebreaking and was sentenced to death by hanging at the Tyburn gallows. When at the Tyburn, he was being hanged, his family and friends tugged at his legs to shorten his suffering but some people held Smith’s feet up for the possibility that he would not die. Apparently it worked. After hanging for a quarter of an hour, people began shouting for a reprieve. Unable to resist public clamouring the authorities granted a reprieve; Smith was cut down and taken to a house in the neighbourhood, where he recovered. He was granted freedom later.
Interestingly, he went back to his profession of housebreaking and was convicted three more times. The third time he was caught of theft and was sentenced to transportation (exile) to Virginia.