Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Foulkes, Robert

FOULKES, ROBERT (d. 1679), murderer, ‘became,’ says Wood, ‘a servitor of Christ Church College, Oxford, in Michaelmas term 1651, where he continued more than four years, under the tuition and government of presbyterians and independents. Afterwards entering into the sacred function he became a preacher, and at length vicar of Stanton Lacy in his own county of Shropshire, and took to him a wife’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iii. 1195). He seduced a young lady who resided with him, took a lodging for her in York Buildings in the Strand, and there made away with the child that was born. The next morning he went down into Shropshire. His companion eventually made a full confession. Foulkes was tried and convicted at the Old Bailey sessions, 16 Jan. 1678–9. After receiving sentence he manifested great penitence, and was visited by several eminent divines, among whom was Burnet. William Lloyd, dean of Bangor, who came to him the very evening after his condemnation, managed to obtain for him, through Compton, bishop of London, a few days' reprieve, which he employed in writing forty pages of cant, entitled ‘An Alarme for Sinners: containing the Confession, Prayers, Letters, and Last Words of Robert Foulkes, … with an Account of his Life. Published from the Original, Written with his own hand, … and sent by him at his Death to Doctor Lloyd,’ 4to, London, 1679. He speaks of his unfortunate companion with ill-concealed malignity. On the morning of 31 Jan. 1678–9 he was executed at Tyburn, ‘not with other common felons, but by himself,’ and was buried by night at St. Giles-in-the-Fields.

[A True and Perfect Relation of the Tryal, &c. of Mr. Robert Foulks, 1679.]

G. G.