As the words to the poem "Oranges and lemons" indicate the unfortunate victim would await execution on 'Death Row' and would be informed by the Bellman of St. Sepulchre by candle light 'here comes the candle to light you to bed', at midnight outside their cell, the Sunday night prior to their imminent fate, by the ringing of the 'Execution Bell' (a large hand bell) and the recitation of the following :
All you that in the condemned hole do lie,
Prepare you for tomorrow 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 in the morning tolls
The Lord above have mercy on your soul.
The executions commenced at nine o'clock Monday morning following the first toll of the tenor bell. Who would have thought that "Oranges and lemons" a childrens rhyme could have such a sinister historical connotation?