Trial and Sentence.
A full true and particular account of the Trial and Sentence of
William Gilchrist, George Gilchrist, and James Brown, who were
tried before the High Court of Justiciary on Wednesday 13th
July, on a charge of abstracting a box from the Prince Regent
coach from Glasgow to Edinburgh, containing L.5712 6s. on the
24th March last, when George Gilchrist was sentenced to be
executed on the 3d of August next?William Gilchrist and Brown
were dismissed from the bar.
Yesterday, Wednesday 13th July 1831, came on before the High
Court of Justiciary the trial of William Gilchrist, Ceorge Gilchrist,
and James Brown, charged with having abstracted from a box in
the Prince Regent coach from Glasgow to Edinburgh, on the 24rh
March last, £5712 6s. belonging to the.Commercial Banking Com-
pany. The prisoners pleaded Not Guilty.
It would be impossible to give even an outline of the evidence, it
so voluminous. Mr P. Robertson objected to four witnesses as not
being properly designated, after which the Sheriff of Lanark-shire,
and the Fiscal for Glasgow, gave evidence as to the robbery, and
the examination of the panels. The agent of the Commercial Bank
Campbelton stated the amount of specie sent from there to the agent
at Glasgow, in the bank box, which consisted 294 sovereigns, and
six guineas, in gold, and L.100 in silver,'all of which was safely re-
ceived at Glasgow. Mr Lorrain, teller, said he remembered having
delivered the bank box to the Porter on the 24th March last, to be
sent to Edinburgh, which contained L.5712 6s. in gold and notes.
Smith, the porter, deponed that he chained the box in the Prince
Regent coach, and booked it. M'Dowal, coachman, drove the coach
to Airdrie, where he was met by M'Millan, another coachman, who
drove the coach to Edinburgh, and deponed that the boot, in which
the box was chained, was untouched at that place.
Mr Millan deponed to finding the coach broke at Bathgate, where
he opened the boot to take out a parcel, and said to Mr Ross some-
thing must be wrong, but there were no inside passengers. The
ony inside passengers from Glasgow to Edinburgh, were a man
and woman, who were taken up at the junction of the roads by
M'Dowal, and who were let out about a mile and a half past Air-
drie, though there were six marked in the way-bill. Mr Ross, at
Uphall, corroborated the last witness, and stated, that on looking
into the inside of the coach, he found several parcels addressed to
the Commercial Bank scattered about, when the coachman exclaim-
ed, " Good God, will the bank box be away ?"
Fndlay, the porter of the bank at Edinburgh, attended the coach
office, as usual, for the box, got it, but found nothing in it ; after
which, James Morrison, innkeeper at Falkirk, who was admitted
King's evidence, detailed the circumstances of the robbery at great
length, with much reluctanee, and after being repeatedly warned by
the Court of his dangerous situation. He was followed by another,
socious criminus, Thomas Campbell, joiner in Mid-Calder, who also
deponed, at great length, what he knew of the case. His testimony
was followed by that of another accomplice's, Robert Simpson,
cooper in Falkirk, who described fully the circumstances of the
robbery, being in the coach with George Gilchrist, who was dress-
ed as a woman, and who, with a centre-bit and chissel, broke through
to the boot, and pressed open the box, when the money was taken
After the examination of several other witnesses, who clearly
proved the whole history of the case, in every particular the prison-
ers declarations were read ; when their counsel proceeded to bring
forward their exculpatory evidence, one hundred witnesses having
been cited, which occupied the Court a very long time.
After which the Jury were addressed agianst and for the prison-
ers at great length, when the Lord Justice Clerk, in his usual im-
partial and comprehensive manner, summed up the evidence. The
Jury then retired, and in a short time returned a verdict, finding
the eldest Gilchrist guilty, and James Brown and William Gilchrist
not guilty. After a most imdressive address from the Lord Justice
Clerk, George Gilchrist was sentenced to be executed here on Wed-
nesday morning the 3d of August next. This trial excited very
great interest, and lasted upwards of twenty-six hours.
Printed for Murdoch M'Rae, Price One Halfpenny.
View Commentary | Download PDF Facsimile
Date of publication:
1831 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(51)
View larger image