An account of the Trial and Sentence of William Mitchel, for Theft and Forgery, who
is to be executed at the west end of the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, on Wednesday the
9th of October next.?Also, an account of the Trial and Execution of Samuel Tucker,
for the Murder of his Wife, which atrocious crime he perpetrated by starving her to
death, and for which he suffered at Salisbury, on Friday the 2d of August, 1811,
and his body was given for diffection;
ON Friday, the 23d of August, 1811,
came on the trial of William Mitchel,
before the High Court of Justiciary, at
Edinburgh, accused of theft and forgery.
From the evidence adduced, it appeared,
that Mitchel had opened a chest, in the
house of Mrs. Duncan, Back Stairs, Cow-
gate, Edinburgh, where he lodged, belong-
ing to John Ferguson, another Lodger, from
which he took a watch, a considerable sum
in bank notes and cash, and a bill on the
Dundee Bank for L.48.
Having forged a letter, in the name of
Ferguson, setting forth that he was very ill
in his health, and unable to work, he pre-
sented it at the Bank, along with the bill
But some suspicions having arisen that
all was not right, payment was delayed till
further inquiry could be made; and, in the
mean time, Mitchel received twenty shillings
from the cashier, for which he granted his
receipt, to carry him back again to Edin-
burgh, where he was apprehended a few
An attempt, On the part of the prisoner,
to prove an alibi having failed, the Soli-
citor-General addressed the Jury for the
Crown, Mr. Bell for the prisoner, and the
Lord Justice Clerk summed up the evidence
in a most distinct and impartial manner.
The Jury were then enclosed, and, hav-
ing deliberated for some time, returned a
verdict all in one voice, finding the pan-
nel guilty of the crimes libelled; upon
which his Lordship pronounced the sen-
tence of the law, ordaining the prisoner
to be executed at the west end of the tol-
booth of Edinburgh, on the 9th day of
SALISBURY, JULY 31.
Samuel Tucker was indicted for the wil-
ful murder of Ann Tucker, his wife, at
Bradford, in the county of Wilts. This
was a case of the most atrocious kind. It
appeared in evidence, that the prisoner,
who was originally a weaver, but has prac-
tised medicine and called himself Doctor
Tucker, many months since conceived the
design of murdering his wife, on account
of the disparity of ages, she being about
25 years older than himself.
In order to effect her death, he kept her
continually confined in his house, without
allowing any one to see her from the 1st of
January last till the 8th of March last, on
which day she died, and giving her only a
small quantity of half-boiled potatoes and
barley bread, and a little water.
He frequently left his house for two
days together, during which she was locked
up, and without food; and her room, by
reason of the non-admittance of air, and
certain offensive things left therein, was
nearly sufficient to create putridity.
By this treatment she became so greatly
emaciated, as to be unable to move out of
her bed; during which time he still contin-
ued his ill treatment, and she was actually
starved to death.
The Surgeon stated, that, on examining
the corpse, it was literally nothing but skin
The chief witnesses against the prisoner
were people of the name of Byfield, who
were the deceased's children by a former
The prisoner, in his defence, stated, that
his wife had a disorder in her bowels, which
prevented him from sleeping or associating
with her, and that she had a voracious appe-
tite, which could never be satisfied.
The Jury found him guilty, and the Judge
immediately passed upon him the awful sen-
tence of the law, and ordered him for ex-
ecution on Friday the 2d of August, and his
body to be delivered to a Surgeon, to be
The prisoner appeared to be totally void
of agitation during the whole trial, which
lasted seven hours.
He confessed his guilt when at Chapel on
Thursday, and was executed next day.
Printed by T. Duncan, Glasgow.
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Date of publication:
1811 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(002)
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