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Broadside entitled 'Execution'

Transcription

EXECUTION.

A Particular Account of the Execution of John Baird and Andrew
Hardie, who were Hanged and Beheaded at Stirling, on Friday the
8th day of September, 1820, convicted of High Treason.                  

STIRLING, 8TH SEPTEMBER, 1820.

This day, at one o'clock, the Sheriff's Depute and
Sobstitute of the county of Stirling, accompanied by
the   Magistrates,   and   preceded   by the Town   and
Sheriff Officers, went in procession from the Town-
House to the Castle, to receive the prisoners at the
Castle Gate.    They were met by the Lieut. Governor,
General Graham, when the Sheriff demanded the two
prisoners, HARDIE and BAIRD.    The gates were
thrown open, and a strong party of the 13th Regiment
under the immediate command of Colonel Sir William
Williams, marched out and formed two lines, one on
each side of the road.    A squadron of the 7th Dragoon
Guards were already drawn up outside the Castle Gate,
and when the prisoners arrived, formed outside the
Insantry, and also in front and rear of the procession.
The prisoners,   who were decently dressed in black
clothes, with weepers and crape, attended by the three   
Ministers of the Established Church, viz: Dr Wright,   
Dr. Small and Mr Bruce, now came out of the Castle,   
and mounted the Hurdle with a firm and undaunted
step.    The decapitator took his seat immediately be-
hind them, clad in a dark cloak and veiled with black
crape, holding up his weighty axe in the same appaling
manner in which he held it at Glasgow    They bowed
to the crowd all around, and particularly to the Lieut
Governor and Fort Major.    The Sheriff and Magis-
trates took their position immediately behind the small
party of cavalry which cleared the street.    The Minis-
ters were placed at the sides of the hurdle, which was
guarded by two Sheriff Officers.    A strong detachment
of the 13th marched along, and the rear was guarded
by a few Cavalry.    When the procession began to move
(which was at a slow pace) the prisoners sung the last   
hymn in a. very audible and distinct manner, and con-
tinued to do so, except in the narrow part of the Cas-
tle Wynd, till, they arrived at the Prison, in front of
which the Scaffold was erected.    Hardie looked up
and smiled?Baird surveyed the dreadful apparatus with
earnestness, but composure.    Both the prisoners, but
especially Hardie, looked eagerly and keenly at their
veiled companion, but did not address him.    The pro-
cession, after arriving at the front of the Prison, halted;
the troops drew up, formed three sides of a square
around the Scaffold; the prisoners, with the Magistrates
and Ministers, proceeded to the Court-house, where
nearly an hour was spent in devotional exercises.    Dr.
Wright first read the 51st Psalm, and prayed?Dr.
Small next read from the 7th to the 13th verse of the
same Psaim, which the prisoners sung with much devo-
tion, Hardie giving on the line and leading the sing-
ing    Dr. Small afterwards prayed?The Rev. Mr.
Bruce then gave out the 30th Psalm, which was sung
in like manner; and the devotions were concluded by
another prayer from Dr. Wright.    The arms of the
prisoners were then pinioned, and after each had got a
glass of wine, they were conducted to the Scaffold.    It   
was prepared with all the insignia of death.    On each
side was placed the coffins with the block for decapita
tion, the floor was covered with saw-dust.    The prison-
ers then went on the platform at a quarter before three
o'clock.    On their appearance the crowd set up a faint

cheer. Baird then addressed the crowd in a very ap-
propriate .manner, and begged them to read and study
their Bibles as the Word of God; he made no interfer-
eace to the course which brought him and his unfor-
tunate companion to the situation in which they were
now placed. Hardie then addressed the audience, but
was not so distinctly as Baird; he said," I die a martyr
to the cause of truth and justice " The Crowd gave a
faint chear, and immediately, as if in a panic, they fled
towards the cross streets and closses. The ropes were
now affixed to the prisoners and to the traverse beam,
after which Mr. Bruce prayed very servently, and at
twenty minutes to three o'clock they were launched into
eternity. They hardly exhibited any struggle. After
hanging 25 minutes, their bodies were taken down by
the sheriff Officers, and placed on their respective cof-
fins with their heads on a block, and their faces down-
wards. When the necks were bared, the decapitator
came forward, and was assailed by the crowd with
hisses, yells, and cries of " Murder." He appeared to
be the same person who officiated at Glasgow, but he
completely lost his former firmness and dexterity. He
se't the neck of Hardie's corpse with his right hand,
raised his ponderous hatchet, hesitated, lowered it, ad-
justed the crape on his face, and raised it again, and
after two powerful strokes, a third slight touch was ne-
cessary to sever some of the adhering fibres and skin.
He then held up the gory head in his right hand, and
exclaimed, " This is the head of a traitor." He next
turned round to the corpse of Baird, and took his aim
apparently with less trepidation: the first stroke the axe
cut the neck slightly and stuck fast in the wood, but
the second severed the head from the body. He then
held it up also, streaming with blood, and made the
same proclamation, " This is the head of a traitor " and
retired. The mangled bodies were then taken inside
the Jail, and the crowd instantly dispersed.

HARDIE, though born in Auchinairn, was educated
in Glasgow. He was bred a weaver. He served in
the Berwick Militia upwards of five years, and was
discharged immediately after the battle of Waterloo.
He came home to his loom, and became a member of
the " Castle street Union Society," but never bore any
office. The society was given up before the end of
December. Upon the 4th April he was informed that
there was to be a great meeting that night at Germis
ton, he went to the place, but found only 30 or 40
men. They never separated till they were all seized at
Bonnymuir. He was 27 years of age; and has left two
youngers, a sister, and an aged mother.

BAIRD was born in the parish of Cumbernauld, and
bred a weaver. He enlisted into the 95th Regiment,
and belonged to it more than 7 years. He was in Spain
with Moore. When he was discharged, he settled at
Condorrat, and wrought at his trade till the beginning
of April, when he was taken in arms at Bonnymuir.--
He was 31 years of age, and unmarried. He has left
two brothers and an aged father to lament his death.

JAMES CLELLAND, who was to have been executed
along with Baird and Hardie, has received a respite
for one month.

Printed by John Muir, Glasgow.

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Date published: 1820   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(014)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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