Account of the interesting Trial of John Stewart and Cathe-
rine Wright, for the Murder and Robbery of Robert Lamont,
on board the Toward Castle Steam Boat, on her passage from
Inverary to Glasgow, by giving him landanum in his drink,
whereby he became insensible, and after Rabbing him of a large
sum of money, he shortly afterwards died. The trial took
place at Edinburgh on the 14th July, 1829; they are to be
Executed at Glasgow on Wednesday the 19th August next
EDINBURGH, 14th July, 1829.?This day, came on the trial of John Stewart
and Catherine Wright, accused of murder and robbery on board the above vessel.
The indictment charged the prisoners, while they were on board the said
vessel, plying on the Clyde, then on her voyage from Inveraray to Glasgow, and
when said Steam boat was on her way between Tarbert and Glasgow, with wilfully,
wickedly, and feloniously, administering to Robert Lamont, then a passenger in said
boat, and lately merchant and farmer, residing at Balligartan, in the parish of
Kilninian, in the island of Ulva, and shire of Argyle, a quantity of laudanum, or
some other narcotic or poisonous substance, which they had mixed up with a quan-
tity of porter or ale, or some other liquid, and which mixture they, or one or other
of them gave him, and in consequence of having taken the same, he fell into a pro-
found sleep, and while in that state, one, or both of them, robbed him of a pocket
book, containing nearly twenty pounds, and a purse with some money. That the,
said Robert Lamont, in consequence of his having drank the said laudanum, or
other narcotic substance on the 15th of December last, died in great agony on the
16th of the same month. The prisoners pled Not Guilty.
After a long and interesting trial, in which a number of witnesses were examined,
(whose evidence is too long for insertion here), the Jury was addressed with great
ability by the Counsel on both sides, after which the Lord Justice Clerk summed
up the evidence in a clear and impartial manner, when the Jury were inclosed and
ordered to return their verdict, which they afterwards did, finding both the pannels
Guilty of the crime libelled. .
The Lord Justice Clerk, previous to passing sentence impressed upon them the
heinous nature of the crime of taking away the life of a fellow creature, and warn-
ed them to improve the short time allotted them here, in making up their peace with
an offended God, whose laws they had broken.
His Lordship then passed sentence of death upon them, ordaining them to be
Executed at Glasgow, on Wednesday the 19th Aug. next, and their bodies to be
given to the Professor of Anatomy there for dissection.
The above is another horrid affair, and though not equal in extent to the mur-
ders which Burke committed, yet it is equal in enormity. Burke murdered that he
might get money far their bodies ; the pannels murdered that they might get money
from their victim's pockets. To invite a man, under the masque of friendship, to
drink with them, and pass a social hour together, and, in the midst of this feigned
friendship, to mix the deadly draught in the vessel out of which he drank, and at
the same time avoid it themselves, in order that they might get possession of his
property, is just another addition to those barbarous acts which lately occurred
at Edinburgh. It is said that they were before this in company with two persons
in Glasgow, who died shortly after drinking with them.
W. Carse, Printer, Glasgow.
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Date of publication:
1829 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(106)
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