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Broadside entitled 'Execution of Charles McEwen'


A correct and Particular Account of the Execution of
CHARLES M'EWEN, commonly called " The
Cock of the North," who was Hanged on Wednes-
day the 7th A April 1824, at the head of Libberton
Wynd,Edinburgh for the Barbarous Murder
Margaret Mooney, in October last, on a Moor in
Aberdeenshire and his Body given for Dissection
with his Behaviour at the Place of Execution.

Edinburgh, 7th April, 1824.

THIS day, the unfortunate CHARLES M'EWEN, alias M'Eoch
and commonly known in the North of Scotland, by' the Cock of the North;
ended his mortal career, on a scaffold, at the head of
Libberton Wynd here, pursuant to his sentence.

This unfortunate man was a native of Ireland, and assumed va-
rious names, as circumstances suited him, but was best known by
M'Ewen.   He left Ireland about ten years ago, and travelled principally
in the counties of Forfar, Aberdeen, and Inverness, as a
Tinker, and vender of hardware, &c.    He had had various women
with whom he cohabited as man and wife, and had several children.
The unhappy woman, Margaret Mooney, had been with him only a
few days at the time of the murder. They were travelling together, on
the 9th of October last, through the Firmouth, an uninhabited moor
or mountain, near the junction of the shires of Aberdeen and For-
far ; and, as was proved on his trial, he deliberately murdered her
   in the most barbarous manner, by striking her on the head with a
small Iron Anvil, without any provocation whatever, in consequence
of which she died on the spot, and for which he was soon after ap-

Having emitted two several declarations before the Sheriff-sub-
stitutes of Aberdeenshire, in which he denied any knowledge of
the circumstance, except seeing the body lying all bloody as he
passed, he forced on his trial, by running his letters.    Accordingly
he was brought from Aberdeen Jail to Edinburgh, and tried before
the High Court of Justiciary, on the 1st of March last; and, after
the fullest investigation, was unanimously found Guilty by a res
pectable Jury.   After a most impressive address from the Lord
Justice Clerk, in which he recommended to him to employ the few
remaining days allowed him on earth, in the important works of
repentance, and to endeavour, by the deepest contrition and heart
felt sorrow for his past offences, to make his peace with that God
   against whom he had so heinously sinned, by the perpetration of a
crime, of all others the most foul and deteatable, he was sentenced
to be hanged by the hands of the common executioner, on Wed-
nesday the 7th of April next, at the head of Libberton Wynd, be
twixt the hours of eight and ten in the morning, and his body there
after to be given to Dr. Alex. Monro, to be dissected and anatomiz.
ed.    To which he immediately replied, Thank your Lordship,
but I'll die innocent''.

During the whole trial, as well as the delivery of this address and
pronouncing the awful sentence, M'Ewen appeared quite firm and
hardened, nor had he, for a considerable time after his condemna
tion, evinced a becoming sense of his melancholy situation.   Neither
the certainty of the awful fate which was shortly to overtake him,
nor the reflections to which his crime and punishment were likely,
in solitude, to give rise, had produced any salutary impressions on
his mind ; but, on the contrary, seemed to repel any advances of
kindness from those about him.    To the inquiries of one gentleman
he abruptly replied, " I am not the better of you, nor any like
you."    To another gentleman, in an official situation, he betrayed
similar impatience, and haughtily expressed a wish that he might
not receive any more visits of such a nature.    As to the affair that
brought him there, he added, it was a matter that concerned himself
alone.    He was very restless, and continually moving to the extent
of the chain allowed him; in this respect differing from almost
every one who was placed in the like unhappy circumstances, while
others sought repose, or were sunk into despondency, he was ever
in motion.    Latterly, however, he entertained feelings better suited
to his situation.    He was a Catholic, and was regularly attended by
three clergymen of that persuasion, as well as by some private
friends. to whose exhortations, in a great measure, must have been
ascribed the great change in his behaviour.
He was a tall, stoutan, about thirty-six years of age.                                                

Edinburgh ...Printed for AlexanderTurnbull...,Price One Penny.

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Date of publication: 1824   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(28)
Broadside entitled 'Execution of Charles McEwen'
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