The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside relating the 'sorrowful lamentations of William Thomson'


The sorrowful Lamentations of Willian Thomson, who is now
lying under the awful sentence of Death, in the Calton Jail,
and who is to be executed on Thursday the 1st of March, at
Dalkeith, with an acconut of his behaviour since his con-

William and James Thomson, and John Fram, were condemned before the
High Court of Justiciciary, to be executed at Dalkeith on the 1st of March, for
the robbery of Mr Hunter, Farmer, betwixt Dalkeith and Musselburgh. John
Thomson and John Fram were both recommended to mercy by the Jury, which
recommendation being forwarded to the proper quarters, a respite during his
Majesty's pleasure arrived a few days back, these two, who received the happy in-
telligence, from the Magistrates, with a melancholy composure, immediateiy cast-
ing their eyes on their more unhappy companion. The behaviour of the whole
three, was very becoming their situation, and William, though he appeared very
sullen and melancholy for a few days after the respite was received, has to all ap-
pearance, given up his mind entirely to meet his doom with resignation.

He regrets very much, his not paying that attention to his family, that a parent
ought in duty to do, and already looks back on the manner in which he has spent
his days with horror; he is chearfully instructed in what he appears never to have
thought on, and is in a manner entirely ignorant of, by a number of pious and re-
spectable people who visits him.

Tir'd of the bustle of the day,

In solitude I hied,
To where, from noise and toil set free.

My thoughts might range at wide.
By yon dark Jail I passed along,

For criminals prepar'd,
When from its cell a piteous sound

Of woe methought I heard.
I sped to whence it did proceed,

The words distincter grew,
A Thief thus his fate bewail,d,

And did for mercy sue.

" Lock'd are the golden gates of day,

Tis thine, O night, ! 'o keep,
Morpheus, in velvet's soft array;

Has hush'd the busy world to sleep.
To me no calm like this is known

Sleep from my eyes has ever fled,
Conscience its snaky head has raised,

And all my sins before me led.
Far from my wretched mind has hope

On fleetest pinions soar'd away ;
No comfort left my state to cheer,
No balm my anguish to allay.

Companions in my revels, think

What you are now, and soon must be,
For God has me a warning made,

That speaks with solemn voice to thee
Before to morrow's sun slrall risc

To cheer the world, ah! who can tell,
But death may plunge your trembling souls

Down to the realms where devils dwell
Oh ! can you bear the dreadful thought,

Should God this night your souls require,
Can you endure eternal wrath,

Or bear the pangs of quenchless fire ?
O ! Pow'r Divine. my sins forgive :

Thour't gracious, grace extend to me,
That when my flesh is tutned to nought,

My spirit may be, Lord, with thee.
A few short days, and I am plac'd

Beyond the reach of mortal woe ;
Protect my family in that trying hour,

That they may Satan overthrow.
Farewell my children, friends, and all,

For you my tears in torrents fell,
Forgive the effnsions of my love,

We part in hope to meet above.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1827   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(39)
Broadside relating the 'sorrowful lamentations of William Thomson'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland