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

Broadside entitled 'Trial And Sentence Of The Gilmerton Monsters'

Transcription

TRIAL AND SENTENCE OF THE GILMERTON

M O N S T E R S .      

How now!   Ye secret black and midnight Fiends!
What's this ye do ?

A deed without a name !?Shakespedre.

Wr mair o' horrible an' awfu'

That even to name would be unlawfa' !?Burns.

                     HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY?July 12, 1330.

A full, true, and particular account of the
Trial of, and Sentence upon, the great
Gilmerton Criminals, David Dobie and John
Thomson, for the Violation Robbery, and
Murder of Margaret Paterson, in a way so
cruel, barbarous, and inhuman, as makes
the heart of the most obdurate melt with
pity and the blood freese with horror,?
together with the Indictment against the
Prisoners, the names and evidence of
the principal witnesses, and an inventory
of the articles produced on the Trial, con-
sisting, amongst other things, of the un-
heard of and murderous implements by
which poor Margaret Paterson's destruc-
tion was effected.

THE TRIAL

The indictment of the Prisoners was read.
After the customary preamble, it went on as
follows :

That albeit, by the laws of this and every
other well-governed realm, Rape; as also As-
sault, more especially when committed with
intent to Ravish; as also; Murder; as also
Robbery; are crimes of an heinous nature, and
severely punishable: yet true it is and of ve-
rity, that you the said John Thomson and
David Dobie are both and, each, or one or
other of you, guilty, &c, in so far as,
the deceased Margaret Paterson, having,
on the 17th day of April, 1830, met
with you the said John Thomson and David

Dobie, of one or other of you. within the house at
Cellar Bank or Cellar Park, in the parish of Libberton
and shire aforesaid, then and now, or lately one
cupied by Colin Pentland, and you the said John
Thomson and David Dobie, or one or other of you,
having agreed to convey the said deceased Margaret
Paterson to the said village of Gilmerton ; and the said
deceased Margaret Paterson having accordingly left the
said house, and having proceeded in company with you,
or one or other of you, along the road leading from the
said house to the village of Gilmerton aforesaid, &c.,
you the said John Thomson and David Dobie did,
time aforeasaid, wickedly and feloniously attack
and assault the said deceased Margaret Paterson,
and did both and each, or one or other of you
?[Here the inditement particularly specified the first
\ill\ via that of the prisoners having wickedly
and feloniously violated the person of the said Margaret
Paterson, which it would be improper more particularly
to publish the indictment then went on to vary the
charge in the usual way, by sharing an Assault with
Intent to Ravish)?LIKEAS, you the said John
Thomson and Dav d Dobie did, both and each or one
or other of you, time aforesaid, at or near the part of
the rond, &c, &c., wickedly and feloniously attack and
assault the said deceased Margaret Paterson, and did
strike her several severe blows with your first and kick
her on the head and sides, and other parts of her body,

wereby she was rendered insensible; and did------[Here

again the words of the indictment are unfit for publica-
tion. They describe particularly the soal barrowing
atrosities of the monsters, in forcing into the body of
their already brutally maltres'ed and insensible victim,
three rough cornered pieces of stone ! a number of pieces
of small coal! a quantity of coal dust ! a quansity of
hay ! and the bone of the corsets worn by the deceased,
or some other instrument to the prosecutor unknown ! !
and having mentioned the dreadful laceratious and
wounds thus produced the indictment went on aver-
ring] ?Of the injuries so inflicted, or of one or other
of them, the said deceased Marg. Paterson languished
till her death, which took place in the house in Amos
Close aforesaid, then and now or lately orcupied by the
said William Paterson, her father on the 22d day of
April 1830; and the said deceased Margaret Paterson
was thus cruelly murdered by you the said John Thom-

son and David Dobie, or by one or other of you :-

LIKEAS, you the said John Thomson and David
Dobie did, both and each, or one or other of you, time
aforesaid, &c., wickedly and feloniously Rob the said
deceased Margaret Patrson, and did take from her, by
force and violence, a gold ear ring, a small tin box, two
pawn tickets for gowns, one pledged for 3s 61, and the
other for 4, the more particular description of the said
pawn tickers being to the prosecutor unknown, there
shillings and mixpence or thereby in silver money, a key,
a checked cotton or muslin handkerchief, a green shawl,
a coarse towel, some piece of card or pasteboard and
same pieces of bread and meat, being all the property
or in the lawful poss saion of the said deceased Marga-
ret Paterson.

Inventory of Articles Produced in Court.

A green shawl, a woman's bonnet, a small
tin box, a gold ear-ring, a key, a handkerchief,
a coarse towel, three angular pi ces of stone,
a small quantity of hay, a corset stick, a pair
of scissors, a woman s pocket.

When the prisoners were brought out of
jail to be conveyed over to the Lock up house,
Dobie   recognized a person   whom   ha had   
known, and said, to him, This, is an awfu'
condition for me to be brocht till ',- It is,
Dobie ,' was the reply -to which he rejoined,
Weel :-I'm as innocent as the child that's

unborn ' Thomson Said nothing. Both the
men were rather meanly, hut decently and
cleanly dressed ; and had the usual appear-
ance of carters in their Sunday clothes that
had already been well worn. Both are of slen-
der but athletic make,?Thomson about 5 ft.
10 in. high

The declarations emitted by the prisoners
were of great length, and chiefly consisted of
rambling, inconsistent, and unimportant state-
ments.

Colin Pentland and his wife were called to
prove the accidental meeting of the deceased
and the prisoners at their house an the night
of the 17th of April, and their subsequent de-
parture together, with the carts, for Gilmerton.

Walter Dingwall, residing at Gilmerton, was
called to prove that Thomson's horse had
brought his cart into the village of Gilmerton.
without his master. This witness, and the
wife of one Bamberry, a stater in Gilmerton,
and others, found the shawl of the deceased,
her bundle of meat, &c., in Thomson's cart.

Alexander Denham and a young man named
Wright, and others, in consequence of Thom,
son being missing, set off on the road to Edin-
burgh in search of him. On their return they
were attrac ed by the groans of the deceased
to the spot where she was lying, near the
third mile stone; and finding her to be in a
very depl rable state, they carried her to the
house of Ban berry, into which she was hu-
manely received. In the mean time, a person
had met Thomson coming into the village, and
had said to him, from the circumstance of the
hawl being found in his cart, You have had
a woman with you to-night.' To which he
replied, Yes, she's joint behint me.'

   Drs Benton and Morrison of Dalkeith,
physicians, proved the frightful nature of
the injuries inflicted on the deceased,?her
extreme sufferings,? her death in consequence
of those injuries,? the appearances of the truly
berrid and shocking lacerations and wounds,
and the consequent mortification after death,
?and also the finding of the stones, &c. with

in the body of the ill fated woman__The same

Gentlemen, also, and other witnesses, proved
that the deceased had declared, while in the
prospect of death, that both the prisoners had
committed the crimes to which she fell a victim

Several witnesses from Greenend and other
places proved that the prisoners had made
their treatment of the deceased a subject of
ribald jest and boasting to their companions.

The tin box, belonging to the deceased was
traced to the possession of Dobie; and her
handkerchif was taken from Thomson's
pocket, when \ill\ was apprehended.

               ========

Second Edition, Further Partriculars

The jury retired between   one and two o'-
clock in the morning ; and after an absence of
about ten minutes, returned and pronunced
by their Chancellor the following verdict :-
My Lords the jury   unanimously   find both
the pannels Guilty of the Robbery, the Mur-
der, and the assault with intent to Ravish and
find the charge of Rape Not Proven.

After the two learned Judges seated on the
Bench with the Lord justice Clerk, had sever-
ally expressed   their full   concurrence in the
verdict of the Jury, and their unqualified Lcr-
ror of the dreadful and unparalleled atrocity
of the guilt of the prisoners ?whose brutality
had been such, that the unfortunate woman
would have been comparatively Safe, had she
been left to wander amongst the rudest and
most barbarous savages of the most barbarous
portion of the earth,?

The Lord Justice Clerk in an awfully so-
lemn address to the prisoners, told them that
if ever there was a case in which there was
no hope of Mercy, that case was theirs, and
in which he exhorted them to prepare for
eternity, sentenced them to be hanged in the
Lawnmarket, on Wednesday the 18th of
August, between tight and ten o clock in the
morning; and thereafter their bodies to be
given to Dr Monro, to be by him publicly
d ssected and anatomised.

Thomson evidently quailed under the obser
vations of the Judges.

Dobie addressed the Lord Justice Clerk in
these words, "My Lord I have one thing to
say if you please.? They cannot dissect the
soul.''

Forbes and Owen, Printers.?( Price One Penny.)

previous pageprevious          
Date published: 1830-   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(58)
Broadside entitled 'Trial And Sentence Of The Gilmerton Monsters'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland