An acconnt of the Execution of David
Dobie and John Thomson, at Edinburgh,
on Wednesday the 18th August, 1830,
with an account of their behaviour in
Jail and on the scaffold.
Wednesday, Aug. 18, 1830.
Shortly after seven o'clock this morning, the Magis-
trates attended by their officers, were admitted to the
Lock-up-house, where they found the two unfortunate
men in eager conversation with the clergymen, who
have since their condemnation, been almost their con-
stant visitors. Lheir minds seemed to be more settled
at this awful moment than what they were a few days
previous; this, we judge, was owing to the state in
which they were thrown in taking their last farewell
of their relations, who were admitted to see them.
Scenes such as these we may picture to ourselves, but
it is impossible to give a description; ?the parting of
Dobie with his wife and children was truly heart-
rending, and for a moment we forgot the brutality of
his crime in pity for the agouizing feelings of the un-
After their sentence, both of the criminals, although
sullen and quite, did not seem to be aware of the pro-
priety of applying themselves to the only fount from
whence hope and consolation was now to be derived,
and when spoken to on this head shewed the greatest
antipathy and ignorance on the subject. It was
thought adviseable, for more effectually impressing
their awful apd lost state on their minds, to separate
them, so that the one's attention could not be led away
by the discourse of the other;?this had the desired
effect, for both, from the, solitude of their condition,
txrned their thaughts inward, and the clergymen
afterwards found them both ready and willing to hear
and converse on tee means that was to prepare them
for their awful end, and their souls' welfare in the
world to come.
When any person spoke of the barbarous cruelty of
the deed which they committed, a shudder was observ-
ed to come over them, and th y more than once re-
peated, that being in a state of dismal intoxication
they were sensible afterwards of ill-using the woman
but to the brutal extent afterwards proved, they had
no recollection of. Alas! what a warning for drunk-
ards, Men to swallow a drug that brings them far be-
loG the most savage of the brute creation.
About 8 o'clock after a long conference with the
clergymen, and path tic prayers offered up for them,
the executioner made his appearance and commenced
pinioning the arms of both criminals. Lhey then left
the Lock-up-house, guarded by the town officers, and
a strong body of police. On the road to the scaffold,
and fora minute after asceneing, Dobie seemed as if
he was anxious to recognise some person, Lhe crowd
was immense, not a point from whence the scaffold
could be seen but what was taken up. After prayers
being put up, and a psalm sung, they mounted the drop,
and the executioner immediately adjusted the ropes;
they for a moment firmly grasped each others hand,
aud immediately after the signal was given, and they
were launched into eternity.
Dobbie was 28 years of age, and Thomson about 22.
both natives of Gilmerton, and from their being in the
habit of supplying the inhabitants with coals in small
quantities, were generally known in Edinburgh.
Dobbie. in being conveyed from the Calton hill Jail
last night about 5 o'clock, appeared not the least
moved, and mentioned the names of various persons he
saw from the Coach windows, in a kind of jocular
Dobbie hod a long conversation with .Dr Lee on the
scaftold, and drunk twice a little cold water.
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1830 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(65)
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