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Broadside concerning the execution of the Radicals, Andrew Hardie and John Baird

Transcription

A Full, True, and Particular Account of the Execution of AN-
DREW HARDIE and JOHN BAIRD, who were Hanged
and Beheaded at Stirling, on Friday the 8th September 1820,
for High Treason, together with their Behaviour at the
Place of Execution.

YESTERDAY, 8th September, 1820, the preparation for the execution of these
unfortunate men having been completed the previous night, this morn-
ing the scaffold appeared to the view of the inhabitants.    On each side the scaf-
fold was placed a coffin, at the head of which was a tub, filled with saw-dust,
destined to receive the head.    To the side of the tub was affixed a block.

The clergymen of the town (the reverend Drs Wright and Small,) and the reverend Mr Bruce,
throughout the confinement of the prisoners, were unremitting in their duties. The morning pre-
vious to the execution was spent almost solely in devotion and reflections, suited to the awful situa-
tion of the prisoners. About 11 o'clock a troop of the 7th Dragoon Guards arrived from Falkirk,
and were assisted by the 13th Foot quartered in the Castle.

At a quarter after one the procession left the Castle, and was seen to move
down Broad Street, the unfortunate men in a hurdle, their backs to the horse,
and the headsman with his axe sitting so as to face them. They were respect-
ably dressed in black, with weepers. The procession was attended by the
Sheriff-depute and his Substitute, and the Magistrates, all with their staves of
office. The troops lined the streets so as to permit the whole to pass slowly
and undisturbed to the spot intended for the execution. During the procession,
the prisoners sung a hymn, in which they were joined by the multitude.

At 20 minutes to two o'clock, the hurdle arrived at the Court-house. Hardie
first descended. He was followed by Baird, then the headsman. Hardie, by
mistake, was conducted into the waiting-room. He bowed twice respectfully to
the gentlemen who were present. The Reverend Dr Wright accompanied
Hardie. The Reverend Dr Small, and Mr Brown, were with Baird. Hardie
turned round, and observing how few persons were present, said to one of the
clergymen, " Is this all that is to be present." Dr Wright read the whole of
the 51st psalm. He then delivered a most impressive prayer; after which, a
few verses of the same psalm, from the 7th verse, were sung by the prisoners
and others present, Hardie giving out two lines at a time, in a clear and distinct
voice, and sung the same without any tremulency. The Reverend Dr Small
then delivered a prayer, remarkable for zeal and fervour ; after which, the 103d
psalm was sung, Hardie giving out two lines at a time as before.

The conduct of these two men while in the Court-room was most calm and
unassuming. Some refreshment being offered, Hardie took a glass of sherry,
and Baird a glass of port. Hardie said something the exact import of which we
could not collect. He begged the sheriff to express their gratitude to General
Graham, Major Peddie, and the public authorities, for their humanity and at-
tention ; he then bowed to the other persons present, and drank off the whole of
the contents of the glass. Baird then addressed himself to the sheriff, and beg-
ged to convey sentiments of a similÓr nature. When they were pinioned Har-
die mentioned to Baird to come forward to the scaffold. While in the Court-
room both prisoners particularly Hardie, seemed less affected by their situation
than any other person present; his hand, while he held his book, never trem-
bled. On their arrival at the scaffold, there was a dead silence. After a few
minutes, Baird addressed the crowd in a very loud voice. He adverted to the
circumstance in which he was placed, and said he had but little to say, but that
he never gave his assent to any thing inconsistent with truth and justice. He
then recommended the bible, and a peaceful conduct to his hearers. Hardie then
addressed the crowd. He commenced with the word " Countrymen." At some-
ting which we could not completely catch, and which we must not guess at
there was a huzzaing, and marks of approbation. After a few moments silence
as if recollecting he had proceeded too far, and had excited feelings inconsistent
with his situation, he spoke again. He adised the crowd not to think of them,
but to attend to their bibles, and recommended them, in place of going to pub-
lic houses, to drink to the memory of Baird and Hardie, that they would retire
to their devotions. After the ropes were adjusted, a most warm and aflectionate
prayer was delivered by the reverend Mr Bruce. At eleven minutes before three
the necessary arrangements being made, Hardie gave the signal, when they were
launched into eternity. After hanging half an hour, they were cut down, and placed upon the cof-
fins, with, their necks upon a block; the headsman then came forward ; he was a little man, appar-
ently about 18 years of age; he wore a black crape over his face, a hairy cap, and a black gown
On his appearance there was a cry of murder. He struck the neck of Hardie thrice before it was
severed ; then held it up with both hands, saying, " This is the head of a traitor." He severed the
head of Baird at two blows, held it up in the same, manner, and used the same words The coffin
were then removed, and the crowd peaceably dispersed.                                             

Edinburgh;?Printed for William Cameron,?PRICE ONE PENNY.

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Date of publication: 1820   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(12)
Broadside concerning the execution of the Radicals, Andrew Hardie and John Baird
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