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

Broadside entitled 'Trial and Sentence'


Trial and Sentence of David Haggart,
for the Murder of the Dumfries jailor
who is to be Executed at Edinburgh,
on Wednesday the 18th day of July

THIS day, Monday June 11 th 1821, came on the Trial
of David Haggart,. before the High Court of Justiciary,
accused of Murder, upon the 10th day of October 1820, while
he was prisoner in the jail of Dumfries, on the body of Tho-
mas Morrin, the under jaiter or turnkey of said prison, with
a stone or some other instrument, whereby the skull was se-
verely fractured, and otherwise mortally wounded, in conse-
quence of which, he only languished for the space of eight
hours; and then did take the keys of the prison and effected
his escape.

Two declarations of the pannel were read, one emited on
the 2d day of May 1821, and the other on the llth of same
month, before Sir Thomas Kirkpatrick, sheriff depute, and
William Baillie, sheriff substitute, of Dumfries. Both of which,
declarations were proven in Court by the above Gentlemen.

Amongst the witnesses, were Thomas Hunter, keep-
er of the jail of Dumfries,?May Gullen wife of Thomas Hun-
ter... Sarah Gaze, servant to Thomas Hunter?Jannet Corrrie,
widow of the deceased Thomas Morren,?Robert Simpson,
prizoner in the Jail of Dumfries,?Archibald Blacklock surgeon
in Dumfries. 30 witnesses were cited in whole.

It appeared in the course of the evidence, that Haggart,
after breaking Leith jail, where he was lodged for the crime
of theft, was apprehended and lodged in the jail of Dumfries
and then on purpose to effect his escape, procured a stone,
which he put into a bag or stocking, and at a convenient time
when Thomas Morren, the under turnkey of Dumfries jail,
was in the act of locking up the prisoners, Haggart struck him.
a severe blow on the head with the stone and bag, which foun-
dered him ; he then repeated his blows, and fractured his skull
and mortally wounded him in other places, by which he died
in the course of eight hours afterwards. He then took the
keys of the prison and effected his escape, and sentence of fu-
gitation and outlawry was paonounced against him by the
High Court of justiciary, upon the 5th day of February 1821,
He was afterwards apprehended in Ireland for some other
crimes, and after breaking two prisons there, and under
sentence of transportation, he was recognized, and officers
sent from Dumfries to convey him hither. He was then sent
to Edinburgh, heavily ironed, on the 18th of May.

The prisoner did not appear much cast down. He appears
to be about 31 years of age, and of a tall Make.

The Lord justice Clerk addressed the prisoner in the most im-
pressive manner, which affected all present ; he dwelt on the
heinous crime of murder; and the other crimes which he had
been guilty of, for some time, and then warned him to beg
and apply for mercy at the throne of grace, as he could not
expect any here. He then pronounced' the awful sentence of
the law, which was, that he shall be Executed at Edinburgh,
on Wednesday the 18th of July next.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1821   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(16)
Broadside entitled 'Trial and Sentence'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland