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

Broadside regarding the trial and sentence of Robert Scott


full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sen-
tence of ROBERT SCOTT, who is to be Execut-
ed at the spot where he committed the horrid deed,
on Wednesday 29th October, 1823, for the barbar-
ous Murder of James Aitcheson, Cooper, and Ro-
bert, Sim, Horse-dealer, Greenlaw, on the road near
Earlston, on the 30th of June last, and his Body to
be sent to Dr MUNRO, Edinburgh, for Dissection.

On Tuesday the 16th September, 1823, came on, before the
Circuit Court of Justiciary, at Jedburgh, the trial of RO-
BE.RT SCOTT, Game-keeper, accused of " wickedly, maliciously,
and feloniously attacking and assaulting the deceased James Aitche-
son, cooper in Greenlaw, and county of Berwick, and the deceased
Robert Sim, horse-dealer in Greenlaw aforesaid, and did, with a
sheep-stake, or bludgeon, or stone, or some, other lethal weapon, to
the prosecutor unknown, cruelly and barbarouely inflict various
severe blows and wounds upon the persons of the said James
Aitchison and Robert Simm, whereby the head and left leg of the
said Robert Simm, were fractured and broken, and the head of the
said James Aitchison was severely wounded; and did, likewise,
with a knife, or other sharp instrument, to the prosecutor unknown,
in a cruel and barbarous manner, cut and slit the noses of the said
James Aitchison and Robert Simm ; in consequence of all which
they were both bereaved of life," &c.

To which the prisoner replied, " No, my Lord, they attacked
me, and I am not Guilty," and bowed reapectfully. Witnesses
were then called, the two first proved, that the deceased and the
prisoner had been quarrelling on the road, and that the latter's face
had been bleeding. The third witness deponed, I was at Earlstoun
fair on the 30th of June last, and on my road home overtook the
prisoner between seven and eight o'clock in the evenidg. Broom-
field and Stark were near him, and so were Simm and Aitcheson.
The Prisoner told me that Sim and Aitcheson abused him. Neither
Broomfield nor Stark made any observation when he said so. I con-
tinued with the prisoner, Aitcheson, and Sim, for some time, and
then went on with Stark and Broomfield, who, however, left me on
our approaching Fans. I observed Sim and Aitcheson washing the
prisoner's face at a well near Fans, but saw no more of them till
they came to my own house, which is situated towards the of the
east-end of the village. It was now near nine o'clock. The pri-
soner ordered me to take Simm into custody, but I refused, telling
him I neither had authority, nor saw any occasion for it, and advi-
sed them to go home good friends. Simm and Aitcheson did ac-
cordingly walk away after having shaken hands with me. When
the prisoner wanted Simm taken into custody, the latter said he
was willing to go before any person he chose. Simm and Aitche-
son were out of sight before the prisoner left my door. He then
went a few yards along the road, but returned with a bundle he had
in his hand, and said he would thank me to keep it till he called
for it. He assigned no reason for leaving the bundle. On going
away, he took hold of the spar of a gate, with the intention as I
thought of pulling it off, but sueeed. When he was gone, 1 stood
speaking awhile to George Mercer, joiner in Fans, when, on going
east the road a little, we heard some cries. I then said to Mercer,
" They have got quite forward, we will just return again." On
our way back to Fans we met Philip Duff, and Mercer told him
that some persons had had words upon the road, and as he was
afraid of mischief happening, he advised him to push on and pre-
vent its taking place. Andrew Robertson is a mason, and resides
at Henless. I saw him between ten and eleven oclock, about an
hour and a half after the prisoner had left my house, and he told
me that one man had been killed on the moor, and another was fast
dying, and desired me to call assistants and go east. I did so, but
the men had by this time been removed to Lightfield.

Several other witnesses were examined in support of the charge,
whose evidence having been gone through, Mr Dundas addressed
the Jury for the crown, and Mr Lockhart for the prisoner. Lord
Pitmilly recapitulated the evidence, and gave a most clear, distinct,
and impressive charge to the Jury, who retired from the court, and
who, in about 8 minutes, returned, finding, by an unanimous ver-
dict, the prisoner Guilty. The Judge, next day, pronounced on the
unhappy man, the awful sentence of the law, which was," that
he should be, on Wadnesday, the 29th day of October, next,|deliver-
ed over by the Sheriffs of Roxburghshire, to the Sheriffs of Ber-
wickshire, to be by them taken to the most convenient place for
execution, near to the spot where the murders were committed, and
there hanged by the neck till he be dead, and afterwards the body
to be given to Dr. Monro for dissection."

Edinburgh: Printed for Allan Grant... Price One Penny.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1823   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(46)
Broadside regarding the trial and sentence of Robert Scott
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland