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Broadside regarding the execution of Charles McEwen


correct and Particular Account of the Execution
of CHARLES M'EWEN, commonly called " The
Cock of the North," who was Hanged on Wednes-
day the 7th April 1824, at the head of Libberton
Wynd, Edinburgh, for the Barbarous Murder of
Margaret Mooney, in October last, on a Moor in
Aberdeenshire ; and his Body given for Dis-
section, with his Behaviour at the Place of Execu-

                                                       Edinburgh, 7th April, 1821.

THIS day, the unfortunate CHARLES M'EWEN, alias M'EOCH,
and commonly known in the north of Scotland by " the
Cock of the North" ended his mortal career on a Scaffold, at the
head of Libberton Wynd here, pursuant to his sentence.

This unfortunate man was a native of Ireland, and assumed va-
rious names, as circumstances suited him, but was best known by
M'Ewen. He left Ireland about ten years ago, and travelled prin-
cipally in the Counties of Forfar, Aberdeen, and Inverness, as a
Tinker, and vender of Hardware, &c. He had various women
with whom he cohabited as man and wife, and several children.
The unhappy woman Margaret Mooney, had been with him only
a few days at the time of the murder. Thay were travelling to-
gether, on the 9ih of October last, through the Firmouth, an un.
inhibited moon or mountain near the junction of the shires of
Aberdeen and Forfar; and, as was proved on his trial, he delibe-
rately murdered her in the most barbarous manner., by striking her
on the head with a small Iron anvil, without any provocation what-
ever, in consequence of which she died on the spot, .and for which
he was soon after apprehended.

Having emitted two several declarations before the Sheriff-Sub
Stitute of Aberdeenshire, in which he denied any knowledge of the
circumstance, except seeing the body lying; all bloody as he passed,
he forced on his trial, by running his letters.    Accordingly, he was
brought from Aberdeen Jail to Edinburgh, and tried before the-
High Court of Justiciary, on the 1st of March last; and, after the
fullest investigation, was unanimously fonnd Guilty by a respect-
able Jury.    After a most impressive address from the Lord Justice
Clerk, in which he recommended to him to employ the few remain-
ing days allowed him on earth in the important works of repent-
ance, and to endeavour, by the deepest contrition and heartfelt sor-
row for his past offences to make his peace with that God against
whom he had so heinously sinned, by the perpetration of a crime,
of all others the most foul and detestable, he was sentenced to be
hanged by the. hands of the common executioner, on Wednesday
he 7th of April next, at the head of Libberton Wynd, betwixt the
hours of eight and ten in this morning ; and his Body thereafter to
be given to Dr Alexander Munro, to be dissected and anatomized.
To which he immediately replied, " Thank your Lordship, but I'll
die innocent"

During the whole trial, as well as the delivery of this address
and pronouncing the awful sentence, M'Ewen appeared quite firm
and hardened, nor had he, for a considerable time after his condem-
nation, evinced a becoming sense of his melancholy situation. Nei-
ther the certainty of the awful fate which was shortly to overtake
him, nor the reflections to which his crime and his punishment
were likely, in solitude, to give rise, had produce any salutary im-
pression on his mind , but, on the contrary, seemed to repel any
advances of kindness from these about him. To the inquiries of
one gentleman he abrubtly replied," I am not the better of you,
nor any like you." To another gentleman, in an official situation, he
betrayed similar impatience, and haughtily expressed a wish that he
night not receive any more visits of such a nature. As to.the af-
fair that brought him there, he added, it was a matter that concern-
ed himself alone. He was very restless, and continnually moving
to the full extent of the chain allowed him in this respect differ-
ing from almost every one who was placed in the like unhappy cir-
cumstances, while others sought repose, or were sunk into despon
dency, he was ever in motion. Latterly, however, he entertained
feelings better Suited to his situation. He was a Catholic and was
regularly attended by three clergy men of that persuasion, to whose ex-
hortations, in a great measure, must have been Ascribed the change in
his behaviour. He was a tall stout, man, about thirty-six years of

Edinburgh, Printed, for Alexr. Turnbull, Price One Penny.

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Date of publication: 1824   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(54)
Broadside regarding the execution of Charles McEwen
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