An account of the Trial and Sentence,
of Charles and Margaret M'Mahon,
accused of the Murder and Robbery
of a Jew on the easter road to Leith,
Yesterday Charles M'Mahon, and Margaret M'Mahon, were put
to the bar, accused of murder and robbery, or theft, or reset of theft:
in assaulting Alexander Philips, dealer in furs, and having over
powered him, did strangle him by squeezing his throat with their
hands, or by some other means the deceased was deprived of life,
and murdered ; as also robbing the said Alexander Philips of a
green silk shawl, a silver snuff-box, a brown leather . purse silver with
a steel clasp, three watches, and L.40 in notes, gold and silver.
The pannels were libelled for the theft of the above articles, or with
resetting the same,
Moses Henry Leiseheim was called, and sworn in the Jewish
form, with his hat on his head, and oaud upon the old Testament?
He kept a public house in Leith last year, his wife attended in his
absence: she by this means became acquainted with the prisoners.
In May last he moved to Edinburgh, and ill of a dropsy for some
days. On the 16th August, witness met Mr Soloman, (father of
deceased,) and on the Monday following he went to the house of
the pannel,in the Flesh Market Close, to buy of him two gold
watches. He was shown two gold watches, which he agreed to
perchase. On the Tuesday morning, he gave information to Mr
Scott, the procurator fiscal, and got the necessary assistance. He
went to the house alone, the officers remaining outside. His (wit-
ness's) girl, was to get a signal, which was, "go home and tell
your mistress to get my dinner ready." The door being open, he
went in, and found the male prisoner in bed, and the female going
about the house ; he asked her if she had got the watches, she said .
she had, and he gave his girl the signal. The female prisoner put
out her own girl, and locked the door, she then went to a chest,
and took out the watches. To gain time he began to bargain about.
discount, and while going go a rap came to the door, he (witness)
opened it, but before doing so, the woman said, " who can this be;
the officers entered the house and ashed the. pannel if he had any
gold watches to dispose off, he said no, serjeant Sutherland search-
ed a trunk, and took out a red purse, which he gave to Mrs Mahon,
saying she might keep the Pannel was taken to the Police office.
sergeant Grant.desired witness to keep an eye to the woman ; He
then observed her go to a press, in which stosd some cups and sau-
cers; from that the woman took something glittering, and put it in-
to a vessel she was washing in, close by the fireside, Grant search-
ed the water, and took out of it a leather purse, which when wit-
nesssaw,he said you are the murderer of the Jew, for that's his purse.
Grant took the grate out, and, behind it, found a wet cloth ; in this
was a silver snuff-box, which he (witness) knew to be the Jew's
box. Other things were also found, particularly gold and siver
watches'?he, however, took no particular note of them, but ran off
to tell the Jew's friends that the things had been found
Solomon Philips father of the deceased, said that his son left his
house on a monday morning in July last, to buy some watches from
a man in Leith, this was the last time he saw him alive, knew that
his son had L200 in notes, besides L50 in gold, on his person, iden-
tified the silver snuff box.
Margaret Dudhope knows the prisoners, they lodged in 10, coal-
hill, where she lived ; saw a Jew go up the lane where prisoners live
and saw him come down again with M'.Mahon between eight and
nine o'clock, it was sometime after Whitsunday that she saw him
there, perhaps two or three weeks before she heard of the body of
a man being found on the Lochend road.
Dr W. Brown and Mr Charles Watson examined the body when
found,. The state of the neck was such from decay, that they could
not say whether the body had or had not been strangled ; the brain
was in a fluid state; the death must have been sudden.
A pretty long consultation took place between the connsel and the
bench, after which, the Jury consulted, and returned a verdict off not
The pannels were then 'arranged on a second indictment, con-
taining three different charges of theft or reset?the first, stealing
or resetting in 24th July, a gold watch, chain, and seals ; secondly,
with stealing from the London, Leith, Edinburgh, and Glasgow
shipping Company's warehouse at Leith, on 22d August, a leather
trunk, containing wearing apparel, jewellery, &c. or with resetting
the same; and thirdly,?with stealing or resetting on 29th Novem-
ber, a gold watch, chain, and key, &c.
The pannels pleaded guilty to the reset of the articles mentioned
in the two first charges, as libelled.
The Jury returned a verdict of guilty in terms of the confession.
The Lord Justice-Clerk addressed the pannels as to their future
conduct; after which, sentence of transportation for 14 years was
The female prisoner called out, with great bitterness,. " Oh, my
children -my poor children.
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Probable period of publication:
1820-1830 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(66)
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