Trial, Confession and Sentence,
Mr. Robert Irvine Chaplain to Baillie Gordon, who was
this Day Execute at the Green-side betwixt Leith and E-
dinburgh, for Murdering of John and Alexander Gordons.
Brughton. Tolbooth April 30th. 1717.
MR. Robert Irvine Chaplain to James Gordon Merchant Burgess of Edinburgh, be-
ing Indited and Accused at the Instance of the said James Gordon Merchant
Burgess of Edinburgh, and the Procurator Fiscal of Court for their Intrest, for
the Crime Of Murder aftermentioned ; He Compeared before the Honourable Baillie
of the Barrony and Regality of Brughton, and acknowledged. That upon the Twenty
Eight of April instant, being Sunday, he went out with John and Alexander Gordons
Lawful Sons to the said James Gordon alone, to walk towards the Stock bridge and
Tup well, betwixt three and five in the Afternoon, and when they came to an quham
of Grass beside an old Coall or Quarry-hole not far from the said Tup well; He the
said Mr. Robert Irving desired the said John and Alexander Gordons to sit down on the
Grass and play themselves, which they accordingly did, and gathered some Gowans ;
Immediatly after which he the Declarant gripped the said John Gordon by the Throat,
and took out his Penknife and cut the said John his Throat, by which Wound he im-
mediately Dyed; And the other Child Alexander Gordon having run away a
little distance from him, he the Declarant followed him, caught him, and set him
down upon the Ground, and held up his Chin, and cut his Throat with the same
Penknife, by which the said Alexander also Dyed ; After which he the said Mr. Robert
Irvine did Lurk in the foresaid Quarry-hole,and came out thereof, and touch and turn over,
one of the saids Boys, and took up the other from the place where he lay, and carried
him into the said Quarry-hole; And in a very little after, he the said Mr. Robert was
seen and found lying there, with his Right-hand all Bloody, and a Bloody Penknife
therein, and that he gave himself a Cutt or Slash in the Throat with that Pen knife,
and then threw himself back in the Water that was stagnating in the said Quarry-hole,
and one of the saids Boys was found and taken out of the Water; and that he the said
Mr. Robert did endeavour to make away with himself, by tearing his own Throat
with his Fingers, but was prevented by several Persons that did apprehend him, and
bind bis Hands; Likeas, after he was apprehended, and Interrogat what had induc-
ed him to commit so horrid Wickedness, he did Answer, it was a Temptation of the
Devil; And farder Declared, he designed to prosecute the said Barbarous Murder
Three or Four Days before the same was Committed.
Upon which Acknowledgment, he the said Mr. Robert Irvine was Adjudged and
Ordained to be taken to the piece of Ground, called the Green-side, near the High way
that leads from Edinburgh to Leith to Morrow, being the first Day of May, betwixt the
Hours of Two and Four in the Afternoon, and then and there to have both his Hands
struck off upon an Block, by the Hand of the Common Hangman, and thereafter to be
Hanged upon an Gibbet by the Neck, till he be Dead: And ordain his Hands to be
Affixed upon Pales, upon the Top of the Tolbooth of Brughtoun, and his Body to be
Interred in the Quarry hole, near to the Place called the Tup-Well.
The above Sentence being put in Execution, and the Pannel brought to the Gibbet,
attended by Three Ministers, viz. Mr. Thomas Paterson, Mr. Neill Mackvicker, and
Mr. Mungo Clarkson; Declares no more, when his Hands was going to be struck off,
and his Body Hanged up, but that he had no other Occasion nor Provocation, but a
Hard and Cruel Heart, and that he had lyen three several Times in the Bed with Mr.
Gordons Gentlewoman, but had never Committed any Uncleanness with her.
And this is all the Satisfaction they got of him.
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Date of publication:
1717 shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(034g)
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