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Broadside showing a letter from Alexander Pennecuik to the Laird of Boghall, and Boghall's reply


A Gentleman's Letter

The Day before his Execution,


SIR,                                          Edinburgh Jan. 5th, 1720/21.

I' M loath to interrupt your Meditations, in the last Hours of Life, from Eternal Objects ;
But the Stain of being imprisoned,   as accessory to your Wife's Murder ; the Desire of
having my Innocence clear'd, and the Slander of the World stopt, makes it necessar I con-
jure you to do Justice to my Character, in giving a Testimony to my Innocence (against
whom groundless Stories, with a nimble Foot,   have spread thro' the Town) and set the
People right in this Particular.   If you do me Justice when you discharge the last Offices
of Life, you'll have a particular Regard to wipe off my unmerited Reproach.   I'm sure, you
dare say nothing to my Prejudice, unless you do Hurt and Violence to your own Conscience.   To
speak Truth, in my Justification, is a necessary Preparative for Death, and to qualifie you for a
happy Immortality.

, I would likewise give you my Advice with respect to Others, mentioned in your Declaration :
Charity obliges me to believe, no dying Person would be guilty of so horrid a Crime, as to palm
upon the World a Volume of Lies: But your drawing a Vail of Silence over the Names of cer-
tain Persons, known to be deep in your Secrets, inclines the World to believe, that either you
conceal the Truth, or the rest of your Assertions are Forgeries; and infallibly, 'twill make the
People censure you when you're without the Reach of Hearing. Tho' I'm far from perswading
you, not to discover wicked Counsellors, who have drawn you unto Ruin; yet I would have you
to abhorr your former keen Resentments, and to soften them by your Representation: Oh, let
not your Malice, set their Faults in too great a Light ! 'Tis, in my Opinion, inconsistent with a
dying Frame, to exaggerate the Errors of our Neighbours : But to leave the World, with En-
ity in its Height and Violence, is an invincible Proof of imperfect Repentance. To forgive
(for it is a God-like Quality) is an essential Condition of obtaining Remission of Sin : When the
World is, by your Declaration, apprised of the Manner in which you have treated others, they'll
be ready to conclude, these foul Streams of Defamation flowed from a polluted Heart, full of
Rancour and Malice : A Temper of Mind that is odious, discovers the Person is not acted with
the Gospel-Spirit. I speak this as the real Thoughts of my Heart ; not to conciliate Favour to
tny self: I give you open Defiance. I can hold up my Face, and say,

Hic murus aheneus esto,

Nil conscire tibi, nulla palescere culpa.

I have always had a tender Respect for you since the Commencement of our Friendship : I
wish to GOD you had followed my Advice; if you had, your Days might have been long in
the Land of the Living. That you may have a comfortable Death, and Assurance of future
Glory, is the ardent Prayer of,


To the Laird of Boghall.                                                    Your Souls Well-wisher,


BOG HALL's Answer.

SIR                           Edinburgh Prison-house, Jan. 5th, 1720/21.

I Received yours, wherein I am sensible, you (according to your former Affection) have given
me your wholsome Advice, to prepare for Death, upon the Confines of which I now stand,
by relating Fact of every Person in the least accessory to any of these Horrid Contrivances intended
so frequently against the Defunct, which, I bless GOD for it, I have done in all Clearness, be-
fore yours came to my Hand;    You very well know you was in Baillie Smith's, which, in rela-
tion of other Things, I could riot escape to mention ; in doing of which, to the outmost of my
Knowledge, I have done neither you nor any other Injustice, as I am to Morrow to appear be-
fore the Supreme Judge ; being all from,                                                            
To Mr. Alexander Pennecuik.                                                             Your humble Servant,

                                                                                                            NI. MUSCHET.

N. B. The Originals are in the Lord Solicitor's Hands.

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Date of publication: 1721   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(053)
Broadside showing a letter from Alexander Pennecuik to the Laird of Boghall, and Boghall's reply
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