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Broadside entitled 'The second last speech of Mort Collins'


The second last Speech of Mort Collins, who was execute at Glas-
gow on Wednesday the seventh of Novr, 1792, for the murder
of John Panton, giving an account of his behaviour in prison and
on the scaffold. To which is added the copy of a letter wrote
with his own hand to a friend. Also, the copy of a letter he
received from Capt. Cook, while under sentence of death.               

The unfortunate Mort Collins, some days
Before his execution, seemed to be much a-
gitated in his mind, crying out at times so as
to be heard through the streets; on Monday
morning he received the sacrament from a
priest of the Roman profession, he was attend-
ed on Tuesday night and Wednesday Morn-
ing by some friends of that persuasion.-A-
bout two o'clock, the Magistrates accompa-
nied by the Revd. Dr. Taylor, who attend-
ed at their request went into the Court-hall,
where the prisoner was seated, holding in his
hand the Roman Catholic service book for
prisoners, from which he immediately began
to read, with seeming devotion; the prayers
for prisoners going to, and at, the place of e-
xecution. After these were ended, Dr. Tay-
lor took the opportunity of saying, that, if it
was not disagreeable, he wished to speak with
him a little, and to join in prayer: to this Col-
lins replied, that "your prayers may be very
good, but I do not know any prayers ex-
cept those of my own communion, and by
them I chuse to abide." He then read
the Apostles Creed, and the devotional exer-
cises annexed to it in the Service Book, on
faith, hope, charity, patience, and resignation.
After again declining to join in prayer with
the Minister present, he read, a second time,
the prayers for prisoners going to, and at the
place of execution. He then bowed respec-
tfully to the Magistrates; still declining any
conversation. Having drank a glass of wine,
he walked to the scaffold much agitated; where
he spent some time in reading prayers. He
then ascended the platform, and having taken
farewell of the executioner, he read for some
time on a book afterwards his cap was put over
his face, which he put up several times and
called for the innerkeeper of the tolbooth to
take farewell of him, and soon after he gave
the signal when he was launched into eterni-
ty a little after three o'clock, in the presence
of a great concourse of spectators; and having
hung the usual time, he was cut down, and
the body delivered to the professor of Anato-
my for dissection, agreeably to the sentence
of the Court.   He was born in the County
of Clare, Ireland, and only twenty-two years
of age.            

Copy of a letter from COLLENS to a friend,
Glasgow Tolbooth, 24th Octob, 1792.


"I received your letter,
which gives me a deal of pleasure to hear you
are all well; my dear friends, you may be
sure that I intend to make the best use of my
time that I possibly can, and with the assist-
ance of God, I hope to die in peace with
God and the world, I am now visited by some
of my own profession, which gives me much
pleasure and relief, and in a short time I ex-
pect to have the benefit of some Clergy of
my own profession, which will make me quite
happy in my present miserable state, for no-
thing can give me greater pleasure than to
die in the religion I was brought up to. As
for writing to my parents, I know not what
to think of it; my dear friends, the shock of
it will be insupportable to them, who loved
me with such unbounded tenderness, it can
never be born by them; the distraction it will
cause in them, I am afraid, will end their
days. If possible, I should wish them never
to hear of it, my dear friends, it is not my
horrid destiny that afflicts my troubled soul,
but the unsupportable horror that will seize
my dear parents, that grieves me to the heart;
my dear friends, how different will be the
account that I must be forced to send them
from the last account they received from me,
that was a pleasing account which give them
much delight, but how horrid will this ac-
count of my ignominious death be to them,
they will hear it. O how happy would I be
if they never would hear of it, but it will be
known to them sometime. O blessed be the
name of God that has supported me since I
have fallen by these cruel wretches but it
seems it has been my lot to have fallen.
May he be a support to my afflicted parents
my dear friends, I will wait till those Revd.
Clergy come, and advise with them, for they
know best what to do in it.
Dear sir, I should be glad to see you and your wife, and
Molly before I die, it would give me much
pleasure: when ever you come, I suppose
there will be no hindrance to your seeing
me. You will tell Molly to send them shirts
to us as soon as possible, for the shirts we
have on are very dirty,"

I am,
your unfortunate

Copy of a Letter from Captain COOK.

Edinburgh Castle, the 30th of Octob. 1792.


" I received your letter, and it
gives me great pleasure to find you so calm
and resigned in the midst of your present mis-
fortunes; and whatever your destiny may be,
I trust with the blessing of God, you will be
enabled to meet it with firmness and resigna-
tion to the divine will. I have done every
thing in my power for you, but cannot say
how my exertions will end. I hope you have
every possible comfort and nourishment affor-
ded you that your present unhappy situation
will admit. Put your whole trust and confi-
dence in the tender mercies of Almighty God,
and by so doing (tho' in prison) you will find
yourself light and easy; and be assured that
every happiness may attend you, is the pray-
er and sincere wish of"


* This expression seems to be Ambiguous whom
he refers to.

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Date of publication: 1792   shelfmark: 6.365(080)
Broadside entitled 'The second last speech of Mort Collins'
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