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Broadsides concerning the proceedings of the Circuit Court of Justiciary, Glasgow


A full and particular account of the proceedings of the circuit Court of
Justiciary, which was opened at Glasgow on Tuesday the   20th of Sep-
tember 1791; with the sentence of the different Criminals, when two
persons received sentence of death.

Tuesday the 20th of Septr. 1791, at ten o'clock, the
Circuit court of Justiciary was opened here, by
the Honourable, the Lords Hailes and Stonefield, and
after prayer by the Revd. Dr. Taylor Minister of the
High Church, the Jury were called, and two persons
of the Jury not appearing, they were fined in one
hundred merks Scots for not appearing; Lord Hailes
descanted a little on the defect of the law, which sub-
jected those jury-men. not appearing only to the above

James Plunket, late soldier in the 35th Regt. was
then brought to the bar, accused of having robbed
Robert Wilson, silver-smith in Glasgow, who by
flattery induced him to convoy the said Plunket (who
is a native of Ireland) home to his quarters, which he
said was at the foot of the New Vennel, and having
accompanied him there, he robbed him of his silver
watch, some small silver, and shoes and buckles. The
Indictment being read, he pled not guilty, the usual
interlocutor was pronounced, finding the Indictment
relevent to infer the pains of law, &c.

The first witness that was called, was Robert Wil-
son, who deponed, of his being robbed on the even-
ing of the 2Oth of April last of the articles above men-
tioned, and that the prisoner at the bar was the person
who did so, with this aggravating circumstance, of his
throwing him to the ground, and afterwards present-
ed a sharp instrument to his breast until he robbed
him of the above articles, and struck him a severe
blow on the temples, and made off The silver watch
and buckles were found upon the pannel when he was
apprehended, and the shoes on a broker's stall to
whom they had been disposed of, they were all clearly
proven to be the property of Mr. Wilson. The Ad-
vocate depute then summed up the evidence for the
Crown, and Mr. Connel Advocate for the pannel,
Lord Hailes summed up the evidence to the Jury and
ordered them to inclose, and return their verdict to-
morrow at nine o'clock. The Court then adjourned
to five o'clock this night.

At five the Court met according to adjournment,
when   George   Davidson, son   of James Davidsbn
Wright in Thurso, in the County of Caithness, In-
dicted and accused of feloniously forging and uttering
two bills, one of which was discounted at the Thistle
Bank for L 10 : 16 : 0 and the other discounted at
the Royal Banking office in Glasgow for L 68 15 9.
The Indictment being read to him, he pled not guilty,
On which Mr. Muir, Advocate, pled that the pannel
was insane and therefore, could not, in that case, be
an object of punishment, in consequence, Mr. Parlane,
Surgeon was called, and several other witnesses, to
prove the pannel's insanity, but this not having been
done to the satisfaction of the Court, The usual in-
terlocutor was pronounced, finding the libel relevant
to infer the pains of law, and remitted the pannel to
the knowledge of an assize, but allowed him to prove
all facts and circumstances tending to alleviate or ex-
culpate his guilt;   several witnesses being examined,
who all deponed to the two bills having been discount-
ed at the different banks, and the pannel having got
the money.    The Advocate depute summed up the
evidence on the part of the Crown, as did Mr. Muir
Advocate for the pannel, in a very able and pathetic
speech.    Lord Hailes gave a suitable charge to the
Jury, after which they were ordered to inclose, and
to return their verdict to-morrow at nine o'clock, to
which time the Court adjourned, the pannel was or-
dered to be carried back to prison in the presence of his
aged father, who was sitting in Court during the trial.
Wednesday the 21st, the Court again met according
to appointment, when George Davidson was brought
to the bar, when the Jury returned their verdict, all
in one voice,   finding the libel proven.    The Court
delayed pronouncing lenience till to-morrow nine
o'clock.    Thereafter, was brought to the bar, James
Plunket, when the Jury also returned their verdict all

in one voice, finding the libef also proven. The Court
delayed pronouncing sentence till the time foresaid,

John Turner, Andrew Neilson, Andrew Park,
John Smith, Garters; and Andrew Arniel, Flesher-
all in Glasgow, Indicted for throwing Margaret Mit-
chell from a window one story high in the Goosedubs
upon the 19th of April 1791, whereby her leg was
broke and she died next day, were sugitated for non-

Next was called upon, James Calder and Peter
M'lintock, Indicted for attacking a soldier upon a
Sunday evening when returning from roll-calling, and
stabbing him in a cruel manner, to the danger of his
life, were also sugitated for non-appearance

Next was brought to the bar, Thomas Morrison ;
weaver in Glasgow, accused of house-breaking and
theft, and being asked if he was guilty of the crimes
charged, he made answer, that he was upon which,
the Advocate depute restricted the libel to an arbitrary
punishment, and the Jury having inclosed in respect
of his ovn acknowledgement, they in a short time
returned with their verdict all in one voice finding
the libel proven The Court delayed pronouncing
sentence till the above time.

The Advocate depute, on account of some certain
circumstances deserted the diet pro loco et tempure, a-
gainst Elizabeth Weir and Christian Cameron ; alias
Agnes M'Kechnie, the one for theft and reset of theft
and the last for housebreaking and theft, new war-
rants were granted till liberate in due course of law-
Thereafter was brought to the bar, John Millar,
wright at Stonehouse, accused of theft, when he pre-
sensed a petition, craving to be banish'ed, to which
the Advocate depute consented, the court likewise de-
layed passing sentence till the time abovementioned.

Thereafter was brought to the bar, Elizabeth,
Swinton, who called herself wise of Joseph Philpot,
soldier in his Majesty's 35th Regiment- of foot, ac-
cused of tbe murder of her own child, on the 29th of
Novr, 1790, by throwing it into the river Clyde-
Next was brought to the bar, Helen Ballantine, and
Jean Miller, residenters in Hamilton accused of these
by means of house breaking, when they all petitioned
for banishment, to which the advocate depute consen-
ted, the Court also delayed passing sentence till the
time before specified. After which, Archibald Wil-
son, wright in Pollockshaws, accused of murder,
being called in Court, and at the door of the Courr-
house, and not appearing was declared to be a fugi-
tive from his Majesty's laws and put to the Hern,
There being no other business to be done in the
Court this day, they adjourned till to-morrow morn-
ing at nine o'clock.

Thursday, at the hour appoined, the Court met,
when Elizabeth Swinton was brought to the bar, and
banished Scotland for life. Next, Jean Miller and
Helen Ballantine were banished Scotland, the one for
for fourteen years and she old woman for life. Next,
Thomas Morrison was banished beyond seas for life,
and his service adjudged for seven years, with certifi-
cation if he return, he is to suffer death. Next, was
brought to the bar, George Davidson and James Plun-
ket, who received sentence., To be carried back to
prison, and there to be detained until the 26th day of
October next, and on that day, betwixt the hours of
two and four afternoon, to be taken from thence to
the common place of execution and hung by the neck
till they be dead. They both behaved in a very be-
coming manner, far beyond what might have been
expected from men in their unhappy circumstances.

Lord Hailes gave all that were present solid advices
especially the younger part of the audience, and warn-
ed them to beware of levity and dissipation, and to
mind their lawful employments, and by honest indu-
stry gain a livelyhood for themselves and families, and
never to live above their incomes.

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Date of publication: 1791   shelfmark: 6.365(085)
Broadsides concerning the proceedings of the Circuit Court of Justiciary, Glasgow
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