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Broadside entitled 'The last speech, confession and dying words'


                                                    T    H    E          L A S T               

          S P E E C H


Who was executed at the Cross of Glasgow, on Wednesday,   16th of May, 1798,   

for the horrid Crime of Murder, committed on the Body of ALEXANDER MOODIE,   

late Gardener in Glasgow.                     

JOHN M'MILLAN, aged fixty-two years, was
    born at head of Lochell near Fort William, of
   honest    and   creditable   parents;    at    which
time,   and for many years after my birth, no
    ool was in that part of the country, which I now
      to my great loss, as on that account I received no
      anner of education .whatever :   and at a very early
      riod of life I was put to the herding of Lochell's cattl-
      e,   which I continued at for some years thereafter
      nlisted in the Queen's highlanders, in which regi-

      nt I served honestly and faithfully for several years
      road; after I was discharged therefrom, I returned
    ome to my own country, and again betook myself
      the herding of cattle for twelve months, or there-
      y; I began to turn tired of the busimess, I then in-
      sted in the Scots Fusileers;   and after remaining in
      Britain for some time, the regiment went abroad:
    That being always of a hasty passion, I committed

      many acts of cruelty,   which I do not chuse to men-
       ion.    I always paid proper attention to my duty, as
       soldier ; and had the good will of my officers, hav-
       ng always kept myself clean and sober.    I was at last
       discharged, and recommended to Chelsea College, af-
       er remaining in London for sometime, and having
       passed the board, I returned home to Scotland; and
       having wrought for several years as a labourer to,
and for different respectable gentlemen in Glasgow :
I had not only their good-will, but also the good-will
of my fellow-labourers,   who wrought as servants
with, and for those gentlemen, that were pleased to
employ me.    That having tired of the business being
a labourer, I took up a public house, and kept a small
grocery shop; I did remarkably well for some years,
and was making money:   and had the good-will of,
and was beloved by neighbours around me.

At last having become acquainted with Alexander
Moodie, we had dealings together for some consider-
able time, and a good understanding daily subsisted
betwixt us till some time in the month of September,
one thousand, seven hundred, and ninety one, he cal-
led on me, at my house, in the bridgegate of Glas-
gow, and presented to me an account for payment;
and finding that it was not convenient for me to set-
tle it; or rather that the account was not just, I fell
into a great passion, which I was too apt to do, and
which I now feel to my sorrow, I furiously ran to
where my dagger lay, and in the height of passion,
plunged the same into him. That, so soon as I did
so, I immediately made my escape, as I judged with
myself that the wound I had given him was mortal,
and that he would not recover; and went to the
Highlands, and strolled about from place to place,
my conscienee having always checked me, I could
not get rest day nor night, when I considered with
myself the cruel and inhuman murder that I had com-

I at last went to London, and betook myself to
such employment as I could get; and thereafter be-
came a watchman, but was always apprehensive, and
afraid of being apprehended; the more particularly
so, as I saw some persons in London, who knew me
in Glasgow, and was conscious to themselves that I
hed murdered Moodie, at least had escaped from
Glasgow as being charged with the murder, I made
it my study to keep in with them as far as in my
power lay, and now and then gave them a hearty
glass; they were so prudent as never to speak with me
on the subject, as to the murder of Moodie, which
somewhat enlightened my spirits, my conscience at
the same time was always troubling me: notwith
standing whereof, and of all which, I afterward
committed some acts of violence and outrage when in

A certain person having accused me of having cri-
minal connection with my landlady, which I did not
like to be spoke of although true; I thereon fell in
passion, and stabbed and wounded him with a pen
knife in different places; that I was thereon immedi
ately apprehended, and committed to prison, when
stabbed myfelf with the said pen-knife, which was im-
mediately taken notice of by the blood flowing from
me: a surgeon was called for, and the wound was
sewed up. Where, after remaining for some time
and having undergone an examination, no proof being
brought against me, I was liberated, as the man and
recovered from our wounds, prior to which, it was
given out in Glasgow, that I was apprehended, and
taken up for killing a man in London. Had I know
after I was liberated, that I was to have been trouble
as to Moodie, after remaining so long in London,
would have made my escape therefrom, but to my
surprise I was taken up, and apprehended by a Mr.
Williamson, messenger in Edinburgh, and thereafter
brought there, and committed prisoner to the
tolbooth of said place, where, after remaining to
some time, I was transmitted prisoner to, and lodged
in the tolbooth of Glasgow : where, after remain
for a short space, the circuit Lords justly condem
me to suffer death for the murder of the said Alexan-
der Moodie.                                             

I acknowledge the justness of my sentence.   
turn my sincere thanks to the ministers of the go
elders, and others, for their pains, trouble and a
tion, in endeavouring to instruct me in the princ
of religion, and for the many prayers they have pu
for me,   and to the magistrates of the city for
kindness in frequently visiting me, since I received
sentence, and for the many good advices they
given me, and to the keepers of the prison, wh
all times treated me with all manner of civility,
gave ready access, at all times, to ministers and
godly persons to visit me.    I would recommend
persons, beholding this my untimely end, to
warning by me, and not to let their passion over
them, and I request of every person, who know
sees, or hears of this my untimely end, not to up
or cast up the same to those of my friends, relat[   ]
or connections.    I   die a member of the church of
Scotland,   and I forgive all men that have any
injured me,   and I pray that God for Christ
may pardon all my sins.                           

Into thy hands, O God, I commit my spirit.


ROBERT HAMILTON, Head Jailor, }   Witne
and JOHN RODGER, Inner turnkey.}

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Date of publication: 1798   shelfmark: 6.365(095)
Broadside entitled 'The last speech, confession and dying words'
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