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Broadside concerning the trial of Robert Ferguson


'An Account of the Trial of ROBERT FERGUSON, before the Circuit Court of Jus-

ticiary at Inverness, which was opened on the 15th of September, 1812, for the wilful

Murder of CAPTAIN CHARLES MONRO, of his Majesty's 42d Regiment, and for

which crime he is to be executed at Inverness, on Friday the 30th of October next, and his

Body given for Dissection.

THE Circuit Court of Justiciary com-
menced sitting at Inverness on Tuesday
the 15th of September,   1812, before the
Right Hon. the Lord Justice Clerk, and
Lord Hermand.

Robert Ferguson, indicted for the wilful
murder of Captain Charles Monro,some time
of his Majesty's 42d Regiment of Foot, was
brought to the bar. On the diet being
called, the prisoner's Counsel craved an ad-
journment to the following day, in order that
certain witnesses to be adduced in exculpa-
tion, and not yet arrived, might have time
to come up. The Court delayed the trial,
in order that the prisoner might lose no ad-
vantage which the testimony of these wit-
nesses could afford him.

On Wednesday, Robert Ferguson was a-
gain brought to the bar, and the following
written defence lodged for him:?"Denies
the murder, but acknowledges the slaughter,
by a knife held up in self-defence." The libel
having been found relevant, and remitted
to an Affize, the following witnesses were ad-
duced in support of the prosecution:?

George M'Donald, Surgeon in Cromarty,
was called upon to see the deceased on the 2d
of June last. The Doctor found him in bed,
in the house of George Thomson, a cart-
wright in Chapeltown. On uncovering his
body, the witness found a wound penetrat-
ing the left side of the cavity of the belly,
about three inches in length, and a great
quantity of the small intestines protruded?
the outer coat of part of the intestines being
partially cut. On examining the wound,
the witness immediately considered it to be
mortal, not only from the quantity of in-
testines which had been protruded, but from
the dark and inflamed colour of the whole.
The witness lost no time in returning the in-
testines, but, owing to the narrowness of the
incision in the muscular substance, in pro-
portion to the quantity of intestines protrud-
ed, he was under the necessity of enlarging
the wound before they could possibly be re
turned. The deceased gave the witness no
other account of his misfortune than that the
wound had been inflicted by a knife; that all
the provocation he gave was taking the man
by the collar of the coat, and attempting to
turn him out of Thomson's shop?adding,
that " he wished he had fallen in the field of
battle," Captain Monro died about eight
o'clock the following evening, and witness
is of opinion that his death was occasioned
by inflammation and consequent mortifica-
tion; nor does he believe that although sur-

gical assistance had been instantly afforded to
the deceased, his-life could have been saved,
owing to the extent of membrane which had
been wounded and exposed.

George Home, apprentice to Geo. Thom-
son, black-smith at Chapeltown, was on the
2d of June last in his master's shop. The
deceased came into the smithy about five in
the evening; Pannel entered soon after; the
witness heard Ferguson and the deceased
swearing at each other; heard the Pannel call
Captain Monro a d-?d b??r, on which
the Captain pushed him out of the smithy.
Pannel soon after returned, and came for-
ward as if to attack the Captain, who de-
fended himself with a switch he held in his
hand. Pannel followed him close, and struck
him with a knife, on which the deceased im-
mediately called out, " I'm gone, take hold
of the man." Pannel went and stood with-
out the door, and Capt. Monro followed,
hold ing in his intestines with his hands, and
again called out, " Why do you not seize
the murderer?" Pannel was thrown down,
and the knife taken from him, and, on being
held fast, he offered to go willingly with wit-
ness to a neighbouring Justice. The deceas-
ed was in the mean time taken into Thomson's
house by Mrs. Thomson, and put to bed,?-
On the way to the Justice of Peace, in cus-
tody of this witness and his fellow workman,
he suddenly stopped and refused to go further
without a warrant, threatening to use any man
who should offer to seize or detain him as he
had done the deceased.

Alexander Munro, corroborated the tes-
timony of George Home; said the Pannel
stabbed the Captain twice.

Mrs. Thomson was called out of her house
when the accident happened. Saw Captain
Monro standing near the door of the smithy,
holding his hands to the wound; she helped
him into the house and put him to bed. He
said, some time after, " I did not think the
man would have done this to me; God knows
I would not have done it to him; we had but
a few words, and I only put my hand to the
back of his neck to throw him out for giving
me insolent language."

John Home, in exculpation, deponed that
Capt. Monro " was a warm hearted man,
but rather rash when any thing vexed him."

The evidence being summed up, Lord
Hermand charged the Jury, who returned
a verdict, finding the Pannel Guilty. He was
sentenced to be hanged at Inverness, on Fri-
day 3oth October next, and his body given
for dissection.

T. Duncan, Printer, Saltmarket, Glasgow,

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Date of publication: 1812   shelfmark: 6.365(101)
Broadside concerning the trial of Robert Ferguson
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