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Broadside entitled 'The Last Speech'


The Last Speech,

Confession and Dying Words, of ROBERT STEWART,
late BOOKBINDER in Edinburgh, who was Executed there
on Wednesday FEBRU. 22d, 1809, for the Crime of
House-breaking and Robbery.

I ROBERT STEWART, Bookbinder, aged 20
years, was born in the City of Edinburgh, of
honest, tho' poor, parents, my Father being but a
labouring man ; who was very industrious for the
support of his Family ; whose example and advice
had I followed, it would have prevented this my
unhappy and shameful end.

After my parents had given me what education
they were able, and brought me up to the years of
discretion, I was bound apprentice to the Bookbind-
ing business ; and after having served out my ap-
prenticeship, I wrought, for some years, as jour-
neyman. But my roving disposition, and the un-
principled companions with which I took up, led
me into some embarasments, which obliged me to
engage as a substitute in the Edinburgh Militia; from
which I deserted three several times, and at last by
the assistance of my friends, procured my discharge.

After I left that service, I wrought at my busi-
ness for some time ; but falling in with loose and
abandoned companions, who led me into all man-
ner of debauchery and wickedness. I become care-
less about my business, frequented houses, of bad
fame, and took up with women of abandoned char-
acter : by which conduct I became icsensible to all
the good instructions and advices my parents and
friends gave me. I was much adicted to night-
walking, and gaming, which brought me to an in-
difference about every thing that was sacred, giving
myself up to sabbath breaking, and delighting in
roving and profane company. This course of life,
and thereby neglecting my business, brought me
into pinching circumstances, and led me to use un-
lawful ways to procure money for the support of my
extravagant course of life, until at last I fell into
that unfortunate-business, of contriving, with the
assistance of my brother, to break the Warehouse
of Mr, MOIR, in Skinner's Closs, for which I am
now most justly to suffer.

Soon after the robbery was committed, we were
apprehended and examined, and many of the arti-   
cles, of which we had disposed; were recovered and
brought to the Council-chamber, in evidence against
us. We at first denied the crime, but, by advice,
my brothers confessed the whole, and became evi-
dences against me for their own safety, for which
I sincerely forgive them, as I was the principle in-
stigator to committing the crime.

It was our misfortune on our trial to plead Not
Guilty, as otherwise we might have petitioned for,
and obtained banishment. But having had a fair
trial, and the crime clearly proven against me ; I
humbly submit to my awful sentence, and forgive
both Judge and Jury in the execution of their duty.

I return my sincere thanks to the Magistrates and
Ministers of the City, for their attention to my con-
venience and confort during my confinement. I
likewise must acknowledge the sympathy, and kind-
ness, of many private Christians who have visited
and comforted me since I received my sentence. I
also return thanks to the Jailor and under turn-keys
for their humanity and sympathy to me, while un-
der their care.

I am happy that my affectionate mother's eyes
are closed from seeing my miserable end; and I hope
that none will be so cruel as to cast up my untime-
ly fate to my surviving parent and relations ; but
rather endeavour to avoid the snares which have
proved my ruin.

And now, O young men, I entreat you to be at-
tentive to the good counsils of your parents, and at-
tend your lawful employments. Avoid night-wal-
king, gaming, drinking, and profane companions,
which has proved my ruin, and will inevitable prove
the same to all who go on in such kwiced courses.

I die in peace with all men, hoping that my mis-
erable end will be a warning to all other young per-


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Date of publication: 1809   shelfmark: APS.3.84.18
Broadside entitled 'The Last Speech'
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