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Broadside entitled 'The last speech and dying words'




Potatoe Merchant
AND Mealmonger,

Who underwent the awful Sentence of the Law, on Wednesday the
14th January, 1824, and his body hung in chains on the hill of
Ballengiech, for the abominable crime of Forstalling the Meal and
Potatoe Markets, and thereby raising the price of Provisions.

IT may be necessary, in the first place, to
say that the unfortunate man was faithfully
warned by the voice of a descrning public, of
the evil consequences attendant on such a con
duct, ond that in the end, it would infallibly
lead to shame, disgrace, and ruin?but, awful
to relate, he still rushed on his mad career,
until the iron hand of Justice arrested him.?
As his crime was so justly detested by the
people at large; he was no sooner tried than
he was, by a plurality of voices found Guilty.
Sentence was then passed by the Judge, which
was as follows :?

" You notorious criminal who are now found
guilty, must, without the least hope of mercy
be HANGED by the neck until you be dead!
dead! dead! &c. &c. and your body bung in
chains on the hill of Ballingeich, with your
crime printed in capital letters placed over its
head?-your flesh food for the fowls of the air,
and your bones bleached with the sun and
rains of Heaven; that all who pass by may
know for what you suffer, and also that the
shocking crime of forestalling the Meal mar-
ket may be abhorred by the public to all fu
ture generations."

In consequence of the above sentence, the
unfortunate man, dressed in green clothes,
with a small bag of oatmeal in one hand, and
a potatoe in the other was conducted to the
gallows?where he in a short, but impressive
speech, addressed the audience as follows:?

" My dear fellow merchants, citizens, and
all present, you see what I am to suffer, and
all for the sake of Meal and Potatoes. I hope
you will take warning by my example, and
never try to enrich yourself by pinching the
bellies of the poor. I do confess that I suffer
justly, for my crime has been great in its nature,
evil in its tendency, pernicious in its design,
and awful in its end. Its nature was bad, for
it involved in it the crime of Sabbath-breaking,
for I have often proclaimed it at the Parish
Churches all round the country, which had the

evil tendency of taking off the attention of the
people from the solemn truths their pastor
had been teaching them?and the whole con
versation turned on the price of Meal and Po
tatoes. My design was truly pernicious, as I
intended to enrich myself by starving the poor.
And now you see the end is truly awful! I am
to suffer justly; and awful to say I die guilty!
My dear neighbours, I see I must have done
as it evidently appears I have few friends
here?-the very children exult in my death, as
the little rogues they devour their pieces of
cake loaded with butter, and munch their po-
tatoes and salt?the very hangman himself is
divested of all compassion towards unworthy
me--? do you not hear him saying, ' I shall soon
do the job-?Meal and Potatoes will soon be
cheap.' Therefore, soon I must suffer, and
all for the sake of Meal and Potatoes. I hope
my dear neighbours, you will all have the good-
ness to grant me the last request I shall ever
make, as it is with my dying breath- I request
that none of you will ever eat of Meal or Po-
tatoes, without remembering that 'thus I suf
fer for the exhorbitant prices of them." '

No sooner had the unfortunate man uttered
these words, than he made the signal to the
executioner, by dropping a small bag of oat-
meal from the one hand, and a potatoe from
the other, and was immediately launched from
the present into an eternal world. The hang-
man then exclaimed, I have done the job,
Meal and Potatoes will be cheap.' The popu-
lace hailed his exit with three loud huzzas---__
one solitary voice cried out ' unfortunate man!'
which was soon traced to the young wife of a
farmer who had come to the market with meal
and potatoes, but, by the death of the unfor-
tunate Forestaller, was deprived of the high
price his commodities lately sold for.

He was attended in his devotions by the
Rev. Josiah Habakkuk of Ballengeich, and Je-
didiah Harrowfield, non conformist Minister
of Stibbleton.

printed by JOHN MUIR,Glasgow.

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Date of publication: 1824   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(103)
Broadside entitled 'The last speech and dying words'
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