The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'A full and particular account'

Transcription

A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of
JAMES STEVENSON, who was Hanged at
Glasgow, on Wednesday Morning, the 1st of June,
1825, for Highway Robbery; with an Interesting
Account of his Life and Transactions.

GLASGOW, June 1, 1825,....The unfortunate individual upon
which the sentence of the law was put in force this morning,
was convicted, at our last Circuit Court, of highway robbery, in   
company with one Swinie, (who was outlawed) by attacking Mr
John Brown on the night of the 19th of January last, on the Cath-
cart Road, near the Fireworks, and violently assaulting him to the
effusion of his blood and the imminent danger of his life, and robb-
ing him of 25 in cash, two watches, and a variety of other articles.

Stevenson was found Guilty on the clearest evidence, and on pass-
ing sentence, Lord Pitmilly addressed him as follows:?" Painful
as the duty is, I feel it my duty, indeed, it is a duty which law and
Justice demands of me, to pass on you the awful sentence of this
Court, for the grievous and wicked offence of which you have been
convicted, and that too, upon the most clear and positive grounds.
The crime of highway robbery is one that has always been punish-
ed with the utmost rigour, and most deservedly so, for it is one
that most materially affects the safety and well-being of the popula-
tion at large.    You cannot, I think, offer any thing in extenuation
of your crimes; for although the individual on whom you made
your ruthless attack, escaped with his life, there is every reason to
believe it was more the design of providence, than the wish of you
and your ruthless associates.    Nothing could exceed the base and
deliberate manner in which you committed this offence.   You went
out, at least you and your gang, coolly and feloniously to seize upon
your prey, and your victim that night was an old man....unattended,
whom you first beat to the ground, and who no sooner raised him-
self on his legs, than you, or two or more of you, made another
unmanly attack upon his person, and robbed him of every article,
either of cash or otherwise, and even made off with his hat," His
Lordship then warned him to prepare for the terrible sentence of
death,'for crimes of the above description could not be allowed to
pass without the most rigorous punishment inflicted which the laws
of this country awarded.

Stevensen was about 21 years of age, and born at the village of
Muirhouses, a little to the south of this City; his father was a sea-
faring man, but died many years ago- He received an education
suitable to his station, and at the proper time he was sent to learn

the trade of a shoemaker, at which he continued about three years

when he left it: he was also a shart time, engaged as a turner, but
he soon relenquished it, and having fallen into bad company, he
committed several petty depredations. He was at last detected in
robbing a gentleman's house in the Gorbals, for which he was
committed to Bridewell.....Latterly he bad been employed in one of
the boats in rising Sand from the bed of the river. In the month
of march last a shop belonging to a Jew, in King Street, was broken
into and robbed of watches and other jewellery articles to the value
of 200 sterling, and all hopes of discovering the thieves had been
given up; but the robbers having quarrelled among themselves
about the division of the booty, one of them gave information
against Stevenson, when he was immediately apprehended, and in
the course of the investigation of the shopbreaking it was discovered
that he had also been guilty of the crime for which he this morning
forfeited his life on the gallows?another solemn warning to all
who are walking in the paths of crime, to turn from their evil ways,
for sooner or later detection will take place, and punishment will
assuredly follow.                                                               

Dr. Dewar, Dr. M' Lean, and Mr Morrison, chaplain of the prison,
were assiduous in their spiritual exertions for his eternal welfare,
and to whose pious exhortations he paid the greatest attention. He
freely acknowledged the justice of his sentence, and candidly own-
ed that it was he alone who struck Mr Brown with the stab at the
time he was robbed.    Since his condemnation he gave information
that a number of the watches and other jewellery articles, taken
from the Jew's shop, would be got below the sand in the bottom of
the boat in which he wrought, and upon searching it they were
found and delivered up to the proper owner.    A petition was pre-
sented to Government in his favour, but the violent outrage on the
laws of which he had been found guilty, precluded the extension of
the Roya blemency towards him.

The usual time of execution was changed, on the present occasion,
from betwixt 2 and 3 in the afternoon, to betwixt 8 and 10 in the
morning, and consequently the croud began to assemble at an early
hour. Soon after 8 o'clock the culprit was brought into the Court-
hall, and after some time had been spent in devotion, he proceeded
to the scaffold, and when the fatal cord had been adjusted, he utter-
ed a short prayer, when the drop fell, and he was launched into
enternity.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1825   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(113)
Broadside entitled 'A full and particular account'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland