Trial & Sentence?
A Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sentence of THOMAS
M'KAY, who stood his Trial before the Special Commission, at Ayr,
on Wednesday, the 9th August, 1820; and who is to be Hanged,"
Beheaded and Quartered, on the 15th September, 1820.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9.
THE Lords Commissioners appointed by the Special Com-
mission of Oyer and Terminer, for Trying all Treasons and
Misprisions of Treasons, committed within the counties of Stir-
ling, Lanark, Dumbarton, Renfrew, and Ayr, opened their
proceedings here on Wednesday morning. The following were
the Lords Commissioners.?The Lord President of the Court o'
Session, the Lord Justice Clerk, the Lord Chief Baron of the
Court of Exchequer, the Lord Chief Commissioner. of the Jury
Court, and Lord Pitmilly. John Hullock, Esq. Serjeant at
Law, assisted at the trials, and Mr. Thomas George Knnpp;
Clerk in the Arraigns of the Home Circuit in England, acted
as Clerk to the Commissioners.
On the part of the Crown the Counsel were the Lord Advo-
cate, the Solicitor-General, Mr. Hullock, Mr. H. H. Drum-
mond, and Mr. Hope, the Lord Advocate's Deputes, Mr. Men-
zies, Mr. Knapp?and Mr. James Arnot, W. S. Agent. On
the opposite side. of the table sat, Mr. J. A. Murray, Mr. Gra-.
ham, Mr. Monteith, Mr. Pyper, Mr. Cullen, Mr. Miller, and
Mr. Sandford, Advocates; and Mr. Harmer, the English Bar-
rister, who, we believe, conducted the trials which lately took
place at Manchester.?Agent, Mr. Fleming. -
The Court met for business in the Justiciary Hall, and was
opened about a quarter past nine o'clock, and in a few min-
utes was crowded with people, who eagerly pushed into
the Court Hall for the purpose of hearing the trials. The
Lord President addressed the Court; after which
JOHN DICKIE, HUGH WALLACE, ANDREW WY-
LIE, and THOMAS M'KAY, were conducted into Court for
trial,all accused of High Treason.
Thomas M'Kay was placed at the Bar, when. Mr. Grant
(who, together with Mr. Sandford, was Counsel for the prison-
ers) stated, that at the request, and by the persuasion of Mr-
Sandford and himself, the prisoner was about to apply to the
Court for liberty to withdraw the plea of Not Guilty, which he
had before pleaded, and to plead Guilty to the fourth count of
the indictment, and to throw himself upon the mercy of the
Crown. Mr. Grant stated, that although M'Kay's participation
of the guilt alleged by the indiclment was not of so aggravated
a nature as that of some others included in the charge who had
escaped punishment, yet he felt it his duly to recommend this
tourse to his cllent, knowing the merclful disposition of His
Majesty, and the soundness of the advice which would be given
by the Lord Advocate and his other advisers on such
The Lord Justice Clerk then stated to the prisoner, that he
must consider the withdrawing of his plea of Not Guilty and
pleadlng Guilty, as.entirely his own not, and that the Court
must in consequence proceed to pass sentence of death upon
him.The prisoner bowed and formally pleaded Not Guilty.
The Lord Advocate stated, it was not his intention to give
the Court any Trouble with respect to the remaining three pri-
soners, but to consent to their acquittal. His Lordship said it
was generally known that the treasonable practices which had
prevailed in the neighbouring counties, to so formidable an ex-
tent, did not make to great a head in this County, and thnt the
persons who had taken the lead in them here had withdrawn
from justice; that 18 persons had been indlcted in this County,
but only four were in custody; that he thought with his Learn-
ed Friend, that those were not so criminal as many others, and
that he was still further inclined to this course of proceeding,
from a conviction that enough had been done to restore the
Country to tranquillity, and to open the eyes of its inhabitants
to their real and true situation.
A Jury was then sworn, and there being no evidence brought
forward against Andrew Wyllie, John Dickie, and Hugh Wal-
lace, they were pronounced to be Not Guilty. They were
then addressed by the Lord Justice Clerk, and dismissed from
the bar, and Thomas M'Kay was brought np to receive his
The Lord Justice Clerk stated, that it was probable the
Royal mercy would be extended to him, at the same time it was
necersary that he should consider himself in a situation of peril
of his life, and exhorted him to repent of his former sins, that
he might be the filter to appear before the Throne of the Al-
mighty; and that, should the Royal clemency be extended tos
wards him, he would not live the worse for having prepared to
die. The sentence was in the following words:?" That you
be taken to the place from whence you came, and that you
be drawn on a hurdle to the place of Execution, on the 15th
September; and after being hung by the neck till you be dead,
that your head be severed from your body, and your body cut
in quarters, to be at the disposal of the King; aud the Lord,
have mercy upon your soul."?The prisoner was then taken-
from the bar without shewing any signs of agitation.
This ends the present Commission. There had been true
Bills found against 88 persons, 58 had not appeared; 24 had
been capitally convicted; and 23 had been acquitted.
Printed by John Muir, Glasgow.
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Date of publication:
1820 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(012)
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