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

Broadside entitled 'Execution'



Of James Anderson and David Glen, who suffered
at Ayr, oh Friday the 12th of December 1823
for the Murder of Mr John M'Clure, while re-
turning from Ochiltree Sacrament to Ayr, with
an account of their Behaviour in confinement and
the prayer which they put up on the Scaffold.

Ayr, December 12th, 1826.?This day, the men mentioned above, underwent the
ignominious punishment attached to the crime of murder, which they committed "on
the body of Mr John M'Clure, on Sunday the 6th of July last. In the course of the
afternoon, the prisoners entered the Holmston toll-house, without-paying for the drink,
and carrying away with them several articles belonging to the landlady. This led to
more disgraceful proceedings; some respectable men "and women they abused in the
most opprobrious language, but. being in a car, they increased the speed of the horse
and made their escape.

A number of witnesses proved that the prisoners met M'Clure, and struck and abus-
ed him in such a brutal and violent manner, that death ensued in a short time there-
after. The deceased was a quite inoffensive man, and an elder of the church.

During their confinement, which was partly in Edinburgh, arid for the last. 3 weeks
here, where they arrived on the 17th Nov. under a proper escort, they behaved in a
manner which became men on the brink of an eternal world. They were assisted in
their devotional exercises by several of the Ministers of Ayr, who paid every attention
to their spiritual welfare. They expressed deep contrition for the crime which they
were to suffer for, and entertained the hope that their numerous sins would be forgiven
through the Merits of their blessed Saviour, who died for guilty sinners, of whom they
were chief.

A little before three o'clock, the two unfortunate men appeared on the scaffold, and
appeared quite firm and compored ; they were decently dressed. After spending some
time in conversation with the Ministers and those friends who came to accompany them
to the last scene of suffering, they ascended the last fatal drop, and after joining in
the following prayer, which they had previously compoted, they were ushered into an
eternal world:?

" O thou Saviour of men, look down upon us at this awful moment with that com-
passionate regard which adorns thy matchless excellence. We confess our numerous
and aggravated sins bsfore thee, especially that crime for which we are about to suffer.
We deplore the rasa act ; we feel for the family of the deceased ; we feel for our own
friends, and the ignominy which may be attached to them on our account. Whilst we
acknowledge our guilt, we have only one thing to offer as an alleviation of our crime,
that we had no intention ; no deep-rooted hatred; no end in view in our wanton at-
tack ; but drink, that enemy of man, which changes the temper, and drives men to
the highest pitch of wickedness, was the cause of committing this horrid deed. But
both the sin of drinking and the horrid act itself hes open and naked before thee. O
God pardon us, support and strengthen us ; may the sting of death be taken away ;
may all our past sins be taken away. Now unto thee we commit ourselves ; O Lord
hear, O Lord forgive ; into thy hands we commit our spirits." Amen.?After hang-
ing for 30 minutes, their bodies were cut down, and sent, off to Edinburgh, under an
escort, for dissection.                                 

James Anderson was about 23 years of age, and by trade a collier ; Glen was about
25 years of age, and by trade a weaver. They both belonged to Ayr, and were for a
Considerable time acquainted together.?The day was very stormy, which prevented
the crowd from being so great as formerly.

Ayr, printed for the Booksellers.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1823   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(068)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland