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Broadside concerning the last moments of William Thomson


An account of the last moments
of William Thomson, who was
executed at Dalkeith on Thurs-
day last with the information of
Thomson & Fram of the murder
of Ramsay of Ramsay, a collier at

Cowpits two. years ago whereby two
Theives named Salmon and Merrilees are
a apprehended.

Extracted from the Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle.
          of Wednesday March 7,   1827.

The unfortun te man spent the morning in devo-
tion, and exhibited a degree of firmness and resigna-
tion altogether inconceivable by any but.   those who
have been accustome | to see persons under such   aw-
ful circumstances.    At twelve o'clock, when the Ma-
gistrates entered, he was in the chapel   of the prison,
engaged in singing a psalm ;   after   which,   Mr Por-
teous offered up a prayer for him.    He now partook
of a little port wine, conversed, in she most, Familiar
and cheerful manner with the   clergymen in attend-
ance, and from the continued smile on   his counte-
nance, seemed to be the only person present who ap-
peared totally unaffected by horror at his impending
fate ; on the contrary, he expressed himself prepared
to meet it with the most perfect resignation.    He had
since his condemnation expressed his thankfulness
the laws of his country had overtaken   him, whereby
he had been afforded time for reflection   and   repent
ance, instead of being cut off in his sins, in that career
of guilt which he had launched into.    About half-
past twelve, four carriage - having drawn   up   within
the prison court, the criminal shook hands with such
of the attendants as were to remain, and was conduc-
ted to one of the carriages in the court; Mr Sheriff
Duff, who had also been present in the chapel of the
Jail, two of the city   Magistrates, and several   other
official persons, went into the other Carriage, when the
whole drove off by the Regent Road.

    At ten minutes past two, the Sheriff's officers rode
briskly up to the place of execution, in   front of the
Jail, and three coaches followed, in   which   were the
Sheriff, the Clergymen, and the unfortunate victim
to the injured laws of his country,    He ascended the
scaffold with   a firm step, and   during the religious
ceremonies, maintained a   composure truly astonish-
ing, when his known previous ignorance is considered.
His desire for religious knowledge was remarkably
great in one whose hours were numbered by the laws
of his country, he having learned to read, and to com-
prehend the divine precepts of Scriptures, beyond
what could have been expected, in such circumstances.
The unfortunate man joined in the prayers and hymns
wtth every apparent sincerity of devotion, and was at
last placed on the fatal drop, all the. bystanders un-
covering; nearly five minutes elapsed before the un-
happy man dropped the, signal, which closed his
earthly career for ever, with apparently little pain.

The three criminals, since their condemnation for
the robbery of Mr Dickson, nave been assisted in
their devotions by Dr Lee, Mr Porteus, chaplain to
the Jail, and a benevolent gentleman of this city,
well known for his pious attentions to persons under
sentence of the law. This latter individual, Mr Por-
tious, and Mr Clarke of the Canongate Chapel, who
officiated for Dr Lee, at present from home, attended
William Thomson in the Jail during the forenoon of
Thursday, and accompanied him to the place of exe-

An unfounded report is abroad, that Thomson had
confessed being concerned in   the murder of a man,
Ramsay Ingles, pensioner and banksman   at Cowpits
Colliery, who   mysteriously   disappeared   about two
years ago.    But his colleagues in the crime for which
he suffered, James Thomson and   John   From,   have
given information of the murder of Inglis, which, by
their account, was perpetrated on   the highway, near
to Cowpits;and, in consequence, two thieves, named
. Salmon and   Merrilees, have   been apprehended on

suspicion of the murder.   

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Date of publication: 1827   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(40)
Broadside concerning the last moments of William Thomson
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