HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY, July 15,1830,
A full, true, and particular Account of the Trial of Mr David Bartie,
writer, before the High Court of Justiciary,yesterday, for violating
the person of Margaret Gray, a girl fourteen years of age, servant
in the house in which the pannel lodged, in East Cumberland-
Street, Edinburgh, and which Trial occupied the Court eleven
The Indictment, after commencing in the usual form, set forthy
That albeit, by the laws of this and every other well governed realm'
Rape is a crime of an heinous nature and severely punishable: yet
true it was and of verity, that David Bertie, the prisoner at the bar,
was guilty of the same, he having, on the 10th day of May last, in a
house situated in. East Cumberland-street, then in the occupation of
Mrs Jane Skirving, and in a room in the said house, which he (the pri-
soner) occupied as a lodger, wickedly solicited Margaret Gray, servant
to the siad Jane Skirving, and on her rejecting his solicitations, did
attack her with force and violence in the said room;?and that on the
said Margaret Gray getting away from him, he did some time after-
wards in the passage of the said house, again attack the said Margaret
Gray, and did seize her by the arm, and forcibly drag her back into
his room, wherein, in spite of all the resistance in her power, he con-
summated the crime, with great force and violence?[and the particu-
lars of which, as stated in the indictment, are unfit for publication.]
The indictment then went on to state, that the pannel, having been
apprehended, and taken before the Sheriff substitute, had emitted be-
fore him, on the 11th and 13th of May two several declarations which,
being to be used in evidence against him, had been lodged in the usu-
al place for his inspection, as also a medical certificate signed by Dr
Thatcher, and another medical certificate, signed by Dr Black, surgeon
to the Police Establishment, and by Mr A. L. Black, and Mr Sidey,
surgeons,?and also one other article, which, though it was named in
the indictment and produced on the trial, it would be improper to
The trial commenced about twelve o'clock ; and the prisoner hav-
ing been placed at the bar, pleaded Not Guilty.
The Examination of Margaret Gray (who is not more than fourteen
years of age, and who is a daughter of very decent parents at Joppa,
where her father is a mason) occupied two hours and a quarter. She
underwent a long and very minute cross-examination; but she was
not materially shaken in her principal evidence.
There were twenty witnesses in all, for the Crown, amongst whom
were. Margaret Gray, Mrs Skirving, Catherine Johnston, Ann Gray,
the Medical Gentlemen mentioned in the indictment, Lieutenant
Harvey, and Serjeant Charles Stewart, jun, of the Police Establish-
The alleged facts of the case were, that on the day libelled, the pri-
soner and Margaret Gray being alone, in Mrs Skirving's house, in the
absence of Mrs S., and the rest of the family, the prisoner offered the
poor girl first one pound note, then two pound notes, and then three
pound notes, if she would comply with his wishes. These tempta-
tions having been rejected by the girl, the pannel, as alleged, next
proceeded to use violence in the way libelled in the indictment. After
the commission of the crime, he had left the house ; but he returned
to it agian,and was in bed when he was apprehended, about eleven
o'clock on the same night. He has all along positively denied the
The prisoner is a-young man, about twenty eight years of age, dark
complexion, roman nose, short stature, and of gentlemanly dress and
appearance. He was Clerk to a Writer.
The exculpatory evidence occupied a very considerable portion of
time, and there were several very respectable witnesses to the cha-
racter of the pannel.
The Lord justice Clerk having made a long and able summing up
or the evidence, the Jury retired to consider of their verdict.
During the absence of the jury, the pannel remained in a state of
the utmost agitation and anxiety. He repeatedly gazed round, him
with an indescribably haggard expression on his countenance, over
which hung a cloud of the blackest gloom and most dismal melancholy.
At times he laid his head down on his hands and arms ; and for a few
moments seemed asleep; and then he would raise his head again with
the same unaltered expression. It struck almost every person in Court
that his appearance now was like that of a maniac or rather of a
drunk man, arousing from sleep and trying to collect his dissipated
After an absence of about twenty minutes, the jury returned at
eleven o' clock at night and pronounced by their Chancellor the fol.
lowing-verdict :- My Lords: Owing to the contradictory statement
or the evidence, we find the charge Not Proven.'
On hearing these joyful words, the prisoner sprung to his feet, clap .
ped his, hands, uttered an exclamation of gratitude to the jury, and
(all in an instant) appeared as if he wished to seize his hat.
bound at once out of the Court.
Pearson who shook the prisoner by the hand ,state that it felt like
the clammy hand of a person newly dead, or dying.
Forbes & Owen, Printers, 118, High Street, First stair within the close.
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1830 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(50)
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