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Broadside entitled 'Third Edition Of The Gilmerton Murderers'




How now!    Ye secret, black, and midnight Fiends !
What's this ye do ?                                                                                       

A deed without a name :- Shakespeare


Third Edition of the Horrors of Gilmerton,
containing a full, true, and particular Ac-
count, not only of the Trial, but of the Be-
haviour of David Dobie and John Thomson
since their condemnation, in the Lock-up-
house, and in the Condemned Cell, being
tantamount to a Confession of the justice of
their Sentence, and also the solemn and
awful Speeches of Lord Meadowbank and
the Lord justice Clerk, in passing Sentence
of Death and dissection, word for word, as
they were spoken to the Prisoners.

On the way from the Court to the Lock-
up house, both the prisoners maintained the
same appearance as they had done throughout
the trial?that is to say, there was a restless
recklessness in Dobie's movements and in the
expression of his countenance while Thomson
was collected, silent, and seemingly quite
passive in the hands of his conductors. There
was, however, an occasional quivering of his
person, and a solemn thoughtful expression
on his pallid countenance, which indicated
that he felt more than he wished should be
observed by the spectators,

Until the evidence hud been all gone
through, Dobie indulged a hone of being ac-
quitted ; for he had adopted means for secur-
ing, as he thought, evidence in his favour.
While he was in the jail, he wrote a letter to
one of his cousins, a female residing in Gil-
merton, instructing her to swear that she had
seen Thomson give him the tin box belonging
to Margaret Paterson ; and this would have
accounted for one of the strongest circum-
stances against him. The letter, however,
never reached the hands of the woman. It was
intercepted, and given to the Sheriff, who
sent for the female, and by an interrogatory
ascertained that this was an attempt to suborn
A witness, and consequently frustrated it. It
was perhaps for the same reason that several
persons from Gilmerton, who were in the list
of witnesses, were not called to give their
evidence for the Crown, us it was probable,
from their intimacy with the prisoners, and
other circumstances, that Dobie might have
been tampering with them also.

In the Lock-up house, Dobie said that
some of the witnesses had sworn falsely ; but
this was chiefly in reference to the amount of
silver that the poor murdered woman had had
in her possession.

At seven o'clock in the morning, the pri-
soners were placed in the usual carriage to
be conveyed back to the jail. After they had
taken their seats, a tear or two were observed
In the eyes of Thomson. Doble wept plenti-
fully, and lamented for his wile and children.
( He had sent a sixpence to his wife while the
trial was going on, the day before, by one of
the witnesses.)?Thomson soon assumed his
usual appearance of indifference. He fre-
quently looked at the people through the car-
riage, and remarked that it was ' a fine morn-
ing !'

When they got into the condemned cell,
Dobie said to Thomson, ' If the woman had
been in my cairt, Jock, naething o' this wud
hae happened. The woman was a murdered
woman,?there's nae doot o' that i But hoo
thae stanes an' hay an' things cam' aboot,
(he added with an oath) I dinna ken.' Thom-
son made no answer to all this, which must
be regarded as a confession by Dobie that he
was concerned in the crimes, though not in
the worst of them ; and Thomson's silence
was a still stronger though tacit admission of
the full measure of his own guilt,?particularly
as neither of the prisoners made one single
complaint of the justice of their sentences.
Dobie spoke often of his wife and children,
for whom he lamented the disgrace he had
brought on them; and he expressed his hope
that his mother and his wife would be admit-
ted to see him. Thomson never once opened
his mouth. Dobie put an end to the scene,
by saying, ' Come, bring us thae claes (mean-
ing the prison dress ;} an' let's pit aft thir
yins.' The behaviour of the men, since, has
been firm, and becoming their situation.


The jury retired between one and two o'-
clock in the morning; and after an absence of
about ten minutes, returned and proaonnced
by their Chancellor the following verdict:?
My Lords, the jury unanimously find both
the pannels Guilty of the Robbery, the Mar-

The Lord Justice-Clerk, in discharging the
Jury, stated that the verdict which they had
returned was perfectly consonant with the
opinions entertained by the Court. Sentence
was then moved for.

Lord Meadowbank.?My Lord justice
Clerk?It is little more than eighteen months
ago that the melancholy duty devolved on me
to propose sentence of death on a pannel con-
victed before you of a crime at that time con-
sidered almost unparalleled in atrocity. The
utmost stretch of bur imagination then did not
\ill\ us to anticipate the psosibility, that there
were living in the midst of civilized society mem
who could be guilty of still greater atrocities
?of more unparalleled brutality?revolting
to every feeling that actuates the mind of man.
I am perfectly certain that, were the details
of this case unfortunately made public, as,
thank God, the power of the law has enabled
you to prevent, those details would have ex-
cited such feelings in this Christian communi-
ty as never were before excited. It is hardly
possible to imagine that persons would have
been found living in this Christian land who
could have brought their minds to the com-
mission of such atrocious crimes. Melancholy
it is to think that, had this unprotected female
been wandering the world amongst the most
barbarous people, she would have been in a
state of comparative safety to what she was
within three miles of the metropolis of this
most civilized country ; such is the fact that
this poor unhappy woman, after having fallen
into the hands of these abandoned men, was
treated in a manner which, of necessity, was
to produce death?she was robbed of the mis-
erable pittance which she had in her posses-
sion ; and this was committed OB a person on
whom they had the intention to satisfy other
brutal passions. This is the worst feature of
the case. I have not words to express the
feelings which the details of this day have
necessarily excited in my bosom. I have al-
luded to them generally, and shall only far-
ther allude to them by saying, that I think it
was impossible for any human being, who
heard the evidence, to entertain a doubt of
the perfect propriety of the verdict which has
been returned. With these observations, I
have now simply to propose to your Lordship
to pronounce the sentence of the law, which
is that of death, and that it shall be carried
into effect on Wednesday the 18th of August

The Lord Justice Clerk?John Thomson
and David Dobie, you have heard the verdict
which has been recorded, and the opinions
which their lordships entertain in regard to
your case as exhibited in evidence against yon ;
and following their example,?feeling that no
words which I can use are capable of describ-
ing the unparalleled brutality, cruelty, and
wickedness, of the foul transaction which has
been disclosed this day. I shall not enter into
details farther than to remark that the exhi-
bition you have made is calculated to make
every man blush. Such wickedness and brutal
abomination could not have been believed to
have been committed, had it not been sworn
to in evidence. Following the principle of law.
by which the proceedings have been conduct-
ed with closed doors till this stage of the pro
ceedings, I shall refrain from saying any thing
of the crimes of which you stand convicted on.
the clearest evidence ever produced before a
jury. But it is my duty to warn you to pre-
pare for the inevitable fate which awaits you
in this world ; and 1 warn you, in the most.
earnest manner, to prepare to appear before
the judgment seat of the Almighty, to answer
for all the deeds done in the body. Rest as-
sured that if ever there was a case in which
the law will take it full course it is yours'.
You are now to consider that your days on
earth are numbered, and that you have now
no other duty in the world but to pray for
forgiveness of all your crimes?to humble
yourselves at the footstool of your Creator-
Do not lose a single moment in setting about
heartfelt repentance?and God grant that it
may be sincere,?and that forgiveness be ex-
tended to you for your crimes. His Lordship
then sentenced the pannels to be executed at
Edinburgh, on the 18th August and their
bodies given to Dr Monro, professor of ana-
tomy for dissection.

Dobie addressed the Lord Justice Clerk in
these words, " My Lord, I have one thing to
say, if you please.- They cannot dissect the
soul !".

Forbes and Owen, Printers. - [Price One Penny]

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Date published: 1830-   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(59)
Broadside entitled 'Third Edition Of The Gilmerton Murderers'
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