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Broadside entitled 'The Gilmerton Murderers'



Here you have the Melancholy and Penitent Address to the Public,
by David Dobie and John Thomson, dated from their Cells in the
Calton Jail, where they are now awaiting the execution of their sen-
tence on Wednesday morning next;?and also, an affecting Letter
written by David Dobie to his Wife.

Melancholy Address of Dobie and Thomson, with Dobie's Letter

to his Wife.

The following is the copy of a letter, wrote by David Dobie to his
wife, and to the Father of the unfortunate woman whom they mur-

" Dear Wife?I write these lines to you, hoping you may receive
some consolation from them. This is the only comfort that I can be-
stow, to let you know the state of my mind ; although my guilt does
stare me in the face, I trust God will be merciful to me a humble peni-
tent ; although my hands are stained with the blood of the innocent,
I trust the blood of Christ will wash me from all my guilt.

" I am quite resigned to my fate ; I forgive all mine enemies, and
I trust they will also forgive me ; I die in peace with all men. You
will not have the melancholy satisfaction of laying my body in the
dust; but I beg as a last request that you do not grieve on that ac-
count, as these dry bones may yet live to future glory, where man
cannot scatter. Shew this letter to the aged father of Margaret Pa-
terson, whose hoary head we have brought with sorrow to the grave.
We sincerely implore his forgivenness, which is a poor consolation
for the loss of a daughter he held so dear, which, by our wicked hearts
has left him to bewail the loss of a child, and you a faithless hus-

" Give my last respects to all my friends and comrades, and to the
grace of God I leave them and you for ever.?Farewell."

" Edinburgh Jail, 28th July.

" With sorrow we announce to the Public and our comrades who
know us,?though the enormity of our crimes is already known in
part, which were of the rudest and deepest dye?with regret we may
state that our brutal crime was one in which there was neither manli-
hood nor shame, for the unfortunate female came with us for protec-
tion, but like Judas we betrayed trust, and imbrued our hands in the
blood of the innocent, which is now required at our hands, and a guilty
conscience stares us in the face. Such are the horrors we endure with-
in this gloomy solitary cell. Solitary indeed is our dwelling; by our
guilty deeds we are hid from the face of man ; no more the blessed
sun may cheer us with his light ; our end is decreed, in judgment for
our own wicked lust and wicked hands. We sinned in secret, but the
voice of our sister's blood cried from the ground that we should be
punished openly. Disgraceful indeed were our doings, and an out-
rage to all proper feelings in society. But alas ! remorse comes too
late ; our sandglass is turned; and the numbered hours of our life are
swiftly running; every throbbing pulse announces their fleetness, and
our beating hearts our guilt. No more shall we behold the beams of
the morning, nor feel the evening dew fall upon us; we water our
couch with tears. Fettered with chains of iron, but alas, loaded still
heavier with the chains of sin, that sink to perdition, we must suffer an
ignominious death, and be publicly anatomised ; to the shame and dis-
tress of our agonised parents, whom we should have held dear to us,
and been the means of supporting in their declining years, The sen-
tence of an earthly judge we fear not, he can only kill the body; but
there is another trial before us, by that infinite Judge that will give to
every man according to his works, and hath said, ' Cursed is every
man that hangeth on a tree.' But yet our hope is in a merciful God,
and should this come into the hands of any individual, who like us is
plunged in vice of the most horrid and abandoned nature, shunning
all the paths of virtue, and lost to every thing that is becoming and
laudable in this world, think, O think in time.

"When   we recal to mind the many idle spent Sabbaths-the
Church we often neglected, and passed it by as if it were a ruinous
heap, and making scoff of such as attended it while we went into the
public house, and were there wallowing in all the abominations the
human mind can picture?we now, like Dive,   ' Lift up our eyes and
see Lazarus afar off in the bosom of Abraham comforted, while we
are tormented,'    But we thank God we are not yet in hell, which we
have so often escaped ; a guilty conscience and death, with all its
ghastly terrors staring us in the face, is but a faint picture of the hor-
rible thoughts that distract our minds regarding our future fate, when
our guilt confronts us in all its direful forms.    Were we to breathe
our last on a death-bed, surrounded by those who were dear to us, and
our hands unstained with blood, it would be nothing in comparison to
going to the scaffold with such a load of crime upon our heads, and
dying by the hands of the executioner.    Oh that it were in our power
to recal that mis spent time which we have squandered away in the
paths of vice. Had we a thousand worlds, or all the filthy allurements
attendant upon them, it would make no compensation for our guilt
and waste of time which cannot be recalled into eternity.    We sin-
cerely trust that this our dying advice will have a lasting effect upon
our comrades, and those who are running headlong in the ways of sin,
making the Sabbath a pastime and a day of unhallowed pleasure, and
beholding the Bible as a looking glass ; for which, you may depend,
it not repented of, an account will be required here after,"

Forbes and Owen, Printers, 118, High Street.

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Date of publication: 1830   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(64)
Broadside entitled 'The Gilmerton Murderers'
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