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Broadside entitled 'Hare's Confession and Death !'


Hare's Confession & Death !

Awful Death and Confession of HARE, the notorious associate of
Burke, the West Port murderer, who died in the parish of Orrey,
County of Tyrone, on Saturday, the 29th May, 1841.

We have been favoured with a letter from Captain Murray, who
was a witness of the wretched man's awful end.?The letter com-
mences by stating that Hare has lived under the fictitious name of
M'Guigan, in an obscure village in the parish of Orrey, since he left
Scotland, immediately after the deeds of darkness in Edinburgh.
He never was suspected to be the wretch that he felt himself to be,
and, therefore, dragged out a miserable existence in obscurity and

In a miserable hut he lived on the coarsest fare, which soon
brought on a loathsome disease, vermin and seeds of corruption,
the fruits of a debased and dissolute life, brought this unhappy
wretch, whose life has been marked by deeds the most atrocious
ever known, to meet a death more awful than any of the poor crea-
tures whom he ushered into the presence of their Maker, without a
moment to present a prayer to an offended God, for his gracious
promise of forgiveness, through their Saviour, to the guilty soul.

Writhing under the tortures of an awakening conscience, and the
awfully fearful death of an unearthly punished murderer, this no-
torious associate of Burke made the following disclosures before he
closed his eyes on mortality :?He was born in the neighbourhood
of Londonderry, and received a decent education. He came to Scot-
land to work at the Union Canal. He was in the custom of going
to the country with a horse and cart, having crockery, for which he
took old iron, and sold it to the dealers in Edinburgh and the sur-
rounding country. A few years before he was apprehended along
with Burke, he connected himself with her whom he called his wife,
who had just become the widow of a tall Irishman of the name of
Log, who kept a stall in the Grassmarket, and had taken her oft the
streets of Glasgow, which she infested as a prostitute. Shortly
after Log's death, and the commencement of her connexion with
Hare, she bore a child, which people in the neighbourhood assert
(and upon very strong grounds) that she murdered ; and that there
would be no difficulty in establishing the case against her. It was
at an appothecary's shop in the southside of Edinburgh that Burke
first met the gentleman whom he af.erwards supplied with subjects.
So ignorant were Hare and he at first, of the proper quarter in
which to offer a ' new-made ' subject for sale, that when they had
one they went about among some surgeon-apothecaries' trying to
dispose of it. After his many perilous adventures in Scotland, con-
sequent upon the horrid scenes which were enacted in Edinburgh,
Hare made his escape to Ireland. On reaching his native country,
the generous minded sons of the Emerald Isle seemed as much en-
raged, if not more so, than the people of Scotland. The murderer
had to fly from hamlet to hamlet, from village to village, and from
town to town, and had the people been actually sure of his real
character, there is not the smallest question that he would have
died without mercy by the hands of the mob. The manner in which
his character was discovered at his death, was providential, having
been taken suddenly ill of his last sickness, on the road some miles
distant from his own cabin, he was found by two labouring men,
lying almost at the point of death, who humanely carried him to
the nearest cottage, where they put him to bed, little suspecting the
infamous character they had taken into their house to breathe his
last, he was asked his name which he said was M'Guigan ; but the
truth could not long be concealed. The surgeon was sent for, who im-
mediately perceived the tide of life was fast ebbing, which the wretch-
ed man was no sooner apprized of, when the awful foreboding and hor-
rid suspicions of a guilty conscience took possession of the murder-
er, and he rolled about on his miserable couch like one surrounded
by a thousand furies. The image of his companion in crime haunt-
ed him in his sleep?he would start from his bed and exclaim in
agony?" Burke ! Burke ! the scaffold, I see it! I see it!" and then
the groans which succeeded are too horrific to describe.

But before the closing scene came, confession had to be made;
and the surgeon who attended him was made the repository of a ca-
talogue that would harrow the feelings of a region of cannibals. Not
only the Westport murders, but other deeds of as dark a stamp had
been perpetrated by the wretched man. From the apparently paltry
act of theft committed in his childhood, to the more manly act of
burglary, he had risen gradually in the scale of wickedness, till he
appeared as a witness at Edinburgh, for the condemnation of his bro-
ther in iniquity. But it was only by " fits and starts" that the mur-
derer could reveal the secrets of his tortured breast. After Hare had
made his confession, he appeared more tranquil, and expired at two
o'clock in the morning, and his last look seemed to say with the force
of inspiration " woe to the murderer." Next morning an immense
crowd collected to view the remains of the unfortunate wretch, but
they were very properly prohibited by the Police from gratifying
their curiosity. His body was buried by the Police in the afternoon
as privately as possible. Such are the particulars of the death of
Hare, who is now beyond that " bourne from which no traveller
returns,"                                                 [G. Whitelaw, Printer.

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Date of publication: 1841   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.6(052)
Broadside entitled 'Hare's Confession and Death !'
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