The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside containing two letters written by Andrew Hardie in September 1820, on the night before his execution


Copy of Two LETTERS from the late ANDREW HARDIE, the former written
to his Uncle, dated, Stirling Castle, 5th September, and the latter to his
Sweetheart the night preceding his Execution, dated 7th Sept. 1820.

   My Dear. Relations,

I now write you my long and last farewell
letter, as I am in a short time to fall a victim
beneath the stroke of the tyrant, for seeking
those rights for which our forefathers bled, and
for which I shall lay down my life without the
least reluctance, knowing it is for the cause of
truth and justice. I have wronged no person
?I have hurt no person?and formerly been
of an easy temper. I bless God, who has the
hearts of every man in his hand, that it never
entered into mine to hurt any of my fellow-
creatures. No person could have induced me
to cake up arms in the same manner to rob or
plunder. No, my dear friends, I took them for
the good of my suffering country; and although
we were outwitted, yet I protest, as a dying
man, that it was with a good intention on my
part. But, dear friends, it becomes me, as a
dying man, to look over all these matters, which,
bless God, I can do with pleasure. If I can-
not forgive my enemies, or those who have in-
jured me, how can I expect my blessed Saviour
to make intercession for me, who so freely for-
gave his enemies?-even when expiring on the
cross he prayed, " Father, forgive them, they
for know not what they do," I could take.she
greatest enemy I have into my bosom, even the

Yes, my dear friends, my earnest prayer is that
God may forgive him. My dear friends, I
hope you will put yourselves to as little con-
cern as possible. It becomes us to submit our-
selves to the will of God, and to every dispen-
sation of his providence. He often sees the
most painful trial necessary?he is infinitely
pure?he Can do nothing wrong?he chastiseth
whom he loveth?and I earnestly hope and
pray he will sanctify this gracious dispensation
of his providence to one and all of us, which is
the earnest prayer of your unfortunate nephew
while on earth.          ANDREW HARDIE.

Stirling Castle, 5th Sept. 1820.

My Dear and Loving Margaret,
BEFORE this arrives to your, hand, I will be
made immortal, and will, I trust, be singing
praises to God" and the Holy Lamb, amongst
the spirits of just men, made perfect through
the atoning blood of our Lord and Saviour Je-
sus Christ, whose all-sufficient merit is infinite-
ly unbounded for all the sins of a sinful world,
and he is able and willing to save to the utter-
most all those that are enabled to come to him
by faith in his blood. What consolation does
this render unto me, who, while writing this, is
within a few short hours of launching into eter-
nity, where I am not afraid to enter, although
a poor, unworthy, and miserable sinner, and

not worthy of the least of his notice, yet I trust
he Will put upon me his unspotted robe of
righteousness, and present my poor and unwor-
thy soul to his father, redeemed with his most
precious blood. Think, my dear Margaret, on
the goodness of Almighty God to me in my
last arid closing period of my life. O think on
it, and draw consolation from that source
from which I obtained it, and from whence
consolation and real fortitude can be ob-
tained. Could you have thought that I was
sufficient to stand such a stroke, which at once
burst upon me like an earthquake, and buried
all my vain earthly hopes beneath its ruins, and
at once left me a poor shipwrecked mariner on
this bleak shore, and separated from the world
and thee, in whom all my hopes were centered.
But, alas ! how vain are all the earthly hopes of
us weak-sighted mortals ? How soon are they
all buried in oblivion ?

My dear Margaret, put yourself to no concern
about me. O may that good and gracious God,
who has supported me so peculiarly, support
you also in every dispensation of his provi-
dence that he is pleased to visit you with. O
that he may send his ministering angels, and
soothe you with the balm of comfort. O may
they approach the beauteous mourner, and tell
you that your love lives triumphantly, lives
though condemned, lives to a nobler life !

My dear Margaret, I hope that you will not take it for a dis-
honour that your unfortunate lover died for his distressed and
suffering country. No, my dear Margaret, I know you are
possessed of nobler ideas than that, and well do I know that no
person of feeling or humanity will insult you with it. I have
every reason to believe that it will be the contrary. I shall die
firm to the' cause which I took up arms to defend; and, although
we were outwitted and betrayed, yet I protest, as a dying man,
that it was done with a good intention on my part. But you
know my sentiments on that subject long before I was taken
prisoner. No person could have induced me to take up arms
to rob or plunder. No, my dear Margaret, I took them up

But, my dear Margaret, this is not a very pleasant subject to
you. I will leave it, and direct your attention to matters of
more importance?to the one thing needful. Recollect, my
dear Margaret, that we are one and all of us lost and miserable
sinners, and that you have, as well as me to stand before a
just and good God, who is infinite and pure, and that he can-
not look upon the least sin but with the utmost abhorrence, and
that it is only through the blood of a crucified Saviour that we
can expect mercy at his just and most awful tribunal. My dear
Margaret, I will be under the necessity of laying; down my pen,
as this will have to go out immediately.

O may God's grace your life direct,

From evil guard your way,
And in temptation's fatal path,
Permit you not to stray.

You will give my dying love to your father and mother,
James and Agnes, Mrs Connell, and Jean Buchanan, and I ex-
hort you all to a close walk with God, through our blessed
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and, when you have fulfilled a
course of life agreeable to his word, that we may be united to-
gether in the mansions of peace, where there is no sorrow.

Farewell, farewell, a long farewell to you, and all worldly
cares, for I have done with them ! I hope you will frequently
call on my distressed and afflicted mother. At the expence of
some tears, I have destroyed your letters. Again farewell, my
dear Margaret ! May God attend you still, and all your soul
with consolation fill, is the sincere prayer of your affectionate
lover while on earth,                      ANDREW HARDIE.

Re-printed in Edinburgh--PRICE ONE PENNY.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1820   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(11)
Broadside containing two letters written by Andrew Hardie in September 1820, on the night before his execution
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland