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Broadside entitled 'Execution'



A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of
THOMAS BLACK, who was Executed at the Head
of Libbertoo Wynd, Edinburgh, this morning, Wed-
nesday the 10th December, 1823, for Housebreaking
and Theft; and of his Behaviour since his Condem-
nation, and at the Place of Execution.

THIS unhappy young man was Tried at Edinburgh, before the
High Court of Justiciary, on the 4th of November, 1823,
along with another boy, John Reid, who has since been respited,
for Breaking iuto the House at Summerfield, parish of South Leith,
occupied by Mr Alexander White, Merchant, upon the morning of
25th July last, and stealing therefrom a great quantity of Silver
Plate, Wearing Apparel, &c. aggravated by being habit and repute
a Thief. After a full aud fair investigation, this unfortunate lad,
and his neighbour, were, by an unanimous verdict of a respectable
Jury, both found Guilty, in terms of the libel, but on account of
youth strongly recommended to mercy.

During the trial the unfortunate Thomas Black was perfectly
composed, and maintained a careless indifference about his awful
situation; but, soon after his condemnation, he evinced a most
becoming sense of his melancholy situation, as well as the greatest
contrition for his dissolute habits of life. So much so, that a few
weeks before his execution, he requested to be indulged with a se-
parate cell, as the society of his companions in misery led to con-
versations on their former way of life, which served to interrupt
his more serious reflections, and to divert his mind from those im-
portant considerations which his awful situation was so powerfully
calculated to excite. A respite for his fellow-sufferer, as stated
above, was got fourteen days before, and it can be no impeachment
of the generosity of the heart of Black, or of the sincerity of his
repentance, to find that this act of mercy to another, awakened in
him all that love of life which had seemingly been extinguished for
ever. He sunk into a state of the most heartless despondency for
some time, and could neither think of the present nor of the future,
without the most agonizing feelings. Indeed, during two days he
scarcely tasted any food. His mind, however, was latterly restored
to its wonted tranquillity, and he expressed himself with calmness
and resignation on the subject of his approaching fate, an event to
which he had then looked forward as inevitable.

Accordingly, he was early removed to the Lock-up-House, where
he was waited on by several of his nearest relations, and the sepa-
ration from some of them was most appaling to the most hardened
feelings. The Clergy of the city, as well as the Chaplain of the
Jail, and other good Christians in town, were most attentive and
most earnest for his religious instruction and edification, which he
himself repeatedly and sincerely acknowledged.

He slept little or none on Tuesday evening, and the Clergyman
and officiating Magistrates waited on him in the Hall of the Lock-
up-house, a little before Eight o'Clock on Wednesday morning,
when he joined most fervently in the devotional supplications put
up on that occasion. After which his arms were pinioned, and the
melancholy procession soon moved up, in a slow and solemn man-
ner, to the head of Libberton Wynd, attended by a strong detach-
ment of Police Officers. He appeared on the scaffold, decently
dressed, about half past eight o'clock, where a psalm was sung, in
which he joined, and a most impressive prayer put up for him to
the throne of mercy, by one of the Clergymen present; during
which he appeared most devout and attentive to what was so elo-
quently urged in his behalf. Having taken a solemn farewell of
those around him, he mounted the fatal drop, assisted by the Exe-
cutioner, where he appeared most fervent in prayer, while the rope
was adjusting round the beam. All things being prepared, and the
Executioner taking farewell of him, he shortly dropt the signal,
and was instantly launched into the world of spirits, a little before
nine o'clock.

We sincerely trust that the premature and shameful end of this
young man, who was only about seventeen years of age, be a warn-
ing to all who saw him, or heard of his awful fate.

Edinburgh, Printed for R. Forrest, Price One Penny.

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Date published: 1823   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(335)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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