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Broadside regarding William Pollock, who hanged himself in Edinburgh Jail


Farther Particulars about William Pollock, who hang-
ed himself in the Jail of Edinburgh, on Monday the
20th March,1826, with his last Dying Declaration
in a Letter to a Gentleman the night before his death.

AS soon as the catastrophe was made known, the Governor dis-
patched notice of it to the Magistrates, and sent for Dr
"Whyte, who arriving immediately, found all attempts to revive the
criminal would be hopeless, though there was some warmth in his
body.    A short time afterwards, Dr Black arrived, by which time
the body was cold.    Pollock, down till the hour of his death, con-
tinued hardened and impenitent.    He received, it is true, the visits
of clergymen, and was sensible of their kindness.    On one occa-
sion, he said of Dr Lee and another gentleman who daily visited
him, that if it were possible to return from the invisible world, to
express his gratitude to them, he would do it.    On Sunday after-
noon, his daughter and sister were admitted to see him, and to take
their final leave of him, no person being present except the gentle-
men above alluded to and them.   The afternoon was spent in read-
ing and prayer, to which Pollock shewed nor the least attention.
Immediately on the devotional exercises being finished, and when
he was about to be separated from, his relatives, he got into a rage
about the injustice of his sentence, and exclaimed, " May Abraham
see me where he saw the rich man if I be guilty of the crime in
the manner in which I am accused.   It maybe doubted whether he
had any sentiment of religion at all, though certainly he had some      
knowledge of it.    Up to the hour of his death he denied the mur-
der of his wife, and often said that he considered his fate cruel.
" Had I been accused of cutting her throat," said he, " had I been
accused of stabbing her in the breast, or in any other way, but to be
accused of perpetrating it in a manlier in which a cannibal would
shudder, is more than human nature can bear."    In alluding to his
body not being allowed burial, he said, " How dreadful is it that
my poor children cannot go to the church-yard and say, there lies
the remains of our father,....that l am even denied the burial of an
.ass."    So far from allowing any of those connected with the Jail to
suspence that he would commit suicide, be frequently appeared hor-
rifled at death, and often inquired   if mere was no possibility of
.saving his life,for lie would submit to dungeons, chains, and any
privations, if his life might be but spared.   Pollock left behind him
an inventory .of his clothes, appended to which is a brief bequest
.of them to his son James ; also three letters, severally addressed to
Dr Lee, to Governor Young of the Jail, and to Wilson the upper
turnkey.    In the first, he thanks the reverend Doctor for his atten-
tion towards him.    In the one to Governor Young, he writes, Ex-
cuse this rash act.    When you consider all, you will see that there
are good intentions, though not towards myself.'    The letter to the
ripper turnkey contains. ' I never could believe that I was the occa-
sion of my wife's death, and could not bear the idea of going to the
scaffold.'    On Monday, a precognition of the circumstances con-
nected with this suicide, was taken by the Solicitor-General and the
agent.    Pollock's son James, a lad of about 18 years of age, called
at the Jail on Monday about mid-clay, to take a last farewell of his
father.   When informed of his death, he seemed pleased ; but when
the nature of it was explained to him, he appeared equally shocked.

Up to Wednesday afternoon, no relations had appeared to claim
the body of Pollock, and it was buried by order of the Magistrates
in the course of the evening.    The sentence of the court not hav-
ing been carried into effect, the Professor of Anatomy has been de-
prived of a subject.    There was something very striking in the
manner in which Pollock's relatives in Glasgow became aware of
his having been accused and found guilty.    His sister heard the
report of the trial called through the streets, and purchased a copy
because it was the trial of a namesake,?she had not before heard
of her brother being accused.    This sister visited him on Friday.
To her, as he bad done all along, he denied his guilt, although, from
the evidence on the trial, it was impossible for any one to doubt it.
To a gentleman to whom he was under considerable obligations, he,
wrote;...." I do declare that I am totally innocent of my wife's
death.    I admit that 1 gave her a kick with my foot, when she came home at ten
o'clock on: the evening of the 10th November, 1825, being rather irritated at her
conduct, having been from home the two preceding nights until midnight.   I farther
declare, that I had neither knife nor razor in my hand alter eight o'clock that night,
or a weapon of any description ; nor did I know of any thing being the matter with
her until one o'clock in the morning.    This I declare to be truth, as I shall answer
to God, before whom ia a few hours I must appear?March 19, 1826."

Printed for William Robertson, Price One Penny.

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Date of publication: 1826   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(395)
Broadside regarding William Pollock, who hanged himself in Edinburgh Jail
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