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Broadside entitled 'Lamentation of George Gilchrist'



Now    under   sentence    of   death    in    Edinburgh.

If I had been contented, and carried on my trade,
I would, have been much happier, and money would have made,
But was hast'ning to he rich, and fell into a snare,
Which 1 would tell to every one, to make them all beware.

For money is so strange a thing it leadeth to all ill,.

By it the devil leadeth man a captive at his will,

And many a one by taking it from whence they had no claim..

Has brought himself as I have done into much grief and shame

I'm now a wretched prisoner condemned in the Jail,
And very few will pity me although thy hear my tale,
But oh ! good people think of this, that you may also fall
For it is not   in our own strength that we do walk at all.

A great temptation wrought on me to make me rob the coach,
And every day it stronger grew and on me did encroach,
I very shortly form'd a plan by which it might be done,
And thought the money in the coach we would have for our own,

So knowing that on certain days the bank did money send,

I plans in execution put; and did it to the end.

That none might occupy the coach but those that were with me,
Or how the money taken was, no.others there might see.

I dress'd myself in womens clothes attended by a man,
The inside seats we taken had which was the very plan;
We then commenc'd and cut a hole and so took out the cash.
But had I known what was to come I would not been so rash.

For three of them who saw and knew King's evidence did turn,
And when 1 knew such was the case it made me deeply mourn,
And though some were as bad as me that did against me swear,

They cannot feel as I have done since I was placed hers.

For now my days are number'd here and settled by man,
And I'm affraid it will be so though I do all I can,
For on the 3d of August next I   am   condemn'd to die,
I own the sentence to be just the crime I don't deny.

Now in this dreary cell I lye and do my case bewail,

By keeping of bad company the truth to you I tell.

For had I been an upright man I never would been here,

Or kept in mind the law of God from theft for to keep clear.

But I did covet other's wealth in hopes for to be great,
And when I think on all my ways it makes me mourn my fate,
That ever I thought on the plan, or with these men did go,
For rattling chains does now me bind,I can't express My woe.

Four thousand pounds I've giv'n up expecting to got clear,
And hope His gracious Majesty will my petition hear,
If he in mercy grant the same: as bound I'll ever pray.
And think upon his goodness great unto my latest day.

likewise my friends will happy be to think that it is so,
Which will remove from all their hearts a load of grief end woe..
To think the sentence past on me is not to be enforced,
And hear that what I've undergone will likely be the worst.





Full, True, and Particular Account of the EXECUTION & Gorge

Gilclirist at the head of Libberton 's, Wynd, on the morning of the
third of August, 1831, for the robbery of the Prince Regent, Edin-

burgh coach, of five Thousand seven Hundred and Twelve Pound,
Six Shillings , sterling, the property of the Commercial Bank.,__

?his behaviour in the condemned cell,?his parting from his wife
and friends?and his behaviour in the Look up House during the
night before the execution, and on the scaffold,?the whole by an


This morning, between eight and nine o'clock, this unhappy culprit,
George Gilchrist, paid the last penalty of the law, by the forfeiture of

his life, by the hands of the common executioner, and in presence of a

great concourse of spectators, at the head of Libberton's Wynd,?
another tarrible example of the awful consequences of giving way to
inordinate and unlawful desires.                                          

The public is already aware, but it may be proper briefly to repeat ,
that the trial of George Gilchrist, in conjuction with two of his alleged
accomplices, vis., his brother William Gilchrist. and James Brown.
took place before the High Court of justiciary, on the 14th of last.

month, and that after a patient and laborious investigation, which lasted
nearly twenty six hours, the jury unsnimously found George Gilchrist

guilty,?unanimously found the libel not proven against William

Gilchrist,?and by a pluralily of voices only found it not proven

against James Brown.?Brown however has since fully confessed his

participation in the robbery, by returning to the Commercial Bank
nine hundred pounds of the stolen money. which had fallen to his

share of the plunder,?an act which, Whether it proceeded from a

feeling of compunction and repentance, or from a desire to save the

life of his less fortunate accomplice George Gilchrist, certainly in some

measure redeems his previous guilt.--George Gilchrist also, in the hope

of obtained remission of the capital punishment,has returned upwards

of four thousand pounds of the stolen money,-and it is understood

that the Commercial Bank has recovered the whole amount of me

money stolen,except something under the sum of three hundred pounds

sterling. Gilchrist was convicted chiefly on the evidence of his.
accomplices, viz. James Morrison, an inkeeper in Falkirk Robert

simpson,whom Morrison, had inveigled into the conspiracy, and

another man named Campbell. The Crown office, however, had by
the most laudable activity and perseverance, Succeeded in collecting
such an array of other evidence as was sufficient to sbstain that of the
accomplices, and to bring to light the whole of the nefarious transac-
tion, It accordingly appeared that George Gilchrist was the prime
mover in all the circumstances of the robbery. He arrayed himself in

female attire and was one of the inside passanger; in the coach.

Robert Simpson accompanied him as the other inside passanger; and

these two, being provided with proper implements, broke through
the frame work of the coach into the front boot; and having then.
prized open the tin box containing the treasure, effectually. succeeded
in carrying off money, in bank notes and gold, to the large amount of

five thousand seven hundred and twelve pounds six shilling sterling;

-James Brown was on the outside of the coach as an outside passen-

ger, where he not only by means of a.long and heavy chain, kept up
so loud and jingling a noise as to prevent the noise mads by his con-

effected, and in consequence of which he desired the coachman to stop,
and, with the appearance of friendly alacrity towards the coachman,
alighted and let out his accomplices.

Never was any robbery more skilfully planned or executed ; and the
perpetrators could never have been convicted but by the evidence of
some of themselves. Indeed we have heard on authority on which

we can place reliance, that the robbery was planned originally by the

famous John Wilson, and Hemilton, now under sentence of transporta-

tion for other crimes, and that it was carried into execution by
Gilchrist only in consequence of his having been privy to their design

   In the condemned cell the conduct of Gilchrist was composed,

penitent, and in other respects becoming his awful situation.   He made

a full confession of his crime and of the justice of his sentence. His

parting from his wife and some other friends was truly heart rending.

Last night he was removed from the jail to the lock up house, where
he spent the greater part of the night in devotions, assisted by the
pious clergymen, who rendered to him that last consolation of their
holy office.                                 

About eight o'clock this morning,the Magistrates   and other legal

attendants having arrived, the melancholy procession moved with the

culprit to the scaffold, at the head of Libberton's Wynd, where, after

a short time spent in prayer and in the singing of a psalm, the wretched

man was in the usual manner launched into eternity. after hanging

the usual time the body was cut down, and will of course be delivered

up to his friends for interment.


The unhappy man locked fatter than he appeared to be at the time

of his trial . During the whole way from the lock up house to the            

scaffold his tottering steps betrayed the feebleness both of his body

and mind. he was very pale. On the scaffold, he turned round,

looked at the fatal gibbet,    shuddered violently and   drew a sigh, so

long and deep, and lend that it was andibly beard among the spe-

ctors. But he rallied again, and joined in the devotions with firm

voice. Before mounting the drop , however , his firmness again desers-
ed him. He seemed most unwilling to take that final and fatal step,

and reeled and staggered for second as if he were drunk. He was

conducted on to the drop.and there he would have fallen , had he

not been supported.He again relied and prayed servently. pini-

oned as he was he nevertheless assisted the executioner with his own

hands in adjusting the rope and the cap. He evidently made some

communication to the chaplain. The drop fell while he was engaged

in servant prayer, exactly at half past eight ; and after a few severe

but short struggles his sufferings was at an end . He was a good

looking man, of middling stature,and aged about 35.


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Date of publication: 1831   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(110)
Broadside entitled 'Lamentation of George Gilchrist'
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