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Broadside entitled 'Lamentation of George Gilchrist'
LAMENTATION OF GEORGE GILCHRIST.
Now under sentence of death in Edinburgh.
If I had been contented, and carried on my trade,
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,
A great temptation wrought on me to make me rob the coach,
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,
I dress'd myself in womens clothes attended by a man,
For three of them who saw and knew King's evidence did turn,
They cannot feel as I have done since I was placed hers.
For now my days are number'd here and settled by man,
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,
Four thousand pounds I've giv'n up expecting to got clear,
likewise my friends will happy be to think that it is so,
Full, True, and Particular Account of the EXECUTION & Gorge
Gilclirist at the head of Libberton 's, Wynd, on the morning of the
burgh coach, of five Thousand seven Hundred and Twelve Pound,
?his behaviour in the condemned cell,?his parting from his wife
This morning, between eight and nine o'clock, this unhappy culprit,
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,?
The public is already aware, but it may be proper briefly to repeat ,
month, and that after a patient and laborious investigation, which lasted
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
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.
simpson,whom Morrison, had inveigled into the conspiracy, and
another man named Campbell. The Crown office, however, had by
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
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
effected, and in consequence of which he desired the coachman to stop,
Never was any robbery more skilfully planned or executed ; and the
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
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
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-
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.
Date of publication:
1831 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(110)