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Broadside entitled 'The Last Speech'


The last


Confession and dying Declaration of WILLIAM TAYLOR, who
was executed at Stirling on Friday the 28th day of May 1790;
for the the crime of housebreaking.

I WILLIAM TAYLOR,   aged about 23
years was born in Perth,   of honest and
creditable Parents who gave me an education
suitable to their circumstances, and gave good
and wholesome instructions. training me up in
the ways of virtue and religion, in short, had
I followed their counsels and advices, I would
not have come to this untimely and shameful
death.    I was brought up to the Nailor
trade,   and served my apprentiship honestly
and faithfully, as my indentor testifies; after
my said apprentiship was ended I thought
that a burden taken off me, and that I was
at liberty to do any thing when I was rid of
my Masters superintendency,   I therefore as-
sociated with the most disolute of the Trade
and such of them as were of a sober character,
I looked upon as mean spirited dunces and be-
low my notice,   my parents and friends re-
monstrated with   me upon this mode of con-
duct in very strong and forcible terms, which
restrained me for some time from any outbreak-
ings, but when my parents were both dead I
thought that all restraint whatever was taken
away, never considering that I was still in the
presence of Almighty God whose omnicient
presence beholds all our most secret actions,
and is privy to our inmost thoughts;   nor did
I ever hardly take time to reflect upon my
wicked life until such time that I was com-
mitted to this prison for the heinous crime for
which I am to suffer an ignominous death.    I
need scarcely inform the reader that I could
not stay long in my native town of Perth by
reason of the many illicit practices I was for-
ced to carry on in order to support myself,
wherenpon I was forced to go several other
towns to seek for work, at length I grew
weary of working altogether and began to tra-
vel the country with a few goods, but finding
the product of that way of living too little to
support my former extravagancies, I began to
think of commencing highwayman, a business
which I thought would yield me plenty ; ac-
cordingly I began to lay my schemes, & being
in the house of Alexander Paton in St. Ninians
pairish selling some goods. I observed narow-
ly where he had his money in keeping, with
at intention of breaking his house and stealing
the money and whatever other wearables   I
was able; all which I put in practice that very
night when I thought they were quiet and a-
sleep, I had got money to the amount of 75l.
pounds sterling with several other things of
value with which I made off as fast as I could

and thought all was safe, however I was deceiv-
ed, for I was pursued, apprehended and cast
into prison, and am never to come from hence
until I come to expiate my crimes by suffering
the hardest sentence of the law; the just re-
ward of my crimes, they are more in number
than I can express, suffice to inform the cour-
teous Reader. there is not one commandment
in the Law of God which I have not broken;
only figure to your imagination a wretch re-
ceiving numberless blessings from my Crea-
tor and every moment experiencing his bounty
and goodness; and in stead of being grateful
to him for his kindness, endeavouring with all
my power to provoke him to wrath by still
heaping one execrable crime upon another,
breaking his sabbaths by rioting and daunk-
enness, blaspheming his holy name, and horid
to think, calling upon his name for damnation
to my soul, but I am unable to recite the num-
ber of my sins or to paint them in their pro-
per collours, they are more in number than
the sand upon the sea shore and I am short-
ly to appear before Almighty God to answer
for these my numberless transgressions. O ! Al-
mighty and most gracious God seal the pardon
of them unto me with thine own blood before
I go hence and be no more that they may not
rise up in judgement against me, if I might
pesume to give advice, I would advise all
young persons to apply themselves with care
and attention to the Holy Sriptures, and at-
tending upon Gods ordinaces, and above all
to pray earnestly to God to give them grace
to guide them from evil, and add their honest
and best endeavours to live godly, righteons
and sober lives, it is of his mercy and goodness
that I was not cut of in the midst of my sins,
but have gotten some space to repeat, with
the wholsome advice and instructions of sever-
al good christians and worthy ministers, may
the Lord reward them for the care they have
taken for my soul. I have received great be-
nefit from them I crave forgivnness from all
whomever I offended, I freely forgive judges
and jury and all other persons acknowledging
the justness of my sentence and I hope the
Lord will forgive me , I die an unworthy
member of the church of Scotland, may the
Lord Jesus receive my spirit from the Gib-


Stirling   Tolbooth,
May 28th 1790.

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Date of publication: 1790   shelfmark: 6.314(19)
Broadside entitled 'The Last Speech'
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