The last Speech, Confession, and crying Supplication of Sir
TURNABOUT TOPBOOTS, and the rest of that Whig Gang
who were exhibited this day, on a Scaffold which had
been erected for them in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh.
PRECISELY at 2 o'clock they ascended the Scaffold, attended by the Magistrates, and a motely group of friends, curious to witness the
figure they would make at this ancient place of execution. The crowd was far from being so great as might have been expected, con-
sidering the pains which had been taken to collect them, and the hour of dinner, and consequently of leisure to the working classes which
had been selected. After all the preliminaries had been adjusted, Sir Turnabout spoke, as nearly as we could gather, to the following
Good people ! I appear in this miserable place, where so many before me have confessed their guilt, and suffered for their crimes,
to implore your compassion and intercession with his Majesty the King in behalf of those whom I and others of the same way of think-
ing contrived to place about his royal person, but whom he in his wrath hath dismissed from his service. It is true, and with grief I ac-
knowledge, that they have not in all things conducted themselves as they ought, or given satisfaction either to their royal master or those
who recommended them to his notice. They have quarrelled with one another, and driven from among them, I must admit, the very
best of their number?yea, with shame and sorrow I confess it, they have even expelled the man who was set over them to keep them
in order. The good King they have plagued with their bickerings, and tormented with their ostentatious preparations and boasting
professions, which have ended in nothing. His subjects they have not relieved as they promised ; neither have they rendered them
prosperous, contented, and happy, as he so anxiously desired. The ignoble and the ignorant they have dragged from obscurity, and
placed in stations for which they were by no means qualified, while the noble, the virtuous, and the wise, they have laboured to depress
and overawe by their vulgar abuse, and threats of popular vengeance. They have magnified their own wisdom, and sought to govern
the country without the fear of God. His church they have threatened to destroy, and declared that all religions are alike acceptable
to him, and that, therefore, it is no matter what religion we have in these lands, or whether we have any at all. But for all this they
have been useful servants, if not to the king and country, at least to some of those who helped to bawl them into office. Some they
have made Judges?others they have made Sheriffs?and many they have made Commissioners of humbug, with nice and comfortable
salaries ; but far the greater number of their expectants they have still left unprovided for. I myself have as yet got nothing but an
empty title, whereas I expected, long before this, to have laid my hands upon something substantial. My friend Sir Cripple Dick,
here, is in the same situation ; he has received nothing at all, whereas he should have been by this time chief of that Commission of
Inquiry which was to have been appointed to superintend the suds of the washerwomen of Edinburgh, with a salary of L.500 a-year.
Nor has my friend Bailie Bullhead been more fortunato ; he expected, ere this time, to have been at the head of that great piece of
Reform, and most necessary Commission which was to have been appointed to regulate the brawling of our Fishwives, with a salary of
nearly a thousand. And my worthy coadjutor, Councillor Jacobson has been equally disappointed?he was to have been chief of a
Commission to enquire into the capabilities of Chimney Sweeps, and bring them forward to that place in the Legislature of the country
to which they are so eminently entitled, with a salary, at least equal to the Bailies. In short, most of us are yet in the same destitute
and disappointed situation.
We are, therefore, truly, in a most pitiable case, and have no hopes of succeeding in our modest expectations, but by the help of your
stentorian lungs. His Majesty has called to his counsels the Duke of Wellington, and from direful experience, we know that he will
have no sympathy with our selfishness, and lend no ear to our most greedy requests?he will force every man to do his duty and be con-
tent with such salaries as can be afforded?neither will he give salaries to those who do nothing at all?he will not plunder the church
and divide the spoil with his supporters?neither will he create new Offices for our behoof, nor appoint Commissioners with large salaries
to enquire into matters which he never meant to redress. In short, he will force every one of us to respect the law, and make no provi-
sion for that Patriot band of needy Whigs, who have so long and so loudly tried, by your help, to force themselves into places of power
I implore you, therefore, to have pity upon us, and raise your voice yet this once, till we try if we can get the old servants sent back
again to his Majesty, and kept in office till such time as they have satisfied our longing desires, and provided for us handsomely ; and
then you shall have my permission to hiss and blow them to the four winds of heaven if yon please.
Many other supplications were addressed to the assembled multitude ; but the burthen of all was the same.
Edinburgh, 21st Nov. 1834.
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Date of publication:
1834 shelfmark: RB.m.143(177)
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