FROM JOHN KEAN TO THE LORD PROVOST
An account of the Public Whipping of JOHN KEAN, for
Shooting at JOHN GRAHAM, a Cotton-spinner, which took
place on Wednesday the llth of May, on a Platform erected
in front of Glasgow Jail, in presence of an immense multi-
tude of Spectators. Also, the Copy of a most extraordinary
Letter which he presented to the Lord Provost and Magis-
trates on Monday last.
THE above unfortunate individual, it will be recollected, Was tried and found
guilty of a most diabolical attempt to murder John Graham, a cotton-spinner,
by shooting him with a pistol, as he was returning home form his work, in the Cal-.
ton. The prisoner is a native of Belfast, about 30 years of age, and has a wife and
young family. He was always considered a sober, honest, inoffensive tradesman,
till the unfortunate misunderstanding betwixt the Matter Cottonspinners and Oper-
atives occurred, when it is much to be feared that he was urged on to the commis-
sion of the crime of which he was found guilty, more by the suggestion of some lrid-
din villains, than by the innate depravity of his own disposition.
The following is the Petition which he presented to the Lord Provost and Magis-
trates, on Monday last, praying for a mitigation of his punishment:?
Unto the Honourable the Lord Provost and Magistrates of Glasgow,
The Petition of John Kean, prisoner in Glasgow jail,
[ ] the punishment which the petitioner has been adjudged to suffer, on the [ ]
[ ] being left to the discretion of your Honours, he, in all humility throws,
[ ] at your feet, imploring for mercy in the number and quality of stripes, ben
Constitutionally delicate and nervous, increased by the nature of his employment
and rendered unwell and weak from deep anguish and long and close confinement
end having mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and friends, whose hearts will
be convulsed at the punishment, and whose feelings, he is more anxious to spare than
his own: beseeching you to recollect, that to exhibit Cruel punishment to the pub-
lic does not reform but deteriorates character, and is opposed to the intelligence and
benevolence of good men:
And your Petitioners all ever pray-
Glasgow, 9th May' 1825.
At an early hour this morning a number of me in were engaged in putting up the
scaffold which was erected at the usual place of execution in front of the prison. It
consisted of strong tresses, across which were la id stout planks, and in the center
Of which was firmly fixed a whipping-post, the a hole being surrounded by a strong
railing. The culprit ascended the scaffold soon after 12 o'clock, and after having
been bound by the hands, and feet to the post, and his back stripped bare, the Exe-
cutioner proceeded to inflict the punishment when he gave him 80 stripes,and from
the appearance of the unhappy man's body, be n ust have felt grest pain, A great
number of the public works having been shut up the crowd was the largest since the
execution of James Wilson for high treason; and with shame do we say it, a great
proportion of whom were females. The whole operation did not last long, the crowd
being nearly all dispersed by half-past 12 o'clock.
We trust that the punishment thus inflicted, will have a most salutary effect
on those for which the above awful example is intended, and teach them that the arm
of the law is strong, and able to reach and punish all who transgress, or were guilty
of such criminal proceedings.
Since the trial of Kean took place, the Lord Advocate of Scotland has given ao.
tiec of his intention to introduce a bill into Parliament to extend Lord Ellenborough's
Act to Scotland, by which all crimes of the above description, will in future be pu
nished with Death.
Printed by John Muir.
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Date of publication:
1825 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(079)
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