The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Life and Behaviour of Samuel Bell'


Life and behaviour of

S A M U E L    B E L L

Late residenter at the Spittal, in the County of Durham. Who was
executed on Wednesday, 3d of September, 1800, at the West end
of the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, tor the crime of issuing forged

THE unfortunate man whose untimely
end has in some measure now made an
antonement to public justice for his crimes,
was a native of the north of England, a man
in the prime of life, and was endued with a
good deal of address, and could accomodate
himself, as to outward appearance to any com-
pany. His father, who who still living, is an old
man and has attended his son ever since he re-
ceived his sentence, and by his appearance, in
circumstances no ways in an affluent condition.
The son, Samuel Bell, whether it was from
the smallness of his father's income, or owing
to his own wild and unsettled temper, we can-
not tell, neither read nor write; but at any
rate had he been well inclined or willing to
learn he might have done both: since he was
in such circumstances as could have afforded
it for himself; bat it would appear by his con-
duct, that he had thought this rather a happy
circumstance, as he imagined it enabled him to
carry on his unlawful traffic with the greater
security, and any person who had dealings
with him was much readier to be taken in by
him than by those who could read and write,
and in case of being detected he could the more
easily shift it from his own shoulders to some of
those who were his partners; but how vain
was the thought! he has himself fallen in the
snare, and it is hoped his untimely end will be
a Warning to his associates, who have escaped
from that punishment which their crimes have
merited, to refrain from their evil courses, and
to become better members of society, than they
have hitherto been.

Bell during the whole of his confinement,
and even under his sentence bore up his spirits
amazingly, and it his though; he had some
hopes of getting his sentence mitigated; his
wife who is now in confinement, even encour-
aged him that hope, and wrote him that he
had been making application to some great
persons for him, but the day before his exit
he was very much cast down and appeared ve-
ry penitent, acknowledging the crime for
which he suffered, and that he had fallen a vic-
tim to his own credulity in suffering himself to
be led away with such a set of wicked despe-
radoes, who, at last, had brought him to his
untimely end; but he thanked God that ha
was now enabled to foregive them, and he
hoped they would how see their folly and wick
edness in its true light, and refrain from it
and not only them but all others, who might
be tempted their lewed and debauched lives to
break in upon public credit.

His father went up on the forenoon of
Tuesday, about ten o'clock; to take his last
farewell of him, but the scene both at meeting
and parting may be more easily conceived than
described, they were both in the greatest a-
gonies of grief. The old man petitioned for
liberty to take charge of his body which was
readily granted by the Magistrates.

The REV. MR. DICKSON, who attended
him since his sentance, was with him a long
time in the afternoon, and urged him to make
a full confession, as he was now a dying man
and that it would be a great relief to him in
his last moments; and that be might do it
without mentioning names; he said, he knew
he was to suffer, and that he had been a great
sinner, but that be hoped for pardon through
the merit of Jesus Christ: He, at all times,
when he was spoken to for to confess cullen
and merose, and studiously avoided answering
any question.                  

A\ill\n as the jail opened this morning Mr.
Aikman attended him, praying and conversing
with him a long time, for which he returned
his sincere thanks to him and the other gentle-
men, who had been so solicitous for his soui's
salvation, which he hoped to obtain by the mer-
cy of God.                                  .

Edinburgh ; printed by J, Morrison East Campbell's Closs Cowgate.
Glasgow-Reprinted by J. Galbraith.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1800   shelfmark: APS.3.84.20
Broadside entitled 'Life and Behaviour of Samuel Bell'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland