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

Broadside concerning the proceedings of the Circuit Court of Justiciary, Glasgow


An account of the Trials of the different Criminals, in the Circuit Court of Justiciary at
Glasgow, which was opened on Tuesday the 2d of May, 1809.

THE Circuit Court of Justiciary was opened
at Glasgow on Tuesday the 2d of May, by
the Right Honourable Lords Craig and Armadale,

M. Simpson and J. Stafford, accused of assault
and robbery, were brought to the Bar. They
both pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to I4
years' transportation.

The Court next proceeded with the trial of John
Duncan, accused of murder or culpable homicide.
After a short trial he was unanimously found not
guilty, and dismissed from the Bar.

J. Hastie, charged with an assault and robbery,
was next put to the Bar, and, after a trial of con-
siderable length, was found guilty, and adjudged
to be confined in the Tolbooth of this city for six

James Hannah, accused of assault and robbery,
and of being habit and repute a thief, was unani-
mously foand guilty.         

John M'Allister, accused of stealing bank notes,
was then put upon his trial; but the libel being
found not proven he was dismissed from the bar.

Wednesday, John Frazen, charged with forg-
ing a letter from James Boatson, Supervisor of
Excise in Bonhill, for the purpose of obtaining de-
livery of a quantity of salted herrings, and of salt,
which had been seized from Fraser as contraband,
and lodged in the house of Mrs. Craig, inn-keeper
at Gairloch-head. Several witnesses were examin-
ed, in particular two Engravers, to make out the
forgery comparatione literarum. The Jury were
ably addressed by the Advocate Depute on the part
of the Crown, and a very ingenious defence was
made for the prisoner by Mr. Jardine; after which
the evidence, was summed up by Lord Armadale,
and the Jury being enclosed, returned a verdict
finding, by a plurality of voices the libel proven-
He was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment
in the Tolbooth of Glasgow. Their Lordships ob-
served , that the former good character of the pri-
soner, Fraser, as sworn to by very respectable wit-
nesses, was a consideration which inclined them to
inflict a more lenient punishment than would other-
wise have been imposed.

Thereafter the Court proceed to the trial of
William Alexander Campbell, for uttering certain
notes of the Renfrewshire Bank, knowing them to
be forged. After several witnesses had been ex-
amined, the trial was abandoned, owing to an er-
ror in the indictment, in the description of certain
notes, which the Counsel for the prisoner contend-
ed could not therefore be produced in evidence a-
gainst him. The Court, after hearing Counsel,
sustained the objection, and the trial having been
in consequence abandoned, the Jury were enclosed,
and returned a verdict, finding the libel not proven,
and he was dismissed from the Bar.

The diet was deserted, pro loco et tempore, a-
gainst George Stewart, John Armstrong, and John
Gordon M'Intosh, accused of housebreaking and
robbery, and a new warrant was granted for their
recommitment. It is understood their trial will
come on before the High Court of Justiciary.


This morning the Court proceeded to the trial
of Hugh Ramsay, for culpable homicide. After
the examination of two witnesses the public prose-
cutor declined proceeding farther. The Jury were
then enclosed on the case.

William Kirkwood, hostler at Bowling Inn, was
put to the Bar, accused of the murder of William
Smith. After a long trial, the Jury, by a majority,
found the libel not proven, and Kirkwood was dis-
missed from the Bar.

On the prisoner, James Hannah, found guilty of
robbery, and of being habit and repute a thief, be-
ing brought into Court, John Wood, Esq. Advo-
cate, his Counsel, pleaded, in bar of any sentence
being pronounced against him, that the five Gentle-
men who were last named as the Jury of the priso-
ner, had never been sworn, and that therefore the
alleged verdict returned by the Jury was null and
void; and he craved that the prisoner be dismissed
from the Bar. The Court, before proceeding to
consider the objection, ordered a proof of the fact;
and four of the five Gentlemen who, it was alleged,
had not been sworn when impannelled on this trial,
being instantly adduced and examined on oath as to
the foresaid allegation, three of them deponed that
they were certain that they had not been sworn; and
the fourth Gentleman, that he thought that he was
not sworn, when named Juryman on this trial.-
Their Lordships inclined to sustain the objection;
but on account of the importance of the case, they
ordered it to be reported to the High Court of Jus-
ticiary for their opinion and decision; and the pri-
soner to be transmitted to Edinburgh, to be present
at the discussion to take place on the 22d current.
This finished the whole of the criminal business.

AIR, April 20.

This day came on the trial of William Dornan,
blacksmith, and Robert Smyth, shoe-maker.-
They were accused of having, by means of false
keys, or otherwise, on either of the nights between
Saturday the 10th and Monday the 12th of Sept.
1808, entered the shop of Miss Margaret M'Mur-
ray, in Air, and carried away a large quantity of
goods, which consisted principally of nineteen
pieces of print, five of gingham, silk chambray,
black silk velvet, cotton velvet, spotted muslins,
imitatation shawls, hankerchiefs, &c.

The robbery was clearly proven, and the priso-
ners were sentenced to be executed on Friday the
26th day of May, between the hours of two and
four afternoon, at the place of execution within
the parish.

DUMFRIES, April 26.

The Circuit Court of Justiciary was opened here
on Monday last, by the Right Honourable Lord

Michael Donelly and James Duffy, late weavers
in Carlisle, accused of forgery. The Jury, by a
plurality of voices, found the libel proven against
James Duffy; and they, by a plurality of voices,
found the libel not proven against Donelly, who
was dismissed from the Bar.

James Duffy was sentenced to be executed here
on Wednesday the 31st day of May next.

Printed by Thomas Duncan, 159, Saltmarket.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1809   shelfmark: APS.4.84.19
Broadside concerning the proceedings of the Circuit Court of Justiciary, Glasgow
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland