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Broadside entitled 'Execution'


This report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of James Wemyss, Umbrella Manufacturer, Grassmarket, Edinburgh, who was Hanged there on Thursday the 16th day of April, 1840, for the Cruel and Barbarous Murder of his own Wife, or reputed Wife, on the 27th of January last.' The sheet was printed by Menzies of Edinburgh.

Wemyss and his wife, Sally McRavey, who had once been tinkers, had settled in Plainstane Close, Edinburgh. However, they were prone to drinking and it is while both were arguing and in a 'state of beastly intoxication' that Wemyss murdered his wife. He then put her to bed and made his escape. He was caught soon after, tried and condemned. He was around 40 years old.

Although this report only hints at it, the executioner, John Scott, made a mistake in his first attempt at the drop. He didn't take the correct bolt out, much to the crowd's horror. An official noticed and soon Wemyss was 'launched into eternity'.

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Date of publication: 1840   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(199)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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