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drawn up in the street surrounding the stepped forward to prevent it, under prePolice Office and place of execution. tence, as is now said, of showing humanity

{"* It was now within thirteen minutes of towards the criminal four o'clock, when the wretched Johnston “ The state of the fact certainly is, that, was carried out of the Police Office to the notwithstanding the pains that had been scaffold. His clothes were thrown about taken to have the apparatus perfect, the bin in such a way, that he seemed half na- rope was found to be too long, a fault alone ked; and, while a number of men were imputable to the executioner, who has since about him, holding him up on the table, been dismissed on that account. Hence, and fastening the rope again about his upon the criminal being thrown off, his neck, his clothes fell down in such a man toes touched slightly the drop below. This, ner, that decency would have been shock- however, was capable of being reinedied in ed, had it bécn even a spectacle of enter a few seconds, and the carpenters in attentainment, instead of an excecution).

dance were immediately put upon that 7.166While they were aljusting his clothes, duty, and while in the act of removing the the unhappy man was left vibrating, up- drop, the mob threw in a shower of stones held partly by the rope about his ueck, and and wounded several of them. The cripartly by his feet on the table. At last, the minal was also wounded by one of the table was removed from beneath him, stones to thic effusion of his blood. The poe when, to the indescribable horror of every lice officers endeavoured to preserve order, spectator, he was seen suspended with his but after several of them had been severely face uncovered, and one of his hands broke wounded, they were driven in upon the loose from the cords with which it should magistrates by the pressure of the very have been tied, and with his fingers con- great and unusual multitude that had asvulsively twisting in the noosa. Dreadful sembled ; and the whole party were there cries were then heard from every quarter. forced into the adjoining church. Meantime A chair was brought, and the executioner part of the mob continued to throw stones, having mounted upon it, disengaged by and destroyed nearly two hundred panes of force the hand of the dying man from the glass of the churches, while another party aut rope. He then descended, leaving the down and carried of the body of the criman's face still uncovered, and exhibiting minal. The police officers, in reserve hava & spectacle which no human eye should ing, noto come forward, cleared the streets ever be compelled to behold. It was at and got posscssion of the body, which was length judged prudent to throw a napkin carried into the Police Office, where a suton the face of the struggling corpse.

geon, without any order from a magistrate, " The butchery, for it can be called no- opened a vein, with the view of ascertain hing else, continued until treenty-three ing if the criminal was dead. He did not minutes past four o'clock, long after the bleed ; but shortly after he showed sigus of street lamps were lighted for the night, lije. By this time one of the magistrates and the moon and stars distinctly visible. had gone to the Castle, and had brought How far it was consistent with the sentence down a party of the military; and the ap? of the Justiciary Court to prolong the exe.. paratus having again been put up, it be rution after four o'clock, is a question, came the duty of the magistrates to carry 'which the writer cannot answer ; but the the sentence of the law into effect; and, fact is oertain that it was continued until accordingly, within the period mention, nearly half an hour thereafter by the Ma- ed in the sentence, the criminal was again gistrates, at the head of a military force. suspended, end hung till he was dead." • The above is a true account by an eye

On the facts contained in these witness of the execution, and taken down by him in writing, during the same even- staternents, various legal objections ing, as the writer hopes to see God in mera have been stated to the second sus oy.

pension of the criminal. He had been We also subjoin the material part out of the custody of the legal authoof the official statement.

rities; he load bled or resuscitated;

he had suffered a species of torture not * ". Though, from the nature of the crime contemplated by the law; and, as and the hardened guilt of the criminal, some lawyers think, (the writer of the there could be no anticip..tion of any at- Letter to the Lord Advocate anong zempt to interfere with the execution of the the rest,) he could not legally be sube seistence of the law, yet no fewer than one

jected to any new torture, especially hundred police officers were put upon actu-. ab duty, and one hundred and thirty more as, it is understood, he was not eut were kept in reserve,

down until after the hour fixed by *** Thus every step that human prudence the sentence of the Criminal Count. could devise was taken, and the sentence To that Court, however, or at least to of the law would have been executed in the the Crown lawyers, it is said, the Mausual manner, if a lawless mob had not gistrates of Edinburgh ought to have

applied, after recovering possession s011,” is then told as illustrative of the of the criminal. It is a maxim of principle, that a person who has been law, that if death be unlawfully once suspended, and the time elapsed, itiflicted, the consequences are the cannot be again taken hold of for the same, whether the person who suffers same crime. In this case of Johnit be innocent or criminal; and that ston, however, it is said, the question the guilt is the same whether it be is not confined to one of time, nor to inflicted by an ordinary subject or a one about the legality of subjecting magistrate, unless in the latter case it him to torture by bleeding and a sebe done in the strict and legal execu- cond hanging; but extends to a question of his duty..“ Thus," says our tion of identity. t Those who des ablest writer on criminal law,” if prived Johnston of life in the last in. a magistrate shall burn a convict stance might have no doubt of his whose sentence is to be hanged upon identity ; but the question is, Whether a gibbet ; or, instead of a public exe- they were entitled to decide that point cution, if he have him strangled pri- by an act of their own mind The vately in gaol; or if he negligently law, it has been said, never admitted let the day of execution pass, and a question as to the necessity of proof think to make amends by executing the in such a case; the debate was, Whe. convict on some later day; it seems clearly to be such a homicide, for which the defender will be answerable is to be found in the Scots Vagazine for De

An account of this singular occurrence with his own life." These are general cember 1808. This woman was hanged rules, to which, of course, exceptions for child murder on the 20 September may be allowed from circumstances 1724, in the Grassmarket of Edinburghia that shall be held to warrant them. While the body was conveying in a care to The only safe rule for an executor of Musselburgh for intermert, a motion was the law, when the act he is to per- felt in the chest in which it was placed, form goes to the taking away of life, vein was opened, and spirits administered, is to proceed as far as he can strictly and animation speedily restored. Next day in terms of his warrant; and, when she was able to sit up and converse withahe any unforeseen event prevents him visitors who poured in upon her from all from so acting, to pause and take the parts. On the 15th October she came directions of the Court from whence his take refuge in a house from the curiosity

openly to Edinburgh, but was obliged to warrant issnell. The worst that can

of the people. She does not seen to have happen under this principle will be been ever molested from any other quarter: the escape of some wretched eriminal;

* On this question being started in a con atid if it he bought that danger would pany the other day, a gentleman related thic arise from converting any such act following anecdote. A negro having commits : into a precedent, it is in the power of ted some horrible prime in the West Indies," the legislature to provicie a reinedy. was condenined to be blown into the air We are not here venturing to decide from the mouth of a cannon. While a questions of law, we are merely stat- guard was leading lim up to the cannon's ing those which have been agitated. mouth through a tile of soldiers, he made li has been said, that a warrant to his escape by darting through between the

a sudden spring to one side, and effected hang a man until he be dead, is not a legs of a horse. In a very few minutes a warrant to hang him till be is half cry was set up that the convict was on the dead; to réanimate, or rather to re- top of a chimney. The soldiery were so store him to sensation and feeling ; enraged, that the person thus pointed at, ani then to hang and torture him a who was a negro, was speedily seized, and, second time. In such a case, a dis- without his identity ever being questioned, tinction has been drawn between the was tied to the cannon's mouth, and the case of an interrupted execution by piece of artillery actually discharged. By the act of the criminal, and an inter an accident almost miraculous, he had, beruption from any other cunse; and it fore the gun went off, wrested his body, oft has been gravely said, that'a magis. the gun. This, however, would not have

the muzzle, and remained clinging round trate cannot, of his own authority, saved him, had not the real culprit been and least of all, by any want of care discovered, before it was found possible to ohr bis part, gain a title to aggravate fix him irrevocably for his transit. This the sentenee, or to extend the limited story may be true or false; but it suggests term for putting it into execution. The the possibility of dreadful mistakes arise case of Margaret Dickson, commonly ing from rashnass und inattention to legai. called “ half-hangit Maggie Dicka fornis.

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ther the Justiciary Court could decide have any tendency at all, have that it on evidence without the aid of a effect on the mind which is favourajury? All these nice questions, how- ble to the progress of vịce and crime. ever, were summarily decided; but On the well-disposed, and those who it is not for us to say, whether those are secured against crime by regular who judged of them had legal power habits and right feelings, an execution to do so, or the contrary. If they may have the effect of increasing the had the power, it is of little moment horror of vice, as well as of rousing in a general point of view, whether their sympathies respecting the fate they decided well or ill; but it is of of a miserable, misled, and deprared much greater consequence than it may fellow creature ; but on those of irrebe thought, in a cursory view, that it gular habits, and who have commencbe seitled and known, whether they ed their career of vice, the effect, we had or had not legal power to do all conceive, will almost uniformly be to that was done by them.

debase and brutify, or increase that No man of sound judgment will love of strong excitement, and that suppose, that we have recorded either distaste of all regular industry and facts or arguments with a view to ex- ordinary occupation, which are the cite a prejudice against the officiating great parents of vice, crime, and miMagistrates. Such duties are of a sery. "In cases of murder, and some painful and delicate nature; and in other most atrocious crimes, the discharging them, they are entitled to death of the criminal may be necessahave the most favourable construc- ry, to appease the outraged feelings tions put upon their conduct; but of humanity,-to get rid of one who still there is a higher deference, which is too mischievous to be indulged with we owe in all cases to the laws them- , life, and to pacify the minds of others. selves. Delicacy to the administra-: But it is well known that solitary tors of the law, can never be placed in - confinement and hard labour, are by opposition to what is due to the hon-most criminals considered higher our, and purity, and preservation of punishments, if punishment only be law; and as impartial chroniclers, it in view, than death itself, and it reis soinetimes as necessary, and fre- formation be in view, the coercive sys quently of more importance, to pre- tem just inentioned, is infinitely more serve some evidence of the tone and likely to produce amnendment of heart, tens per of the public, as of the facts and reformation of principle, than the wluch led to the peculiar state of pub- punishment of death. It would seem,

therefore, that wherher we consider This execution of Johnston has al- the matter as Christians, or merely so directed public attention to the with respect to the well-being of soquestions, whether punishments should ciety, there are many strong reasons ever be made. capital for any crime for reducing, as far as possible, the short of murder, rape, or treason? number of capital punishments. And, whether any execution should But whatever doubts may be entertake place in a crowded city? It is tained as to the justice of our very liquite certain, we believe, that in Eng- : mited speculation on capital punishland, the number of capital punish- ments, there should, we think, be one." ments have been fewer for some years opinion only for removing their froin past, in proportion to the number of cities and towns to some place in the convictions, than they long were ; in immediate vicinity, where they can be Scotland, perhaps, there is little dif- witnessed by none but voluntary spete 1: ference in the proportions ; but in tators. To exhibit such a spectacle, both countries, the number of execu- where females and others may be coin. tions exhibited to the public have very pelled to witness it, however trying it considerably increased. If such exhi- may be to their feelings, ordangerous to" bitions had the effect intended, crimes their health of body and peace of mind, would decrease in consequence of them; appears to us to be wantonly cruel andil. but instead of that result, ve see barbarous. Bat we must leave their crimes increasing in number from subject for the present; though not year to year. To us this is no matter without the intention of resuming its of astonishment; for, independently on those points which are of a generál * of every other consideration, we con nature, and which are always intera14 ceiye thut public executions, if they esting to the philanthropist. So ver w

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Puilical and Literary Anecdotes of As he was passing through the Court his own Times. By Dr William of Requests, he met a member of the King, Principal of St Mary Hall, contrary party, whose avarice he imaOxon. London, 1818.

gined would not reject a large bribe ;"

so he put into his hands a bank bill! This work was the amusement of for L. 2000, with no other preamble a man of 76, a scholar, a jacobite,- or ceremony but“ give me your vote." one who lived among the great and the This was doing business in a businesslearned, and spares the faults of nei- like manner. At another time, while ther. Dr King was born in 1685, and there was a warm debate in the died in the end of 1763, and was, House of Lords concerning some mitherefore, the contemporary, and at a nisterial measures, Sir Robert coolly mature age, of the rebellions of 1716 observed to Mr Levison, Lord Gow-" and 1745,

and of all the other import- er's brother, who was standing next ant events of the early part of the him, “ You see with what zeal and list century. Yet his book does not vehemence these gentlemen oppose, fulfil the expectations that may he and yet I know the price of every raised by his political attachments, man in this House except three, and and the period in which he lived. your brother is one of them.” But These anecdotes, which are thrown in the last point he was wrong, for together without method, are for the some time after Lord Gower sold him.' most part of no great intrinsic value, self and half his fortune for a mere alding little or nothing to our previous trifle, a feather, as Dr King calls it. knowledge either of men or measures; When this last distinguished person but some of them are curious; and the got into office, he used all his art to agreeable manner in which they are preserve the good opinion of his old told, in & tone of plaiņness and sina friends. ' He drew up artieles tending cerity, renders the old gentleman a to a thorough reformation, thirteen in very amusing coinpanion for an idle number, and read them to our' author, hour. The manuscript, which, we are who observes, " that not one of them informed by the editor, was procured was performed, or ever intended to be from two ladies, relatives of Dr King, performed.No wonder that “ some is in his own hand-writing, and seems very worthy gentlemen, and true loto have been intended for publication. vers of their country, were inclined to This anonymous assurance is all the pray for the continuance of Sir Ros authority, we have for the authentici- bert'sministry, as the old woman prayty of the work. But its contents are ed for the life of Dionysius the tyránt: not of such a description as to call for They judged that his successors positive evidence; there is no matter would be worse ministers, and worse of importance at issue ; nor does any men ; that they would pursue his reason appear why it should be as measures : without his abilities; and i cribed to any other than the real au- the event has verified their predic thor.

tion." Among the eminent individuals of We have a proof of Walpole's tathat period, one of the most conspi- lents in a different line, and em cuous was Sir Robert Walpole. E- ployed with a happier effect, in his nough is known of his political cha method of defeating the schemes of racter to render probable one or two the Pretender. Sir Robert duped his anecdotes, which would be otherwise agent to such a degree, as to make incredible. On one occasion,” says him believe that he himself had formDr King. ", he wanted to carry a ed a design to restore the House of question in the House of Commons, Stuart, and thus he got possession of to which he knew there would be all the agent's dispatches. great opposition, and whieh' was dis Dr King, like Voltaire,' seems to liked by some of his own dependents. think, that an evil fate constantly purs

sued the House of Stuart, and that the stoops a little, owing perhaps to the great history of the family, both before and fatigue which he underwent in his northern after their accession to the English expedition. He has an handsome face and throne, cannot well be accounted for good eyes ; but in a polite company he

He by any natural means. Those who would not pass for a genteel man. will not admit this to be very philo- French, Italian,

and English, the last with

hath a quick apprehension, and speaks sophical, may, he thinks, ascribe their

a little of a foreign accent. As to the rest, singular misfortunes to their heredi- very little care seems to have been taken of tary obstinacy of temper, of which, his education. He had not made the belles indeed, there are many striking ina lettres or any of the finer arts his study, stances, besides those noticed by our which surprised me much, considering his author. But there is one to which preceptors, and the noble opportunities he he says the ruin of the Pretender's must have always had in that nursery of interest was mainly owing, about all the clegant and liberal arts and sciences. which he had the best opportunity to

But I was still more astonished, when I be well informed. In the latter part and constitution of England, in which he

found him unacquainted with the history of his life he was accused of having ought to have been very early instructed. deserted his former principles; frein i never heard him express any noble or this charge he defends himself by re- benevolent sentiments, the certain indicalating a piece of private history, in- tions of a great soul and a good heart; or terspersed with very free remarks on

discover any sorrow or compassion for the the character and acquirements of misfortunes of so many worthy men who one hapless legitimate.

had suffered in his cause. † But the most

odious part of his character is his love of “ September 1750, I received a acte money, a vice which I do not remember to from my Lady Primrose, who desired to have been imputed by our historians to any see me immediately. As soon as I waited of his ancestors, and is the certain index of on her, she led me into her dressing room, a base and little mind. I know it may be and presented me to

If I was urged in his vindication, that a prince in surprised to find him there, I was still more exile ought to be an economist. "And sa astonished when he acquainted me with the he ought ; but nevertheless his purse should motives which had induced him to hazard be always open, as long as there is any a journey to England at this juncture. thing in it to relieve the necessities of his The impatience of his friends who were in friends and adherents. King Charles the exile had formed a scheme wbich was iin. Second, during his banishment, would practicable ; but although it had been as have shared the last pistole in his pocket feasible as they had represented it to him, with his little family. But I have known yet no preparation had been made, nor this gentleman with two thousand Louise was any thing ready to carry it into execu dors in his strong box pretend that he was tion. He was soon convinced that he had in great distress, and borrow money from been deceived, and therefore, after a stay a lady in Paris, who was not in affluent in London of' five days only, he returned to circumstances. His most faithful servants the place from whence he came. As I had who had closely attended him in all his diffi, some long conversations with him here, and for some years after held a constant correspondence with him, not indeed by letters .“ Rome. His governor was a Probut by messengers, who were occasionally testant, and I am apt to believe purposely dispatched to him; and as during this in. neglected his education, of which it is surtercourse I informed myself of all parti, miscd he made a merit to the English miculars relating to him and of his whole nistry; for he was always supposed to be conduct, both in public and private life, I their pensioner. The Chevalier Ramsay, am perhaps as well qualificd as any man in the author of Cyrus, was Prince Charles's England to draw a just character of him; preceptor for about a year ; but a court and I impose this task on myself not only taction removed him.” for the information of posterity, but for the " As to his religion, he is certainly sake of many worthy gentlemen whom I free froin all bigotry and superstition, and shall leave behind me, who are at present would readily conform to the religion of the attached to his name, and who have' forin- country. With the Catholics he is a Cathoed their ideas of him from public report, lic, with the Protestants he is a Protestant; but more particularly from those great ac. and, to convince the latter of his sincerity, tions which he performed in Scotland. As he often carried an English Common to his person, he is tail and well made, but Prayer-book in his pocket : and sent to

Gordon, (whom I have mentioned before,)

a nonjuring clergyman, to christen the first • The Pretender.

child he had by Mrs W."

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