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and as witness supposed, went to took a one pound note out of it, and bed; but the prisoner soon came something else which witness .could out of his room into witness's, and not see. He afterwards put on his went as if searching round the room, jacket and shoes, and went out by looking into every place, as witness the back door, threatening them not thought for the axe, which he at to dare to stir after he went, as he length found in the cupboard under meant to stop and listen, and if he the stairs, where his father had put heard them move would be the death it after cutting some wood the same of them. Soon after, witness folnight. The deceased at this time lowed Mrs Surrey into the next called out, and asked him if he was house, and gave the alarm. His sisnot coming to bed; he replied no, ter's name was Ann, and she marfor he was going to sleep with the ried the prisoner, who was a brick- . children. She then said she would layer's labourer, three years ago. get up; he called out, “ No, no, Cross-examined by Mr Norton. don't get up; I'll come to bed to They were very good friends that day you.” He then went into and out before they went out, about two or from his wife's room two or three three o'clock that afternoon, and he times. Witness soon afterwards kissed her. His further examination overheard something, as if prisoner was merely a repetition of his direct had hit the deceased very hard twice. evidence of what occurred at night, Witness then got up, and hallooed with the addition, that the prisoner

, out “ Murder ! He ran to the door, appeared agitated, and charged her and saw the prisoner with the axe with having been with another man, lifted over his own shoulder, as if he and she was scuffling with the prisonwas going to hit her again, but he er for attempting to take from her then came over to witness, and said, her pockets, which she said contained “ You d-d young rascal, if you call money not of his, but of her father's. out murder again I'll serve you the Robert Prescott, a constable, resame.” He then came into the collected the alarm of murder on the room where witness slept, and said, night in question. He repaired with “ I have done for her;"? adding to Mr Coltson, a neighbour, to the house, Mrs Surrey and witness, that if they where he found near the door inside offered to stir or move he'd serve two puddles of blood, and on turning them the same. Prisoner then re- his eye saw the deceased lying on turned into his wife's room, and put her back in the bed, quite dead." On on his stockings, breeches, and waist- the right side of the bed there was a coat.

When he came out he said great deal of blood quite congealed. to witness, “ Tom, where's your He then produced a large axe, which father's money ?” Witness replied, he found in the children's bed-room ; " For God's sake, don't take father's when he found it, it was full of blood money, for he has got to pay it a. on the back part, which was thick way." Prisoner replied, that if they and heavy; there was no blood on offered to stir or move, he would the sharp edge of the axe. serve them the same. He then sat The boy Soles proved this to be down on witness's bed, having fetch- his father's axe, which was in the ed his father's box, where he kept his cupboard under the stairs. hammers, and nails, and tools; he William Bailey, a surgeon, saw the took a chisel out of it, with which deceased ; she had a wound on the he broke open his father's box, and back of the head, and others on the

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forehead and temple; that on the time ; on her return I chastised back part must have been inflicted her for being out, knowing she had with a blunt instrument, and those been doing wrong. The following in front with some sharp one, like a day she said she was going out, and knife of some kind. These wounds suspecting her to be going to act he had no doubt had occasioned her improperly, I followed her to the death. The jaw was fractured in two cow-house, near which I saw her places. The back blow might have with this John Lawrence, and on her been inflicted by the axe now in return, when I accused her of it, she Court, but certainly not the front said, "You be d—d," and she would ones, they were more of the nature of do as she liked. The following day stabs: the jaw might have been I told her I wanted to buy a pair of broken by the axe : either the back shoes, and asked her to accompany or front wounds might occasion in. me; she refused, and went off by berstant death.

self half an hour before. I sought George Ruthven, the officer to her for some time, and at length met whom the prisoner was delivered in- her near Bishopsgate; she at first to custody at Sandwich, in Kent, refused to go with me, but ultimately stated, that on their road into town, consented, and soon after left me, the prisoner told him that some time and when I came home she refused previous to the 28th of September, his to tell me where she had been; I wife went out for water and staid a was very angry, and we had words long time, and he suspected she was all the time of tea. I told her I had with a man in the cow-house. On not money enough to get shoes, and the 28th he caught this man and she wanted me to go to Church. woman in the fact in this same cow. street, Newington, where she said I house, and the man escaped from might get them; I went there, and him. She said she was forced there found neither shop nor shoes. On by the man; and prisoner then told my return I found her again from her, if she would prosecute him he home, and sought for berin the coachwould forgive her, but she refused, and yard, where she sometimes went to said she loved his little finger better the men, but she was not there. I than his (her husband's) whole body. then went to the cow-house, where Prisoner' then described to him the I heard her breathing." He then continuance of the altercation after minutely described the situation in they went home, and admitted his which he found his wife with Law. then having killed her with the axe; rence on the evening of the 28th of he added, that after the first blow, September, and her entreaties to be she either said, “ Oh, you know," forgiven, because the man forced her or “ Oh, you rogue,” he did not in; he stated his offer to prosecute know which. This was the declara. the man, her refusal, and declaration tion made by prisoner when he had that she loved that man's finger bethim in custody.

ter than his (the husband's) whole Here the case for the prosecution body. He then admitted his having closed, and the prisoner, when called had a continued altercation with her upon for his defence, spoke as fol. in the bed room, and his being at length lows:

provoked, and that, in the height On the Monday, the day before, I of her abuse of him, and threats to

I saw my wife, who went out to get a go out again to the man whom she pail of water, and was gone a long loved, and also her imprecations that

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she would be the death of him or as she liked, and he might go and herself, he struck her once, twice, bed-d; for (he added) that he was or thrice, with the axe which he afraid she would send him to prison, picked up in the room; and after and let him rot there. From the having done so, he drew her head to. whole of his defence, admitting it to wards him and kissed her, saying, be true, we could infer, that the life “ You were once my comfort; I have he and his wife had led before the now been your death: and you, my melancholy conclusion of hers was a dear, will be the death of me.” He constant scene of quarrel and reconadmitted his having taken the one ciliation. On the present occasion pound from his father-in-law's box, he rested his case chiefly on the great and threatened those in the house provocation he had received from not to stir. In the course of his ad. one whom he said he loved so dearly. dress, which was rather long and in A number of witnesses were then some parts unconnected, the prison. called, who gave the prisoner an exer more than once adverted to acts cellent character for humanity. of infidelity on the part of lois wife, Mr Baron Wood summed up the which, according to his account, he evidence to the Jury, and remarked, was aware of before the night of the that had the prisoner committed the murder. He said she had been in act of which he stood charged, at the the habit of going with married men moment he caught another man in in the neighbourhood, and that he adultery with his wife, then the law had long suspected her. On the night had humanely provided a palliation on which he alleged he had detected for his crime; but here the act was Lawrence and his (prisoner’s) wife deliberately committed at a subsein the cow-house, he said he up- quent period, when the passions had braided her ; but afterwards consent- had time to cool, and therefore the ed to forgive her, and forget what prisoner had disentitled himself to the had passed, provided she would go benefit he might otherwise have had and live with Lawrence or with Tuc. in the eye of the law. ker, or with any one else she loved The Jury, after six minutes' delibetter than himself, and not come to beration, found the prisoner Guilty, him any more. It also appeared and the Recorder immediately profrom his statement, that the man nounced upon him, in the most: so(Lawrence) had joined them (pri- lemn manner, the awful sentence of soner and his wife) before they got the law. home from the cow-house, on the night in question, and had called for some drink for them, acknowledging that the whole transaction with pri- ABSTRACTING MONEY FROM LETsoner's wife was his (Lawrence's) fault Prisoner said he would not drink, but (we think) only tasted it, High Court of Justiciary, Friday, and threw away the glass. From an.

March 19. other part of his speech it appeared, that he had on a former occasion been This day cameon before the Court bound over to keep the peace for ill- the trial of George Warden, lately treatment of his wife. This he al. clerk or assistant to the Postmaster leged as a reason for not striking her of Aberdeen, accused of having abwhen she provoked him so, by say. stracted from letters money and bills ing, (as he stated,) that she would do to the amount of L. 20, between


the month of May and the 4th of ed them on the spot, he gave them to December 1818, when he was appre. Mr Lumsden.) The prisoner said hended. To these charges the pri- the whole of the money belonged to soner pleaded Not Guilty, and the his account in the Post-office. The trial proceeded.

marking put on by the witness was Alexander Dauney, Esq. Sheriff. by a pencil, but he saw the notes substitute of Aberdeen, proved two next day before the Sheriff, when he declarations of the prisoner to have marked them over again with ink, been freely and voluntarily emitted. and he had no doubt they were the He was present when a drawer in the identical notes. Witness took the Post-office, of which the prisoner had prisoner into custody, and went to the exclusive possession, was search- search his room at the Post-office. ed: the four notes now shown him The prisoner showed them a set of were found on the prisoner. A letter, , drawers, which he said were the on. addressed, “ James Meikle, Aber- ly ones he had access to, and which corn, near South Queensferry," was were searched. After some interproduced during the taking the pri- val, Mr Dingwall, the Postmaster, soner's declaration. A letter, ad. was sent for, who pointed out anodressed, “ Donald Ross, Helmsdale, ther drawer which he said was the Sutherlandshire,” was found in the prisoner's : it was locked, and the drawer sealed up with a wafer, and prisoner then produced the key, and, had the appearance of having been upon searching it, some bank-notes opened. Å letter without address, and other money were found, together commencing, “ Inclosed you have a with a letter addressed, “ Mr DoPost-office order for L.15," was also nald Ross, Helmsdale, Sutherlandproduced during the examination of shire," as also another unfinished ihe prisoner. Another unfinished letter, which witness at the time letter was also produced.

marked, and left in the drawer, which George Cockburn and Peter Laing was locked and sealed. corroborated Mr Dauney's evidence. James Shearer, Esq. one of the

Simon Grant, sheriff-officer in A- Surveyors of the General Post-office. berdeen, was employed in Decem- -Complaints were frequently made ber last to search the premises of the of letters containing money being prisoner, and went io his father's amissing in passing through Aberhouse, along with Mr Henderson of deen, both from South and North. the Post-office, Edinburgh, Mr Lums. After consulting with the Secretary den, and Mr Harvey : a search was and Postmaster-General, he took made, and they found, in a pair of measures to find out how this happantaloons, which the prisoner said pened. A number of experimenta were his, a letter directed to a wo- letters were made, and sent to A. man at or near South Queensferry. berdeen, and ought to have arrived The letter now shown him is the there on a particular day. Two letsame. Witness searched his person, ters were sent to be put in at Inverand found eighteen notes upon him, ness, one addressed io Mrs Donald, all, he thinks, of one pound each. near Queensferry, containing L.2, (The four notes mentioned in Mr another addressed to the care of Mr Dauney's evidence being here shown Young, Burntisland, containing L.3. the witness, he declared them to have Witness went to Stonehaven, and been taken from the person of the the letters should have arrived there prisoner, and that, after having mark. on the 4th of December, in the eveo


ing. Witness desired the guard to money drawer. This witness underbring in the Aberdeen bag, and, on went a long and close examination, going over the letters, he found on- as to the number of letter carriers, ly one of five experimental letters and as to the situation of the office, there. Witness immediately went with the means taken to secure the off to Aberdeen, and the prisoner doors and windows. He stated that was apprehended, and his drawers the prisoner had been absent for searched, as detailed by preceding eight days, several months previous, witnesses. One letter was found ad.. account of indisposition, and dressed to Donald Ross, Sutherland- thought his emoluments would ashire,

mount to about L.100 annually. Cross-examined.-By experimental letters, he meant that one of the

Exculpatory Evidence, letters sent was fictitious, and the o- George Fyfe, messenger at arms, thers were not; that it frequently Aberdeen, had known the prisoner happens letters are mis-sorted ; that for five or six years, and he bore an they are put in a particular place, excellent character. and are generally sent by next post. Certificates from several gentle

Alexander Shepherd, writer, In- men were read by the counsel for verness, stated, that he received two the pannel, which testified to the letters from the Solicitor for the former good conduct and character Post-office, each containing two one of the prisoner. pound notes, addressed to Mrs Do- The Lord Advocate then charged nald and James Thomson ; he had the jury on the part of the Crown. seen them dispatched on the 3d of Mr James Gordon made an able December, and had no doubt of the speech in favour of the prisoner, in notes being the same as those shown the course of which he reprobated to bim, as he had kept a memoran- the officers of the Post-office, for dum of their numbers, &c.

throwing out a snare to entrap the Alexander Ding wall, Postmaster, prisoner. After commenting at conAberdeen, stated, that the prison- siderable length upon the evidence, er had been employed by him for the learned counsel concluded by twenty-one months in the most con- making a most impressive appeal to fidential services, in consequence of the feelings of the jury, on account the very favourable character which of the youth of the prisoner, and the he had received. He had allowed the excellent and unblemished characbags to be opened by the prisoner, ter he had hitherto borne. who slept in the office. He recol- The Lord Justice-Clerk summed lects having been suddenly called to up the evidence at considerable the Post-office on the 4th of Decem- length; and the jury having retired ber, when he found Warden in cus- for about an hour, returned into Court tody of the officers. The prisoner with a verdict, finding, by a pluraliwas allowed to retain possession of ty of voices, the prisoner Guilty of the key of the drawer, which con- the crime charged, but at the same tained the money belonging to the time recommending him to mercy. office, and to which witness himself The Court then pronounced senhad no access. Witness sent to a tence, ordaining the pannel to be neighbouring house for Mr Shearer, executed, in such place as the Mawho, after examination, scaled the gistrates of Edinburgh should ap

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