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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 onaddressed, “ James Meikle, Aber- ly ones he had access to, and which corn, near South Queensferry," was were searched. After some interproduced during the taking ihe 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 scarching it, some bank-notes opened. A 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 experimental 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 to 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 evening. Witness desired the guard to money drawer. This witness under. bring 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- on 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, be 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 Dingwall, 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, sealed the gistrates of Edinburgh should appoint as a place of public execution, After the examination of the witon Wednesday the 14th of April. nesses, the counsel for the prosecu.
tor and for the pannel addressed the jury; and the Lord Justice-Clerk
having summed up the evidence, the MURDER.
jury retired and deliberated for an
hour and three quarters, when they High Court of Justiciary, Monday, returned a written verdict, finding, by June 14.
a plurality of voices, the pannel Guil.
ty of the crime libelled, but unani. Peter Bowers, journeyman mill- mously and earnestly recommended wright in Haddington, was charged him to mercy. The Justice-Clerk with the murder of John Sandilands, immediately pronounced the awful day-labourer or farm-servant to the sentence of the law. Earl of Dalhousie, on the 15th day of April preceding, by striking him on the head with an axe.
HOUSEBREAKING AND THEFT. The prisoner having pleaded Not Guilty, the jury were sworn to try High Court of Justiciary, Monday, the case. It appeared in evidence,
July 19. that some young men had been amusing themselves by leaping on the Ralph Woodness, and Richard high road, opposite Coalston toll-bar, Smith, commonly called Curley, were when they were joined by the pri- charged with housebreaking and soner and his master's son, who had theft; in so far as they did, on the been working in the neighbourhood, 29th day of March preceding, wickand after finishing their job had re- edly and feloniously break into and galed themselves with some gills of enter the shop of Andrew Edgar, whisky at different public-houses. merchant in Linlithgow, by cutting The deceased was standing enjoying through the shutter of a window, and the amusement, when the pannel said taking out a pane of glass, and therehe would leap with any of them for by getting at and removing the pin twopence; and having lost his bet, which fastened the bolt of an iron and refused to pay it, some trifling bar; and did then and there steal a altercation took place among the large quantity of woollen cloth of parties, when the deceased said he different sorts, also bombazines, sarwould either jump with him, or fight cenets, cambrics, silk handkerchiefs, with him, for any thing he liked. burial crape, silk thread, &c. to the Some high words then ensued be- value of L.350 Sterling or thereby; tween the prisoner and the deceased, they being both habit and repute the import or amount of which was thieves, and previously convicted of not distinctly recollected by any of theft before the Magistrates of Glasthe witnesses present; but it ended gow. in this, that the prisoner advanced The pannels pleaded Not Guilty towards the deceased, and struck to the indictment. him a blow on the head with an axe, The declarations of the pannels which he then had on his shoulder, were proved to have been freely and and inflicted a severe wound on his voluntarily emitted before the Sheleft temple, out of which a part of riff-substitutes of Lanark and Lin. the brain obtruded.
Upon the examination of Daniel ken the window-shutter. It was provHamilton, Esq. Sheriff-substitute of ed by a number of witnesses, that the Lanarkshire, it turned out that the pannel Woodness, accompanied by first declaration of the pannel, Wood- one of the name of Gardner, came ness, had not actually been taken in in a gig to the door of a person of the presence of the Magistrate, but the name of Sinclair, who keeps a was afterwards read over in his pre- public-house in Glasgow, about eight sence. Mr Cullen, counsel for the o'clock on the morning of Monday pannels, took an objection to this the 29th of March ; and having tadeclaration being read; and it was ken a number of bundles from the stated by the Lord Advocate, that gig, containing a quantity of haberhe certainly admitted the irregulari- dashery goods, threw them down on ty, and would not insist on the de- the floor; desiring that they might claration being read as evidence. be kept there till they (Woodness
The Lord Justice-Clerk repri. and Gardner) returned; but the manded Mr Hamilton for the irre. mistress having become suspicious gularity which had taken place, and that all was not right, not only sent while he pointed out to him the ne- for her husband and called in some cessity of a Magistrate being pre- of her neighbours, but sent for the sent during the whole examination police-officers, who carried the of a prisoner, and not deputing so whole to the police office. All the important a duty to others, he hoped witnesses who saw the arrival of that such a circumstance would not the gig at Sinclair's door, swore to again call for the animadversion of the pannel Woodness being one of the Court.
the persons who was in it. His The Public Prosecutor then pro- person was also identified in the ceeded to call a great number of wit- gig on the road, and Mr Edgar nesses, no less than fifty having been swore positively to the goods left at inclosed.
Sinclair's as having been part of It appeared in evidence, that Mr those stolen from his shop. Although Edgar's shop had been broken into there was no proof of the pannel on the night betwixt the 28th and Smith arriving in the gig at Glas29th of March in the manner stated gow, when the goods were left at Sinin the indictment, and that on the clair's, yet several witnesses swore morning of Monday the 29th, about to having seen him on the road at five o'clock, the town-drummer, in go. Cumbernauld, and other places, that ing his rounds, had found a parcel ly- morning in the gig with the other ing in the street of Linlithgow. Up- pannels, together with several bunon going towards Mr Edgar's shop dles. Both prisoners were proven he found the window-shutter broken, to be habit and repute thieves. With and upon alarming Mr Edgar, the regard to Woodness, in particular, shelves, &c. of the shop were found several witnesses swore, that, for a to have been rifled of goods to the considerable time past, he had fol. amount of betwixt three and four lowed no occupation, nor had gainhundred pounds in value. Many ar- ed his livelihood by any other means ticles were found upon the streets of than plundering the public. Linlithgow which had been dropped The Lord Advocate having shortby the thieves, and a wright's chisel ly addressed the Jury for the Crown, was found on the outside of the shop, Mr Cullen for the pannels, and the with which it is supposed they had bro - Lord Justice-Clerk' having summed up the evidence, they did, without son in, saying he would not rise, but leaving the box, return a unanimous desired him to go away, and he would verdict of Guilty against Woodness, get a gill in a house farther on the of housebreaking and theft, aggra- road. Shortly after this, the shutter vated by being habit and repute a
of the window was broke with one thief, and finding the libel as to blow into two pieces, on which his Smith Not Proven.
sister, Mary Duncan, opened the After a very impressive and inte. door, when the man struck her a resting address from the Lord Justice, blow before the door was fully openCler':, Ralph Woodness was, on the ed, which cut her head severely. following day, sentenced to be exe. There are two doors, an outer and cuted at Linlithgow, on Friday the inner ; the threshold of the inner 27th of August ensuing.
door is so low, that a person must stoop on entering. The man then presented a pistol at the witness, and
ordered him to deliver his money, HAMESUCKEN AND ROBBERY. or he would blow his brains out. On
this the witness went to a chest where High Court of Justiciary, Wednes. the money was, from which he took day, July 21.
out bank notes to the value of L.10,
one of which was a five pound note This day came on before the Court of Sir Wm. Forbes and Company; the trial of James Whiteford, accu. one of the notes fell, but witness sed of hamesucken, and also of vio- lifted it up and gave it to the man, lently assaulting, beating, wounding, who then asked for silver, and the and bruising the lieges, and likewise witness gave him what was in the of robbery by breaking into the toll. brass box, to the amount of about house at Hopetoun-wood, Linlith- twenty shillings. Being shown a gowshire; and violently assaulting brass box, he said it was his property, Mary Duncan, sister of Henry Dun- and that it contained the silver. The can, toll-keeper, and striking her a man had a whistle, and said more severe blow on the head with a blud- people would be there soon-and geon, to the great effusion of her whistled. Witness gave him a handblood; and also presenting a pistol at ful of penny pieces, and also a bottle the said Henry Duncan, and com- of whisky, and a quartern loaf, both pelling him to open a chest in which of which he demanded. The pan. he kept money, taking therefrom nel is the man who committed the nine pounds in bank notes, two robbery, and he gave him the money pounds in silver, a bottle of whisky, to save his life. and a quartern loaf, on the evening Mary Duncan, sister of the preof the 26th or early in the morning ceding witness, said she opened the of the 27th of March.
door, when the pannel instantly The pannel pleaded Not Guilty. knocked her down by a violent blow
Henry Duncan, tacksman of the on the left side of the head. He toll at Hopetoun-wood, said, that, had a pistol in his hand, and a stick on the morning of the 27th of March, under his arm. She called Mr somebody came to his door before Baird, surgeon, who dressed her three o'clock, and asked for a bottle head, and she was eight days conof porter, and then for a gill of whis. fined to her bed, and is still not ky. Witness refused to let the per quite well. Witness had seen the