Crime: highway robbery
Date Of Execution: 1 Jun 1825
Execution Place: unknown
Knocking down and robbing John Brown of £25, two watches, and a variety of other articles, on the Cathcart Road.
Account of the Execution and Behaviour on the Scaffold, of JAMES STEVENSON, for highway robbery, who suffer- ed at Glasgow, on Wednesday morning, the 1st of June, 1825; to which is added, his confession and last dying words, which he left with a friend who visited him in the jail.
GLASGOW, 1st June, 1825.
This morning, the above unfortunate young man underwent the awful sentence pronounced against him at the last Circuit Court, for knocking down and robbing John Brown of £25, two watches, and a variety of other articles, on the Cathcart Road, last winter, aggravated by feloniously and violently assaulting him to the confusion of his blood. Since his condemnation he has been attended by the Rev. Mr. Muir, and Mr. Morrison, Chaplain to the jail, and several other Ministers.— He has all along behaved in a very decent and becoming manner, paying every mention to the admonitions of his instructors, who were most diligent in turning his views from this world of sin and trial, to that brighter and happier state, which a prepared for all those, who, by sincere repentance are, seek for'glory, honour and immortality. After the usual preparatory services in the Hall, the prisoner pro- eveded to the scaffold, decently dressed in black, where, after spending a few mi- nutes in prayer, he gave the signal, and was launched into an invisible state. The whole solemn caremony occupied about an hour and a half, from a little after 8 to hearly 10, which prevented the usual bustle in the streats in the middle of the day. Annexed is the confession he made to a friend who attended him in jail, and who desired it to be published for a warning and advice to all.
I, JAMES STEVENSON, aged 21, was born in Glasgow, of decent honeat parents, who instilled me in the paths of virtue and honesty, and in which I continued to walk for some time, till seduced by evil company, I went on from one degree of vice to another, when I was at last overtaken by the hand of jus-tice , and this day suffered for the crime of which I was found Guilty by a jury of my country, and the justice of which I acknowledge ; as a warning to others to keep from bad company and crime, the following stanzas' are addresssed, in the hope that they will afford a seasonable and wholesome lesson.
O let all men'a warning take
At my unhappy fate,
And from then folly to awake,
Before it is too late.
Let not the thirst of wealth you lead,
To acts of cruelty,
But in the paths of virtue tread,
And shun the fatal tree,
shame and disgrace attend me now,
I guilty plead to all ;
Submissive to my fate I bow,
And wait death's dreadful call.
But oh! the pangs of dire remorse,'
BY which my bosom's rent,
More painful far than death to bear;
Oh ! how my heart relents.
To what distress then have I brought,
My friends and parents dear,
Yes, their disgrace I sure have wrought,
Which full soon will appear.
If penitence and inward grief;
Will for my crime atone,
I surely will find some relief,
For acts that I have done.
But should my Saviour me receive,
And mercy on me have,
I then should die in peace, nor grieve
To court the Silent grave.
Then let my fate a warning be,
To all mankind made known,
And from it shun the fatal tree,
That I did suffer on.
The above young man had no regular employment; he worked in one of the sand boats in taking sand out of Clyde when apprehended he has left some rela- tions both here and in Kilmarnock, among whom is his mother; his father is dead. He resided latterly in the Calton. W. Carse Printer, Glasgow.