Crime: highway robbery
Date Of Execution: 1 Nov 1826
Execution Place: Glasgow
An account of the Behaviour and Execution of ANDREW STEW-
ART and EDWARD KELLY, who were both Executed at
Glasgow, on Wednesday Morning, in the presence of an immense
multitude, for the daring crime of Street Robbery. Likewise, a
list of all the Criminals, who have been executed in Glasgow for
the last 60 years.
GLASGOW, NOVEMBER 1, 1826. - This day the highest punishment of the law was
put in force upon ANDREW STEWART, and EDWARD KELLY, convicted at our last
Circuit Court of Street Robbery.
Stewart was convicted of having, along with several others, in the beginning of August
last, knocked down and robbed in the Gallowgate, an Italian of the name of Filippo Testi,
of a gold repeater watch, with chain, seals, and key attached, two, one pound notes, and a
guinea one, 10 or 12 shillings in silver, a pair of black, kid gloves, same tobacco, with five
or six segars in a segar-holder. It appeared that the poor foreigner had been betrayed by a
woman of the town, who gave information to a gang of ruffians that he had money upon
him. After he had been knocked down, the villains were so numerous that they firightened
away every person who wished to interfare, and actually kept rifling him for several mi-
nutes, and under the eyes of several spectators, till the police came up, when they ran off
to the green, and disputed about the the division of the spoil, till a battle had nearly ensued,
Stewart was about 25 years of age, and was born in Belfast of Protestant parents; and was
by trade a weaver; he and his parents have resided for a long time in Bridgeton; he was ne-
ver known to have been guilty of any violation of the laws, till the act for which he has this
morning atoned with his life, leaving an aged father and mother to lament the consequences
of his thus stepping aside from the paths of moral rectitude. He was assisted in his de-
votions by the Rev. Mr. Morrison, the Chaplain of the Prison, and the Rev. Mr. Marshall;
to whose pious advice he paid the greatest attention. He indulged in hopes of pardon al-
most, till the last day of his life; but the proper authorities considered that the crime de-
manded that an example, should be made, and the law was ordered to take its course.
Kelly was convicted along with Thomas White (but who has since been respited,) of rob-
bing James Fleming of upwards L.100 sterling, in the Bridgegate, on the 31st of March
last. The circumstances of this case are nearly similar to the last, and should be a warning
to people who have money on them, to beware of the company they go into, for it appears
that Fleming had imprudently allowed himself to be decoyed into a house with a woman
whom he had picked up in the street, and while in his company she had no doubt discovered
that he had money in his possession, and after parting, had given information to some of her
abandoned associates, for he, was soon after waylaid by several fellows, dragged into a close
and robbed of his money, and. considerably hurt. The robbers having gone into a Mr. Mof-
fat's, spirit dealer, Tradeston, to divide their booty, he, by his prudent conduct had them
apprehended before they could get their purpose accomplished, and L. 61 of the money re-
covered, another of the party having made his escape with the remainder.
Kelly was about. 21 years of age and was also a native of the Sister island, of the Roman
Catholic persuasion. He had never been bred to any reguler business, and in cousequence
of his idle life he had more than once been the inmate of a prison. He was attended by the
Rev. Mr Scott and the Rev. Mr. Murdoch, to whose spiritual admonitions he paid the most
Soon after 3 o'clock the unhappy culprits ascended the fatal platform, attended by the
Ministers of their respective religion, and after a short lime spent in prayer, the executioner
proceeded to adjust the ropes, which, having been finished, the drop soon after fell, when
they died almost instantly. Considering the early hour the crowd, was very considerable.
It appears from authentic records, that since the year 1765, till the preseut time, which
embraces a period of 61 years, there have been publicly executed in the City of Glasgow
82 criminals; of which number there were executed betwixt 1765 and 1781, at the Howgate-
head, where the Monkland Canal Basin now is, 7; in the Castle yard, where the Infirmary
now stands, betwixt 1784 and 1787, 12; at the Cross, betwixt 1788 and 1813 22; and since
1814 till this period, there have, been executed in front of the new prison no less than 41
In the year 1769, Andrew Marshall for murder was hung in chains at the Howgatehead
as a striking mark of public infamy.
John Muir, printer, Glasgow.
This crime report begins: 'An account of the Behaviour and Execution of ANDREW STEWART and EDWARD KELLY, who were both Executed at Glasgow, on Wednesday Morning, in the presence of an immense multitude, for the daring crime of Street Robbery.' This sheet is dated 1st November 1826 and was published in Glasgow by John Muir.
John Muir specialised in reports about criminals, their activities and trials. The two men here were convicted of mugging Fillipa Testi of personal effects. It is curious to note that those featured are accompanied by the their country of origin and religion. A list of those executed in Glasgow for the sixty years previous has also been included. This would have been marketing ploy to make the purchase seem like an especially good bargain.
Reports recounting dark and salacious deeds were popular with the public, and, like today's sensationalist tabloids, sold in large numbers. Crimes could generate sequences of sheets covering descriptive accounts, court proceedings, last words, lamentations and executions as they occurred. As competition was fierce, immediacy was paramount, and these occasions provided an opportunity for printers and patterers to maximise sales.