British Executions

Bell MMenemy

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 22 Oct 1828

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Glasgow

Method: hanging

Executioner: Thomas Young



A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of
Thomas Conner and Bell M'Menemy, who were
Executed at Glasgow on Wednesday Morning, the
22d October 1828, for Assault and Robbery; to-
gether with their Behaviour since their Condemna-
tion, and at the place of Execution.

It will be recollected that the unfortunate persons above alluded
to, Thomus Conner and Bell M'Menemy, were tried at the last
Circuit Court of Justiciary at Glasgow, for Assault and Robbery,
in so far as they were guilty of, on the 20th of May last, assault-
ing Alexander M'Kinnon, from Tralee, who came to Glasgow to
sell Eggs, and who stated the Case as follows :—" Was in Glasgow
20th May last, and came with a wherry to sell eggs ; sold his egg,
and had about £ 8 in notes, and £ 2 in silver, and some copper,
before the robbery took place. The notes he had in a stocking on
his leg ; the silver was in the other stocking. Between Monday
night and Tuesday morning, on the night he was assaulted, met a
woman, and went into a house with her and had one gill of whisky.
This took place in Glasgow. The prisoner M'Menemy was the
woman; M'Menemy followed witness after he had left the house, and
when at the Bromielaw Bridge, M'Menemy said she would take
him to a house. They went together, and on the road met a
watchman, who spoke to M'Menemy ; this was on their way to
the Aqueduct Bridge. Further on M'Menemy met a man whom
she said was her brother. Prisoner (M'Menemy) wanted witness
to sit down, but he would not do so, and the man they met canght
him by the neckcloth got a blow also on the head, which made
him senseless. On coming to himself, he found his silver gone
missed a pair of shoes, and a stocking which contained the silver ;
the stocking was left, but the money in it gone. Before he was
knocked on the head, there came up another man , thinks the
prisoner Richardson was the person who twisted his neckcloth;
identities his shoes as those he lost : two policemen went back to
place where he was robbed, and found the empty stocking; there
was much blood on the ground; beside the spot there was a
brick. Witness was very weak and sore, and severely cut in the
head from the blows he had got, and has not done much good since
The stone shewn is like the one he saw lying near where he
was robbed. Indentifies a bloody shirt as being his. The night
was dark.

They were both found Guilty by the Jury,—M'Menemy, in
terms of her own confession ; and Conner by the evidence ; but on
account of his youth was recommended to mercy.

Lord Meadowbank then addressed Conner. He said that he
thought he would not again have appeared at that bar, as the sin-
gular escape he had made about six years ago, would have given
him a sufficient warning. His hardihood in crime, however, was
by no means allayed, and the law must now take its course.
Conner and M'Menemy were then sentenced to be executed on
Wednesday the 23d October, betwixt the hours of eight and ten
morning. Conner appears to be about 25 years old, and M'Me-
nemy nearly the some age.

They accordingly suffered this day in front of the New Jail.
The woman has been very penitent, indeed, since her condemna-
tion, and acknowledged her Guilt in the most unqualified terms.
Conner also admitted the justice of his sentence, and mentioned
that he ought to have taken warning from his former conviction,
but that he could not.

Soon after eight o'clock the Magistrates were in attendance,
when the prisoners were brought forward. A psalm was then
sung, and a prayer offered up by one the Rev. Clergymen present.

After which they proceeded to the Scaffold, where another psalm
was sung, and a prayer fervently offered up in behalf of the un-
fortunate prisoners. They saluted one another, and shook hand
with those around them. They then mounted the fatal Drop, and
after praying fervently for a few minutes, the signal was dropt, and
they were instantly launched into eternity, amidst a great con-
course of spectators, it being an unusual sight to see a woman exe-
-cuted in Scotland.



This execution report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of Thomas Conner and Bell M'Menemy, who were Executed at Glasgow on Wednesday Morning, the 22d October 1828, for Assault and Robbery ; together with their Behaviour since their Condemnation, and at the place of Execution.'

Conner (or Connor) and McMenemy were executed at Jail Square, which was located in the Saltmarket area of Glasgow, for the assault and robbery of Alexander McKinnon. Their executioner was Thomas Young, who was hangman in Glasgow and elsewhere between 1815 and 1834. According to A.F. Young in 'The encyclopaedia of Scottish executions 1750-1963' (1988), McMenemy was the first woman to be hanged in Glasgow since Agnes White, who was executed in 1793 for poisoning her five-month old child.

Broadsides are often crudely illustrated with woodcuts - the earliest form of printed illustration, first used in the mid-fifteenth century. Inclusion of an illustration on a broadside increased its perceived value, especially among the illiterate. To keep costs down, publishers would normally reuse their limited stock of generic woodcuts.