British Executions

Hans Regelson

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: rape

Date Of Execution: 28 Jun 1811

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Perth

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


Execution at Perth.

An account of the Execution of HANS REGELSON, a Danish seaman, who was executed
in front of the Council-Room, Perth, on Friday the 28th of June, 1811, pursuant to
his sentence, for committing a Rape on Margaret Budge, of Burntisland, aged 17.—
Also, an account of his Behaviour on the Scaffold.

ON Friday Hans Regelson, the danish
seaman, aged about twenty-five, who
Was capitally condemned, at the last Perth
Circuit, for a rape, committed on Margaret
Budge, of Burntisland, aged 17, was exe-
cuted at Perth, pursuant to his sentence.

The fate of this unhappy foreigner ex-
cited a very general sympathys and every at-
tention was paid him during his confine-
ment that could be bestowed on a person in
his situation, for which he seemed exceeding

From the report of the Clergymen who
attended him, we are happy to hear he was
remarkably penitent and resigned. Indeed,
he could not but be convinced of the justice
of his sentence; for the Court, during his
trial supplied him with every lawful advan-
tage for his defence that possibly could be en-
joyed by a British subject—able counsel was
appointed for him, and every exculpatory
plea listened to with more than usual anxiety,
that the Jury, without a breach of duty,
might be enabled to acquit him.

On Friday morning he received the sa-
crament according to the forms of the
Church of England, which are nearly simi-
lar to those of the Lutherian Church, of
which he was a member.

He Came on the platform at the usual
hour, apparently firm and resigned, and be-
trayed no symptom of fear while the execu-
tioner was making the necessary arrange-
ments—not seemed to wish to delay his fate;
for, whenever the executioner left him, he
placed himself in a supplicating attitude,
dropped the fatal signal, and was immedi-
ately suspended.

The sympathy of the spectators for this
unfortunate foreigner was very apparent,

and they expressed their feelings when he
made his exit by a universal ejaculation of
pity, in a low and mournful tone of voice.

Early in the month of February laft, as a
Dragoon was on his return from duty, to his
quarters, a   small public- house, called. Bran-
dean Hut, in the forest, near Petersfield,
in Hampshire, (England) his attention was
arrested by the Cries of some person in distress,
which induced him to ride up to the spot
whence they proceeded, where his humanity
was shocked on beholding a woman tied to a
tree, with the tears, which her situation and
sufferings had produced, actually frozen to
her cheeks, and, shocking to relate. quite
naked, having been Stripped and robbed of
every article or her dress,by two villains,
who afterwards left her in that deplorable
condition. The Dragoon instantly cut the
cords that bound her hands and feet to the
tree; and having, in some measure, restored
to her the use of her limbs, by rubbing
them, wrapped her up in his cloak, placed
her on his horse, and proceeded to his
quarters, where he soon after arrived; and,
as he was conducting the shivering object of
his care into the house she looked through
a window that commanded a view of the
kitchen, suddenly shrunk back and in a
faint voice exclaimed, " there are the two
men that robbed me of my all, and used me
so cruelly!" The soldier, in consequence,
entered the kitchen, and secured the men,
who were the next day taken before a Magi-
strate; and, after the necessary examination,
committed to Winchester jail, for trial at the
next Assizes. The woman, we need hardly
say, was taken proper care of; and the Dra-
goon, we hope, will be properly rewarded
for his exertions in the cause of humanity
and justice.                                 

Printed by Thomas Duncan 159, Saltmarket,


This execution notice begins: 'An account of the Execution of HANS REGELSON, a Danish seaman, who was executed in front of the Council-Room, Perth, on Friday the 28th of June, 1811, pursuant to his sentence, for committing a Rape on Margaret Budge, of Burntisland, aged 17 — Also, an account of his Behaviour on the Scaffold.' This sheet was published by the Thomas Duncan, of the Saltmarket, Glasgow.

There are actually two different stories contained on this page, although both cover the same topic - the sensational use and abuse of women. This style of compulsive story was popular and two on a page was good value for money. The first story, concerns the rape of a Burntisland girl by a foreign sailor. The emphasis here, is placed on the sympathy of the crowd for a foreigner dying abroad. There is no mention of Ms Budge. The second story concerns the violent theft of articles from a woman in Hampshire by two soldiers. Neither of these stories concern the Glasgow area, but Duncan had to vary his topics, as he was up against stiff competition in the Saltmarket area.

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.