British Executions

Andrew Fullarton

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: highway robbery

Date Of Execution: 16 Aug 1826

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


An Account of the Execution of ANDAREW

FULLARTON,who suffered at Edinburgh,
on Wednesday the 16th August, 1826,
for Highway Robbery, between Edin-
burgh and Dalkeith, on the 18th April
last, with his last Dying Confession,
and Behaviour on the Scaffold.

EDINBURGH, 16th August, 1826.—This mor-
ning, at nine o'clock, ANDREW FULLAR-
TON, Late quarrier in this neighbourhood, was
Executed here, at the head of Libberton Wynd,
Lawnmarket, far Highway Robbery, committed by
brutally assaulting James Hunter, cow-feeder, St.
L'eonard's, near Edinburgh, on the road betwixt
Edinburgh and Dalkeith, on his return from Lauder
fair, in company with two women, whom he met
on the road, and robbing him of nearly Eleven
Pounds, an umbrella, and neckcloth, on the night
of the 18th April last, along with two other men.

Soon after this crime was thus committed, Ful-
larton and Renton, a labourer, were apprehended, on
suspicion of being two of the persons concerned,
Reid, who was also supposed to be the third man,
having made his escape. He has been apprehended
since, however, and is now in Jail. On the 14th of
July last,Renton and Fullarton were tried before
the High Court of Justiciary on this charge. The
evidence as to the circumstances of the assault,
which appeared to have been a very brutal one, was
stated with great minuteness by Mr Hunter; and
he was corroborated in every respect by the two
females who were present, one of whom identified
Fullarton as one of those who committed the crime,
After several other witnesses were examined, and
the evidence summed up, the Jury returned a ver-
dict, unanimously finding Fullarton Guilty, and
the libel not proven against Renton. He, after a
proper admonition, was dismissed from the bar ;
and Fullerton, after a feeling and impressive address
from the Lord Justice Clerk, who urged him to lay-
aside any hope that the last sentence of the law
would not be carried into effect, was sentenced to
be execuled here on the 16th of August, between
3 and 10 forenoon. He displayed the greatest for-
titude during the trial, and even when the awful
sentence was pronouncing ; but his wife, who was
present, gave vent to her feelings in the most heart-
rending cries.

After his condemnation, Fullarton, we   heard,
behaved every way becoming his awful situation.
Acknowledged his guilt, and the justice of his sen-
tence.    Regretted exceedingly his committing the
crime for which he suffered, and ascribed it solely
to the influence of drink and bad company.    He
urged, even on the scaffold, the propriety of people,
particularly young people, keeping good company,
avoiding Sabbath-breaking,   and drunkenness,   as
these were invariably the causes that led to the
committal of every other crime.    He appea red, de-
cently dressed, on the scaffold, shortly after eight
o'clock, where a considerable time was spent in re-
ligious exercises ; and then, after cordially bidding
farewell to all around him, he mounted the fatal
drop.    While the executioner was adjusting the ap-
paratus of death, he was observed in most fervent
prayer for several minutes, after which he dropt the
signal, and was instantly launched into that world
from which no traveller returns, amidst a vast con-
course of spectators, about nine o'clock.

The sole purpose of the law, in punishing crimes,
being, " to deter others from committing the like
in all time coming," the example made here to-day,
of a handsome young man, said formerly to be of
a good moral character, only 26 years of age, being
cut off, by an ignominious death, from all he held
dear on earth, for the paltry consideration of a;few
shillings, surely ought to operate deeply on the
minds and conduct of all who witnessed it, and ef-
fectually prevent the like from occurring again in
our day and generation.

Printed for the Booksellers in Town and Country.


This account begins: 'An Account of the Execution of ANDREW FULLARTON, who suffered at Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 16th August, 1826, for Highway Robbery, between Edinburgh and Dalkeith, on the 18th April last, with his last Dying Confession, and Behaviour on the Scaffold.'

Whilst Fullarton was found guilty and sentenced to be executed for the robbery and assault of James Hunter, the case against one of his accomplices, a Mr Renton, was not proven. A third man known by the name of Reid, who made his escape after the incident, was later arrested and placed in jail. The broadside ends on a strong moral note, with Fullarton denouncing the evils of drink and urging young people to observe the Sabbath and keep 'good company'.

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.