Date Of Execution: 24 Oct 1821
Execution Place: unknown
A particular account of the
Of these three unfortunate young men
Michael Macintyre. Wm.Paterson-
and Wardrope Dyer, who were exe-
cuted at Glasgow, yesterday, 24th
Oct. with their dying behaviour.
THIS day the last mandate of the law was put in execution
against the above three unfortunate young men, in front od
the prison, in the presence of a vast concourse of spectators.
Macintyre and Paterson were condemned for entering the
house of I. Niven, and stealing various articles of wearing apparel.
Macintyre was not above 29 years of age, and was born in Ireland.
His parents endeavoured to gain a livlihood by hawking earthen
ware through this country, while the son was left to shift for him-
self, and might have been often seen going about the streets sel-
ling gingerbread, he unhappily became acquainted with idle and
dissolute company, along with whom he committed several petty
depredations, and was well known to the keeper of Bridewell.
Some years go he enlisted into the 26th regiment of foot, but being
several times guilty of plundering his comrades, des, he was severely
punished and dismissed from the regiment He again returned to
Glasgow, and commenced his old career of vice, till put a stop to
by unerring justice. Paterson was born in Manchester, but of Scot
tish parents, and came to Glasgow when a child. His father died
some years ago in the East Indses. His parents, from imprudence
and poverty, having neglected his early habit. he was soon led a-
stray, and alas, fell a prey to every species of vice with which every
large city abounds.
Dyer was convicted of breaking into the house of the late Mr
M'Culloch in Russel Street, and stealing a quantity of silver plate.
There is every reaion to suppose that the crime for which this un-
fortunate youth suffered was not his first offence, for on scarch-
ing his lodgings. there were found concealed about a foot deep in
tae floor, nearly 60 keys of various descriptious, some of them the
police officers declared they never saw the like before. This un-
happy young man was born in the Drygate' in the north quarter
of the city, of very reputable parents; (his mother died some
years ago, but his father remains to bewail his fate,) He received
a suitable education, ana at the proper time he was put to the
weaving. He however got acquainted with women of very ques-
tionable characters, took up with gamblers, boxers, & bullies, who
were always the first to point out the opject of plunder. & ever
ready to partake of the booty, but to wary too share in the danger;
& to these baneful suggestions he lent a too ready ear, which, as
he himself declared, brought him to an ignominious end, at the
early age of 22 years. It is said he has pointed out a notorious
haunt of these depredators in the Gallowgate, over which the po-
lice will no doubt keep a watchful eye.
On Sunday last the Rev. Dr Ranken, who also attended them to the
place of Execution .preached a very appropriate sermon to these unfor-
tunate men, and the rest of the prisoners, from Psalm i. 6, at which
Dyer seemed much affected but the other two prisoners behaved in the
most hardened manner, and addressing the other prisoners that if ever
they Were brought to the bar of justice, to be sure to plead guilty if they
wished to escape being hanged.
This prisoners were brought into the Court Hall about two o'clock,
and having finished their religious devotions, their religious devotions.
they expressed their acknowledgements to Mr Macgregor, the jailor for
his kind attention to them, and about three o'clock they ascended the
scaffold, when the awful preparations having been completed the dron fell
and the world closed on these unfortunates for ever.
This report begins: 'A particular account of the EXECUTION of these three unfortunate young men Michael Macintyre, Wm. Paterson and Wardrope Dyer, who were executed at Glasgow, yesterday, 24th Oct. with their dying behaviour.' The sheet dates from 1821.
McIntryre and Paterson were convicted of robbing a fairly large quantity of clothing from the house of John Niven, tanner, in Greenock. Both were habitual thieves and McIntryre especially was hardened to life, saying he 'didn't care a damn' on hearing the sentence. Paterson burst into tears when he was told his life was forfeit. Dyer's case was unconnected but he was also charged with theft by housebreaking. Their executioner was Thomas Young.
The many crime reports that form part of the National Library of Scotland's broadside collection offer a fascinating insight into crime and punishment in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Scotland. Whilst the penalty of death might appear unusually harsh for these men, execution was in fact a common punishment for housebreaking and theft at this time, and was intended very much as a deterrent to others.