British Executions

Bell McMenemy

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 22 Oct 1828

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown



For Robbery and Assault with intent to Murder.

Glasgow, October 22d, 1828.

This morning Thomas Connor, and Beil
McMenemy suffered in front of the New Jail, a-
greable to their sentence. The crowd began to
collect this morning by day break, and by Seven
o'clock the crowd became so great, that num-
bers were severely bruised and otherwise hurt by
the extreme pressure against the railing which
separates the green from the street.        

About ten minutes to eight, the unfortunat
criminals made their appearance. Connor
seemed much dejected, and had to be supported
to the platform, while McMenemy, though be-
longing to the more timid sex, appeared to meet
her fate with greater resolution. Her courage
failed her, however, when she reached the plat-
form, and saw the multitude, who were met to
witness the miserable end of herself, and her
companion in crime.

Upon taking leave of her friends before com-
ing out to the Scaffold, she with great emotion de-
livered an advice to the young and unguarded.- the
following were the principal topics of her solemn
warning. She advised all in general, and females
in, particular, to avoid vicious and profine,asso-
ciates—to keep regular hours—to cultivate ac-
quaintance with the sober, the industrious, and
the religious part of the community—and regu-
larly to attend Divine Worship , and while such
conduct would secure them from ignominy, to
which she was deservedly exposed, it would also
give peace of mind, and make them respectable
members of Society. She had now seen the evil
of her ways, and found that the only way to hap-
piness is the way of heavenly wisdom; and
with the last words which she would utter on
earth, she would solemnly call upon all to
turn from their wickedness, and seek mercy
while it is yet, to be found. Hoping her last end
would prove a warning to those following a course
of iniquity, she Would bid them all FAREWELL!

After taking a farewell.of this world, her coun-
tenance exhibiting deep marks of penitence and
resignation, she placed herself in a proper
situation for the executioner to do his duty.
Her companion who had gazed on her for some
time with an expression of grief and des-
pair, now placed himself by her side. They
shook hands, and their faces were covered. Af-
ter a few minutes spent in private devotion, the
signal was made, and the partners who had lived
together in crime, were ushured together into the
world of spirits.

These unfortunate individuals who have this
day suffered the highest penalty which the law
can inflict, were tried on Wednesday, the 17th of
September last, along with other two, who were

They were all charged with the crimes of as-
sault and robbery. Having attacked a person
of the name of McKennon, near the Paisley
Canal, on the night of the 20th of May last, after
having cruelly abused him, they robbed him of
two Pounds and a pair of shoes.

Ever since their sentence, they have been to
all outward appearance extremely penitent, con-
fessing their crimes, and praying for forgiveness.
The female appeared to be much shocked with
the idea of appearing before the crowd, and was
extremely agitated by the rumours which were
abroad concerning her.

This unfortunate young woman formerly resid-
ed in Paisley, and it was in this town that she first
departed from the line of honesty. Shortly after-
wards she removed to Glasgow, where evil com-
pany completed her ruin. She is but 25 years
of age, and the only woman that has been exe-
cuted in Glasgow these 32 years. Such was the
public excitement on this occasion, that the City
was in a commotion during the whole night; and
strangers continued to pour in from Paisley, and
other parts in the country from three in the morn -
ning up to the hour of execution.

During the time which, has elapsed since re-
ceiving sentence, they have been regularly visited
by most respectable Clergymen of various per-
suasions, who all united in their laudable en-
deavours, to open the eyes of their understand-
ings to a proper sense of their condition.

A few minutes before they left the hall, they
lifted their voices, along with a number of persons
present, in praising God, by singing the follow-
ing hymn.

When rising from the bed of death,
O'erwhelm'd with guilt and fear,
I see,my Maker face to face,
O how shall I appear
If yet while pardon may be found,
And mercy may bo sought,
My heart with, inward horror shrinks,
And trembles at the thought.

When thou, O Lord, shalt stand disclos'd
In majesty severe,
And sit in judgment on my soul,
O how shall I appear               
But thou hart told the troubled mind
Who doth her sins lament,   
That timely grief for errors past,
Shall future woe prevent.

Then see the sorrows of my heart,            
Ere yet it be too late ;
And hear my Saviour's dying groans,
To give these sorrows weight.
For never shall my soul despair
For mercy at thy throne
Who knows thine only Son has died
Thy justice to atone

It may not be improper to notice, that this un-
fortunate female appeared at her execution dres.,
sed in a suit of clothes most generously bestowed
by the Female Benevolent. Society. The multi-
tude was most immense ; every spot from which
it was possible to obtain a glimpse of the sufferers
being literally crammed with spectators.

Printed by Edwards . 


This report begins: 'This morning Thomas Connor and Bell McMenemy suffered in front of the New Jail, agreable to their sentence. The crowd began to collect this morning by day break'. The sheet was printed by Edwards.

Thomas Connor or Conner, and Isabella, 'Bell', McMenemy were systematic robbers who were sentenced to be hung after they were caught for attacking and robbing boatman Alex McKinnon. Two others were involved in the crimes but were acquitted. Bell would entice men into a quiet place and then the rest of the gang would pounce. Bell was the first woman to be executed in Glasgow since 1793.

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.