British Executions

John Camaish

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: murder

Date Of Execution: 18 Apr 1823

Crime Location:

Execution Place: unknown

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown



Bring the Last Dying Speech and Concession of these two un-
KIN RADE who were Executed in the Isle of Man on Friday-
the 18th of April last, for the cruel and inhuman Murder of
Mr Camaish, who was with child at the time.

The office of Executioner was performed by one of the principal Magistrates of the
Island, when the unfortunate Female came to the ground, by the rope giving way.

Douglas, April 24, 1823 -JOHN CAMAISH, 28, & CATHRINE KINRADE,
19, were lately convicted of giving poison to the wife of Camish, when pregnant,
whereby the death and that of her unborn infant was occasioned. On Friday, the
18th inst, these persons were executed on the Lake near Castletown; the spot usual-
ly appropriated for public executions, where an immense concourse of spectators
were early assembled, for the purpose of witnessing the last moments of the prison-
ers. The surrounding eminences were covered with young and old of both sexes.

It is a melancholy fact, that the female Kinrade, at the time of her committal to
prison, was actually unable to prayl—but the indefatigable and praise worthy instruc-
tions of the pious individuals who attended her, soon enabled her to bow her knee,
and implore the mercy of an offended Maker, and so earnest and heartfelt was she in
her prayers, as to excite the pity of all who heard her: she prayed hourly in the
Manks language, with a fervency and feeling that evidently shewed her deep contri-
tion and remorse. She was a young woman of uncommonly interesting and rather
hands me features and appearance, considering her rank and station in life, She
confessed that she had been the cause (actuated by the base suggestions and insidi-
ous arts-of Camish) of the death of' her own sister. He first beguiled this unfortu-
nate sharer of his ignominious death, at a period when -he was little more than 13
years of age, although subsequently held criminal intercourse with her sister.

Camish, until within the last four or five days evinced little or no remorse or con-
trition, but latterly he was agitated in the extreme; and his limbs and who body
were in a continual tremor; refusing all food. On the morning of the execution he
confessed that he purchased the poison first administered to his wife by Kinrade in
then porridge, which caused her to vomit very much, attended with violent pains in
the head and bowels. Finding this draught not deadly enough, he went to anothea
shop in Ramsoy, and bought some more arsenic, under the pretence of destroying
vermin, which he gave to his wife, under, the diabolical pretext that " he had got
something; to cure,"—after taking this second draught she almost instantly expired!

On the morning of the execution the female prisoner requested an interview with
Camaish which was complied with. A brief interchange of words took place, in
which she gently reproached him for his guilty life, but hoped they should die in,
forgiveness towards each other; they-forgave each other, shook hands, and parted.

Previous to the removal of the prisoners from the gaol, the executioner placed the
ropes round their necks. The doleful tolling of the chapel bell announced the com-
mencement of the procession from the Castle to the place of death. In the the cart
which conveyed the victims of unlicensed intercourse, sat several ministesr acmon-
ishing and exhorting the prisoners as to their futuer hopes On arriving, at the gal-
lows, the cart was drawn underneath, when the Rev Mr. Kewley put up a short
prayer for the prisoners, and pathetically embracing the female Kinrade, and shak-
ing hands with Camaish, descended from the cart, when the executioner (by law the
Coroner of Ayre Sheading) proceeded in his painful task; the cart was drawn away,
and they were huried into eternity amid the tears and groans and shrieks of the sur-
rounding multitude, which were not a little increased from the circumstance he
rope which Cathrine Kinrade was suspended giving way, her feet touching high the
ground evenil times. Camaish struggled very little; the vital spark was soon extinct.
The dissolution of the girl was lengthened by the rope slipping, but reason had
fled—they were only the last struggles of Nature in her final extremity. After hang-
ing half an hour, the bodies were cut down and conveyed to Douglas for dissection.

Such an unusual circumstance in the Isle of Man excited considerable agitation;
no executions having taken place there tor the last thirty years.

In person, Camaish was of low stature, with heavy protruding eye brows, and of a
very forbiding countenance. The Coroner of Ayr Sheading being unable to find a [ ]
was obliged to execute the prisoners himself.                                       

Printed by John Muir Glassgow.


This execution notice begins: 'Being the Last Dying Speech and Confession of these two unhappy lovers, JOHN CAMAISH and CATHERINE KINRADE . . . For . . . Murder of Mrs Camaish.' This sheet was published by John Muir of Glasgow.

On 18th April, 1823, Kinrade and Camaish were sentenced to execution on the Isle of Man for poisoning Kinrade's sister, Mrs. Camaish, whilst she was pregnant, so that John and Catherine could be together. An account of this case also appeared in the local newspaper the 'Manx Sun' on 22 April 1823. Both of the executed pair were apparently from Lezayre parish in the north of the island. Although this incident happened in the Isle of Man, the moral lesson and horror of the story travelled effortlessly to Glasgow. It illustrates how avid audiences were for news and entertainment.

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.