British Executions

James MacLaine

Age: unknown

Sex: male

Crime: highway robbery

Date Of Execution: 3 Oct 1750

Crime Location:

Execution Place: Tyburn

Method: hanging

Executioner: unknown


James MacLaine, 'The Gentleman Highwayman', was hanged at Tyburn, London


THE subject of this memoir was descended from a reputable family in the north of Scotland. His father, after being liberally educated in the University of Glasgow, went to settle at Monaghan, in the north of Ireland, as preacher to a congregation of Dissenters. He married and had two sons, the elder of whom was bred to the Church, and preached many years to the English congregation at The Hague, and was equally remarkable for his learning and the goodness of his heart. The younger son was the unfortunate subject of this narrative.

As a young man James was very extravagant, and after dissipating a fortune left by his father he came to London, and married the daughter of Mr Macglegno, a horse-dealer, with whom he received five hundred pounds, with which he commenced business as a grocer in Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, and supported his family with some degree of credit till the expiration of three years, when his wife died, bequeathing two infant daughters to the care of her parents, who kindly undertook to provide for them; and both these children were living at the time of their father's ignominious death.

Hitherto Maclane's character among his neighbours was unimpeached; but soon after the death of his wife he sold off his stock-in-trade and furniture and assumed the character of a fine gentleman, in the hope of engaging the attention of some lady of fortune, to which he thought himself entitled by the gracefulness of his person and the elegance of his appearance.