Edinburgh Bookshelf

Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


LORD MONBODDO. storm of just indignation was roused, and she was with some dificulty rescued from rough treatment by the authorities; but in her case, as in some others, the strong walls of the old Tolbooth proved incapable of retaining a culprit of courage and high position. The final passing of the fatal sentence had been delayed by the Lords on account of the lady?s pregnancy. Mrs. Shields, the midwife who attended her accouchement (and who was a public practitioner in the city so lately as 1805), ?had the address to achieve a jail delivery also.? For three or four days previous to the concerted escape she pretended to be afflicted with a maddening toothache, and went in and out of the Tolbooth with her head and face muffled in shawls and flannels, In the Tolbooth, in 1770, Mungo Campbell committed suicide when under sentence of death for shooting the Earl of Eglinton. But his body was dragged through the streets by the mob, who threw it from the summit of Salisbury Craigs into the chasm known as the Cat Nick. In 1782 the Tolbooth was visited by the philanthropist John Howard, and again, five years subsequently, when he expressed his horror of it, and hoped to have found a better one in its place j and in 1783 there occurred one of the last remarkable escapes therefrom. James Hay, a lad of eighteen, son of a stabler in the Grassmarket, was a prisoner in November, under sentence of death for robbery, and a few days before that appointed for his exe
Volume 1 Page 132
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print   Pictures Pictures