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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


?Calling the two boys to him, he upbraided them with their informing upon him, and told them that they must suffer for it. They ran off, but he easily overtook and seized them. Then keeping one down upon the grass with his knee, he cut the manner the remaining one.? By a singular chance a gentleman enjoying his evening stroll upon the Castle Hill obtained a perfect view of the whole episode-most probably with a telescope-and immediately gave an alarm. Irvine, who had already attempted, but unsuccessfully, to cut his own throat, now fled .from his pursuers towards the Water of Leith, thinking to drown himself, but was taken, brought in a cart to the tolbooth of Broughton, and there chained down to the floor like a wild beast. In those days there was a summary process in Scotland for murderers, taken as he was-red hand. It was only necessary to bring him next day before the judge of the district and have sentence passed upon him. Irvine was tried before the Baronbailie upon the 30th of April, and received sentence of death. In his dying confession,? supposed to be unique, it is recorded that ?he desired one who was present to take care of his books and conceal his papers, for he said there were many foolish things in them. He imagined that he was to be hung in chains, and showed some concern on that account. He prayed the parents of the murdered children to forgive him, which they, very christianly, consented to. At sight of the bloody clothes in which the children were murdered, and which were brought to him in the prison a little before he went to the place of execution, he was much affected, and broke into groans and tears. When he came to the place of execution the ministers prayed for him, and he also prayed himself, but with a low voice. . . . . Both his hands were struck off by the executioner, and he was afterwards hanged. While he was hanging the wound he gave himself in the throat with the penknife broke out afresh, and the blood gushed out in great abundance.? He was hanged at Greenside, and his hands were stuck upon the gibbet with the knife used in the murders. His bodJ? was then flung into a neighbouring quarry-hole. In February, 1721, John Webster, having committed a murder upon a young woman named Marion Campbell, daughter of Campbell of Kevenknock, near the city wall, but on Heriot?s Hospital ground, was taken to Broughton, and condemned to death by the Baron-bailie; and in the same year the treasurer of the hospital complains of the expense incurred in prosecuting offenders in some other cases of murder committed within the barony; but these onerous and costly privileges ?Domestic Annals,? vol. iiii other?s throat, after which he dispatched in like abolished all hereditable jurisdictions, and a few years afterwards the governors granted the use of the ancient tolbooth to one of their tenants as a storehouse, ?reserving to the hospital a room for holding their Baron Courts when they shall think fit.? Though demolished, some fragments of the old edifice still remain in the shape of cellars, in connection with premises occupied as a tavern in Broflghton Street. The minute books of this ancient barony are still preserved, and contain a great number of names of persons of note who were made free burgesses of the burgh, several of these having received that honour in return for good deeds conferred upon it. During the insurrection of I 7 I 5 the inhabitants of the regality obtained leave to form a nightguard for their own protection, but to be under the orders of the captain of the Canongate Guard. The magistracy of this burgh consisted of a Baron-bailie, a senior and junior bailie, high sheriff, treasurer, clerk, dean of guild, surgeon, bellman, and captain of the tolbooth. The first-named official, ?? on high occasions, dons a crimson robe and cocked hat, displaying at the same time a grand official chain with medal attached. These, with a bell, ancient musket, sword, and some other articles, compose the moveable property of the corporation.? The lodge of Free Gardeners of the Barony of Broughton was instituted in the year 1845, by a number of citizens of the ward, and as regards the number of its members and finance is said to be one of the most successful of the order in Scotland. In 21 Broughton Street, there resided about the year 1855 a hard-working and industrious literary man, the late William Anderson, author of ? LandscapeLyrics,? The Scottish Biographical Dictionary,? ? The Scottish Nation,? in three large volumes, and other works; but who died old, poor, unpensioned, ahd neglected. The village, or little burgh, appears to have been situated principally to the north of where Albany Street stands, comprising within its limits Broughton Place and Street, Barony Street and Albany Street. The houses, with few exceptions, were two-storeyed though small, having outside stairs, thatched roofs, and crow-stepped gables, each having a little garden or kailyard in front. They seem to have (Steven?s ? Hist. Heriot?s Hospital.?) ? were eventually abrogated in I 746, by the Act which
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