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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 359 took shelter in an adjacent coffee-room, whither he was pursued by Campbell, the officer, and the person robbed. He was seized and searched, but nothing found on him, he having had time to drop the notes unperceived in the next box, where they were found. Mackcoull was carried before a magistrate and examined, and after nearly nine months' imprisonment was discharged.' Immediately after this untoward &air, he went to London, and remained some time concealed near Somerton. In 1809 Mackcoull again visited Scotland, with a parcel of forged notes, in the vending of which he was detected at Stirling, and lodged in jail ; but he contrived to baffle the magistrates in their examination of him, and was allowed to escape. He then returned to England, and after an unsuccessful expedition to Chester, which led to his imprisonment and hard labour for six months, he next set about the grand project he had contemplated while in Scotland-the robbery of some of the banks. In company with two notorious characters, Henry French and Houghton (or Huffy) White, who had escaped from the Hulks, he posted down to the north. The party had previously arranged with one Scoltock-an iron-grate manufacturer, who had supplied them on a former occasion-to forward them a complete set of pick-locks and skeleton keys. On arriving in Glasgow, they took lodgings in the house of a Mrs. Stewart, with whom they resided for nearly three months, and were remarkably sober, keeping good hours for some time. Latterly, however, they frequently went out at ten o'clock at night, not returning till twelve; and on one occasion, White (who was the working man) remained out all night. A day or two after receiving a small box by the London mail, Mackcoull went away for a fortnight, as he pretended, on business to Liverpool, He had, however, been at London, giving directions to Scoltock about a key, the model of which he took with him. On his return the night-work was resumed; and when all things were supposed to be ready, the party gave their landlady a fortnight's notice, on the expiry of which they carried away their luggage, as if going by one of the coaches. Between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, 14th July 1811, and about eight days after their leaving Mrs. Stewart, the robbery of the Paisley Union Bank Office, in Queen Street, was effected, and notes to the amount of more than S20,OOO abstracted. The party now posted their way to London with great rapidity, changing Scotch notes at all the stages, On their arrival, Mackcoull was intrusted with the safe-keeping of the plunder, till such time as he and his accomplices found it convenient to make a division. Subsequently, Mackcoull deposited the whole with his wife, who lived in Oxendon Street ; but it was afterwards agreed that the notes should be lodged in the hands of Bill Gibbons, the pugilist. This was, of course, a blind to prevent suspicion. The gentleman robbed was dissatisfied at his liberation. Having complained in a private way to one of the judges, the latter replied-"The fellow ought in justice to have been hanged. He went to the playhouse to steal, and not to hear the music ; and he gied poo a strong proof of the fact, Mr. P., when he preferred your notes to Mr. Incledon's."
Volume 9 Page 478
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Volume 9 Page 479
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