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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 145 No. LXII. MR: THOMAS WHITE IS here represented between two veterans of the Old City Guard, whose €aces will be familiar to many of the citizens of Edinburgh. The particulars of the fatal affair which brought him to the bar were fully disclosed at his trial on the 12th of July 1814. It appears that a Mr. Lovit, a midshipman of the Unicorn frigate, then lying at Leith, had been sent with a boat and a party of six men to the dockyard, to ship some rigging. This occurred on the forenoon of the 15th of June, and about three o'clock of the same day, Mr. Thomas White, a junior midshipman, was ordered with a boat and ten or twelve men, to assist the others, and to bring both parties back to the ship in the evening. Accordingly, White proceeded with three of the crew to the assistance of the party at the dockyard, leaving the boat and the remainder of the men in charge of another midshipman of the name of Carroll. William Jones, the person killed, was in the first party, and it appears he had been drinking, and became so unruly and disobedient to Mr. Lovit, that he ran off, and had ultimately to be secured in the guard-house until such time as the party should be ready to return to the Unicorn. In the mean time White, in company with one or two more midshipmen, had been drinking in the Britannia Tavern until about seven o'clock in the evening, when he went to the pier, and inquired at the party in the boat whether Jones and others had arrived. Having been answered in the negative, he returned again to the Britannia and told midshipman Wright that two men of Lovit's party, and one of his own, were missing, at the same time desiring him to go and look after them. White in a short time returned to the pier, calling out for Jones, who answered, " Here, sir." Jones was then on the pier, and had lain down upon his side in the manner the others had done to get into the boat, the water being low at the time, and the boat at some distance. White desired him to go on board more than once; but Jones, who was pretty tipsy, grumbled, and replied '' He would not until he handed the basket to the girl "-a mulatto who had come with some drink to the party in the boat. Without farther provocation White drew his cutlass, struck Jones two or three blows on the head and breast, and also gave him a thrust in the abdomen, upon receiving which he sprung up and attempted to get over, but in doing so either fell or was shoved by White among the stones at the bottom of the pier. Jones was immediately lifted into the boat, but died in a very short time after in consequence of the thrust. White, who was also evidently intoxicated, afterwards behaved in a most outrageous manner-threatening vengeance against the crowd, who were beginning U
Volume 8 Page 206
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