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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


326 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CXXXIII. NEIL FERGUSSON, ESQ., ADVOCATE, AND THE LITTLE POLISH COUNT. THIS Print represents Mr. Fergusson returning to his carriage, in company with the little Polish Count, from the Parliament House, where he had been showing him the Court of Session, the Advocates' Library, and other objects of interest. MR. FERGUSSON was a gentleman in considerable practice as a lawyer. He was much distinguished for the urbanity of his manners, and for native goodness of heart. His father, the Rev. Adam Fergusson, minister of Moulin? in Perthshire, who died in 1785 at the advanced age of eighty-one, left four sons. John, the eldest, attained the rank of Captain in the service of the East India Company. His fate was tragical, having been assassinated by an individual of the name of Roache. Captain Fergusson, after a short visit to his friends in Scotland, was accompanied, on his return to India, by his younger brother Adam, who had also obtained an appointment in the service. While on the passage, Roache, who was likewise in the Company's service, had a quarrel with Captain Fergusson; and in consequence of this and his general bad conduct, was expelled from the Captain's table. Shortly after landing at the Cape of Good Hope, Fergusson was induced, by a false message, to leave his lodgings late at night, and in the darkness was stabbed by Roache before he had time to draw in his own defence. The following statement of this affair was given at the time of its occurrence :- " Captain Fergusson and Captain Roache were both passengers on board the Varwlittavt, Captain Young, which sailed for India in May 1773. ' Roache was very quarrelsome, and had differences with most of the passengers. He behaved so ill in particular to Captain Fergusson at Madeira, that Captain Fergdsson was under the necessity of calling him out. Roache refused to fight ; and, in presence of Mr. Murray, the consul, and other gentlemen, made all the concessions which Captain Fergusson required. Roache's dastardly behaviour on this, as well as on other occasions, made the other gentlemen passengera decline speakmg to him ; nay, they insisted with Captain Young to forbid him the table, which was done. This excited Roache'a revenge against them all ; but pazticularly against Captain Fergusson, which issued in a most cowardly and barbarous assassination. Upon the 4th of September, the very day of the arrival of the ship at the Cape of Good Hope, %ache came ashore, late in the afternoon, after all the other passengers ; and, in the dusk of the evening, came skulking about the door of the house where he had learned that Captain Fergusson was lodged ; and when it was dark, sent a message to him, in the name of his friend Lieutenant Martin, that he wished to see him immediately at his lodgings. Captain Fergusson went., unsuspicious, defenceless, and
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