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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 470
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 353 the unblemished and useful life which he passed before their eyes, and in their service, he enjoyed the esteem and reverence of all classes and all denominations of his fellow-citizens. [He died 11th October 1845, in the 87th year of his age, and tlhe 63d of his ministry.] No. CCLXXXIX. ANDREW M'KINLAY, TRIED FOR ADMINISTERING UNLAWFUL OATHS. THE events of the Radical era of 1817-19 must be in the recollections of most readers ; and we shall only remark, that the subject of this Print was at that period one of the many suspected to be unfriendly to the Constitution. ANDREW M'KINLAY was apprehended at Glasgow on Saturday the 23d of February 181 7, along with other seventeen persons, mostly weavers, who had assembled at night in a small public house at the head of the Old Wynd, among whom were William Edgar, teacher, Calton, and James Finlayson, junior, a writer's clerk. The object of this meeting, as represented by the prisoners, was simply to '' concert measures for ascertaining the question how far they were entitled by law to parochial relief." This explanation not having been deemed satisfactory, M'Kinlay, along with twenty-five others, was committed on a charge of sedition, and afterwards conveyed to Edinburgh, to be tried before the High Court of Justiciary. The first witness called for the Crown was John Campbell, prisoner in Edinburgh Castle, who, being sworn, and the usual questions put, if he had received any reward, or promise of reward for his testimony, answered that he had. He then made a long declaration, the substance of which was, that after a variety of communings, he had entered into a written agreement with the Solicitor-General and Mr. Home Drummond, Depute-Advocate, engaging to become a witness, on condition that he was to be furnished with means to enable himself and family to leave the country.' The Court, on account of this statement, refused to admit Campbell as a witness ; and, after examining several other persons, who could recollect nothing tending to criminate the prisoner, the jury returned a verdict of Not Proven. The pannel was dismissed ; and, in consequence of the result of M'Kinlay's trial, the other prisoners connected with the proceedings in Glasgow were set at liberty. M'Kinlay was placed at the bar on the 19th July following. The witness appears to have been rather more than a match for the Crown Counsel He had given them to understand that, if he gave hi testimony, neither he nor h i family would be safe in the quarter where he resided. To obviate his fears, the Counsel inconsiderately promised to afford him the means of emigrating. VOL. IL 2 2
Volume 9 Page 471
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