William and James Thomson, and John Fram, were condemned before the High Court of Justiciary, to be executed at Dalkeith on the 1st of Narch, for the robbery of Mr Hunter, Farmer, betwixt Dalkeith and Musselburgh. John Thomson and John Fram were bioth recommended to mercy by the Jury, which recomendation being forwarded to the proper quarters, a respite during his Majesty's pleasure arrived a few days back, these two, who received the happy intelligence, from the Magistrates, with a melancholy composure, immediately casting their eyes on their more unhappy companion. The behaviour of the whole three, was very becoming their situation, and William, though he appeared very sullen and melancholy for a few days after the respite was received, has to all appearance, given up his mind to meet his doom with resignation.
He regrets very much, his not paying that attention to his family, that a parent ought in duty to do, and already looks back on the manner in which he has spent his days with horror: he is chearfully instructed in what he appears never to have thought on, and is in a manner entirely ignorant of, by a number of pious and respectable people who visits him.
Tir'd of the bustle of the day, In solitude I hied, To where, from noise and toil set free, My thoughts might range at wide. By yon dark Jail I passed along, For criminals prepar'd, When from its cell a piteous sound Of woe methought I heard. I sped to whence it did proceed, The words distincter grew, A Thief thus his fate bewail'd, And did for mercy sue. "Lock'd are the golden gates of day, Tis thine, O night,! to keep, Morpheus, In velvet's soft array, Has hush'd the busy world to sleep. To me no calm like this is known Sleep from my eyes has fled, Conscience its snaky head has raised, And all my sins before me led. Far from my wretched mind has hope On fleetest pinions soar'd away; No comfort left my state to cheer, No balm my anguish to allay. Companions in my revels, think What you are now, and soon must be, For God has me a warning made, That speaks with solemn voice to thee. Before to morrow's sun shall rise, To cheer the world, Ah! who can tell, But death may plunge your trembling souls Down to the realms where devils dwell. Oh! can you bear the dreadful thought, Should God this night your souls require, Can you endure eternal wrath, Or bear the pangs of quenchless fire? O! Pow'r Divine, my sins forgive: Thou'rt gracious, grace extend to me, That when my flesh is turned to nought, My spirit may be, Lord, with thee. A few short days, and I am plac'd Beyond the reach of mortal woe; Protect my family in that trying hour, That they may Satan overthrow. Farewell my children, friends and all, For you my tears in torrents fall, Forgive the effusions of my love, We part in hope to meet above.
Music of Dalkeith Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin