Notebook on legal matters, including copy of transcript of the trial of Capt.John Porteous
Scope and Contents
There are also notes from Lacon, or Many Things in Few Words, addressed to those who think, by Charles Caleb Colton. There are other notes on: an Irish affidavit; the Courtly Abbe; as well as smaller items.
Pasted in to the notebook is a newspaper cutting referring to Parliamentary Paper. His Majesty's Coronation - being an account of the expenses for the Coronation of George IV.
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Biographical / Historical
What transpired as the lynching of Captain John Porteous in 1736 was another shocking incident in Edinburgh's dark history. Porteous had been captain of the city guard of Edinburgh when one Andrew Wilson, a smuggler, was hanged on 14 April 1736. The crowd sympathised with Wilson and a riot started. Porteous ordered the guard to fire above the heads of the mob and in so doing onlookers from adjacent tenements were shot and injured. This enraged the mob even more and Porteous took the extreme measure of ordering his troops to fire on the people, killing six. Porteous was tried and convicted for murder, but seemed likely to be spared the death penalty. Popular feeling ran so high that a mob stormed the old Tolbooth Prison on 7 September 1736 and took Porteous to be beaten, repeatedly hung and let down, and eventually killed. No-one was ever punished for the riot, but the Provost of Edinburgh was dismissed for failing to manage his turbulent city.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Notebook on legal matters (circa 1820-1824), including copy of transcript of the trial of Capt.John Porteous (1736)
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