Four Robbers Hanged at the Gallowlee near Leith #History #Scotland


Lord Fountainhall reports:

11 December, 1686:
‘Ther is much robbing at this tyme, under night, both in Edinburgh and about it, by [the Earl of] Dumbarton’s sojors, &c.’

16 December, 1686:
‘At Criminall Court ther are 4 robbers condemned to be hanged, viz., the 2 men who robed the minister Iruing at Humby Bridge, (one of them was his oune servant,) in October last, beating him with many stroakes. They ware hanged on the 17th of December, at the Gallolee betuen Leith and Edinburgh, and hung up in chains: they confest a covetous habit, that they never saw any thing but they desired to steall it.’

‘Humby Bridge’ may have been where a bridge stands today over the Humbie Water at Humbie Mill.

‘The other 2 [hanged] ware of [the Earl of] Dumbarton’s sojors, who had come into houses at the Clok-miln and Dudiston, and robbed the poor people of what they could find: they ware also sentenced, but ware repreived a whille, because they discovered others, and particularly a smith who made false keyes to them, and one Young, a tinkler in Alloa, their captain.’ (Lauder, Historical Notices, II, 768, 771.)

‘Clok-miln’ was probably Cleekimin/Cleikimin, which lay on The Wisp to the east of Niddrie House. Today, it is located near the Jack Kane Centre.

‘Dudiston’ is the village of Duddingston

The four robbers were hanged just off what is now Leith Walk at the Gallowlee.

Robbery by soldiers was a recurring problem.

5 October, 1687:
‘Two sojors are shot to death, by military discipline, for robbing some houses at the head of the Cannogate.’ (Lauder, Historical Notices, II, 819.)

7 February 1688:
‘Ane souldier is shott by martiall law for running away from his cullours, and robbing severall houses.’ (Lauder, Historical Notices, II, 852.)

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Picture: Willem Cornelisz Duyster, ‘Card-Playing Soldiers‘ [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

~ by drmarkjardine on December 17, 2016.

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