Ex-Classics Home Page

The Newgate Calendar - JAMES M'KEAN


Executed for Murder, 25th of January, 1797, at Glasgow

JAMES M'KEAN kept a public-house on the highroad between Glasgow and Lanark. A carrier of the name of James Buchanan, about six o'clock one evening in winter-time, came to his house for rest and refreshment.

The landlord conducted the weary traveller to a room, then suddenly seized him and instantly cut his throat with a razor, which divided both the carotid arteries, and robbed him of his watch and a considerable sum of money. A noise having excited some surprise in his wife, she ran to the door, which was opened by M'Kean. Alarmed at the sight of some blood lying on the floor, she shrieked "Murder!" -- on which her husband instantly ran off.

M'Kean was apprehended at Lamlash, in the Isle of Arran. Next morning he was conveyed to Glasgow in a post-chaise. On his arrival, about eight o'clock, the joy of the populace, at his apprehension, could not be restrained: they hailed the officers with loud acclamations, and the air resounded with huzzas when they saw him securely lodged in jail.

Buchanan's pocket-book, containing bank-notes to the amount of one hundred and eighteen pounds, his watch and several papers were found upon M'Kean. On his examination by the magistrates, M'Kean confessed the robbery, but endeavoured to palliate the charge of murder.

This wretch was found guilty, and was executed at the Cross of Glasgow, on a newly erected gibbet. He appeared on the scaffold dressed in white.


Previous Next

Back to Introduction