23 September 2012

Trials of James Elrick, Alexander Walker & George Lyon

On Monday last, the Circuit Court of Justiciary was opened here by the Right Hon. the Lords JUSTICE CLERK and HERMAND.

The first case that occupied the attention of the Court was that of James Elrick, residenter in Aberdeen, accused of various acts of theft, and of being habit and repute a thief.  To the first part of the charge the Pannel pled guilty; and the libel having been restricted to an arbitrary punishment he received sentence of transportation for 14 years.

The Court afterwards proceeded to the trial of Alexander Walker, alias John Brown, accused of horse-stealing; as well as being habit and repute a thief, aggravated by his having returned from banishment for the same crime.  To the whole of this charge, the Prisoner pleaded guilty.  The Advocate Depute, from the state of Walker's mind, and other circumstances, was induced to restrict the libel in his case also to an arbitrary punishment.

Tuesday Morning, the Court met again, when Walker received sentence of transportation for life, after a suitable admonition from Lord HERMAND.

The Court next proceeded to the case of George Lyon, Vintner, and eldest Baillie of the Burgh of Inverury accused of malversation of office, in having celebrated Clandestine Marriages, and taken and received pecuniary recompence.  The libel proceded on the Act, 1661, cap. 34; and also on the Common Law. - JAMES GORDON and HUGH LUMSDEN, Esquires, Advocates, appeared as Counsel for Mr Lyon, and stated various objections to the relevancy of the libel, as laid in the indictment, the greater part of which, after considerable discussion, were sustained; and that part only of the indictment which charged the pannel with receiving pecuniary recompence was found relevant; Mr Lyon denied the whole of the charge; and his Counsel declared their readiness to meet the Public Prosecutor on it; but Mr HORNE, Advocate Depute, from various circumstances, moved the Court to desert the diet PRO LOCO ET TEMPORE.  The Lord Justice Clerk observed that, between the present case, and that which occurred at Jedburgh last circuit, there was a marked distinction, in so far as that the pannel in the latter, were accused, and found guilty, of assuming the clerical profession, and in that characater celebrating marriages according to the established forms of our national church; whereas in the present instance, no such accusation appeared. - Lord Hermand coincided in opinion with his Lordship, and Mr Lyon was dismissed from the bar.

Published in the Aberdeen Journal, Wednesday 23rd September 1812.

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