23 April 2017

Trial of apprentice surgeons from Keith

Yesterday the Circuit Court of Justiciary was opened here by the Right Hon. the Lords Pitmilly and Reston.

The first case which occupied the attention of the Court was that of James Taylor, John Gordon, and George Pirie, Apprentices to Mr John Gordon, Surgeon in Keith, accused of violating the sepulchre of the dead, by taking up the body of John Bremner, recently interred in the Church-yard of Keith.  The pannels, who were all young men, pled guilty to the charge; and a jury having been impanneled, found them guilty, in terms of their own confession; but on account of their youth and other circumstances, unanimously recommended them to the clemency of the Court.  The Advocate Depute very candidly admitted all the circumstances tending to alleviate their guilt, particularly their ingenuous confession of the offence, their youth, and anxiety to make every pecuniary compensation to the relatives of the person whose grave they had violated.  All these circumstances were embodied in a Memorial or Petition to the Court, in their behalf, signed by most of the respectable inhabitants of Keith. - Their Lordships concurred in giving weight to these facts; and after a suitable and very impressive address from Lord Reston, followed by Lord Pitmilly, they were sentenced to be imprisoned for four months in the jail of Banff.

Published in the Aberdeen Journal, Wednesday 23rd April 1817.

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