06 August 2006

Captain John Porteous execution-England

Captain John Porteous, British soldier, Captain of the City Guard of Edinburgh (ca. 1695 – 1736

However, public resentment at a possible reprieve was such that a plot to murder Captain Porteous was hatched, and when the authorities heard of this it was decided to increase the guard at the Tolbooth prison. However, on the evening before this was due to happen, a large crowd of over four thousand gathered at Portsburgh, west of the city.
Making their way across the Grassmarket to the Cowgate and up the High Street, the mob converged on the Tolbooth, where they were eventually able to overpower the guards. Porteous was dragged from his cell and up the Lawnmarket towards the West Bow and the Grassmarket, where he was lynched from a dyer's pole, using a rope taken from a local draper's shop.
After a short while he was dragged down and stripped of his nightgown and shirt, which was then wrapped around his head before he was hauled up again. However, the mob had not tied his hands and, as he struggled free, they broke his arm and shoulder, while another attempted to set light to his naked foot. He was taken down a further time and cruelly beaten before being hung up again, and died a short while later, just before midnight on 7 September 1736. He was buried in Greyfriars kirkyard, Edinburgh

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