Thursday, 10 March 2011

William Richardson, Kirkcudbright 1787

As promised I have uploaded the Chambers’ Edinburgh Journal today, issue No. 6. The first article is very interesting - it is entitled “Discovery and Punishment of Murder by Circumstantial Evidence.”

It tells us about the case of William Richardson who murdered a woman in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright in the autumn of 1786. William Richardson was found guilty on evidence and circumstance not on the testimony of witnesses. It’s a fascinating account although all very sad for the poor girl that was murdered.

I have ordered the appropriate high court minute book and will look at it when I’m in Edinburgh next week. I’ll let you know if it gives any further information.

I find these cases fascinating. If your family tree is anything like mine there will be a lots of “Ag. Labs” and very few people recorded in sasines or wills, so it’s nice to find documents outside of the OPR’s and census. As one customer said this week prison records add some “spice” to a family tree. Court papers can be a wonderful addition if your ancestor was tried, in fact we hope to have some exciting news about that later in the year!

If you’ve not already looked have a search in our prison registers and see if there are any black sheep in your family!

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