"Horrible Scene"
Royal Gazette and Newfoundland Advertiser Vital Statistics & Items 1810 - 1845, Volume 1, Mildred Howard Collection (Newfoundland, Canada) - August 16, 1831



James & Alexander Stewart were brought out for execution in front of Lifford gaol, on Saturday week. Placed under the beam, they drew their caps over their eyes, and with fervent calls for mercy, the drop fell. James died without struggle. The rope by which Alexander was suspended, broke, and he fell to the pavement, a distance of nearly forty feet! He fell with his head on his own coffin, which was broken, and rebounded off it a few feet. He was carried in, supposedly dead while the executioner, with a ladder, put another rope over the block, and raised the drop, pushing the culprit, suspended, to one side. To the astonishment of the crowd, Alexander again appeared and walked out on the drop. It was again slipped, but rested on the shoulder of James, who was again pushed to oneside, and Alexander was launched into eternity, but not suddenly. The board slowly moved down, sliding along James' body. The know had shifted round under the chin of Alexander. His whole body convulsed, he several times pused himself from the wall with his feet, with great force - his clothes burst open so his naked breast was seen, and blood flowed from the wound he had received on the cheek, in the fall. At length he fell, his body was seen to stretch and he hung motionless alongside his brother. James was 25 years old, Alexander was 22 years. Their mother, sister and wife of Alexander were present.

Generously donated by Lisa Daly.

Dreadful Sentiments...