2 October 1833 – Robert Tennant
It’s not often we head north of the border. The last Scot was William Wallace, but even he was executed down south.
Not so our next condemned individual. For today is the turn of Robert Tennant, who was strung up in Stirling for murder, aged just 24.
Given that he was so young, it was hardly surprising that Tennant was forever on the lash, but according to a report at the time, reprinted by the National Library of Scotland, he’d get extra tanked up, and turn up for work completely wasted.
Work comprised labouring – breaking stones to make roads in Falkirk and needless to say his drunkenness had not gone unnoticed. Indeed he was to be given his marching orders and the job fell to the team’s foreman.
His name was William Peddie, who, at a sprightly 70-ish was in charge of the motley crew and his was an unenviable task of letting Tennant go.
On the lash
Unsurprisingly Tennant took the news of his eviction with ill grace and lashed out at the messenger. Sadly the 70-year-old was no match for the youthful power of his opponent and Tennant decked him a fatal blow.
Shortly after, Tennant was roped in for questioning and inevitably found guilty of the murder. The penalty was death and he faced his hangman in front of 2,000 onlookers on this day in 1833.