The execution of Baird and Hardie – value for money

On the 1st September 1820, William Galbraith, one of the two Town Clerks of Stirling, is in Edinburgh doing his best to try to find someone who will perform the execution and decapitation required in Stirling for a lower price than his colleague Alexander Littlejohn has been able to negotiate in Glasgow. Local authority budgetary pressures are nothing new it would seem.

Letter William Galbraith in Edinburgh to Alexander Littlejohn, 1st September 1820

Dear Littlejohn

I have just time to say that I have seen Captain Brown and that I am to see him again tomorrow at 10 o’clock. He thinks we will get the Decapitator on moderate terms, (much cheaper at least than the Glasgow executioner) and also an executioner. I did not of course say anything as to the Glasgow prices to him. Before ten tomorrow he is to see both the gentlemen & will be able to tell me the lowest terms.


Wm Galbraith

Edin. 1 September 1820

Address to me care of Stuart