Speech of Andrew Wood, November 28, 1746

Andrew Wood was a shoemaker of Glasgow. He served as a captain in the Regiment of Colonel John Roy Stewart which fought in the front line at Culloden. Taken prisoner there, he was executed at the orders of the Elector Georg II of Hanover on November 28, 1746, at Kennington Common. Before his execution he gave the following speech.

A printed version of the text can be found on pages 64 to 66 of volume 1 of The Lyon in Mourning, edited by Henry Paton (Edinburgh: Scottish Historical Society, 1895).

Friends, Countrymen and Fellow Subjects,

I was born in Scotland, and brought up in the Established Church (as they call it) of that kingdom. But of late (thanks be to God!) I saw my error and became a member of the Church of England.

I engaged in this just cause, for which I am to suffer, out of the true love and regard I had for my king and country. For I thought it my indispensible duty to join my Prince when I found him in this country endeavouring to restore his father, my lawful sovereign, King James, to his undoubted right. I had the honour to be made a Captain by His Royal Highness, raised a company out of my own pocket, and served my Prince to the utmost of my power, even beyond what could have been expected of one so little accustomed to military acts as I was.

And for thus faithfully serving my king, and endeavouring to restore him and your ancient liberties, I am to fall a sacrifice to the Usurper and his bloodthirsty son, the pretended Duke of Cumberland. But thy will, O my God! be done! And as Thou art pleased that I suffer for truth and righteousness sake, I resign myself entirely to Thy will!

And now I am in a few moments to launch into eternity, I do solemnly declare, as I must answer at the aweful tribunal of Almighty God, that the order said to be given by His Royal Highness for giving the Usurper's men no quarters the day of Culloden battle is false, and contrived merely to excuse the barbarities committed by the Duke and his men on all those of our army who fell into their hands; for I myself saw the orders of that day. No. It does not agree with the Prince's former lenity at the battles of Gladesmuir and Falkirk.

I leave the impartial world to judge of this brave Prince's character from his actions, which would require one of the greatest hands to do justice to it.

O my countrymen! Consider the woeful situation you are in. In short, all that ever your forefathers fought for is gone. You have nothing you can depend upon, burdened with debt, ruined with a standing army. Alas! you have no more than the name of Liberty. Rouse you then while it is in your power, and take the first opportunity to restore your lawful sovereign, King James, which is the only sure way to make these nations happy. I leave my hearty prayers for concluding the same, and I hope Almighty God will, in His good appointed time, restore my lawful sovereign, King James. And in a particular manner, I beseech Thee, O God! to bless His Royal Highness, Charles, Prince of Wales, and the Duke of York.

I shall conclude with forgiving all my persecutors, hoping Almighty God will of His infinite mercy, forgive me all my sins, through Jesus Christ, pardon the frailties of my youth, and accept my imperfect repentance.

Into Thy hands I commit my spirit, O Lord, Thou God of mercy and truth!

P.S. - I sent for a Presbyterian minister to have administered the sacrament to me; but he refused. Lord forgive him; for I do.

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