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The Last Public Hanging

George Bryce, from Ratho, had been seeing the woman who worked as a cook for a large house in the village. Jane Seaton, also employed at the house (as a children’s nurse), didn’t like George, and convinced her to dump him. George started stalking Jane, watching the house from the garden late at night and trying to break in. On the 16th of April 1864, George turned up with a razor in his pocket. He made his way inside, found Jane and tried to strangle her. The noise brought the lady of the house, Mrs Tod, who beat the crap out of him with an umbrella. Jane managed to escape but she didn’t get far. George caught up with her and slashed her throat. He was caught and put in Calton Jail in Edinburgh, and on Monday the 20th of June, gallows were built at the top of Libberton’s Wynd (three brass blocks in the shape of an ‘H’ still mark the spot). A huge crowd gathered, including groups of people singing psalms and holding up protest signs with quotes from the bible. A white hood was pulled over George’s head, the body was dropped…and hundreds of people in the crowd were reduced to tears. Edinburgh had hanged its last in front of the masses… ( The photo was taken on August 22, 2009 in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival. The two young ladies are, of course, street performers…


Anonymous Guest

cathy sharpe 26 Nov 2010

Such a shame so pretty too! Great shot!

Brenda Loveless 12 Aug 2010

the text always adds so much to your fine photo's!

Mary Janosik 12 Aug 2010

Nice photos, chilling tale!! Glad he got his just deserts..... :-)

Beatrix Jahn 11 Aug 2010

A fascinating tour of the Fringe Festival! I so love your photos and stories! xoxox