THE charge of the Lord
Justice-Clerk, which was begun on the eighth day of the trial, after the
address of the Dean of Faculty for the defence, was resumed and finished
on the ninth day. It was characterised by great impartiality, being a
clear and lucid exposition of the evidence on both sides, and of the
points of law discussed in the pleadings for the prosecution and defence.
The jury retired at the close of his
lordshipís charge, and, during their absence to determine the issue of
life or of death, the prisoner sat, to all outward appearance, the most
unconcerned person in court. They came back after an interval of
half-an-hour, and, amid the most profound silence, their foreman, Mr.
Moffat, mathematical teacher in the High School of Edinburgh, read the
"The jury find the panel not guilty
of the first charge in the indictment by a majority; of the second charge,
not proven; and, by a majority, find the third charge also not proven.
The prisoner, who listened to the
verdict with the same calmness which she had manifested throughout the
whole nine daysí proceedings, was then dismissed from the bar.
When the verdict was read there
arose a burst of cheering from the densely packed audience in court, which
the officers in vain attempted to suppress, and, on the result being
announced to a crowd of many thousands outside, a similar expression of
opinion took place.
The eminent counsel, who had the
on both sides, subsequently occupied the two highest
positions in the Scottish Court of Session. The Dean of Faculty (John
Inglis) became Lord . President, and the Lord Advocate (Moncreiff) Lord
Justice-Clerk. The Dean of Faculty, who so eloquently and successfully
pled for the panel, is reported to have said to her after her acquittal:
"I have saved your neck from the
gallows, but I cannot save your soul from perdition."