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Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1829, Sunday, April 17, 1831.

On Thursday last a boy of the name of Thomson, son of the sexton of the parish of Urr, went out with a companion younger than himself, to gather sticks in Red-castle woods, While passing along, Thomson asked the other boy "if he would like to see how they hanged the folk in Dumfries?" and, on his answering in the affirmative, he deliberately formed a noose on the rope in his possession, and tied the other end to the branch of a tree little more than four feet above the ground. He then slipped his neck into the noose, climbed a little way up the tree, and told his companion, just as he was in the act of throwing himself off, that "he had not seen half the fun yet." The unconscious boy gazed on in wonder, thinking the whole sport, until he observed Thomson gasping for breath, and blood issuing from his mouth and nostrils. He then became greatly alarmed, and ran off in quest of assistance. At a little distance he called to some farm servants, one of whom fortunately had a lancet in his pocket, and he, the moment Thomson was cut down, attempted to bleed him in the arm and neck, but it was too late. When the farm servants reached the fatal spot his knees appeared to be touching the ground, and it is supposed that had he not thrown himself back, and twisted his neck in the first instance, the melancholy catastrophe could hardly have happened.—Dumfries Courier.