Resurrection Man John McLean

IF you want to find out more about the local history of Kintyre or post some interesting stories then here is the place! All contributors welcome! You can also check out the Historic Kintyre and Down Memory Lane websites.

Re: Resurrection Man John McLean

Postby quests » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:33 pm

Hi all,

Well it has been a few years since I last posted on this forum and now I feel that its time to pursue some more names on my ancestral list. My thanks to Shona who supplied a lot of information about my ancestor John McLean , resurrection man, which has been very helpful indeed. The trouble is that living here in Worcester and not getting up to Scotland to the records office in Edinburgh, makes it difficult to trace as there is not much information on Ancestry or even Find My Past with regards to Scottish records.

SOOOOOooooo, I have a big ask please. One of my ancestors was a Elizabeth Morrison born 1826–1872 in Campbeltown and who died in 1872, Campbeltown. She is my 2nd great-grandmother and was married to a Neil Mclean who was born 23RD DEC 1827 • Killean, and who died in 1895 • Campbeltown. I would like to trace her parents, grandparents etc. so if someone does have this information and would like to share it, then that would be wonderful. If someone could direct me to where I might be able track down this info, then please say.

Thanks again.

Bill.
quests
The Quiet Type
The Quiet Type
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:45 pm


Re: Resurrection Man John McLean

Postby CaliGal » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:30 pm

1790-1820s is right around where my Scottish lines stop going back, because there's so few OPR records. You didn't mention scotlandspeople... I believe that's still the best place to find the original records. I tend to use familysearch.org to figure out what I'm looking for, then go to scotlandspeople to buy the actual record.
Or look on ancestry or genesreunited to find someone who has already done the digging.

Dena
CaliGal
The Quiet Type
The Quiet Type
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:15 am
Location: Central Valley, California


Re: Resurrection Man John McLean

Postby quests » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:54 pm

Dena,

Thanks for that info. I have already tried both Ancestry and Scotlandspeople but as they came up with more than one possibility, I thought I would see if anyone had managed to trace her back another generation or two.

Thanks again.

Bill.
quests
The Quiet Type
The Quiet Type
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:45 pm


Re: Resurrection Man John McLean

Postby amsquared » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:28 pm

Somehow this post took over 2 weeks to be authorised - I had already re-written the post and added it again thinking it had gone missing so I have now deleted the rest of the content in this post.

My three times great grandfather was John Mclean. Like Shona I have been trawling through the National Records of Scotland records for John McLeans trial and have now transcribed a few of the key trial documents.

John McLean - Transcripts of National Records of Scotland Judiciary Processes - see the following post for the extract of the legal records.

Thanks
Last edited by amsquared on Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
amsquared
Too Shy To Talk Much
Too Shy To Talk Much
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:19 pm
Location: Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland


Re: Resurrection Man John McLean

Postby amsquared » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:25 pm

Seems a few of us can claim John McLean as our Great, Great, Great Grandfather! If you look at my recent Hello post you will see my ancestral line back to John. http://www.kintyreforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=17924

A few weeks ago I spent a day at Register House in Edinburgh looking through the case papers associated with his trial. I have transcribed some of the papers and the following may give an insight into the legal processes surrounding the case. John McLean pled guilty to the crime and his associates were found not guilty. I haven't transcribed John McLean's Defence Declaration suffice to say he was telling a pack of lies about borrowing a cart to transport potatoes and them meeting a whisky smuggler whose cart had broken down.

John McLean - Transcripts of National Records of Scotland Judiciary Processes

The following Transcripts are from the The National Records of Scotland records of the trial of John Mclean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally in 1831/1832 I have selected key parts of the documents and not transcribed all the Declarations or Witness statements.

JC26_1832_139_11 - Inverary Indictment - His Majesty Advocate - John McLean, Peter Clarke and
Arthur Donally - Violating Sepulchres - High Court Inverary 30 April 1832


John Mclean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally all present prisoners in the Tolbooth of Campbeltown. You are all indicted and accused at the instance of Francis Jeffrey Esquire His Majesty’s Advocate for His Majesty’s instance that albeit by the laws of this and every other well governed realm violating the Sepulchres of the Dead and wickedly and feloniously by raising and carrying away Dead bodies from their graves is a crime of a heinous nature and severely punishable.

Yet true it is said of verity that you the said John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally and all and each or one or more of you guilty of the said crime actors or actor or act and part in so far as Margaret McDougal or McTaggart wife of William McTaggart then and now or lately residing at Killocraw in the United Parish of Killearn and Kilchenzie having on the twenty seventh day of November Eighteen hundred and thirty one or on one or other of the days of that month been delivered of a still born infant and the said infant having on the following day been interred in the Burying ground of Bellochantuy in the United Parish of Killearn and Kilchenzie. And Mary McKinven or Munro wife of Robert Munro now or lately residing at Machrihanish in the Parish of Campbeltown and Shire of Argyle having died on the twenty ninth day of November Eighteen hundred and thirty one or on one or other of the days of that month and having been interred on the thirtieth of the said month of November in the said Burying ground of Bellochantuy.

You the said John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally did on the night of the fifth or the morning of the sixth day of December Eighteen hundred and thirty one or one one or other of the days of that month or of November immediately preceding or of January immediately following all and each or one or more of you wickedly and feloniously entered the said Burying ground and did wickedly and feloniously open the graves of the said child and of the said Margaret McKinven or Munro and did then and there wickedly and feloniously raise and carry away from their grave the said dead bodies of the said child and of the said Margaret McKinven or Munro respectively.

And you the said John Mclean having been apprehended and taken before Dugald McTavish Esquire Sheriff Substitute in the Shire of Argyle for the District of Kintyre you did in his presence at Campbeltown emit and subscribe two several Declarations bearing to be dated respectively sixteenth day of December Eighteen hundred and thirty one and twenty third December Eighteen hundred and thirty one.

And you the said Peter Clarke having been apprehended and taken before Lieutenant Colonel John Porter late of Knockbay one of His Majestys Justice of the Peace for the Shire of Argyle you did in his presence at Campbeltown on the nineteenth day of December Eighteen hundred and thirty one emit and subscribe a Declaration and you the said Peter Clarke having been afterwards taken before the said Sheriff Substitute you did in his presence at Campbeltown on the twenty third day of December Eighteen hundred and thirty one emit and subscribe a Declaration.

And you the said Arthur Donally having been apprehended and taken before the said Sheriff Substitute you did in his presence at Campbeltown emit two several Declarations to be dated respectively twentieth December Eighteen hundred and thirty one and twenty third December Eighteen hundred and thirty one which Declarations were respectively subscribed in your presence by the said Sheriff Substitute you having declared that you could not write.

Which Declarations being to be used in evidence against each of you by whom the same were respectively emitted as also a wooden chest and a chisel being to be used as evidence against you the said John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donnally or one or more of you at your Trial will for that purpose be in due time lodged in the hands of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Justiciary before which you are to be tried that you may have an opportunity of seeing the same.

All which is part thereof being found proven by the verdict of an assize or admitted by the respective judicial confessions of you the said John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally before the Lord Justice General Lord Justice Clerk and Lords Commissioners of Justiciary in a Court of Justiciary to be holden by them or by any one or more of their number within the Burgh of Inverary in the month of April in the present year Eighteen hundred and thirty two You the said John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally ought to be punished with the pains of law to deter others from Committing the like crimes in all times coming.

AD14_32_170_1 Witness Statement

At Campbeltown the fifteenth day of December Eighteen hundred and thirty two.

In presence of Dugald McTavish Esquire Sheriff Substitue of Argyll for the District of Kintyre. Compeared Agnes Munro or McMillan widow of Malcolm McMillan sailor in Greenock who being examined and interrogated Declares that she is Daughter of Robert Munro late Farmer at Maragmonagach now Cottar at Machrihanish in the Parish of Campbeltown and since the death of her husband the declarant had been residing with her said father.

Declares that her mother Mary McKinven or Munro died on Tuesday the twenty ninth day of November last and was buried in the Churchyard at Bellochantuy on the farm of Maragmonagach in the United Parish of Killearn and Kilchenzie on the following day. That on Wednesday last some people were at another funeral in the said churchyard and observing the sods at the head of the Declarant’s Mother’s grave had been turned up, and not replaced a little earth was removed to ascertain the cause of this, when the body of a child was discovered a few inches below the surface of the grave. That the grave was then dug deeper, and on reaching the coffin the lid was found to be broke and the body of the Declarant’s mother carried away. That on inspecting the grave of a child who had been buried on the same day with the Declarant’s Mother, it was found that the coffin had been broke and the body removed also, and it was the general opinion that after the body of the Declarant’s Mother had been removed the child had been thrown into the grave and slightly covered with earth.

Declares that the Declarant suspects that John McLean Labourer in Campbeltown was accessary to the removal of the body for upon the night of Monday after the funeral he hired a horse and cart from Duncan McSporran Carter in Campbeltown and was seen with other two or three men in the neighbourhood of the Churchyard that night and the Declarant was told by Colin Graham Labourer in Campbeltown that John Mclean proposed last year to him that they should raise dead bodies and sell them to the college at Glasgow, but that Graham had refused to join him. All which she declares to be truth and that she cannot write.

AD14_32_170_4 - Copy Petition The Procurator Fiscal against John MacLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally

Unto the Honourable the Sheriff of Argyle or his Substitute - Petition of Daniel McTaggart Procurator Fiscal Court for the Public Interest Humbly Sheweth - that upon Wednesday the thirtieth day of November the last, Mary McKinven wife of Robert Munro at Machrihanish was buried in the Churchyard of Bellochantuy on the farm of Margmonagach in the United Parish of Killearn and Kilkenzie and County of Argyll and on the night of Monday or Tuesday thereafter the grave of the said Mary McKinven was violated, and her dead body was raised and carried away. That the grave of a still born child in the said Churchyard was at the same time violated and the body of the child being raised was placed in the grave of the said Mary McKinven and concealed by a slight covering of earth. That the persons who violated the graves after raising the bodies left them in a most indecent state by wantonly burying part of the scraws and leaving the graves uncovered. That for some years past it was suspected that dead bodies were raised out of different Churchyards in Kintyre and within the last week it has been ascertained that different graves in other Churchyards have been violated within the last month.That information has been given to the Petitioner that John McLean Labourer in Campbeltown and other two men his associates, were the persons who violated the grave of the said Mary McKinven and raised the dead body.

May it therefore please your Lordship to grant warrant for apprehending the said John Mclean and noted other two men his associates when their names can be condescended on and for bringing them before you for examination, thereafter to grant warrant for committing them to the Tolbooth of Campbeltown until they be liberated in die course of Law.

Signed According to Justice - Dan McTaggart Campbeltown 15 December 1831.

Campbeltown 15th December 1831

Grants warrant for apprehending John MCLean complained upon and for bringing him before me for examination and for precognicing witnesses as prayed for.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

Campbeltown 16th December 1831

Having again considered the foregoing Petition and taken the Declaration of John McLean complained upon, Grants warrant for committing him to the Tolbooth of Campbeltown for further examination.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

Warrant is craved for apprehending Peter Clarke residing in the Main Street Campbeltown being on of Mclean’s associates mentioned in the within Petition and for bringing him before the Sheriff for examination.

Signed - Dan MCTaggart PF

19th December 1831

Grants warrant for apprehending Peter Clarke and bringing him for examination as prayed for.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

Having again considered the foregoing Petition and the Declaration of Peter Clarke complained upon Grants Warrant for committing the said Peter Clarke to the Tolbooth Campbeltown for further examination.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

20th December 1831

The Proc Fiscal craves warrant from the Sheriff for apprehending and bringing before him for examination the person of Arthur Donally Labourer at the Big Kiln Campbeltown being the second of John McLean’s associates mentioned in the foregoing Petition.

Signed - Dan MCTaggart PF

Grants warrant for apprehending Arthur Donally above mentioned and for bringing hime before me for examination.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

Having again considered the foregoing Petition and the Declaration of Arthur Donally complained upon Grants Warrant for committing the said Arthur Donally to the Tolbooth Campbeltown for further examination.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

Campbeltown 23rd December 1831

Having again considered the foregoing Petition and Precognition taken in the premises and having taken the second Declaration from each of John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally complained upon Grants warrant for committing the said John McLean, Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally to the Tolbooth of Campbeltown until they be liberated in due course of Law.

Signed Dougald McTavish Sheriff Substitute

JC13/71, f.15r Sentencing at Inverary High Court 1st May 1832

The jury find the Pannel John McLean Guilty in terms of his own confession and find the Pannels Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally Not Guilty. In respect of the foregoing verdict of assize Lord Medwyn decrees and adjudges the said John McLean to be taken from the Bar to the Tolbooth at Inverary, thence to be transmitted under a secure guard to the Tolbooth of Campbeltown there to be imprisoned for the space of twelve calendar months from and after this date and thereafter to be at liberty.

And in respect of the verdict of Assize against Peter Clarke and Arthur Donally Lord Medwyn assolizes them simplicitor and dismisses them from the Bar.
amsquared
Too Shy To Talk Much
Too Shy To Talk Much
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:19 pm
Location: Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland


Re: Resurrection Man John McLean

Postby quests » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:50 pm

Hi there,

Many thanks for contacting me and for the information about John McLean. Shona sent me the trial details some years ago which made some very interesting reading. I contacted the Inveraray jail who then confirmed all that Shona had sent me.
Not sure if you have a family tree but I have one on Ancestry which has a lot more information about the linage on John McLean.

Regards,

Bill.
quests
The Quiet Type
The Quiet Type
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:45 pm


Previous

Return to Local History and Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests