Important acquisitions

Life and character of Robert Watt, who was executed for high treason at Edinburgh, the 15th October, 1794

Author
Title Life and character of Robert Watt, who was executed for high treason at Edinburgh, the 15th October, 1794
Imprint Edinburgh: A. Shirrefs
Date of Publication 1795
Language English
Notes A rare edition (only 3 copies on ESTC, all in U.S.) of this unsympathetic life of Robert Watt, a government spy amongst the political reform societies who underwent an extraordinary conversion to the cause of revolution. Described as the 'natural son of a respectable gentleman in Scotland', he spent his formative years in Perth before working as a 'much respected' clerk in Edinburgh. However it was all downhill from there - Watt got involved in smuggling and when his offer to provide information on the revolutionary Society of the Friends of the People, for the princely sum of 1000, was spurned, he joined that Society with some enthusiasm. He was arrested in possession of a large amount weaponry, some of which is illustrated in the frontispiece, and executed for high treason in October 1794. This issue includes the name of William Lane, the London publisher and distributor, in the imprint. The other issue (copy at 3.855(3)) does not have Lane's name in the imprint. Both issues contain 'Verses written on seeing the execution of Robert Watt' which are frequently lacking in editions of this text.
Shelfmark ABS.2.204.004
Acquired on 07/11/02
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