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The Gorebridge Murders

The following poem was written by a Gorebridge man, Mr. John Wilson, who was a long time friend of Bob Vickers, who is a grand-son of Robert Flockhart Vickers, one of the two men that was executed for the shooting and consequent death of two gamekeepers on private property at Temple, Midlothian, Scotland, on December 15th. 1883. The other man was William Innes. Both of them were coal miners and were on a poaching expedition. They were tried for murder, found guilty, and executed at Calton Gaol Edinburgh on 31st March 1884.


You're feeling sad-hearted, people now

I hope you'll lend an ear

for sad and dismal is the news

you very soon will hear,

about Bob Vickers and William Innes

now in jail to lie

on the 31st. of March

they're both condemned to die.


From this worlds cares they'll soon be free,

they're both condemned to die.


On the 15th. December 1883 last

the moon was shining bright

when Vickers and Innes a poaching went

upon that fatal night

the keepers heard them firing

and they hastened to the spot

John Fortune and McDermot

by those poachers both were shot


In the Calton jail in Edinburgh

those convicts they are confined

and day and night they'll find no rest

so troubled are their minds

to think upon the shameful death

so soon they're doomed to die.

And in to a murderers grave

their bodies must lie.


Was not the beasts upon this earth

likewise the birds that fly

created for the use of man

by him that rules on high

for breaking the laws and taking that

which God for us hath made

thousands have transported been

and streams of blood been shed

Now all young men I hope you will take

warning by their fate

Lay down your guns and poach no more

Before it is too late.

Think of Vickers, and Innes too

who now in prison lie

on the 31st. of March they are for murder

doomed to die.

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