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Conviction for Poaching 1880

Robert Flockhart Vickers and William Innes were both found guilty of trespass with the intent of poaching on the 5th January 1880 on land called Line Kiln Park, on the farm of D'Arcy (Newbattle). They both pleaded guilty and were fined One Merk [Old Scottish Pound]


The Scotsman -Monday 17th December 1883

Precognition (Statement) At Edinburgh the seventeenth day of December eighteen hundred and eighty three years. In presence of Hubert Hamilton esquire sheriff substitute of the sheriffdom of the Lothians and Peebles. Compeared a prisoner and the charge against having been read over and explained to him, and he having been judically admonished and examined there and declares my name is Robert Flockhart Vickers. I am Thirty-seven years of age. I was born in the county of Edinburgh. I am married, a Miner, and reside at Simpson's Land Gorebridge in said county. Declares all I have to say is that I know nothing about the charge of night poaching and assault now made against me, but I am quite willing to answer any questions which may be put to me; and being asked where were on Friday night last 14th instant, declares I was in bed in my own house. I went to bed between 10 and 11 that night, and did not get up or go out till 5 o'clock next morning when I went to my work. I know a man William Innes and was in his company on said Friday night till about 9.30. I parted with him then at Allan's public house, Stobhill. I have not seen him since. All which I declare to be truth. Early on Saturday morning, three gamekeepers employed on the Rosebery Estate were attacked by two poachers, armed with double-barrelled guns, on a field on the farm of Redside, a few miles southwest of Gorebridge. All three men were shot -one on the right arm, one on the left shoulder and the third on the left side, the leads penetrating the lower abdomen. The unfortunate men have been confined to bed, suffering considerable pain, and last night the condition of the keeper who was struck in the abdomen was very critical. The poachers decamped, but two men said to be well known poachers, who are supposed to have committed the outrage, have been apprehended. One of them had to be removed to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, being injured in consequence of a gun having, it stated been accidentally discharged in his house, near Gorebridge


The Evening News -Monday17th December 1883

MURDEROUS ATTACK ON GAMEKEEPERS Three men shot near Gorebridge Early on Saturday morning a murderous attack was made by two men on three of Lord Rosebery's gamekeepers on a field near Rosebery, which is situated about five miles from the village of Gorebridge. Each of the three was shot in turn, the injuries inflicted in one case being of a serious character. The persons supposed to have committed the outrage are said to be well known poachers, who have been apprehended. The estate of Rosebery comprises of lands situated in several of the parishes in this locality, and the mansion house occupies a sequestrated position in the valley of the South Esk, about six miles southeast of Penicuik and five miles southwest of Gorebridge. The head gamekeeper on the estate James Grosset, who resides near Rosebery House; while the house of his assistant, John Fortune, is situated at the base of the Moorfoot Hills. For some time past it has been suspected that night poaching was being carried on over certain portions of the estate. On Friday night Grosset and Fortune met by arrangement, and accompanied by a rabbit trapper named John McDermid, set out to watch the plantations which afford cover for pheasants, and which extend from the keeper's house at Rosebery to about a mile in the direction of Edgelaw farm and Carrington. About three o'clock on Saturday morning the keepers, who were then near Grosset's house, heard a shot fired, apparently at a mile's distance. The morning was quite clear, with a touch of frost, while overhead the moon was at its full. Ten minutes after the first shot was fired, and when the keepers had advanced about half a mile, a second report of a gun was heard. The keepers, who were armed only with sticks, and were without dogs seeing two men with guns coming in their direction, lay still to await their arrival.

The Scotsman -Monday 31st December 1883

THE ATTACK ON GAMEKEEPERS AT GOREBRIDGE The man Innes, who was taken into custody by the police in connection with the murderous attack upon three gamekeepers near Gorebridge on the 15th inst., and who since the affair, has been under medical treatment in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for the injuries he received after the occurrence, was on Saturday judicially examined by the Sheriff. Hitherto he has been watched night and day by the members of the County Constabulary, but since Saturdays examination he has been placed under the constant surveillance of warders from Calton Prison.


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