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    The session of Parliament closing on the 26th of May, George took his annual trip to Hanover, leaving, as usual, the queen to act as Regent. She found her duties this year by no means light. Everyone is acquainted with the Porteous Riots, as they are described by the inimitable pen of Sir Walter Scott in "The Heart of Midlothian." The simple historic facts are these:Two noted smugglers from Fife, Wilson and Robertson, were condemned to death for a robbery, and were confined in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. They made a determined effort to effect their escape before the day of execution. Wilson, who would go first, being a man of a corpulent though very powerful build, wedged himself fast in the window, and could neither get out nor draw back again. He was found thus in the morning, and the two prisoners were again secured. Wilson lamented that by his own eagerness he had prevented Robertson from going first, who, from his slenderer person, could easily have escaped. Before execution it was the custom at that period in Scotland to conduct the prisoners about to suffer, under a strong guard, to church. This being done in the case of these two men, just as the service was concluded, Wilson suddenly laid hold of two of the four soldiers who guarded them, called out to Robertson to run for his life, and detained the third soldier by seizing him by the collar with his teeth. He escaped, and was never seen in Edinburgh again. This daring scheme, so cleverly executed, raised the admiration of the bravery and magnanimity of Wilson to the highest pitch. At his execution the soldiers were attacked with stones. Porteous, who commanded the guard, fired upon the mob. For this he was condemned to death, but was reprieved by Queen Caroline after full inquiry. The people in fury attacked the Tolbooth, the magistrates and the[67] commander of the troops were afraid to act, the prison was broken open, and Porteous hanged on a barber's pole. All attempts to discover the perpetrators of the outrage failed.

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