GàidhligEnglish

Programme Archive Tasglann Phrògraman

Baby Killer? Sgeulachd Jessie King

BBC ALBA – Thursday 22 January at 9.00pm

Baby Killer? Sgeulachd Jessie King

BBC ALBA - Diardaon 22 Faoilleach aig 9.00f

BBC ALBA RETRACES THE STORY OF JESSIE KING, THE LAST WOMAN EXECUTED IN EDINBURGH

Jessie King

The murder of a baby is surely the most abhorrent crime imaginable. When the killer is a woman, society is even more repulsed. In Victorian Edinburgh, one young woman was convicted of just that. But was she a callous serial killer- or a vulnerable scapegoat? Should history forgive Jessie King - even if it will never forget her?

In a new BBC ALBA documentary, produced for the channel by STV Productions, presenter John Morrison looks at the infamous case more than a century on.

On 18th February 1889 at the High Court in Edinburgh, a shocking trial opened. The defendant was a 27 year old woman, accused of the murders of three babies. She was not their mother, but had adopted them by a crude means known as 'baby farming.' But Jessie King had no intention of keeping the babies she had taken in, for money.

Vulnerable, uneducated and penniless, the young Jessie King struggled to survive. She appeared willing to do whatever was asked of her, by anyone she saw as a figure of authority. One man was ready to take full advantage of that.

Jessie King met Thomas Pearson when she was heavily pregnant to a man who had offered to marry her. Whatever happened between them both, Pearson convinced King to move in with him, to apparently keep house for him.

Jessie King and Thomas Pearson

In Victorian Britain, an unwanted pregnancy was by no means easy to deal with. Young mothers without the support of a man, or family members, would have to find a home for babies they could not afford to keep. It wasn’t uncommon to see advertisements in the daily newspapers, offering a child, or indeed offering a safe home. Chillingly, it seems Pearson and King saw a business opportunity.

Pearson and King moved around a lot. Although this wasn’t uncommon at the time, it’s likely that this odd pair had a need to keep mobile, more than most. There were dark secrets moving with them.

What exactly went on in the Pearson households between August 1887 and October 1888 will never really be known. Regardless, it is known that the pair ‘adopted’ at least three babies – three babies who did not live long.

One afternoon in October 1888, a young boy was playing with friends behind Cheyne Street. They had made a makeshift football from a bundle of oilskin they had come across in the lane. Little did they know what the oilskin bundle enclosed. Horrified at their discovery, they ran to alert a police officer.

It didn’t take a long time for the authorities to close in on the unusual couple staying on the street. When the remains of another baby were found in their coal closet, King confessed to it all. She claimed that Pearson knew nothing of what went on, and he was subsequently released. Upon hearing this, King was elated. She then asked if she could withdraw her confession, but it was all too late…

The reality of Jessie's situation did not take long to hit her. It was reported that she tried to commit suicide at least twice in prison, while awaiting her fate.

Jessie King retains the tragic distinction of being the last female hanged in the city of Edinburgh. But what of Pearson? Although the Courts did not punish him, perhaps someone else caught up with him in the end … Thomas Pearson’s body was found in Glasgow, a year later.

Baby Killer? Sguelachd Jessie King will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on Thursday 22 January at 9.00 until 10.00pm.

EÒRPA A’ TOIRT CÒMHLA TEAGHLAICHEAN A CHAILL ANN AN SGRIOSAN-ADHAIR MH17 AGUS LOGARBAIDH

Jessie King

Tha fios nach eil càil ann cho oillteil ri murt pàiste. Tha e nas gràinneile buileach nuair a tha boireannach air a lorg ciontach. Ach ann an linn Bhictòria ann an Dùn Èideann chaidh aon bhoireannach a dhìteadh airson a leithid. An e murtair gun chogais a bh’ innte – no an deach a’ choire a chuir oirre? Am bu chòir dhuinn mathanas a thoirt dha Jessie King – a dh’aindeoin ’s nach dìochuimhnich sinn an sgeulachd aice gu bràth?

Air an 18mh dhen Ghearran 1889 thòisich cùis-lagha uabhais san àrd-chùirt ann an Dùn Èideann. Fo chasaid bha boireannach òg, nach robh ach 27 bliadhna a dh’aois, a bha air a lorg ciontach son triùir phàistean a mhurt. Chan ann leatha fhèin a bha a’ chlann, ach bha iad aice air uchd-mhacachd, tro chleachdadh borb aig an àm ris an canar ‘baby farming’. Cha robh càil a dhùil aig Jessie King an triùir phàist a thug i a-steach airson airgead, a chumail.

Bochd, gun fhoghlam agus gun taic bho dhuine - bha beatha dhoirbh aig Jessie King. A rèir choltais dhèanadh i rud sam bith a dh’iarradh daoine oirre – gu h-àraid ma bha iad ann an ùghdarras. Gu mì-fhortanach dhìse, bha aon duine ann a bha deònach làn bhrath a ghabhail air a sin.

Choinnich Jessie King ri Thomas Pearson nuair a bha i trom le leanabh gu fear a bha an dùil a pòsadh. Ge bith dè thachair eatorra, dh’aontaich Jessie a dhol a dh’fhuireach còmhla ri Pearson, agus an taigh a chumail dha. Bhon àm sin, thàinig iomadh droch char air beatha Jessie King.

Jessie King and Thomas Pearson

Ann am Breatainn, ri linn Bhictòria, cha robh e furasta do bhoireannaich a bhith trom gun a bhith pòsta. Às aonais taic bho duine-pòsta, no teaghlach, glè thric dh’fheumadh boireannaich òga dachaigh eile a lorg airson an cuid leanaban. Cha robh e neo-àbhaisteach aig an àm sanasan fhaicinn anns na pàipearan-naidheachd làitheil, a’ tabhann – no a’ coimhead airson – dachaighean airson pàistean beaga. Gu mì-fhortanach, chunnaic King agus Pearson cothrom airson beagan airgid a dhèanamh.

Bha Pearson agus King tric a’ gluasad timcheall. Ged nach robh seo àraid aig an àm, tha coltas ann an robh adhbhar sònraichte aig a’ chàraid seo a bhith a’ falbh bho àite gu àite. Gun teagamh, bha gu leòr ri fhalach anns na bha iad a’ giùlain – corp leanabh na mheasg.

Ged nach urrainn dhuinn a bhith cinnteach dè dha-rìribh a thachair eadar an Lùnastal 1887 is an Dàmhair 1888, tha fios gun tug Pearson agus King co-dhiù trì pàistean a-steach chun dachaigh. Tha fios cuideachd, gun deach na trì pàistean sin à bith.

Aon fheasgar bha gille beag a’ cluich le charaidean air cùlaibh Sràid Cheyne, ann an sgìre Stockbridge. Bha iad air ball-coise a dhèanamh le parsail a lorg iad. Beag a dh’fhios a bh’ aig na balaich òga dè bha am broinn a’ pharsail. Gu mì-fhortanach dhaibhsan, fhuair iad a-mach, agus le eagal am beatha ruith iad a lorg fear-poilis.

An ceann ùine chaidh Pearson agus Jessie a dhìteadh. Gu h-annasach, dh’aidich King agus thuirt i nach robh gnothaich sam bith aig Pearson ri càil a thachair. Nuair a chuala Jessie gun d’ fhuair Pearson air falbh, bha i air a dòigh glan. Dh’fhaighnich i am faodadh i an teisteanas aice a thoirt air ais, ach bha e ro anmoch…

Cha tug e fada gus an do thuig Jessie an droch shuidheachadh anns an robh i. Chaidh aithris gun do dh’fheuch i ri làmh a chuir na beatha fhèin co-dhiù dà thuras sa phrìosan fhad ’s a bha i a’ feitheamh ris a’ bhinn.

’S e Jessie King am boireannach mu dheireadh a chaidh a chrochadh ann am baile Dhùn Èideann. Ach dè mu dheidhinn Pearson? Ged nach deach a dhìteadh sa chùirt ’s dòcha gun deach a ghlacadh ann an dòigh eile… lorgar an corp aige ann an Glaschu, bliadhna às dèidh a’ chùis.


2015 Programme Archive Tasglann Phrògraman 2015

Hogmanay Ceilidh 2015Cèilidh na Bliadhn' Ùire 2015
Stick Man / BioranStick Man / Bioran
Trusadh - The Highland Railway/Rathad-iarainn na GàidhealtachdTrusadh - Rathad-iarainn na Gàidhealtachd
Trusadh – Cancer Club / Balaich a’ BruidhinnTrusadh – Balaich a’ Bruidhinn
Jolomo: The People’s PainterJolomo: Dealbhadair nan Daoine
Scotland v BelarusAlba v Belarus
Royal National MòdMhòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail
Cobhair ChloinneCobhair Chloinne
Dòtaman at 30Dòtaman aig 30
Jonathan’s ArmyFeachdan Ionatain
Jim BaxterJim Baxter
Balaich a’ Bhìobaill / Bible BoysBalaich a’ Bhìobaill
The Pope’s Eriskay JumperTrusadh - Geansaidh a’ Phàpa
Canada v Glasgow WarriorsCanada v Glasgow Warriors
Belladrum 2015Belladrum 2015
Geamannan nan Eilean 2015 – Island Games 2015Geamannan nan Eilean 2015
Am Balach MacCuidhein – McQueen of ScotsAm Balach MacCuidhein
World Orienteering Championships 2015Co-Fharpais Sligheadaireachd Na Cruinne 2015
Trusadh – DiabetesTrusadh – Tinneas an t-Siùcair
MacTavish Cup FinalCuairt Dheireannach de Chupa MhicTàmhais
Ceòl air Abhainn ChluaidhCeòl air Abhainn Chluaidh
Trusadh - Berlin 25 Years OnTrusadh – Leag am Balla
Air na Rigs / Life OffshoreAir na Rigs
FuineFuine
An Dùbhlan – Sanjeev Kohli does Gaelic An Dùbhlan – Sanjeev Kohli does Gaelic
Glasgow City v Paris Saint-GermainGlasgow City v Paris Saint-Germain
Eileanan FraoichEileanan Fraoich
Cuirm@Celtic: Le Vent Du NordCuirm@Celtic: Le Vent Du Nord
The Real Jekyll & Hyde? The Deacon Brodie StorySgeulachd Deacon Brodie
Baby Killer? Sgeulachd Jessie KingBaby Killer? Sgeulachd Jessie King
Eòrpa MH17Eòrpa MH17
Brian WilsonBrian Wilson
Tartan PrideTartan Pride

2016 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2016

2015 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2015

2014 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2014

2013 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2013

2012 Programme ArchiveTasglann Phrògraman 2012


News Archive Tasglann Naidheachdan

Follow this link to the 2014 news press release archive.

Lean an ceangal seo gu tasglann naidheachdan 2014.