July 21st 1773
...And stay outWilliam Fisher from Glasgow was only fourteen when he first came into contact with the magistrates in Perth. He was convicted of “keeping a private lottery table and thereby imposing on several persons.”
It is difficult to know exactly what this implied but the intention to defraud seems obvious. As he was only fourteen it says something for his powers of persuasion. The authorities banished him from the burgh.
Perth seemed to exert a tremendous fascination for William and, notwithstanding his banishment, he was again in the town in May 1773 “and by the lenity of the Magistrates again dismissed unpunished.”
The Magistrates had shown great forbearance, but William pushed his luck too far when he returned to Perth yet again only a month later, and attempted to pick the pocket of a countryman at the mid- summer fair. It was not even a well executed theft for he was caught almost immediately and the gentleman’s pocket book containing five guineas was found under his coat. This time, in spite of his young age, there was to be no pardon.
On July 21st he was whipped round the burgh by the common executioner and once again banished from the town under pain of further punishment should he return.