Highlands & Islands

Last public hanging in Inverness inspires Fringe play

Church Street, Inverness Image copyright Dr Neil Clifton/Geograph
Image caption John Adams was thought to have been buried under police stations in Inverness' Church Street and Castle Wynd

The story of the last man to be publicly hanged in Inverness has inspired a play to be performed at Edinburgh's Fringe Festival.

John Adams murdered his wife on the Black Isle in the Highlands and he was hanged in Inverness in 1835.

His body was buried under the cells of a police station before they were moved again at least three more times to other stations.

Inverness College UHI student Kym Hunt wrote her play as a one-woman show.

Wandering Bones was the first play the drama and performance student had written.

The 28-year-old, who lives in Beauly, said: "I was really interested in the story, which is fascinating."

She said she also "loved the fact" that the story was not widely known.

Wealthy wife

According to reports, Adams moved to Inverness from Montrose with his girlfriend but lost his job.

Image copyright Kym Hunt
Image caption Kym Hunt's Wandering Bones has been written as a one-woman show

He returned to Montrose where he met and then married a wealthy woman called Jane. The couple moved to the Highlands.

Adams was hanged at what is now Inverness' Harbour Road roundabout.

His body became the ward of the police because burying him in consecrated ground was prohibited.

He was buried under the cells of a police station in the centre of Inverness before being dug up and reburied under another nearby station.

This movement of his remains continued into the 1960s when they were moved to another police station in Old Perth Road. The site of his burial was later turned into a car park.

More recently, Adams' body was found using ground-source radar and it was dug up and buried in a cemetery.

A second play Ms Hunt has written, One Man's Junk, is also to be performed at the Fringe.

Image copyright Kym Hunt
Image caption One Man's Junk is also being performed at the Edinburgh festival

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