HC Deb 26 June 1863 vol 171 c1527

said, he wished to ask the Lord Advocate, By what authority an oath was administered to John Ritchie, one of the persons examined by the Procurator Fiscal before the Sheriff of Lanarkshire, touching the truth of the statement made by Jessie MacLachlan after her conviction for murder, and for what reason that person alone was sworn to the truth of his answers?


replied, that the Sheriff was entitled to put on oath any one examined before him if it should appear desirable to do so. The reason the witness was examined on oath was simply this, that it was thought necessary he should be so examined.