The following is a brief description, by Robert Honeyman, Stewart and Sheriff-Depute of Orkney, of the shooting of Captain James Moodie RM of Melsetter on Broad Street, Kirkwall at around 2.00pm on the afternoon of 26th October 1725. It was written half an hour after the incident took place.
Kirkwall, 26th October 1725 - That whereas upon the day and date of these presents within this half hour of thereby In Company with Capt. James Moodie of Melsetter, Senr and Charles Stewart, Steward Clerk, going up the way in order to hold a Justice of peace Court and Coming up the Length of Baillie Ffeas in Kirkwall about the hour of Two in the afternoon, Sr. James Stewart of Burray, Alexander Stewart his Broyr., Coming out of the said Baillie Ffeas his gate, the said Alexr. Stewart in my presence did Beat with his Stuk the said Capt. James Moodie of Melsetter, Senr., and he defending himself Grapled together and In their grasping The Said Alexr. Stewart & Sir James Stewart pulled out Swords and Captain Moodies man grapling & keeping Stewart in his arms where I was aiding to my power to Quail their Insolency and Immediatley Sir James Stewart of Burray his Servt., and Alex. Stewart his Servt called Oliver Irving, Returned with Cockt pistolls which Savoured of a murdereous & assassinating Design, ffired two pistolls one whereof lighted upon Capt. Moodie and Shott him through the arm, whether through his body as mortall I Cannot as yet tell The Doctor being presently with him, and the oyr. Shott lighted on my third Sone Peter and Cutt the Rim of his Belly, One of the Balls lighting likewise in Captain Moodies Servants arm who was holding Alexr., Stewart in Conjunction wt me, I having no force by me nor any premediat thought of Such ane horrid Actione, Having only both our Servants, both my sons, and the Stewart Cerlk walking wt me, And yrafter The Sd, Sir James Stewart and Alexr. Stewart his broyr with their Swords drawn Did Carry off and Convey their Servants out off the Town, whether they had horses or not prepared for the purpose I cannot tell, and Thereafter They Came down through the Town with their Swords drawn where I addressed them to putt up their Swords holding furth the Barbarity of Such ane actione, And in respect The Same is Committed wt in the Burgh of Kirkwall I hereby address my Self to the Honnourable Magistrats yrof. That they may Secure the persons of the Sd., Sir James Stewart and Alexr., Stewart his boryr untill they Sttand Tryall.
Robert Honeyman was tried in Edinburgh in 1726, a charge having been brought by the widow of Captain James Moodie, that the had been an accomplice in the murder and been negligent in allowing the murderers to escape. The verdict was not proven.