At around 6:00 am on 8th September 1820 Baird and Hardie were wakened. Baird prayed that God would strengthen their faith and stand beside them at the approaching hour. The ministers who had entered the cells heard this prayer and cried. At 1pm, an hour before the execution was due to take place, they asked to be allowed to see those who had been taken with them at Bonnymuir, so they could say their final farewells. According to eye-witness accounts, it was a touching scene.

After this they were taken to Broad Street. The gallows were surrounded by a body of military men. Hardie walked to the scaffold and exclaimed ‘Hail Messenger of eternal rest!’ Baird followed and for a few moments both knelt in prayer. They then addressed the crowd. Baird spoke first:

‘Friends and countrymen I daresay you will expect me to say something to you of the cause which has brought me here but on that I do not mean to say much, only that what I have hitherto done and which has brought me here was for the cause of truth and justice. I declare I never gave my ascent to anything inconsistent with truth and justice... I have never hurt anyone. I have always led an innocent life...’

Hardie then stepped forward and reciprocated the sentiments of his friend. He added, ‘My dear friends I declare before my God I believe I die a martyr in the cause of truth and justice.’ At that point, the crowd applauded. The military prepared for action. Many in the crowd fled in terror. The sheriff, Ronald McDonald of Staffa, ran up to him on the scaffold and told him he could no longer permit him to continue and that if he persisted, he would command the executioner to carry out his duty. Hardie bowed and said ‘My friends I hope none of you have been hurt by this exhibition. Please after it is over, go quietly home and read your Bibles and remember the fate of Hardie and Baird.’ He then kissed his friend and they shook hands as far as their bonds permitted. The bolt then fell and they were hanged.

They were then beheaded. The crowd dispersed.

The two men were buried at the Holy Rude cemetery in Stirling that evening. On 20th July 1847, their remains were exhumed, and they were reburied at Sighthill in Glasgow.

On May Day 1966, the Stirling Labour Party erected a memorial plaque to them at the Old Tollbooth in Broad Street.