hang a thief when he’s young, and he’ll no’ steal when he’s old

1832 A. HENDERSON Scottish Proverbs 115 Hang a thief when he’s young, and he’ll no [not] steal when he’s auld.

1896 A. CHEVIOT Proverbs of Scotland 126 Hang a thief when he’s young, and he’ll no steal when he’s auld. This was a favourite saying of Lord Justice Clerk Braxfield [Robert MacQueen, Lord Braxfield (1722–99), Scottish judge], who invariably acted upon its teaching.

1979 J. LEASOR Love & Land Beyond x. So much killing... It reminds me of the Scots proverb, ‘Hang a thief when he’s young, and he’ll no’ steal when he’s old.’


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