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Broadside entitled 'Murder'


This report begins: 'An account of the shocking case of Mrs Anderson St Giles Street, Leith, found strangled to death in her house, on Monday morning last, with the apprehension of one of her neighbours, accused of having committed the diabolical murder ; also an account of the Dreadful destruction of Cromerty new jail by Fire, on Monday night, when shocking to relate, the keys of the prison were lost in the Confusion, and before the door could be forced open, the prisoners (whose horrid cries were heart-rending) were burned to death, and so reduced to ashes, that the bodies could not be known by their relations.' Printed by Forbes and Co. of Edinburgh.

Divided into two parts, this hybrid broadside starts off by reporting a murder in Leith, then moves on to tell the tragic story of how the trapped prisoners in Cromarty Jail were burnt to death during a fire. As broadsides that told of heinous crimes were particularly popular with the public, one imagines that the street-criers and ballad-singers who sold this one would have made much of the 'Murder' headline as they did their round of selling.

Reports recounting dark and salacious deeds were popular with the public, and, like today's sensationalist tabloids, sold in large numbers. Crimes could generate sequences of sheets covering descriptive accounts, court proceedings, last words, lamentations and executions as they occurred. As competition was fierce, immediacy was paramount, and these occasions provided an opportunity for printers and patterers to maximise sales.

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Probable date of publication: 1830   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(45)
Broadside entitled 'Murder'
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