This crime account begins: 'Glasgow, May 1st, 1823.?This morning, another of those disgusting scenes occurred, which produces horror in the minds of the living, and keeps them in anxious suspense concerning the bodies of the departed dead.' It was published by William Carse.
There was a horror throughout the nineteenth century of having one's body dissected. This was inflicted upon those sentenced to execution as a further punishment. Here, the public's emotions are appealed to with the story of a recent death - all very high drama - and the Dempster family's problems having the body buried due to their poverty. This text highlights how contentious the debate on the dissection of human bodies for science was at the time.
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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Date of publication:
1823 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(055)
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