This report begins: 'A full, true, and particular Account of the Trial of Mr David Bartie, writer, before the High Court of Justiciary, yesterday, for violating the person of Margaret Gray, a girl fourteen years of age, servant in the house in which the pannel lodged, in East Cumberland Street, Edinburgh, and which Trial occupied the Court eleven hours.' Published by Forbes & Owen in Edinburgh.
The Scottish Book Trade Index, available online through the National Library of Scotland's website, has Forbes & Owen listed at five different addresses in central Edinburgh between 1830 and 1834, but the firm does not appear after 25th November 1834. There were numerous small printers in Edinburgh in the first half of the nineteenth century, many specialising in sensational broadsides such as this.
Reports recounting dark and salacious deeds were popular with the public, and, like today's 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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