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Broadside entitled 'A Warning to the Public'

Commentary

This report begins: 'A WARNING To the public; being a lamenable instance of gronudless Suspicion. An account of the melancholy death of Mary M'Intyre who being innocently accused of finding and keeping up four 5 notes belonging to her master a Manufacturer in Paisley.'

This is an example of a news story being used by a broadside publisher for the purposes of moral instruction. Accounts of executions were often heavy in moralising, but this is a slightly more unusual case. The story is that of a young girl who commits suicide after being falsely accused of stealing money from her master. One feature that stands out from the story is the willingness of the police to take the girl prisoner purely on her employer's instructions. Today, firmer grounds for suspicion would probably be required.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Date of publication: 1822   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(24)
Broadside entitled 'A Warning to the Public'
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