This list begins: 'A Complete LIST of the Names, Crimes, and Punishments, of all the Criminals Tried at Edinburgh before the High Court of Justiciary, this week, ending 18th March, 1826.' A note at the bottom of the sheet states that it was printed in Edinburgh, 'for the Booksellers', and cost a penny.
No-one seen by the court was awarded the death penalty. Almost all were banished or sentenced to 7 or 14 years' transportation. At this time, they would most likely have been sent to either Australia or the West Indies. It is interesting to note how much emphasis is put on the accused people's reputations. Such anecdotal evidence would be given no legal credibility in a court today.
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:
1826 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(080)
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