This trial report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sentence of HUGH M'MILLAN, and EUPHEMIA M'MILLAN, this last of whom is to be Executed at Edinburgh on Wednesday the 23d January, 1828, for the Murder of Archibald Campbell, Teacher of Dancing in Edinburgh, by throwing Vitriol in his face, in consequence of which he died in great agony.' Vitriol is another name for sulphuric acid.
An argument broke out between Euphemia McMillan and Archibald Campbell, over a chair which had been laid across a doorway to prevent 'the child' from falling down the stairs. We are never told whose 'the child' was, or how it came to be in Campbell's house, perhaps having dancing lessons. Mrs McMillan caused a scene and was taken away by the police, but later returned to throw acid over Campbell's face. Mr McMillan appears to have had nothing to do with the incident.
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:
1827 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(099a)
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