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Broadside entitled 'Murder, &c.', Musselburgh Links


This broadside report begins: 'A full true and particular Account of the Murder of a child at Musselburgh, yesterday morning, and of the apprehension of a woman who had left the Edinburgh City Workhouse the day before, and of her examination before the magistrates . . .' Below this prologue, is the introduction to a story about the loss of a packet ship called 'Boston', which was struck by lightning and sunk with all hands. Although the date of publication and name of the publisher are not included, the story was sourced from 'The Courant' newspaper - probably the Edinburgh Courant, published 1855-1859.

This broadside tells the tragic story of a woman who, it is claimed, murdered a newly-born baby in a quarry near Musselburgh Links. The details to this story are rather sketchy, with the investigation into the infant's violent death very much at an early stage. Judging by the reference to the workhouse in Edinburgh, the woman, who was reported to be either deranged or under the influence of drink, would certainly have been a pauper. Although this woman appears to be the main suspect, it is interesting to note that a group of gypsies who were camped nearby to the murder scene were moved on by the authorities.

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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Probable period of publication: 1855-1859   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(121)
Broadside entitled 'Murder, &c.', Musselburgh Links
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