This execution notice begins: 'A Letter from Helen Hutton, who was Execute at Haddington, on Friday last, the 25th of February, written to her Mother a few Days before her Execution.' This sheet was published in Edinburgh in 1726.
Hutton appears to have been involved in the robbery and then murder of her master and mistress with others: the language, however, is fairly convoluted and her crime is not the topic of this text. Rather her repentance and the degree of her guilt both in thought and in action is under question. The support of Hutton's family is also emphasised.
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:
1726 shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(103)
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