This execution notice begins: 'THE LAST / SPEECH, / Confession and dying words of JAMES DORMAND, who was execute at Perth, on Friday the 31st of May 1793 for Four crimes of Highway Robbery'.
This text gives very little factual information about this case, but does go on at length about the social and spiritual evils of crime. Often these situations were seen as an opportunity to lecture society on their morals and behaviour. Two noticeable feature of reports of this time, which are also displayed here, are the Irish origins of Dormand, and the link between his education and lack of parental respect.
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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1793 shelfmark: 6.314(31)
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