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Broadside entitled 'Horrid Depravity!'




A melancholy Account of the Death of two
Children, who were poisoned by a Man who
went about selling Candy, at Portobello,
near Edinburgh, on Tuesday last, in whose
Possession was found valuable Articles,
which he obtained from the Children in ex-
change for his Candy.

IT is with feelings of shame, regret, and indignation, at the du-
plicity of our country, that we here state the brief particulars of
the apprehension of one of the most diabolical imposters that has
for a long time disgraced our city.

On Tuesday last, one of those itinerant venders of what they
call Candy, who have, for a long time, disgraced our magistrates,
by allowing so perfect a nuisance, have been robbing us to our
very face, by encouraging our children to pilfer brass candlesticks,
spoons, or any other thing that they may lay their hands upon, in
exchange for their candy, made of dirty Treacle, manufactured in
the most dirty lodging-houses, announced his arrival at Portobello,
in the usual manner, by sounding his horn ; summoning the chil-
dren to prepare their old materials; at the same time spreading
his candy in the most ostentatious manner, to captivate the unsus-
pecting babes.

After some time of pretty brisk sale   he made his abrupt   de-
parture ; this was owing to a young boy, the son of a respectable
grocer, bringing him a silver spoon, which he paid for by giving
the boy a stalk of his candy, pocketed his prize, and sneaked off
out of the village.

In a short time, the boy and several others were seized with
convulsive fits, in proportion to the quantity of candy they had
eat. Mr Finlayson, surgeon, being called in, he gave it as his
opinion, that a quantity of poison must have been mixed with the
candy ; every exertion was used, but we regret to state that two
of the children died, one named Jones and the other Murray.

On the alarm being spread, Mr Bain, criminal officer, in
Portobello, repaired to Edinburgh in search of the delinquent,
and at last succeeded in finding him out in a house in the Grass

At his examination before the magistrate, he stated, that he
thought the spoon was of no value; and said, that the poison was
in all probability, mixed with the candy from the circumstance
that a rat-catcher having lodged in the same house with him the
night previous, who was preparing composition to poison some rats
in a grannery at Leith. A few more witnesses were called up
who corroborated the statement of the candy-seller, and who all
saw the rat-catcher mixing his composition.

The Magistrates acquitted him of the supposed murders of
the children, but committed him to take his trial for receiving
stolen goods to a considerable amount, which was found in his

Re-printed by DOUGLAS and KENT, Newcastle.

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Probable date of publication: 1825-1829   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(53a)
Broadside entitled 'Horrid Depravity!'
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