This broadside crime report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sentence of James Anderson and David Glenn, who are to be Executed at the spot where the crime was committed, on Friday, the 12th December 1823, for the Murder of John M'Clure, and their bodies to be given for Disaection.' Printed in 1823.
Crime was one of the most popular subjects for broadsides, and in particularly infamous cases several separate broadsides might be produced, giving different accounts of the trial, sentencing and, where one followed, execution. In this case, the trial and sentencing are dealt with in the same broadside. The details of the murder are given plainly, as they were heard at the trial, and the judge's summing up after sentencing is reported in great detail. Broadsides catered to an audience with very definite tastes and expectations, and the amount of emphasis given to the judge's remarks on repentence and the afterlife reflects the devout presbyterianism practised by most Scots in 1823.
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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Date of publication:
1823 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(60)
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