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Broadside entitled 'Riot at Dumfries! Hares arrival'


This broadside news report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Reception of WILLIAM HARE, one of the West Port Murderers, at Dumfries, on Friday morning last, on his way to Ireland!' Although this sheet does not include the name of the publisher, the story was sourced from 'The Edinburgh Evening Courant' of February the 9th, 1829, and cost one penny.

This broadside details the whereabouts of William Hare, whose partner-in-crime, William Burke, had recently been executed for committing a series of murders in their efforts to sell bodies to the Edinburgh Medical School. Although Burke was hanged in Edinburgh before a crowd of around 40,000, Hare was freed after turning King's evidence. Adopting the rather inappropriate name of Mr Black, Hare was forced to take shelter in the jail at Dumfries when a mob threatened his life. The sheet concludes with Hare being smuggled out of the town under a police guard, and left on the road to Carlisle.

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: 1829   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(63)
Broadside entitled 'Riot at Dumfries! Hares arrival'
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