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Broadside entitled 'Glasgow: Trials and sentences'


This report of court proceedings begins: 'Account of the Trial and Sentence of the various Prisoners who have appeared at the Bar of Justiciary since it opened on Tuesday last.' It was published by William Carse of Glasgow, in 1833.

The reporting of court proceedings was a fairly common subject for a broadside. Typically, these would be reported much as they might be in a local newspaper today, as a list of prisoners with the relevant charges. It is significant, however, that far more detail here is devoted to a charge of murder than to any other case: murders were always of great public interest. The Saltmarket area, close to where the Court sat, was Scotland's largest production centre for broadsides, and this one was produced by one of its best known printers, William Carse.

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: 1833   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(74)
Broadside entitled 'Glasgow: Trials and sentences'
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