The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Awful Crime'


This crime report begins: 'A full and particular account of the Trial and Sentence of JAMES NEWLANDS, who is to be executed at Inverness, on Saturday 25th May, 1833, for the Horrible crime of Rape on a young girl, only 17 years of age.'

On the way home from Elgin Feeing Market, James Newlands, 39, and some others, stopped at a pub for a drink. After leaving the pub Newlands persuaded Jane Ross to walk on ahead with him, saying they would take a different road and meet the others shortly. Once they were alone, Newlands sexually assaulted the girl three times. Interestingly, this account goes into detail about Lord Moncrieff, the judge's, views on rape and his opinion regarding women's place in society.

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.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1833   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(86)
Broadside entitled 'Awful Crime'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland