Following on from the title, the report continues: ' . . . convicted of Breaking into, and Robbing the dwelling house of Alex. Arniel, farmer at Caplin, in the parish of Neilston, on the 12th or 13th of November,1819.' The sheet was published in December 1820, by John Muir of Glasgow.
This broadside reports on the court case that occurred as a result of a break-in at a farm in Neilston, Renfrewshire. Covering their faces with red handkerchiefs, three men burst into the farm building, ordered the owner to go upstairs if he valued his life, and ransacked the house. Due to confusion among the witnesses, however, only Maxwell and Hamilton were found guilty, with a not proven verdict being returned for Muir and Donelly. As the rule of law during this turbulent era mainly existed to protect property, the two guilty men received the death sentence - though it appears that only Maxwell was executed, after confessing that he alone was responsible for the crime.
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:
1820 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(016)
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