This trial report begins: 'Trial & Sentence Of WILLIAM M'INTYRE, an unfortunate tailor, belonging to Paisley, who was tried before the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh, on Monday the 20th January, 1823, and sentenced to be executed there on Wednesday the 26th day of February next, betwixt 8 and 10 o'clock in the morning, for Housebreaking and Theft.' It was published by John Muir of Glasgow, and probably cost one penny.
Seventeen year old William McIntyre from Paisley was tried and sentenced to be executed for breaking into the house of Miss Ann Butler at Lothian Road, Edinburgh, and stealing 'a large quantity of wearing apparel'. McIntyre protested his innocence and claimed to be sleeping on a park bench when he was awoken with cries of 'Stop Thief', soon after which he was arrested and taken into custody. It does seem very possible that poor, unfortunate McIntyre happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffered the most awful consequence because of it.
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.
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Date of publication:
1823 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(044)
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