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Broadside entitled 'Execution'


This execution report begins: 'Account of the Execution and Behaviour on the scaffold, of JAMES STEVENSON, for highway robbery, who suffered at Glasgow, on Wednesday morning, the 1st of June, 1825; to which is added, his confession and last dying words, which he left with a friend who visited him in jail.' The sheet was published in 1825 by William Carse of Glasgow.

This broadside describes the execution of a young man called James Stevenson, who was sentenced to death for carrying our a highway robbery. After summarising his offence, the broadside's author quickly moves on to report the execution ceremony. Attended by a flock of religious ministers, much of this section is taken up with the concept of achieving redemption through embracing religion. Following the execution scene, the broadside contains a short confession from Stevenson in which he warns others about the many dangers that arise when a person strays from the path of righteousness. The sheet concludes with a short ballad on the subject and a brief biography of Stevenson's life.

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: 1825   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(081)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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