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Broadside entitled 'Execution'


This execution notice begins: 'The Behaviour, Execution, and Life and Transactions of GEORGE DUFFY, who suffered at Glasgow on the 7th Nov. 1832, for the cruel and brutal Murder of his own Wife, in Drygate Street, in May last. This sheet was published in Glasgow, 7th November 1832 by William Carse.

George Duffy, of Irish-Catholic descent as the report highlights, was renowned for beating his wife, Helen Broady, but on this occasion he went further and held her across the fire in the kitchen. After refusing to have her burns tended too she died after nine days, leaving a fourteen-year-old daughter. This report implies that the physical abuse was unfair because Helen was never provocative. It also emphasises Duffy's drink problem and his eventual repentance 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: 1832   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(113)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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