This report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sentence of ALEXANDER M'KAY, and WILLIAM M'DONALD, for Assult and Stabbing on the Streets of Edinburgh ; the former of whom is to be Publicly Whipped, on a Platform at the head of Libberton's Wynd, on Wednesday the 27th July, 1825, at one o'Clock afternoon, and to be afterwards Banished for Seven years ; and M'Donald to be confined in Bridwell for Twelve months, at Hard Labonr.' The broadside was published in Edinburgh by William Robertson, and sold for a penny.
Edinburgh?s Bridewell was situated on Regent Road, to the west of the Jail. It was different to a jail because attempts were made to reform inmates through hard labour. It was the last public building designed by Robert Adam (1728-92), and opened in 1790, at which time it held 70 felons. In 1865 the distinction between jails and bridewells was abolished.
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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1825 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(34)
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