This account begins: 'An Account of a most Horrid Murder, supposed to be commited on the body of Mr MARK DOW, a respectab Shoemaker in Leith Street, Edinburgh, on Wednesday Evening the . . ., or early on Thursday morning, the 11th January, 1827, who was found dead nearly naked, at the bottom of a stair, north west corner of Bank Street, with a large wound on h s head.' This report was published by William Henry, and was sold for a penny. The author states that the story was sourced from the 'Edinburgh Observer' newspaper.
It is interesting to note the mistakes in this text. There are large spaces and 'committed' has been misspelt. In the haste of getting the story to press, mistakes were fairly common. The immediacy is highlighted further by the fact that this story is taken from another source. A broadside would have been a cheaper option than buying a newspaper, and this one also borrows some kudos from the 'Edinburgh Observer', which apparently offers the 'only authentic notification yet published of this melancholy affair'.
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. These occasions provided an opportunity for printers and patterers to maximise sales.
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1827 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(35)
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