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Broadside concerning the last moments of William Thomson


This account begins: 'An account of the last moments of William Thomson, who was executed at Dalkeith on Thursday last with the information of Thomson & Fram of the murder of Ramsay Inglis, a collier at Cowpits two years ago, whereby two thieves named Salmon and Merrilees are apprehended.'

The rest of the information in this report has been extracted from the 'Edinburgh Weekly Chronicle' newspaper, of Wednesday 7th March, 1827. It was common for the publishers of broadsides to take information from other sources, most often newspapers, but sometimes other broadsides. Nowadays we are protected by copyright legislation, but in the mid-nineteenth century no such laws were in place. The immediacy of news reporting meant that whoever got the story to the press first made the most profit, which is much the same situation as today.

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: 1827   shelfmark: F.3.a.14(40)
Broadside concerning the last moments of William Thomson
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