This report begins: 'A Fourth Edition, containing New and Interesting Particulars of that most heart-rending and cruel Rape, Robbery, and Murder, of Margaret Paterson, at Gutterdike near Gilmerton, on the night of Saturday, the 24th of April, 1830, -- together with a particular and accurate Account of the unheard of manner in which the Monsters occasioned the death of their victim, to the everlasting Disgrace of civilised society, -- and also an accurate Account and Description of the two Men who are charged with committing this truly Fearful Crime, and of the Precognition taking against them by the Sheriff of the County, -- and likewise the pious conduct of the ill fated, Murdered Margaret Paterson, on her Death-Bed, a few minutes before she expired, -- being a True and Faithful account of this Dreadful Affair, never any where published except in this paper.'
Running to a fourth edition, this exclusive broadside tells the tragic of Margaret Paterson, who was raped, robbed and murdered by two men near Gilmerton, Edinburgh. This broadside certainly goes into great detail concerning both the crime and the three protagonists. Broadsides that told of recent crimes - the more heinous the crime the better - sold numerous copies, as demonstrated by the fact that this broadside is a fourth edition. Exclusivity is another theme of this broadside, with the writer emphasising, right from the outset, that the public can only read about the story in this particular broadside. This sheet is part of a series of broadsides on this particular subject, with the others available for viewing at The National Library of Scotland's collection.
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:
1830 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(53)
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