This crime report begins: 'The Last Speech of Sir GODFREY M'CULLOCH of Myretoun, Knight and Baronet, who was Beheaded at the Cross of Edinburgh, the Twenty Sixth day of March, 1697.' This sheet was published by John Reid of Bells Wynd, Edinburgh, in 1697.
Sir Godfrey MacCulloch of Cardoness Castle was convicted of shooting William Gordon of Cardines in the leg - a wound which he eventually died of. The estate, originally the property of the MacCullochs, had been purchased by the neighbouring Gordon family in 1629. The MacCullochs, however, still claimed the Cardoness lands and there was an ensuing feud.
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:
1697 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.76(023)
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