This crime report begins: 'Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sentence of ROBERT SCOTT, who is to be Executed at the spot where he committed the horrid deed, on Wednesday 29th October, for the barbarous Murder of James Aitcheson, Cooper, and Robert Sim, Horse-dealer, Greenlaw, on the road near Earlston, on the 30th of June last, and his Body to be sent to Dr MUNRO, Edinburgh, for Dissection. This sheet was published by Allan Grant, in Edinburgh, and sold for a penny a copy.
There are other broadside reports of Robert Scott's case held in the National Library of Scotland's collection. This report mentions that Scott's body was be transported to the University of Edinburgh where it was to be used for dissection lectures by Dr Munro. This was a further punishment as the dissection of ones body was viewed with disgust and revulsion by society at the time. Dr Munro and his colleague Dr Knox were well known surgeons in Edinburgh who became notorious after their involvement with Burke and Hare.
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:
1823 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(46)
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