This crime report begins: 'An account of the Trial and Sentence of Margaret Boag, yesterday before the High Court of Justiciary, charged with the atrocious murder of an old woman, 75 years of age, at Dunning in Perthshire, with the account how the murder &c. was discovered, which was committed six years ago.'
Margaret Boag was convicted of theft, having been caught with clothing belonging to her neighbour Elizabeth Low. Low was found dead, wrapped in a carpet with an axe sitting beside her. Boag received a not proven verdict for murder and was sentenced to life transportation for theft. At this time prisoners were sent to Australia, after first lodging in disused war ships.
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:
1824 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(51)
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