This trial report begins: 'An account of the Trial and Sentence of James Glen for the Barbarous Murder of his own child 2 years old, and who is to be executed on the 12th day of December next.'
Also included in the National Library of Scotland's collection are two further broadsides covering this rather grisly case. Both claim to provide an account of Glen's execution, including his behaviour on the scaffold. The very fact that a further broadside was published regarding Glen's crime, indicates the high level of interest in this case. The more gruesome and shocking the crime being reported, the more copies sold. Broadside printers often cashed in on this popularity by producing a series of sheets covering different aspects of the same crime.
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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1827 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(80)
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