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Broadside detailing the Lamentation of Nicol Mucshet of Boghall


This lamentation begins: 'THE SORROWFUL LAMENTATION OF NICOL MUCSHET of BOGHALL. Who was execute in the Grass-Market of Edinburgh, on the 6th. of January, 1721. For murdering of his Wife: With his last Dying Speech, and Farewell to the World.'

The National Library of Scotland's collection also includes at least two other broadsides regarding this case. The first takes the form of a letter from the condemned prisoner's mother, Lady Boghall, and the second from a man, Alexander Pennecuik, suspected of being an accessory to the murder. Both are addressed to Nicol Mucshet (who is referred to in other broadsides as Muschet or Mushet). It is worth noting that in each, a different spelling of the prisoner's name is used - Mushet, Mushett and Mucshet. In the rush to get a story printed and out on the streets for sale, broadside printers paid little attention to such inconsistencies.

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: 1721   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(054)
Broadside detailing the Lamentation of Nicol Mucshet of Boghall
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