This crime report begins: 'A True and distinct / ACCOUNT, / of the Murder of James Campbel of Lawers.'
Campbel was murdered by his cousin Patrick Campbel, Baron of Braemukly, in a fight which was the result of serious drinking. James attacked Patrick, who defended himself with his gun and shot his cousin through the heart. He then escaped to Edinburgh undetected. The author of this text, however, does not hide the fact that he is using this incident for moral education. It is also interesting to note that the 'salm' is quoted in Gaelic. There are other broadsides in the National Library of Scotland's collection which detail arguments, resulting in death, between 'gentlemen'.
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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Probable date published:
1723- shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(066)
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