This execution notice begins: 'THE LAST / Words and Confession / OF / DAVID MYLES / Who was Executed for Incest, at Edinburgh, on the 27 Day of November, 1702.'
Although this would have been an excellent opportunity to entertain the audience with sordid and squalid details of an incestuous relationship, this text takes a higher moral tone. Reflecting the concerns of society at the time, emphasis is placed on parental guidance and control, and living a Godly and worthy life. It is interesting to note that David dies repentant, while his sister died 'obdurate and obstinately', unrepentant.
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:
1702 shelfmark: 6.314(37)
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