This crime report begins: 'An account of the Trial and Sentence of JOHN STEWART and CATHERINE WRIGHT, who were found guilty at Edinburgh on Tuesday last of the horrid Murder and Robbery of Robert Lamont on board the Toward Castle Steam Boat, and Sentenced to be Executed at Glasgow on Wednesday the 19th August next.' The sheet was published on July 15th, 1829, by John Muir of Glasgow.
The murder of Robert Lamont was the deed that brought Stewart and Wright to justice, but after their condemnation, Stewart laid claim to several more murders carried out in the same way. An interesting footnote to the case is that the boat where the murder occurred was named after Toward Castle, overlooking the Firth of Clyde, which is the ancient family seat of the Lamont clan. The victim having this name is more than coincidence - it suggests how in the nineteenth century, far more than today, Scotland's landscape was still discernibly divided into family areas.
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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1829 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(107b)
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