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Broadside entitled 'Horrid Circumstance in a Druggist's Shop in Town'


This crime report begins: 'Account of that strange circumstance which took place on Sunday night last in a Druggist's shop in Glasgow; the shopman and another person invited two young women into it, where after giving to them spirits, lozenges and powders, a most brutal attack was made on them in the shop . . .' A note at the foot of the sheet states that it was published by William Carse of Glasgow, while the story was sourced from 'The Glasgow Chronicle' of November the 15th. Unfortunately, the year of publication is not included.

This broadside tells of a despicable crime that was committed on a pair of young women, after they had been plied with alcohol and chemicals by a druggist and his friend. To protect the identities of the victims, presumably, the names of the two accused men and the location of the crime have been blanked out - which appears rather strange. The effect of this censorship is that although the first part of the report is copied from a newspaper, the event still has a slightly unreal feel to it. The writer ends his report by stating that the druggist and his companion were each fined 5.

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: 1825-   shelfmark: APS.4.96.4
Broadside entitled 'Horrid Circumstance in a Druggist's Shop in Town'
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