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Broadside entitled 'Trials and Sentences'


This report begins: 'Just published, the Trials and Sentences of the different culprits who were tried this day before the Lords of Justiciary in Edinburgh, among whom were Walter Cunningham, a convict returned from banishment; John Sutherland, a baker, for theft; and James Graham for trafficing in bad coin.' The date given on this sheet is Monday, 10th December 1832.

This broadsheet offers a selection of the most noteworthy trials, and the subsequent punishments that were dealt out, in an Edinburgh Court on Monday 10th December 1832. It provides an interesting insight into the 'everyday' crimes being committed at this time, and the severity of the sentences that were doled out. All three men named here were sentenced to seven years transportation for various petty offences. Transportation was a common punishment throughout the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries. Originally transported to America, convicts were shipped to Australia after the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.

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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Date of publication: 1832   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(27)
Broadside entitled 'Trials and Sentences'
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