This crime report begins: 'An Account of the Barbarous and Inhuman Murder of Mrs Franks and her Daughter, with the Wonderful Manner the Murders were discovered.' It was published by T. Robertson in Haddington, East Lothian.
This broadside is one of a number held by the National Library which deal with the murder of Mrs Franks and her daughter. Ultimately Mrs Franks' son-in-law Robert Emond was convicted of the murders, but in this early report on the crime, the author reveals that another Haddington man, John Smith, is under suspicion of this and an earlier murder. Smith's family are described as 'bad characters', and have apparently been found in posession of property belonging to Mrs Franks and to a pedlar murdered six years previously.
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:
1829 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(82)
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