This report begins: 'An account of the trial and sentence of Robert Emond, who was tried at Edinburgh on Monday last, for the horrid murder and robbery of his sister-in-law and his niece, in the village of Abbey, near Haddington, by cutting their throats, and nearly severing their heads from their body; he was found guilty and sentenced to be executed at Edinburgh, on Wednesday 17th day of March next.--Glasgow 9th February, 1830.' Printed in Glasgow for John Muir.
This trial report goes into great detail about the heinous crime committed by Robert Emond. He had killed his wife's sister, Mrs Franks, and her 14-year-old daughter in October 1829. Emond was composed at his trial, until the jury heard what he had said to his cellmates. When they asked him whether he had committed the crime, he apparently replied 'Oh, yes, but don't speak of it to me; for it goes like a knife into my heart whenever I think of it'. At this, there was a 'sensation in court' and Emond began to wail, or 'quail', dreadfully.
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:
1830 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(83a)
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