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Broadside entitled 'Trial of a Priest'


This crime report begins: 'A wonderful trial of a Priest for the horrid and cruel murder of a young Lady, (whom he had seduced,) and her Mother, after robbing them of an immense fortune; with an account of other five girls whom he had betrayed all of whom he had privately married; with his address to the judges in mitigation of punishment for his horrid crimes; The trial lasted near four years. TAKEN FROM THE SUN OF SATURDAY THE 5th SEPTEMBER, 1829.' This sheet was published by Carmichael and Graham, Trongate, Glasgow, 1829.

This is a slightly unusual broadside in that it describes a case from Bavaria, that has no particular relevance to Britain or Scotland. The story was taken from the 'Sun', an established national newspaper. It was quite common among broadside publishers to source stories from newspapers that most of their audience could not afford to buy. It is likely that this story was selected because it featured an errant priest. Anti-Catholic polemic was very common in Scotland in the early nineteenth century, and the author's sympathies are implied in the reference to the 'wonderful' trial.

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: 1829   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(105)
Broadside entitled 'Trial of a Priest'
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