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Broadside entitled 'Execution'


This report begins: 'A Particular Account of the Execution and last dying Declaration and Behaviour of ROBERT SCOTT, who was Executed, on that part of the Road between Earlston and Greenlaw, where he committed the Bloody deeds, yesterday, Wednesday the 29th October, 1823, for the Horrid and Barbarous Murder of Two men, on the evening of 30th June last, and his Body sent to Edin for Dissection.' Publisher William Johnston, Edinburgh, 1823

One of the most interesting elements of this broadside is the emphasis that is placed on the great ceremony surrounding the execution. This perhaps reflects the fact that the murder and subsequent execution took place in a rural community, where such events would have been rare. An execution probably had greater impact as a spectacle, and a warning, for the people of Roxburghshire and Berwickshire than it would have had for the people of Edinburgh.

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: 1823   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(109)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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