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Broadside concerning the trials and sentences of prisoners in Glasgow, 1820


This report begins: 'A particular Account of the Trial and Sentences of all the prisoners who have stood their trials at the present Circuit Court, which commenced at Glasgow, on Wednesday 26th April, 1820.' This sheet was published in 1820 by John Muir of Glasgow.

The first section of this court round-up lists the names of the various prisoners, the assorted charges that they face, their pleas, the verdicts and, in most instances, the sentences handed down. Following this opening section, the sheet proceeds to describe in detail a break-in to a shop that occurred. Reporting this chain of events as they were portrayed in court, the writer goes into great detail on this particular case. The three accused were found guilty of stealing from the house, and were all sentenced to death. The aim of the 'Criminal Code' (known as the 'Bloody Code' in England) in Scotland was to protect property - hence the harsh sentence.

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: 1820   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(007)
Broadside concerning the trials and sentences of prisoners in Glasgow, 1820
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