This report begins: 'A Full and Very Particular account of the Trials of the different Persons who stood their trials before the Special Commission, which opened at Paisley, on Tuesday the 1st of August, 1820.' The sheet was published in 1820 by John Muir of Glasgow.
This broadside starts with a long list of the high-ranking judges who constituted the Special Commission that presided over this trial. The very fact that it is called a 'Special Commission', highlights the great sensitivity surrounding this trial. The charge facing the two accused men is that they were part of a mob that deliberately stopped production of a cotton works in Johnston, near Paisley. In short, the men are on trial for carrying out a strike. With a crowd of 10,000 gathered outside the courtroom, it is not surprising that the men were eventually found not guilty. The list of the jurymen's occupations reveals much about the main industry in Paisley at this time.
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(011)
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