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Broadside entitled 'Public Executions'


This broadside begins: 'Names of all the persons who have Suffered in Glasgow since the year 1765, with an account of their crimes, and the year and day of the month they were Executed, and exhibits a melancholy view of the final end of all who deviate from the paths of rectitude.' It was published by William Carse of Edinburgh, and probably would have cost one penny.

William Carse was one of three Glasgow printers, the others being John Muir and Thomas Duncan, who specialised in printing such material. They also produced the daily list of the Circuit Court with the names of those to be tried and sentenced on any given day. This composite list was partly intended to act as a warning to anyone tempted by crime. The phrase, 'Of all who deviate from the paths of rectitude', suggests that such a grisly end is inevitable for all those who commit an offence.

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: 1822   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(043)
Broadside entitled 'Public Executions'
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