This court account begins: 'Of all the different Prisoners who have stood their Trials before the Circuit Court of Justiciary, which commenced on Monday last, when / TWO YOUNG MEN / were sentenced to be Executed on Wednesday the 29th of October next, for robbery.' This sheet was published in Glasgow by John Muir.
This sheet details all the accused, their offences, pleas and verdict's, which occurred in the court on that day, with Edward MacCaffer and Peter MacQueen being sentenced to execution. The two most spectacular cases, however, dominate the headlines, with effective manipulation being employed with the words young, execution and robbery. Robbery would have resulted in the death penalty due to the 'Criminal Code', which was established in Scotland. This code gave paramount protection to people's possessions and then worked down.
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: L.C.Fol.73(050)
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