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Broadside entitled 'Trial & Sentence'


This report begins: 'Of JAMES DUNLOP of the Five Alls tavern, Glasgow, and JAMES HUNTER, for Stealing above 350 Pieces of Muslin from a respectable Warehouse, and JAMES HARMER for Resetting the Stolen Goods. The Trial took place before the High Court of Justiciary on Monday last, and occupied the Court till two o'clock on Tuesday morning, when Dunlop and Harmer were found guilty, and sentence was immediately passed upon them.' The sheet was published by John Muir of Glasgow.

This broadside tells the complicated tale of how a group of people worked together to steal pieces of muslin from a warehouse in Glasgow - 'sewed muslin' being a major industry of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It appears that the accused operated between Glasgow and Belfast, highlighting the close links that existed between Scotland and Ireland. Dunlop and Harmer were found guilty, while Hunter received a not proven verdict and was admonished. Although, frustratingly, the sheet does not specify what sentences Dunlop and Harmer received, the other gang members were sentenced to transportation.

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: 1823   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(067)
Broadside entitled 'Trial & Sentence'
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