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Broadside entitled 'Execution'


This report begins: 'Execution of James Anderson and David Glen, who suffered at Ayr, on Friday the 12th of December, 1823, for the Murder of Mr John M'Clure, while returning from Ochiltree Sacrament to Ayr, with an account of their Behaviour in confinement and the prayer which they put up on the scaffold.' A note at the bottom of the sheet states that it was 'printed for the Booksellers' in Ayr.

Set against the gothic background of a storm, this broadside describes the execution of two men, James Anderson and David Glen, who were convicted of murder. After reminding the audience of the men's crimes, the writer concentrates attention on their demeanour and spiritual state of health in the condemned cell. The next setting is the scaffold, where the men make a joint confession in the form of a lengthy prayer, with a great emphasis being placed on earning forgiveness from God. The National Library of Scotland's collection contains other sheets describing the trial and execution of these two men.

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(068)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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