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Broadside entitled 'Execution'


This report begins: 'Account of the Execution and Behaviour on the Scaffold and since his Sentence, of WILLM. DIVAN, who suffered at Glasgow on Wednesday the 21st of July, 1824, for the Murder of his own Wife, Mary Jamieson, in Paisley Loan, Gorbals, on the 6th day of April last, By cutting her throat, and his body given for dissection.' The sheet was published by William Carse of Glasgow in 1824.

This broadside tells the horrific tale of a husband who murdered his wife by cutting her throat, and whose body was discovered by her two children. The report starts off by describing the good character of the deceased woman, and also mentions that no property was taken from the house. In turn, this shifts suspicion on to the husband, a former weaver from Donegal in Ireland, who denied the crime. Pronouncing him guilty, the sentencing judge strongly advises him to make his peace with God before entering into the next world. The rest of the sheet describes his behaviour in the condemned cell and on the scaffold.

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: 1824   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(075)
Broadside entitled 'Execution'
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