This account begins: 'An account of the most remarkable Trials and Executions which took place in Scotland for above 300 years, against the persons who suffered for Witchcraft, Adultery, Fornication, &c. &c.' The sheet was printed by John Muir of Princes Street, Glasgow, some time between 1821 and 1839.
Many different crimes are detailed on this sheet, from a Jesuit, executed in 1615 for being more loyal to the Pope than the King, to two adulterers who were banished from Scotland in 1762. It shocks and also deters the reader, for fear of what could happen to them. For example, it reports that the law regarding adultery is still in force. This may have worried a few people!
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:
1826 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(093a)
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