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Broadside concerning the trial of John Stewart and Catherine Wright for murder


This broadside begins: 'Account of the interesting Trial of John Stewart and Catherine Wright for the Murder and Robbery of Robert Lamont, on board the Toward Castle Steam Boat . . . They are to be Executed at Glasgow on Wednesday the 19th August next.' The report was published in Glasgow in July 1829 by William Carse. The trial was held at Edinburgh.

Stewart and Wright had poisoned Lamont, with intent to rob him, by putting laudanum, a tincture made from opium, into his drink. Compared with other crimes, it seemed a more profitable and less dangerous way of procuring money. Lamont was the first fatality for Stewart and Wright. The report ends by comparing the two to Burke and Hare, who also attacked people after making a pretence of friendship.

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: 1829   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(106)
Broadside concerning the trial of John Stewart and Catherine Wright for murder
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