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Broadside entitled 'Ann Semple's Confession'


This poem crime account begins: 'YE Famales of high and low station, / I crave your attention a-while, / I was to leave the British nation, / And finish my days in exile.' There is no date attached to this sheet but mention of the 'Queen' suggests it was published during the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714).

This broadside combines two of the most common broadside features: details of the crime and a poem about it. This combination of compelling entertainment would probably have been well-received by an audience lacking more technologically advanced inventions. As a result it was also an opportunity for the author to lecture the public on morals and the consequences of thoughtless actions.

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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Probable period of publication: 1837-1850   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(138b)
Broadside entitled 'Ann Semple's Confession'
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