This account begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Senetnce of WILLIAM THOMSON, JAMES THMSON, and JOHN, FRAM, who are to be Executed at Dalkeith, on Thursday 1st March, 1827, for Highway Robbery.'
There were actually four men involved in the premeditated attack and robbery of George Dickson, a farmer from Dalkeith. The fourth, William Leslie, was very young and was spared. The National Library of Scotland holds another broadside describing William Thomson's last moments. It appears that James Thomson and John Fram were given a reprieve for supplying information about a murder that William apparently committed; certainly they were not hung on the 1st March with him.
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:
1827 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(36)
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