This trial report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Trial and Sentence of Allan Grant, James Kenny Stewart, Mary Muirhead, and Isabella Kerr or Gray, who were tried at Edinr. Before the High Court of Justiciary, for the Crimes of Murder, Robbery, and Theft, on Monday the 5th day of March 1827, and who are all to be transported, Grant for Life, Kenny Stewart and Mary Muirhead for Fourteen, and Kerr or Gray for Seven years.' No printer or exact date are given.
The four accused, 'violently, wickedly, and feloniously' attacked the shoemaker Mark Dow, at or near James Kenny Stewart's Edinburgh home. Dow died from his injuries. All four pled not guilty but were sentenced to be transported, probably to Australia. The broadside ends with character summaries: Grant was a hawker with a broken back, Stewart was respectable looking but had only one hand and 'The two females have long been known to the police as public pests.'
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(42)
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