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Broadside entitled 'The Last Speech of Coll Oxburgh'


This execution notice continues: 'Who was Executed at TYBURN MAY 14th, 1716. / Delivered by him to the Sheriffs, and Printed at LONDON by their Order.' This speech was then republished in Scotland, in the same year, by William Adam's Junior, of the Tron Church, Edinburgh. This sort of cribbing and reprinting was common.

Broadsides were often used as vehicles for political expression, due to the large and varied audience which they could reach. Here Colonel Oxburgh was executed for being a Catholic Jacobite, who supported those who fought at the battle of Preston. Oxburgh, in his speech, highlights the further political tensions caused by changing the line of succession and claims that Catholic or not, it was his duty to support James VII, as the true and rightful king.

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: 1716   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.76(093)
Broadside entitled 'The Last Speech of Coll Oxburgh'
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