The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Trial and Sentence!'


This report begins: 'A Full, True, and particular ACCOUNT of the Trial and Sentence of ROBERT JOHNSTON, GEORGE GALLOWAY, and JAMES LEES, for Assault and Robbery, on the 25th of October last, on the High Road, south of St Patrick?s Square, Edinburgh; one of whom, (Robert Johnston), is to be Executed at Edinburgh on Wednesday 30th of December next. George Galloway to be banished for Fourteen, and James Lees for Seven years, beyond seas.' The publisher is not identified.

Through reporting a trial that took place at the High Court in 1818, this broadside offers its readers a vivid description of a violent robbery that took place at Sciennes, in Edinburgh. It appears that after carrying out the robbery, the villains went out to celebrate and, rather bizarrely, the leader of the gang, Robert Johnston, entrusted an acquaintance to look after the stolen money. It was this rash act that ultimately led to their undoing. Johnston was sentenced to death, and his two accomplices were banished.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1818   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(7)
Broadside entitled 'Trial and Sentence!'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland