This report begins: 'A Full, True, and Particular Account of the Execution of ANDREW HARDIE and JOHN BAIRD, who were Hanged and Beheaded at Stirling, on Friday 8th September 1820, for High Treason, together with their Behaviour at the Place of Execution.' This sheet was published by William Cameron of Edinburgh, and cost one penny.
Six thousand people turned up in Stirling in 1820 to witness the execution of the Radicals, Andrew Hardie and John Baird. These men were sentenced to death for publicly demanding their political rights, as part of the agenda for the Radical Movement. The broadside describes the execution in great detail, and reports that the two condemned men conducted themselves on the scaffold with great fortitude. The large number of soldiers present at the execution suggests that the authorities were fearful that the crowd might turn into a mob. Indeed, the crowd shouted 'Murderer!' at the headsman.
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.
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Date of publication:
1820 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(12)
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