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Broadside entitled 'Trials and Sentences'


This list of criminal judgements begins: 'Of all the different Prisoners who have stood their Trials before the Circuit Court of Justiciary, which commenced at Glasgow on Wednesday the 23d April, 1823, when JAMES WILSON received the awful Sentence of Death, and is to be Executed on Wednesday the 4th of June next, for Housebreaking and Theft.' This sheet was published by John Muir of Glasgow.

This broadside covers the cases of Mathew Turnbull, James Wilson, John Gilchrist, Catherine Harkness or Greenshields, Alex McDermid, William Murray, Peter Connacher and John McKenna. James Wilson was sentenced to hang for robbing Duncan MacArthur's house of some of his personal effects, whilst his accomplice, John Gilchrist, received a not proven verdict.

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 published: 1823   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(37)
Broadside entitled 'Trials and Sentences'
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