This crime report begins: 'Full and Particular Account of the Execution of THOMAS BLACK, who was Executed at the Head of Libberton Wynd, Edinburgh, this morning, Wednesday the 10th December, 1823, for Housebreaking and Theft; and of his Behaviour since his condemnation, at the Place of Execution.' This account was published by James Dogherty of Edinburgh and cost a penny to buy.
Thomas Black was executed in Libberton Wynd, Edinburgh, which was located in almost the same place as the modern day junction of the High Street and George IV Bridge. The Lawnmarket and Grassmarket areas of Edinburgh were mainly where executions occurred. Black seems, however, to have been spared the final punishment of having his body sent to the University for dissection.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Date of publication:
1823 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(49)
View larger image