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Broadside entitled 'Awful and Alarming Alleged Murder, in North Bridge Street, Edinburgh', 1834


This crime report begins: 'Just Published, an Account of that horrible and cruel Murder, alleged to have been committed on the body of Mr Thomas Turner, late Landlord of the Ches'shire Tavern, North Bridge, Edinburgh; with the apprehension of Margaret Patrick or Turner, his wife, and Mr William Dodds, High Street, who are implicated in this tragical affair.' The sheet was published on, or around, the 20th of March, 1834, by Forbes & Co. of the Cowgate, Edinburgh.

This broadside contains two suspected crime stories, both of which describe how two women allegedly murdered their husbands. The first story tells of the murder of an Edinburgh landlord, Thomas Turner, whose tempestuous relationship with his wife is used to imply that Mrs Turner and her boyfriend are the culprits. While the opening story is presented as a crime of passion, the second story describes what seems to be a more calculated killing. In this story, the writer tells of how a middle-aged husband living in Blackburn, Lothian, was poisoned by his much younger wife. Cold-hearted quotes allegedly uttered by the murderess are employed to liven up this second story.

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: 1834   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(155)
Broadside entitled 'Awful and Alarming Alleged Murder, in North Bridge Street, Edinburgh', 1834
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