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Broadside entitled 'Trial and Sentence'


This crime account continues: 'Of JAMES BRYCE, labourer, Airdrie, for the Horrid Murder of JOHN GEDDES. / HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY. / Edinburgh, Tuesday, March 12th, 1844.' This sheet was published by Sanderson of Edinburgh.

There are other sheets covering this case held in the National Library of Scotland's collection - the story seems to have been quite sensational. Bryce appears to have killed his wife's brother with fire tongs in order to steal money from him as he was often quite poor. This report reveals the extent of the injuries which killed Geddes and the evidence which convicted him. Some of the other accounts are more personal than this.

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: 1844   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(337b)
Broadside entitled 'Trial and Sentence'
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