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Broadside regarding the execution of John McGraddy


This account begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Execution of JOHN M'GRADDY, who was Executed at Stirling, on Friday the 26th May, 1826, containing the particulars of his Trial, and his behaviour since the time he received sentence of death, and at the place of Execution.'

John McGraddy was executed for breaking into the house of the Reverend Mr McCall of Muiravonside and stealing a number of items. This included a sum of money which, to make the crime all the more shocking, had been collected for the deaf and dumb institution of Edinburgh. An accomplice is mentioned, but his identity is not disclosed. As illustrated here, emphasis was often placed on a criminal's remorse over his or her misconduct and the valuable moral lesson it afforded the reader. Despite this, most people simply appreciated the reports for their entertainment value and their shock factor.

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: 1826   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(68)
Broadside regarding the execution of John McGraddy
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