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Broadside entitled 'Confession of Murder'


This account begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the Apprehension of THOMAS MOFFAT, who fled from Kilsyth about three years ago, for the Barbarous Murder of his own Father, by repeated Stabs in the abdomen! With an Account of his Confession and also of the manner in which he spent his life since, &c.' This broadside was printed in Edinburgh for James McLean and priced at one penny.

Moffat's eventual arrest took place on the 7th October 1825 in Auchinearn. At the time, he was working as a weaver under the alias of George Watson. As with most crime broadsides, this one ends with a moral lesson for the readership. The report claims that Moffat was unable to live with himself following the murder, 'When in jail, he [Moffat] said to Mr Leckie that it was the happiest night he had since he committed the deed'.

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: 1825   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(69)
Broadside entitled 'Confession of Murder'
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