This murder report begins: 'An acconnt of that barbarous murder on the body of a shearer, in the village of currie near Edinburgh, by some journeymen masons on Monday last.' Also contained on this broadside is another report which begins, 'We copy this murder and suicide from the same paper. - The town and neighbourhood of Barnet was thrown into the utmost consternation, on Tuesday, by the report that two ladies were murdered at Hadley Green.'
This broadside in fact contains two murder reports. This would have offered people value for their penny (the price of a broadside), since most crime sheets merely offered coverage of one incident. The second report details a double murder near Barnet, England. The bodies of an elderly woman (60) and her daughter (39) were found 'completely saturated with blood' by a servant. It was concluded by a jury that the mother died from wounds inflicted by her daughter, who then committed suicide, 'being at the time in a state of mental derangement'.
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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Probable period of publication:
1820-1830 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(79)
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