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Broadside entitled 'The Haddington Murders!'


This crime account begins: 'The Life, History, and Transaction of Robert Emonds, with his Confession of the manner in which he committed the Murders; also the Life and History of his wife, and Mrs Franks and her daughter.' This sheet was published by Glass, on Monday 15th February [1830]. Two woodcuts are included on this sheet to increase its attractiveness and it would have sold for, unusually, two pence a sheet.

This sheet is quite unusual in its newspaper layout, with illustrations, which may account for its increased cost. The content of the report is also aimed at wringing as much emotion, sympathy and rage out of the reader as possible. This entire sheet is an interesting contrast to the other more standard sheets, held in the National Library of Scotland's collection, on the same case.

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: 1830   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(93)
Broadside entitled 'The Haddington Murders!'
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