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Broadside entitled 'Second Edition. Case of supposed Murder of a Child'


This crime report begins: 'Full, True, and particular account of the apprehension of that unfortunate young woman, on the charge of killing her own child, which was found dead in a coal cellar, on Friday last, in Heward Place ; also an account of her commitment to the Calton Jail, to await her trial for the alleged Mnrder.' It was published by Forbes and Co of Edinburgh. These editions were sourced from the newspapers the 'North Briton' and the 'Caledonian Mercury'.

This sheet displays many typical broadside characteristics. The stories were cribbed from two daily newspapers, who only had a small circulation. There is also a first edition reprinted above the more recent report, as reusing the printing plates would have saved time and money. Stories were also covered in instalments as the action unfolded. Unusually though, this sheet criticizes the authorities' handling of a pregnant woman. It also highlights the mistakes that have been made in the previous print!

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(112)
Broadside entitled 'Second Edition. Case of supposed Murder of a Child'
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