This lamentation continues: 'Of Serjeant William Ainslie, who was executed over the Castle-Wall of Edinburgh for High Treason and Treachery, on Monday the 24th of December, 1716.'
There are other broadsides held in the National Library of Scotland's collection which cover the more spiritual aspects of William Ainslie's execution. There are few reports which divulge the facts of his sentence and trial though. In another account it is revealed that two city Ministers, Rev. William Mitchel and Mr John Matheson, prayed with Ainslie and led the crowd in prayers.
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:
1716 shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(031)
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