This riot report begins: 'A full and prticular Account of five Men that were executed at London for raising a dreadful Mob, in the Behalf of the Pretender.' This report was first printed in London and then reprinted in Edinburgh, although no publishers are given.
This broadside is not dated and the 'Pretender' is not stipulated, 'Old' or 'Young'. The 'Old Pretender', James Edward Stuart, fomented two periods of rebellion in 1689 and 1715. His son, the 'Young Pretender', better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, has the famous date 1745 attached to him. The convicted Catholic Jacobites are not named in this text, but their Protestant victim is. This suggests that it was a piece of propaganda, if not orchestrated by the government, then at least by their supporters. The riots probably refer to those which took place on 28 and 29 May 1716.
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 date published:
1716 shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(038)
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