This execution notice begins: 'THE / Last SPEECH and DYING WORDS / OF / Ancient Bavar Officer in Montiqu's Regiment. Who was execute at the Tron of Perth upon the Second Day of July 1720. For killing of Mr. Daroch Dancing-Master.'
Here the murderer reveals very little about his state of mind or who he is as a person but instead concentrates on how blameless his parents are, how deeply involved in wickedness he was and the actual details of the murder. All of this amounts to an entertaining story with a moral theme. This sort of text would eventually become formulaic, with printers often using the same plate and just changing the name.
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:
1720 shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(070)
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