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Broadside entitled 'Curious Case'


This crime account begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of that Curious and Laughable circumstance, that took place between a journeyman Hatter and a sprightly young lass, on Monday 4th July, 1825'. The crime occurred in Mint Street, Southwark, London.

Ellen Newman was caught running away from the house which she had just burgled. During a bizarre set of circumstances she relieved Joseph Alder of eleven sovereigns and his clothes - all of which were returned to him, including the coins she had swallowed. There are other broadsides held in the National Library of Scotland's collection, which detail house breaking and robbery incidents. These reveal that the gravity of this crime, stealing gold money and good clothing, would have resulted in transportation at the least, although this was a hanging offence.

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: 1825   shelfmark: L.C.1268
Broadside entitled 'Curious Case'
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