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Broadside entitled 'An account of a barbarous and cruel Murder'


This crime report begins: 'An account of a barbarous and cruel MURDER Committed on the body JAMES PARK, late bleacher, at Pollock Shaws, by Robert Mitchell, changekeeper at Strabungo on Wednesday the 10th of October 1792.'

This eighteenth-century crime report is written in a more formal and verbose style than many of the later, more sensationalist broadside reports that foreshadow today's tabloid newspapers. The case itself is a relatively unremarkable one, of a man robbed and then murdered after an argument with the alleged thief. These simple facts are framed by a long discourse on the moral decline of the country, in which the author quotes at length from the Bible.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Date of publication: 1792   shelfmark: 6.365(094)
Broadside entitled 'An account of a barbarous and cruel Murder'
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