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Broadside concerning the murder of a young woman in Ballinlick


The crime report begins: A full and particular Account of a most horrid Murder, committed on the Body of a young Woman, at Ballinlick, in the district of Strathbraan, and parish of Little Dunkelk, supposed to have been perpetrated by her Sweetheart, a young man of the Name of Gow, who has been since apprehended, and committed to Perth Jail.' The broadside also contains a 'Description of Damietta'. It was printed by Thomas Duncan of Glasgow in 1799.

The details of this murder are fairly scant, so the author opts to devote most of this report to cautioning women to 'conduct themselves in cases of courtship with proper circumspection'. This theme was common in broadsides reporting the murder of a woman. The implication was that men could not be held fully responsible if their violent passions were aroused by a woman's reckless or immoral behaviour.

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: 1799   shelfmark: 6.365(099)
Broadside concerning the murder of a young woman in Ballinlick
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