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Broadside entitled 'Execution at Perth'


This execution notice begins: 'An account of the Execution of HANS REGELSON, a Danish seaman, who was executed in front of the Council-Room, Perth, on Friday the 28th of June, 1811, pursuant to his sentence, for committing a Rape on Margaret Budge, of Burntisland, aged 17 ? Also, an account of his Behaviour on the Scaffold.' This sheet was published by the Thomas Duncan, of the Saltmarket, Glasgow.

There are actually two different stories contained on this page, although both cover the same topic - the sensational use and abuse of women. This style of compulsive story was popular and two on a page was good value for money. The first story, concerns the rape of a Burntisland girl by a foreign sailor. The emphasis here, is placed on the sympathy of the crowd for a foreigner dying abroad. There is no mention of Ms Budge. The second story concerns the violent theft of articles from a woman in Hampshire by two soldiers. Neither of these stories concern the Glasgow area, but Duncan had to vary his topics, as he was up against stiff competition in the Saltmarket area.

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: 1811   shelfmark: 6.314(24)
Broadside entitled 'Execution at Perth'
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