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Broadside entitled 'Horrid Parricide'


This crime report begins: 'An account of the awful and inhuman Murder of PETER MOFFAT, Carter in Kilsyth, by his own Son, on Tuesday the 2d of April, 1822, who cruelly stabbed his father several times in the belly, so that he died soon after.' It was published by John Muir. The report is not dated.

Illegally-distilled alcohol is cited as the catalyst for the murder of Peter Moffat by his son. In 1822 licensed whisky distilling was subject to extremely high rates of taxation, which meant that most of the whisky produced in Scotland was distilled illicitly. In the early 1820s as many as 14,000 illicit stills were being confiscated every year, and in 1823 new legislation was finally passed that lessened the duty on licensed whisky production. The term 'smuggling' in the report means 'illicit distilling', and is a use of the word specific to Scotland.

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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Probable date published: 1822   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(028)
Broadside entitled 'Horrid Parricide'
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