This crime report begins: 'Account of the Trial and Sentence of WILLIAM DIVAN, before the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh, on Monday the 14th day of June, 1824, accused of Murdering his own Wife in the Gorbals of Glasgow, on the 6th of April last? also an account of the sentence of Samuel McMenemy, who was found guilty false hood, fraud and wilful imposition?' The publisher was William Carse of Glasgow, and the publication date was 14th June 1824.
The motivation for William Divan's crime is left vague in the account of his trial. It is merely suggested that while his wife worked hard for the benefit of the family, he was only interested in getting her earnings 'for the purpose of enabling him to join in company with his acquaintance', in other words, drinking. Divan is sentenced to death. In the other case on this sheet, Samuel McMenemy is sentenced to twelve months hard labour at Bridewell house of correction.
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:
1824 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(073)
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