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Broadside entitled 'Letter from John Kean to the Lord Provost and Magistrates'


This crime report begins: 'An account of the Public Whipping of JOHN KEAN, for shooting at JOHN GRAHAM, a Cotton-spinner, which took place on Wednesday the 11th of May, on a Platform erected in front of Glasgow Jail, in presence of an immense multitude.' Attributed to John Kean on the 5th May 1825 and published by John Muir.

This text debates the degree of guilt and the severity of punishment which should be dealt for each degree. Kean was convicted of attempted shooting but because of the intent he was sentenced to hang - he is lobbying for a reprieve, however. The broadside editor's text on the other hand, reports how the Lord Advocate of Scotland is campaigning to have the punishment for these sorts of 'attempted' crimes tightened up.

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: 1825   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(079)
Broadside entitled 'Letter from John Kean to the Lord Provost and Magistrates'
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