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Broadside entitled 'Kean's'


This crime report continues: 'Contradiction of all that has been advanced [missing] he left the City of Glasgow, wrote [missing] one of the hulks.' John Kean is attributed as the author and it was published by William Carse of Glasgow. The story was sourced from the 'Glasgow Free Press', carried on the 2nd July 1825.

Copying or cribbing from newspaper sources was a relatively common occurrence in nineteenth century broadsides. Newspaper articles were longer and more detailed but due to newspaper tax too expensive for most people to buy. Broadsides were inexpensive and readily available but to keep them this way, stories were copied. There are other broadsides held in the National Library of Scotland's collection which cover this case.

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(083)
Broadside entitled 'Kean's'
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