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Broadside concerning the proceedings of the Circuit Court of Justiciary, Glasgow


This court round-up begins: 'This day the Circuit Court of Justiciary was opened here by the Right Hon. the Lord Justice Clerk and Lord Alloway, and after the usual solemnities had been gone through, the Court proceeded to business.' Interestingly, this broadside contains text on both sides of the sheet, which was highly unusual. It is possible to read some of the text that is printed on the other side of this sheet.

Although this broadside is a straightforward list of the people who were facing court charges and the various verdicts that were returned, it still reveals much about the era it was printed in. There is certainly a wide variety of different crimes and sentences listed on this sheet, though, revealingly, the majority of the charges are for robbery, theft and housebreaking. The most common sentence is one of transportation, with Botany Bay in Australia being the most likely destination for these prisoners. The National Library of Scotland's collection contains a number of broadsides that detail the mixed agenda of Glasgow's Circuit Courts during this period.

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: 1828   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(099)
Broadside concerning the proceedings of the Circuit Court of Justiciary, Glasgow
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