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Broadside entitled ' Trials and Sentences'


Dated the 8th of September 1840, this report begins: 'The autumn circuit commenced this day. The lords Meadowbank and Cockburn arrived in town about ten o'clock, and were accompanied by the magistrates, a detachment of police, headed by Captain Miller, with a party of Dragoons and the band.' This sheet was published by Carmichael, Printer, Glasgow.

This first part of this broadside lists a large number of prisoners who were found guilty of various offences by the circuit judges, with the subsequent punishments handed down to the guilty parties. Many of these prisoners are sentenced to transportation. Below this list is a sensational report concerning a man who allegedly poisoned his wife with arsenic. Completing this court round-up, is an interesting report of a Mr F. Geach, the son of an attorney, who committed forgery, only to find himself standing trial on a charge of treason - which carried a death sentence. Although the jury found Geach guilty they recommended mercy, so he was sentenced to transportation for 20 years.

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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Date of publication: 1849   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(118)
Broadside entitled ' Trials and Sentences'
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