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Broadside regarding the trial of John Armstrong


This court report begins: 'An account of the Trial of JOHN ARMSTRONG, in the High Court of Justiciary, for Shopbreaking and Theft, who is to be executed at Edinburgh on Wednesday the 17th day of January, 1810.' This sheet was published by Thomas Duncan.

This case was heard in the High Court in Edinburgh, suggesting that it was published in Edinburgh also. However, both Thomas Duncans working in the booktrade at this time were based in Glasgow. They were closely associated with the production of court reports and information, especially on big or interesting cases which would have been of interest across the country.

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: 1809   shelfmark: APS.3.84.22
Broadside regarding the trial of John Armstrong
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