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Broadside detailing a letter by William Perrie


This broadside begins: 'A copy of a very affecting and interesting letter, written by William Perrie, before his execution, on Wedneday, and which was found in the Condemned Cell, after his execution, addressed to Mr Mason, one of the elders who attended him when in Jail.' The letter was sourced from the 'Glasgow Herald' of the 23rd October, 1837.

What then follows is a short letter, purportedly written by Perrie, followed by an account of his behaviour leading up to the execution. William Perrie was executed in Paisley on the 18th October, 1837, for murdering his wife, Mary Mitchell, in a fit of jealous rage. This broadside would have likely sold well, as it contains not one but two reports. The second is totally unrelated and details the discovery of some ancient coins in the Cathedral of Glasgow.

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: 1837   shelfmark: APS.3.98.7
Broadside detailing a letter by William Perrie
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