This execution notice begins: 'An account of the trial of eight Soldiers belonging to Breadalbane Regiment of Fencibles, for a mutiny in the city of Glasgow, four of whom received sentence of death, three of which received a pardon at the place of execution, and the fourth was shot on Tuesday the 27th day of January 1795'.
The tone of this report has a remarkably modern journalistic style to it. It transpires that one member of the regiment was imprisoned, for a military contravention, and his colleagues, who appear to have been mainly private soldiers, disagreed with decision. They then threatened the soldiers on guard duty and mutinied. It did not go their way, however, as the Lord Commander-in-Chief for Scotland surrounded the city and arrested them. The report not only conveys the facts but also the scale of the operation and the ripple effects of this small demonstration.
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:
1795 shelfmark: APS.4.84.20
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