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Broadside concerning the execution of James Brown and John Craig, Paisley


This execution report begins: 'A full and particular account of the Execution of James Brown, and John Craig, who suffered the last sentence of the Law in front of the New Jail of Paisley, for Breaking into the House of Mr. Robertson at Foxbar, and stealing a quantity of property and ill using the inmates; also an account of their behaviour since their trial and at the place of Execution.' Although there are no publication details included on this sheet, it was probably published in 1829.

This broadside tells of the tragic fate that befell James Brown and John Craig, who were executed at Paisley Jail in 1829 for housebreaking and theft. The writer emphasises that it is rare for Paisley to witness a public execution, and he proceeds to describe some of the previous executions that took place in the town. The sheet concludes by focusing on the behaviour of the two condemned men, and their hope that their earthly contrition will help their case when they face up to the ultimate judge in the next world.

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 published: 1829   shelfmark: APS.4.200.03
Broadside concerning the execution of James Brown and John Craig, Paisley
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