Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Dying Speeches" Execution Broadsides

"Just as programs are sold at sporting events today, broadsides -- styled at the time as "Last Dying Speeches" or "Bloody Murders" -- were sold to the audiences that gathered to witness public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. These ephemeral publications were intended for the middle or lower classes, and most sold for a penny or less. Published in British towns and cities by printers who specialized in this type of street literature, a typical example features an illustration (usually of the criminal, the crime scene, or the execution); an account of the crime and (sometimes) the trial; and the purported confession of the criminal, often cautioning the reader in doggerel verse to avoid the fate awaiting the perpetrator." -from Harvard Law Digital Collection [link]

The Trial and execution of John Holloway, for the murder and dismemberment of his wife, Celia (1831)

Trial and execution of François Benjamin Courvoisier, for the murder of Lord William Russell (1840)

Trial and execution of James May, Thos Williams, and John Bishop, for the murder of Carlo Ferrier (1831)

The trial, confession and execution of John and Eliz. Smith, for the murder of their daughter Mary Ann Smith (1812)

The trial and execution of James Hill and John Reeves, for the murder of John Richardson (1834)

Trial and execution of William Johnson for the murder of Benjamin Danby (1832)

The trial and execution of the Bristol Rioters, five to be executed and nineteen to be transported for life. (1832)

Trial and execution of Captain William Moir for the murder of William Malcomb (1830)

"Heart-rending execution of Fanny Amlett : a grazier's daughter, near Scarborough, who was basely seduced from home by a naval officer, who broughther to disgrace, and then deserted her. She became pregnant, ... in a fit of despair, and scarce knowing what she did, she drowned her new-born babe: for which she was brought to trial, and executed." (1813)

"Execution and confession of W. Corder : for the murder of Mary Martin in the red barn" (1828)

Trial and execution of Hunt and J. Thurtell : for the horrid murder of Mr. Weare (1823)

"The execution of Wm Cundle and John Smith for High Treason"

-See the whole fascinating collection of Dying Speeches & Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides at the Harvard Law Digital Collection [link]
-more information and links can be found at The Proceedings of Old Bailey: London's Central Criminal Court, 1674 to 1913 [link]


PIGNOUF said...

Grand !...:) merci Joël

martyweil said...

These are wonderful. You know, I'd like to interview you about your work on this blog and your interest in ephemera on the ephemera blog. Please send me an email if you're interested. Cheers, Marty.

Anonymous said...

We should start a team where you look at the images on the violent broadsides and I read the text and think about the religious implications, because I've been known to get down like that in my free time.

anyjazz said...

An excellent collection.

*please cite or link when reposting*