As the marshal shouted “Let justice be done,” Peter von Hagenbach was beheaded in 1474, after being tried and convicted by the first international criminal tribunal. Created by the Archduke of Austria, the tribunal consisted of 28 judges from different states in the Holy Roman Empire. Von Hagenbach, appointed governor by Charles the Bold, Duke […]
For 19th century printers, crime was good business. Brutal murders and other horrific crimes translated into profit when they became the subjects of single-page printings.
Today close to 400 of these broadsides, most printed in England from 1820 to 1860, are preserved in an HLS library collection. They highlight acts of wrongdoing, purported confessions from the accused (often set in verse), and accounts of trials and public executions. Many are illustrated with woodcuts.