Eugene Aramconvicted at York Assizes Aug.t 3 1759 for the Murder of Dan.l Clark of Knaresborough in the County of York [...]
Published by Alexr Hogg.
Rare engraving with 10pp letterpress, sheets 210 x 130mm (8¼ x 5"). Trimmed to platemark.
Eugene Aram (d.1759), murderer and philologist, with extensive letterpress biography, as published in the 'Wonderful Magazine', which specialised in stories of eccentric and remarkable individuals. Aram was a considerably learned man, self-taught for the most part, who worked as a schoolteacher for much of his life. In 1758 the discovery of what was believed to be the skeleton of Daniel Clarke, a shoemaker from Knaresborough who disappeared in 1745 shortly after coming into money, led to Aram being named as an accomplice to Clarke's murder. Aram was tried in York in 1759, and he and the other defendant, a linen weaver named Houseman, accused each other. All of the evidence was circumstantial and Houseman turned crown's evidence in return for acquittal. Aram defended himself, and the letterpress to this print quotes Aram's speech, with its philosophic argument against the circumstantial evidence. Nevertheless a conviction was obtained and Aram was hanged at Knavesmire in 1759. The letterpress concludes by wondering how 'a man with abilities so superior, could think of embruing his hands in the blood of a fellow-creature'. While Aram's achievements as a linguist have subsequently been discredited, he was to be immortalized in Thomas Hood's ballad 'The Dream of Eugene Aram' (1829) and Edward Bulwer's eponymous novel of 1832.
[Ref: 39624] £95.00