The Newspaper Press, Sedition and the High Court of Justiciary in Late Eighteenth-Century Edinburgh
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Few events in Scottish criminal justice history are as infamous as the sedition trials of the early 1790s. This chapter explores how the trials were represented in Scottish newspapers, and how the judicial system responded. Press reports, it is shown, were multi-variant and conditioned by a variety of political, social and cultural factors and by the threat of judicial censure. Some coverage provided a forum for political protest and condemnation, but most utilised rhetorical strategies to present the conduct of the Scottish High Court in a positive light and to defend Scots law in the face of English media criticism.