Publications: The Winton Murder

During the nineteenth century the broadside ballad was a common form of popular entertainement an social comment. Produced on single sheets of cheap paper and sold in their thousands, these songs often commemorated events such as trials and executions. One such event was the notorious ‘Winton Murder’ of 1826. The slaying of Elizabeth Bate at the Jolly Carter pub in Winton, Cheshire, led to the pursuit and capture of Alexander and Michael McKean. Tried and executed at Lancaster Castle, the brothers suffered the fate of many who fell foul of the criminal justice system of the 1800s.

This pamphlet The Winton Murder: A Tale of Crime and Punishment – looks at the events commemorated in the ballad, drawing on the original ballad and other historical documents, as well as considering the typographical and illustrative features found in these intriguing ephemeral remnants from the past.

This is our first in the series entitled the Ephemeral Editions that looks at the stories and behind these often overlooked fragments of social and design history.


  • Published: 2013
  • ISBN:
  • Format: A5 (210x148mm)
  • Pages: 16pp

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A terrible tale of murder, pursuit and death. The brothers committed a foul deal and were justly punished for their crime.

The Winton Murder