Mitchell Library

Square Mile of Murder

Square Mile of Murder
Free - ticket required
Dates and times
23rd Mar 2023
2:30PM - 4:00PM
16+ years

The Mitchell Library is at the heart of Glasgow's infamous Square Mile of Murder - the site of four notorious crimes that took place during the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Special Collections at The Mitchell has a number of resources, including original documents, where you can read about these cases and draw your own conclusions.  ​​​​​

Join our librarians to explore resources relating to four notorious cases:

  • Madeleine Smith

The privileged daughter whose torrid love letters were read out in court. Did she murder her lover or was the case found 'not proven' because of her well-to-do background rather than lack of evidence?

  • Jessie McLachlan

Lucky not be hanged, servant Jessie McLachlan still spent 15 years in Perth Prison for a horrific murder that no-one - except the judge and jury - thought she had committed. And the prime suspect? Never brought to trial for lack of evidence. 

  • Dr Edward Pritchard

When Dr. Pritchard's wife and mother-in-law died within a month of each other, an anonymous tip-off alerted the police to the possibility of foul play. Their bodies were exhumed, poison discovered and the philandering Pritchard became the last man to be publicly hanged in Glasgow in front of 100,000 spectators. 

  • Oscar Slater

Wrongly-identified as the man seen leaving a crime scene, Oscar Slater spent 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Although innocent, he happened to be foreign, Jewish and living with a woman who was not his wife. 

These murders, with the exception of the case of  Dr.Pritchard, remain unsolved. 

Accessibility guides

Read the accessibility guide for The Mitchell Library on AccessAble

Read our autism-friendly guide to the Mitchell Library

We also have a supply of books in Braille, large print and audio.

Accessible toilets

This accessible toilet is approximately 26m (28yd 1ft) from the main entrance. This accessible toilet is located to the rear right as you enter.

Assistance dogs

Guide and assistance dogs are welcome and a bowl of water can be provided. 

Hearing loop

There is a fixed loop hearing assistance system.

This venue does not play background music.

Wheelchair access

There is a wheelchair to borrow. To borrow the wheelchair, please contact a member of staff.

Motorised scooters are allowed in public parts of the venue.

Baby changing

Baby feeding

Cafe or restaurant

The Café is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 4.15pm.

Click here to see the Café menu 


Please note that there is on-street surrounding The Mitchell Library, from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday this is metered. As this is also a local residential area, please use these spaces considerately. Alternatively, there is an a NCP Car Park on India Street next to Charing Cross Train Station which is a 2 minute walk away. 

Photography and video recording

On occasion, Glasgow Life will be on the premises to film and take photos. 

Study spaces

Study spaces can be booked by calling 0141 287 7655. Click here for further information.

Free wifi

We provide free WIFI access and further access to over 50 PCs for public use

Location Map

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