Ceylon (Sri Lanka) trial by jury. Original front page of the Saturday Magazine, published March 21st. 1835. Text verso records the history and implementation of trial by jury in Ceylon and includes a detailed description of the murder trial represented by the engraving.
The Saturday Magazine was a British magazine published from 7 July 1832 to 28 December 1844 by the Committee of General Literature and Education, who were in turn sponsored by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It ran for 801 issues, with the latter issues being published by John William Parker in London. The Saturday Magazine was established as an Anglican rival to the Penny Magazine as a way for the working man to educate himself. The 4-page issues were sold for 1 penny per weekly issue, or sixpence for monthly parts. A typical edition of the Saturday Magazine began with an account of some exotic place. At this time the expansion of the British empire was speeding up and people at home in England were very interested in finding out what was happening around the world. Other articles would be about nature, science, history, technology, etc.
The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) is the oldest Anglican mission organisation, and the leading publisher of Christian books in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1698 by Thomas Bray (an Anglican priest), and a small group of friends including Lord Guilford, Sir Humphrey Mackworth, Mr Justice Hooke, and Colonel Maynard Colchester. The emphasis was on setting up schools, and the SPCK was a major factor in setting up church schools across Britain. Today, the SPCK is most widely known for its publishing of Christian books. The Society was founded to encourage Christian education and the production and distribution of Christian literature. SPCK has always sought to find ways to communicate the basic principles of the Christian faith to a wider audience, both in Britain and overseas.