This report begins: 'A most Strange and Wonderful Account of the Courage and Intrepidity of JOHN M'GREGOR, a British Sailor . . . who, when that vessel was lying in Carlile Bay, on seeing a sincere Friend of his, belonging to the same Ship, snapped through the middle by a large Shark . . . jumped into the sea . . . and pursued the veracious [sic] monster.' A note at the bottom states that the sheet was 'Printed for the Booksellers' and sold for a penny.
Stories of mortal danger and courageous acts were as popular in the nineteenth century, when this sheet was published, as they are now. This broadside goes into a great amount of detail describing all the gory details of the shark attack and the ensuing fight between McGregor and the 'dreadful Fish'. Extraordinarily, McGregor overpowered the shark and then recovered the missing pieces of his dead friend's body from the shark's stomach.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Probable period of publication:
View larger image