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Broadside entitled 'A Leith Smack Lost'


This report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of the COMET, a fine Smack belonging to the London and Edinburgh Shipping Company of Leith, on her passage from London, on the morning of Tuesday last, on Yarmouth Sands; with the Wonderful preservation of the Passengers and Crew, and their astonishing Sufferings and extraordinary escape, when the Vessel sunk in deep water.' A woodcut of a sailing ship adorns the top of the sheet.

The London and Edinburgh Shipping Company Ltd was established in 1809 and it is likely that this sheet was published within the following 30 years. These were the days of the famous smacks, which were followed by the almost equally famous Aberdeen-built clippers. In 1833, the 'Isabella', one of the L&ESC's other smacks, brought the first cargo of tea to Leith, the first seen in Britain outside London.

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.

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Probable period of publication: 1820-1830   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(081)
Broadside entitled 'A Leith Smack Lost'
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