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Broadside entitled 'Dreadful Shipwreck of a London Smack'


This report begins: 'Full, True, and Particular Account of the melancholy Shipwreck of the London Smack, Czar, near North Berwick, on Friday night last, when the Master, five of the crew, and thirteen Passengers were drowned.' The report has been taken from the Edinburgh Courant newspaper and published by John Campbell, Edinburgh. The 'Czar' went down in 1831.

Below the story of the 'Czar' are a few more tales of death and destruction, always popular with the readers! The sheet must have been published in the winter as the stories relate to cold-weather problems. Firstly , there is a story about a coal-hewer who died after getting lost in snow. In Fife, it is reported that 11 people died in the snow. Finally, a report of another shipwreck, this time at Leith. All perished.

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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Date of publication: 1831-   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(083)
Broadside entitled 'Dreadful Shipwreck of a London Smack'
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