This report begins: 'A true account of a young Lady, a Gentleman's Daughter, who Hanged herself in her own bedroom at Dundee, on Monday last, 28th July, 1823, for the love she bore to a Captain in the Navy who deserted her, with a beautiful and affecting letter which she wrote to him the night before she did the deed.' The broadside was originally published by A. Jones of Dundee, and reprinted in Edinburgh.
Moral instruction was a common feature of broadsides. Most often accounts of executions would be used by broadside editors to warn people against leading immoral lives, and these frequently included dying speeches attributed to the condemned but more likely written by the broadside author or editor. In this broadside the suicide of a young woman seduced and abandoned by her lover provides the moral lesson. Here it is not possible to tell whether the suicide note is genuine or the work of the broadside author. Although suicides were less frequently used than executions for moral teaching, there are other similar broadsides in the National Library of Scotland's collection.
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:
1823 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(44)
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