This crime account begins: 'Just Published, a strange account of the proceedings of Captain Smith, the notorious Gentleman Swindler, who has taken in a great number of Noblemen and Gentleman residing in Moray Place, George Street, Charlotte Square . . . also his examination by the Sheriff.' This sheet was published by Forbes of Edinburgh.
There is no date attached to the sheet but the narrative reveals that Captain Smith, or Thomas Dickson, moved to Edinburgh town in 1833 and so his capture and this publication must have occurred after then. This is a good illustration of how broadsides functioned. They were the cheap popular entertainment of their day, and as such dates and places were often not clarified. Publication was immediate and the topic was of common interest and so these details were superfluous.
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 date published:
1833 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(351)
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