This memorial notice begins: 'AN / ELEGY / On the much to be Lamented Death, / OF / Mr. John Merry Surgeon Apothecary.' The elegy begins: 'Is MERRY Dead, his Active Spirit flown?'
There are many elegies contained in the National Library of Scotland's collection, although most of them seem to be written about people who are now virtually untraceable. The local surgeon would have been a well-known member of the community, given his status and the fact that he mixed with all classes. As a result, a broadside not only featuring him but praising him may have been a more appealing purchase.
Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information often for entertainment, such as memorials and eulogies. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Although many of the people are now lost to researchers, their stories offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Probable date published:
1720- shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(109)
View larger image