This report and ballad begins: 'CAPTAIN / THOMAS GREEN'S / Last farewell to the OCEAN and all the world, who was Execute with two more of his Crew at Leith within the Flood-Mark, 11 April 1705, for Piracie and Murder.' It seems the sheet was published in Edinburgh by someone called 'G.J.'.
Although this broadsheet states that Captain Thomas Green and two of his crew were executed for piracy and murder, these three seamen were in fact victims of judicial murder and mob rule. In a febrile atmosphere of anti-Englishness, officials from the Darien Company and an Edinburgh mob had seized the crewmen from their trading vessel, The Worcester, on a trumped-up act of piracy committed off the coast of Malabar. Executed at Leith among scenes of brutish jubilation, the context for this tragic story is the failure of the Darien Project combined with the secretive machinations of the Union negotiations.
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:
1705 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(104)
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