The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Milling Among the Fair Sex!'


This news report begins: 'A Full and Particular Account of that Gallant and most Extraordinary BATTLE, that was Fought on Thursday last, 30th day of June, 1825, in the Market Place of Aberdeen, between a Soldier's Wife, and a Dandy young Fish Wife, at that place.' The broadside was published by Alexander Turnbull of Edinburgh and was priced at one penny.

Pre-arranged bareknuckle prizefights between men were not uncommon in early nineteenth-century Scotland, and sometimes inspired broadside reports. The encounter described in this broadside, a spontaneous fist fight between two women, was a far rarer spectacle, as the broadside author points out. The details of the fight are described with great enthusiasm by the author, which lends a certain amount of hypocrisy to the moralising conclusion of the report: 'The condition of both the amazons was truly disgraceful, and said little for the humanity of the spectators.'

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.

previous pageprevious          
Date of publication: 1825   shelfmark: L.C.1268
Broadside entitled 'Milling Among the Fair Sex!'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland