This report begins: 'A true and particular Account of a most unfortunate Duel which took place on Tuesday the 26th March, 1822, at Auchtertoul, in Fife, in consequence of a Song which appeared in one of the Glasgow Newspapers, when Sir Alex. Boswell of Auchinleck was desparately wounded, and is since dead.' It was published by John Muir of Glasgow. The report is not dated.
Alexander Boswell (1775-1822) was the son of the celebrated Scottish diarist and biographer James Boswell. He made important contributions to Scottish literature in his own right, collecting and publishing folk songs, founding a printing press and erecting a monument to Robert Burns on the banks of the River Doon. He also published sketches and poetry under the pseudonym 'Simon Gray'. The circumstances of his death inspired a scene in Sir Walter Scott's novel 'St Ronan's Well'. The National Library of Scotland holds other broadsides that feature this case.
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:
1822 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(033)
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