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Broadside entitled 'Alarming Riot'


This account begins: 'A full and particular Account of that most alarming RIOT at Wick, in Caithness Shire, in consequence of Cholera having appeared there on Thursday last, the 26th July, against Dr Allison of this city, who was in imminent danger of his life, and had to leave the place.' This account was copied from 'the Courant of Saturday last' and was printed for John Lyons of Edinburgh and sold for one penny.

Although no date is given on this particular broadside, it was probably printed around 1832 when England and Scotland both suffered virulent outbreaks of cholera. It appears from this detailed account that the townsfolk of Wick were so alarmed by the number of deaths, and the severity of the outbreak, that they accused Dr Allison of poisoning the water supply.

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 of publication: 1832   shelfmark: F.3.a.13(21)
Broadside entitled 'Alarming Riot'
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