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Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song, Called the Bridgeton Tragedy'


Verse 1 begins: 'Good people all of Glasgow, pray listen unto me, / Whilst I relate this woeful tale and mournful tragedy'. This sheet was printed by James Lindsay of 9 King Street, Glasgow (1852-59).

This broadside tells the familiar story of a virtuous but warm girl, Jane, who was tricked in love by the wealthy blade, John. Unfortunately, she died trying to give birth to their illegitimate child. It has become clear from marriage and baptismal entries that it was normal for couples to live together upon betrothal. It has also become clear from cemetery excavations that between a quarter and half of the female population, before the introduction of modern hospitals, died in childbirth.

Broadsides, cheap and accessible, were often used as moral forums with 'lessons of life' included in the narrative. Broadside authors tended to see themselves as moral guardians and teachers in society. As such, publishers often disseminated 'educational' texts outlining the social and personal consequences of undisciplined or immoral behaviour.

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Probable period of publication: 1852-1859   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(061)
Broadside ballad entitled 'A New Song, Called the Bridgeton Tragedy'
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