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Broadside entitled 'The Highland Man's Lament'


This execution notice begins: 'For the death of Donald Bayn, alias M'evan Vanifranck, who was Execute in the Grass Market of Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 9th Day of January 1723.' The lament begins: 'TOnald Bayn her nane dear Shoy, / Maks a' Folk sad save Robin Roy'.

With the advent of industrialisation there came to be a discrepancy between Highland and Lowland society. This came to be highlighted in literature of the time. Fun was often made of northern accents with their strong Gaelic influence and dress was often commented on with references being made to trews and plaids. Within factual reports of crimes, and often in the court room, attention was drawn to Gaelic speakers and their place of origin.

Reports recounting dark and salacious deeds were popular with the public, and, like today's sensationalist tabloids, sold in large numbers. Crimes could generate sequences of sheets covering descriptive accounts, court proceedings, last words, lamentations and executions as they occurred. As competition was fierce, immediacy was paramount, and these occasions provided an opportunity for printers and patterers to maximise sales.

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Date of publication: 1723   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.76(118)
Broadside entitled 'The Highland Man's Lament'
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