This report begins: 'Copy of Two LETTERS from the late ANDREW HARDIE, the former written to his Uncle, dated Stirling Castle, 5th September, and the latter to his Sweetheart the night preceding his Execution, dated 7th Sept. 1820.' The name of the publisher is not included on this sheet.
Andrew Hardie was executed in 1820, along with John Baird, for the audacious crime of being a 'Radical' and publicly demanding 'Freedom, Truth and Justice'. As the decade following Waterloo is regarded as the closest Britain ever came to undergoing a political revolution, the establishment enforced its sedition and treason laws with great severity - hence these executions. Hardie's letter to his uncle reads much like a political leaflet. The letter to his sweetheart, however, is far gentler in tone. A public memorial to Hardie and Baird can be found in Sighthill Cemetery, Glasgow.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Date of publication:
1820 shelfmark: Ry.III.a.2(11)
View larger image