This broadside begins: 'A true Copy of a Letter sent by the Lady Boghall to her Son Nicol Mushet, Prisoner within the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, for the Murder of his own Wife.' The letter is dated the 21st November 1720. This broadside was printed in Edinburgh by Robert Brown in 1720.
In this letter Mushet's mother urges him to confess and repent for his crimes. She condemns any attempt that will be made by a defence to free her son from a just punishment. The letter is full of references to God's mercy and Lady Boghall's deep concerns for her son if he does not seek divine forgiveness. Her religious fervour is characteristic of that which existed in Scotland at this time. Whilst 'earthly justice' was doled out in the courts, emphasis was placed on preparing oneself for 'divine justice'.
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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