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Broadside entitled 'Elegy'


The memorial notice begins: 'ELEGY, On the deplorable Death of Margaret Hall, barbarously murder'd by her Husband Nicol Mushet of Boghall, Monday Night the 17 October 1720, in the 17th Year of her Age.' The elegy, which follows, begins: 'All Hearts be swell'd with Grief, with Tears all Eyes'. No publication details are given.

Nicol Mushet or Muschett, Laird of Boghall, killed his wife by stabbing her, and was hanged in Edinburgh's Grassmarket in 1721. The National Library of Scotland holds another broadside relating to this case, 'Elegy on the Death of Nicol Muschet of Boghall', which gives a little more information regarding Muschet's fall from grace. As is common in tales of this sort, it appears alcohol and women were viewed as to blame for this terrible crime.

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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Date of publication: 1721   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(056)
Broadside entitled 'Elegy'
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