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Broadside entitled 'An Elegie'


This memorial notice begins: 'An Elegie on the Never Enough to be Lamented Death of the Reverend Mr William Delape Preacher of the Gospel, WHO Departed this Life October 30, 1720. Aged 28 Years.' The elegy begins: 'O Great, eternal, high and mighty One, / Who doth command all Flesh before thy Throne'. Although no publication date has been included on this broadside, it was most likely issued the same year as Delape's death.

As with many of the elegies in the National Library of Scotland's broadside collection, the individual whose passing is being mourned here has, with the passing of years, disappeared into obscurity. At the time this broadside was written, William Delape was obviously a well-known figure around Edinburgh. Many people would have bought this elegy having known the man personally, or at least known of him. To a twenty-first century audience, however, his memory is no longer still alive.

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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Likely date of publication: 1720   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(067)
Broadside entitled 'An Elegie'
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