The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Elegy'


This memorial notice begins: 'An Elegy, on the never enough to be lamented Death of that Vertuous and Worthy Gentleman Capt: Geo: Drummond. Who dyed at Edinburgh, September 26, 1720.' The elegy begins: 'HOW frail, how vain, Momentainous Man? / His Life a Vapour, longest Years a Span.'

Unfortunately, it is difficult to say whether Captain George Drummond was in any way related to the celebrated George Drummond (1687-1766), who was appointed Edinburgh's Lord Provost in 1725. Both men appear to have had a great concern for and genuine interest in the less fortunate members of society. Whilst this elegy talks of Captain Drummond's charity and clemency, Provost Drummond is best remembered for initiating a groundbreaking programme of public works and for establishing the Royal Infirmary.

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.

previous pageprevious          
Probable date published: 1720   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(068)
Broadside entitled 'Elegy'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland