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Broadside ballad entitled 'The presbytery. A satyr'


This ballad begins: 'AS Alexanders hastened death did bring / Each of his Captaines to be made a King, / Even fo our Bishops did ruines preferre / Unto a Bishopricke each Presbyter . . . ' .

This erudite broadside appears to be a satire against organised religion. Given the religious nature of the recurring civil wars that took place in Scotland, England and Ireland during this era (note the Latin subtitle's emphasis on alternating periods of peace and turbulence), this sheet would have caused some controversy among its audience. The numerous classical and literary allusions suggest that this ballad would have been written by a well-educated person.

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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Probable date published: 1647-   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(120)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The presbytery. A satyr'
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