This broadside notice announces a procession of shoemakers that is to take place in Kirkcaldy, on Midsummer's Day, 1822. After identifying the time, date and place of the meeting and procession, the sheet proceeds to list all the people who will be taking part in this procession. Although the name of the publisher is not included, the sheet was printed in Edinburgh and cost one penny. As this procession took place on the 20th of June, 1822, the sheet was probably published earlier that month.
Processions by the various trades' associations used to be a familiar part of Scottish life. Judging by the hotchpotch, regal nature of the people who appeared in this pageant of shoemakers, there may have been a slightly subversive element about this procession. Indeed, the saturnalian nature of the Midsummer Solstice is linked to the anti-establishment festivals that were known as the 'Lords of Misrule' days. These celebrations allowed the lower classes to become 'rulers' for one day, which might explain why so many kings, princes and lords appear in this procession. Martyred on the 25th of October, AD 287, St Crispin is the patron saint of shoemakers.
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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1822 shelfmark: L.C.1268
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