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

Broadside regarding the wedding of Mary Ritchie and Peter Murphy


A particular Account of the comical-Wedding of &Mary
Ritchie, a YOUNG   MAId of 45, and Peter Murphy, a ,
lusty YOUTH of 73, which took place on Thursday last
in a Village near Edinburgh, after being put off for two
Years, for fear of a family in the Time of Scarcity; ?to
which is added an Account of a bloody Battle that was
fought at the End of the Marriage Feast, with 4 List of
blue Eyes, bloody Noses, scratched Face, and damaged
Wigs, that appeared at the End of he Engagement.      

A Person at Edinburgh, in writing to an acquaintance
here, says?" It is my constant custom, when any
droll affair occurs in this part of the country, to give you
an account of it for your entertainment, although, I can-
   not help observing, you are at no pains- to return the com-

" Last week, according to promise, I went to dine with
a friend, who lives a few miles distant from this city. The
day was fine, and as I was in no great haste, I enjoyed my
self in viewing the delightful prospect on every side, and the
beautiful appearance of the country in general. But just as
I got to the top of a steep hill that commands the view of
a saug little village, near which my friend resides, I saw a
large assembly of men, women, and children, whose merry
gestures and loud exclamations soon raised my curiosity,and
I quickened my pace to be a nearer spectator of the fun that
was going on in this merry assembly.

" When I came up to them I soon understood it was a
couple that had just been married, and were returning to the
village to celebrate the wedding; that their ages put toge-
ther amounted to 115; that the happy union had been post-
poned two years for fear of a family in the time of the dearth,
and had now been agreed to on account of the Meal falling
to 2s. a peck, and the great prospect of plenty.

"I communicated this agreeable information to my
friend, and, in the evening, away we went to the wedding,
which was held in a large barn. A ll expences attending this
merry meeting being defrayed by a regular contribution,
every body was welcome, and we soon got admittance?the

fare was cheese, bread, beer, and whiskey in abundance.

It is impossible to describe the diversion that ensued when
the liquor began to operate?one group dancing?another
scolding, and a third singing, every man his own song?
one roaring out Dainty Davie, a second Maggy Lauder, and
a third Lango Lee. In this scene of merriment and con-
fusion the bridegroom was no idle spectator- with all the
gayiety of twenty-one he entertained his ancient bride with
the song of

" Hey for a lass and a bottle to cheer",
" And a thumping banding every year."
"While she returned his favours with all the airs of blushing
Fifteen.?This was all very well, but the scenesoon changed

from mirth to madness.

" It seems two married women began to quarrel about

the virtue of their daughters, when one threw a mug of

beer in the other's face, which at the same time went into

another's bosom, and sprinkled an old crusty fellow who

was smoking his pipe?he suspecting a young fellow that

had been vexing him before, immediately threw the con-

tents of the jug that stood next him in his face, which Wet

every person near him-over went the table?out went the

lights, and a general battle ensued?candlesticks, jugs, hats,

wigs, caps, and handkerchiefs were flying in every direction,

    ?the young girls squeeling?the men swearing, and the

Old women crying murder:?When this affair was over and

lights procured, it is impossible to describe the appearance

of the company?but such a number of bald heads, bloody

noses, bare necks, and scratched faces, I never beheld."

T. Duncan, Printer, Saltmarket.

previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1810-1830   shelfmark: 6.314(21)
Broadside regarding the wedding of Mary Ritchie and Peter Murphy
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland