This verses begins: '[ ]t the times are dull and dreary, / [ ]ry thing goes topsey teary, / [ ] travelling night and day I'm weary, / Through the streets of Glasgow'. 'Morbus' is Latin for 'sickness' or 'disease'. No publication details have been included on this sheet, and, unfortunately, the top left-hand corner is missing.
Although the morbus in this instance appears to be an outbreak of cholera, there are also deep political undertones throughout these verses. Unfortunately, with no date attached to this sheet, it is difficult to determine when it was published. There were several outbreaks of cholera in Glasgow in the nineteenth century, the first of which, in 1832, killed around 3,000 people. As conditions in Glasgow, and the other major towns and cities, were overcrowded and unhygenic, with virtually no sanitation, infectious diseases such as cholera and typhoid had the potential to spread like wildfire.
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:
1831- shelfmark: APS.3.96.5
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