This broadside begins: 'Full, true and Particular account of the Trial of Samuel M'Lauchlan, master baker, and Thomas Badger, before the High Court of Justiciary, for the Riots at Lauder at the election of a member of parliament, and for assaulting Lord Maitland, the Sheriff of the County, the Fiscal, and Mr Simpson, one of the Magistrates, by forcing him into a coach and driving him out of the town, in purpose to keep him from voting.' It was printed by Forbes and Kay of the Cowgate.
Whilst there is no date attached to this broadside, it is generally believed to have been printed by Kay and Forbes in 1831. At this time, across the entire country, people were protesting against a corrupt and unrepresentative electoral system. This broadside details the trial of two men who allegedly instigated one of the countless riots that occurred. The first small step towards British parliamentary reform was marked the following year by the 1832 Reform Act, which extended the franchise to include men of the upper middle classes.
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.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Probable date of publication:
1831 shelfmark: F.3.a.13(16)
View larger image