This broadside begins: 'Impressive Prayer ascribed, as delivered by James Campbell, to his fellow-convicts, before their leaving Glasgow Jail, on Wednesday morning 20th Novr., 1822.' It was published by Mayne and Company of Glasgow, and probably cost one penny.
It is impossible to say whether James Campbell did in fact recite this prayer. In a highly religious and moralistic society such as nineteenth-century Scotland, the sentiments contained in this prayer would have provoked a very positive reaction. Broadside producers took advantage of this and, in the hope of selling large numbers of sheets, printed highly formulaic last speeches and prayers that were full of repentence and religious enlightenment.
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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Date of publication:
1822 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(042)
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