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Broadside entitled 'A Lament for Dr Pritchard's Children'


This lament begins: 'Oh, you kind hearted people think of Pritchard's children, / Who are five in number that are left to mourn / For the loss of their mother that reared them so tender, / And their grandmother too, who will never return.'

In 1865, Dr Edward William Pritchard was found guilty of murdering his wife and mother-in-law and sentenced to be hanged. An anonymous letter alerted the police to the suspicious circumstances surrounding their deaths, and Pritchard's grisly role in their demise was soon uncovered. On the 28th July, 1865, Pritchard was the last man to be publically executed in Scotland. Printed on another broadside in the National Library of Scotland's collection is the lament of Michael Taylor, the husband and father of the two victims.

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 of publication: 1865   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(128a)
Broadside entitled 'A Lament for Dr Pritchard's Children'
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