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Broadside entitled 'The Battle of Trafalgar'


This broadside begins: 'On the 21st of October in Trafalgar bay we lay, / The combined fleets of France and Spain a leaving off we lay, / We cleared away for action like Britons stout and bold, / Resolving if we came up with them we would not be controlled.' There are no publication details given, but this is one of two songs - printed by James Lindsay - on this sheet.

The Battle of Trafalgar (1805) was famously won by the British fleet under the command of Admiral Horatio Nelson. Fought on the seas near Cape Trafalgar, off the coast of south-west Spain, the British successfully defeated the allied French and Spanish forces. The victory at Trafalgar, although marred by the death of Nelson from a gunshot wound, prevented Napoleon from invading Britain and ensured British naval supremacy throughout the nineteenth century.

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 period of publication: 1852-1859   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(057)
Broadside entitled 'The Battle of Trafalgar'
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