Verse 1: 'Tonny. / COME, my couragious Jack, my metl'd Scot; / Why may'nt we kindle Kindness with a Pot, / Yow've run the Ghent-loup, and yow've try'd the Tron, / Your suffrings are expir'd, when mine comes on'. A handwritten annotation at the foot of the broadside suggested that it was published in Edinburgh on the 16th of April 1728. The price and publisher are not noted.
This 'merry dialogue' between two prisoners in Edinburgh's tolbooth is structured like a 'flyting', a Scots poetic mode wherein two rivals attack each other in verse. Of the two rivals, Tonny Ashton and John Curry, a handwritten annotation under the title reveals: 'The former being imprisioned Apr 1728 with his son Walter for the said Walters Inticaing and Marriaing Mrs Joan Ker. Little is known about Curry but Aston was an English actor who had come to Edinburgh in the 1720s. He had incurred the wrath of the Master of Revels by failing to pay dues he owed and by continuing to perform in spite of a prohibition. After a spell of litigation, Aston cut his losses and left Edinburgh in 1728.
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:
1728 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.76(104)
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