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Broadside regarding a proposed new Act of Parliament


This broadside begins: 'W.R. A PROPOSED NEW ACT OF PARLIAMENT, FOR THE BENEFIT OF Young Men, Old Men, Wives, Old Maids, Batchelors, Widows, &c.' Included at the top of the sheet is a coat of arms with the motto 'DIEU ET MON DROIT' or 'God and my right'. W.R. possibly refers to King William IV, which would date the broadside to between 1830 and 1837. It was published by John Elder of Edinburgh, and sold for one penny.

The National Library of Scotland's broadside collection includes several other sheets detailing this humorous new Act of Parliament. Written in the style of a formal proposal, each resolution passed at the 'meeting' offers a farcical suggestion. It appears to have been an extremely popular 'Act' amongst the public, as there are many examples, printed by a variety of broadside publishers, still in existence today.

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: 1830-1837   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(031)
Broadside regarding a proposed new Act of Parliament
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