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Broadside entitled 'An Account of a Most Horrid, Bloody and Terrible Apparition'


This report begins: 'An ACCOUNT of a most Horrid, BLOODY, and Terrible APPARITION, Which lately Appeared in the Parish of SHOTTS; AND A TRUE AND GENUINE ACCOUNT OF A DISMAL AND SHOCKING MURDER, In the very Words expressed by the GHOST itself, as faithfully taken down by a Most Holy Person, who was present at the whole.' The broadside carries no publication details.

The story on this broadside, which describes the ghost of a murdered French Revolutionary appearing at a radical meeting in Shotts, appears to have been intended as a parable warning against political agitation in Scotland. The ghost of 'Rochefoucault' appears to be an inaccurate representation of the Duke de la Rochfoucauld-Liancourt (1747-1827), a democratic reformer who nevertheless remained loyal to Louis XVI and who was not murdered. This inaccuracy may have been due to falsified or confused reporting at the time of the Revolution.

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: 1790-1820   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(094)
Broadside entitled 'An Account of a Most Horrid, Bloody and Terrible Apparition'
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