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Broadside entitled 'Wonderful Escape & Apprehension of Dan O'Connell'


Following on from the title, this broadside report continues: 'From his place of confinement on Monday last, and who so agitated the minds of the people, by his ferocious conduct, that a vigorous pursuit was made after him, and in a few hours he was apprehended, and safely lodged in durance vile.' The sheet was published by Forbes & Co. of the Cowgate, Edinburgh. Although no date of publication is printed on the sheet, a hand-written note suggests it was published on, or around, the 18th of June, 1834.

Although the sensational headline to this broadside suggests that the story is about Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), it is in fact about an escaped circus lion which shared the same name as the famous Irish agitator. The writer proceeds to describe the humorous antics that took place during the capturing of this lion, before the keepers succeeded in returning it to its cage. The tone of this story is very much that of a 'shaggy dog's tale' - or rather a 'shaggy lion's tale. After finishing the lion story, the writer mundanely concludes the broadside with a quick round-up of recent court cases.

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: 1834   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(159)
Broadside entitled 'Wonderful Escape & Apprehension of Dan O'Connell'
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