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Broadside entitled 'Dreadful Collision!!'


This public notice begins: 'One Hundred and Twenty-two Lives Lost! / A full and particular Account of the loss of the Ship Governor Fenner, with Emigrants for America, which took place off Holyhead, on Saturday Morning last, when 122 Men, Women and Children lost their lives.' This story was sourced from the 'Edinburgh Observer' of Tuesday 23rd February, 1841. A sketchy woodcut of a boat has been included.

Newspapers although extant at the time, enjoyed only a limited readership, mainly due to their cost. Their content, however, was often of a more diverse and international nature than broadside reporters could source. As a result articles were often copied from the newspapers onto single sheets to be sold as broadsides. This kept publishers' costs down but increased their revenue exponentially. This was possible at the time as copyright laws were only in their infancy, although situations such as this probably contributed to tightening them up.

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: 1841   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(355)
Broadside entitled 'Dreadful Collision!!'
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