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Broadside entitled 'State of the Poll and Death of the Council'


This political broadside begins: 'Just published the melancholy Death of the Town Council of the City of Edinburgh, with an account of the Legacy which they have left to the inhabitants at their demise; also the state of the Poll at Closing, giving the names of the new councils elected this day.' Although no date of publication is included, the sheet was published by Forbes of Edinburgh.

Written in a satirical manner, the author of this amusing political broadside starts off in funereal style by reporting the recent 'death' of Edinburgh Town Council. Showing little respect for the 'dead', the writer almost indulges in schadenfreude as he follows the traditional Scottish custom of issuing a damning verdict on the town council and its 'Legacy' of high taxes. After this rather brutal opening, the writer then lists the names of the people serving on the council, complete with their constituencies. As this list contains the job titles of the councillors, it reveals much about the type of people who stand for election, with lawyers, architects, tradesmen and merchants predominating.

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(091)
Broadside entitled 'State of the Poll and Death of the Council'
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