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Broadside entitled 'Elegy'


This memorial notice begins: 'Elegy on The Deplorable Death of the Right Honourable John, Lord Belhaven, who was lost at sea, on the 10th of Nov. 1721.' The elegy begins: 'Let Scotia's Sons in fable Weeds appear, / Sigh every Soul, and drop a fun'ral Tear'. A note informs the reader that this elegy was written by a Mr Pennecuik, most likely Alexander Pennecuik. The additional text at the bottom of the sheet begins: 'Old Sathan, England's Friend, Our Foe, / Contriv'd BELHAVEN's Overthrow'.

The Scottish statesman John, Lord Belhaven is perhaps best remembered for a rousing speech he made to the Scottish parliament in 1706, denouncing the prospect of a union with the English parliament. Despite his protests, and those of many others, the Act of Union was passed the following year. Belhaven is also known to have had interests in the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, founded in 1695. They were responsible for the disastrous Darien Scheme (1698-9), which heightened tensions with England and left Scotland financially crippled.

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 published: 1721   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(009)
Broadside entitled 'Elegy'
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