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Broadside entitled 'An Elegy'


This memorial notice begins: 'AN ELEGY to the lasting Memory, and upon the much to be lamented Death of the pious, and well accomplished Gentleman, and much honoured, William Nisbet of Dirletoun. / Obiit, 20. October 1724, Ętatis 60.' The elegy begins: 'There is no Truth more evident to Sense'.

The Nisbets acquired the Dirleton lairdship in 1663, although the family very rarely lived there, preferring instead their newly-built residence at Archerfield, Pencaitland. William was renowned as a Jacobite patriot during this period of civil strife and enjoyed the warm regard of most of Edinburgh's society notables and literati. Another elegy was written for him by Alexander Pennecuik (1652-1722), the burgess bard of Edinburgh, and Nisbet had further volumes of poetry dedicated to his memory.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information often for entertainment, such as memorials and eulogies. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Although many of the people are now lost to researchers, their stories offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in.

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Date of publication: 1724   shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(100)
Broadside entitled 'An Elegy'
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