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Broadside detailing a wedding song


This epithalamium begins: 'A WEDDING SONG ON The Right Honourable, The Earl of WEEMS, and Mrs. Jannet Charters now Countess of WEEMS.' The song begins: 'WHEN Adam first was plac'd in Paradice, / His Spouse he mist, tho' other Happiness / Did so abound, over all Creatures he.'

An epithalamium is a song or poem celebrating a marriage. This particular one marks the nuptials of James, 5th Earl of Wemyss and Janet Charteris, who married in Edinburgh on the 17th September, 1720. The marriage of such high-profile figures would have sparked a large amount of interest amongst the public. In response to this, broadside producers issued epithalamiums or marriage songs; whether they were commissioned is unclear. The National Library of Scotland's broadside collection includes an interesting selection of epithalamiums.

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: 1720-1725   shelfmark: RB.l.106(075)
Broadside detailing a wedding song
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