This broadside begins with an invocation followed by a narrative, and ends with an admonition. The invocation begins: 'Ye Sons of Satan, Candidates of Hell, / Listen unto the serious Truths I tell'. The narrative begins: 'I With this hellish Wretch's Life begin / A black Account, yet bright Display of Sin'.
This broadside was intended to act as a severe warning to anyone who rejected God. By instilling fear in the readership, it was hoped that people would follow the 'righteous path'. Sentenced to be executed for committing infanticide, Margaret Dickson is portrayed as an evil and sinful woman who followed the ways of the devil: 'For when the heart's not bolted aginst Sin, / It [l]et's the Devil and Damnation in.' Although she was hanged in the Grassmarket, she dramatically revived en route to Musselburgh for burial. She was set free and lived to a ripe old age having many children.
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 date published:
1724- shelfmark: RB.I.106(096)
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