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Broadside entitled 'A New-Years-Gift'


This broadside begins: 'A New-Years-Gift : OR, A RESPECTFUL WISH From the Hand of a Stranger who (upon the 28th of November) was a Sufferer by the Fire which happened in the Canongate. TO MY LORD BALMERINO'.

This eighteenth-century broadside, written in verse, offers good wishes for the coming year, one presumes it is intended to be bought as a gift for friends. It is not clear why we are told that the author was in a fire in Edinburgh's Canongate. Neither is it clear why the verse is dedicated to 'Lord Balmerino'. It is likely that this is Arthur Elphinstone (1688-1746), a Scottish nobleman and army commander, who was executed for his part in the 1745 rebellion.

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: 1715-   shelfmark: S.302.b.2(078)
Broadside entitled 'A New-Years-Gift'
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