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Broadside entitled 'Matrimony Application by Advertisement, for a Wife'


This broadside begins: 'Just Published, the True, and Genuine Copy of an Advertisement for a wife, which appeared a few days ago, in one of the Edinburgh Journals ; with Copies of the Letters received by Lawrance Scott, Esquire, in answer to his advertisement'. It was printed by Forbes, possibly in the early nineteenth century, and probably sold for one penny.

It is unclear whether this was in fact genuine and, if it was, why it was worthy of publication as a broadside. Whilst it is now fairly commonplace for people to advertise for a friend or partner in a lonely-hearts column, perhaps in nineteenth-century Scotland it was less so. Scott seems rather preoccupied with finding a wife with a small personal fortune. If successful this could have proved extremely lucrative for him, since a woman's property and personal fortune automatically became her husband's upon marriage.

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: L.C.1268
Broadside entitled 'Matrimony Application by Advertisement, for a Wife'
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