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Broadside entitled 'Edinburgh Irish Festival, Or, The Popish Showman'


This public advertisement begins: 'An Account of the Procession, and progress of Dan, King of Beggars, in Edinburgh.' This account was sourced from the 'Age' and was published by James Bonnar and Co.

This broadside seems to describe the events surrounding a visit to Edinburgh by Daniel O'Connell, probably in 1835 (also known as the Liberator) who had achieved Catholic Emancipation in 1829. This allowed Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament. O'Connell's next campaign was to press for Home Rule for Ireland. The tone of this broadside is deeply disrespectful to Catholics and Irish people, perhaps reflecting the popular mood in Edinburgh at the time. There are references to pigs, potatoes, Popery, the rack wheel and the Gilmerton carters - who had been executed in 1830 for a particularly vicious rape and murder.

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 of publication: 1835   shelfmark: RB.m.143(175)
Broadside entitled 'Edinburgh Irish Festival, Or, The Popish Showman'
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