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Broadside story concerning the murder of common sense in Edinburgh


This broadside story begins: 'A Strange and Wonderful Account of an Inhuman Murder Committed in the Canongate of Edinburgh, on Monday 15th of March, by James Scoogy on the Person of Common Sense'. There are no publication details included on this sheet.

'Beware the Ides of March!' could be the headline for this light-hearted broadside. The story centres on the idea that the concept of common sense could be murdered by a man in Edinburgh called James Scoogy. It appears that Scoogy was making his way home late one night, when he bumped into the spirit of common sense. The ghost then takes over the narrative from the writer, and laments that he was killed by James Scoogy of the Canongate. After the ghost of common sense has finished telling his supernatural tale, he disappears back into the night. With the writer now back in control of the narrative, he concludes by expressing his hopes that the murderer will soon be brought to justice.

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: 1765-   shelfmark: APS.4.87.49
Broadside story concerning the murder of common sense in Edinburgh
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