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Broadside regarding a baby who was born with the ability to speak


This supernatural report begins: 'Wonder of Wonders, or the Speech of a child born near Edinburgh on Thursday the 15th of March 1770 as delivered ten minutes after it came into the world.'

A farmer's pregnant wife has a dream that she will be delivered of a son. True enough, her son is born the next day but proceeds to give the assembled company a prediction of doom and gloom. He forecasts war, recurring Jacobite tensions and problems over the Union of Parliaments. The baby then unfortunately dies. This type of story was popular on broadsides and would have certainly made compelling escapist entertainment.

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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Date of publication: 1770   shelfmark: APS.4.96.36
Broadside regarding a baby who was born with the ability to speak
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