This report begins: 'IT is with regret that we announce to the public, and more so to those who knew the above-described person. He was a young man lately placed as Minister of the parish at Largs, well beloved by all his hearers and all who knew him, promising in appearance, and benevolent in all his ways.' Although no publication date is included, a note at the foot of the sheet states that it was 'Printed for James Thomson'.
This broadside reports on the tragedy of a minister who committed suicide after finding out that his mistress was pregnant. The middle part of the sheet is a transcription of a letter, which the slighted woman apparently sent to the minister. Unfortunately, the lack of a publication date means that it is very difficult to place this broadside in its proper historical context. At the time of publication, however, this event would have been a scandal of seismic proportions - especially in such a staunchly Presbyterian region as Ayrshire. The writer sensitively concludes that, in spite of appearances, 'in this case we see that all mankind is fallible'.
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:
1850-1870 shelfmark: APS.4.200.06
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