A broadsheet featuring the ballads 'A New Song For The Times' (The Union Houses must Come Down and Railroads Go To Pot.) and 'O'er the Green Sea.'
This ballad expresses the discontent surrounding the conditions of the poor that existed in England at that time. The Poor Amendment Act had been put into place in 1834 that saw the formation of workhouses in exchange for poverty relief. But the conditions were kept deliberately harsh to discourage the poor from seeking asistance there and 'encouraging' them to work in a job instead. The consequences were that many people who needed the help most, such as the elderly, infirm or children, were the one that suffered the most.
SignificanceBroadsheets were designed as printed ephemera to be published and distributed rapidly. This also meant they were quickly disposed of with many of them not surviving the test of time. The museum's broadsheet collection is therefore a rare and valuable example of how maritime history was communicated to a wide audience, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. They vibrantly illustrate many of the themes and myths surrounding life at sea. Some of them also detail stories about transportation, migration.
HistoryBroadsheet rhymes and verses were the cheapest prints available during the 18th and 19th century. They were sold by street sellers known as Flying Stationers, who charged a minimal fee of a penny or half-penny. They featured popular songs that were often sung in homes, inns and taverns and covered a range of themes relating to contemporary events or stories. Printed alongside the songs were woodcut illustrations. Most of the broadsheet publishers did not date or mark their works, making it difficult to pinpoint when they were produced.
The publication of ballads was part of the commemoration and production of material about shipwrecks. Ships were part of the everyday life in the 19th century and stories about their voyages, wrecks, record breaking voyages and commissions often featured in newspapers and commemorative souvenirs.