Important acquisitions

The acts and deeds of the most famous and valiant champion Sir William Wallace, Knight of Ellerslie.

Author Blind Hary
Title The acts and deeds of the most famous and valiant champion Sir William Wallace, Knight of Ellerslie.
Imprint Edinburgh : [s.n.]
Date of Publication 1648 [1758]
Language English
Notes This copy of an 18th-century printed edition of Blind Har(r)y's famous poem of William Wallace contains an apparently unique survival of a variant title page for an edition actually published in 1758. The 1758 edition, some copies of which were apparently issued without a title page, does not give any indication of the bookseller or printer. The most likely explanation of this, as is indicated in a manuscript note in one of the Library copies of the 1758 edition, is that sheets were actually printed in Edinburgh by Robert Freebairn, the former King's Printer, over 40 years previously in 1714 or 1715. Freebairn chose to join the failed Jacobite uprising in Scotland in 1715, acting as the printer for the 'Old Pretender' in Perth. One consequence of this decision was that the sheets for his printing of Blind Harry's poem were impounded in a warehouse until 1758 when they were finally bound up and sold, either without title page or with an imprint bearing the date 1758 (there are also two copies recorded with an imprint date of 1757). This particular copy is a further variant, with the imprint date printed as 'MDCXLVIII' (1648). There was indeed a 1648 printing of the Blind Harry's poem in Edinburgh by Gideon Lithgow, but in a different format. The only explanation for this date is an error on the printer's part. A previous owner has tried to erase the offending 'X' from the imprint date, perhaps intending to write in a 'C' in its place, but seems to have given up quite quickly with the result that the false date is still clearly visible.
Shelfmark AB.2.216.11
Reference Sources Bookseller's notes
Acquired on 27/05/16
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