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The Sale of a Wife

The Sale of a Wife

The Sale of a Wife

Broadsides, single sheets of paper extolling the crimes and stories of the day, featured heavily in The Clan Sinclair trilogy. They revealed what interested readers and what everyday life was like in the 19th century.

This story took place in 1828 and is taken from http://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/15971/transcript/1 

I recommend the digital archives for some rich and lurid reading. We tend to think that we’re shocking in the 21st century, but people have always pushed the boundaries of society.

(I love the battle that happens in this story.)


Here’s the transcript:

A full and particular Account of the Sale of a Woman, named Mary Mackintosh, which took place on Wednesday Evening, the 16th of July, 1828, in the Grass Market ‘of Edinburgh, accused by her Husband of being a notorious Drunkard; with the Particulars of the bloody Battle which took place afterwards.

ON Wednesday evening last, in the Grass-market, Mary Mackintosh was
brought down about six o’clock by her husband, for the purpose of being
sold. Her crime was drunkenness and adultery. She was held by a straw
rope tied round her middle, and the words, ” To be sold by public auction”
in front of her bosom. Several thousand spectators were assembled to wit-
ness this novel occurrence. John F——n, pensioner, and knight of the ham-
mer, commenced business, but the acclamations of the people were so great,
that no one could get a hearing for ten minutes, to bid for the unfortunate

When, the crowd got a little quiet the people began to examine the
countenance of the woman ; a Highland Drover stepped through the crowd,
and pulled out his purse, and Said, ” She be a good like lassie,’l will gi’e ten
and twenty shillings for her.” This caused great cheering among the
crowd?then a stout Tinker made a bolt into the crowd, and said she should
never go to the Highlands?he then bid sixpence more for her. At this time,
one of the KlLLARNEY PIG JOBBERS, with his mouth open as wide
as a turnpike gate, and half drunk, eried loudly, FAUGHAHOLLICE , I will
give two shillings more, for she is a pratty woman. A Brogue maker,
from Newry, coining out of a public house; as drunk as 5O cats in a wallet,
came up to the Killarney man, and hits him in the bread bag, and he lay
there for the space of ten minutes, which made the woman for sale, laugh
heartily, and the cheers of the crowd at this time was long and incessant.?
The Brogue-maker being a supposed friend to the woman, went up to the
auctioneer,and told him there were three bidders: he was so enraged, he
knocked the auctioneer down, and made his claret flow desperately. Great
cheering among the people, at the expense of the knight of the hammer.?
The women of the neighbourhood gathered to the number of 700, and arm-
ed themselves with stones, some threw them, and others put them in their
stockings and handkerchiefs, and made a general charge through the mob,
knocking every one down that came in their way, until they got up to the
auctioneer, when they scratched and tore his face in a dreadful manner, in
consequence of the insult the fair sex had received. One resolute woman
came up with a stone and knocked down Thomas M.Guisgan, husband to
the woman who was exposed for sale. This woman, a true female hero,
and a SWEEP’S WIFE, displayed great courage in favour of her sex, and
said I will learn you to auction your wife again, you contaminated villain
Tom returned the blow, and hit her between the eyes, and made them like
two October cabbages. The sweep seeing his wife struck, made a sally with
his bag and scrapper ; the women all took the sweep’s part, and cried with
a loud voice, mill him the old boar, a general battle ensued, and only for
the interference of the police, there would have been lives lost. Alter the
disturbance was quelled, the husband insisted she should be sold. She was
brought up again, and the auctioneer declared that if he could not be pro-
tected, be would have no more call to her. Some young fellows shouted he
should, and the sale began again. An old pensioner, a Jack tar, stepped
forward, saying, damn my tarry top-lights and chain plates she is a tight
little frigate, and well rigged too, and I will give half a crown more than the
last bidder. Well done, cried the mob to the sallor, you are a spirited fel-
low, and you must get her; when a farmer, who was a widower, bade two
pound five shillings for her, he being a friend to the sex, and the auctioncer
knocked her down. The farmer took her up behind him on his horse, and
away they went amidst the cheers of the populace.


Cyber Bullying – Doesn’t It Take Two to Tangle?

Cyber Bullying – Doesn’t It Take Two to Tangle?

twitterI want to ask you a serious question.

I’ve read, for the last year, about cyber bullying. As a writer, I don’t frequent places where people might be uncomfortable by my presence, in other words, reader sites. I have an author portal on Goodreads, but I’ve taken all the books I’ve read down. I rarely interact on Twitter (less than I should, I think) and when people are rude to me on my blog (very, very rare), I delete them.

So here’s the serious question: if someone is bullying you on the internet, don’t you have to be connected to know? Somebody could be cyber bullying me every day and I’m clueless because I’m rarely on Twitter or other sites.

But if I got word that someone was saying nasty thing about me somewhere, that’s the LAST place I would go.

Another thing: the internet is a lot like hanging over the back fence magnified a million times. It’s like eavesdropping on your enemy. You KNOW they’re going to say something bad about you. Then why would you want to hear it?

So, doesn’t cyber bullying take two to tangle? In other words, it takes two to have an argument – if one person walks away, it’s just a rant.

What’s your opinion?


And the Winner Is…

Cyndi  – who correctly guessed number 10.

Please send me an email to karen@karenranney.com, Cyndi, and we’ll work out the details. Please put WINNER in the subject line so I don’t miss your email.


Drawing Ends Today

My website will be down for a bit starting on Friday. Wait until you see the result – I hope you like it!

Because I will be down, I’m ending the drawing today, so be sure and enter your two numbers!


First of All, I’m Sorry

First of All, I’m Sorry

I’m so far behind answering comments. Please forgive me.

I’ve recently finished up a project I gave myself for February (with time to spare – yay!!!!). It’s a novella that tells the rest of the Sinclair Clan story. More details on that later, but look for it around June or July.

I’m close to finishing up the website re-design. As you’ve probably seen on Facebook and Twitter, I’m branded now:

logo-karenThe new website and podcast site should be up and running by March 1.  Regarding the podcasts, my first job was in radio so I like doing podcasts. They won’t be long, but little vignettes of thoughts, interspersed with longer podcasts about my books, writing, reading, positive thinking, or just weird thoughts.

I’ve hired a wonderful cover designer who redid the Tapestry cover. Isn’t it lovely?


Something wonderful is coming up for The Devil of Clan Sinclair – an audio book narrated by Anne Flosnik. I can’t wait to hear it.

I received some wonderful news the other day. Unfortunately, I had to swear that I’d keep it a secret for a little while. But, since it was so cool to me and so is the The Devil of Clan Sinclair audio book, let’s do a giveaway for one copy of the audio book.

Guess a number between 1 – 100 (two guesses allowed) in the comments. The person closest (without going over) will win. In the case of a tie, Flash will choose the bone with the winner’s name taped to it. The last day to guess your numbers will be Friday, February 21st.

Now, I’m going back and starting to answer all the comments. Please forgive.