This was the Big Issue of its day - a cheap handbill, printed on tissue with a couple of poems about hardship. It's entitled 'The Address of Unemployed Workmen' and the bottom reads: 'Kind Friends, - It is with feelings of the deepest regret that we are at present compelled, for the support of ourselves and families, to offer these few but simple verses to your notice. trusting at the same time that you will be pleased to purchase this paper, it being the only means at present to support the tender thread of our existence, and keep us and our families from that utter starvation which at present surrounds us.'
A penny - pre-decimal, so less then half-a-penny by today's coinage - was sought from passers-by.
And the printers, Such, had a reputation for printing broadside ballads - most rather more imposing than this - and were most active between 1863 and 1885.
If you are interested in how the Anti-Corn Law League, a few decades earlier, had made use of images of distress in it propaganda, have a look at my blog here.
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Andrew Whitehead's blog
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