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Election Lyric

1832: Representation of the People Acts

This poem comes from Alexander Smart's collection Rambling Rhymes, published in Edinburgh in 1834 - although no precise date for the poem is given.  Smart (1798 - 1866) attended Montrose Academy, the same school as Joseph Hume MP.   The poem reflects on the 1832 Reform Act and warns voters, 'ye true-hearted Scots' that the Tories will try to solict their vote.  It also invokes the practice of tenants selling their votes, after the 1832 Reform Act, to those with superiority - Tory landowners.  The poem can be quite cryptic but it is broadly supportive of 'the cause of Reform' and 'the bonny Scots Thistle'.