Database of Poems

Back to results

Reformers' Election Song

1832: Representation of the People Acts

Author: William Johnston

This poem appears in our anthology

Publication: Reformers' Election Song

Publisher: J. Muir

Published: 1837

Place of publication: Glasgow, Scotland

Publication type: Broadside

Featured individuals:
John Dennistoun (1803-1870)
Robert Monteith (1812-1884)
James Oswald (1779-1853)
William Wallace (1270-1305)

A full copy of this poem is available.

Recording:

More information about this recording

Archive/Library: Glasgow University Library
Classmark(s): Special Collections: Ephemera P/212

This poem appears to have been part of a broadside, but only this cutting remains.  The poem can reasonably be dated as 1837 as it addresses voters in the upcoming 1837 election.  In 1837, James Oswald - a vocal campaigner for the 1832 reform acts - stood down and there was an election.  The poem commends Oswald's work and advises voters to select an MP who can continue the reformers' cause.  The preferred representative, according to the poem, is John Dennistoun, the liberal candidate, over Robert Monteith, the tory candidate.  Like several reform poems, the spirit of William Wallace is invoked here - to align Scottish national identity and defence with the cause of reform.