The Spirit of Toryism, as displayed at the late literary dinner to the Ettrick Shepherd
This poem appears in our anthology
Publication: Scots Times
Published: 11 February 1832
Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical
Robert Burns (1759-1796)
John Wilson Croker (1780-1857)
James Hogg (1770-1835)
Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch (1806-1884)
Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)
A full copy of this poem is available.
Archive/Library: Mitchell Library, Glasgow
Classmark(s): Hard copy: BX39
Although this poem does not directly reference franchise extension, it does clearly mock those Tories at the and their connections to anti-reformism. The speaker states that every year he drains a bowl of 'whisky-punch' in memory of Burns, and he is full of joy to hear that Tories are doing so too. However, when he gets to the dinner for James Hogg (the Ettrick Shepherd), but presumably also a Burns supper, he finds it disconcerting to see Hogg, the Duke of Buccleuch, and the rest of the 'Tory throng' not actually commemorating Burns but just marking their 'hate of a Patriot King'. Wellington and Croker, key anti-reformers, are celebrated by the group. Indeed, the 'Tory throng' are also described as 'borough-born patriots', implying that they are from rotten boroughs and support electoral corruption. At the end of the poem, the speaker 'wishing to heaven I had never been there' strolls away from the Tory gathering. The poem also previously appeared in The Glasgow Chronicle (06-02-1832) where it was attributed to The Globe, a London newspaper.