The Pelloch of Reform
Publication: Caledonian Mercury
Published: 9 July 1832
Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical
James Aytoun (1797-1881)
A full copy of this poem is available.
Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): Reel no. NP30397
We are told that this poem is 'A Fable in the Manner of Gay'. The poem begins by equating the Tories with 'the Indians', stating that both display a 'hatred of all innovation' - a note included with the poem also states that 'the aboriginal Indians are deficient in the capacity of progressive improvement common to the rest of the human race'. The poem then goes on to mention James Aytoun, the radical of Edinburgh, who the Tories tremble in the presence of. To insult Aytoun, the Tories label him the 'pelloch' [porpoise] of reform. A further note with the poem tells us that 'pelloch' was selected as porpoises are known for being clumsy.