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Caledonia's Determination

1832: Representation of the People Acts
1867-8: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon

Publication: Caledonia's Determination

Publication type: Broadside

Featured individuals:
James Aytoun (1797-1881)
John Learmonth (1789-1858)

A full copy of this poem is available.

Further information:

Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): H.17.a.39(05); ABS.10.203.01(104); RB.l.54(57)

Although no date is provided with this broadside, it is almost certainly from 1832 or 1834 as it references elections that the radical James Aytoun campaigned in, for Edinburgh seats.  The speaker of the poem sides with Aytoun and expresses a lack of faith in the Whigs who, we are told, are but Tories 'in sheep-skin disguise'.  Aytoun on the other hand is the 'friend of the people'.  The poem may be invoking the lack of satisfaction that was felt amongst some voters in Scotland after the passing of the Reform Bill, and the hope that, through the radicals, the cause might still be advanced.  Above the poem appears a woodcut illustration: a coat of arms with a woman to the left of the shield, a horse to the right and a castle with three towers in the centre of the shield - most likely the evoking Edinburgh's 'three towers' heraldry.