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Aytoun, The Friend of the People!! A New Song

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

Author: Anon

Publication: Aytoun, the Friend of the People!! A New Song

Place of publication: Edinburgh, Scotland

Publication type: Broadside

Featured individuals:
James Aytoun (1797-1881)
John Campbell (1779-1861)
Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850)

A full copy of this poem is available.

Further information:
http://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/16508/criteria/%22aytoun%2C%20the%20friend%20of%20the%20people%22

This poem has a set tune, and its title is:
Arethusa.

Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): H.17.a.39(14) - no illustration; ABS.10.203.01(106) and RB.l.54(64) - with illustration

This poem is addressed to the reformers of Edinburgh, stating that (now Jeffrey is no longer a candidate), they should give their votes to the radical, James Aytoun.  He is portrayed as a 'friend to liberty', who should be elected by 'the people's voice'.  The poem is almost certainly from 1834, when Aytoun challenged John Campbell for the Edinburgh seat, a Whig who was rejected at the Dudley by-election, who is referenced in the poem.  Campbell was elected with 50.7% of the vote; Aytoun received just 12.6%.