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Abercromby's Answer, or The Exchequer Garland. Another excellent New Song.

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

Author: Anon

Publication: Abercromby's Answer, or The Exchequer Garland. Another Excellent New Song

Place of publication: Edinburgh, Scotland

Publication type: Broadside

Featured individuals:
James Abercromby (1776-1858)
James Aytoun (1797-1881)

A full copy of this poem is available.

Further information:

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

Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): H.17.a.39(29); ABS.10.203.01(062); RB.m.143(180); ABS.10.206.02(54)

Above the poem appears a woodblock illustration of a man riding a horse.  The poem attempts to convince the reader not to vote for the radical candidate for Edinburgh, James Aytoun, and instead to vote for the Whig - James Abercromby.  Although no date is given for this poem, it must be 1832 as this was the only time that Aytoun and Abercromby were competitors for the Edinburgh seats.  The poem makes a direct plea to Reformers to 'stand by me'.  The poem reflects the wider political context: following the passing of the 1832 reform bills, many voters experienced a conflict between continuing to support the Whigs and pursuing more radical change.  One version of the poem has the date '4 July 1832', perhaps indicating a publication date, although we cannot be sure of this.