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A Canvassing Episode

1832: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon [R. P.]

This poem appears in our anthology

Publication: Scotsman [or, Edinburgh Political and Literary Journal]

Published: 4 August 1832

Place of publication: Edinburgh, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

Featured individuals:
James Abercromby (1776-1858)
Forbes Hunter Blair
Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850)

A full copy of this poem is available.

Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): Mf.N.3
Pages(s): 4

An explanatory note is included with this poem to give context: 'For some weeks past several genteelly-dressed young women have made a practice of annoying respectable shopkeepers, by haunting their shops and thretening them with loss of custom, should they vote for a Reform Candidate'.  This poem focuses on one such woman.  She instructs a shopkeeper to vote for 'Mr Blair', the Tory candidate for the Edinburgh seat at the 1832 General Election, Forbes Blair.  When she finds out that he has pledged his vote to the Whigs (Francis Jeffrey and James Abercromby) she states that 'Reformers' goods shall ne'er pollute patrician marble slabs'.  She then rushes out and 'every sturdy Celt gives way'.