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Alas! For Honest Aytoun!

1832: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon

Publication: Reform Songs and Squibs

Publisher: Printed by Peter Brown

Place of publication: Edinburgh, Scotland

Publication type: Book

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

A full copy of this poem is available.

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

Archive/Library: Aberdeen University Library
Classmark(s): 82 (41) 17 Ref
Pages(s): 56-59

This poem appears in a collection of poems connected to the 1832 Reform campaigns and subsequent elections by the reformer Peter Brown, who eventually settled in Toronto and founded the Toronto Banner.  This poem is addressed to 'all Reformers' and argues that Aytoun, the radical candidate for the Edinburgh seat at the 1832 and 1834 General Elections, has abandoned the radical cause and joined the Whigs.  He can no longer be considered a 'true Reformer', we are told; and he is described as betraying the people.  The poem then uses this association of Aytoun with the Whigs to argue for voting Tory: 'The Tories may be bad enough - / But still they're made of truer stuff'.  This poem is almost certainly from the 1832 election campaigns as Aytoun withdrew in favour of the Whigs; Abercromby is also described as a candidate, and he only stood in the 1832 election.