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[A Sword upon Aytoun]

1832: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon

Publication: [A Sword upon Aytoun]

Publication type: Broadside

Featured individuals:
James Aytoun (1797-1881)
John Archibald Murray (1778-1859)

A full copy of this poem is available.

This poem has a set tune, and its title is:
Young Wallace the Hero of Scotland.

Archive/Library: National Library of Scotland
Classmark(s): ABS.10.202.02

This untitled song imagines Aytoun (the radical candidate for the Edinburgh seats in the 1832 General Election) as a militant who has gunned down all of his opponents.  He is portrayed as taking down the Tories, although the song also notes that it was the Whigs that replaced the Tories.  The Whigs are then attached for framing a clause, 'A clause against all the nation', but Aytoun called a meeching 'and destroyed their whole machination.  It is not entirely clear what this clause is, but it is referenced in several Edinburgh poems of the period.  A piper is mentioned (almost certainly John Archibald Murray), as well as a fluter and a fifer: it is not clear who these figures are.  A figured called Gibson is also referenced.  The song concludes by advising the electorate to get behind Aytoun.  No publication details are printed on the broadside, but there is a handwritten note, '10 July 1832', which may refer to the publication date.