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The Clique

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 Aytoun (1797-1881)
John Campbell (1779-1861)
Thomas Dick Lauder (1784-1848)
Andrew Skene (1784-1835)

A full copy of this poem is available.

This poem has a set tune, and its title is:
Och Paddy, my honey, take care of your money.

Archive/Library: Aberdeen University Library
Classmark(s): 82 (41) 17 Ref
Pages(s): 124-125

This poem was almost certainly written in 1834, when Aytoun contested the Edinburgh seat and the Whig John Campbell, who is mentioned in the poem, was one of his adversaries.  The poem attacks the legal Whig 'clique' that was felt to hold power of Edinburgh's representation in the period.  Several names connected to this clique are mentioned: Thomson, Millar, Adam, Purves, and Andrew Skene.  The 'sneaking Whigs' are portrayed asones who can be 'bought and sold', which most likely refers to the radicals' complaint that they sold out on the Reform Bill.  Aytoun is portrayed as a remedy to this 'clique', one who is 'the man of the people'.  This stance was in keeping with Reform Songs and Squibs, which was bitterly anti-Whig (like the publisher, Peter Brown). The poem was originally a broadside and, on some versions, there is a coat of arms above the poem, with the motto: 'England expects every man to do his duty'; a Scotsman, in a kilt, appears on the right of this shield.