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The Bold Canvasser

1867-8: Representation of the People Acts

Author: Anon

Publication: Eclipse

Published: 14 November 1868

Place of publication: Paisley, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

Featured individuals:
A. Kintrea

No full copy of this poem is available.

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

Archive/Library: Paisley Central Library
Classmark(s): 050 PA PC22326
Pages(s): 8

Three periodicals were produced during the period of the 1868 election campaign in Paisley: the Hoo'let, the Hawk and the Eclipse. The Eclipse was not explicitly tied to any interest and used the jester as its emblem. The front cover included an extract from Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Act 2, Scene 7): ‘… I must have liberty/ Withal, as large a charter as the wind,/ To blow on whom I please’ (excluding the end of this phrase, ‘for so fools have’). Some poems are sympathetic to the radical candidate (Kintrea), others to Crum Ewing (the sitting Liberal member). This song describes the labours of a character relatively new in British politics - the canvasser. As the number of voters increased, so parties tried to win new supporters and measure their support in constituencies in order to shape their campaigns. It is a humorous song in which the canvasser (leaning against a freshly painted wall) admits that some supporters' names on his list 'are pledged in my fancy alone'. It ends with the hope that Kintrea ('the Paisley lad') will win.