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Election Song

1884: Representation of the People Act

Author: Anon [An Indignant Dame]

This poem appears in our anthology

Publication: Election Song

Published: 1885

Place of publication: Paisley, Scotland

Publication type: Broadside

Featured individuals:
Thomas Glen Coats (1846-1922)

A full copy of this poem is available.

This poem has a set tune, and its title is:
Conceive me if you can; Patience.

Archive/Library: Paisley Central Library
Classmark(s): Paisley Pamphlets 1889 (Volume 80) - Mis-identified on spine as 1870

This poem is dated 'Paisley, 18th Nov., 1885'. It is written from the perspective of a (female) member of the Paisley Primrose League and directly attacks the platform orations of Thomas Glen Coats, a local thread manufacturer and well known Liberal: 'His quotations make this very plain,/ That his studies won't injure his brain'. Whether written by a woman or not, it is one of the very few poems from this period that address politics at the time of frachise extension from the perspective of a Tory woman. The Primrose League (so called as the primrose was said to be a favourite flower of Disraeli) was established in 1883. Paisley boasted the first branch of the Primrose League in Scotland (Habitation 232) and had around 375 members in 1886. In 1886 an all female branch was also established in the area, the Abercorn Habitation (666) which soon grew to a membership of 800. See Catriona M.M. Macdonald, The Radical Thread... Paisley Politics, 1885-1924(Edinburgh, 2000), p. 110.