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Broadside entitled 'Interesting Case of Tory Intimidation'


This report begins: 'Just Published, a Correct Copy of that Singular and Extraordinary Dialogue that took place between a young Lady and a Merchant on the Bridge, who was threatened by the Lady with ruin and destruction, if he did not vote for Lord Ramsay and Mr Learmonth.' The publisher was A. Dunbar of Edinburgh. The sheet is not dated.

Intimidation and bribery of voters were serious concerns at the time of local and national elections in Britain until at least 1872, when a secret ballot was introduced as part of the voting process. This broadside reproduces an alleged attempt by a young woman of Tory sympathies, to intimidate an Edinburgh merchant into voting for Lord Ramsay and Mr Learmonth. John Learmonth was a prominent merchant, owner of the Dean Estate and Lord Provost of Edinburgh at the start of the 1830s. 'Lord Ramsay' may be a reference to George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie (1770-1838). An interesting aspect of this report is the active, almost aggressive political role taken by the woman, despite the fact women had no voting rights at the time.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable period of publication: 1830-1839   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(261)
Broadside entitled 'Interesting Case of Tory Intimidation'
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