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Broadside ballad entitled 'New Political Song'


The text beneath the title continues: 'Written, on it being understood that MR AYTOUN had been advised by the Gentlemen of his Committee to start for LEITH, as well as EDINBURGH, in order that his return to Parilament might be secured for one or other of these places'. The ballad begins: 'Come join in my song, / All people who long / To see Pensions cut off with a sweep . . .' The broadside does not carry the name of its publisher, nor the place or date of publication.

James Aytoun (1797-1881), a native of Kirkcaldy, was a manufacturer and a supporter of Chartism. In 1841 he stood as a Radical parliamentary candidate for Stirling. This ballad is very supportive of Aytoun and was probably composed by someone with Radical sympathies. Although he is not a particularly notable figure in Scottish political history, Aytoun does appear in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, in a collection of calotypes taken by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson between 1843 and 1847.

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: 1839-1841   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(064)
Broadside ballad entitled 'New Political Song'
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