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Broadside entitled 'The Edinburgh Elector's Alphabet; or A Guide to the Poll'


This political pamphlet begins: 'A is for Aytoun, a radical true; / B is for Bottom, who looks very blue; / C is for Campbell, just fresh from his journey; / D is for Dudley, that dish'd the attorney . . .' Although there are no publication details available for this sheet, the subject matter suggests it was most likely published in Edinburgh during the 1830s.

This light-hearted broadside offers readers an entertaining A-Z guide of prospective candidates who stood for election in Edinburgh during the 1830s. Given the writer's obvious sympathies for the candidate, Jamie Aytoun, (1797-1881) it seems likely that the broadside was written from the viewpoint of the Radical Party. The writer succeeds in making entries for the awkward alphabetical letters, V, X and Z, by poking fun at rival candidates and even the voters themselves. The National Library of Scotland's collection contains a number of broadsides (many of which are satirical) that report on political contests in Edinburgh during the 1830s.

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: 1830-1840   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(110)
Broadside entitled 'The Edinburgh Elector's Alphabet; or A Guide to the Poll'
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