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Broadside ballad entitled 'Freedom and Learmonth Must Carry the Day'


Verse 1 begins: 'ALL honest electors of this our fair town / Come listen to me, and I plainly will shew / How impudent LAWYER, with wig and with gown'. This was advertised as a new song which should be sung to the tune 'Lillibulero'.

The 'Learmonth' referred to in this text probably refers to John Learmonth, who was Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1831. His most famous legacy is the Dean Bridge, which was built by Thomas Telford (1757-1834) in the same year. This bridge, a masterpiece in its own right, directly linked the roads to and from South Queensferry and the town. It was privately paid for by Learmonth, which improved the communication and transport route through his estate and enabled him to feu land for housing.

This style of text, with its implicit political propaganda, would not only have made for compelling entertainment, but would also perhaps have stimulated political thought, reasoning and debate.

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Probable period of publication: 1830-1840   shelfmark: RB.m.143(173)
Broadside ballad entitled 'Freedom and Learmonth Must Carry the Day'
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