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Whim and Whipping: Satire and the Great Reform Act in Scottish Periodical Poetry.

In 1841, Punch, or The London Charivari, a weekly satirical magazine cofounded by Henry Mayhew and Mark Lemon, was first published in London. Although it was not an instant success, by the 1850s the periodical had become an influential commentator on Victorian life, described by one observer as 'an institution [...] no more to be overlooked among the forces of the nineteenth century than is the steam-engine or the magnetic telegraph'. (1) Historians of Punch have long struggled to identify the origins of this enduring magazine, which only ceased publication in 2002; Joseph Hatton, Punch's first historian, noted that 'we have no really authoritative history of the origin of the work'. (2) Since Hatton, various satirical titles have been identified as likely influences on the development of Punch, besides Le Charivari (1832-1937). These titles include the relatively long-running satiric magazine Figaro in London (1831-1839) and shorter-lived tides, such as Punchinello (1832) and Douglas Jerrold's Punch in London (1832). But there remains a title that has been widely ignored in attempts to chart the precursors to The London Charivari. Glasgow Punch: A Weekly Pennyworth of Fun and Frolic, Whim and Whipping, first released in July 1832, was a magazine which published poetry, sketches and mock advertisements in order to satirise various local Glaswegian figures and institutions. Each issue featured an illustration of Mr Punch arising out of a bowl of Glasgow punch (a popular liqueur consisting of rum, lemon juice and sugar), which is decorated with an image of Glasgow Cathedral (Figure 1). And Mr Punch's presence was not restricted to the title page: in various literary contributions to the magazine, Punch features as a caustic character, as he would also do in The London Charivari. Glasgow Punch is very clearly one of the several 1830s antecedents to Mayhew and Lemon's now famous periodical.

Even in the 1840s, it was felt that Glasgow Punch's status as a precursor to The London Charivari had been overlooked. A later manifestation of Glasgow Punch, titled Glasgow Punch: The Satirist and Dramatic Critic, (3) which was released in 1849, stressed Punch's indebtedness to Glasgow:
The subject of our remarks is a cast from the veritable Rum Punchbowl,
which occupied the same position as it does now, in a periodical
entitled "Glasgow Punch," published in this city somewhere about
EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO [...] It is hoped the veriest hint will suffice to
show to what particular part of the globe is due honour--if any--of the
suggestion of the title, as well as the humorous illustrative sketch
which still forms the leading feature in the great London Punch of the
present. (4)

This attempt to claim Glasgow as the sole source of Punch is, of course, overblown. Indeed, the illustrative sketch in Glasgow Punch was most likely adapted from Douglas Jerrold's Punch in London which features a similar, if less stylish, image of Mr Punch sitting in a punch bowl, surrounded by objects with caricatured faces on them. But it is nevertheless the case that this antecedent to the 'London' Punch was soon forgotten after its publication and has remained so into the twenty-first century.

Glasgow Punch is just one of various Scottish periodicals published in the late 1820s and early 1830s that embraced the satirical mode. In this period, the Reform Bill had become the issue of the day, with many Scots agitating to reform parliament. Before the passing of the 1832 Reform Bill, the electoral franchise was especially limited for Scots: only around five thousand male adults had the right to vote, in a nation of over two million inhabitants. (5) The vast majority of Scottish periodicals took a stance on the issue of reform: either supporting the reformers who sought to expand the parliamentary franchise, eliminate 'rotten burghs' and reform the distribution of parliamentary seats across the United Kingdom, or the conservative 'Antis', who were deeply sceptical of the reform campaigns and the leading reformist party, the Whigs. Almost every Scottish periodical in this period relied on poetry and song to reinforce their messages and to attack their opponents, be they local campaigners and councillors, or national leaders and ministers, and satire and satirical poetry were widespread, often-brandished weapons in these political attacks. This article focuses on these political poems circulating at the time of the Great Reform Act, and reveals a vibrant culture of satire in Scottish popular politics.

In uncovering and examining Scotland's satirical poetry from the 1850s, this article will serve two functions. The first is to bring several neglected, influential satirical periodical titles and their poetry back to critical attention, and, in so doing, contribute to a wider critical intervention in Scottish literary studies--challenging the once-common notion of nineteenth-century Scottish verse as 'infantilised', by revealing more 'socially engaged, mature poetry in Scots'. (6) The second aim is to use these findings to re-evaluate some of the broader understandings of the development of satirical poetry in the nineteenth century. A critical consensus has taken hold that, towards the end of the 1820s and beyond, satirical poetry in Britain had all but died out or become severely diluted. John Bowen has written that the 1820s mark a 'watershed', 'separating the frank and bawdy satirical world of Gillray and Rowlandson from the more seemly and genially humorous comic landscape of the Victorians', (7) while Steven Jones, through his analysis of Ebenzer Elliott's poetry, has noted that there was a concerted effort to make satire less scurrilous and more 'presentable' in the 1830s. (8) Gary Dyer takes a similar stance in his analysis of poetry in British Satire and the Politics of Style, 1789-1832:
Unquestionably, satire had almost ceased to exist as a distinct genre
by the 1830s. After the early 1820s remarkably fewer works that
appeared were denominated satires or were intended primarily as such, a
decline that was most pronounced in the case of verse because
publishers were concentrating less on poetry and more on fiction,
particularly after their financial crisis in early 1826. Far fewer
satiric poems were written in response to the controversy over Catholic
Emancipation (1829) and the Reform Bill (1852) than at the time of the
civil unrest in 1817. (9)

Dyer's conclusions here build upon his extensive research on the decline of poetry volumes produced between the 1820s and the 1830s. But it is important to remember that, while the publication of volumes of poetry involved overcoming 'financial difficulties' from the mid-1820s onwards, poetry volumes were not the only publishing domains available to political poets. (10) One of the key sites for publishing poetry from this period onwards was in the periodical press; indeed, this was especially the case for topical, ephemeral political poetry, which relied on the faster publication times that newspapers and magazines offered. As this article demonstrates, while it may be true that satirical poetry was on the wane after the 1820s in collected editions, this understanding cannot be sustained when we turn to the periodical press in Scotland, a nation that is given very little critical attention in the aforementioned studies. Here we find satirical poetry blossoming in the 1830s; as a form, it was wielded as a potent weapon by Scotland's growing contingent of political poets. Echoing John Strachan's and Brian Maidment's recent works, which identify a continuing 'satirical energy' in the advertisements and graphic caricatures of the 1830s, this article will demonstrate that such satirical energy can also be found in the political poetry of 1830s Scotland. (11) Indeed, scurrilous satirical verse did not only continue in the Scottish periodical press after the 1820s, it thrived.

The importance of satire to Scottish political poets in the 1830s was even the subject of a poem in the anti-reform Aberdeen Observer, 'The Whigs' Supplication to Apollo' (1832). This poem parodies the voice of a reformer, who bemoans the fact that the Tories write superior poetry in general, and better satirical poetry specifically. In printing such a piece of twelve verses, the Aberdeen Observer attempts to assert its credentials as a publisher of fine satiric verse:
O, bright Apollo--Jove's great son!
What hae the poor Reformers done,
That nane o' them has e'er begun
(That we've heard tell o')
In verse or prose to soun' their drone
But's made a feel o'.

Why should the Tories never fail
To write baith prose and verse sae well,
Whan we, wha ought to bear the bell
Aboon sic wretches,
Shou'd aye be tumbled down the hill
(Hiatus in M.S.)


O, gi'e us Satire's scorpion lash
Our scoundrel Tory foes to thrash,
Wi' strength an' wit their powers to crush;
O, glorious fun!
To gar them suffer in the flesh
As we ha'e done.

Gi'es true poetic inspiration;
O! brighten our imagination,
Till, by the clear illumination,
We gar the Herald
Be read wi' rapturous admiration
Thro' a' the world. (ll. 1-12; 49-60). (12)

In this poem, written in babbie stanza, the pro-reform Aberdeen Herald is styled as publishing pitiable verse by reformist authors who are incapable of successfully wielding 'Satire's scorpion lash'. While the satire of the Tory press bruises the reformers, the anti-reformers remain unscathed. This is, of course, a biased summation of Aberdeen's periodical poetry culture in the early 1830s (many poems published in the Aberdeen Herald were satirical), but what 'The Whigs' Supplication to Apollo' reveals is the fact that Scottish periodicals were keen to style themselves as having the best satirical poetry; they were actively competing over who employed this vital rhetorical weapon most effectively--a marker of how significant satire remained in Scotland in the 1830s.

This article does not (indeed, cannot) offer an exhaustive evaluation of Scottish satiric poetry associated with the 1832 Reform Bill, but it does aim to give representative examples of the various types of satire present in the periodical press at this time. To do this, the satirical verse of three periodicals will be considered, each of which represented differing positions on the question of reform. The Scots Times (specifically the poems found in its series, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae'), which was committedly pro-reform; Glasgow Punch, a short-lived title that was broadly ambivalent towards parliamentary reform; and The Ten-Pounder, a virulently anti-Whig Edinburgh title, provide a cross-section of political perspectives. Poems from these titles not only reveal the presence and importance of satire in 1830s Scottish verse, but also a broader, neglected satirical culture in Scotland, which relied on periodicals and associational cultures to express itself.


One of the best embodiments of Scotland's pro-reform satirical culture at the time of the Great Reform Act was a satirical club that met in Glasgow, known as the Sma' Weft Club, along with the satirical articles that it inspired, titled 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae'. The Sma' Weft, a 'contemptuous term applied to a small textile manufacturer', (13) was a fraternity of mischievous Glaswegian reformers who gathered in taverns (originally Mrs Kerr's Shakespeare Tavern in the Saltmarket, followed by a quieter tavern in Dunlop Street) with the intention of mocking Glasgow's self-elected town councillors and Tories. John Strang, best known for his history, Glasgow and its Clubs (1856), encountered this club during his early research on Glasgow's club culture. (14) Strang admired the whimsical nature of Glasgow's clubs, writing that 'if modern Athens regards the Parliament House as the chief arena for the wit and frolic of her sons, Glasgow looks to her Club rooms for the very quintessence of her fun and gossip.' (15) Unlike the Habermasian 'public sphere', defined by clubs and periodicals that prioritised 'rational-critical debate', (16) these clubs were happy to prioritise mockery and the ridiculous. (17)

After experiencing the satirical bite of the Sma' Weft Club, Strang was prompted to write a series of 'ideal colloquies' based on the Sma' Weft's repartee. One commentator, almost certainly the influential Glaswegian reformer, Robert Carfrae Malcolm (editor of The Scots Times), made the following observation on Strang and his project:
Having written, during the winter of 1828, three or four rather
successful papers on the "Clubs of Glasgow," past and present, it
occurred to him, on observing their effort, that the ideal colloquies
of one of these more notorious fraternities, characterised as it was by
an itching anxiety to intermeddle with the affairs of their neighbours,
might be rendered a very different medium of satire against the system
of Rotten Burgh and Municipal Self-Election, which was becoming every
day more and more disgusting to all classes of the citizens. The idea
was accordingly adopted, and the first number of the "Sma Weftianae;"
appeared on the 3rd of October, 1829. (18)

Thirteen of these articles were penned between 1829 and 1833, titled 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae', and they all appeared in The Scots Times, a newspaper title launched in the 1820s to back Glasgow's strengthening Liberal culture. Strang described The Scots Times as a 'sharp and cutting' periodical, which 'exercised no small influence on the opinions of the West of Scotland'--a title allied in spirit to the Sma' Weft. (19)

But Strang was not the only figure to write these 'ideal colloquies'. Several other notable Glaswegian reformers contributed to the series of 'Noctes' that Strang initiated. John Donald Carrick, the first editor of the Whistle-hinkie, in which Carrick hoped to include 'indelicate or immoral' songs, (20) wrote three of the 'Noctes' single-handedly and contributed to several others. Robert Malcolm contributed to several of the pieces, as did John Kerr (the father of Commissioner Robert Malcolm Kerr) and Allan Fullarton, who also published other pieces in The Scots Times. It is highly likely that several of these figures, if not all of them, were members of the Sma' Weft Club themselves; G. Pitt-Lewis, in his book, Commissioner Kerr (1902), notes that in John Kerr's Glasgow Herald obituary, he was described as a 'prominent member of a local literary coterie [... which] exercised itself in the cause of municipal and political reform', known as the 'Sma' Weft Club'. (21)

The thirteen 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae' principally consist of dramatic sketches and satiric poetry which mock local politicians and Tory supporters. The unusual title of the sketches nods to the long-running series of articles published in Edinburgh's Blackwood's Magazine, 'Noctes Ambrosianae', which ran from 1822 to 1835. The Blackwood's 'Noctes', renowned for popularising James Hogg's nickname, the Ettrick Shepherd, clearly inspired the Sma' Weft. Like 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae', 'Noctes Ambrosianaw' consists of the imaginary conversations of an informal drinking club, who met at Ambrose's Tavern in Edinburgh, and the writings were frequently satirical. And like their Glasgow counterpart, the 'Noctes Ambrosianae' were written by numerous hands, with contributions from Hogg, John Gibson Lockhart (son-in-law and biographer of Walter Scott), William Maginn and John Wilson. (22) Despite the similarities between these two series of 'Noctes', what distinguishes the Blackwood's collection from The Scots Times's, is that 'Noctes Ambrosianae' did not consistently focus on the question on reform, and the contributions were conservative--typical of Blackwood's in this period. Several of the contributions to 'Noctes Ambrosianae', written in the early 1830s, endorse the Tories' stance and offer a satirical critique of the reform cause. For instance, in an untitled poem that was circulated widely (albeit with slight alterations) across Scotland following its publication in Blackwood's, (23) reform is portrayed as overthrowing the stability of paternalist society:
There were times, my Lord Jeffrey, between you and me,
Rather blither than those we are likely to see;
When plain folk went to church, loved and honour'd their king,
And our hard-working farmers heard nothing of SWING.

No groans then were given for Tithes, Taxes, or Rent,
The rich man look'd kindness, the poor man content,
And though war raged without, we were deaf to its din,
Midst the heart cheering hum of our treddles within.

It is the reform cause that is held responsible for shattering this conservative idyll, which can only be restored when 'each honest Reformer shall stoop to the art / Of reforming his own rotten borough--THE HEART!'. (24) Here, satirical irony is used to mock the vices of the reformers: their hearts, their cause, is portrayed as the true 'rotten borough'. (25) Similarly, in another 'Ambrosianae' poem, 'The Jacobin Bill', we are sardonically told the Reform Bill will usher in a reform that will lead to a 'pleasant Parisian scene' in England, one where guillotines proliferate. (26) This invocation of the French Revolution was a common feature of anti-reform rhetoric, which stressed that reforming the parliamentary franchise would stimulate revolution and threaten the monarchy. These sentiments are in stark contrast to those published in The Scots Times, which stress the necessity of reform. Accordingly, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae' should be read as a subversive reformist response to the anti-Whig conservatism of 'Noctes Ambrosianae', rather than a West Coast imitation of it.

It did not take long for the 'Noctes Sma' Wefianae' to build a reputation in Glasgow for offering a 'hale pouch fou o' satire' and revealing the secrets of the local elites. (27) Indeed, in the eighth instalment of the 'Noctes', the group issue a cautionary reminder to the city that 'they hear every thing--they see every thing--they tell every thing--and if there be a secret in all Glasgow, it is sure to find a vent in their club-room'. (28) Their interventions in local scandals were so sharp that the columns in The Scots Times became a source of anxiety for several figures in and around Glasgow. One notable example of the Sma' Weft's penchant for scandal concerns the Kingan vs Watson legal case, described by Peter Mackenzie as an 'Extraordinary Glasgow Drama'. This case emerged after a series of anonymous letters were sent around Glasgow, making accusations against several Glaswegian notaries, especially John Kingan and his close friend, James Oswald, an ardent reformer who would later become a Liberal MP for Glasgow in 1832. It is not entirely clear what accusations were made in these letters, but Mackenzie states that they were filled with 'insulting, polluting, and degraded trash'. (30) The banker Robert Watson was accused of the crime, (31) but it was suspected by several (including Francis Jeffrey, who introduced the Scottish Reform Bill to parliament) that the letters were penned by a jealous woman. (32) More specifically, some suspected that Catherine Hutton of Govan was the true author of the letters--an angle that the Sma' Weft ran with. In the fourth instalment of the 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae', Hutton is styled as 'Kitty Kittlefin' and portrayed as the great fraudster:
O Govan lairds have a' been wud,
And other lairds have a' been blin',
Or they would ne'er have been so fooled
By the airts of Kitty Kittlefin. (33)

Hutton was so dismayed by the sketches and poems that implicated her in the scandal that she threatened Robert Malcolm with a legal suit if he continued to publish satires of her in the 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae'. (34)

There is clearly a concern with scandals and other local issues in the 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae', including the rise of the railways and the annexation of Blythswood, (35) but reform was the defining topic of this 'club of male gossips'. (36) Indeed, once reform was achieved at a national and local level, in 1832 and 1833 respectively, the publication of the 'Noctes' ceased. It was the anti-reformers, the unreformed town council and parliament that were the primary subjects of attack in the Sma' Weft's 'satirical shafts of ridicule'. (37)

Some of the particular subjects of satire in the 'Noctes' are hard to define now--as Strang later reflected, there is nothing 'more fleeting and ephemeral than local satire'--but several of the subjects can be clearly traced. (38) The first three of the 'Noctes' focus their attack on the Glasgow Corporation, or council, which is frequently derided as 'the old lady of self-election'. Prior to municipal reform in 1835, Scottish burgh councillors were unelected: new members were simply selected by the existing council. This system of self-perpetuation was frequently described in the 'Noctes' as Glasgow's 'annual farce' and resisting it defined the Sma' Weft's mission statement: (39) 'Let the glorious ruin / Of Self-Election flow from the immortal Sma' Weft'. (40)

Unsurprisingly, several of the Sma' Weft's twenty five poems were dedicated to the topic of self-election; the second instalment of the 'Noctes' features a poem titled 'The Old Lady', which portrays the death of self-election and satirises its followers:
Acutely she feels that her end's drawing near,
Which draws from her eves the salt briny tear,
To resign her snug home to a low rabble gang
Of liberals and rascals, costs many a pang.

But what can she do? Each year is she worse!
All honest men leave her. Like a fat putrid corpse,
She is tended alone by the carrion brood,
That prey on her vitals and drink in her blood. (41)

Not only is the system of self-election mocked as a 'fat putrid corpse', but the supporters of this system are portrayed as vampires, who are themselves decaying too. The use of the word 'putrid' here, a synonym for rotten, may have been invoked to highlight the similarities between self-election and the notorious rotten burghs, helping the poet cast the town council as especially corrupt. Like several other portrayals of the 'Old Lady' and her followers in the 'Noctes', she is styled as overweight--a symbol of the town council's excessive power and greed. A similar satirical approach is found in the third instalment, where the Old Lady is brought into a police station, drunk--embodying the town council's recklessness and its plentiful supplies of champagne. These satires continue until, in the ninth instalment of the 'Noctes', one of the fictional members of the Sma' Weft club, Fozie, imagines the 'fun'ral pyre of Self-Election' where the Old Lady is thrown into a fire by a statue of King William IV which has been brought to life:
Oh what a yell of triumph was sent up
By thousands, when from King William's statue
The stern gigantic figure of Reform,
Full of the very spirit of the TIMES,
Lept down amid the mass municipal;
And bearing in his arms the wizen'd witch,
Who had been doomed to die by Eighteen men,
Who had their city's glory deep at heart,
He tossed the blotted Beldame 'midst the flames!
The blaze that followed lighted up each street
With joy, while the loud roar of exultation
Wakened me. (42)

King William IV was broadly supportive of the reform cause and was influential in helping the Prime Minister, Earl Grey, pass the Reform Bill in 1832. Because of this support for the cause, reformers frequently valourised the monarch. But we are told that William not only embodies the reform cause here but also the spirit of The Scots Times--a playful attempt to cast the The Scots Times as the truest herald of reform. William, the idealised embodiment of reform, is juxtaposed with the 'wizen'd witch', the 'beldame' of self-election, whose incineration delights the city. This trope, of burning people or institutions associated with anti-reform, was common in the period; indeed, in later 'Noctes' poems, effigies of a boroughmonger, who is opposed to increasing Glasgow's number of MPs, and the Duke of Wellington (the anti-reform leader of the Tory party) are also tossed on the fire. (43) Burning effigies of anti-reformers, in poetry and reality, was a way of signalling that a violent uprising would be at hand if the demands of the reformers were not met. While anti-reformers believed giving more power to the 'mob', by extending the franchise, would stimulate revolution, the reformers conversely stressed that withholding this power would inspire revolt.

Alongside these attacks on national leaders, there are more pointed, local satires printed in the 'orgies of the Sma' Weft'. The contributors, Glasgow's 'satirical monsters', (45) were keen to undermine particular anti-reformers, most notably William Motherwell, a poet, Tory, Orangeman and (crucially) editor of the Glasgow Courier--one of Glasgow's two prominent anti-reform newspapers, the other being the Glasgow Herald. Motherwell features in several Sma' Weft poems, including one that is devoted to him, 'The Baron o' Mearns', and another untitled poem in the penultimate 'Noctes', set to the tune of 'Willie was a Wanton Wag':
Wee Willie was a willie wag,
And ere the town o' Glasgow saw,
And thrice a week his brain did fag,
In trying to beguile us a'.


Gaunt Slav'ry fell, that child o' hell,
He swore was sanctioned by God's law,
Malign'd all those that were its foes,
And long'd to hang them ane an' a'.

Upon Reform he brought a storm,
As hard's the wee bit wight cou'd blaw,
An' ca'd its friends a set o' fiends,
Whase gizzards he wad gladly draw.

But let him rage in every page
O' the Courier, while he pen can draw,
We Glasgow Cits have still our wits,
An' "freemen stand or freeman fa'." (ll. 1-4; 21-32). (46)

This poem extends on the demeaning of Motherwell, who is earlier described as the 'little Editor' of the Glasgow Courier. (47) Not only is Motherwell cast as being on the side of Satan, in supporting slavery, but he is also portrayed as having a faltering brain, limited strength and as disloyal --happily striking blows at his friends' throats. In featuring these satirical poems, the Sma' Weft not only targetted a prominent Glaswegian anti-reformer but also rival titles, like the Glasgow Courier, to assert The Scots Times's authority as the true voice of Glasgow. The Sma' Weft's 'witty wizards of the West' are keen to not only bolster The Scots Times but also the pro-reform periodical press as a whole. (48)


Given the satirical aim of The Scots Times was set at anti-reform titles, rather than their pro-reform rivals, it is unsurprising that several of the contributors to 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae' contributed to other pro-reform periodicals, such as The Day, a comical 'Journal of Literature, Fine Arts, Fashions, etc', which began as a daily (Glasgow's first). Although reform is a common topic in this short-lived title, which ran from 2 January 1832 to 30 June 1832, it is invoked less consistently than in The Scots Times. Strang was the editor of The Day, and it featured contributions from his 'Sma' Weft' collaborator, Carrick. Strang's influence is evident throughout the journal; one article on 'The Gegg Club', clearly written by Strang, notes that the 'City of Glasgow--the mercantile metropolis of Scotland--is perhaps as unrivalled for her clubs and cold punch, as for her cotton-mills and book-muslins'. (49)

This reference to the local liqueur, Glasgow punch, is one of many in The Day; references to it are evident throughout the journal, but no more so than in a dramatic sketch that emerged in the April and May issues, titled 'Glasgow Punch', or Pulicinello. These sardonic sketches present Punch and Judy arriving in Glasgow from Italy, disheartened to discover that the citizens are already smitten with another punch--the rum-based cocktail. Mr Punch states: '[I] am told de people of Glasgow will sit and see him from five o'clock in de afternoon, till two of de clock in de morning'. (50) The sketches frequently ridicule Glaswegians for their alcoholism, as is seen here, but, in the second sketch, Mr Punch decides to win the people of Glasgow over by running for parliament and supporting the cause of reform.

This dramatic sketch appears to have inspired a rival title, Glasgow Punch (1832), which was explicitly established to undermine The Day. Glasgow Punch ran for nine issues between July and September 1832, and we are told that it reached nearly one thousand subscribers. (51) The authors of Glasgow Punch included Robert Jackson Macgeorge, an acerbic Scottish Episcopal priest who emigrated to Canada, where he published several works, including the Anglo-American Magazine (1852-1855), before returning to Scotland to become the Deacon of the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles. The poet Thomas Atkinson, known for publishing The Sextuple Alliance (1823) and The Chameleon (1831), was another prominent contributor, as was the physician Robert Macnish, author of The Philosophy of Sleep (1830)." But these were not the only authors to the periodical; we are told that a punch bowl was placed in the publisher's (Hugh Cameron) office, where contributions to the magazine could be placed. (53) Like the Sma' Weft, these contributors may also have met as a loose club--'Glasgow Punch' is explicitly styled as a 'club' in the first issue. (54) In its final issue, we are told that the journal has to suspend its run because the man who 'superintended' the title is seeking a 'southern climate' on account of his poor health. This could be a reference to Atkinson, who died in 1833 from tuberculosis, (55) but is most likely a reference to Macgeorge, the main figure behind Glasgow Punch, who was suffering from 'poor health' in this period. (56) Although we are told that Glasgow Punch will return to publication shortly, it would only be revived in the 1840s by a different team.

Glasgow Punch features various poems alongside dramatic sketches and parodic pieces of correspondence. Nearly twenty poems are present across its nine issues, along with various rhyming couplets. Although Glasgow Punch does not have a clear political mission, aiming its fire in several directions, most of the satirical pieces are targeted at the reform cause. Like the 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae', Glasgow Punch directly attacks other periodicals circulating in Glasgow, chiefly the pro-reform titles. Strang's The Day receives frequent attacks throughout, both sustained and fleeting: for instance, we are told that The Day should adopt a title more fitting to its content--'The Dull'. (57) There is also a proposal to establish a subversive rival title, 'The Night'. Strang himself is mocked too: in one of Glasgow Punch's poetic couplets, the author answers the question of whether Strang is one of the contributors to Glasgow Punch:
Is Strang to our Punch a contributor?--say!
He is--of a subject,--at least every "Day!" (59)

The poet here makes clear that Strang is not a contributor to Glasgow Punch, but he and his newspaper, The Day, are consistent subjects of its satire. Among the various other titles that receive a bruising in Glasgow Punch, The Scots Times is portrayed as putting its readers into a coma while its editor, Robert Malcolm, is mocked. (60) There is even a dramatic sketch, 'Punch's Court of Lunacy', where a representative from The Scots Times (most likely Malcolm) is put on trial and Mr Punch serves as the judge. (61) Carrick's Whistle-Binkie is also challenged, accused of plagiarism and being 'ludicrous'. (62) Besides those titles which the Sma' Weft contributors were connected to, people are praised in Glasgow Punch for not contributing to The Reformer's Gazette, (63) and there is a scathing comment on the poetry of the Glasgow Free Press, which takes the form of an advertisement: 'Wanted. A person who will undertake to read regularly the "original poetry" of the Free Press [...] N. B. Cholera Belts cheap'. (64) Although pro-reform titles receive the brunt of Glasgow Punch's axe, it would be wrong to suggest that the paper is and-reform: the contributors' main concern is the fact that so many periodicals in Glasgow are stating the same thing and supporting the same candidate. (65) Glasgow Punch does not shy away from attacking the anti-reform press either: the 'puffery' of the Glasgow Courier is mocked, for instance. (66) In short, Glasgow Punch is a title which consistently addresses the issue of reform but asserts its ambivalence, as well as its irreverence, towards the debate.

Glasgow Punch's irreverence towards reform is reflected throughout the magazine. In the second issue, it is proposed that there should be a new bill in the 'Reformed Parliament': 'a Bill to improve the science of punning in Glasgow, by granting a joint exclusive privilege therefore to Mr Barloch and the editor of Punch'. (67) Ambivalence can also be found in the poetry of Glasgow Punch. In a short poem in its second issue, titled 'The Third Reading', punning is used to distance Glasgow Punch from both the reform and anti-reform causes:
"How shall the voting stand on your discourse?"
"Voting! What mean you?"--"Why, 'tis time at last,
As it hath been thrice read to us in course,
That, like a Bill, it should at length be past." (68)

This poem references the third reading of the Reform Bill: previous attempts to get the Reform Bill through parliament had been undermined by the House of Lords, but it was successful on its third reading in June 1832. The poet here notes that the bill should be 'past'--an ambivalent statement playing on the word 'passed'. Phonetically, the poem could be said to support the passing of the bill, but the spelling of 'past' indicates that the contributor simply wants the debate to be over, and has little interest in the result.

Glasgow Punch is not especially conservative but it does feel the need to mock the preponderance of discussion on reform and, what it sees as, the widespread cult following of some key reform activists and figures. This may partly explain why Glasgow Punch was not revived, as promised, after September 1832; as the demands for reform became less dominant following the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832, its raison d'etre was compromised. Indeed, in the final instalment, Punch, the 'monarch of Whim', takes credit for the end (or at least the injury) of several of the pro-reform titles: Punch and his followers proclaim that they have 'annihilated' The Day and undermined The Reformer's Gazette and Whistle-binkie. (69)


While Glasgow Punch occasionally mocked The Scots Times, another satirical title born in 1832 styled itself in direct opposition to The Scots Times. The Ten Pounder was a weekly title, edited by Peter Brown and published in Edinburgh, which ran for sixteen issues between August and December 1832. In the foreword to the magazine, titled 'To My Readers', we are told that Brown is a 'ten pounder': 'one of those who have been called into political existence, as it were, by the GREAT MEASURE which has lately given a new character to public affairs'. (70) Following the passing of the Reform Bill in June 1832, the electoral franchise was extended to those householders who paid an annual rent of at least [pounds sterling]10, and Brown casts himself as a representative of these newly enfranchised voices. In his foreword, 'To my Readers', he takes a cautious stance, suggesting that he was once supportive of the Reform Bill but he is now set against the Whigs and encourages people to vote Tory at the upcoming general election in December 1832. He describes himself as one of the 'Conservative reformers' and calls for less angry attitudes towards anti-reformers. He also states that part of the mission of The Ten Pounder is to challenge calls for further reform. (71)

But the more we read the poems in The Ten Pounder, the more it becomes apparent that Brown's positioning (tentatively supportive of the Reform Act but anti-Whig) is largely rhetorical: many of the poetic contributions to Brown's periodical resent the passing of the Reform Bill, seeking retribution on the Edinburgh Whigs. For instance, in 'The Reforming Tailor', reform is portrayed as worsening people's condition, and the magazine's High Tory credentials are clearly evident in such poems as 'When this Old Cap was New', where nostalgia is expressed for 'French-detesting days', when Britain did not import 'French', reformist ideas. (72) Reform and the Edinburgh Whigs are even aligned to the Devil in one poem, 'The Devil and the Ladder'. In this poem the Devil, who roams with 'Whiggish sneer and legal quirk' seeks to 'agitate' and overthrow the peaceful state of the people. (73) The magazine's anti-reform position is also evident in the fact that it implores its readers to 'Forsake the [pro-reform] Times for the Ten Pounder'. (74) The Ten Pounder was opposed to Reform but it tried to appeal to 'Conservative reformers'--those who supported reform but also had conservative sympathies--to back the anti-reform Tories (like Forbes Blair in Edinburgh) at the 1832 general election.

The Ten Pounder featured twenty-three political poems, several of which Brown later anthologised in a volume of political verse, Reform Songs and Squibs (c. 1834). All of the contributions to The Ten Pounder were anonymous or pseudonymous, and (given Brown also printed the issues) it is likely that he was the main (if not sole) contributor to the magazine. Almost all of the poems focus on attacking the Edinburgh Whigs, principally James Abercromby and Francis Jeffrey, who are collectively represented as a corrupt clique of lawyers. They are commonly attacked for enjoying pensioned sinecures: Abercromby had recently accepted an exchequer pension of [pounds sterling]1,000 per annum, (75) despite only serving as the chief baron of the exchequer of Scotland for two years. This fact is referenced in several poems in The Ten Pounder, including 'The Bat and the Weazels', which is dedicated to Abercromby. The poem notes that Abercromby will happily 'swallow Canning's loaves and fishes' (Canning helped secure the exchequer position for Abercromby) and comments on his new-found confidence, now that he has 'got his place securely'. In the final stanza, Abercromby is also portrayed as disloyal, siding with the Tories and the Whigs when it pleases him. But while The Ten Pounder often focuses on these substantive topics, it also frequently strikes lower blows. In 'The Bat and the Weazels', Abercromby is portrayed as a bat and a rat, but also as a 'loud, chatt'ring Whig';
A bat, so sings old La Fontaine,
Once popp'd into a weazel's den:
This weazel hated birds, he knew,
As a loud, chatt'ring, Whig-like crew; [...]
The weasel thought his tale so pat,
He took him for a decent Rat;
And, 'stead of gulping him or so,
Gave him a crust and let him go. (76)

This focus on the untrustworthincss of Abercromby, and his hypocrisy, is similarly found in the treatment of other Whigs, including Sir John Dalrymple, 8th Earl of Stair--the successful Midlothian candidate at the 1832 General Election. In 'The Long Sword and the Feather So White', Dalrymple is presented as a poseur, as one who styles himself as a military hero, but is nothing more than a 'drivelling' sham:
Our own "gallant Member" he truly would be!
As every elector at once must agree,
With his long sword and his feather so white,
A soldier, who ne'er heard the sound of a gun,
And whose maidenly arms are as chaste as a nun--
A vet'ran who yet has his battles to win,
And whose laurels would seem to be much of a kin
To his long sword and his feather so white!
An orator too, who his eloquence shews
In drivelling stories of "pheasants and crows." (ll. 9-16; 22-25). (77)

While particular features of each Whig in and around Edinburgh were satirised, The Ten Pounder also indulges in establishing common Whig traits for ridicule--the main being their 'wearisome wordy addresses' (l. 2), which we find in both of these representations of Abercromby and Dalrymple.

But Brown's periodical did not simply attack the Whigs; The Ten Pounder also aimed its fire at the pro-reform radicals. We witness this intent in a poem titled 'Alas! For Honest Aytoun!'. Jamie Aytoun was the radical candidate for the Edinburgh seats in the 1832 General Election, who critiqued both the Tories and the Whigs during his campaign, but he withdrew his candidacy in order to ensure that the vote was not split between the pro-reform Whigs and pro-reform radicals. This poem, written after Aytoun withdrew, sardonically subverts the popular view of him as an honest candidate and highlights his hypocrisy:
We thought him once, beyond a doubt,
A true Reformer, out and out;
But now he's gone to the right-about--
Alas! for honest Aytoun!
He's fairly giv'n his friends the slip,
For the sake of a shabby sheriffship;

But the Whigs and he,
To their cost, shall see
That, though they thus combin'd may be,
Yet the people must and will be free,
In spite of them and Aytoun!


He still will tell us, to be sure,
That he hates the name of a sinecure;
But what of that?
The man's a Rat--
And one may see, though as blind as a bat,
That his own last letter contradicts him flat--
So much for Sheriff Aytoun! (ll. 13-24; 41-47). (78)

Like the depictions of the Whigs, Aytoun is also characterised as a 'rat' here --a hypocrite who cannot be trusted. While he may talk of sinecures, by effectively siding with Abercromby, The Ten Pounder concludes that Aytoun is no better than the Whigs and their sinecures.

Beyond satirising the Whigs' and Aytoun's character traits and oratory skills, what we also find in The Ten Pounder are satires of certain Whigs' bodies and their weight. In the 6 October 1832 issue of The Ten Pounder, there is an article titled 'The Piper', devoted to satirising a character called 'Bottom'. This character, we learn, is a nickname for the Piper, John Archibald Murray, a Whig who would go on to stand for the Leith burghs seat in 1834, (79) against the Tory, Mr Atchison of Drumore. Murray is characterised as a 'a sturdy, jolly-faced, full-bottomed fellow' in 'The Piper', (80) and several poems after 1832 would refer to Murray simply as 'Bottom'. One of these poems, 'Bottom's Song', which Brown published in his anthology Reform Songs and Squibs, is scathing of Murray and focuses on his weight and his supposed flatulence. In the poem, Bottom appears dejected, having been spurned by the voters he is trying to appeal to while campaigning. 'Bottom' relates his campaign strategies:
I took my pipe and played and a spring,
Quo' feckless silly Bottom;
A dull newfangled Whiggish thing,
Quo' heavy, hopeless Bottom;
1 swore that pensions were a shame,
And sinecures were sair to blame
This put the people a' in a flame--
Sic clash frae PENSION'D Bottom! (81)

Typical anti-reformist characterisations of the Whigs are present in this poem--they are pensioned, hypocritical holders of sinecures--but there is also a focus here on Murray's 'heavy' build and his derriere, not dissimilar from portrayals of 'The Old Lady of Self-Election' in 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae'. A flatulence joke is also included in the poem: the voters who Murray is trying to woo spurn him by stating: 'Fie, sirs! there's something in the wind / Whene'er we meet a Bottom!' This focus on bodies and flatulence reveals a bawdy attitude in 1830s Scottish political poetry, an attitude which complicates critical consensus on the development of satirical poetry in the 1830s, discussed in the introduction of this article. While John Bowen associates 'bums' and 'farts' with the satirical poetry of the pre-1820s 'watershed', what we find in the poetry published by Peter Brown is a continuation of that 'frank and bawdy satirical world' of the Romantics. Brown's work is far removed from the 'genially humorous comic landscape' that Bowen suggests defines post-1820s literature, and (consequently) we confront another problem with the notion that satire was heavily compromised and tamed following the 1820s. (83)


What these three differing examples from the Scottish periodical press demonstrate is that we should be deeply sceptical of attempts to claim that there was a clear 'watershed' in the development of satire and satirical poetry in the 1820s. By turning our attention away from bound volumes of poetry to the periodical press, we find that the vibrant culture of pre-1820s satire associated with Gillray, Byron and Rowlandson continued in 1830s Scotland. The political energy surrounding the Reform Bill in the 1830s not only nurtured political poetry in Scots and English but a culture of satire too. There is also fair reason to believe that this satiric culture continued beyond the first reform agitation in the 1830s; Michael Sanders has pointed to satirical elements in Chartist periodical poetry in the later 1830s and the 1840s, (84) and it is also evident in the periodical reform verse of the 1880s. Rehabilitating the periodical press as a site of literary publication helps us add nuance to, and challenge, the generalised characterisations of the development of satire that have been built on poetry volumes. The poetry columns reveal alternative understandings.

While this article's argument has been rooted in just three periodicals that embraced satire, it is crucial to stress that they are by no means the only ones. The People's Voice project highlights that satirical poems are to be found in many other periodicals, as well as broadsides. A few examples will suffice: in John Taylor's Aetherial Record (Ayr), The Loyal Reformer's Gazette (Glasgow), Blackwood's Magazine (Edinburgh) and in newspapers from the Aberdeen Herald, the Aberdeen Observer, The Glasgow Courier, The Glasgow Chronicle, The Scotsman, and The Caledonian Mercury, cutting satirical poetry is present, awaiting further examination.


(1) The Atlantic Monthly, 2.4 (1858), pp. 840-50 (p. 840).

(2) Cited in Richard D. Altick, Punch: The Lively Early History of a British Institution 1841-1851 (Columbus: Ohio University Press, 1997), p. 7.

(3) This later version of Glasgow Punch was a continuation of The Glasgow Satirist and Dramatic Critic, which began in August 1848.

(4) Glasgow Punch: The Satirist and Dramatic Critic, 10 February 1849, pp. 113-14 (p. 113).

(5) Michael Lynch, Scotland: A New History (London: Pimlico, 2007), p. 391.

(6) Gerard Carruthers, Scottish Literature (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009). Tom Leonard's pioneering anthology Radical Renfrew (Edinburgh: Polygon, 1990) was influential in directing critical attention to Scotland's politically engaged nineteenth-century poetry.

(7) John Bowen, 'Comic and Satirical', in Kate Flint (ed.), The Cambridge History of Victorian Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 265-87 (p. 265).

(8) Steven Jones, Satire and Romanticism (New York: St Martin's Press, 2000), p. 220.

(9) Gary Dver, British Satire and the Politics of Style 1789-1832 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 13.

(10) Ibid., p. 141.

(11) Brian Maidment, 'Graphic Satire, Caricature, Comic Illustration and the Radical Press, 1820-1845', in Joanne Shattock (ed.), Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 84-103 (p. 102); John Strachan, Advertising and Satirical Culture in the Romantic Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

(12) 'The Whigs' Supplication to Appollo', Aberdeen Observer, 5 October 1832, p. 3. The line '(Hiatus in M.S.)" is a jibe at the anti-reformers' poetic skills, suggesting that they are incapable of completing a stanza of verse.

(13) Joe Fisher, The Glasgow Encyclopedia (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1994), p. 72.

(14) Strang would go on to devote a whole chapter to the Sma' Weft Club in his history, Glasgow and its Clubs (London and Glasgow: Richard Griffin and Company, 1857). The chapter is titled 'Progress of Liberal Opinion in Glasgow--Sma' Weft Club', pp. 431-46.

(15) The Scots Times, 10 October 1829, p. 516.

(16) Jurgen Habermas, The Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Enquiry into a Catergory of Bourgeois Society, trans. by Thomas Burger (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011), p. 72.

(17) For applications of the Habermasian 'public sphere' to Scottish culture c. 1780-1830, see Alex Benchimol, Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflict in the Komantic Period: Scottish Whigs, English Kadicals and the Making of the British Public Sphere (London: Routledge, 2016).

(18) 'Preface', Nodes Sma' Weftianae (Glasgow: John Carfrae Malcolm, 1849), p. 1.

(19) Strang, Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 434.

(20) J. D. Carrick, 'Dissertation on Whistle-Binkies', Whistle-Binkie: A Collection of Comic and Sentimental Songs (Glasgow: David Robertson, 1832), p. 96.

(21) G. Pitt-Lewis, Commissioner Kerr: an Individuality (London: T Fisher-Unwin, 1905), pp. 1-2.

(22) Ralph M. Wardle, 'The Authorship of the "Noctes Ambrosianae"', Modern Philology, 42 (1944), 9-17; Richard D. Altick has argued that the 'Noctes Ambrosianae' and Eraser's Magazine, which Wilson edited, may well have influenced Punch: see Richard D. Altick, Punch: The Lively Youth of a British Institution 1841-1851 (Columbus: Ohio State University, c. 1997), p. 52.

(23) Variations of this poem appeared in the Glasgow Herald, the Aberdeen Observer, Peter Brown's The Pen Pounder, and it was also included in Brown's anthology, Reform Songs and Squibs--an anthology of anti-Whig poems. See, Reform Songs and Squibs (Edinburgh: Peter Brown, [c. 1834]), pp. 25-27.

(24) 'Untitled [There were times, My Lord Jeffrey]', Blackwood's Magazine, October 1852, p. 140.

(25) Rotten boroughs (or rotten burghs) were constituencies that elected a member to parliament despite having tiny electorates--the most famous, perhaps, was Old Sarum in England, which had no residents. A key aim of reformers in the early 1830s was to extinguish these rotten burghs.

(26) 'The Jacobin Bill', Blackwood's Magazine, April 1831, pp. 708-10.

(27) Robert Malcolm and J. D. Carrick, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae X', Noctes Sma' Weftianae (Glasgow: John Carfrae Malcolm, 1849), pp. 69-79 (p. 71).

(28) John Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae VIII', The Scots Times, 10 July 1850, p. 456.

(29) For more on the Kingan and Watson case, see Peter Mackenzie, Old Reminiscences of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, I (Glasgow: John Tweed, 1866), pp. 635-644; and 11 (Glasgow: John Tweed, 1866), pp. 5-59.

(30) Mackenzie, I, pp. 639-40.

(31) Watson had been blackballed from the Great Western Club of Glasgow, of which Kingan and Oswald were members.

(32) Mackenzie, II, p. 19.

(33) Allan Fullarton and Robert Malcolm, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae IV', The Scots Times, 31 October 1829, pp. 340-41 (p. 341).

(34) Mackenzie, II, p. 52.

(35) A process to annex Blythswood began in 1830, which was met with considerable local opposition. Glasgow's MP, Archibald Campbell of Blythswood, raised several objections.

(36) J. D. Carrick, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianse V', The Scots Times, 12 December 1829, pp. 388-89.

(37) John Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftiane II', The Scots Times, 10 October 1829, p. 316.

(38) Strang, Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 438.

(39) Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftiane II', The Scots Times, 10 October 1829, p. 316.

(40) John Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae I', The Scots Times, 3 October 1829, p. 308.

(41) Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae II', The Scots Times, 10 October 1829, p. 316.

(42) John Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae IX', The Scots Times, 17 July 1830, pp. 452-53 (p. 452).

(43) In the early 1830s, Glasgow, a city of two hundred thousand inhabitants, had only one Member of Parliament: this was a prominent grievance in local reform agitation. Following the passing of the Reform Bills in 1832, Glasgow was able to elect two MPs.

(44) Carrick, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae V', The Scots Times, 12 December 1829 (pp. 388-89).

(45) Robert Malcolm and J. D. Carrick, 'Noctes Sma' Weftiana X', in Noctes Sma' Weftianae (Glasgow: John Carfrae Malcolm, 1849), pp. 69 79 (p. 71).

(46) John Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae XII', Noctes Sma' Weftianae (Glasgow: John Carfrae Malcolm, 1849), pp. 89-95 (pp. 94-95).

(47) Ibid., p. 94.

(48) Strang, 'Noctes Sma' Weftianae VIII', 'The Scots 'Times, 10 July 1830, p. 436.

(49) 'The Gegg Club' was a club devoted to raillery and practical joking in Glasgow; 'The Gegg Club', The Day, 21 February 1832, p. 175-175 (p. 173).

(50) 'Glasgow Punch', The Day, 27 April 1832, pp. 401-02 (p. 401).

(51) 'The Punch Bowl. Tipple Third', Glasgow Punch, 1 September 1852, pp. 35-36 (p. 35).

(52) Glasgow Punch: The Satirist and Dramatic Critic, 10 February 1849, pp. 113-14 (p. 113),

(53) Glasgow Punch, 7 July 1832, p. 4.

(54) Glasgow Punch, 7 July 1832, p. 1.

(55) Atkinson stood as a liberal candidate in the 1832 General Fiection for the Stirling burghs. It is believed that this exhausting campaign severely weakened his health. For more information on Atkinson, see Rosemary T. Van Arsdel, 'Thomas Atkinson (1799-1833)', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; online edn, [accessed 10 August 2018].

(56) Glasgow Punch, 1 September 1852, p. 36; James John Talman, 'Robert Jackson Macgeorge,' in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, University of Toronto/Universite Laval, 2003-; online edn, [accessed 15 December 2017].

(57) Glasgow Punch, 7 July 1832, p. 4.

(58) Glasgow Punch, 4 August 1852, p. 19.

(59) 'Untitled [Is Strang to our Punch a contributor?], Glasgow Punch, p. 9.

(60) Glasgow Punch, 11 August 1832, pp. 21-22 (p. 22).

(61) 'Punch's Court of Lunacy', Glasgow Punch, 28 July 1832, pp. 12-13.

(62) Glasgow Punch, 11 August 1832, pp. 21-22 (p. 22).

(63) Glasgow Punch, 18 August 1832, pp. 25-26 (p. 26).

(64) Glasgow Punch, 14 July 1832, p. 7.

(65) Glasgow Punch, 18 August 1832, pp. 27-28.

(66) Glasgow Punch, 11 August 1832, p. 24.

(67) Glasgow Punch, 14 July 1832, p. 6. Mr Barloch is most likely a reference to John Douglas of Barloch.

(68) 'The Third Reading', Glasgow Punch, 14 July 1832, p. 6.

(69) 'The Punch Bowl. Tipple Third', Glasgow Punch, 1 September 1832, pp. 3; 36 (p. 3;).

(70) 'To My Readers', The Ten Pounder, 4 August 1832, pp. 1-7 (p. 1).

(71) Ibid., pp. 3-6.

(72) 'When This Old Cap was New', 'The Ten Pounder, 1 December 1832, pp. 97-98.

(73) 'Fables from Ancient Authors, or Old Saws with Modern Instances. No I. Gratitude. Devil and the Ladder', The Ten Pounder, 25 August 1832, pp. 31-32; reformers were also in the habit of taking the opposing position--portraying the resistance to reform as the work of the Devil. See 'The Devil's Walk', The Aetherial Record (publisher unknown, n.d.); and John Mitchell, Nick's Tour; or, The Cobbler Triumphant (Paisley: J. Motherwell, and J. Orr, 1846).

(74) Peter Pilpay, 'Fables from Ancient Authors, or Old Saws with Modern Instances. No VI. The Dog and the Shadow', The Ten Pounder, 17 September 1832, pp. 87-88.

(75) During the time of reform, the Whigs did not reform the Pension List, which was broadly believed to support many elite figures, including politicians.

(76) 'The Bat and the Weazels', The Ten Pounder, 1 September 1832, pp. 36-37.

(77) 'The Long Sword and the Feather So White', The Ten Pounder, 20 December 1832, pp. 127-28.

(78) 'Alas! For Honest Aytoun!', The Ten Pounder, 15 December 1832, pp. 113-14.

(79) The Leith burghs seat consisted of Leith, Portobello and Musselburgh.

(80) 'The Piper', The Ten Pounder, 6 October 1852, pp. 73-74 (p. 73).

(81) 'Bottom's Song', Reform Songs and Squibs, pp. 54-56.

(82) Bowen, p. 265.

(83) Ibid.

(84) Mike Sanders, The Poetry of Chartism: Aesthetics, Politics, History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 105, 136.


University of Kent

Caption: FIG. 1: Glasgow Punch (1832)

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Author:Shaw, Michael
Publication:Scottish Literary Review
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Sep 22, 2018
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