Scottish burgh

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Right of Election:

in the council

Number of Qualified Electors:



112,235 (1821); 136,294 (1831)


 James Maitland3
 Francis Jeffrey14
 William Allan2

Main Article

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, was spectacularly situated on a series of parallel igneous ridges and hollows two miles from the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, and was dominated by its castle, to the south and east of which the labyrinthine mediaeval town was clustered.1 In this period it underwent continued expansion and improvement, particularly in the Georgian New Town, north of the Nor’ Loch, where the most significant development was that of the Moray estate, north of Charlotte Square, 1823-8. The development of Waterloo Place and Calton Hill at the east end of Princes Street was completed, and the area of the Mound, between the Old Town and Princes Street, was altered and improved.2 There was little industry, beyond brewing, distilling, printing and publishing, but the city, with its flourishing university, had a vibrant intellectual life, epitomised by the Edinburgh Review, founded in 1802 by a small group of Whigs and edited with élan from 1803 by the mercurial advocate Francis Jeffrey*. Edinburgh teemed with lawyers. The port of Leith, north of Edinburgh on the Forth, was the city’s outlet to the sea. They were separate entities, but were intimately linked in this period, when the development of Leith docks became a contentious issue.3 The right of election of the Member for a thriving city of well over 100,000 people lay in the 33 men of the council. This body, as the municipal corporations commissioners noted, was ‘of a close character, although not altogether without an admixture of popular representation’. It consisted of a lord provost, 13 other bailies, three merchant councillors and two trades councillors, who were elected annually at Michaelmas by the old council. There were also 14 deacons, who in theory were elected by the 700 or so members of the incorporated trades. In practice, the trades submitted lists (‘leets’) of six names to the council, who reduced them to three, from whom the final choice was made. The council was essentially the preserve of tradesmen and some merchants, to the exclusion of lawyers and substantial property owners.4 It had fallen under the ruthless political control of Henry Dundas† in the early 1780s, and after his death in 1811 remained largely loyal to his son and successor, the 2nd Viscount Melville, a member of Lord Liverpool’s cabinet and the ministry’s Scottish manager. The interest on which Melville’s cousin William Dundas, one of the Arniston branch of the family and a sinecurist who by 1821 took about £4,500 from the public purse for doing nothing, had sat since 1812 was nominally that of the duke of Buccleuch; but the 5th duke was a minor from 1819 until 1827, and the Dundas connection was the crucial one. While the council was not entirely subservient to Melville, with the deacons in particular a potential source of disaffection, the chief focus of wider opposition to its Tory politics was the coterie of Edinburgh Whig lawyers, of whom Jeffrey, Henry Cockburn, James Wellwood Moncrieff and John Archibald Murray† were the leading spirits.5 Cockburn, who later wrote that during the French wars ‘even in private society, a Whig was viewed somewhat as a Papist was in the days of Titus Oates’, recalled that in Henry Dundas’s heyday and beyond

almost everything in the city was under the control of the town council; not merely what was properly magisterial, but most things conducive to the public economy ... It met in a low, dark, blackguard-looking room, entering from a covered passage which connected the north-west corner of the Parliament Square with the Lawnmarket ... Within this Pandemonium sat the town council, omnipotent, corrupt, impenetrable. Nothing was beyond its grasp; no variety of opinion disturbed its unanimity, for the pleasure of Dundas was the sole rule for every one of them.6

The potential for corruption was great, and there was some; but it was a combination of lavish expenditure, unfounded optimism, financial incompetence and a measure of ill luck which brought Edinburgh to bankruptcy, with debts of £402,000, in 1833.7

In 1817, an irregularity in the election to the council of James Denholm, a hatter and Melville’s ‘political agent or whipper-in’, prompted some of the burgesses, whose mouthpiece was Deacon Alexander Lawrie, to apply to the court of session to have the entire election voided, in the hope of securing a poll election by the citizens. The court found in their favour, but the council brought nullifying counter-actions. At the 1818 general election Lawrie and Deacon Anderson complained that the proceedings were void, and at the July 1819 by-election necessitated by Dundas’s appointment as keeper of sasines Lawrie refused to support him and, with two other deacons, voted for James Mansfield of Midmar.8 On 21 Feb. 1820 about 300 Scottish Whigs met to celebrate the return to Edinburgh after 50 years of Thomas, Lord Erskine†, who, like Cockburn and Jeffrey, used the occasion to advocate parliamentary reform.9 At the general election a fortnight later, Convener Gillespie protested that the proceedings were illegal, but left the chamber. The lord provost, John Manderston, nominated Dundas, and Bailie Manners seconded him. Deacons Paton and Ponton put up Mansfield again and voted for him, along with Deacon Lindsay. Three other deacons abstained, and Dundas received 25 votes.10 The legal wrangling concerning the sett apparently reached a stalemate soon afterwards, and the council paid £1,1000 in costs to the complainants. On 2 Apr. 1821 the Commons received a petition from some of the guildry and burgesses for reform of the municipal electoral process. The Whigs Lord Archibald Hamilton and James Abercromby gave details of the legal proceedings since 1817, while Dundas called for a truce.11

Petitions on a variety of issues were sent to the 1820 Parliament from Edinburgh and Leith. In May 1820 Edinburgh chamber of commerce and Company of Merchants and the merchants and ship owners of Leith petitioned the Commons for the removal of restrictions on trade; but in July some Leith merchants and ship owners petitioned for protection against foreign timber imports.12 In 1821, Edinburgh chamber of commerce and Company of Merchants, and ship owners and merchants of Leith petitioned the Commons for relaxation of the coal duties, and there was further petitioning on the timber duties.13 Leith merchants petitioned the Commons for revision of the corn laws, 20 Mar., Edinburgh candle makers for a reduction of their duties, 17 Apr., and tanners and curriers for repeal of the leather duties, 30 Apr. 1822.14 In 1823 Edinburgh and Leith West India proprietors and merchants petitioned the Commons against reduction of the duty on East Indian sugar, while an Edinburgh Associate Congregation sent up a petition for the abolition of slavery.15 There was heavy petitioning in 1824 from the merchants’ organizations and the incorporated trades for repeal of the house and window taxes.16 Edinburgh chamber of commerce, the Company of Merchants and the council petitioned the Commons for the protection of Scottish salmon fisheries, 5, 10 Mar., the inhabitants did so for the gradual abolition of slavery, 15 Mar., and mechanics and artisans petitioned for reform of the Combination Acts, 4 May 1824.17 The chamber of commerce and Company of Merchants petitioned the Commons for reduction of the duty on fire insurances in February 1825, following the devastating fires of June and November 1824, which destroyed much property in the Old Town.18 Both bodies petitioned the Commons for revision of the corn laws in April 1825, as did the merchants and incorporated trades of Leith.19 The threat to the circulation of small Scottish bank notes in early 1826 provoked a strong hostile petitioning campaign, which Dundas encouraged and endorsed.20 At a meeting of the inhabitants on the subject, chaired by the lord provost William Trotter, an attempt by one Francis Howden to intrude a resolution expressing confidence in the government failed dismally.21 The inhabitants of Edinburgh petitioned again for the abolition of slavery, 2 Mar. 1826.22

In September 1820 the women of Edinburgh and the wrights and masons of Mary’s Chapel sent addresses of support to Queen Caroline.23 A half-hearted bid by the council to ban an illumination to celebrate the abandonment of the bill of pains and penalties provoked a serious riot, 17 Nov., when the lord provost’s house was attacked and cavalry had to be called in to assist volunteer corps and the police in restoring order. The council subsequently sent an address to the king expressing support for the government and accusing the Whigs of truckling to ‘demagogues’.24 This was a response to the local Whigs’ promotion of a large public meeting in the Pantheon, 16 Dec. 1820, to petition in support of the queen and address the king for the dismissal of ministers, which Cockburn, one of the leading spirits, later described as ‘directly hostile to the existing power’ and ‘the first open and respectable assemblage that had been convened’ in Edinburgh ‘for such a purpose, for about 25 years’. The lord provost had refused the original requisition of about 100 householders who, according to Cockburn, ‘represented a considerable proportion of the wealth, and by far the greater part of the talent and public character of the city’, but the organizers went ahead, despite the council’s obstructive tactics. Moncrieff took the chair, Jeffrey and Leonard Horner moved the resolutions and called for reform, Murray condemned the government’s collusion in the Holy Alliance’s repression of liberalism in Naples and Cockburn advocated reform. A Tory amendment was brushed aside and a moderate tone maintained. The address was sent to Lord Holland for presentation to the king and the petition, its promoters boasted, got about 17,000 signatures. ‘Old Edinburgh was no more’, Cockburn later wrote: ‘A new day dawned on the official seat of Scotch intolerance’.25 A procession of Leith caulkers and carpenters were refused permission by the council to sign the Edinburgh petition, but the incorporated weavers of Leith petitioned both Houses for restoration of the queen’s name to the liturgy.26 To provide a platform and focus after their success the Whigs revived and enhanced the hitherto ‘quiet and obscure’ Fox birthday dinner in January each year. In 1821 the Tory Pitt Club also met, with the lord provost as one of its stewards. The Fox dinners not only featured speeches by the usual coterie of Scottish lawyers and some Westminster politicians, but gave what Cockburn called ‘ordinary trading citizens’ a chance to air their views on reform and other issues. The last one was held on 24 Jan. 1825. Cockburn later reckoned that they ‘did incalculable good’ and ‘animated and instructed and consolidated the Whig party with less trouble than anything else that could have been devised’.27 The burgesses’ petition for municipal reform, 2 Apr., was followed up with similar ones from the Company of Merchants, 17 Apr., and a number of the incorporated trades, 1 June 1821.28 The city was en fête for George IV’s visit in August 1822, when the duke of Hamilton’s reference in a speech at the official dinner to the ‘rights and interests of the people, under this free constitution’ ruffled some Tory feathers.29 On 12 Feb. 1823 Cockburn told Abercromby:

The Fox dinner has begun to produce its natural fruits. The citizens are determined to get up a petition for reform of the representation and if we (I mean the Whig lawyers) won’t assist them to do it well, they say they shall do it ill themselves, but done it shall be. It is so annoying, in a country not used to open political meetings, to appear like the [Henry] Hunt* of the place ... Moncrieff and I have offered to do anything, provided the cause be taken up generally by our personal friends, but not otherwise. There is to be a meeting at Jeffrey’s today where the willingness of the whole to act is to be settled ... I have no doubt ... that it will be put into a train to succeed. I wish you would tell us ... whether, for effect on the Commons, it would be better to get the petition signed merely by from three to five thousand householders, or by 15 or 17,000 persons, or to get two petitions ... The latter would probably give offence to those who were excluded from the more respectable signatures.

Cockburn published an explanatory pamphlet, Considerations submitted to the Householders of Edinburgh, and the Whigs decided to confine the meeting and petition to resident householders of £5 or more.30 A requisition for a meeting was rejected by the lord provost, but the gathering was fixed by public notice for 8 Mar. in the Caledonian Theatre (formerly the Pantheon). About 2,000 householders attended, John Craig took the chair, one Scott moved and Jeffrey seconded the resolutions and Cockburn and Moncrieff also spoke.31 When he presented the petition (as from the ‘resident householders’), 5 May,32 Abercromby detailed the ludicrous system whereby 33 men elected the representative of 120,000 people:

The far greater proportion of the property, the rank, the talent, the education and the morality of Edinburgh was excluded from any share in the election ... The inhabitants did not even know the day of election. The business was done in a close, dismal room, and terminated in a snug and select dinner party.

Dundas retorted that the petitioners sought to ‘infringe upon the chartered rights of the electors’. Hume calculated that the 7,000 signatures included most of the adult male householders of £5 or more, but opponents of reform said that genuinely strong feelings on the issue would have produced 40,000. On 26 Feb. 1824 Abercromby sought leave to introduce a bill to extend the Edinburgh parliamentary franchise to resident £5 householders. Dundas stayed silent, and the motion was only beaten by 99-75.33 On 30 Mar. 1825 the council decided to give the freedom of Edinburgh to the Whig Henry Brougham*, whom they honoured with a public dinner, chaired by Cockburn, 5 Apr., when reform, Catholic emancipation and the abolition of slavery were among the toasts. One of Melville’s friends, Sir William Arbuthnot, a former lord provost, was ‘surprised’ at this development, but did not think it indicated that the council had ‘any intention to depart from their allegiance to the present administration’, though he warned that Dundas (whose hold on the seat had been reported as tenuous a year earlier) was vulnerable to a challenge from one of its members.34 On 18 Nov. 1825 about 500 attended a public dinner in honour of Hume for his parliamentary exertions for economy, tax cuts, Catholic relief, reform and abolition.35 At the beginning of 1826 the resident £5 householders were urged to petition again for reform of the city’s franchise. In the council, 8 Feb., Deacon William Paterson failed to find a seconder for a resolution stating that signing the petition would not be construed as an act of hostility. Cockburn, whose pamphlet was reissued, told the Whig Member Thomas Kennedy that ‘our reform petition has succeeded perfectly. We have got about 7,200 signatures, being 397 above those of 1823, without a public meeting, without calling at any house, without opposition, and in a season of great mercantile depression’. The petition was presented by Abercromby, 9 Mar.36 On 13 Apr. 1826 he secured 97 votes against 122 for his renewed attempt to bring in an Edinburgh reform bill.

In 1822 there was ‘a ferment’ over the city’s police. By the existing Act ward police commissioners were elected by inhabitants paying at least £10 rent, and the power of appointing and dismissing the superintendent was vested in the functionaries, namely the president of the court of session, the lord provost and the sheriff. The commissioners charged the incumbent superintendent with fraud, but the functionaries refused to dismiss him. The council tried to carry through Parliament a bill to raise the ward electors’ qualification to £20 and to group the wards in such a way as to enable the richer ones to swamp the poorer. The popular outcry against this was encouraged by the Whigs, and Cockburn issued A Letter to the Inhabitants on the case. Dundas introduced the bill on 11 Feb. It was referred to a committee where, thanks largely to Abercromby, it was so modified as to give the popular side a victory, which made Cockburn reflect that ‘if we had ... a representation here’ Abercromby ‘would be returned for the city by acclamation’.37 In 1825 a bill to authorize the funding of new southern and western approaches to the Old Town, which divided opinion in Edinburgh, was introduced by Dundas on 21 Mar., but it foundered before the end of the session.38 More significantly, the council, anxious to get rid of the large debt incurred in the improvement of Leith docks while continuing to profit from the revenue which they provided, concocted a scheme to sell them to a joint-stock company. Dundas introduced an enabling bill on 25 Feb., but it provoked a frenzy of opposition, which proved ‘irresistible’ when it became clear that several of the councillors had shares in the company. On the report, 20 May, the measure, which Hume called ‘one of the most shameful and barefaced jobs that had ever been brought before the House’, but which Dundas defended, was thrown out by 41-15. Hume’s objection to the minority vote of the Edinburgh banker Sir John Marjoribanks, Member for Berwickshire, on the ground that he was a shareholder, was sustained, and his vote was expunged. There was great rejoicing in Leith.39 Soon afterwards Dundas and Melville, who was first lord of the admiralty, negotiated an arrangement whereby the government lent the council £240,000 at three per cent to clear the docks debt and transferred the rates and duties as security to the exchequer, in return for turning over part of the docks for naval use.40 On 3 June 1825 a bill to establish a water company to supply Edinburgh and Leith, which Marjoribanks opposed and Dundas supported, was rejected by 54-49.41

Dundas was beginning to look vulnerable, and Melville took steps to bolster his interest. In April 1825 the lord provost, Alexander Henderson, agreed, presumably at Melville’s behest, to ‘propose for his successor’ at Michaelmas Trotter, in order to ‘effectually secure the present political feeling towards the existing friends of long standing in the city’.42 In mid-May Trotter wrote to Melville of the importance of successfully managing the next council elections:

As the representation ... is a most important branch of this, and from its increasing business, magnitude and importance will require much activity, perseverance and influence in its Member, I am most anxious to know your ... views ... I imagine it is the wish of ... [William Dundas] to continue ... though I have had no direct communication with him on the subject ... Considerable doubts have gone abroad as to the probability of that event, and various names have been put in circulation. Whether this may arise from the line of policy which seems to have been adopted, particularly of late, by ... [Henderson] or from any other cause ... [you are] much better enabled to judge than I am, but ... it makes me doubly on my guard as to my council arrangements, taking it for granted that the lord provost will ... give me a principal lead in making them.43

On 3 June Melville was astounded by ‘an extraordinary communication’ made to him in a London street by Marjoribanks, who professed ‘the greatest regard for me individually’, but avowed ‘great hostility’ to Dundas on account of his active support of the water bill and stated his intention of standing at the next election. Marjoribanks notified Dundas of this by letter the following day, when Melville wrote to Trotter:

Sir John ... is very ill qualified to be the representative of ... Edinburgh ... I have no reason to believe that ... [Dundas] has any wish ... not to come forward again ... On the contrary he has distinctly stated to me that it is his intention to offer himself. I hope it is unnecessary for me to state that the representation of ... Edinburgh is a matter which I never have ... considered in the light of a family concern. My sole wish and object is that the city should be respectably and efficiently represented ... [and not by] a person whose political principles are objectionable, more especially that he should not be connected with that knot of politicians usually designated as ‘Edinburgh Whigs’, who stand much higher in the estimation of themselves than of the public at large.44

Trotter replied that he believed Marjoribanks had ‘had this step in view for many a day’, that his ‘reason for opposing’ Dundas was ‘a mere pretext’ and that he would almost certainly ‘find the ground too well occupied’:

I shall act with decision and with as much promptness as prudence warrants. You should immediately write to the lord provost, and I shall judge by his feelings when I see him in the morning whether to say I have heard direct from ... [you]. Mr. Dundas should ... write to ... every member of the council and inform the provost he has done so ... No stone will be left unturned by ... [Marjoribanks].45

Henderson summoned a council meeting, 6 June, to endorse the Leith docks loan proposal, which he assured Melville had come ‘at a very seasonable time in order to bind the council to your interest’. He revealed Marjoribanks’s ‘rash’ bid for the seat and secured a preliminary expression of hostility to it from a majority of the council. After conversations on the following two days with Trotter, who ‘strenuously enforced the necessity of steadily adhering to the line of conduct which he agreed with me’, to support Trotter’s claim to the provostship in order to prevent ‘the first stroke in the game of Sir John Marjoribanks taking effect’, he called ‘together quietly the magistrates and some of the council’ to consolidate support for Dundas. This was enhanced by the ploy of sending Dundas’s nephew, Robert Dundas of Arniston, to canvass individual members of the council; and on 11 June Trotter told Melville that ‘our political horizon here ... seems pretty unclouded’.46 The previous day Marjoribanks had been told by an Edinburgh friend that there was ‘no chance ... for any party’ as ‘the ground has been occupied at least three months’, that the defeated water bill had been very popular and that there was ‘a strong feeling of gratitude to Lord Melville for the new dock scheme’: ‘In fact, Lord Melville is considered the Member for Edinburgh’.47 Marjoribanks sent this letter to Melville, who had already rebuked him for his act of bravado, professing ‘sincere satisfaction’ at its revelation that ‘whatever may have been the views of the Whigs, your Lordship is all powerful in bringing in the Member’, claiming that he had had a genuine grievance over Dundas’s conduct on the water bill and the defeat of the original Leith docks scheme, but admitting that he had declared his intention of standing after drinking ‘not a little wine’ with the agent of the joint-stock company. Melville did relent from his initial refusal to grant Marjoribanks an interview, but insisted that there was no point in talking about the docks company, which the new deal did not in any case preclude in future.48 On 27 July Bailie William Allan of Glen declared himself a candidate for the provostship against Trotter, who advised Melville that ‘in the general bearing and tendency of the present opposition, it is undoubtedly levelled at the ultimate breaking up of our present political connections, and placing ... Edinburgh under totally different influence’.49 At the contested election of trades deacons in mid-September 1825 Henderson’s nominees had enough success to guarantee an overall majority for Trotter’s election as lord provost, and Allan withdrew.50

On 22 May 1826 Trotter laid before the council William Dundas’s letter offering to stand again at the impending general election, praised his conduct as Member, stressed ‘the many important services rendered to the city by the Melville family’ and proposed his endorsement as candidate. Paterson denounced Dundas and called for delay, as did his associate Deacon Thomas Sawers, who accused Dundas of having treated the council with contempt in a speech at a previous council election dinner. After a long debate, in which at least five bailies argued that they were ‘pledged’ to support Dundas, Bailie John Smith and Paterson persuaded the council merely to inform him that his offer had been ‘most favourably received’, while Trotter, who was satisfied with this outcome, carried by acclamation a vote of thanks for his past services.51 On 31 May, however, a deputation of the trades councillors invited Trotter to stand. He subsequently claimed to have declined ‘without hesitation’, but to have been approached again on 1 June, when he had agreed to arrange a meeting between himself, the magistrates and representatives of the deputation. At this, he later said, he again refused to start and insisted that the only honourable and feasible option was to re-elect Dundas. He told Melville, 2 June, that ‘the plan has been a favourite one with some of them for a considerable time, but has been kept very quiet’, and hoped he had done enough to ensure Dundas’s return.52 But later that day he was taken to task by Robert Dundas of Arniston, who had been alerted to the development and informed that Trotter was ‘far from having given a decided negative’. He reported to Melville:

He came into the room shaking and trembling and clearly ashamed of himself. The general tenor of the interview was that he felt most highly flattered with the offer; that, however, he was pledged to uncle William, and that the seat was in his hands (the provost’s), as there was a clear majority in his favour; that he meant to call a meeting of ‘the chairs’ that day to consult them; that he had not mentioned it to me or to [John] Hope [the solicitor-general for Scotland] or had not written to you; that he thought the best thing for our interests was to give no decided answer, as in that case the enemy would start somebody else. I answered that of course he was pledged, and that I did not believe in the alleged majority, and that if he really looked to our interest, or indeed to his own, he should meet all such proposals with a decided refusal.

Robert Dundas and Melville’s election agent analyzed the council and concluded that there were ‘20 for us, and 11 against us, and two out of town’. He identified Sawer and Paterson as the ‘focus of discord’, reckoned that six other deacons, including the ‘conceited radical’ William Purvis and the Whig John Clark, were overtly hostile, three ‘not to be depended upon’ and three ‘right’, and named only Robert Wright and Peter Forbes as definite foes among the bailies, with two doubtful.53 Melville wrote to Trotter to bring him to heel, not explicitly blaming him for these ‘extraordinary proceedings’ but warning him to keep his distance from the disaffected. He expressed to Robert Dundas the hope that ‘whatever may have been the threatened backsliding’ of Trotter ‘or the formidable weight of his vanity, when put into the scale against his honesty’, William Dundas ‘will have behaved to him as if he had spurned the offer with the utmost indignation’.54 A liberal newspaper commented that Dundas had

fallen into disrepute with a considerable portion of his constituents ... not ... owing to any difference of political principle ... but to alleged disrespectful treatment of the members of the council ... Who would have imagined that the restless spirit of this innovating age would have forced its way into the council ... and occasioned any uncertainty in the regular movements of this political machine, at a time, too, when there can be no political difference between the parties? ... The members ... are beginning to waver in their political allegiance.55

At the election, 12 June 1826, Trotter proposed Dundas. Paterson and Deacon Alexander Murray wanted him to be brought into the chamber for interrogation, but did not insist in the face of majority resistance. Paterson attacked him as a reactionary sinecurist, but did not propose a challenger. Deacon David Hay, a Whig, seconded Dundas and praised his efforts to promote the bills and loan of 1825, as did Henderson. All present except Paterson voted for Dundas, who, returning thanks, boasted of his initiatives on the improvement of the New College and Register House and his active opposition to interference with the Scottish banking system.56

The merchants and trades of Edinburgh and Leith petitioned Parliament for further relaxation of the corn laws in 1827, as did Leith ship owners for relief from their problems.57 There was intensive petitioning from both places in favour of repeal of the Test Acts (which Dundas opposed) in 1828.58 Edinburgh chamber of commerce and Company of Merchants petitioned the Commons for repeal of the duties on stamped receipts, 1, 22 Feb., the maltsters of Edinburgh petitioned for repeal of the 1827 Malt Act, 28 Mar., and professional medical organizations for the removal of restrictions on the study of anatomy, 18, 21, 22, 24 Apr., 1 May 1828.59 (At the end of the year the ‘Westport murders’ committed by the body snatchers Burke and Hare to supply cadavers for Dr. Thomas Knox came sensationally to light.) The inhabitants of Edinburgh petitioned the Commons for the abolition of slavery, 8 July 1828.60 There was petitioning both for and against Catholic emancipation (which Dundas accepted by pairing for it) in 1829, when its supporters, including Cockburn, promoted a mass meeting in response to the circulation of an anti-Catholic petition. At this non-party gathering, Jeffrey made one of his most powerful speeches. The petition was sent to Sir James Mackintosh for presentation to the Commons, which annoyed some Westminster Whigs, who construed this as a snub to Abercromby. Cockburn explained to Kennedy that as the steering committee contained a majority of Tories, including ex-lord provosts, it would have been impossible to have proposed Abercromby without provoking a successful counter-proposal to name Dundas, and that entrusting the Lords petition to Lord Haddington had been carried against a Tory preference for Melville.61 In 1830 there was petitioning against the East India Company’s trade monopoly and the increased duty on corn spirits and for mitigation of the punishment for forgery.62 In 1827, after much acrimonious local public debate, a modified improvements bill to finance the new western and southern approaches was brought in by Robert Adam Dundas, William’s nephew and Member for Ipswich, and became law on 14 June. Work began under the supervision of commissioners, but the money ran out in 1831 and it ground to a halt as the buck was passed back and forth.63

In December 1826 Robert Dundas of Arniston told Melville that he had ‘good reason’ to believe that Arbuthnot would agree, in return for a patronage favour or two, to succeed Trotter as lord provost next Michaelmas:

I do not mean to press upon you the absolute, the imperious necessity of having the town council purged ... [of] the men who are at present the leaders in it nor to advert to the fact that imbecility and violence have marked every one of their measures of late, because of this I should think you are well aware ... No further delay must be allowed in either definitively arranging with Sir William or (in the event of his decided refusal) in looking out for someone else ... The very [East India Company] writership which I regret to hear the provost has got would induce Arbuthnot to lend his hand ... to bring back the town council to the state in which they ought to be, instead of a set of wild and vacillating idiots, alternately the tools and the laughing stock of the Whig fanatics of Edinburgh.64

In January 1827, however, the lord advocate Sir William Rae* discovered that Arbuthnot was extremely reluctant to take the office and that Trotter was playing a deceitful game, using one Waugh, a bookseller, as a cat’s-paw. Rae told Melville, 25 Jan., that when he had rebuked Trotter for going behind Melville’s back,

He talked very big as to his right as chief magistrate to pursue his own line of conduct; took credit for supporting your interests after the treatment he said he had received from ... [William] Dundas last summer; denied all right on my part to interfere; and evidently insinuated that I was ... acting from my own views and not following yours. Knowing that bullying succeeds with ... [Trotter], I soon dismounted him from his high horse, and we parted on excellent terms.

Trotter was brought to heel, and at Michaelmas 1827 he was replaced by Walter Brown.65 After the formation of Canning’s ministry in April 1827, when Melville resigned with Peel and the anti-Catholic Tory ministers, Cockburn told Kennedy:

The citizens of Edinburgh, contemplating the extinction of the word Melville, and the prospect of some Whig influence, are in ecstasies. Peter Brown said, rubbing his hands, t’other day, ‘Odd sir, ou’l do fine noo. An’ Maister Eebercromby will be Member for the city! But a’ wud grudge to see him represent the toon council’.66

On a visit to Edinburgh the following month Murray ‘had the satisfaction of finding all persons of liberal opinions united in thinking that the present administration ought to be zealously supported’.67 Soon after Melville returned to office under the duke of Wellington in January 1828, Robert Dundas of Arniston, reporting an interview with Sir George Clerk, Member for Edinburghshire, where Dundas himself was considering standing at the next general election, said that Clerk had ‘expressed his hope of obtaining Edinburgh if that were vacant’; nothing came of this.68 In April 1829 the Company of Merchants, prompted by the bookseller Adam Black, carried a resolution to apply to the council to allow them to be ‘regularly represented’ on it in the same fashion as the trades were, by submitting leets for the choice of the three merchant councillors. To the surprise of no one, the council rejected the application, 9 July.69 A month earlier the lord provost, Brown, had informed Melville that in the impending Michaelmas contest for his office between the now unacceptable Trotter and Allan, he was ‘not without fear of our ultimate success’, as Trotter seemed to have the edge among the bailies. In the event Allan was elected unopposed, and at the civic feast, which Melville and Rae attended, William Dundas bragged that he had been returned for the city free of expense seven times, with ‘only two dissenting voices’, which had ‘left no trace behind’.70 At the 1830 general election Allan proposed him for re-election. Deacon Henderson asked Allan to allow himself to be nominated, but he refused, observing that the Member should be ‘a person with a powerful interest to back him, in order to promote the city interests’. Lawrie deplored the city’s being thus consigned to ‘the thraldom’ of ‘any noble family’ and cast a token protest vote for Allan.71

In August 1830 Allan chaired a public meeting, requisitioned by about 100 men, including, it was said, a score of Tories, to congratulate the French on their recent revolution; Jeffrey and Cockburn were the principal speakers.72 Jeffrey also spoke at an anti-slavery meeting, 8 Oct., when Dr. Andrew Thomson’s insistent demand for instant rather than gradual abolition created ‘confusion’ and drove Allan (who had been re-elected as lord provost) to abandon the chair. The ‘violent party’ met again and petitioned on 19 Oct., while the moderates promoted their own petition. Several more abolitionist petitions were sent to the 1830 Parliament. Edinburgh West India planters and merchants petitioned for compensation in the event of abolition, 21 Mar. 1831.73 In early November Cockburn urged Kennedy to help him to promote the formation of an Edinburgh committee to superintend a popular campaign for reform of the Scottish electoral system. On the 9th he summoned ‘fifteen of the faithful’, including Jeffrey, Murray, James Ivory, Black, James Spittal, the solicitors William Bell and David Cleghorn (who became secretary) and Dr. David Maclaggan, to a meeting to form such a body.74 In the House, 15 Nov., before he voted in the Wellington ministry’s minority on the civil list, William Dundas asserted that, contrary to Hume’s claim, the ‘general feeling’ of the people of Scotland was hostile or at best indifferent to reform. Cockburn told Kennedy that this ‘insane’ statement had ‘done much good’. A week later he reported:

The change of government has multiplied our reforming friends so rapidly, that I have found it very difficult to prevent them breaking out themselves, and taking the thing into their own hands. In order ... to keep all right, we have yielded to the necessity of having a meeting ... We might hold a dozen of them, all full, but the great thing is to avoid radicalism ... Our Member’s statement spreads like wildfire.

Allan refused the reform committee’s requisition for a public meeting, signed by 182, with Jeffrey at the head, on the ground that the Grey ministry was to take up reform, but it was fixed by advertisement for 4 Dec. An admission fee of 1s. was charged to keep out undesirables, and the committee decided that Jeffrey and Cockburn (who commented that ‘Toryism seems dead in this place’), should not attend, having been appointed respectively lord advocate and solicitor-general. James Gibson Craig of Riccarton, a solicitor, took the chair, and the principal speakers were Murray, Black, Maclaggan and Sir John Dalrymple† of Oxenfoord. Craig ‘instantly put down’ a proposal to include the secret ballot in the petition’s demands; Cockburn reckoned that the affair had ‘gone off admirably’.75 There was intensive petitioning from the trades and merchants’ organizations of Edinburgh and Leith for reform of the Scottish representative system in the following two months.76 In council, 24 Nov., Henderson submitted a resolution recommending that Dundas be asked to account for his statement and the council to declare itself on reform, but Allan deprecated premature discussion of the issue and Bailie William Blackwood and Deacon Dr. John Gairdner persuaded Henderson to withdraw the motion. On 1 Dec. Henderson reported to the council Dundas’s letter insisting that reform was not popular in Scotland, and on the 8th he and Gairdner moved resolutions welcoming the government’s espousal of the issue and endorsing the widespread support for ‘timely renovation’ and ‘moderate alteration’. Bailie John Learmonth and the convener William Marshall moved an amendment admitting that time had created some ‘blemishes’ on the otherwise ‘perfect’ constitution, but declining to act until the ministerial plan was revealed. This was carried by 21-10: the minority was made up of Trades Councillor Chambers and Deacons Henderson, James Dow, Gairdner, Hogg, Lawrie, Macmillan, David Smith, Steven and John Stevenson.77 Edinburgh Company of Merchants petitioned the Commons for repeal of the assessed taxes, 18 Feb., the carpenters and ship owners of Leith petitioned against the proposed alteration of the timber duties, 16 Mar., and Leith steamboat proprietors petitioned against the planned levy on passengers, 19 Mar., 14 Apr. 1831.78 In the first week of February a meeting of advocates, solicitors, shopkeepers, self-styled ‘friends of radical reform’, formed the Edinburgh Political Union, on the Birmingham model.79 After the ministry’s reform scheme was unveiled on 1 Mar., the reform committee called a public meeting to approve it for the 9th. Abercromby, who was in Edinburgh, reported to ministers that ‘the Tories here are furious’ and ‘the people enchanted’, and that ‘the radicals’ were ‘all satisfied’ and would attend the Whig-sponsored meeting. It resolved not to petition because time was too short, but the reform committee subsequently set one on foot, which secured thousands of signatures. Many favourable petitioning meetings of the trades and merchants’ bodies of Edinburgh and Leith took place.80 A small group of Edinburgh residents, including Sir David Milne of Milne Graden, Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, Trotter, Robert Dundas of Arniston, Sir Archibald Campbell of Succoth and Sir Alexander Muir Mackenzie of Delvine petitioned the Lords against the ‘rash and dangerous’ scheme, 21 Mar.81 An attempt by Henderson and Macmillan to get the council to approve it, 9 Mar., was rejected by 21-6; but a resolution of Gairdner and Stevenson expressing the council’s willingness to sacrifice its chartered privileges was thrown out by only 17-13 in favour of Learmonth and Bailie Dean’s amendment condemning the reform plan as immoderate and unconstitutional.82 Illuminations in Edinburgh and Leith to celebrate the successful second reading of the English reform bill, 28 Mar. 1831, when the magistrates again dithered over what action to take, were marred by some outbreaks of disorder and window smashing.83

By early April 1831 it seemed clear to Cockburn that William Dundas, who had paired against the bill, would not stand at the next election, and on the 5th Allan told the council as much. He laid Dundas’s formal confirmation of this before the council on 13 Apr. In his room Robert Adam Dundas offered as an opponent of the ministerial scheme.84 When Parliament was dissolved a week later Jeffrey, who had recently been returned for Malton by Lord Milton* after being unseated from Perth Burghs on petition, stood as a reformer, but he rated his chance so low that he asked and got Milton to bring him in again for Malton.85 A number of meetings were held to endorse Jeffrey, including one of the convenery of trades, 29 Apr., when Henderson and Gairdner’s resolution to that effect was carried by 11-4. More impressive was a large public meeting next day, when a petition to the council asking them to support Jeffrey was carried; it acquired over 17,000 signatures in two days. To a nervous tradesman resident, all this looked ‘very like intimidation, particularly as it is also reported that many of the constables mean to lay down their batons if Jeffrey is not elected’.86 At the election, when a large crowd assembled outside the council chamber, the several petitions for Jeffrey were presented. Allan nominated Dundas, stressing his family’s intimate connection with and beneficial services to the city, and Learmonth seconded. Chambers and Gairdner sponsored Jeffrey. Bailies James Anderson and Merchant Councillor Neill nominated Allan as a ‘moderate reformer’, but he warned that any vote for himself would be wasted. After some debate, Henderson persuaded the council to allow the candidates to address them before the vote. Jeffrey (to the dismay of Cockburn and other Whigs) said that the Scottish reform bill might yet be modified in its details, but Dundas declined to utter. The council divided 17-14 in favour of Dundas, and Anderson and Neill persisted in voting for Allan. Jeffrey’s supporters were largely the men who had voted for Gairdner’s reform resolution of 9 Mar., with the addition of Bailie Ross and Merchant Councillor Haig, who had then voted the other way, and of Chambers, an absentee on that occasion. Convener Marshall deserted to the anti-reformers.87 Deacon Mackintosh was subsequently expelled from the united corporations of Mary Chapel for voting for Dundas.88 When the election ended at about four o’clock Allan foolishly walked ‘down the middle of the High Street unguarded, through a great crowd of angry and disgusted people’. He was ‘hustled and abused’ and only saved himself from being thrown off the North Bridge by grabbing hold of one of his assailants and threatening to take him down with him. He took refuge in a shop, but rioting continued sporadically until midnight. One observer wrote to Buccleuch from George Street:

The streets are covered with blackguards of all descriptions, and not less than 3,000 passed within the last half hour, dragging a hackney coach, with half-a-dozen of the lowest rabble sitting in the top, hallooing and shouting ... What a contrast, all the respectability, wealth and intelligence of Edinburgh engaged on the streets as constables or yeomen to preserve the town from outrage, and the lowest rabble actively engaged to perpetrate the enormity, and yet we are told, the latter express the public feeling.

The streets were eventually cleared by dragoons and infantry. The Whig leaders strove to keep the situation within bounds, and the general feeling was that things could have been far worse.89

Corn merchants and factors of Leith petitioned the Commons to prohibit the use of molasses in brewing and distilling, 17 Aug. 1831.90 There was intensive petitioning of the Lords to accept the English reform bill in September and early October. An orderly meeting of the ‘working classes’ in King’s Park, near Holyrood House, chaired by the printer William Lind, was attended by over 2,000 people.91 When news arrived on 10 Oct. of the peers’ rejection of the bill, ‘some idle boys’ went on the rampage, but the general mood was calm and determined. The reform committee called a public meeting for the 14th to address the king and the ministry in support of reform. Dalrymple chaired it and the advocate William Gibson Craig† was among the speakers. The Company of Merchants, the chamber of commerce, the incorporated trades and the Political Union met for the same purpose, and there were a number of public and private meetings in Leith.92 In early November the leaders of the Union invited Murray to become its president, having modified their original radical reform programme in favour of a campaign to ‘carry the late bill or one equally effective and to support ministers and preserve the peace’. Murray and Cockburn saw some merit in the idea, but on balance were dubious. They sought guidance from ministers, who evidently advised against Murray’s acceptance.93 Some prominent Tories held an anti-reform meeting, 28 Nov. 1831, when a crowd of lower class reformers tried to gatecrash but were repelled. Cockburn told Kennedy that the meeting was

considered by its getters-up as an assembly of Gods. By those who were excluded, it is railed at as a packed hole-and-corner affair. The truth is that it was neither, but a very well managed, commonplace meeting; fatal to the old system, by what it admitted; and by far the most conclusive of the decay of Toryism of anything that has lately happened here; for it demonstrated that even Toryism, with its utmost efforts, and in Edinburgh, could not produce one half of the middle ranks, nor half of half, or anything, of the lower.94

In the first week of March 1832 Cockburn told Kennedy that ‘we have just detected a scheme of the Tories here to get up what they call a public meeting to petition against the creation’ of peers to carry reform, but nothing came of this ‘insane’ plan.95 The reform committee promoted a public meeting in King’s Park, 24 Apr., to petition the Lords in favour of reform. There was a procession of the trades before and after, and at least 20,000 people were reckoned to have attended. Murray took the chair, and committee members on the platform included Dalrymple, Sir David Baird of Newbyth, Sir Robert Keith Dick of Prestonfield, Sir Thomas Dick Lauder of Fountain Hall, James Gibson Craig, Sir David Kinloch of Gilmerton and Sir Alexander Maitland Gibson. Cockburn noted that ‘all sorts of reformers sunk their differences in the common object’ and ‘there was no intemperance of sentiment or language’.96 When news came of the ministry’s resignation, 11 May, the Whig reformers called another public meeting in King’s Park for the 15th, ignoring a clamour of 400 ‘furious and disappointed people’ for immediate action. The meeting, chaired by Lauder, attracted at least 25,000 and carried resolutions in favour of restraint and moderation and the return only of pledged reformers in the event of a dissolution, and a petition to the Commons to withhold supplies until reform was secured, which received 38,000 signatures in a short time. Several similar smaller scale meeting were held in Edinburgh and Leith.97 The presence of some placards depicting ‘the king without his head’ prompted Robert Adam Dundas to complain in the House, 23 May, that Dalrymple, commanding officer of the 92nd Foot, had turned a blind eye to this ‘most treasonable emblem’. The reform committee issued a statement flatly denying all Dundas’s allegations.98 The king subsequently tried to have Dalrymple dismissed from the army, but Sir John ‘completely vindicated himself’.99 The ministers and elders of the presbytery of Edinburgh petitioned the Commons against the government’s Irish education scheme, 23 May. At a public meeting, 14 May, Dalrymple, Lauder, Gibson Craig and Maitland Gibson carried a petition in its favour against a cleric’s amendment.100 The enactment of reform was celebrated with a mass procession of the trades to the Meadows, 10 Aug. 1832.

The Scottish reform legislation gave Edinburgh two Members and a registered electorate of 6,048. At the general election of 1832 Jeffrey and Abercromby were returned well ahead of the Conservative banker Forbes Blair.101 Leith was grouped with Musselburgh and Portobello to create a new constituency with 1,640 registered electors, returning one Member. In 1832, Murray beat the Conservative William Aitchison by 137 votes in a poll of 1,135. No Conservative was returned for either constituency until 1895 in Edinburgh South.102

Author: David R. Fisher


  • 1. Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1895), ii. 467-524.
  • 2. See A.J. Youngson, The Making of Classical Edinburgh, 133-258.
  • 3. Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, iv. 480, 485-7.
  • 4. PP (1835), xxix. 285-9; D. Daiches, Edinburgh, 185, 186.
  • 5. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 597-9; Youngson, 47-50.
  • 6. Cockburn Mems. 82, 86-88.
  • 7. Youngson, 47, 48, 262-5; PP (1835), xxix. 290.
  • 8. Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xiv (1925), 179; The Times, 3 Aug. 1819.
  • 9. Cockburn Mems. 346; Caledonian Mercury, 26 Feb. 1820.
  • 10. Caledonian Mercury, 9 Mar. 1820.
  • 11. A. Heron, Company of Merchants of Edinburgh, 166-72; The Times, 3 Apr. 1821; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xiv. 179.
  • 12. CJ, lxxv. 164, 170, 295, 384; Caledonian Mercury, 27 Apr. 1820; Heron, 159.
  • 13. CJ, lxxvi. 39, 71, 108, 158, 179, 240.
  • 14. Ibid. lxxvii. 121, 177, 218.
  • 15. Ibid. lxxviii. 225, 434.
  • 16. Ibid. lxxix. 138, 162, 298, 348.
  • 17. Ibid. 125, 143, 161, 319.
  • 18. Ibid. lxxx. 16, 123; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxix (1956), 151, 155.
  • 19. CJ, lxxx. 343, 351; Caledonian Mercury, 28 Apr. 1825.
  • 20. Cockburn Mems. 405; Caledonian Mercury, 18, 23, 25 Feb.; CJ, lxxxi. 86, 101, 111, 165, 181, 188; LJ, lviii. 57, 61, 67, 71, 72, 102, 107, 119, 124.
  • 21. Caledonian Mercury, 4 Mar. 1826.
  • 22. CJ, lxxxi. 120.
  • 23. The Times, 14, 21 Sept. 1820.
  • 24. Caledonian Mercury, 18 Nov., 18 Dec. 1820.
  • 25. Cockburn Mems. 353-5; Cockburn, Jeffrey, i. 261; Caledonian Mercury, 18 Dec.; Add. 51831, J. Gibson to Holland, 17 Dec. 1820; The Times, 3 Jan. 1821; CJ, lxxvi. 22.
  • 26. Caledonian Mercury, 21 Dec. 1820; CJ, lxxvi. 15; LJ, liv. 14.
  • 27. Cockburn Mems. 356, 397-8; Caledonian Mercury, 4, 13 Jan. 1821, 26 Jan. 1822, 16 Jan. 1823, 28 Jan. 1824, 27 Jan. 1825.
  • 28. CJ, lxxvi. 273, 406.
  • 29. Caledonian Mercury, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, 31 Aug. 1822.
  • 30. NLS mss 24749, f. 28; 24770, f. 4.
  • 31. Caledonian Mercury, 10 Mar.; The Times, 15 Mar. 1823.
  • 32. CJ, lxxviii. 286.
  • 33. Northants. RO, Agar Ellis diary, 26 Feb. [1824].
  • 34. Caledonian Mercury, 31 Mar., 7 Apr. 1825; NAS GD51/1/198/16/41; Harewood mss, Canning to wife, 12 Apr. 1824.
  • 35. Caledonian Mercury, 19 Nov. 1825.
  • 36. Ibid. 2, 30 Jan., 9, 11, 13 Feb. 1826; Cockburn Letters, 136, 137; CJ, lxxxi. 145.
  • 37. Cockburn Mems. 5-7; Cockburn Letters, 44, 62; CJ, lxxvii. 6, 15, 254, 367; The Times, 9 Mar. 1822.
  • 38. Cockburn Mems. 399, 400; CJ, lxxviii. 47, 231, 261, 363.
  • 39. Cockburn Mems. 400, 401; CJ, lxxviii. 11, 16, 126, 156, 166, 184, 191, 199, 215, 225, 301, 319, 328, 337, 399, 405, 443; Caledonian Mercury, 11, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 May; The Times, 21 May 1825; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxix. 151, 157, 162.
  • 40. Youngson, 260; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxix. 162; Caledonian Mercury, 4 July 1825.
  • 41. CJ, lxxviii. 486.
  • 42. NAS GD51/5/137.
  • 43. NLS mss 2, f. 71.
  • 44. NLS mss 2, f. 75; NAS GD51/1/198/16/42, 43.
  • 45. NLS mss 2, f. 79.
  • 46. NLS mss 2, ff. 81, 83, 87, 91; Caledonian Mercury, 16 June 1825.
  • 47. NLS mss 2, f. 89.
  • 48. NLS mss 2, ff. 93, 95, 97.
  • 49. NAS GD51/5/139/1, 3; 5/141, 142; Castle Howard mss, Abercromby to Morpeth, 20 Aug. 1825.
  • 50. Caledonian Mercury, 19, 29 Sept., 6 Oct. 1825.
  • 51. Caledonian Mercury, 18, 25 May 1826; NAS GD51/1/198/16/44.
  • 52. NAS GD51/1/198/16/45.
  • 53. Arniston Mems. 326-9.
  • 54. NAS GD51/1/198/16/48; Arniston Mems. 329.
  • 55. Caledonian Mercury, 8 June 1826.
  • 56. Ibid. 15 June; The Times, 17 June 1826.
  • 57. CJ, lxxxii. 230, 245, 413; LJ, lix. 57, 124, 132.
  • 58. CJ, lxxxiii. 170, 185, 189, 193, 197, 205, 210, 216, 220, 231; LJ, lx. 125, 133, 134, 138, 145, 153, 154; Cockburn Mems. 420; Cockburn Letters, 193.
  • 59. CJ, lxxxiii. 10, 96, 209, 246, 254, 259, 264, 293, 356.
  • 60. Ibid. 512.
  • 61. Ibid. lxxxiv. 20, 147, 148, 154, 182; LJ, lxi. 19, 196, 208, 210, 234, 235, 256, 258, 290, 301, 331, 345, 366; Cockburn Letters, 207-14; Cockburn Mems. 427; Caledonian Mercury, 12, 14, 16 Mar. 1829.
  • 62. CJ, lxxxv. 93, 111, 359, 410, 416, 463; LJ, lxii. 217, 280, 324; Caledonian Mercury, 22 Apr. 1830.
  • 63. NLS mss 24749, f. 32; Youngson, 180-2; Cockburn Letters, 150, 328, 330-1; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxix. 174, 175; xxx (1959), 151, 152, 155-7.
  • 64. NAS GD51/5/150.
  • 65. NLS mss 11, ff. 165, 173; Caledonian Mercury, 2 Oct. 1827.
  • 66. Cockburn Letters, 156.
  • 67. Lansdowne mss, Murray to Lansdowne, 30 May 1827.
  • 68. NLS mss 2, f. 119.
  • 69. Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxx. 143; Heron, 190.
  • 70. NLS mss 2, f. 139; Caledonian Mercury, 8 Oct. 1829.
  • 71. Caledonian Mercury, 8, 19 July, 5, 7 Aug. 1830.
  • 72. Cockburn Mems. 435, 436.
  • 73. Ibid. 436, 437; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxx. 149; NAS GD223/6/662; CJ, lxxxvi. 163, 175, 209, 408, 417, 455; LJ, lxiii. 82, 84, 164, 176, 177.
  • 74. Cockburn Letters, 247-9.
  • 75. Ibid. 270, 271, 275; Caledonian Mercury, 6 Dec. 1830.
  • 76. CJ, lxxxvi. 156, 169, 188, 195, 211, 230, 255, 310, 324, 330; LJ, lxiii. 187, 239, 264, 289; Caledonian Mercury, 2, 4, 18, 23 Dec. 1830.
  • 77. Caledonian Mercury, 25, 27 Nov., 2, 9 Dec. 1830.
  • 78. CJ, lxxxvi. 175, 269, 388, 408, 487.
  • 79. Caledonian Mercury, 10 Feb. 1831.
  • 80. Ibid. 5, 7,12, 17, 19, 21, 24 Mar. 1831; Cockburn Letters, 299, 300, 302; CJ, lxxxvi. 367, 371, 405, 406, 415, 416, 423, 507; LJ, lxiii. 315, 337, 345.
  • 81. Caledonian Mercury, 17 Mar.; The Times, 11 Apr. 1831; LJ, lxiii. 350.
  • 82. Caledonian Mercury, 10 Mar. 1831.
  • 83. Ibid. 31 Mar. 1831.
  • 84. Cockburn Letters, 305, 312; Caledonian Mercury, 6, 14 Apr. 1831.
  • 85. Cockburn Jnl. i. 6; Fitzwilliam mss, Jeffrey to Milton [22 Apr. 1831].
  • 86. Cockburn Jnl. i. 9, 10, 13, 14; Caledonian Mercury, 30 Apr., 2 May 1831; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxx. 153, 154.
  • 87. Caledonian Mercury, 5 May; Cockburn Jnl,. i. 14; NAS GD205/45/15/3; Brougham mss, Abercromby to Brougham, 12 May 1831.
  • 88. Caledonian Mercury, 12 May 1831.
  • 89. Cockburn Jnl. i. 14, 15; Bk. of Old Edinburgh Club, xxx. 154; Caledonian Mercury, 5 May 1831; Arniston Mems. 351; NAS GD224/510/17/13.
  • 90. CJ, lxxxvi. 762.
  • 91. Caledonian Mercury, 22, 24, 29 Sept. 1831; LJ, lxiii. 1019, 1023, 1037, 1045, 1047, 1048, 1051.
  • 92. Cockburn Jnl. i. 24-25; Caledonian Mercury, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22 Oct.; The Times, 15 Oct. 1831.
  • 93. Add. 51644, Murray to Holland, 8 Nov. 1831; Cockburn Letters, 353, 354.
  • 94. Cockburn Jnl. i. 26; Cockburn Letters, 356, 357.
  • 95. Cockburn Letters, 391.
  • 96. Caledonian Mercury, 19, 26 Apr. 1832; Cockburn Jnl. i. 27, 28; Cockburn Letters, 403.
  • 97. Cockburn Jnl. i. 29, 31; Cockburn Letters, 406-8; Caledonian Mercury, 14, 17, 24 May; Add. 51593, J.H. Dalrymple to Holland [11], 16 May; 51644, Murray to same [15 May 1832]; CJ, lxxxvii. 326, 332, 364, 488.
  • 98. Caledonian Mercury, 31 May 1832; Arniston Mems. 352, 353.
  • 99. Add. 51575, Abercromby to Holland, 28 May [9, 16 June]; 51644, Murray to same, 5, 12 June 1832; Holland House Diaries, 189, 191, 192.
  • 100. Caledonian Mercury, 28 Apr., 17 May; CJ, lxxxvii. 333, 424; Derby mss 920 Der (14) 130/1, Dalrymple to Smith Stanley, 24 Apr., 9, 18 May; 130/2, Rev. J. Pillans to same, 4, 9 May, 1 June 1832.
  • 101. Cockburn Jnl. i. 40-42; Cockburn Letters, 436, 437; Caledonian Mercury, 17, 20 Dec. 1832.
  • 102. Scottish Electoral Politics, 56, 153, 225, 226, 228, 230-3, 241, 243, 245, 262, 263, 269, 271, 276.