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Reform Banner | by east_lothian_museums
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Reform Banner

This banner belonged to campaigners in Musselburgh in favour of the Reform Act (Scotland). The passing of the bill in 1832 increased the (national) electorate from 4239 to 65,000. Although welcome at the time, in a few years the Act was described as 'a charter of slavery rather than enfranchisement' and campaigns continued.


This is a white banner with a maroon fringe on the three flying edges and a canvas sleeve on the remaining one. The ground is painted with an anvil, thistle and rose swags and text: MAY THE IRON FETTERS WHICH ARE RIVETED BY OPPRESSION BE KNOCKED OFF ON THE ANVIL OF LIBERTY BY THE HAMMER OF REFORM.


The Reform Act of Earl Grey's Whig administration redistributed seats geographically and increased the electorate. In Scotland, burgh seats increased from 15 to 22 and parliamentary burghs were created, which better reflected the growth of industrial towns; rural seats were correspondingly decreased.


Acquisition Number - 2001.332

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Taken on August 23, 2006