Important acquisitions

Orcadensis to William Cobbett, M.P. on the political grievances of Orkney and Zetland.

Author Orcadensis
Title Orcadensis to William Cobbett, M.P. on the political grievances of Orkney and Zetland.
Imprint Edinburgh : John Hamilton,
Date of Publication 1833
Language English
Notes Written in the form of a letter to the radical English writer and politician William Cobbett, this very rare pamphlet makes an impassioned plea for separate representation for Orkney and Zetland (Shetland) in the UK parliament. The author, presumably an inhabitant of Orkney (Orcadensis), believes that the Scottish Reform Act of 1832, which had redefined constituencies and greatly widened the franchise in Scotland, is an "ill digested measure". Writing shortly after the recent election of 1833, Orcadensis argues that Orkney and Shetland have major economic and cultural differences, the former being agricultural in nature, the latter being commercial, with little trade or communication occurring between them. The author's arguments do not appear to have had any effect; 170 years later Orkney and Shetland remains a single constituency, its boundaries now uniquely protected by the Scotland Act of 1998. Orcadensis's choice of Cobbett as the addressee of his letter is not just a recognition of Cobbett's leading role in securing parliamentary reform in 1832, but also a conscious copying of the latters epistolary style of writing his "rural rides" - his reports of his extensive travels in southern England. In 1833, moreover, Cobbett was very much in the news in Scotland; he made his one and only visit to the country, visiting Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley and New Lanark amongst other places. After a lifetime spent denigrating Scotland and Scots, in particular what he felt was the undue influence of Scottish politicians and "feelosofers" in post-Union Great Britain, Cobbett struck a much more conciliatory tone when in the country itself, and also in his "Tour of Scotland" published that year. As for Orcadensis, he concludes his pamphlet by stating his next letter will contain a plan for "vigorous reform" of the Scottish Church, a letter which does not appear to have been published.
Shelfmark AP.2.213.04
Acquired on 25/05/12
Search for Important Acquisitions
      

 

Please let us know what you think of this resource, if you have information to add about an acquisition, or if you have rare Scottish books that you would like to donate or sell. E-mail us at rarebooks@nls.uk

Back to Important Acquisitions Introduction