A banner which was carried in demonstrations in 1832 demanding electoral reform.
The banner shows a ship at sea, with Scottish thistles to the left and English roses to the right. The phrase "Britain's sons shall aye be free" appears above the ship and "Free Trade to all the world" below.
There had been a strong movement favouring radical political reform in Scotland since the 1790s and the return of a Whig government in 1830 raised hopes of both working and middle class supporters. Over 80,000 people attended a demonstration on Glasgow Green in May 1831 and many more protested in 1832 when the House of Lords rejected the reform bill introduced by the Whig government. The opposition of the Lords was overcome, and there was widespread rejoicing in Glasgow when the Parliamentary Reform Act (Scotland) received the royal assent in June 1832.
The Reform Act granted Glasgow two Members of Parliament, elected by all those who occupied property in the burgh with an annual rental value of at least £10.
Reference: 42.82.419 / A.1943.70?
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
banners, Parliamentary Reform Act (Scotland), 1832, political reform, roses, sailing ships, Scottish Reform Act (1832), thistles