1847: ‘Scum’ from the Shrewsbury Suburbs Targeted During Election Protest

A WHIG BRAWLER IN TROUBLE. – A young man of respectable exterior, named Robert Powell, was brought up on a charge of being drunk and very disorderly about the middle of the previous night.

The Ballad of Beau Brocade and other poems of the XVIIIth century ... With fifty 1892 illustrations by Hugh Thomson, Single Works

It appeared that in consequence of the fancied whig victory in the matter of the election petition, a demonstration was got up, headed by the scum of the suburbs; Powell, as a matter of course, was in raptures with the proceedings, and indulged so freely in “Pottle deep potations”  that they overcame his better part of human nature, and left a residium of horrid oaths and filthy language, which he poured out in Mardol and Pride Hill, against the objects of his wrath in those streets residing.

18th Century Pottle Pot Measure.

Policeman Hughes, after having cautioned him to no effect, took him to the cell, where he had time and leisure for reflection.

mardol map close up
Close up of area concerned. 1885 Map by Thomas Tisdale Borough Surveyor of Shrewsbury.
The language of defendant used was retailed in part before the magistrates, which Powell denied, but as the ex-mayor, (J. Leigh, Esq.) against whom part of the imprecations were directed, happened to hear them, the denial availed nothing, and he was fined 5s. accompanied with a few words of advice and remonstrance from the Mayor, which, however, seemed to have little effect.

scum Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales - Wednesday 15th December 1847
Eddowes’s Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales – Wednesday 15th December 1847


  1. This is such a fabulous piece of work. Thank you so much for sharing. Might you be interested in contributing to My Shrewsbury magazine? We would love to have you on board!

    Liked by 1 person

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