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COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Tea set illustrating George Kinloch’s election victory sold at discount

A tea set depicting Dundee radical George Kinloch.
A tea set depicting Dundee radical George Kinloch.

With the Courier HQ at the north end, one of DC Thomson’s original offices at the south, and its former printing presses and editorial offices in Bank Street mid-way between the two, Dundee’s Reform Street has been on my internal Sat Nav for four decades now.

Reform Street was named after the 1832 Reform Act, which took George Kinloch to Westminster as Dundee’s first-ever Member of Parliament.

Kinloch had been outlawed after leading a mob of 10,000 on Magdalen Green protesting against the Peterloo massacre of 1819. His speech on Parliamentary reform was reported in full.

Fleeing

With the near certainty of being arrested and sentenced for sedition, he fled to France. After the necessary political upheaval his sentence was rescinded and he was despatched to Parliament with popular support.

Kinloch was thus elevated to local stardom and he is remembered today not only by a fine statue outside the McManus Galleries and Dundee streets named in his honour – but on Great Reform Bill commemorative ceramics.

Illustrated is a pearlware teabowl and saucer, c1832, printed in black with a named transfer-printed portrait above an inscription detailing Kinloch’s flight from the country and subsequent election victory for Dundee.

Mortgage Place

Estimated at £100 to £150 at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury, it was knocked down for £90, possibly reflecting its slight restoration.

Incidentally, many radicals were disillusioned at the restrictive nature of the Reform Act, which allowed only one in seven adult males to vote.

Consequently, not everybody was happy with the name of Dundee’s new street. Some councillors proposed to call it Mortgage Place – in allusion to the money borrowed to pay for it!

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