The Parrot made its debut in the Daily Express on 30 September 1903. It appeared daily (except Sundays) until 13 November, and intermittently thereafter. The last poem, on 21 December, announced “The Parrot is dead”. The following table relates the poems to specific events, both political and non-political, during this period. Several poems (among them, nos 20-22, 25, 27) are omitted from this table because they do not appear to have been based on a specific incident; a few (eg nos 24 and 30) have had to be excluded because, though they were clearly written in response to specific news items, these have not been traced.

Date Event   Parrot poem
      No Date
  Aug 11 Under the sub-heading “Parrot Cries”, an article on the front page of the Daily Express refers to “free trade arguments which include the parrot cries of ‘Stomach tax’, the ‘Dear loaf’, and ‘Taxing the nation’s bread’”.      
  Sept 24 J M Barrie’s new play, “Little Mary”, opens at Wyndham’s Theatre. In the final act, it is revealed that the “little Mary” of the title is a euphemism for the stomach.   06 Oct 6
  Sept 28 A report on the front page of the Daily Express warns of the threat of steel dumping by US steelmakers and claims that the J Pierpoint Morgan’s Steel Trust, which had seen a dramatic fall in its share price as a result of declining demand in the US, is planning to “swamp Britain” with its products.   02 Oct 1
  French millionaire and boulevardier Jacques Lebaudy, the self-styled “Emperor of the Sahara”, begins a visit to London. The Daily Express describes him as not looking like an emperor, “more like a country librarian who has been saddened by a love affair with a music-hall programme-seller”.   15 Oct 16
  Sept 30 In a letter to the Times, J Powell Williams MP, a Chamberlain supporter, questions whether the Cobden Club’s policies are being influenced ny its numerous foreign members.   09 Oct 9
  The Daily Express reports that the October issue of Strand magazine will contain a new story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle recounting how Sherlock Holmes survived what readers had previously been led to believe was a fatal fight with Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.   18 Oct 20
  Oct 1 The Daily Express reports that the Daily Mail has begun a competition in which readers are invited to canvass votes for or against Mr Chamberlain, with a large cash prize offered to the reader who secures the most signatures.   03 Oct 2
  Prime Minister Balfour outlines his views on tariff reform before an audience of 7,000 in Sheffield. According to the following morning’s Daily Express “his eulogistic references to Mr Chamberlain” are greeted with an “almost tumultuous reception”.   04 Oct 3
  Oct 3 The Daily Express reprints an editorial from the previous day’s Daily Mail which reports a rumour that Chamberlain’s proposal “may take a shape very different from what has been anticipated” and concludes: “ . . . if this should prove to be the case . . . we may be able to withdraw the opposition we have consistently offered . . .”   05 Oct 5
  Oct 6 The Duke of Devonshire’s resignation letter and Balfour’s reply are published. Devonshire cites Balfour’s speech at Sheffield as the reason for his resignation, but Balfour maintains that there was nothing new in the speech and expresses surprise and disappointment that Devonshire has chosen to resign two weeks after the other ministers, during which time he had seemed ready to accept the Government’s policy.   07 Oct 7
  Joseph Chamberlain begins his tariff reform campaign with a speech at Glasgow.   08 Oct 8
  Oct 8 H H Asquith, a leading Liberal MP, tells a meeting of Liberals in Gloucestershire that Chamberlain’s proposals would involve a tax on food.   10 Oct 10
  Oct 9 C T Ritchie, recently resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer, warns a meeting of his constituents at Croydon that preferential treatment of Canadian imports could lead the United States to “punish” Canada by taking retaliatory action.   11 Oct 12
  Oct 13 Lord Rosebery, a former Prime Minister and Liberal party leader, speaking at Sheffield, warns that Chamberlain’s policies could lead to a trade war with the rest of the civilised world.   14 Oct 15
  Oct 14-30 Sect leader John Alexander Dowie, accompanied by 3,000 followers, begins a religious crusade to “reform” the city of New York.   28 Oct 31
  Oct 15 Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Liberal party leader, attacks Chamberlain during a speech at Bolton, Lancashire.   16 Oct 17
  Oct 17 The Times publishes a letter in which the Duke of Devonshire sets out the terms under which he would be willing to join the Unionist Free Food League, and reports that the League has accepted his terms.   17 Oct 19
  Oct 20 Chamberlain continues his tariff reform campaign with a speech at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.   19 Oct 21
  Oct 23 It is reported that Sir Guilford Molesworth, a well-known engineer, has proved by measurement that posters distributed by the Daily News misrepresent the effect of the proposed corn tax on the size of loaves.   23 Oct 26
  Oct 28 The second of two letters by the Duke of Devonshire is published in which it is implied that the Duke is having second thoughts about rejoining the Liberal party.   26 Oct 29
  Nov 4 Chamberlain continues his campaign with a speech at Bingley Hall in his Birmingham constituency.   32 Nov 5
  Nov 7 Lord Rosebery, speaking at Leicester, argues that what the country needs is not the upheaval of fiscal reform but the stability of “commercfial repose”.   36 Nov 10
  In the same speech, Rosebery quoted from a letter that had been printed in the Times on 27 October in which the writer claimed that the prices of all household goods were going up.   37 Nov 11
  Nov 11 The Daily Express offers a prize to the owner of the first parrot able to repeat the phrase, “Your food will cost you more”.   38 Nov 12
  The Express also announces that there will be a competition at which prizes will be awarded to those parrots who can most clearly enunciate the phrase.   47 Dec 16
  Winston Churchill denounces the proposed “tax on food” at a meeting of the Free Trade Union at Birmingham.   39 Nov 13
  Nov 18 The Daily Express announces that the parrot prize has been won and that 40 parrots had learnt the phrase.   40 Nov 19
  Nov 24 The Duke of Devonshire speaks at a meeting of the Unionist Free Food League in London and denounces “protection” and “preference”.   41 Nov 26
  Nov 25 Lord Rosebery addresses a meeting of south London Liberals and reiterates the claims made in his speech of 7 November about the general prosperity of the country.   42 Nov 27
  Nov 29 In a speech at Newport, South Wales, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman criticises comments made by the Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, two days earlier.   43 Dec 2
  Dec 12 The Times prints the content of a letter in which the Duke of Devonshire advises electors sympathetic to the Unionist Free Food League not to vote for Unionist candidates who support Chamberlain’s proposals.   46 Dec 14