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Title : North Durham election, 1874. A dialogue between Tommy Stobbs and Sally.

Format : song

Composer : Dunbar, William (b.1853? d.1874)

Production details : publisher : Stephenson and Dryden
St. Nicholas Church Yard, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Date : 1874

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Collection name : Local and other songs, recitations, and conundrums, a local tale etc.

 

The elections of 1868 gave the Liberal party a majority of 110 in the House of Commons. In the 1874 elections the party was left with a minority of 49. This unprecedented transfer of political power was witnessed throughout the country, except that is, in Durham. In the 1874 North Durham elections the Tory Party was defeated when Liberal MPs Charles Mark Palmer and Isaac Lowthian Bell were returned to Parliament. In this song a wife berates her husband for wearing a Tory rosette and a lively discussion on the best choice of candidate ensues.

This song was written by William Dunbar and printed in 1874. Dunbar began his life in the service of Gateshead painter and glazier, Mr. Romanis. After working for a short time in the service of a Felling cartwright, he spent the remainder of his life in the coal pits. He varied the monotony of the pit life by appearing at amateur concerts at which, although not much of a singer, he was always well received. Along with his talent for composing, Dunbar had a decided taste for drawing and spent much of his spare time producing water-colours and pencil sketches. During the last few years of his life he spent most of his time writing pieces for the local annuals, published by J.W. Chater of Newcastle. He won a number of medals and competitions and on his death in 1874 was fondly remembered with a number of tributes in Chater's publications.

'The North Durham election' forms part of a small song book published by Stevenson and Dryden of Newcastle. It contains over 40 pages of local songs composed by Dunbar, along with extracts from 'Chater's Diary and Local Remembrancer'. Most of the songs are given the tune to which they were intended to be sung and are classified into 'local', 'motto', or 'comic' song types. The book was published in 1874, probably on the death of William Dunbar.

 

Collection description : A printed collection of songs composed by William Dunbar.

Subject heading : political

Keywords : politics & elections & marriage

Period : 1861-1900

Place : Durham ,

Height : 18 cm

Width : 10 cm

Held by : Beamish Museum

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of Beamish Museum

 

t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East