This song was issued both as a broadsheet and then later as part of a published collection. Collectors like Joseph Crawhall have made these Newcastle angling songs an important part of the history of traditional music in the region. Although the fishing songs were printed for mass distribution, they were generally not written in the vernacular, tending to retain a more poetical style.
Although the song is simply signed Rt. Roxby, it was possibly the joint production of Robert Roxby and Thomas Doubleday. Roxby and Doubleday were responsible for a large number of the northern angling songs, their partnership lasting for many years. Robert Roxby was born at Needless Hall and spent most of his life as a clerk to Sir W. Loraine and later to Matthew Ridley. Thomas Doubleday was a poet, politician, and merchant and was a prominent figure in the Reform Bill and early Chartist agitation days. He died at Gosforth aged 81 on December 18th, 1870.
The songs forms part of a collection held by Newcastle City Library. The collection comprises much of the original material collected by Thomas Allan for the publication of 'Allan's Tyneside songs'. From original Ned Corvan manuscripts to photographs of Joe Wilson, and correspondence from local figures such as Joseph Cowen, the collection provides a genuinely fascinating glimpse of some of the region's best known composers. The material dates from 1860 to 1890, spanning the dates of the various publications of the book in 1862, 1863, 1864, 1872, 1873 and 1891.