In 1882 when the diocese of Newcastle was created, St Nicholas church became a cathedral-church and Newcastle subsequently gained the title of a city. This song was written on the consecration of Dr. Ernest Wilberforce, the first Bishop of Newcastle, consecrated on St. James' Day, 1882.
The author of this song, Richard Oliver Heslop, was born in Newcastle on 14th March, 1842. An iron merchant by trade, Heslop's literary offerings were largely concerned with Northumbrian dialect. His 'Northumberland words' appeared weekly in the Chronicle for a number of years and writing local songs seems to have been something of a hobby.
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.