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Title : John Diggons

Format : broadsheet ; song

Composer : Stawpert, James (b.1785? d.1814)

Production details : publisher : Angus

Date : 1805 (circa)

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Collection name : A collection of local songs and poems which have appeared in print and circulated in Newcastle upon Tyne and its neighbourhood.


Song about a local man 'joining up' in the wake of Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.

During this time volunteer regiments were raised at Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, North Shields and Tynemouth. Within a few months of the declaration of war the troops at Tynemouth barracks cordoned off North Shields while the press-gangs from warships in the harbour rounded up sailors and labourers from every occupation. Broadsheets similar to this would have been distributed nationally to rally support for the war and promote anti-French feeling.

Songs about the victory at Trafalgar were particularly popular in Newcastle as Nelson's second in command during the battle was Newcastle born Lord Collingwood. Collingwood is mentioned several times in this song. A monument to Lord Collingwood was erected at Tynemouth, and still stands as a celebration of his victory.

The language used in this song would indicate that it was intended to poke fun at 'country folk'. This song is part of the John Bell Collection.


Collection description : A collection of broadsheets on various subjects, with accompanying press cuttings and manuscript notes in the hand of John Bell.

Collector : Bell, John (b.1783 d.1864)

Collection date : 1824 - 1860


Melody used : Old England's roast beef

First line : John Diggons be I from a country town

Subject heading : war/armed forces

Keywords : war & Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815 & Battle of Trafalgar, 1805 & battles

Period : 1801-1840

Subject : Nelson, Horatio, Viscount (b.1758 d. 1805) ; Subject : Collingwood, Cuthbert, 1st Baron (b.1750 d.1810)


Height : 24 cm

Width : 10 cm

Held by : Newcastle University

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of Newcastle University University


t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East