Song about the volunteer force's movements under the 'Cornell'. Contains references to the militia at Throckley and Newburn.
The Militia was originally a force intended for home defence and was much older than the regular army. Men were both enlisted and volunteered into the Militia. Men could be selected by local ballot, and if chosen were obliged to serve in the regiment. However, most of the Militia came from the dregs of society. The most common reason for enlisting was unemployment and the soldiers were renowned for their drinking. The Militia were called on a number of occasions in Newcastle, usually during strikes or protest meetings.
Newcastle was the second largest producer of chapbooks in the country at the time of this book's publication. 'The Newcastle Songster' was printed by J. Marshall, one of the most prominent chapbook printers in Newcastle during the early nineteenth century. This book forms part III of the 'Songster' series and is perhaps easier to date than parts I and II. Although it is not clear whether preceding parts of the 'Songster' were published before or after John Bell's 'Rhymes of the Northern Bards, 1812, the appearance of songs such as 'XYZ' in part III indicate the publication date to be no earlier than 1814.
The book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From 'The Skipper's Wedding' to 'Newcastle Fair', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as John Selkirk and would have been extremely popular among the local population.