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Title : British justice at Newcastle Privy Court.

Format : chapbook ; song

Composer : unknown

Production details : publisher : J. Marshall
Old Flesh Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Date : 1821 (circa)

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Collection name : Newcastle songster; being a choice collection of songs, descriptive of the language and manners of the common people of Newcastle upon Tyne and the neighbourhood. Part IV.

 

Protest song about the inequality of sentences at Newcastle Court.

At the time this song was printed, the British penal code was extremely harsh and by Peel's time had become a 'sanguinary chaos'. In the late eighteenth century Parliament had dramatically increased the number of capital offences and it was said that there were more executions annually in England than in all the rest of Europe. In Newcastle until well on into the second quarter of the nineteenth century, prisoners were hanged at Morpeth, Durham and Newcastle, before a great crowd of spectators, it being usual practice at Newcastle to hand over the body afterwards to the doctors at the Surgeon's Hall for dissection.

Similar to the cheap press of today these poorly printed books and broadsides catered for popular tastes, being sold by chapmen in the country and booksellers in the town. Usually sold for no more than a penny, the production of these little books and broadsides were extremely profitable for most printers. Sold in bulk the material required little proof-reading, was widely plagiarised, and badly printed.

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 IV of the 'Songster' series and is perhaps easier to date than the preceding parts. Although it is not clear whether parts I and II of the 'Songster' were published before or after John Bell's 'Rhymes of the Northern Bards, 1812, the appearance of the 'Newcastle swineherds' proclamation' in part IV indicate the publication date to be no earlier than 1821.

The book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From 'Newcastle Noodles' to 'Famed Filly Fair', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as James Morrison and would have been extremely popular among the local population.

 

Collection description : Popular Tyneside songs published in chapbook form.

Melody used : Auld Lang Syne

First line:Come, all ye Britons who delight

Subject heading : protest & law and order

Keywords : crimes & criminals & law

Period : 1801-1840

Height : 14 cm

Width : 8 cm

Held by : Newcastle University

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of Newcastle University

 

t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East