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Title : Local militia-man

Format : chapbook ; song

Composer : unknown

Production details : publisher : J. Ross
Royal Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Date : 1846 (circa)

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Collection name : Songs of the Tyne; being a collection of popular local songs. No.8

 

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.

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. 'Songs of the Tyne' were a short series of chapbooks printed by, J. Ross of the Royal Arcade. This book forms no.8 of the 'Songs of the Tyne' series and was printed some time between 1847 and 1852. A number of the songs however, can be dated to the early nineteenth century, some such as 'The pitman's courtship' appearing as early as 1816. The 'Songs of the Tyne' series were reprinted by W.R. Walker of the Royal Arcade, sometime between 1857-66.

The book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From 'Tim Tunbelly' to 'The collier's pay', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as Henry Robson and would have been extremely popular among the local population.

 

Collection description : Popular Tyneside songs published in chapbook form.

Melody used : Madame Fig's Gala

First line:How, marrows, aw's tip ye a sang

Subject heading : war/armed forces

Keywords : soldiers & Militia & training

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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