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1889.

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Nan Dodds an' me an' Mettor Jack
Wis stannin' be the preechor's back;
Says aw,
"Ye thunderin' Irish pack,
Dor ye start yor gam' i' Sangyet?'
Then, wi' me neeve, aw shuts a blaw,
An' levels Dan an' Cowley law;

Wor Jack pickt up the rantor craw,

An' tell'd not gyen Popes te jaw,

An' now the bonny gam begun ;
The Pats frev oot thor hooses run,

They poor'd be hundreds fre the "Sun,"*
Te start a war i' Sangyet.

They cam fre loosy dens wi' howls,
Like harrin'-man! they cam' i' showls,
Wi' buzzum shanks an awd bed powls-
Styens flew like shot thru Sangyet.
The pollis cam wi' thor black sticks,
But sum gat fell'd wi' greet hawf bricks,
Then rowlin' pins an' shafts o' picks
Wis browt to de the naytive's tricks.
The Paddies screem'd till a' wis bloo-
"Let's slay the Saxon haythens, Loo!
Down wid the English thaives! Hooroo !
An' we'll be kings i' Sangyet!"

They cam fre Quinn's an' Simson's teet
Fra Ford's an' hooses 'lang the Kee,
Fre Piporgyet an' Mill Entree‡

Te the horrid war i' Sangyet!

The Irish force was fairly quasht,

When on the Kee-side porters dasht;

Then tongs went up, bed powls gat smasht, An' heeds was crackt, an' windors§ crasht ;

The Sun Inn, in Sandgate, then kept by William Mason.

+ Patrick Quinn kept the Corn Market Tavern in St. Nicholas' Square; Alexander Simpson, the Lord Nelson Inn, in Sandgate; and Michael Ford the King's Arms in the same suburb.

That is, from far and near on both sides of the Tyne.

§ Though now considerd a vulgarism, windoor' is the original word signifying an opening to admit the fresh air, but capable of being shut when necessary.

Then brave keel-laddies tyeuk their turn,
Wiv smiths an' potters fre the Burn;
They cut the whiteboys docn like corn,
An' lyed them law i' Sangyet.

The sweeps now teem'd wiv sic a rush,
The Paddies fled before the brush;
Ned Fish's heroes myed a push,

An' blackt the boys i' Sangyet.

Bill Jonsin's croo an' Clark's wis there,
An' Knight's an' Lumley's pack fowt sair:
Jem Frame's boold fre the Cassel Square,
Wi' Blowor's Blacks an' mony mair.
The landlord's joined the jolly row,

Bob Carr gat help fre the "Barley Mow;"¶
Moor put his Steam Boat cheps i' tow,

An' a' wes war in Sangyet.

Nell Prood chuckt up her three-legged styeul
An' lyed it into Dermitt's skull;

An' Dorty Peg whorl'd roond her shyeul,
An' splet sum heeds i' Sangyet.

Yung Oyster Bet an' Tatey Sall

Got three greet navvies gyen the wawl;
Bet prickt them wiv a cobbler's awl;
Peg pows'd thor jaws an' myed them squall;
An' when the Pats wis fairly dyeun,
Wor Sally for the pollis run,
An' te the stayshun they were tyeun
For raisin' war i' Sangyet.
The pollis wad gyen doon, aw feer,
Ef cheps like us had not been neer :-
Man, Keeside blud's se full o' beer,

We'd fight the world for Sangyet.
Wor Jack an' me to the Manors tyeuk,
Just sixteen Pats be Scott's awn byeuk;
We seized them like a grapplin' hyeuk,
An' cyeg'd them for sum mair te lyeuk.
On Mundor morn aw fand a' sair,
When aw wis cawld afore the Mare,
An' swore 'twas a' the Rantor's prayer
That caus'd the war i' Sangyet.
To gaol the dorty trash was sent,
Wi' brockin' skulls an' fairly spent ;
They lyeukt like owt but foax content
Wi raisin’ war i’ Sangyet.

Noo when we're free aw'll say agyen,
Just let us Inglish foax alyen,

Newcassel lads can rool a "main,"

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In owther " seas or "cocks "-that's plain,
Then let's away to sum yell-hoose

An' hev a sang, an' gan on croose;
Let's proove us Keeside cheps is doose*
The conkerin’ bleyds o’ Sangyet

**

The Streets of Newcastle.

St. Nicholas' Churchyard and St. Nicholas' Square.

JUT of the dim and misty past spring vivid pictures of life in Newcastle to the stroller who, with a fair knowledge of local history, surveys the exterior of the great church of St. Nicholas. Within the sacred edifice lie the illustrious dead, all their worldly pomp and earthly honour crumb

The whole of the chimney sweepers in the town seem to have been there-Edward Fish's lads from Pandon, John Clark's from the Long Stairs, Thomas Lumley's and James Frames' from the Castle Garth, Robert Knight's from Percy Street, William Blower's from Gallowgate, &c., &c.

The Barley Mow and boarding house in the Milk Market was kept by Robert Peacock; and the Steam Boat Inn, in St. Mary's Street, was kept by R. C. Moor.

** Sober, sedate.

ling to the dust from whence they came; under the green turf surrounding it repose the lowlier townspeople, who lived their lives beneath the shadow of its massive tower, and were probably seldom out of sight of its glittering pinnacles, or far from the hearing of its melodious chime. In the heart of the city they lie unknown and unnoticed; Daily the tides of life go ebbing and flowing beside them;

Thousands of throbbing hearts, where theirs are at rest, and for ever;

Thousands of aching brains, where theirs no longer are busy;

Thousands of toiling hands, where theirs have ceased from their labours;

Thousands of weary feet, where theirs have completed their journey.

The churchyard of St. Nicholas was truly "the heart of the city." In the good old days it was the common rendezvous of the townsfolk. At its stiles the clergy distributed doles, merchants and tradespeople chaffered, crones gossipped and slandered, and love-sick lads and lasses made their assignations, and perhaps plighted their troth. Round and round its green sward paced the faithful, earning indulgences by praying for the dead reposing below. Here dying citizens who could not hope to obtain interment within the walls, expressed a desire to lie-"nigh unto the throughe within the churchyard on the south side" willed one; "under the thorn tree in St. Nicholas' churchyard" wrote another. Round about it lived men who have helped to make Newcastle famous in art and letters-Thomas Bewick, the engraver, Joseph Barber, the bookseller, Nathaniel Bayles, the eloquent sword bearer, besides printers innumerable; while in one of its corners stood for some years the great educational institution of the town, the Free Grammar School founded by Thomas Horsley. "Lightly tread, 'tis ballowed ground."

ST. NICHOLAS' CHURCH, FROM THE SOUTH, 1826.

Let us take our stand for a moment at the top of the steps leading into the churchyard from Dean Street, the place where once Nether Dean Bridge, spanning the Lort Burn from Pilgrim Street, had its western ending. On our left, in the recess, is Bewick's workshop, depicted (with a portrait and biography of its eminent occupant) in the Monthly Chronicle, vol. ii., page 15. In the opposite corner, to the right, was the Grammar School, and within the railings, at the latter point, we may read the epitaph on the table monument of Joseph Barber, recently restored by the old bookseller's great grandson and namesake-Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Lord Bishop of Durham.

Proceeding onward to the left, we see an incongruous building attached to the chancel of the church. This structure contains the lower and upper vestries of St. Nicholas' Cathedral (now called the chapter-rooms, we believe), and the room which was so long the abode of the Thomlinson Library, now incorporated with the Free Library. The building itself was erected by Mr. Walter Blackett (subsequently Sir Walter Blackett) in 1736, "for the books of the Rev. Dr. Thomlinson and other benefactors." Mr. Blackett also endowed the establishment with a rent-charge of £25 a year for a librarian, to which £5 was afterwards added by Dr. Thomlinson to buy books. The Rev. Nathaniel Clayton was the first librarian under the terms of Dr. Thomlinson's bequest. He "discharged the duties of the office with great punctuality and affability, and the library was a place of great resort for the literary gentlemen of the town." His successor, the Rev. Richard Brewster, took office in 1750, "when the library began to be neglected." In 1788 and 1789 the scandalous condition into which the institution had lapsed was brought under the attention of the Archdeacon of Northumberland, one of the trustees, by Mr. William Charnley, bookseller. Dr. Sharp, the official in question, took no notice of the letter. Mr. Charnley then wrote to the Bishop of Durham. These two letters being published, the matter was taken up with spirit in the columns of the Newcastle Advertiser, and the then librarian (the Rev. John Ellison) was roundly charged with "a total neglect of his duty for twenty years past (he had been appointed in 1756, and in 1788 the under-curate of St. Nicholas' became his deputy), and with not purchasing any books during that time with the £5 he had annually received for that special purpose." This public censure had a little effect. The place was occasionally opened from nine to twelve in the day; but as the public knew not when to go, what power to use when there, nor what books were accessible, more grumbling ensued, and Bishop Shute Barrington was solicited in 1801 to interfere. He replied courteously that he had no power in the matter. In 1803, the Rev. Joseph Wilkinson became librarian; "and, during his time, the library was, as usual, completely neglected." In 1815, Alderman Cookson drew the attention of the Corporation to the state of affairs. The

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roof did not prevent the rain from falling on the books; of the windows, hardly one was in decent repair. Public indignation was excited, and the library was partially opened, though every artifice was used to render the visits that were made as disagreeable as possible." Of the absurd rules, having undoubtedly this end in view, it may suffice to quote only one. "It is requested that every person who comes to study in this library come in a white shirt and white neckcloth!" In or about the year 1819 or 1820 "many a basketful of old books had been sold for waste paper." Again the press took up the scandal, and the situation was criticised in the Tyne Mercury and the Durham Advertiser. Tim Tunbelly also scarified the trustees in the Newcastle Magazine. Matters, however, remained in much the same state till arrangements were made in 1888 for the transfer to the Public Library of Dr. Thomlinson's books -or rather such of them as had not been lost, stolen, or sorely mutilated.

There is naught to detain us further here; we continue onwards, and at once find ourselves at Amen Corner-a suggestive name which speaks for and explains itself. The real Amen Corner, however, with Joseph Barber's shop, and all the associations that clustered around it, is gone, supplanted by towering offices named St. Nicholas' Buildings.

But memories arise in this neighbourhood of some political gatherings that ought not to be passed by altogether in silence. For instance, in September, 1835, hustings were erected in St. Nicholas' Square that Daniel O'Connell might there be presented with an address, and deliver a speech. The chair was occupied by Mr. John Fife; Mr. Charles Larkin presented the address. There was more speech-making in the evening, after a public dinner in the Music Hall, where the same chairman presided; the vice chairs were occupied by Messrs. A. L. Potter, E. Charnley, J. Rayne, H. Shield, A. Nichol, and M. Dunn. Then, in 1838, on the first day of the year, a great concourse of Chartists assembled in the square, to the number of about two thousand, and walked to the Parade Ground, where they were addressed by Messrs. Thomas Doubleday, J. P. Cobett, Feargus O'Connor, and the Rev. J. R. Stephens, the two latter, according to the local historian, indulging in "remarkably inflammatory and threatening speeches." The meeting was held "to demand the abolition of the Poor Law Amendment Bill," and there was an "anti-poor law dinner" in the evening in the Music Hall. In 1839, in July, there was much excitement in many minds owing to the arrest of Dr. Taylor at Birmingham, and Mr. George Julian Harney at Bedlington, on the charge of sedition; and on the 7th of that month a meeting to protest against the arrests was held in this square. Others were subsequently held, almost nightly, in the Forth;

pikes, said to have been made at Winlaton, and sold for eighteen pence apiece, were publicly exhibited in our streets; and a Sacred Month, to begin on the 17th August, was proclaimed, during which no work was to be done. On the 20th June, rioters from the Side attacked the windows in the Dean Street and Mosley Street houses, and those of the Union Bank in St. Nicholas' Square. It was at the end of this same month that the celebrated "Battle of the Forth" occurred; but that came off further a-field, though the square shared in the confusion, as

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to protest against the death-sentences passed on Frost, Jones, and Williams, for high treason.

The Union Bank, which was attacked by the Chartists in 1839, stood on the site of what is now Franklin's bookshop. Richardson's "Table Book" gives a sketch of the building when being demolished in August, 1843. To the same invaluable repository of local information we are indebted for another sketch-that of a picturesque old house in St. Nicholas' Square, which was pulled down in 1838.

To talk of St. Nicholas' Square without saying something of the grand old mother church would be an anachronism indeed. But a special article on this subject, printed elsewhere in the Monthly Chronicle, has been prepared by Mr. J. R. Boyle.

A Mysterious Mail Coach Robbery.

By the late James Clephan.

|TOCKTON-UPON-TEES was thrown into

an unwonted ferment of excitement on a market day in 1824. The story went abroad on Saturday, the 31st of January, that the York and Shields Mail Coach had been robbed, a few hours after midnight, of several thousand pounds. As the vehicle stood at the inn-door in the spacious High Street, and the ostlers were changing the horses for a northward stage, a banker's portmanteau was removed, by an unseen hand, from under an inside seat, and borne away in the darkness. Suspicion was on foot on the instant that the loss was discovered, and ran in various directions. One or two local arrests were made, followed by quick discharge, the innocence of the prisoners being made manifest; and while rumour and conjecture were still agog, the newspapers of the district, then few in number, scantily told the tale. The Newcastle Chronicle stated that on Saturday morning, Mr. John Dobson, clerk to Messrs. Hutchinson and Place, Tees Bank, in Stockton, took a seat in the Shields mail-coach, entrusted with parcels containing bank-notes, bills, and checks to a considerable amount, for the purpose of exchanging with the different banks at Newcastle and Sunderland. deposited his parcels under the seat, in the inside of the coach, and, during the time they were changing horses, went into the inn on some trifling errand. On his arrival at Sunderland he found the parcels had been stolen out of the coach, which was supposed to have been done at Stockton. He immediately returned to acquaint his employers; and every diligent search was made after the robber, suspicion having fallen on a person who came by the coach from York, and quitted it at Stockton.

He

This record appeared on Saturday, the 7th of February;

and on Tuesday, the 10th, the Tyne Mercury gave a somewhat more extended statement, viz. :

At an early hour on Saturday morning, the 31st ult., a leather portmanteau was stolen from the York and Shields Mail, containing bank-notes and cheques to the value of £4,970 4s. 8d., besides bills to a considerable amount, being the property of the two Stockton banks [the Tees and Commercial. It is supposed the robbery must have been effected about 3 o'clock in the morning, while the coach was changing horses at Stockton. The parcel was under the charge of Mr. John Dobson, clerk of the Tees Bank, who was absent from the mail only a very few moments after (as he supposed) the portmanteau had been safely deposited. Suspicion has attached to a person who came by the coach from York to Stockton, and there left it. He has been traced as travelling post in great haste to Leeds, and, it is conjectured, from thence to Liverpool. Another person, it has been discovered, was coming northward under suspicious circumstances the same morning, which has given rise to a belief that they were acting in concert, and that the man travelling by way of Leeds may have been intended to act merely as a decoy, to engage a pursuit in that direction.

In due time there was official announcement of the theft, with an offer of a reward of two hundred guineas for the discovery of the offender or offenders. The portmanteau was described as containing six paper parcels and a pocket book, in which were Newcastle, Shields, and Scotch notes, and cheques upon the Newcastle bankers to the amount of £4,970 4s. 8d., two memorandum books, and numerous bills, all belonging to the two Stockton banks.

The person supposed to have stolen the portmanteau had walked directly to Catterick Bridge, and taken chaise there in Leeming Lane, Boroughbridge, and from thence to Wetherby, Leeds, and probably to Liverpool. He arrived at Mr. Stott's, Boroughbridge, about one o'clock on Saturday afternoon. Had on a brown topcoat, drabcoloured or blue trousers, blue coat, white stockings, dirty shoes, as if he had walked on the road. He was in a great hurry to get forward, and asked the boy who drove him if he could not go a nearer way to Leeds than by Wetherby, and desired the boy to make all the haste he could. He slept a great part of the way in the chaise. He had a purple bag with him; and the waiter, when he put it into the chaise, felt two or three parcels in it answering to the description in the advertisement.

Below this statement of the movements of the supposed robber was a sort of postscript relating to someone suspected to have been an accomplice, viz. :—

A man more particularly answering the description in the above advertisement of the stolen portmanteau from the mail at Stockton was seen also on the High Street, near Scotch Corner, coming north, on the same day, and nearly at the same hour, as the man [who] was seen taking a chaise at Boroughbridge, and posting away, with all the appearance of hurry, for Leeds. Advice has this morning [February 5] reached Stockton that the man seen near Scotch Corner has been traced to near Greta Bridge, and has probably turned down to Barnard Castle. It is feared that these two men are confederates, and that, having met on the High Street line, one has gone north with the property in the most private manner, and the other south, posting it with fictitious alarm, and only acting as a decoy to direct his pursuers wrong.

Suspicion was astray. It was altogether wrong when it turned its eyes towards the north, and may also have been as far mistaken when it fastened upon the pedestrian with the blue bag who took a post-chaise at Boroughbridge. It led to no detection of the actual offender. The pursuit neither ran him down nor came near him. He

1889.

was quietly biding his time while the scent was at fault. The "very few moments" of absence from the coveted prize had been the convenient interval that gave it into his hands, and he was off and away the instant it was secured. Patiently he held his prey, reading the newspaper narratives of his exploit, and smiling over the offer of a reward that fell far short of his intentions. Masterly was his inactivity till the affair had blown over and taken its place among the nine days' wonders with which earth is filled. It was a time when lottery-agents were dazzling eager eyes with prizes of £20,000 to be won by small investments; and the hero of this dash in the dark had drawn a large proportion of the glittering sum from the wheel of fortune-the coach-wheel-where there were no blanks. A man of mystery, who could he be? Everybody was asking the question for a season, and nobody could answer it. Nor, to this day, has the veil ever been removed. Mr. Richmond, who chronicles the occurrence in his "Stockton Records," closes his brief note with the words:-" After a considerable time had passed over, and for certain considerations, the stolen property was restored to the Commercial Bank; but it was never known by whom the robbery had been effected."

The Commercial Bank of Stockton had been established in 1815; the year in which a coach first began to run between York and Shields, by way of Thirsk, Stockton, Sunderland, and Newcastle. The Tees Bank was opened in the year 1785; and Mr. Richmond has an entry of December, 1812, that the poet Wordsworth composed the earlier half of his poem, "The White Doe of Rylstone,', whilst on a visit to his brother-in-law, Mr. John Hutchinson, the senior proprietor, at Stockton.

Gradually the midnight mystery of 1824 faded into a dim tradition-a fireside tale of other days-a paragraph of local history for the Richmond Records. But greater fulness was given to the event when Mr. Fordyce brought out his History of Durham, in 1857; and in 1865, Mr. Henry Heavisides dedicated a page to it in his Annals of Stockton-upon-Tees. The writer, having so far proceeded in his purpose, pursues it to the end with Mr. Fordyce's second volume by his side.

Bleak and stormy was the weather on the evening of Friday, the 30th of January, when the mail-coach left York. There was only one passenger-a young commercial traveller, seated inside, and making his first journey. Another came up at Easingwold, and took an outside place. At Thirsk, the guard and coachman proposed to him that he should get inside, and have shelter from the rain. Profiting by their kindness, he changed his seat, but wrapped himself in his dreadnought-turned his back -and declined all conversation with his companion in the coach. At Stockton he alighted, and was no more seen. His journey was at an end. Another fellow-passenger, however, for the commercial traveller turned up. This was Mr. John Dobson, clerk in the Tees Bank, who on Saturday morning was going to Sunderland and New

castle with bank-notes, cheques, and bills, to the amount of some thonsands of pounds, intending to call for business on the bankers of those towns. While the ostlers were changing the horses, coachman, guard, and passengers were exchanging courtesies in the inn. Mr. Dobson, carefully guarding his charge, went to the coach, opened the door, and placed it under his seat. The door was then closed, and all was apparently safe. Seats were subsequently taken; the horn blew; "all right" was the cry; and at a touch of the whip the fresh horses bounded on their way. "All right," thought Mr. Dobson, but he was wrong. The portmanteau was gone. The silent man in the dreadnought, opening one door when the other had been closed, removed the deposit; and it and he were off in a moment. The first mistake of the night had been committed. At every turn of the wheels the town and the portmanteau were left farther and farther behind. Norton and Billingham were passed; through Wolviston went the coach; and at the Red Lion, where the horses were again changed, an old woman got a "lift" for Castle Eden. There she alighted, and the two insides were again left in exclusive possession of the conveyance. They kept it till they came to Sunderland, where the traveller took up his quarters with his luggage at the principal inn, and Mr. Dobson remained sole passenger, still unaware of his loss, But, nearing the end of his journey, he at length looked under his seat, and found only a place where the portmanteau was not. No search could restore the treasure. Coachman and guard were brought into conference without avail; and the disquieted clerk drove home by a chaise and four to tell the tale of his loss. The circumstances were all recalled and weighed. Persons on the spot might have had a finger in the theft; the man in the dreadnought and the young traveller might be accomplices; even the old woman did not escape suspicion. The Easingwold passenger was identified with the pedestrian who walked into Catterick Bridge and posted on to Leeds, where all trace of him was lost. Meanwhile the passenger from York, finding Saturday to be market-day in Sunderland, drove on to Newcastle. There, also, it was market-day; no business was to be done; so off he went to Hexham. At night he was at the house of a friend at North Shields, with whom he sojourned over Sunday. On Monday he returned to Sunderland, his Shields friend driving him over in his own carriage. From Sunderland he came back to Newcastle, where he put up at the Turk's Head. Openly riding to and fro in the district-going and returning on his road-was hardly the course of a man anxious to elude justice; but doubts haunted him nevertheless; the police were on his track; in his most innocent movements suspicion found its food; and to his great astonishment, at his inn in Newcastle, he was put under arrest! The matter came before the magistrates; inquiries were made in all quarters; the high character of the prisoner was clearly established; and he was discharged without a

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