Tuesday, 11 September 2012

11th September 1812: Song by Charles Milnes "You Heroes of England", Halifax

Charles Milnes, "You Heroes of England", Halifax

You Heroes of England who wish to have a trade
Be true to each other and be not afraid
Tho' the Bayonet is fixed they can do no good
As long as we keep up the Rules of General Ludd

As we have begun we are like to proceed
Till from all those Tvrants we do get freed
For this heavy yoke no longer can we bear
And those who have not felt it ought to have a share.

And then they can feel for anothers woe
For he that never knew sorrow, sorrow doth not know
But there is Cartwright and Atkinson also
And to shew them justice sorrow they shall know.

Though he does boast of the deeds he has done
Yet out of our presence like a Thief he Does run
It is the Laws of England to stand in our defence
If he comes in our presence him we’ll recompence.

On Friday 11th September 1812, a West Riding Special Constable, Joseph Taylor, was working undercover as a spy in Halifax, and was handed the lyrics to a song written by a man called Charles Milnes. Taylor was trying to gain the confidence of Milnes and another man, William Blakeborough, who he knew had stolen lead around the town, for use in casting bullets.

This is from TS 11.813.2673, and is covered in Binfield (2004, pp.229-230)

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