The History of Lincoln Waites

King, Liberty, Laws

A New SONG, to the Tune of "HEARTS OF OAK". Sung at the Rein-Deer Inn, City of LINCOLN. (Curtois 1/15)

This song - from the Curtois' Collection - seems to date from sometime between 1792 and 1809. The King in the song is George III. The term "Jacobins", used in the song, was unknown before 1789 and most Englishmen would not have linked Tom Paine with the French until after he published the "Rights of Man" (in which he clearly supported the French Revolution) in 1791/92. These facts, coupled with the knowledge that the latest dated document in the Curtois Collection is 1809, leads me to think this song was printed and sung sometime between 1792 and 1809.

Tom Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk. When employed as an exciseman, Paine worked in Lincolnshire.

Midi file: Hearts of Oak


As almost 250 years have passed since this Song was printed as a Broadsheet, there are no copyright issues.


Note from Dr Alan Radford: "Leeds Waits were playing similar patriotic music at the time. Republican sentiments were not uncommmon following the American and French revolutions, and the authorities encouraged public displays of resistance to anything so progressive."

Note from Dr James Merryweather: "The York Waits were present at Sheriffs' dinners at the Black Swan (see York Music). In fact they had trouble getting to all the events that they were expected to attend! Also, there are plenty of records of waits playing for various trade guild events, including dinners, so there is a significant probability that the Lincoln Waits were at these council dinners. Since the name of Curtois occurs both in the waits and in the collection title, there is a chance there's something in any link you care to follow. The sentiments are very typical of the age: Anti-French! See, for instance, various versions of The Roaft Beef of Old England and Auld Lang Syne (see Dr Merryweather's Song-Booke)."