The History of Lincoln Waites

Lincoln Races - A New Song


This broadsheet was printed in 1798 by a local printer, Drury, who gave his address as "opposite the bank". We can be certain of the date because it was printed on the broadsheet. If we employ a little careful guesswork here, we might reach the conclusion that Drury meant the Smith Ellison Bank, where Lincoln Corporation held accounts. If that is the case, then Drury's shop was at the junction of Silver Street and High Street, just North of the Stonebow. Today in this position stands a travel agent (on the East side) and the House of Fraser (on the North Side).

To choose the subject of horse racing for a broadside would have made very good business sense to John Drury, as he was Clerk to the Racecourse. The song appears (to me) to have been designed especially to be sold to the crowds attending Lincoln Races.

The text itself paints an impression of a typical Race Day for us, with all manner of people in attendance from all walks of life. Drury's phrase "all sober cits" seems to be a jibe at the Aldermen and other Race-goers because the Races had something of a reputation as a place where some people over-indulged in alcohol. It sounds like food was not scarce either, with roast pig and poultry being amongst the delicacies on offer.

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