Northgate Methodist Church, Warwick
Rumpus, Riot & Rebellion!
7.30 pm Saturday 29th June 2013
Warwick’s West Gallery Quire
The First Half of the concert starts
at a Hiring Fair near here, in the Autumn of 1803.
England is again at war with France, but local life
must go on with local landowners, farmers and mill
owners seeking annual staff. Servants, maids and
outside staff are engaged, the contract sealed using
a ‘Hiring penny’. A stockman from another parish
tries to get hired but gets rebuffed; Another
remembers waiting many years before being able to
settle down after finding good employment; Her
Ladyship bewails the increasing tax burden and
having to economise on the number of staff she can
employ; A cook finds she has to do additional
outside work, a scullery maid gets hired but at a
lower wage than before and another hopes to find a
husband as she cannot get employment . . .
Opening Music: Granors March
From ‘Never on Sunday’ by Rollo Woods, arranged by
Tricia Entwistle for Immanuel’s Ground Quire.
Psalm 34 NV – Through all the changing scenes of
From the New Version of the Psalms, to the tune
‘Wiltshire’ by Joseph Stephenson (1723-1810), for 42
years Clerk to the Unitarian Chapel in Poole,
Song – ‘The Ox Plough’
Possibly one of the songs in which plough boys sang
their own praises in the course of their procession
through the streets on ‘Plough Monday’ (the first
Monday after Twelfth Night).
The Beatitudes – Tune: Verdure
Set to a tune adapted from the Aria ‘With Verdure
Clad’, in ‘The Creation’ by Joseph Haydn. The
setting is taken from The Centenary Tunebook,
Psalm 128 – The Wedding Psalm
No wedding was complete without singing the wedding
psalm, and this version is taken from
Jonathan Gibbons’ MS book, from Castor, nr
Peterborough, 1786. It is a resetting
by William East in 1750 of an earlier tune written
by Michael Beesly of Wootton, Oxfordshire, in 1746.
The Scene shifts as attitudes harden
following the increased tensions arising from
inequalities of opportunity, and increased taxation.
Riots are contemplated following the imposition by
the Corn Laws of a tax on imported grain and a
disastrous harvest in 1816 which leads to food riots
The Riot – Or, ‘Half a Loaf is Better than No Bread’
the words of part of a Broadside Ballad
dating from the first half of the 18th
century, which contemplates rioting but eventually,
after 13 verses, counsels against such action.
The Poor Man’s Prayer
The Poor Man’s Prayer, The Farmer’s Prayer and the
Corn-Merchant’s Prayer were all Broadside Ballads
published between 1811 and 1842, to be sung or said
on ‘sundry occasions’. The first has been set to
‘Hanover’ by William Croft, (c1700), a tune well
known to both town and country dwellers in the first
part of the 19th century. Please
Executions were commonplace,
and were quite often watched by the public and
reported in great detail. Col. Edward Marcus
Despard, a celebrated and decorated British
infantry officer, was executed as a traitor in 1803
for plotting to establish a republic. The story of
Despard’s execution is a window into a remarkable
period of British history; a time when democracy was
undergoing its birth pangs.
Winterbourne Tune –
Part of the burial service paraphrased by Henry
Winterbourne Tune is a beautiful setting from the
repertoire of the great Dorset composer of Country
Psalmody, William Knapp. One of the most important
functions of the old church bands was to play for
funerals, and there is a huge body of funeral hymns,
psalms and anthems which includes some of the most
powerful of the entire West Gallery repertoire. The
words are by Knapp's old friend Henry Price, "The
Poet Laureate of Poole", whose father kept the pub
just behind the church where Knapp was parish clerk.
Go, feeble tyrant
This is a glee by William Jackson of Exeter (1730-1803),
who wrote secular music as well as being organist of
Exeter Cathedral from 1777. Despite being extremely
critical of the way that catches and glees were both
written and performed, he was not above writing some
himself, presumably to show how it should be done.
This Scene reflects on local malefactors
from Northampton and Sulgrave, and the smock gang
from Leamington Priors, but gets dramatically
interrupted . . .
Round – London’s burning! Please join in !
Next we consider Gordon’s ‘peaceful march’
on Parliament, the passing of the Catholic Relief
Act of 1778, and the ensuing riots and fires which
led to extensive damage in London aimed against
Catholics, and attempts to set fire to the Bank of
England. This then leads to the Priestley riots in
Birmingham in 1791, which continued unchecked for
four days before the militia were finally summoned
and arrived to quell them. As a result, local men
were sentenced at Warwick Assizes to execution.
A Hymn on Gunpowder Plot
- Composer unknown.
This little three-part piece, the words attributed
to ‘Mr Dodderidge’, was found as a manuscript
addition to a printed book of Psalmody in Warwick
Record Office, once owned by Jonathan Sodin. Sodin
apparently was a subscriber to a book of
Parochial Psalmody by John Alcock printed in
Walsall in 1777, at which time he lived in
Comb-Fields [between Coventry and Rugby,]
Psalm XL to Balldock Tune –
by the little known Northampton church composer,
Little known and little performed, this psalm tune
has probably not been heard in public since 1760!
Brailes – Come thou fount of every blessing, set by
William Groves Perry,
Warwick’s local church composer, whose music can be
brilliant and very ‘singable’. Organist at Cow Lane
Chapel, (which became Brook Street Chapel) as was
his father William Perry, their joint book of hymns
runs to over 100 tunes. Please join in !
Attention finally turns to the local Militia,
as local ladies watch them drilling before church
God Save King George!
The second verse, ‘When insults rise to wars,
Oak-hearted British Tars . . .’ Please join
See the Conquering Hero comes - please join
in with the words on the screen !
I N T E R V A L
The Second Half opens in Braintree, near Boston, in
at that time part of the English Colonies and known
as a Commonwealth. The scene is quiet rebellion in
the Quire and the ousting of the old Precentor, but
moves on to consideration of the taxes levied on the
colonists by the Chancellor of the Exchequer far
across the Atlantic. From there, it quickly moves on
to local uprisings against the British Government,
the ‘Bloody Boston Massacre’, and the dumping of
large cargoes of tea from three ships in Boston
harbour as a further rebellion against what was seen
as unjust taxation.
York Tune and St David’s Tune
Examples of early psalmody, as sung by both English
and early American quires and congregations.
Young Ladies in Town
This song first appeared in print in a Boston
Newsletter in 1769, as a result of the Townshend
Acts of 1767 which levied further taxation on
British lead paint, glass and tea. Sung in unison to
the tune ‘The Miller of Dee’.
The Liberty Song
Sung to the well-known tune ‘Hearts of Oak’, the
American words were first published in the
Boston Gazette in 1768, and were written by Mrs
Mercy Otis Warren of Plimoth, Massachusetts.
Please join in!
Hymn – ‘Washington’ – Lord when thou didst ascend on
tune is by William Billings, and the words are by
Isaac Watts, 1719. It first appeared in Billings's
The Singer Master's Assistant, Boston, 1778,
and its first publication in England was in 1805,
when Dr Addington’s 13 former publications of
Psalm and Hymn Tunes were republished ‘with
The Scene now moves to the Revolutionary War itself,
with General Gage’s closure of the Port of Boston,
the arrival of Generals Howe, Clinton and Burgoyne
together with numerous British troops, Paul Revere’s
midnight ride, the Battle of Bunker Hill and the
Independence of the Thirteen States.
Voted the runner up to the eventual tune for the
American National Anthem, Chester was written by
William Billings in 1778 and quickly became used by
the American militia for the anti-British words
which we will sing.
Set to a poem by Nathaniel Niles and music by Andrew
Law, this tune was first published in 1781, a little
over five years after the Battle of Bunker Hill in
1775, during which time British troops razed the
neighbouring settlement of Charlestown to the ground
with great loss of life.
God Save the Thirteen States
This is a parody of the British National Anthem, but
even so, please join in !!
This tune by the English composer Thomas Arne, from
his opera ‘Artaxerxes’, has been used for the 12
metrical verses Psalm 2 New Version which could very
well have been sung as further complaints against
the British and as a final appeal to the Almighty
for victory over the British enemy.
The Final Surrender of British troops on American
soil was on 19 October 1781,
and George III received the first Ambassador of the
United States of America in London in 1785.
Glee – Peace to the Souls of the Heroes
"Peace," said Cuthullin, "to the souls of the
heroes! their deeds were great in fight. Let them
ride around me on clouds. Let them show their
features in war. My soul shall then be firm in
danger; mine arm like the thunder of heaven! But be
thou on a moonbeam, O Morna! near the window of my
rest; when my thoughts are of peace; when the din of
arms is past.” The music is by John Wall
The Arethusa -
with additional words in honour of George III’s
Please join in the words on the overhead
Immanuel’s Ground, Warwick’s west gallery quire
is a costumed group of singers and instrumentalists
who perform music of the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, reviving the psalmody and hymnody of the
rural parish church from around 200 years ago, so
much beloved of Thomas Hardy and exemplified in his
novels and poetry. This raw and exciting music is
genuinely "music of the people" and also found its
way into the independent chapels, before being lost
and almost forgotten by the beginning of the
twentieth century. Our repertoire also includes
secular music from the Georgian period and psalmody
from the American tradition in the same era, taking
to heart the instruction of John Wesley to "sing
lustily and with good courage".
Formed in Autumn 2001, the Quire currently has some
30 singers, plus one or two instruments on each part
(SATB). Members of the Quire come from all over the
Heart of England and meet to rehearse at Northgate
Methodist Church, Warwick, on the second, fourth and
fifth Wednesdays of each month. The Quire has
appeared at events sacred and secular, including
church services, carol concerts, the Bromsgrove
Proms, Harvest Festival day at Cogges Rural Museum,
Witney, and the Nelson bicentenary celebrations at
Burton Dassett church. We also run an annual
Workshop Day featuring music by local composers, and
another on local carols. On the educational side, we
have helped create a music and history video for
schools, and are working with a local music hub in
order to develop curriculum materials for
As a West Gallery Quire, we are available for
services of Evensong from the Prayer Book, concerts
of English and American Psalmody, and as Christmas
approaches, carol concerts, services, workshops,
etc. For more information go to www.immanuelsground.com
or telephone Julie on
01926 - 512340.