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Rock well my cradle

And “bee ba " my son,
You shall have a new gown

When the Lord he comes home.

Still she did prick it

And“ bee ba” she cried,
Come down dearest mistress

And still your own child.

Oh! still my child Orange,

Still him with a bell ;
I can't still him, ladie,

Till you come down yoursell.

Hold the gold basin

For your heart's blood to run in,

To hold the gold basin

It grieves me full sore :
Oh kill me dear Lonkin

And let my mother go.

Communicated by Mrs. Blackett, Newcastle.

Traits of the Tinkers.


HOEVER has roamed along the green-swarded and shady

by-roads of Northumberland, cannot fail to have noticed frequently recurring patches of scorched herbage, and the remains of rude fires and other traces of the temporary dwelling places of some grade of humanity: the

brow of yonder hill has just concealed from you the rude equipages of a nomadian sun-burnt race, who with their sturdy wives and robust children have left the sward by your side and are gone in search of another resting place at some miles distance. These singular people, who are to be found in their encampments during the Spring, Summer, and Autumnal months, are known in this district by the names of “ Faws” or “ Baileys," and procure a livelihood chiefly by the sale of a coarse kind of pottery, the making of besoms, and the mending of vessels of various metals, and such like handicrafts* callings easily and cheaply followed, and well adapted to the habits of

“idlesse all,”—who “till not, neither do they sow.” The term “ Faw" is known to have been derived from the sire-name of a numerous class of people of the name of Fall; but it is less generally known that that of “ Bailey,” is in like manner attributable to the name of an equally numerous clan who, during the latter part of the seventeenth and commencement of the eighteenth centuries, were to be found encamped on the then undivided tracts of waste land in the parishes of Haltwhistle, and Simonburn, or in hovels in the vicinity of the larger villages. As might be expected, seasons of scarcity, whether as to employment or of the wild products of the soil, the wood or stream, would not fail to produce temporary want, and a wild and lawless race of people like those under our notice would not hesitate to resort to theft in order to raise supplies. Such modes no doubt were frequently resorted to, and it may be readily supposed that in the midst of a wild country, far from the reach of justice and of habits not very well adapted for capture, or which the farmers would wish to rouse by the resentment or punishment of some trifling theft—they in general escaped and continued to live on almost undisturbed ; but things at last came to a climax, and in consequence of the enormity of some of their depredations in 1710 and 1711, a large body was appre-hended, and with their wives and children, in all twenty-eight persons, were cast into the common gaol at Morpeth, where they lay for some time in the greatest misery and distress. At the Court of quarter sessions held 16th Jan. 1712, a petition was forwarded to the bench of magistrates from William Baley, James Baley, Henry Baley and William Baley the younger, on behalf of themselves, their wives, children and servant-women, setting forth that they were starving both of hunger and of cold, -having " nothing to lye on, these cold winter nights, but y cold floor;" that their children “through their wants" had fallen into sickness, and by reason of their illness “noe bodye will come neare us, but sayes it is enough to bring a plague amongst

a race

From which they are also designated “Muggers," " Besom-Makers,” and “ Tinkers.” The various goods which they profess to vend, they convey about the county in their carts, colourably for sale, but virtually as a cloke for theft;, such contrivance giving an appearance of honest dealing, whilst their almost sole support is surreptitiously derived from the farm yards and lone houses in the immediate vicinity of their resting places.

them." The petitioners pray for a speedy trial for themselves, and that their wives and children may be set at liberty, or allowed to go forth of the prison “ to get yo charity of ye country, that they might live, and not dye of hunger and of cold.” At the same sessions a memorial was presented to the magistrates from several persons confined for debt in the same prison, setting forth the “deplorable" condition they had been in since it had been seen fit to commit those people called “ye Beayleys,” that they, the petitioners, had in consequence been treat more like criminals, than otherwise, “ having noe liberty, scarce leave to gett a mouthful of fresh aire, which now, as you may heare in ye Towne, hath occasioned such a sickness amongst us, that we shall not need for an Act of Parliament to relieve us.”

In consequence of this memorial, fourteen of the debtors were removed to the house of the sheriff's bailiff, and there confined at the county's expence: the children of the “ Bayleys," with two of the women, appear to have been set at liberty, while those detained were ordered the gaol allowance of two pence per day, which they had not previous to their petition. Soon afterwards these poor wretches attempted to escape and for a time had overpowered the gaoler and his assistants. In this the women and children who were liberated, appear to have been engaged, and, in consequence, the two women were again taken into custody, and a strong night-watch set over the whole, and among the records of the court of quarter sessions there occurs “money expended by Mr. Edward Grey, for ye guarding and safe keeping of the Bayleys, since the gaol was broke." These expences—the maintenance of the prisoners and their watchmen,-and the want of room in the gaol, appear to have irritated and alarmed both the grand-jury and the magistrates ;—the former made it the subject of an especial presentment, and the latter memorialized the secretary of state that "something might forthwith be done in reference to those persons which the county have been att soe much charge in apprehending. and since that in maintaining in gaol.” About the same time application was made by the magistrates of Cumberland for the removal of William Bayley and Robert Carr (Bayley's son-inlaw) and Elizabeth his wife, who were charged with being concerned with one Thomas Shaw in the murder of Alexander Anderson, at the Riddings, in the parish of Kirk Andrews. These persons were afterwards removed by Habeas Corpus, and a few months later the residue of the party appear to have been sent to the penal plantations of America. -Contributed by Thomas Bell, esq.

Numerous documents concerning these people occur among the Records of the Court of Quarter Sessions now preserved in the office of the Clerk of the Peace for Northumberland.


At the present day the chief rendezvous of the northern Gipsies is at Yetholm on the Bowmont. A row of houses, on the north side of the stream is entirely occupied by these people, whose principal names here, are Faa, Young, Douglas, and Blythe. The two latter are the most numerous, but they are evidently not of the same race. The Douglasses, the Faas, and the Youngs, are generally dark-complexioned, with black hair ; while the Blythes mostly are light-haired and of fair complexion. On Fastern's E’en -Shrove Tuesday—when Tinkler Row sends forth its population to the foot-ball match which is then played, the Douglasses may be distinguished from the other dark-complexioned families, in consequence of most of them being rather in-kneed. The name of Faw or Faa-supposed to be the corrupt pronunciation of Fall—is of great antiquity among the Scottish gypsies. In 1540, a proclamation was issued by James V., requiring all sheriffs and magistrates to assist John Faw, “ Lord and Erle of Littill Egipt," in executing justice upon his “company and folkis, conforme to the laws of Egipt, and in punissing of all thaim that rebellis aganis him ;” and in 1554, John Faw, a gypsy chief, probably the same person, obtained a pardon for the murder of Numan Small. In Northumberland the name has become generic for the whole tribe of travelling tinkers and muggers, who, in that county, are much more frequently called Faas than Gypsies.Oliver's Rambles in Northumberland.



HE Minstrel in his song

Sings of the days of old,
Of bannered walls, of the gallant throng,

Of Lords and Barons bold-
Of Knights, in the tented rows

Who aimed the deadly lance-
And o'er his strain the Minstrel throws
The charms of old Romance.

And sweet the wizard lay,

That calls up bygone time
With cloistered cell and Abbey grey,

Slow chaunt and vesper chime.


Lo! the Enthusiast dwells

With rapture on the tale
Till in fancy's ear the convent bells

Waft music on the gale.

List to the Minstrel's song!

Silent, I ween, is he,
Of the proud man's scorn, of deadly wrong-

Of feudal tyranny.
He laudeth the Hermit's cell

But tells not in his strain,
That TRUTH was dimmed as the light that fell

Thro' its storied window pane.

Who loves the Bardic rhyme

Let his wild Harp swell the theme ! I see not the glories of olden time

Nor share in the Minstrel's dream. There is quiet in England's dales

And peace 'neath her greenwood tree Away with the Minstrel's idle tales

Of a dark days' chivalrie.


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