Robert Roxby (songwriter)
Robert Roxby was born in 1767 at Needless Hall, the name of the farm (grid ref NZ112864) about 1 mile east of Hartburn, and 6 miles west of Morpeth. In 1828 it was occupied by Thomas Brice and in 1855 by William Howey.
He remained there until about 1792, when, unfortunately, the Goulburn’s business failed and the sum of money left in trust by his father was all lost. At this point in his life Robert Roxby had to turn to commerce and business to earn his livelihood. He worked as a clerk firstly at the bank of Sir William Loraine of Kirkhale, 6th Baronet, (Sir William Loraine & Co), which (again, unfortunately) failed, leaving Roxby without an income. Luckily he quickly found a similar position with another bank; that of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 3rd Baronet (Sir Matthew White Ridley & Co.), also of Newcastle at which company, he eventually rose to the position of chief clerk.
He became very friendly with Thomas Doubleday and they eventually became almost inseparable, despite their differences in age (Roxby was by far the elder). The pair of them spent a considerable time fishing on the River Coquet, Rede and other beautiful Northumberland rivers. .
These include :-
- "The Lay of the Reedwater Minstrel. illustrated, with Notes, Historical and Explanatory, Addressed to Matthew Forster of Broomyholme, Esq. By a Son of Reed" Newcastle: D. Akenhead & Sons, 1809. (NOTE – this actually refers to the River Rede)
- The Fisher's Garland for 1821, or “A new song”, to the tune of “The Miller o’ Dron” (signed “Newcastle 5th April 1821”)
- The Fisher's Garland for 1823. or “Coquet Side”, sung to the tune of “The Hows o’ Glenorchie” – was printed as a broadsheet, and 196 copies were for Emerson Chamley, printer, publisher and bookseller of Bigg Market, Newcastle on 20 December 1828 – the first 3 verses were by Roxby, the last three by Thomas Doubleday.
- The Fisher's Garland for 1824, or "The Auld Fisher's Welcome to Coquet Side"
- The Fisher's Garland for 1825, or “The Auld Fisher’s farewell to Coquet”, sung to the tune of “Gramachree” - 296 copies were printed for Emerson Chamley on 26 March 1825 and 100 copies presented to the Robert Roxby, (even though it was a jointly written piece).
- The Fisher's Garland for 1826, or “The Coquet for ever”, sung to the tune of “Oh, whistle and Til come to you, my lad” – 400 copies were printed for Emerson Chamley on 15m April 1826.
- The Fisher’s Garland for 1828
- The Fisher's Garland for 1832, or “The Auld Fisher's Invitation to his Friend in Newcastle"
- The Fisher's Garland for 1841
- The Fisher’s Garland for 1851, "The Auld Fisher's Visit to North Tyne" (which first appearing in "Richardson's Table Book" as an "Epistle to Robert Boyd, Esq") was written by Roxby alone, but was transformed into a Garland by Thomas Doubleday in a collection which he published in 1852 under the title of "The Coquetdale Fishing Songs, Now First Collected and Edited by a North-Country Angler"
- The Auld Fisher’s Last Wish to the tune “My love is newly listed”
- "Allan’s Illustrated Edition of Tyneside songs and readings".
- Allan’s Illustrated Edition of Tyneside songs and readings with lives, portraits and autographs of the writers, and notes on the songs. Revised Edition. Thomas & Gorge Allan, 18 Blackett Street, and 34 Collingwood Street, (Newcastle upon Tyne) – Sold by W. Allan, 80 Grainqer Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, B. Allan, North Shields and Walter Scott. London. 1891.
- "Men of Mark Twix Tyne and Tweed by Richard Welford".
- "William Ord M.P.".
- "Westgate Hill General Cemetery".
- "Photographs of Newcastle".
- "Farne archives Garland for 1821 - A new song".
- "Farne archives - Coquet Side".