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And they that understand among the People, shall instruct many.

Dan. xi. 33.

The Miscarriage of the Mighty Struggle made in our Day against Oppression, will astonish Posterity and stimulate them to discover the Cause. The History of our Times will be strictly scrutinized and our Opinions sought after with Avidity in Order to weigh them in the Balance, and find wherein they are wanting. Let us then gather up the Fragments that nothing may be lost, and let the wellwishers of the Human Race, bind up such valuable Tracts as fall in their way, thereby giving them a Chance of Preservation to future Generations, who will doubtless profit more by them than we have done, and avoid our Mistakes. The following Pieces containing Sentiments so singular, and what have never yet been acted upon, require no further Apology for collecting, and thus putting them in a way to be preserved.

He that hath an Ear, to hear, let him hear!

Of Kings and Courtiers how the Fools complain, Nor blame their own inord'nate Love of Gain. None think that while dire Landlords they allow, To Kings and Knaves they'll still be doom'd to bow. None think that each by favouring the Deceit, Himself's a foolish Party to the Cheat. Few can be landlords, and those very Few, Must to succeed, their Brethren all undo. Yet each low Wretch for Lordship fierce does burn, And longs to act the Tyrant in his Turn! Nor longs alone, but hopes before he dies, To have his Rents, and live on Tears and Sighs.


An Address to


Warning them against the


Ye Children unborn, hear what I've got to say, I'll tell you some strange things have pass'd in our Day; 'Twixt Democrats, and Aristocrats,* there was such a Pother The World seem'd too little to hold both together! Singing Tol de rol &c.

Full many fell - Battles were fought by these Clans, And Vict'ry the Demos gain'd by Strength of Hands, But Judas, the Bag bearer, playing his old Trick, For Fields, sold Democracy, all to Old Nick! Singing &c.

When Run-a-way Loyalists left all their Lands, French Judases, eagerly joined Hearts and Hands; Democracy meanly to Traitors then yields: All falls before Judas in Prospect of Fields. Singing &c.

One Poor Man in England as loud as he could, Warn'd all against Judases, saying they would, Destroy all our Freedom, if they had the Lands: Proposing to take them into our own Hands. Singing &c.

But alackaday! this poor Man was not heard, But shut up and from ev'ry Comfort debarr'd; Whilst all the good Democrats, wink'd at the Matter; No Freedom with Landlords, enjoy e'er you can, For Land, I say Land, is the whole Rights of Man. Singing &c.

*For the sake of Smoothness sing Demos and Aristos Inprisoned



After Reading the foregoing wrote as follows.

May the'Children unborn, attend to my Lay, And profit by deeds that have pass'd in our day, 'Twixt oppressors by trade, and a world to free, Of struggles so doubtful and dreadful to see. Tol de rol &c.

Of this dire conflict to give you the cause, The task be it mine, I shall ask no applause; Through want of possession of Nature's free soil, For Tyrants, and Paupers, and Landlords we toil. Tol de rol &c.

For men to be happy, and social and free, The land must possess, and as Brothers agree, The profits to share and the Rents to divide, Then fight for't they will if they come to be try'd. Tol de rol &c.

If this Rights of Man were establish'd on Earth, No more then of Slaughter, Oppression or Dearth. To do it is wanting, but plain Common-sense, 'Tis printed and publish'd,* by good Tommy Spence. Tol de rol &c.

*See the Constitution of Spensonia.

The Touch-stone of Honesty


Ye Children of Woe attend to my Song, We've found out the Rogues who did us the Wrong. Who shackled the World e'er since it began, And liv'd on the Blood of poor suffering Man. This striving for Fields such Villainy yields, No having of Lands should we suffer at all; To get or to hold you need not be told, Transforms Landholders to Judases all, Judases all, Judases all, Transforms Landholders to Judases all,


4 The Lands ought of Right to be held by us all, No Privates should lord it o'er their Fellow Men, The whole Human Race Old, Young, Great and Small Share and Share alike of the Rents would have then. All those who say no, it shall not be so, We Murderers cruel and Traitors them call, Be they rich or poor we may be full sure, At Heart they are nothing but Judases all. Judases all, &c.

This Touch-stone of Worthiness then pass around To try each his Fellow if honest at Heart, If willing to grant all a Right to the Ground, To Friendship and Brother-hood set him apart. But those who cry shaw! We'll have no such Law And swelling with Rage for Vengeance out call, I do say again you may swear such Men, Are nothing at Heart but Judases all. Judases all, &c.

You cold Lookers on while we run the Race, Your Conscience will smite you if we loose the Prize, For who can be blamed but the Careless and Base, Unmoved with such Things before their dull Eyes: Your Freedom lies prone, hear! hear her last Groan, Come forward and save her from her final Fall; Salvation accept of by your Neglect, You'll perish for e'er like Judases all. Judases all, &c.



First Published at Newcastle in the Year 1783

  1. ALL you who wonder at the times, That they so hard do grow, Come hither, listen unto me, And you the cause shall know,
  2. O Muses, your assistance lend, While such things I rehearse, 5 As neither goose nor eagle's wing, E'er wrote in prose or verse*,
  3. Man nothing less than lord was made, For nothing less was meant: That all things else he should subdue, He to the world was sent.
  4. But not content with this large sway, Their brethren Men subdue; And all the godlike race is made, Subservient to a few.
  5. O earth and heaven and all therein, Your wonder high express, That rational beings like dumb brutes, Ought earthly should depress!
  6. Yet so it is that worse than they, Nought nat'ral they can claim; Nor hip, nor haw, nor nut, nor sloe, Nor ought that you can name.
  7. If grass or nettles we could eat, The same would be deny'd; For my lord's land and herbage reach, Close to the highway side.
  8. ‘A Hare or partridge you may dress, They're nature's common gift;’ My Lords ground fed them, why should he Of his RIGHTS be bereft?
  9. 6 ‘To fish then all will you allow; The river's not my Lord's.’ Do not mistake, the water's his, And all that it affords.
  10. To fish or hunt we have no right, Since we no land can claim; Whatever lives, be't great or small, The land supports the same.
  11. So they must work to other men, Whether we will or no; For idle up and down this world No landless Men must go.
  12. For why, in truth, we cannot live, On air or the highway; Trespass we must then on the grass, If suffer'd thus to stray.
  13. And yet no laws are made that so, The rich us work may give; But when they've serv'd their turn on us, They care not how we live.
  14. So worse than horse or oxen thus Is our unhappy lot; For horse and oxen men maintain, Whether they work or not.
  15. Our wages too by law they stint, As we our labour too, Should have no right, as best we can, To sell to that vile crew.
  16. But not so with their Fields of Blood, Do they their avarice bound, As much as they can get's the rule By which they let the Ground.
  17. Like tygers lurking for their prey, So on the watch they keep, Lest tenants they by any means, Their labours' fruit should reap.
  18. 7 If only sixpence more they think The tenant he can pay, As soon as e'er his lease is out The same on him they lay.
  19. Like hungry hawks the farmers then, Are forc'd with hearts full sore, The poor at market hard to gripe, To stop the landlord's roar.
  20. If backward in their rents they run, Indulgence they find small, Their lord does like a rav'ning wolf, On goods and cattle fall.
  21. And what the landlords thus have reav'd, In other lands they spend! And while we've landlords things will worse, But never once will mend.
  22. O! there is land,§ as I hear say, Where landlords none there be! O! Heavens! might I that happy land Before I die but see.
  23. The rents thoughout that happy state, Each parish deals so fair, That old and young, that dwell therein Do get an EQUAL SHARE.
  24. The women, yes, and Children too, Alike share with the Men, For why? They of the Species are, And as such owned again.
  25. Of equal shares of land or goods, They never once do dream; But in each parish, part the rents: Which better far they deem.
  26. As all the world belongs to all, So does a land to those That dwell therein, the likeness then, Down to a parish goes,
  27. So by this simple RULE OF RIGHT, 8 All things in order move, In church and state 'mongst rich and poor, All's harmony and love.
  28. For as the poor their nat'ral rights, And lordships thus enjoy, The rich unenvy'd live in peace, None wish them to annoy.
  29. Then lord have mercy on all lands, This happy change soon bring, That, brethren-like, we may divide Our rents, and gladly sing.
  30. So if by sickness or mischance To poverty I wane, My dividend of rents will come To set me up again.
  31. Ye priests and lawyers, who men's RIGHTS, Gloss o'er deceitfully. Our common claim to rents will stand 'Gainst all your sophistry.

*Spence is the only one who treats on Natural Rights, that proposes dividing the Rents. None others ever thought of any Thing but dividing the Lands into small Shares after the manner of Moses, Lycurgus, &c. But such foolish Systems we have seen did not continue.

That is true enough. For Spence was interrupted in a Wood near Hexham by the Forester, while gthering Nuts, long before he wrote this song, when a curious Altercation took Place, which may be seen in his Trial, and which made Part of the Indictment against him.

§ Spensonia.



First Printed in the year 1782

Tune, “God Save the King.”


Hark! how the Trumpet's sound, Proclaims the Land around The Jubilee! Tells all the Poor oppress'd, No more shall they be cess'd; Nor Landlords more molest Their Property.


Rents t'ourselves now we pay, Dreading no Quarter-day, Fraught with Distress 9 Welcome that day draws near, For then our rents we share, Earth's rightful Lords we are, Ordain'd for this.


Now hath the Oppressor ceas'd, And all the World releas'd from Misery. The Fir-trees all rejoice, And Cedars lift their voice, Ceas'd now the Feller's noise Long rais'd by thee!


The Sceptre|| now is broke, Which with continual Stroke The Nations smote!. Hell from beneath doth rise, To meet thus Lofty Eyes, From the most pompous size, How brought to nought!


Since then this Jubilee Sets all at Liberty Let us be glad, Behold each one return To their Right, and their own,, No more like Doves to mourn, By Landlords sad!

The Landed Interest.

|| The grievous Power of the Landed Interest.

The Rights of Man for me.

Tune,—Maid of the Mill.


There are many fine Schemes held up by the Great, To deceive Silly Souls d'ye see? And render them passive for pure Conscience Sake, And mould them to fell Tyranny; 10 Yet for all their fine Arts with their Priests in their Aid Their Threats and their deep Policy, I'll laught them to Scorn, while loudly I sing, The Rights of Man Boys for me.


This World for the poor they say never was made, Their portion in the Heavens be, And more, that they envy them their happy Lot, So certain's their Felicity; But thank them for nought if the Heavens they could let, Few Joys there the Poor would e'er see, For Rents they must toil and for Taxes to boot, The Rights of Man then for me.


Then cheer up all you who have long been oppress'd, Aspire unto sweet Liberty; No Fetters were form'd for a Nation to bind Who have the brave Wish to be free. To Reason attend and blush at your Chains, And throw off all vile Slavery, And let each Man sing, till loud Echoes ring, The Rights of Man boys for me.


As for me though in Prison I oft have been cast Because I would dare to be free, And though in black Newgate* I now pen this Song, My Theme I've not alter'd you see. In jail or abroad whatever betide, My Struggles for Freedom shall be Whatever Fate bring, I shall think, speak and sing, The Rights of Man Boys for me.

*This Song was written by Spence when a Prisoner in Newgate, under a Charge of High Treason, in the Year 1794.





Tune.—“Rule Britannia.”

Now let us hail the glorious Day, When Justice shall bear sov’reign Sway, When Man to Man shall equal be, Rejoicing in the Jubilee.

Rejoice and hail the rising dawn, Of Freedom's Day that Spence has shewn.

Shall Tyrants lord it o'er Mankind, Shall they the galling Shackles bind; Which thus enthrall the Bulk of Man, ’Gainst God and Nature’s lib’ral Plan?

Shall they assume in hellish Rage, To force on us their Wars to wage? Must they the Laurels proudly wear, And we but Toil and Slaughter share?

And must we till for them the Ground, And spread such Plenty all around; And the the gen’ral Feast devour, Or hoard it up a musty store?

For what do we Oppression bear, For what engage in Foreign War? For what is our incessant Toil?— That they may reap or share the Spoil.

Such are the Men that claim the Land, So hostile to the Peace of Man; That fill the Earth with mad discord, And ravage Nations with the Sword.

It is their Int’rest and their Pride, Upon the wreck of Man to ride; And fatten on his fallen State, Then proudly stile themselves the Great.

12 Now if ye feel as Brothers should, O! Spare such dreadful waste of Blood; And take from them the mighty power, Primeval Nature to restore.

The let us search the Spencean* plan, ’Tis offer’d to the thinking Man; Its merits to investigate, And learn the means to renovate.

We’ll the the grand Millenium see, So long foretold in Prophecy; When Nature’s God’s to reign with us, And we’re to share supernal Bliss.

No base distinctions will be known, When Truth shall fill fair Freedom’s Throne; For Justice will her Balance keep, And we her Blessings fully reap.

Then shall we hymn in grateful Lays, And songs to peace and virtue raise; In one grand Chorus swell the strain, Proclaiming Justice solely reign.


To the Tune of—“Sally in our Alley.”

Then let us all join heart in hand, Through country town and city, Of ev’ry age and ev’ry sex, Young men and maidens pretty, To haste this Golden Age's reign, On ev’ry hill and valley, Then Paradise shall greet our eyes, Through every street and alley.

*This Plan is fully and plainly set forth in Spence's Trial and Constitution, which together may be had at the small price of ONE SHILLING.

Seale and Bates, Printers, 160, Tottenham Court Road.