Newcastle Volunteers Quick Step
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NEWCASTLE VOLUNTEERS QUICK STEP, THE. AKA - "Newcastle Volunteers Quick March." Scottish, March (6/8 time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The tune appears in a 1799 collection published by Thomas Calvert, a musican who lived in Kelso, Scotland. A note with the collection states that Calvert supplied "a variety of music and instruments, instruments lent out, tun'd and repaired." The march was also in the manuscript collection of Northumbrian musician John Bell  (1783-1864), although not written in his hand.
The Newcastle Volunteers were embodied on Aug. 256th, 1795, commanded by Colonel Blakeney, and were part of the militia movement that sprang up in response to the threat of invasion from France. As with other militia units, they were to serve locally only, freeing up regular army units for duty overseas. The unit was disbanded (e.g. after the peace of 1802) and reformed more than once during its existence. Because of their immediate availability to the local authorities volunteer units were assigned law enforcement and anti-riot duties during periods of civil unrest (real or imagined), earning the enmity of a portion of the population. At no time was this more savagely demonstrated than in 1795 when pitmen beat to death a bandsman, Private Thomas Purves of the Newcastle Volunteers, for no other reason than he was wearing his uniform in public, explaining he was “one of (those) raised to prevent our lowering of the price of corn.”
See also Cumbrian musician John Rook's musically unrelated but similarly-titled "Newcastle Volunteers March."
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