Tag Archives: land rights

Duncan Bourne’s Land Corporation of Ireland song

Severine from The Greenhorns just sent me this ace song about the Land Corporation of Ireland by Duncan Bourne.

Bill Finney was an ancestor of Duncan’s. His son (William) was born in Ireland and for a long time he thought that the Finneys were of Irish decent. Given that Finney is also an Irish surname. However further research revealed a long standing Staffordshire branch of Finney.


The Land Corporation of Ireland arose out of the 1879 – 1882 Land War, which saw the rise of Irish Nationalism and gave us the word “boycott”. From the summer of 1879 the Land League carried out various activities aimed at preventing the forced eviction of tenants who had fallen into arrears due to recession. These activities ranged from ostracism (the boycott), protests at the sale of leases, riots and, although not officially sanctioned, assassinations. One organiser Michael Boyton advocated that land grabbers (people who took the land of evicted tenants) should be “given the pill” ie. shot. By 1882 the Land League had been suppressed and the Reform Bills of 1884 & 1885 gave voting rights to tenants as well as the promise of reduced rents, though these did not always materialise. The Land Corporation of Ireland was set up to work land that had fallen idle due to evictions but due to the Land War it was nigh on impossible to recruit from the local population and so “caretaker” farmers were recruited from England through letters sent to local parishes. Bill Finney was one such farmer.

Lyrics

I come from Wootton, Staffordshire Bill Finney is my name
And I sought employment where I could you name it, I was game
I started down the Holly Bush serving in that drovers inn
And through talking with those droving lads my travels did begin

Come all you eager labouring lads keen for some work to do
The Land Corporation of Ireland has just the job for you

I tried my luck in the Potteries towns but my efforts came to nought
So I travelled up to Middlewich and worked there with the salt
T’was there I saw a letter requesting men to farm
For the Land Corporation of Ireland and I thought, “well what’s the harm?”

Come all etc.

We’ll pay you ten to fifteen bob to work some idle land
Where used to live a family evicted out of hand
You’ll have a house and garden and a free allowance of fuel
But don’t expect a social life your reception may be cruel

Come all etc.

So I went to Tipperary away from England’s shore
And I learned about the hardship caused by the old Land War
I learned about the ‘Boycott’ and the giving of the ‘Pill’
And of the broken promises caused by the Reform Bill

Come all etc.

And so I am a caretaker on land of sorrows shame
Don’t blame me for being English sir there’s Irish in my name
My name it is Bill Finney come drink with me a while
The Land Corporation of Ireland are the ones you should revile

Come all etc.

Vegmead and Protestival present – Friends Meeting House – Bath, Somerset – 11/03/17

Tidal and Leeds for Change presents – Holy Trinity Church, Leeds – 04/12/15

We are super excited to be heading North in December for a trio of shows in Nottingham, Leeds and Sheffield. For the Leeds show we will be joined by guests Boff Whalley and Brendan Crocker.

Tickets can be perchance purchased via https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3-acres-and-a-cow-tickets-19205227352

3A&aC Leeds low res web flyer

What
Tidal and Leeds for Change presents
When
Friday, December 4, 2015
7:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
Holy Trinity Church (map)
Boar Lane
Leeds, West Yorkshire , UK LS1 6HW
Other Info
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3-acres-and-a-cow-tickets-19205227352

« Back to the calendar

Heading north… Christ Church – Sheffield – 05/12/15

We are super excited to be heading North in December for a trio of shows in Nottingham, Leeds and Sheffield. For the Sheffield show we will be joined by Sally Goldsmith, Tim Ralphs, Naomi Wilkins and Kate Thomas’s singers.

Tickets can be purchased online via – http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13213

3A&aC Sheffield low res web flyer

What
Christ Church
When
Saturday, December 5, 2015
7:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
Christ Church (map)
Pitsmoor
Nottingham Street
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK S3 9AQ
Other Info
With guests Tim Ralphs, Kate Thomas and Sally Goldsmith
Arrive at 6pm for a shared meal by donation
Tickets available from New Roots or online via http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13213

« Back to the calendar

Three Acres And A Cow – GalGael, Glasgow – 07/04/16

Thursday 7th April
Glasgow – http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13608
Gal Gael –  15 Fairley St, Govan, Glasgow, Glasgow, G51 2TS
http://www.galgael.org/
£12 (£5 concessions)  – entry by donation for all Gal Gael volunteers and workers

Please note, this show is mainly focused on English history with some Scottish and Irish content. We have been invited to showcase it in Glasgow with a view to supporting the creation of a new show with similar spirit, focused on Scottish history.

What
Three Acres And A Cow
When
Thursday, April 7, 2016
6:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
15 Fairley Street, Govan
Glasgow, Scotland G51 2TS
Other Info
Tickets on sale via - http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=13608

« Back to the calendar

Cultivate Festival – The Asian Centre – Walthamstow, London – 26/03/15

Doors from 6.45pm – show starts at 7.30pm – there will be locally cooked and grown organic food by donation before the show.

Tickets are £5 plus a £1 online booking fee – you can buy tickets for £5 without the booking fee from The Hornbeam Centre, 458 Hoe Street, London, E17 9AH. Book online here – http://www.etickets.to/buy/?e=12363

Here is the facebook page if you are that way inclined – https://www.facebook.com/events/417177085106233/

low-res-poster-flyer

What
Cultivate Festival
When
Thursday, March 26, 2015
7:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
18A Orford Road
Walthamstow, London, UK E17 9LN
Other Info
Thursday 26th March @ The Asian Centre, 18a Orford Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 9LN

Tickets are £5 plus a £1 online booking fee - you can buy tickets for £5 without the booking fee from The Hornbeam Centre, 458 Hoe Street, London, E17 9AH.

« Back to the calendar

Dangerous Ideas – The View Bar – Southampton – 25/03/15

Free tickets can be reserved via https://threeacresandacow.co.uk/southampton

new poster flyer Please let anyone you know in Southampton about the show.

What
Dangerous Ideas
When
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
7:00pm - All Ages
Where
The View Bar (map)
Sports Centre
Thornhill Road
Southampton, UK SO16 7AY

« Back to the calendar

Fire In The Mountain – foothills of the Cambrian Mountains – nr Aberystwyth, Wales – 30/05/15

We are going to be performing the show at this brilliant festival in Wales this summer.

Do come and get your tickets early – it sold out well in advance last year – http://www.twoforjoy.co.uk/fire-in-the-mountain

FITM2015eflyer

What
Fire In The Mountain
When
Saturday, May 30, 2015
TBC - All Ages Buy Tickets
Where
foothills of the Cambrian Mountains (map)
nr Aberystwyth, Wales
Other Info
An amazing festival - you should come. See http://www.fireinthemountain.co.uk/ or http://www.twoforjoy.co.uk/fire-in-the-mountain for more details.

« Back to the calendar

Three Acres And A Cow – unattributed broadside from late 1800’s

Three Acres And A Cow – unattributed broadside from late 1800’s

IMG_1101

**Please note I have changed some of the lyrics and a bit of the melody – this is fine and you are welcome to change them too – that is how music works #notsacred**

You’ve heard a lot of talk about three acres and a cow
And if they mean to give us why don’t they give it now?
For if I do not get it I may go out of my mind
There’s nothing but the land and cow will keep me satisfied

Don’t you wish you had it now, three acres and a cow!
Oh you can make good cheese and butter when you get the cow.

There’s a certain class in England that is holding fortune great
Yet they give a man a starving wage to work on their estate
The land’s been stolen from the poor and those that hold it now
They do not want to give a man three acres and a cow

D’y’ think they’ll ever want to give three acres and a cow
When they can get a man to take low wage to drive the plough
To live a man he has to work from daylight until dark
So the lord can have both bulls and cattle grazing in his park

But now there is a pretty go in all the country though
The workers they all want to know what the government will do
And what we have been looking for, I wish they’d give us now
We’re sure to live if they only give three acres and a cow

If all the land in England was divided up quite fair
There would be some for everyone to earn an honest share
Well some have thousand acre farms which they have got somehow
But I’ll be satisfied to get three acres and a cow

Lyrics in the public domain
Scan taken from ‘The Painful Plough
‘ by Roy Palmer and reprinted with permission.

This Land Is Our Land by Marion Shoard

marionThis Land Is Our Land
by Marion Shoard

The definitive book on land both past and present, although it has sadly not been updated since the 80’s.

It gets a bit heavy going in places but the first third, which is a history from Roman times to the present, is totally gripping and a must read for anyone interesting in land and land rights.

I had to take quite a few breaks whilst reading it as sections of it made me really angry and/or sad.

The Long Affray: The Poaching Wars in Britain by Harry Hopkins

The Long Affray by Harry HopkinsThe Long Affray: The Poaching Wars in Britain
by Harry Hopkins

Published in 1985, this life changing book was given to me by Sam Lee.

“A beautiful telling of the age-old battle between peasant and landowner where for the price of a rabbit or a pheasant men were murdered, transported as convicts and executed.

This ancient struggle over game was not just about food for the poor poachers and their families, it was about social rank and the power of the landed gentry, the burgeoning class politics of the time and the harsh realities of rural life.”