Thomas Thompson (songwriter)

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Thomas Thompson (1773–1816) was a Tyneside poet, from Bishop Auckland area in County Durham. His last song was Jemmy Joneson's Whurry , first published in 1823, seven years after his death.

Tyneside Place in England

Tyneside is a conurbation on the banks of the River Tyne in North East England which includes Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Tynemouth, Wallsend, South Shields, and Jarrow. The population at the 2011 census was 774,891.

Bishop Auckland Market town and civil parish in County Durham, England

Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Darlington, 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Durham and 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Crook at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless. According to the 2001 census, Bishop Auckland has a population of 24,392, recounted at 16,296 for the 2011 Census. The difference in the two censuses is due to a change in the demarkations of the town boundaries over this period, rather than an actual reduction in the population.

County Durham County of England

County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is Durham, a cathedral city. The largest settlement is Darlington, closely followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south. The county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, Jarrow, South Shields and Sunderland.


Early life

Thomas Thompson was born in 1773 in (or close to) Bishop Auckland, County Durham, the son of an officer who was already suffering from (what would turn out to be, a terminal) fever at the time of Thomas’ birth. He finished his education at Durham and then moved to Newcastle upon Tyne c 1790. Already a well-known and respected business man, and with the threat of war with, and invasion from, France, Thomas joined up in the Newcastle Light Horse as acting quartermaster, with a quick promotion following to rank of Captain.

Newcastle upon Tyne City and metropolitan borough in England

Newcastle upon Tyne, commonly known as Newcastle, is a city in Tyne and Wear, North East England, 103 miles (166 km) south of Edinburgh and 277 miles (446 km) north of London on the northern bank of the River Tyne, 8.5 mi (13.7 km) from the North Sea. Newcastle is the most populous city in the North East, and forms the core of the Tyneside conurbation, the eighth most populous urban area in the United Kingdom. Newcastle is a member of the UK Core Cities Group and is a member of the Eurocities network of European cities.

Later life

Thomas Thompson was married and had (at least one) a son Robert born c1812. He built and lived in Cotfield House, [1] Windmill Hills, Gateshead. Thompson became a successful merchant trader with offices in the Broad Chare, Skinners Burn, Forth Banks. In 1796 he had connections with a woollen draper, Mr D Bell, and in 1801 was trading as a general merchant trading as Armstrong, Thompson & Co. He was also known for his voluntary work in the area. He died on 9 January 1816 aged 42 at his home from exertion, cold and fatigue & similar, after trying to protect his property after an instance of the River Tyne flooding. He was buried at Old St Johns.

Gateshead town in Tyne and Wear, England

Gateshead is a large town in Tyne and Wear, England, on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne. Gateshead and Newcastle are joined by seven bridges across the Tyne, including the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. The town is known for its architecture, including the Sage Gateshead, the Angel of the North and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. Residents of Gateshead, like the rest of Tyneside, are referred to as Geordies. Gateshead's population in 2011 was 120,046.


His songs include:

Jemmy Joneson’s Whurry is a traditional Geordie folk song in Geordie dialect written circa 1815, by Thomas Thompson, in a style deriving from music hall.

See also

William Purvis, probably better known as "Blind Willie" (1752–1832), was a Tyneside concert hall song writer and performer in England at the end of the 18th and start of the 19th century. His most famous song is "Broom Buzzems". He became known later as the "ancient laureate of the Tyne" and was remembered in the songs of Robert Gilchrist (1797–1844) and Thomas Thompson (1773–1816).

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