Brigg - A Poetical Sketch

This was written in about 1820 and reprinted in the 1904 edition of Jackson's Brigg Annual.

A PDF of the 1904 printing may be found here (1.1MB)


A Poetical Sketch

By J. Cooper.

Printed by Ball, Brigg, nearly one hundred years ago. Mr. H.

W. Ball, of Barton, has kindly lent for the Annual.



N each side a river the town of Brigg stands,

Surrounded with meads and rich fertile lands;

The buildings quite neat through the streets as they rise,

As most to be met with beneath the blue skies :

The market on Thursdays, for goods of each sort,

Where Farmers, and Graziers, and Tradesmen resort ;

The market folks busy, all striving for gain,

Throughout the long day, until nights sable reign.

The shops are all spacious and pleasing to see,

Where sugar, tobacco and genuine tea, -

And all sorts of spices from each foreign land,

With all kinds of fruits, may be had at command.

Here fine polish'd hard ware these shops also grace,

In which you may clearly distinguish your face;

And drapery goods, for the young and the old.

To make them quite warm, when the weather is cold.

Public Houses and Inns, where spirits and ale,

And porter and cider are offer'd for sale ;

The Hosts and the Hostesses take special care,

Their guests to supply with the choicest of fare ;

The richest of wines, too, are found on their boards,

The finest of flavours each vintage affords.

Here’s Tailors, and Braziers, and Goldsmiths likewise,

Whose jewels and trinkets quite dazzle your eyes ;

Here beautiful watches of silver and gold,

And bracelets, necklaces, and broaches are sold.

Here's a Bank, too, at which, if the truth it be told,

You may readily change all your paper for gold.

Two Printers there are, should you wish to hand down

To ages succeeding free thoughts of your own.

There's Dressmakers' shops, to make ladies look gay,

With laces and silks, for their wished bridal day ;

And rings in great plenty are found in this place,

The bride s pretty fingers so richly to grace.

Large Warehouses, too, to deposit the grain,

From whence it is shipped to cross the wide main.

Some Butchers, and Bakers, and Gingerbread-sellers,

Some Saddlers, and Sailors, and some Fortune-tellers,

Where lasses who wish not to lead single lives,

Are often enquiring when they shall be wives.

A noble Free School, where the classics are taught,

From which to preferment youths sometimes are brought,

The senate, the pulpit, the bar, too, to grace,

While some in the navy and army they place.

Here, Furriers' Shops, such no more could be found,

Were you to examine the whole island round ;

Where young and old women are seen pulling down

The heads of our nobles and rulers to crown,

And sometimes to cover those heads of our own.

There are Shoemakers' shops in every street,

Where shoes are on sale to suit ev'ry one's feet,

Of whate'er description the buyer may please,

For slav'ry or fashion, or comfort and ease.

Two grand Druggists' shops, where are offer'd for sale,

Such drugs and such med'cines as seldom do fail ;

In th' windows fine transparent liquids are seen,

There's crimson, and scarlet, and sky-blue, and green.

A News-room, where Gentlemen meet, to peruse

And think upon matters of state in the news:-

Weigh well the proceedings of Commons and Lords,

Then judge what dependence to place on their words;

Impartially marking the plans they pursue,

To find who's the good of their country in view;

The whole of his acts without prejudice scan,

Before they presume once to censure the man :

For more loyal subjects sure never were known,

To King, Constitution, the Laws, and the Crown,

Than those who are found in this far-famed town.

A neat little Play-house is here also found,

Where comic, and tragic, and farcic abound;

The poor and the rich, and the young and the old,

Here mingle together like sheep in a fold.

An Office where Magistrates duly attend,

Our laws to enforce against those who offend;

Where justice impartial to all they award,

Without e'er receiving a fee or reward.

A Court, too, of Conscience, confin'd within bounds,

Recov'ring of debts not exceeding Five Pounds,

Where Claimants produce satisfaction to those

Who patiently sit and examine each cause.

Here, Doctors, should any be sick or complain,

Of gravel, or gout, or of other sore pain,

Who will use all their skill to restore such again.

Here, Barbers, who cut, curl, and powder your hair,

Or make you neat wigs, should your heads become bare.

Next, Lawyers there are, who make deeds and wills,

But for which they oft make some very long bills.

And Hatters who work ev'ry day for the crown.

By making fine hats of the choicest of down.

A beautiful shop, with a great many toys,

For sweet little girls, and for dear little boys;

Where the old and the young are lost in amaze,

And neighbours and strangers are stopping to gaze,

There are plenty of Mills the corn here to grind,

One worked by steam, and the others by wind;

Where true honest Millers, perhaps, may be found,

If any are left to exist above ground;

And one, which of line and of rape grinds the seed,

From which cakes are produc'd, the cattle to feed.

A spacious Town Hall in the market-place stands,

Well built and rais'd high by ingenious hands :

Underneath which is kept a market for fowls,

For geese and for eggs, and for butter in rolls,

Two streets from the market-place run to the east,

And another from thence descends to the west.

Independents an excellent chapel have here,

And likewise a Methodist chapel stands near;

A Chapel of Ease, too, where churchmen unite,

To worship Jehovah as they think quite right.

A House, too, where Quakers do constantly meet,

To wait on their Maker, and how at His feet.

How happy are they by the Spirit thus mov'd,

To copy what Jesus in Mary approv'd;

And blest are those Pastors who faithfully teach,

Who fail not the glorious gospel to preach !

A Fly-Boat they have, which swims down very fast,

Though furnish'd with neither a sail nor a mast;

Each morn in the week it is always in use,

Taking Ladies and Gentlemen down to the Sluice;

In Humber, a Steamer awaits near the side,

Wherein they embark, to sail through the rough tide,

At Hull now arriv'd-on that neighbouring shore,

They there meet with strangers they ne'er saw before,

And friends and relations, some rich and some poor.

In the eve of the day, and with all the gay train,

The Steamer returns o'er the Humber again;

The Fly-Boat they left at the Sluice in the morn,

Like some trusty servant, awaits their return;

By means of its swiftness their voyage soon ends,

And then they are greeted by neighbours and friends.


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