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     Thomas Spence  

1750 was the year - the place Newcastle Quay

Thomas Spence he was born to stir - the aristocracy

Common ownership of land - was Thomas Spence’s Plan

Words he wrote in his own hand he called the Rights of Man


Thomas went down to South Shields town - and on to Marsden Bay

He met a man of great renown - lived in a cave they say

By the sea and living free - no landlord’s servile slave

He had gained his liberty - within a limestone cave

Thomas was overjoyed to see - his living dream come true

Here was a man who’d broken free - of landlords and their crew

Passion spurred his fevered hand - where storm-tossed seagulls call

Wrote these words to those he damned - upon the cave’s bare wall


Ye landlords vile - who rob with guile

And levy where ye can

Your law and lawyers I’ll defy

And fight for rights of man


Those that would seek to innovate - and change the status quo

Quickly the state will isolate - and view as hostile foe

Legals stoats in ermine coats - they raised a hue & cry

Spence condemned by weasel throats - in Newgate Goal to lie


Thoughts of a brave man still survive - reposing now in print

Waiting there to be brought alive - like sparks within a flint

Prison doors with iron jaws can cage a body’s will

Man-made laws suppress a cause but thoughts they’ll never kill



More than a brace of centuries - have passed since Spence’s birth

River still rolls down by the quays - controlled by moon & Earth

Thomas Spence and Thomas Paine - two men one single clan

They raised Cain and sought no gain - they fought for rights of man


 Pete Burnham

Jim Sharp

Thomas Spence

 1750 - 1814