Tim Bobbin’ Grave
I stoode beside Tim Bobbin’ grave
‘At looks o’er Ratchda’ teawn;
An’ th’ owd lad ‘woke within his yerth,
An’ sed, “Wheer arto’ beawn?”
“Awm gooin’ into th’ Packer-street,
As far as th’ Gowden Bell;
To taste o’ Daniel’s Kesmus ale.”
TIM.—”I cud like o saup mysel’.”
“An’ by this hont o’ my reet arm,
If fro’ that hole theaw’ll reawk,
Theaw’st have o saup o’th’ best breawn ale
‘At ever lips did seawk.”
The greawnd it sturr’d beneath my feet,
An’ then I yerd o groan;
He shook the dust fro’ off his skull,
An’ rowlt away the stone.
I brought him op o deep breawn jug,
‘At o gallon did contain;
An’ he took it at one blessed draught,
An’ laid him deawn again!
John Collier (18 December 1708–14 July 1786) was an English caricaturist and satirical Lancashire dialect poet, known by the pseudonym of Tim Bobbin.
He is buried in the cemetery of Rochdale Parish Church, St. Chad’s. He wrote his own epitaph 20 minutes before he died, “Jack of all trades…left to lie i’th dark” which is inscribed upon his gravestone.
In 1792 Sir Walter Scott visited the grave and suggested that a public subscription be raised to refurbish it. One thousand people donated a pound each, the tombstone was raised and a fence erected around the grave. A ceremony was arranged, which was attended by many eminent people including a number of Lancashire dialect poets who acknowledged their debt to the first of their number, Tim Bobbin.