entry picture

Americans are reluctant to remember (or keen to forget) that whole towns were loyal to the British Crown during the War of Independence.  The most notable of these was New York.   (But don't mention it to your cabbie there)


They fled from the murrain that fell on East Ham

By Plymouth and Boston they brought us

And on to this place they called New Amsterdam

To sire we grandsons and daughters.


We’re sons of our forefathers, sons of this land

Good settlers they now try to banish

Not Albion’s enemy with whom they stand –

Their allies, the French and the Spanish.


They pressed us to fight against kith and our kin

But what would have victory bought us?

A cheap independence so pyrrhic and thin

And the blood of those brothers who fought us.


But whether his crown be of gold or of thorn

Or whether his crown be of laurel

As subjects of his in America-born

With country or King we’ve no quarrel.


So damn all the rebels of Washington’s crew

Who sit in that treacherous caucus

They may speak for Boston and Baltimore too

We’re loyal to King George; we’re New Yorkers.




Profile image

John Coopey

Thu 29th Oct 2020 17:20

Thanks, MC and Stephen.
Tens of thousands did indeed “emigrate” from the USA to the residual loyalist colony (subsequently Canada), MC. And ironically one of the leaders of the American Loyalists was Benjamin Franklin’s dad.
It was indeed the East Ham I was referencing, Stephen, although I have no knowledge of Pilgrim Fathers leaving there - I needed the name for the rhyme!

Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Thu 29th Oct 2020 16:10

Thanks, John. Is that East Ham in East London (one stop after Barking), where my civil service career (sort of) got started?

Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Thu 29th Oct 2020 13:18

A fascinating take on something the Yanks would probably prefer
to forget - the fact that considerable numbers of the early settlers
retained allegiance to the Crown. It is also rarely mentioned that
the British treated the indigenous peoples more considerately than
their opponents and their allies - with an exodus to Canada by a
number in later years. Just down the road from me there's a
plaque on the wall of a house celebrating the patriot Benedict
Arnold. I suspect that it's not on any Yank's tour list!

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message