Florence Cleveland

FLORENCE CLEVELAND (aka Elizabeth Tweddell nee Cole)

This page relates to information about George Markham Tweddell's wife Elizabeth Tweddell aka the dialect poet Florence Cleveland.

Born Elizabeth Cole 1824, the daughter of  the daughter of Thomas Cole (1787-1867) who was 34 years parish clerk of Stokesley in North Yorkshire and renowned for being the last person to toll the town's curfew bell. 
More on the early lifeof Elizabeth on the Tweddell History website http://www.tweddellhistory.co.uk/Chapter1.html

She married George Markham Tweddell in 31st December 1843. Paul Tweddell, in a forthcoming update to the both to the main Tweddell History website and his book on the Family History of the Tweddells - 'Poor Lives but with Honour' will argue that the George and Elizabeth had a more egalitarian relationship than expected in the Victorian era. " From a 21st century point of view, especially a feminist one, there is evidence that the couple’s personal relationship was thought unusual during their lifetime, when middle class parents usually divided their duties strictly; the husband worked to provide money, whilst women attended to the children and domestic duties." - The Quote and more from Tweddell History here  http://www.tweddellhistory.co.uk/chapter7.html

Rhymes and Sketches to illustrate the Cleveland Dialect
In 1869 she published an important pamphlet of five short Rhymes to illustrate the North York Dialect appearing as TractatesNumber 4 using her nom-de-plume name, Florence Cleveland. Demand for this led to the book by which she is best remembered, Rhymes and Sketches to illustrate the Cleveland Dialect in 1875, which included an extensive dictionary/glossary. Before long the first edition was out of print and a second edition was produced in 1892, to be the last book published by the couple.

More on Florence Cleveland on the Tweddell History website

The book is republished here
but the original maybe be available free on either Google Books or Open Library.

In 2009 Stockton folk Megson recorded an album of using as lyrics, 19thC poems from the North East of England. They wanted to include a female poet and Middlesbrough library suggested Elizabeth Tweddell - Florence Cleveland. Her Cleveland dialect poem Take Thyself a Wife was chosen not only as a song but as the title for the whole album and over a hundred years after her passing, was written about in Guardian, Independent and as the duo became highly popular in the media.

Some of  her other poems are - 

Dean't mak gam o' me (1875)

Florence Cleveland

I went last week to Stowslay(1) Fair,
   My sweetheart for to see;
She promis'd she would meet me there-
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I rigg'd misel' all i' my best,
   As fine as fine could be;
An' little thowt how things would to'n(2);
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I walk'd to t' toon, an' bowt a cane,
   To cut a dash, ye see;
An' how I swagger'd up an' doon!
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I thowt, if nobbut Poll would come,
   How happy we sud be!
I'd treat her into t' penny show,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me :
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

At last I saw her coomin' in;
   Bud what else did I see?
Jack Hodge was walkin' biv her saade!
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

Stright up I went, an' "Poll!" says I,
   "I's waiting, lass, for thee!"
"Then thoo mun wait!" was all she said,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

She teak Jack's airm, an' there I stead
   Quite flabbergash'd, ye see:
I thowt I sud hav dropt to t' grund,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

Poor Nancy Green com seaglin'(3) up,
   "What's matter, Dick?" says she:
"Jack Hodge is off wi' Poll!" says I,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me:
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

"Why, niver maand her; let her gan ;
   She's better gean!" said she:
Bud I thowt nut; an' then I cried,
   Bud dean't mak gam o' me :
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

I's nobbut a poor country lad
   At's lost my heart, ye see:
I'll gan nea mair to t' Pomesun Fair,(4)
   Sea dean't mak gam o' me :
      Oh, dean't mak gam o' me!

1. Stokesley.  2. Turn out.  3. Sauntering.
4. The fair held at Stokesley on the 
   Saturday before Palm Sunday

Coom, stop at yam to-neet Bob

Florence Cleveland

"Coom, stop at yam(1) to-neet, Bob,
   Dean't gan oot onnywhere:
Thoo gets thisel t' leeast vex'd, lad,
   When thou sits i' t' awd airm-chair.

"There's Keat an' Dick beath want thee
   To stop an' tell a teale:
Tak little Keatie o' thy knee,
   An' Dick 'll sit on t' steal.

"Let's have a happy neet, Bob,
   Tell all t' teales thoo can tell;
For givin' pleeasure to the bairns
   Will dea thee good thisel.

"I knaw it's sea wi' me, Bob,
   For oft when I've been sad,
I've laik'd an' laugh'd wi' them, mon,
   Untel my heart's felt glad.

"An' sing that laatle sang, Bob,
   Thoo used to sing to me,
When oft we sat at t' river saade,
   Under t' awd willow tree.

"What happy taames them was, Bob,
   Thoo niver left me then
To gan to t' yal-hoose neet be neet
   Amang all t' drunken men.

"I does my best for thoo, Bob,
   An' thoo sud dea t' seame for me:
Just think what things thoo promised me
   Asaade t' awd willow tree!"

"I prithee say nea mair, lass,
   I see I ain't dean reet;
I'll think of all thoo's said to me,
   An' stop at yam to-neet."

"I'll try to lead a better life-
   I will, an' that thoo'll see!
Fra this taame fo'th I'll spend my neets
   At yam, wi' t' bairns an' thee!"

1. Home.

From Dunmow Flitch of Bacon Custom - A book by William Andrews
The book contains one by George Markham Tweddell too.
You read on line or download the full book here 

There is more about the Dunmow Flitch custom on this site with George's poem here

The following rare poem by Elizabeth Tweddell aka Florence Cleveland was published in the Freemason's Magazine and Masonic Mirror Dec 1870. In this downloadable collection are also poems by Middlesbrough poet Angus McPherson and George Markham Tweddell
Read on line or download here  https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=GVQFAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA538

Elizabeth Tweddell (Florence Cleveland) from Tweddell's North of England Illustrated Annual 1879 / 80

From S. Horsfall Turner 1890 Yorkshire Bibliography.

From the Paul Tweddell collection

Elizabeth Tweddell with Granddaughter Annie c 1883 

From the Paul Tweddell Collection

Below - Saint Hilda's Bells - by Elizabeth Tweddell
From Tweddell's Illustrated Annual

Saint Hilda's Bells - by Elizabeth Tweddell - continued

Below - also from Tweddell's North of England Illustrated Annual

Quote from  From S. Horsfall Turner 1890 Yorkshire Bibliography.
"Mrs Tweddell - Elizabeth Cole was born on January 2nd 1824 and united her lot in life with Mr Tweddell on the last day of December 1843, sharing all his varying fortunes calmly and bravely and in addition to her household duties, involving the care of young children and grand-children, and for some years the Industrial Scholars at Bury, she has delighted thousands by her spirited little poems, not the least telling and treasured being her charming dialect pieces. We have only space for three specimens of the former.

The above note by Horsfall Turner is interesting - Florence Cleveland has two dialect poem books and he suggests her many articles and verse, published in magazines and newspapers in England, America and Australia should be collected together. Paul Tweddell did that for George but we had the benefit of George's manuscript books to help. A few of them are collect above.